June 2011 Archives

Fill it up again

Last week, the 747-8 Freighter made history by making the first transatlantic crossing on biofuel. Now, a 737-800 owned by KLM wrote its own history. This week, KLM became the first airline to operate a scheduled commercial flight on bio-kerosene. That fuel was made from used cooking oil.

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Flying into history… on cooking oil!

Flight KL1233 took off from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol bound for Charles de Gaulle in Paris carrying 171 passengers. KLM plans to operate more than 200 flights to Paris on bio-kerosene in September of this year.

Boeing has worked closely with engine manufacturers, regulatory and standards organizations, and airlines - including KLM — to make these kinds of flights possible and to enable regular use by all airlines. For this flight, a “no technical objection” evaluation was required for KLM’s 737-800. Boeing was happy to be able to support KLM in this historic flight. Once the new jet fuel specification is published in a few weeks, use of the new fuels will be fully approved for all users of Jet A/A1 fuel.

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This week’s flight wasn’t the first time we’ve teamed up with KLM to showcase the latest trends in biofuel. Back in 2009, a KLM 747-400 flew a demonstration flight with one engine running on bio-kerosene. They decided to fill it up again, this time using bio-kerosene in both engines.

This innovation is very timely since the European Union is requiring airlines to cut carbon emissions by 3 percent on flights to the continent by late 2012. Over the longer term, this development will help the industry meet stated goals to achieve carbon neutral growth from 2020 and to continue to reduce the industry’s environmental footprint.

Congratulations to KLM for being one of the leaders in this new arena!

European Vacation

When two of the stars of the Paris Air Show left Le Bourget last week, they still had some stops to make in Europe. And let me tell you, they got the rock star treatment.

When the 787 landed in Warsaw, you would have thought U2 was arriving for a special concert. From onboard the airplane, our crew said it looked like the entire city turned out to catch a glimpse. Air traffic control was even telling other pilots in the air to look out their windows to see the Dreamliner. Much to the delight of the crowd, the 787 did a touch and go before coming in for landing.

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Talk about a warm welcome in Warsaw.

The airplane also received a water cannon salute as it taxied in for a visit with LOT Polish Airlines, which will be the first European customer to receive a 787.

After leaving Warsaw, the airplane headed for Berlin to see airberlin, which will be the first German carrier to receive a Dreamliner.

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A beautiful landing in Berlin.

The 747-8 Freighter was also busy after the Paris Air Show, making a stop in Luxembourg to visit launch customer Cargolux. A crowd of more than 1,000 waited to watch the airplane arrive at Luxembourg Wednesday night, even though airport issues at Le Bourget caused it to be a couple hours late. The following day happened to be Luxembourg’s Grand Ducal Birthday celebration — the country’s national holiday. So Cargolux held a family day for its employees, complete with food, drinks and, as a centerpiece, a tour of the 747-8. In the end, about 1,100 Cargolux employees and their families and friends toured through the airplane. It was a great event for Cargolux, and for the Boeing flight test crew that served as their host.

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The 747-8 Freighter looks beautiful in Luxembourg.

The attention our airplanes received in Europe shows just how excited our customers and the flying public are about what’s to come later this year. In fact, we’re getting closer to first delivery every day. Both the 787 and the 747-8 have begun function and reliability (F&R) testing, and the 787 has begun extended operations (ETOPS) demonstration (ETOPS testing isn’t required for the 747-8). This is the final phase of flight testing prior to certification. These are huge steps for both programs. F&R testing simulates airline operations, and ETOPS adds engine-out conditions during long flights. Our teams are thrilled to achieve these milestones and we’re looking forward to first delivery of both airplanes with great anticipation.

That's a wrap!

It’s time to put the wraps on another great air show here in Paris. All week long, we had the chance to showcase our new airplanes and innovative technologies to some incredibly receptive crowds. I put together a video showing you just a few of the groundbreaking things we’re doing—thanks in large part to our suppliers.

We also made key order announcements from our customers, including some significant orders on the widebody side. My colleague Elizabeth Lund, who heads up the 747 program, said it best: “Many of our customers have called and said ‘Can I please come and see your Intercontinental,’ and we love that because usually we’re knocking on their door.” The Intercontinental and the Dreamliner really did steal the show this year.

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Welcoming everyone on board the 787 with “open” arms.

Before I say “au revoir” to Paris, I wanted to share a few other fun moments from here at the air show. Earlier today, I hosted a “tweetup” where anyone who follows us on Twitter could stop by and say hello. We had a great crowd of about 50 people. With the help of flight attendants from airberlin, we gave away models of the Dreamliner and 737 at random. I should also mention that Boeing’s team of tweeters was awarded the “Paris Power Tweeter” award by FlightGlobal for their excellent coverage of the show.

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A great turnout for our first-ever Tweetup.

Of course, I couldn’t leave Paris without talking about the food. Last night, I sat down for a cocktail at a restaurant near the Louvre just as the sun was starting to set.

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A beautiful spot to grab a drink.

While we had some outstanding meals, the sight of this hot dog—Parisian style—was especially appealing after a long day on my feet.

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A sight for sore eyes.

Thanks to everyone who made Paris a huge success. We’ll see you next year in Farnborough!

Under Paris Skies

Not even today’s downpour at the Paris Air Show could stop the excitement surrounding the 787 Dreamliner. A steady stream of customers, suppliers and media climbed aboard the airplane today—so many that I didn’t even have a chance to get inside myself. I’ll make up for it tomorrow when I take some of our customers through the Dreamliner.

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A brief break in the clouds allows the sun to shine down on the 787 Dreamliner at the Paris Air Show.

Speaking of customers, we made another big announcement this morning. UTair in Russia has agreed to buy 40 Next-Generation 737s. UTair is one of the largest Boeing operators in Russia and we’re thrilled to know they’ll be expanding their fleet.

That news comes on the same day that I accepted an award from Airline Economics Magazine. Calling it the gold standard, they’ve named the 737-800 as the aircraft of the year in their “Aviation 100” survey. And what better place to accept the award than inside airberlin’s 737 with the beautiful new Boeing Sky Interior.

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The 737-800 is named aircraft of the year by Airline Economics Magazine.

Another one of our customers also made big news today (the surprise I referenced in yesterday’s blog). 787 launch customer ANA showed off the interior for its long-haul Dreamliners as well as its special livery (pictured below). I have to say the inside and out are truly striking and should be a huge hit with anyone who flies.

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ANA reveals its special livery for the Dreamliner.

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The new interior for ANA’s 787s.

As I mentioned in our 2011 Current Market Outlook last week, a number of things will need to happen to support the demand for commercial jetliners. Today at the air show, Sherry Carbary, vice president of Boeing Flight Services, released our 2011 Pilot and Technician Outlook. It shows that by 2030, there will be a need for 460,000 new pilots and 650,000 new technicians. Sherry didn’t mince words, saying we all need to step up to attract new generations of culturally diverse people to the aviation industry. She also rightly pointed out that nothing short of a transformation in air traffic management will be needed. Check out a video here to see what Boeing is doing to meet this challenge.

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Pilots training in a 787 full-flight simulator.

I’m really looking forward to an event we have planned tomorrow. It’s our first-ever “tweetup” for all our fans who follow us on Twitter and here at Randy’s Journal. If you happen to be at the air show, I’ll be hosting the tweetup at noon Paris time at the spot pictured below— the Boeing pavilion by the 787 Dreamliner. As you’ll notice in the photo, I’m holding on to something special that I’ll bring along to the tweetup.

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Getting ready for Thursday’s tweetup.

Eyes on the sky

You can always count on the 787 Dreamliner to get your blood pumping—and it did just that during Tuesday’s session of the Paris Air Show. The airplane landed during a media reception and immediately turned heads. Even though the Dreamliner itself is incredibly quiet, you could feel the energy level of the crowd go up as soon as it made its approach.

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The 787 Dreamliner circles over Paris.

Tuesday is always the peak of the air show and this year was no different. When people weren’t busy checking out the airplanes on the ground, they were busy watching the airplanes in the sky.

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No, it’s not Superman. The crowd looks up at one of the many airplanes coming and going at the air show.

I stopped by the customer chalet and it was absolutely packed. It just goes to show the level of enthusiasm of the airlines as they enjoy this period of renewed growth in the market. In fact, our order announcements today really showcase our diverse customer base. Those airlines cover different parts of the market, have different business models, and face different requirements. It’s proof of the diversification of the market that I talked about in last week’s release of our 2011 Current Market Outlook.

Aeroflot ordered eight 777s, Malaysia Airlines exercised options to buy 10 Next-Generation 737-800s, Norwegian Air Shuttle ordered 15 737-800s, and GECAS agreed to buy eight 777-300ERs and two 747-8 Freighters. The 747-8 Freighter will be a new model in the GECAS portfolio.

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View of the air show crowd from the mouth of the 747-8 Freighter.

Speaking of the 747-8F, that airplane continues to get a lot of buzz after making history with a transatlantic flight on biofuel. Today, the Freighter was on display at the air show with its forward cargo door open.

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The 747-8 Freighter with its forward cargo door open.

I’ll end today with a couple of photos showcasing the 747-8 Intercontinental. The sunrise livery looked amazing at the show today next to the first Ferrari four-seat luxury car, the FF.

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A colorful combo.

I also climbed aboard the Intercontinental to pose next to the staircase leading to the upper deck. As with all our airplanes on display in Paris this year, we’re proud to showcase the kind of passenger experience you can only get on a Boeing aircraft. Tune in tomorrow when we’ll have a few surprises to share with you.

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Welcome on board the Intercontinental.

Feels like home

LE BOURGET, FRANCE - Greetings from the Paris Air Show, where Mother Nature is putting on a show of her own. We were treated to a little bit of everything today—rain, wind, cold, heat and humidity. I grew up in Montana and it reminded me of those early spring days back home.

You can really feel the excitement over the unprecedented number of commercial airplanes we have at the show this year. The 747-8 Intercontinental is getting lots of buzz just for its size and beauty. We’re also hearing lots of talk about the 747-8 Freighter’s biofuel flight and the arrival of the 787 Dreamliner tomorrow.

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Posing next to the Intercontinental, with an airberlin 737-700 in the background.

With Qatar Airways displaying one of their beautifully outfitted 777-200LRs (they announced an order for 6 more 777s today) and airberlin showcasing our new Boeing Sky Interior, there was something exciting at every turn.

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Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777-200LR arrives at the Paris Air Show.

With so many airplanes on display this year, it’s a tight squeeze. With the tips of wings coming literally within inches of the airplane next to it, the ground crew— under the strict guidance from our flight test team— needed to park our airplanes with complete precision. As many of you have probably heard by now, another participant wasn’t as lucky.

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The wing-tip of a Qatar 777-200LR next to the 747-8I, showing how close the fit is here.

After wrapping up our 2011 Current Market Outlook in Paris last Thursday, I was finally able to catch up on my sleep over the weekend before hitting the ground running this morning in Le Bourget. I did more than a dozen television and print interviews today with reporters from Al Jazeera and the BBC— as well as outlets from the U.S., France, Russia and Germany. We covered questions on the market, the 787 program, global competition and the environment. Despite the rain, every reporter wanted to do their interview with the 747-8 as a beautiful backdrop. Sometimes we kept dry (at least somewhat dry) under the wings of the airplane.

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Doing an interview with a reporter from the BBC.

Of course, the big question on everyone’s mind is what will Boeing do with the 737. While there’s no doubt we can re-engine, we have to consider if that’s good enough considering the rising cost of fuel and environmental regulations. We also know we can build a new small airplane that’s 20 percent more fuel efficient. Regardless of the decision, our CEO Jim Albaugh said it best this morning during a briefing with the media: “we will always provide more value to our customers than our competition.”

We also had some great order announcements today, with the 747-8 Intercontinental really grabbing the spotlight. One carrier committed to buying 15 while another placed an order for two. It shows the strong market for large airplanes as the airlines focus on their long-range international requirements. A beautiful photo of the Intercontinental arriving at the air show is available on the right column of our Paris Air Show hub webpage. You can also see plenty of photos on our Flickr stream.

In addition, we announced today that Air Lease Corporation (ALC) has agreed to buy up to 33 of our airplanes including Next-Generation 737-800s, 777-300ERs and 787-9 Dreamliners.

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The 747-8 Freighter arrives for the air show after making some history.

The 747-8 Freighter’s arrival at the air show today marks another big theme this year: the environment. As you probably know, the 747-8F flew to Paris using biologically derived fuel— becoming the world’s first transatlantic crossing with biofuel.

Tomorrow’s portion of the show promises to not only to focus on the environment—but also the increase in competition. I’ll fill you in on Tuesday. In the meantime, we all just hope to get to the air show on time tomorrow—since a rail strike could jam things up more than usual. Stay tuned!

The big reveal

It’s not easy trying to predict 20 years into the future. But here at Boeing, we have an excellent track record forecasting what’s ahead for the aviation market. For the past five decades, we’ve produced our Current Market Outlook (CMO) to help us stay on top of industry trends and plan our business strategy. This year’s CMO — which I unveiled in Paris today — will also be used by hundreds of thousands of analysts, suppliers, customers, media and aviation fans. It’s a story of big numbers and staggering growth. Here’s a look at the highlights.

The big picture

Let’s cut right to the chase and lay out the big picture. Over the next 20 years, Boeing sees a demand for 33,500 new airplanes valued at $4 trillion. The main drivers of these stats are economic growth around the world, especially in emerging markets, and the traveling public’s desire for new, nonstop routes.

Breakdown by airplane type

Fleet composition will change significantly by 2030 with single-aisle jets making up 70 percent of the total. But we’ll also see continued growth for new twin-aisle airplanes like the 787 Dreamliner as well as the 777. Even though the large airplane market makes up a smaller percentage of demand, it will be a $270 billion market. That’s why we’re bringing the 747-8 Intercontinental to the marketplace. 970 new freighters will also be needed, with most of those being big freighters like the 747-8 F and 777 Freighters.

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I had the chance to present the CMO to reporters in Paris today.

Regional demand

Asia Pacific is forecasted to need the most new airplanes over the next 20 years and will represent the largest market by value of deliveries at more than $1.5 trillion. That region will account for more than a third of new deliveries worldwide, while the Middle East and Latin America will also continue to show very strong growth. European and North American carriers will continue to see demand for replacement airplanes as they retire older, less fuel-efficient models.

The bottom line

The 2011 CMO is really a success story. It shows that the airlines managed to come out of recession, past recovery, and into a period of expansion. We here at Boeing are ready to meet the demand, as evidenced in this week’s announcement that we’ll increase production of our wildly popular Next-Generation 737 to 42 per month in the first half of 2014. The future looks bright and we look forward to the ride.

Check out the CMO video below featuring our 787 Dreamliner, 747-8 Intercontinental, 747-8 Freighter and some other beautiful Boeing airplanes.

By the way, as the world commercial fleet expands over the next 20 years, a number of things need to happen globally to support that demand. For one thing, we’re going to need a lot more people to fly and maintain those tens of thousands of new airplanes and to fill the jobs of those people who will retire. We also need to ensure a transformation in air traffic management around the world in order to increase capacity in the system.

Next week at the Paris Air Show, my colleague, Sherry Carbary, vice president of Boeing Flight Services, will release our 2011 Pilot and Technician Outlook. It’s a big number, up from last year, indicating that we’ll need tens of thousands of new pilots and technicians per year. Sherry plans to spell out what we need to do to meet those challenges. Should be a fascinating discussion.

It's almost show time!

The Paris Air Show is always a spectacle and promises to be filled with fireworks this year. Boeing will have an unprecedented number of airplanes at the show providing a feast for the eyes. It really will be a great scene as the 787 Dreamliner, the 747-8 Intercontinental, the 747-8 Freighter, an Air Berlin 737-700 with the new Boeing Sky Interior, and a Qatar Airways Boeing 777-200LR fly in next week.

Airbus takes the position that announcing large order numbers are important for a successful air show. For many years, we’ve taken the approach of counting firm orders as they come in throughout the year rather than stockpiling them for the air shows. Two different approaches that have yielded similar results when all is tallied at the end of the year.

If you look at the numbers from the past five years, you’ll see that Boeing and Airbus are almost evenly matched when it comes to the total number of real, firm orders: 3791 for Boeing, 3753 for Airbus.

Next week in Paris, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Airbus come out with a mix of 1000 different things including orders, conversions, purchase agreements, options, MOUs, LOIs, and so on.┬áBut in my opinion, it really is about running the race from start to finish —January through December.

For all you prognosticators, I invite you to take your best guess on what the final Airbus “count” from Paris will be in the comments section of this post. We’ll check back after the show to see how things turned out.

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The view from chalet row during the 2009 Paris Air Show.

A glass half full

Next week, I’ll be in Paris to unveil our new Current Market Outlook. The CMO is a comprehensive report Boeing has put out since 1964 forecasting where we believe the aviation industry is headed over the next 20 years. But before we look ahead to the next two decades, let me offer some guidance on where I think the industry is headed for the rest of this year.

There’s been an interesting mix of reaction to the new forecast the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released just a few days ago. In it, IATA predicted an airline industry profit of $4 billion in 2011. While that may sound good, it’s a 54% drop compared to the $8.6 billion profit IATA forecasted back in March. IATA blames high oil prices, the disaster in Japan and unrest in the Middle East and North Africa.

I’ve always been a “glass is half full” kind of guy, so IATA’s forecast doesn’t have me too worried. I see a lot of good things in the market right now. Despite the high fuel prices and multiple shocks in demand, we’re still seeing airlines that are profitable. It speaks volumes about the airlines in how they’re handling all of the challenges and working through them by managing their costs, capacity and revenue.

Coming into 2011, we here at Boeing expected economic growth to moderate—especially in the first half of the year. But we see it picking up in the second half of the year—with the momentum continuing into 2012, 2013 and 2014. We expect both passenger and cargo traffic to grow at or above long term trend. Supply and demand will also be in balance. Bottom line—I’m confident that airlines can ride through all this turbulence.

Be sure to check back here next Thursday (6/16) when I’ll unveil the new Current Market Outlook and show you a video featuring our new airplanes.

Number one crew

We recently accomplished another meaningful milestone in the lead up to 787 first delivery. The first pilots from launch customer ANA have completed training at the Seattle Flight Services campus.

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Thumbs up from part of the ANA team before departure on ZA001. From left to right: Bottom row, Kohei Sambai, ground coordinator, Flight Training, ANA; Capt. Masayuki Ishii, 777 captain, director 787 Pre-Operations Planning, 787 Flight Training, ANA; Capt. Yasuharu Otsuka, 777 captain, instructor, project pilot 787 Flight Training, ANA; Top row, Capt. Masami Tsukamoto, 777 captain, manager 787 Pre-Operations Planning, 787 Flight Training, ANA; Capt. Mitsuo Nishida, 777 captain, check pilot, instructor, 777 Flight Training, ANA.

There are a couple of very cool things about this. First, it means that these 10 pilots - senior ANA training pilots and check airmen - now go back to Japan and ANA to conduct simulator and airplane line training for more flight crews. These trailblazing pilots will also be the first to captain 787 commercial flights for ANA.

The other significant point is that at the conclusion of their training in Seattle, each of the pilots in turn took the left seat on the 787 airplane ZA001 in maneuvers over Washington state - flights that our Boeing instructors tell me went extremely well and really validated how effective our training and simulators are at replicating the actual flying experience.

So I wanted to congratulate these initial - and now JCAB-qualified - pilots. They are proudly ANA’s “number one crew” as we get closer to delivering the Dreamliner to our first customer.

Big things are coming to Paris

Guess who’s coming to Paris? We just revealed which airplanes will be flying over for the big air show later this month. In all, five airplanes will be making an appearance in Paris including the 747-8 Intercontinental in its Sunrise livery, the 747-8 Freighter, the 787 flight-test airplane ZA001 featuring the full Dreamliner livery, an Air Berlin 737-700 with the new Boeing Sky Interior, and a Qatar Airways Boeing 777-200LR.

The latest edition of Frontiers has some impressive new photos (seen below) of the Intercontinental and Dreamliner that you can download here.

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The Dreamliner and Intercontinental sharing a picture perfect moment.

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787 Chief Pilot Mike Carriker looks out at the 747-8 Intercontinental.

We also have some news on the 747-8 front. The second Intercontinental flight-test airplane, RC021, flew to California recently to complete nautical air miles (NAMS) testing. NAMS determines fuel efficiency.. just like figuring out the gas mileage of your car. An analysis of the NAMS data will help our customers determine how far to fly and how many passengers and cargo the airplane can carry.

New coat of paint

Things seem to be changing by the day over at our 737 factory. A refurbished paint hangar at Renton Field is coming online in just a few weeks. This past Friday, a Solaseed Air 737-800 that had already been painted was rolled into the hangar to make sure all the equipment lines up as expected. This is the second paint hangar for Renton and will help increase our rate capacity to 38 airplanes a month in 2013.

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Solaseed Air 737-800 rolls inside the refurbished paint hangar in Renton.

This hangar will also balance the painting work between Boeing Field and Renton. Currently about 1/5 of our Next-Generation 737s are painted in Renton. After this hangar comes online, about a third will get a new coat of paint in Renton. For all you trivia buffs, this refurbished hangar was once used to paint the 707 and 757.

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A closer look inside the refurbished paint hangar.

If you haven’t heard of Solaseed, it’s the new brand and livery for Skynet Asia Airways of Japan. The airline will start flying under its new name next month.

 

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