March 2009 Archives

E-Enabled

Boeing makes available technical information about our airplanes that many people aren’t aware is out there.

One example we’ve talked about before is the excellent publication we call AERO. This is a quarterly that goes out to the operators of Boeing commercial airplanes, with the goal of providing some supplemental information that may be of use in daily fleet operations.

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It’s also online. The latest issue of AERO, just out, has a number of interesting features, including some data you may find fascinating about the capabilities and systems of the first e-Enabled commercial airplane, the 787 Dreamliner.

You can also go back through the archives and see some of the other technical subjects we’ve covered.

Six-pack

I wanted to give you a brief update and share a couple of new photos from the 787 factory.

They’re images of the Dreamliner that will be the 6th and final flight test airplane, designated ZA006.

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A couple of first looks at Airplane 6 in final assembly this week in Everett.

There’s a lot going on right now as we gear up for first flight next quarter.

Our first flight test airplane, ZA001, is getting a paint touch up this week and then it’s on to some final testing. Airplane number 2 marked “power on” late last month, and production work is progressing on Airplanes 3, 4 and 5.

In terms of overall production, we have 31 Dreamliners in various stages of assembly throughout the world.

But seeing Airplane 6 in final body join now in our factory says to me that we’re in the home stretch to our flight test program – which will see all six airplanes flying later this year.

Hot wings

Winglets on a 767. I think you just have to see that to appreciate it.

American Airlines just conducted the first revenue flight of a 767-300ER with Blended Winglets on March 8 – from Dallas/Fort Worth to London Heathrow.

I’ve uploaded a few images courtesy of American Airlines and Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) so you can see the new look of the airplane.

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The first 767 with Blended Winglets on arrival at London Heathrow Airport earlier this month.

Winglets are an airplane technology you can appreciate by looking out the window – some people even call them “sexy” – and they’re on the end of the wings of more than 2,850 BBJs, 737s and 757s around the world.

Now, for the first time flying in service on 767s, these winglets could save American Airlines up to 500,000 gallons of fuel and cut CO2 emissions by as much as 5,000 tons per year for each 767.

Winglets achieve these savings by increasing the lift ability of the wings without requiring a corresponding increase in engine power. So, sexiness aside, the fuel savings and emissions reductions are what draws more and more airlines to install winglets on their fleets. American plans to put winglets on its entire fleet of 58 767-300ERs.

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Some images from flight testing of the American 767-300ER with winglets last summer. (All photos courtesy of American Airlines and Aviation Partners Boeing)

The 767 is one the first airplanes I worked on when I started with Boeing in the Flight Test organization. I’m struck by the fact that just like our other products, the 767 is benefiting from continuous improvement and innovation. As I’ve talked about before, one of the best ways we can enhance the value of our products is to keep improving them.

You can read more about American’s plans for winglets here.

And by the way, among other airlines planning to add APB’s winglets to their 767s are Hawaiian, Austrian, LAN, Delta, Condor, PrivatAir, TUIfly/Thompsonfly, DHL, and Air New Zealand.

Counterparts

Over the past couple of months, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and get to know my new “counterpart”- Airbus head of marketing, Andy Shankland.

We first met at the Airfinance conference in Dublin and then again at the Geneva Forum where we had an opportunity to chat over dinner.

Andy is taking over the reins from Colin Stuart. I’ve had the opportunity over the years to be a part of several panels and to speak opposite Colin. I’ve always found him to be a worthy “adversary” and always a strong advocate for Airbus products and services.

Colin is well-respected in the industry, and certainly has my respect as well. So I just wanted to take a moment and say that we’re going to miss seeing him at the podium in future conferences and media events. He’s always been a true professional, and I wish him the best.

Tragedy at Schiphol

GENEVA - I happened to be in Europe this past week, participating in the Geneva Forum. So the tragedy outside Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport hit that much closer to home for me, as it has, of course, for the greater Boeing family back in the U.S. and around the world.

We now know that four Seattle-based Boeing employees were among the casualties of the Turkish Airlines Flight 1951 accident. Three of our colleagues died, and the fourth was injured and is recovering in the hospital.

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The Boeing flag at half-staff outside our Seattle area offices.

As Boeing chairman Jim McNerney said late last week, “This is a very sad day for our company. Our thoughts and prayers are with our colleagues’ families, friends and co-workers and with the families of everyone who was on the flight.”

The men were returning from Turkey as part of their work for Integrated Defense Systems, supporting the Peace Eagle Airborne Early Warning & Control program.

Boeing has posted a statement extending our deepest condolences to their families, friends and colleagues. And I would like to add my own personal thoughts and prayers for our Boeing colleagues and for all of the victims in the wake of this tragedy.

 

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