April 2012 Archives

South Carolina rollout

“We build jets!” That was the chant from thousands of Boeing employees in South Carolina as the first 787 built in our North Charleston plant rolled out last Friday. Since I’ve been traveling overseas, I wasn’t able to attend the big event. But I want to extend my congratulations to our entire team in South Carolina for this proud moment.

Now, our attention turns to getting that first airplane into the hands of our customer Air India. The South Carolina facility will be key in our 787 production ramp up. We’ve already gone to a rate of 3.5 airplanes a month in Everett. When we eventually go to 10 a month as planned in late 2013, 7 of the airplanes will come out of Everett while another 3 will be produced in South Carolina. And if Friday’s enthusiasm in North Charleston was any indication—our employees there are more than ready to meet the challenge. Photos from the event by Alan Marts.

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British Invasion

Just as America will always remember the British Invasion of the 1960’s led by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, it seems our friends in the UK will remember the 787 Dreamliner invading London and Manchester this week. All of our Dream Tour stops have been wildly popular, but seeing the passion for the airplane here in Britain for myself was something special. (Boeing photographer Ed Turner took all the great pictures in this post)

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Fans line up to watch a demo flight in Manchester.

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Going for a ride over Manchester.

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A little creative marketing.

I met the Dream Tour airplane during the first of its two stops at London’s Heathrow Airport for a special event that featured our customers British Airways, Thomson Airways and Virgin Atlantic—along with 13 UK suppliers and partners. Our customers really helped drive the excitement at every stop in the UK this week. It’s clear they can’t wait to get their hands on the airplane.

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Our great customers lined up next to the 787.

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Here’s an angle you don’t see every day.

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A rare chance for me to get inside the 787 cockpit during its stop at Heathrow.

The media response was also amazing. We were able to bring several reporters on board some of our demo flights. Check out this report featuring me in a Richard Quest piece on CNN. A big thanks to our UK fans for tweeting out some great photos of the airplane as well. We hope all the spotters enjoyed following the airplane’s many flights during the week.

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The Dreamliner shines even on a cloudy day in London.

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From left to right: Steve Ridgway, CEO Virgin Atlantic; Chris Browne, MD Thomson Airways; Willie Walsh, CEO IAG.

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Catching a tow at Gatwick.

Boeing’s relationship with the UK goes back seven decades. In addition to the great partnership we have with our customers and suppliers, we also employ more than 1,200 people across the UK. This market is critically important to us from a customer base, supplier base and as a source of some of the world’s most inventive technology partners. Thank you Great Britain for playing host to the Dream Tour this week. We can’t wait to see the 787 flying your skies very soon.

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Thanks for the great British hospitality!

Strong start to 2012

We knew 2012 had the potential to be a banner year for Boeing—and today’s financial numbers show we’re off to a strong start. First-quarter net income rose to $1.22 per share on revenue of $19.4 billion.

I’ve touted 2012 as the Year of the MAX and that’s also shaping up to be the case. With 301 firm orders for the airplane in the first-quarter, the 737 MAX has helped to grow our record backlog of more than 4,000 airplanes valued at a record $308 billion.

So how did the quarter stack up against the competition? We booked 412 net orders compared to Airbus’ 90. We also delivered 137 airplanes compared to Airbus’ 131, an increase of more than 30 percent compared to this time last year.

Another great piece of news today. We contractually delivered the first 747-8 Intercontinental to an airline customer—our launch customer Lufthansa. We’ll celebrate the delivery on May 1 in Everett before the airplane heads to Germany for a celebration there on May 2. This is a huge milestone for the 747-8 program and I send my congratulations to the entire team as well as Lufthansa. You can see more photos here.

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Lufthansa’s 747-8 Intercontinental during its first flight.

As always, I think our story is best told in video. I invite you to check out the clip below showcasing all of the accomplishments from the first-quarter, followed by a brief program by program summary.

737

In January the program delivered the first 737 produced at the new 35-a-month rate — and also rolled out the 35th airplane at that new rate. In the largest-ever Boeing order from a European airline, Norwegian Air Shuttle ordered 22 Next-Generation 737-800s and 100 737 MAX airplanes, making Norwegian the first carrier in Europe to order the MAX. In February Boeing and Lion Air finalized the largest commercial order in Boeing history — for 201 737 MAXs and 29 Next-Generation 737-900ERs valued at $22.4 billion. The MAX program entered the final phase of wind-tunnel testing in February with low-speed tests at the QinetiQ facility in Farnborough, England, followed in March by high-speed wind tunnel testing at the Boeing Transonic Wind Tunnel in Seattle.

747

On Feb. 28 we delivered the first VIP 747-8 Intercontinental to an undisclosed customer. The program also delivered five freighters in the first quarter, including the first 747-8 Freighters for Korean Air and AirBridgeCargo Airlines. The Freighters continue to perform exceptionally well in service with better-than-plan dispatch reliability and fuel burn. Preparations are under way for a mid-year rate increase from 1.5 per month to two per month.

767

The program delivered three 767-300 Freighters and four 767-300ER passenger airplanes including the 96th - and final — 767 on order for All Nippon Airways, a 767 customer for more than 30 years. The program also received an order for four 767-300ERs for delivery to Air Astana, a new direct customer for the 767. On Feb. 24, Boeing marked the first anniversary of winning the U.S. Air Force contract to build the KC-46A aerial refueling tanker, which uses the 767-2C freighter as its platform. In the past year, the tanker program has reached several key design and development milestones on time or ahead of schedule. Boeing is on track to complete a Preliminary Design Review with the Air Force, a key milestone in the Tanker’s development, by the end of April.

777

On March 2 more than 5,000 employees, suppliers, customers and government officials celebrated completion of the 1,000th 777 - a 777-300ER that was delivered to Emirates on March 20. The program reached the 1,000 mark in 16 years - faster than any other twin-aisle airplane. In addition, the 777 engineering team achieved a remarkable 98 percent on-time rate for release of engineering work. Readers of Business Traveler magazine voted the 777 “Best Aircraft Type” for the fourth year in a row and the 777-300ER won the 2012 Aircraft of the Year award, presented by Aviation News.

787

The program delivered five Dreamliners: three to launch customer ANA and two to Japan Airlines - the first airline to take a 787 powered by GE’s GEnx engine. Those deliveries brought the fleet total to eight. The worldwide Dream Tour generated enthusiasm with stops in Singapore, Mexico, Chile, Canada, Thailand, Ireland and multiple cities across the U.S. The team is making great progress defining the 787-9.

Boeing South Carolina

Boeing South Carolina’s first production airplane (LN 46) moved into its final position, where it will go through interiors installation and production test before rolling out to the flight line this Friday. Delivery is still on track for mid-2012.

Commercial Aviation Services

At the Singapore Airshow in February, CAS launched the Boeing Edge, a new identify for the services, support and solutions Boeing offers its customers. Norwegian Air Shuttle signed a 12-year agreement to extend GoldCare, a comprehensive fleet maintenance and engineering management service, to the airline’s planned fleet of six 787 Dreamliners, and Singapore Airlines Cargo signed up to cover its fleet of 13 747-400 freighters. CAS also signed an agreement with Korean Air to establish a new training center and to continue providing all of the airline’s Boeing flight and operational training through 2020.

Follow the Fin

Be on the lookout for a fin to the left or fin to the right. In what may be the ultimate road trip, a 787 fin is making a cross-country journey from Washington State to South Carolina to mark the rollout of the first Dreamliner from our factory in North Charleston.

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The vertical stabilizer sculpture is approximately a 1/3 scale model of the actual 787 vertical stabilizer.

That fin departed from the Dreamliner Gallery near our Everett factory being pulled by a truck driven by a husband and wife team. As it crosses several states, we’re encouraging everyone to snap a photo and post it on Twitter with the hashtag #followthefin or on the Boeing Store’s Facebook page.

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The journey starts at the Dreamliner Gallery near the 787 factory in Everett.

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Mount Rainier in the distance.

The fin will eventually make it to South Carolina in time for the rollout of our first 787 assembled at our North Charleston factory—where employees will be encouraged to sign their names on the fin. A few weeks later after the airplane makes its first flight, the fin will take off on another road show throughout the state of South Carolina to gather more signatures from residents.

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Pit stop in Drummond, Montana.

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Rapid City, South Dakota.

Eventually, the fin will come back to the factory in North Charleston where it will be part of a permanent display. So follow the fin and send us your best photos!

The Space Between

When it comes to traveling, there’s almost nothing worse than getting to the airport and discovering your flight is delayed. When you fly as much as I do, every minute counts. That’s why the very latest reliability stats on the Next-Generation 737 translate into good news for all of us.

The new numbers show that 99.67 percent of all Next-Generation 737 flights are ready to depart within 15 minutes of their scheduled time. Compare that to the A320 at 99.35 percent. While the gap may not look that big, it means a world of difference for you and for our airline customers.

Here’s another way to look at it. For a fleet of 100 Next-Generation 737 airplanes flying five flights a day, the 737s will have 590 fewer delays and avoid disrupting 66,600 fewer passengers each year when compared to a fleet of 100 A320s.

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I recently showed this example during a series of presentations in Seoul and Taipei. People were genuinely surprised to see what a significant reliability advantage we have over the competition right now—and will continue to have in the future. The space between us is very telling.

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Speaking with media about the MAX during stops in Taipei and Seoul.

While it saves you time, it saves the airlines money when it comes to maintenance, flight and crew costs. It’s a great story with many more chapters to come as the 737 MAX enters the scene.

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Gallon of Gas

ANA helped us make history by becoming the first airline to fly the 787 Dreamliner. On Monday, we teamed up with ANA to make some more history with the first ever 787 biofuel flight.

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Fueling up at Paine Field. The first 787 biofuel flight gets ready to leave.

ANA’s newest Dreamliner took off from Paine Field on a delivery flight to Tokyo. The fuel blend was 15 percent biofuel made up primarily of cooking oil, and 85 percent Jet-A. The flight wasn’t just a chance to make history. It also helped showcase the 787’s environmental performance.

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At the end of the day, we estimate this flight put out 30 percent less CO2 emissions compared to other airplanes of the same size (biofuel can take about 10 percent of the credit—with the Dreamliner’s technology and efficiency taking the other 20 percent). It brings a whole new meaning to a gallon of gas.

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The historic flight lands in Tokyo.

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This 787 flight is just one of the many ways we’re generating awareness of sustainable biofuels and the potential they hold for our industry. As part of our new Innovations series, we’ve just released a new video showing how Boeing chemists are leading the way in this research and putting their findings to work. Just click on the video below.

Ready to fly the 4,000th

When you talk about the world’s best-selling airplane, it’s easy to get lost in the mind boggling numbers. But today, we celebrated a milestone that really proves how wildly popular the 737 is with our customers—and shows just how busy our employees are in Renton.

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The 4,000th Next-Generation 737 was shown off today at Boeing Field in front of employees, suppliers and customers. China Southern will take delivery of the airplane, a 737-700 with Boeing Sky Interior, next week. The livery includes a special logo to commemorate the 4,000th milestone.

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When the 737 team throws a party—they pull out all the stops. In honor of our customer China Southern, a Chinese dragon dance was performed. And the surprise of the day came when Beverly Wyse, the Vice President and General Manager of the 737 program, showed up as a lion dancer.

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The Chinese Lion Dance practiced in the United States originates from the Guangdong Province, which is the home of China Southern. It is usually performed as a ceremony to scare away evil spirits and to summon luck and fortune.

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We also got a look inside this airplane’s beautiful Boeing Sky Interior.

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As our production rates go up in Renton, these milestones will keep coming. Incredibly, it was just a little over two years ago that we delivered the 3,000th Next-Generation 737. All of this is a testament to our employees who build these airplanes—and to our customers who love to fly them. The 5,000th delivery will be here before you know it.

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Ceremony in the Sky

Just when you thought we’d run out of “firsts” when it came to the 787, along comes another first involving our newest Dreamliner customer. Transaero Airlines, the first Russian airline to add a Boeing airplane to its fleet back in 1993, is now officially a 787 customer thanks to a unique signing ceremony.

For the first time, a signing took place on board a 787 during a demonstration flight for Transaero’s executives, employees and special guests. The airline will purchase four 787-8s to be used on their domestic and international routes.

As Transaero executives handled the signing, Captain Evgeny Nikitin, Commander of Transaero’s 767/777 flying unit, was co-piloting the 787 during the flight.

I wanted to share some images from this special flight and congratulate Transaero. Welcome aboard! (All photos by Marian Lockhart)

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A signing ceremony in the sky.

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From left: Alexander Krinichansky, Transaero Airlines executive director; Alexander Pleshakov, Transaero Airlines chairman of the board; Marty Bentrott, vice president of Sales for Middle East, Russia and Central Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes; Serdar Gurz, director international Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

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Captain Evgeny Nikitin (seated left), Commander of Transaero’s 767/777 flying unit, co-piloting the 787 during the flight.

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Looking out over Russia during the signing ceremony on board the 787.

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Transaero flight attendants hold a 787 model.

Proof of Performance

We usually don’t celebrate anniversaries until at least the one year mark. But as we approach six months in service, it’s definitely worth celebrating the accomplishments of the 747-8 Freighter. 14 of the airplanes have been delivered to five customers across the globe. And in every category - from in-service reliability, to fuel burn, to payload capability - the 747-8F is performing as well or better than we predicted.

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Cargolux put its 747-8F into service in October 2011.

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Cathay Pacific took delivery in November 2011.

Our designers knew the airplane would give our customers double-digit improvements in fuel burn. But the in-service performance numbers show fuel burn is a full percentage point more efficient than we expected. On top of that, the airplane exceeded dispatch reliability targets and is also giving big improvements to airlines in capacity, allowing them to carry 16 percent more revenue-producing freight than the 747-400 Freighter. We also received news this week that the 747-8 is now approved to operate at 200 airports around the world, with London Heathrow Airport being the 200th to get the nod.

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Atlas Air’s subsidiary, Global Supply Systems, is operating the 747-8F for British Airways World Cargo.

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AirBridgeCargo took its first 747-8F in January of this year.

But the best endorsements for the 747-8F are coming from the pilots who fly them. One told us if you talk to the crews, the biggest problem is getting the smile off their faces. We intend to keep those smiles coming.

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Korean Air Cargo took double delivery of a 747-8F and a 777 Freighter in February 2012.

Changes

This past weekend, I flew on one of ANA’s beautiful 767s. Orders for this great airplane keep coming in, a little more than a year after Boeing was awarded the U.S. Air Force contract to build the KC-46A aerial refueling tanker. While this is a transition time for the 767 program, it’s also a transition time for some of our customers.

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Delivery of the 96th and final 767 on order for ANA. From the left, Brad McMullen, vice president, Commercial Airplanes Sales-Japan and Oceania; Takeo Kikuchi, general manager of the U.S. Engineering Office for ANA; and Kim Pastega, vice president and general manager, 767 program. (Gail Hanusa photo)

Last month, ANA flew away with their 96th and final 767. It was a special moment for the airline and for 767 employees, who’ve had a connection since ANA ordered their very first 767 back in 1979.

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ANA purchased the first of its 96 767s more than 30 years ago. (Gail Hanusa photo)

While this was the last scheduled 767 delivery to ANA, the airplane will still be the backbone of the airline’s fleet while it transitions to its core fleet of 787 Dreamliners.

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ANA’s very first 787.

Boeing mechanic Robin Goetz, who worked on every 767 ever built for ANA, put it best.

“They take pride in what they fly and we take pride in what we build.”

These are indeed exciting times for ANA and the 767 team. And as we go through the changes, the future has never looked brighter.

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Already in service— and heading for a bright future. One of ANA’s 787 Dreamliners.

 

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