Werewolves of London

LONDON - If you’re at all familiar with the song title above, you’ll understand when I say, at the end of a long week at Farnborough, my hair is far from perfect, and there’s scant time for kicking back at Trader Vic’s!

Let’s just say that as twilight falls over this air show, our whole team is feeling a bit scruffy and ragged around the edges. It’s been a great show in so many ways, and yet it’s an exhausting marathon.

I mentioned the other day about the rinse and dry cycle as you go in and out of hot and cool rooms at the show. My head hurts, my feet hurt. I can use a shower and a shave, frankly.

Speaking of showers, we saw some threatening skies on Thursday. Big thunderstorms, which actually delayed the flying displays for about an hour and a half.

I did manage to have a bit of fun during the day - took a walk along chalet row and in the exhibit halls. What I found was that even though the 787 departed here on Tuesday, it never really left.

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I stopped at the Spirit Aerosystems exhibit during a kind of “world tour” of 787 Dreamliner partners at the air show. We shot a video in the process that you can view by clicking on the image above.

As I visited the exhibits of our suppliers and partners in Russia, Canada, Kansas, Ohio, the U.K, France, Korea, Japan, etc., I discovered components of the Dreamliner that they provide being highlighted all around the show.

Made me realize that although the 787 technically made its international debut here this week, it has been truly a global airplane all along.

By the way, when the 787 flew away, Qatar rolled in a 777-300ER for static display. The airplane was spectacular and the team at Qatar - from the flight engineers to their public relations people to the flight attendants - were fabulous to work with.

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Jim Albaugh posted a video message to Boeing employees from inside the Qatar 777-300ER. You can click above to watch the video.

From the media, I got question after question about Bombardier, and the lack of orders for the CSeries.

For Boeing (and Airbus) a lot was made of our order activity, both here and back in Seattle, and clearly we were pleased that our customers wanted to make announcements.

The big story, as I mentioned early in the week, has to be the recovery in the market, and the leasing companies really stepping up in a big way and filling their cupboards with airplanes, so to speak.

As I close out Farnborough 2010, I just have to mention once more what a thrill it was to see ZA003 here on the flight line.

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The star of our show: the 787 Dreamliner.

The 787 was the highlight by all accounts, threatening to eclipse everything else at the show. Everyone I met said so.

I mentioned to an Airbus colleague that now I understand how they must have felt when the A380 made its first air show appearance.

So as I wrap up my week, perhaps walking the streets of Soho in the rain, I have to say it’s been a great experience, one that I’ll remember for a long time.

But I do look forward to that shower and shave.

Comments (5)

Andy (Caldwell, ID):

This was a turning point in aviation. Not so many years ago when the 787 concept was a announced, It was stated that "Boeing's composite offering would be the greatest quantum leap in aircraft advancement technology since the clothed covered frames of 100 years ago advanced its technology." Taking into consideration the size of this leap, ZA003 demonstrated and punctuated the game has changed. Boeing has established the template for future aircraft to come. You may sing "Hail Britannia" but Boeing rules the skies.

Jim McDonough (Seattle, WA USA):

Thanks for the update Randy. And I'm happy to know you didn't need us to send "Lawyers, Guns And Money" (keeping with the Warren Zevon references).

Tony Brimley (Salt Lake City, Utah):

Randy you are too cool... you made my day with the ... Werewolf song.

The scariest movie I ever saw was when I was a kid and went to see the werewolf in London movie.. Great re-cap on the show.. love that Dreamliner..and I think it is great how Boeing and Airbus despite their differences and their competitive nature get along when it is needed, both are not innocent and are guilty of falling behind on certain programs but despite that they are not pointing fingers and seem to understand each other better than they ever have..

I think some of the good feelings have to be because of you and ppl like you at the top..

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

Many online news reports and also the LA Times business report where touting the number of orders made at Farnborough this year with over 100 orders each from Boeing and Airbus, from the orders made it is evident that world wide economy is on the upswing. Great reporting and great airshow, congrats of the orders.

R. Curtis Eng (Seattle, Washington, United States):

During public day on Saturday at Farnborough, I repeatedly heard the hopes of the general public to have a glimpse of the new 787.

Unfortunately their hopes were dashed as ZA003 is continuing to meet the needed test milestones and therefore was not able to do a similar aerial and static display that Airbus put on for the public with its enormous A380. (With quite impressive maneuverability shown during the aerial flybys!)

The Boeing chalet only had the superb unmanned aerial vehicles displayed; but it seemed they were being continually asked more about the 787 that had to earlier depart Tuesday. They wished some others who have experience with the 787 program could have been made available to address the continual outpouring of curiosity surrounding our beautiful new aircraft.

I think all wished we could have been projecting the video of the 787 Farnborough landing and takeoff that had occurred earlier in the week to satisfy the great desire of the general public aviation enthusiasts to experience more of the new and revolutionary technologies of 787.

So despite the actual 787 being missing from the public day lineup, it was still making quite the news even in its absence!

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