July 2011 Archives

Open arms in Oshkosh

We knew there was a lot of buzz over the 787 Dreamliner’s visit to Oshkosh, Wisconsin today. But we had no idea just how many fans would show up to see her. Check out this great video of the landing.

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The 787 performs a flyby before landing in Oshkosh.

At one point, the line of cars streaming into the EAA AirVenture show stretched for five miles—and the line to actually go onboard the airplane seemed to stretch forever.

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Fans turn out in force to see the Dreamliner.

Even though I couldn’t make the trip, our team that made the flight over was thrilled to show off the plane during the first ever public tour inside the Dreamliner. Fans young and old waited patiently for the chance to see the star of the show. One man even took the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend while they were on the 787—and she said yes!

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A beautiful day for a tour. Photo by Andrew Zaback/EAA 2011 Facebook page.

AVweb takes you inside the Dreamliner during today’s tour in this video.

The trip to Oshkosh wraps up a very exciting week for the 787 program. On Tuesday, the ninth 787 returned to Everett after being deployed to Guam for Function and Reliability (F&R) and extended operations (ETOPS) testing. On that return flight, the crew completed a maximum-endurance mission: the longest 787 flight to date, just over 18 hours. We’re now 2/3 of the way through F&R and ETOPS testing.

Congratulations to the entire 787 team—and thanks to all of our friends in Oshkosh for the incredibly warm welcome. Our apologies to those in the crowd who couldn’t get on board before we had to fly home. FlightAware and the Chicago Tribune also have some great photo galleries.

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The smile says it all. Thanks to Mike Miley for the photo.

Beating expectations... again

After posting strong first-quarter earnings, Boeing has once again beaten Wall Street expectations in the second quarter of 2011. A lot of that success was driven by Commercial Airplanes where we’re living through one of the most exciting and historic times in the company’s history. This morning, we announced second-quarter net income of $0.9 billion, or $1.25 per share, on revenue of $16.5 billion. We had 65 net orders for airplanes, increased our deliveries and grew our aviation services business.

During the quarter, our 787 test fleet surpassed 4,180 hours in the air (we’re currently at more than 4,500 hours). Function & Reliability testing and extended operations (ETOPS) testing continues (we’re about 2/3 complete), we’re nearing completion of our flight test activities, and transitioning into the final stages of the certification process, which is expected to be complete by the end of August.

Meanwhile, the 747-8 test fleet topped 3,400 hours. The second Intercontinental joined the flight-test fleet, and two of the Freighter test airplanes transitioned to San Antonio for refurbishment. And who could forget the 747-8 Freighter’s history-making biofuel flight as it crossed the Atlantic for the Paris Air Show. By the time the third quarter of this year ends, we expect certification and delivery of both the 787 Dreamliner and 747-8 Freighter.

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A great second-quarter for the 787 and 747-8 programs.

The news that we’ve decided to bring a new engine 737 to the market (pending launch approval from our board of directors) dominated the headlines last week. But our Next-Generation 737, which we’re always improving, continued to make waves of its own—43 gross orders for a total of 141 in the first half of the year. Things are still rolling along to raise our 737 production rate from 31.5 airplanes per month to 35 by early 2012, 38 a year later, and 42 per month in 2014.

The 777 team was hard at work making seven airplanes a month—up from five—and began production on its first freighter to be designed and built in nine months. For the first half of 2011, gross orders for the 777 stand at 72.

The 767 team increased its rate to two airplanes a month, up from 1.5 a month during first quarter. The program also received six orders for the 767-300ER.

Finally, the Commercial Aviation Services (CAS) team announced a partnership with Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation to provide customer around-the-clock support services for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet family of commercial airplanes. We also received an order from Thai Airways for two 747-400 passenger-to-freighter conversions and saw the first ANA crews complete 787 pilot training at the Seattle Flight Services campus.

After a great second-quarter, we now set our sights on delivering to our customers and ramping up production. We’re expecting to deliver 485 to 495 planes this year, with 25 to 30 being 787s and 747-8s, weighted more toward 747-8 deliveries. And thanks to the American Airlines commitment for the new engine 737, we can expect a lot more orders as the year goes on.

There’s obviously a lot going on at Boeing right now— and I’m happy to take you along for the ride. Check out all our accomplishments from the past quarter in the special highlights video below.

Up close and personal

If you’ve never had the good fortune of standing beside a Next-Generation 737, we have a fix. Thanks to some pretty cool technology, you can now get down to “rivet level” of the airplane without leaving your computer.

A digital marketing firm called [wire]stone worked with Boeing to create the highest resolution images ever taken of the 737. The detail is so rich that you have to count it in gigapixels—1000 times the information of megapixels.

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Click on the image for a cool “zoom in” experience.

With a new 737-900ER for United Airlines serving as the cover model, digital cameras were placed on several robot mounts to capture 20,000 hi-res images of the airplane. Those photos were then stitched together to create a 360-degree interactive view of the airplane. As a result, you can zoom in on just about every part of this 737 and learn more about how it functions. Click here to try it out. (Boeing employees can experience it from a home computer.)

Although you may have never seen a 737 like this, you will definitely see this airplane (and, pending board approval, its new engine variant) for decades to come.

By the way, as part of our continuous innovation the first 737 with certified performance improvement engines was delivered to China Southern last week. It’s part of a performance improvement package (PIP) we began testing last November with the goal of cutting fuel consumption by 2 percent. The new improvements will give our customers an airplane that’s up to 7 percent more efficient than the first Next-Generation 737s delivered.

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The new CFM56-7BE engine configuration, which is now standard on all delivered 737s, is an improved design that includes high and low pressure turbine modification.

So go ahead and get up close and personal with the 737. It’s quite a view. (To see how the photo shoot came together, watch this video)

The Next-Generation.. and beyond

It’s not often you see Boeing and Airbus executives sharing the same stage. But it’s fitting for what is indeed an historic day in aviation. For all of you who’ve been wondering which direction we’d take on the 737 program, the answer is now clear. We’re excited to be part of today’s huge order announcement from American Airlines—the largest ever— on a day we also laid our single-aisle product strategy on the table.

American has agreed on an order for up to 300 Boeing airplanes. The commitment includes 100 Next-Generation 737s with options for 40 more—- plus 100 737s with new engines and options for 60 more. Pending approval from our board of directors, the new variant of the 737 would feature CFM International’s LEAP-X engines that improve fuel efficiency by 10 to 12 percent. We’re in the process of finalizing the configuration and expect a formal launch this fall with first delivery sometime mid-decade.

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Boeing and Airbus share the stage during the American Airlines news conference in Dallas.

Some of you may be wondering why we chose to go with a new engine instead of an all-new airplane. Jim Albaugh, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said it best today. After talking with our customers, they wanted more efficiency now and certainty of delivery. We know we’ve made the right decision.

Today’s news proves just how aggressive American is being in its fleet renewal. In fact, the airline said no single manufacturer could pull it off alone. American’s current fleet of more than 600 Boeing airplanes includes 156 Next-Generation 737-800s delivered to date. The agreement builds on their existing backlog of 64 Boeing airplanes consisting of 51 737-800s, seven 777-200ERs and six 777-300ERs.

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The 787 Dreamliner heads home after making an appearance at DFW today.

It was fitting that the first 787 Dreamliner was on hand in Dallas for today’s announcement. American has an existing purchase agreement with Boeing to buy 42 787-9 Dreamliners, with the right to purchase 58 more 787s. We look forward to playing a key role in their fleet replacement plan.

Our new engine 737 doesn’t even have a name yet. But we can’t wait to make it part of our future.

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American’s future fleet includes the 737, 787 and 777.

Harbour Town

SYDNEY - Hello from “down under” where I’m spending a few days discussing the airplane market for Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. With beautiful places like Sydney Harbour and the Opera House, it’s no wonder that more than 5 million international visitors come to Australia every year.

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My view of the most famous spot in Sydney.

While Australians are great hosts, they also love to travel. In fact, they took more than 6 million international trips in 2009. With all of these people coming and going, it adds up to big business for airlines. That’s why I’m projecting 970 new aircraft will be needed in the Oceania region over the next 20 years, valued at $130 billion dollars. 69 percent of those airplanes will be single-aisle.

The Oceania region is a very strong market for Boeing aircraft and home to our customers Air New Zealand, Qantas/Jetstar, and Virgin Australia. I expect the local jet fleet will continue to grow and be renewed with Boeing airplanes.

If you haven’t paid a visit to Sydney, I highly recommend that you get down to this great harbour town. Even though it’s winter here (upper 40’s in the morning) venturing outside is a pleasure. I’m on the board of directors for the Seattle Aquarium— so I made it a point to stop by the Sydney Aquarium while I was in town. It bills itself at the top tourist attraction in Sydney and it’s easy to see why.

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My visit to the Sydney Aquarium.

And for all your foodies, you definitely won’t go hungry. Here’s a picture of a great cheese souffle I enjoyed during my trip.

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By the way, I’d like to say “Happy Birthday Boeing” as the company turns 95 today. Be sure to check out some special offers from the Boeing Store.

Paint job

With a fresh coat of paint and the sun shining through the doors to light it up, a brand new Southwest Airlines 737 looked gorgeous today as we officially opened a newly renovated paint hangar next to our Renton factory. The Southwest 737-700 was one of the first airplanes to be painted at the facility.

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The sun shines in on our newly renovated paint hangar in Renton.

The hangar was built back in the late 50’s at the start of the 707 program. Before it closed in 1994, the hangar was also used to paint 727s and 757s. We’ve refurbished the hangar so that it can now paint all Next-Generation 737 models. In case you’re wondering, a crew of about eight painters can finish an entire 737 in about three days.

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This Southwest Airlines 737-700 was one of the first airplanes to be painted in the hangar.

This hangar will play a key role as the 737 program goes up in rate. Right now, we stand at 31.5 airplanes per month. By the first half of 2014, the program will go all the way up to 42 airplanes per month. It’s great to be able to turn a piece of Boeing history into something that will be a valuable part of our future.

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Looking good in blue, gold, red and orange.

Human touch

For the past week, the second 787 Dreamliner known as ZA002 has been welcomed by thousands of fans across Japan. On Sunday, the airplane finally got to meet some of its makers. Lucky employees from our partners such as Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Fuji Heavy Industries were given a special tour of the 787 at Centrair Airport near Nagoya. Many of them couldn’t wait to give the airplane the human touch.

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Employees from our suppliers get up close and personal.

For most of these employees, it was the first time to see the Dreamliner in person. It was a proud day for all them as they pointed out the parts they had a hand in making.

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A proud day for our suppliers.

ZA002 made the short trip from Tokyo and was parked next to the Dreamlifter.

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Two beauties parked side by side.

Once again, amateur avgeeks turned out in force to snap photos— some of them bringing ladders to get the best shots over the airport fence.

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Once again, a rock star greeting for the 787.

It has truly been an incredible and emotional week for everyone who made the trip from Boeing. We loved meeting all the employees from our customer ANA and our suppliers. Thanks to the people of Japan for the warm welcome and hospitality.

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Mt. Fuji in the distance on the way to Centrair Airport.

Baby I love your way

Unless you see it in person, it’s hard to describe the genuine outpouring of emotion and excitement surrounding the 787 Dreamliner’s first visit to Japan.

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The Dreamliner touches down in Osaka.

As it made its way from Tokyo to Osaka for the first part of our week-long SROV activities, people began lining up for the chance to see the airplane the entire country has become attached to. The line of fans— young and old— snaked around the terminal at Itami Airport.

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The excitement builds in Osaka as crowds line up to see the 787 for the first time.

After the 787 landed for validation testing with crews from Boeing and launch customer ANA, the crowd stood for hours on the observation deck under a sometimes blazing sun just to see the airplane.

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Boeing and ANA crews begin SROV activities in Osaka.

After about four hours of SROV work, the 787 headed back to Tokyo with the pilots waving at the crowd through the cockpit windows. There’s no doubt the same scene will repeat itself when the airplane heads for Osaka’s Kansai airport, Okayama and Hiroshima later this week.

One day before the flight to Osaka, ANA welcomed the Dreamliner with a celebration inside one of its hangars in Tokyo’s Haneda airport. As hundreds waited inside, the massive hangar doors were opened to reveal the airplane decked out in ANA livery.

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The Dreamliner makes a grand entrance during a ceremony in Tokyo.

The 787’s door was then opened to reveal Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh and ANA CEO Shinichiro Ito, who shook hands and waved to the crowd. During his remarks, Ito said “the Dreamliner was worth the wait.”

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The CEO’s of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and ANA shake hands after coming off the 787.

Everyone from Boeing who made the trip over to Japan couldn’t be more thrilled to see this moment come. For many, it has been a labor of love. And for our customer ANA and the people of Japan, the love affair has just begun. By the way, we’re covering SROV with a special feature page all week on newairplane.com. Click here to check it out.

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A warm welcome at Haneda Airport.

The Dream arrives in Japan

In what was a picture perfect moment, a rainbow made an appearance as the 787 Dreamliner decked out in ANA livery touched down in Japan for the first time. More than 1,000 people— almost all armed with a camera— turned out to witness history.

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Look closely and you can see a rainbow forming thanks to the water cannon salute. The airplane landed Sunday morning (Japan time).

ANA and Boeing have a busy week planned for the second flight test 787, known as ZA002. It began on the approximately nine-hour flight from Boeing Field in Seattle to Tokyo on Saturday, as ANA pilots Capt. Masayuki Ishii and Capt. Masami Tsukamoto demonstrated the 787’s features and flying characteristics, together with Boeing pilots Capt. Mike Carriker, Capt. Heather Ross and Capt. Ted Grady.

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ANA Captain Masayuki Ishii waves to the cheering crowd after landing in Tokyo.

Throughout the coming days, ANA’s pilots, mechanics and crews will work with our Boeing team in what’s known as service ready operational validation— or (SROV) — basically a dress rehearsal at ANA’s airports.

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ANA flight attendants and ground crew welcome the 787.

ANA has been closely involved in the development of the Dreamliner, and this is another significant step to help pave the way for a smoother entry into service later this year.

The Dreamliner will fly to Osaka, Okayama and Hiroshima over the coming days. I’ll bring you more pictures of its adventures later in the week.

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A spectacular sight that had cameras flashing.

 

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