September 2012 Archives

It was a very good year

While September 25, 2011 will go down in the history books as the official day when the first 787 Dreamliner was contractually delivered, I know the next day—September 26—will always be the day that I and thousands of others will always remember. Standing outside our Everett factory in the pouring rain, our team - more than 10,000 people - stood proud as we presented ANA’s chief executive officer with his first Dreamliner.


An incredible sight—September 26, 2011 in Everett.


Here’s me and Boeing legend Joe Sutter at the first 787 delivery ceremony one year ago.

In fact, that day had so many special moments—like when 500 employees walked into the celebration area with the airplane following behind them and graciously bowed to demonstrate our humble pleasure in handing the airplane over. On that day, the pride felt by the entire team was something you could almost touch.


Employees were leading the way as one of ANA’s Dreamliners was towed into the big event.

One year later, we’ve delivered 25 airplanes to a total of six customers. That includes one this past weekend to our first U.S. customer United Airlines. And while the ceremonies may not be as big and splashy as that very first one, each is a celebration of pride.


United took delivery of its first 787 this past weekend.

It really is all about the people - the names you know like Mike Sinnett, our 787 vice president and chief project engineer who has worked on the 787 program since Day 1. And the names you don’t know of the men and women who come into work every day with the skills and dedication that make our airplanes great. They’re delivering the 787 experience to our customers— and in turn to passengers all over the globe.

So on this anniversary, stop and think a moment about how far we’ve come—and how far we’re going. Yes, it was a very good year.

In addition to ANA and United pictured earlier, here’s a look at our other four customers who’ve taken delivery of the Dreamliner so far.








Air India

The Divine Miss M

It seems music stars and Boeing go hand in hand these days. Just a few weeks after Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson paid a visit to the 747-8 simulator near our Renton factory, Bette Midler took a tour of Boeing South Carolina last Thursday.


Bette Midler poses with 2nd shift flight line teammates at Boeing South Carolina.

The entertainer’s tour included aft fabrication and assembly, midbody assembly and integration, final assembly and our delivery center. All along the way, Boeing South Carolina employees got the chance to say hello to the Divine Miss M and welcome her to North Charleston. I’m told she was very impressed with the site’s focus on environmental responsibility, as well as the environmental benefits of the 787 Dreamliner.

After she left, Bette sent out a tweet saying it was a great experience with great folks making a great product. We couldn’t agree more Bette! Thanks for paying a visit to Boeing—or as Bette might say—Company B.

Bear necessities

Talk about a special delivery. A 747-400 Freighter is used to carrying all kinds of cargo. But what a great moment it was to see the Singapore Airlines Cargo airplane transport two giant pandas to their new home.


Kai Kai and Jia Jia make their first appearance at Changi Airport in Singapore after a flight from Chengdu, China. A Singapore Airlines Cargo 747-400 Freighter was specifically chosen for the giant pandas’ transport because of its nose-door loading capability. (Singapore Airlines photo)

Kai Kai, a five-year-old male, and Jia Jia, a four-year-old female, recently made the trip from Sichuan, China, to their home at Singapore’s new River Safari.


The 4.5-hour flight, operated by Singapore Airlines Cargo, covered nearly 2,000 nautical miles. And the pandas traveled in style inside custom-built crates that provided plenty of ventilation and personal space. A team of “flight attendants” — panda experts and veterinarians from China and Singapore — flew with the special passengers and served up bamboo, fruit and water.


The unique nose door of a Boeing 747-400 Freighter opens to reveal precious cargo. (Singapore Airlines photo)

Kai Kai and Jia Jia, whose names mean “victorious” and “beauty,” respectively, will live in Singapore for 10 years under a joint program between the China Wildlife Conservation Association and Wildlife Reserves Singapore, the parent company of River Safari. The public will be able to visit Kai Kai and Jia Jia at the giant panda exhibit beginning in December.

Boeing Fleet Technical Management provides all engineering and technical services with an on-site team for Singapore Cargo’s fleet of 747s. Congrats to everyone involved in the “bear” necessities of this effort.


The freighter’s interior was kept between 64 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit to provide natural habitat comfort. (Singapore Airlines photo)

Being Green

From Glasgow, Montana all the way to Washington, DC, our ecoDemonstrator for American Airlines continues to turn heads. The airplane, a 737-800, has been going through flight testing in Montana over the past few weeks. Tuesday, it was shown off at Reagan National Airport to government officials, media and the FAA.


The ecoDemonstrator for American Airlines on display at Reagan Airport.

It’s worth noting the airplane flew into DC on biofuel made from used cooking oil. It even has a recyclable carpet! Inside the flight deck, pilots will use an iPad that comes with new apps from Jeppesen allowing them to download real-time weather data and help chart the most efficient route.


During its time in Glasgow, the ecoDemonstrator conducted tests to show off its fuel conservation and noise reduction technologies—two priorities for the aviation industry. Other testing involves variable area fan nozzles, active engine vibration reduction and a regenerative fuel cell.


Inside the ecoDemonstrator.

American Airlines is loaning the airplane to Boeing to serve as the testbed for all these great technologies. Even though it doesn’t have many seats right now due to all the test equipment, we’ll deliver the airplane to them in a standard configuration later this year.

The FAA program CLEEN (Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise) provided funding for the adaptive trailing edge on the airplane and some of the costs associated with flight testing. We look forward to working with the FAA again next year when a twin-aisle airplane will serve as the testbed for a new set of environmental technologies. It’s not that easy being green, but it’s worth it!


Gorgeous photo of the ecoDemonstrator and the Washington Monument.

Congrats to everyone involved in this incredibly important venture. You can also check out a video on the ecoDemonstrator flight tests at this link.

Bash for "Brandenburg"

Lufthansa’s 747-8 Intercontinental was the star of the show today as the ILA Berlin Air Show kicked off. The media turned out in force to capture this beautiful airplane.


Lufthansa’s 747-8 Intercontinental arrives at the ILA Berlin Air Show.


Dozens of photographers try to get the best angle.

Today was also the official naming ceremony for the airplane. It was christened “Brandenburg” by Minister President Matthias Platzeck of the Federal State of Brandenburg. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Lufthansa CEO Dr. Christoph Franz, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Philip Murphy and Marlin Dailey, President Boeing Germany, Northern Europe, EU, Africa were also on hand for this special day.


Dignitaries gather for the naming ceremony.


Making it official with a christening.

We’re getting very positive feedback from Lufthansa about the airplane. Just a few weeks ago, the airline invited reporters to Washington, DC—the launch destination of their entry into service route from Frankfurt—to get an update on how their Intercontinentals have been performing after about 100 days in service.

“The airplane is performing beautifully and we went through a very smooth introduction into service,” said Helmuth Schabel, Lufthansa Regional Director Operations & Airport Services. “We also have been receiving extremely positive reviews and comments from our guests.”

We’ve now delivered 28 of our new 747-8s. In addition to the three Intercontinentals for Lufthansa, we’ve also delivered 21 747-8 Freighters and four BBJ 747-8 Intercontinentals. This is great momentum for the program—and even better news for our customers. I’ll leave you with a link to a truly incredible view of the 747-8 at the Berlin Air Show, as seen from the air.

How sweet it is

When I noticed that the 737-900ER was sitting at 499 orders a couple of weeks ago, I started thinking about what a great success story this airplane is. Now that we’ve officially passed the 500 mark, I wanted to share my thoughts on what makes it so wildly popular.


500 and counting. The 737-900ER hits an impressive milestone with over 500 orders.

When you look at the single aisle market, there’s no doubt the 737-800 and future 737 MAX 8 are at the heart of it. But over the past two years, we’ve seen a surge of orders for the 737-900ER—as well as strong interest in the future 737 MAX 9. It’s something we call “up-gauging”, as airlines focus on becoming more efficient and reducing their costs.

Some recent big orders for the airplane came from United (50), Delta (100) and Lion Air (29). And when customers buy this airplane, they can’t help but come back for more. Almost half of our 737-900ER customers around the globe have placed additional orders for the airplane. When you take a closer look at how the 900ER stacks up against the competition—it’s easy to see why they want more.


Compared to the A321, the 737-900ER has an 8 percent lower trip cost and 6 percent lower per seat-mile cost. And while the airplane serves as our replacement for the 757, it’s also building a great foundation for the new 737 MAX 9.

So congratulations to our team in Renton for building an airplane that’s positioned our customers and our company in a sweet spot.


Demand in China

BEIJING - Hello from China where I’ve just unveiled the Current Market Outlook for this rapidly expanding nation. Over the next 20 years, we’re forecasting that China will need 5,260 new airplanes with a price tag of $670 billion. Incredibly, more than 75 percent of the demand will come for growth instead of replacement.

One of the main drivers of this growth is the fact that more people in China are traveling outside the country. That’s why it is not surprising to see how successful to 777 has been in this market. And the 787 Dreamliners for China Southern will be key in the airline’s international routes.


Here’s me and the team in China.

Tourism within China will also help fuel a strong demand for single-aisle aircraft. The 737 MAX is perfectly positioned for these in-country trips since it will be the most fuel-efficient, capable airplane with the lowest operating costs in the single-aisle segment.

I’d also like to take a moment to thank our customers and partners in China as we celebrate 40 great years of working together. Way back in 1973, the first Boeing jet—a 707—was delivered to China. Since then, we’ve built our supplier base in China and launched joint ventures to benefit the entire aviation industry. China has been and will continue to be the most dynamic aviation market and we look forward to providing our customers there the best products to keep them successful.

It has been a while since I included a photo for you foodies. So I’ll close with this image of steamed seafood dumplings I enjoyed this week.


Taking shape

The 787-9 is one giant step closer to reality. Major assembly on the first airplane is now underway. Things kicked off on time when Boeing partner Kawasaki Heavy Industries began installing passenger door frames in the forward midbody fuselage.

When complete, that section will hitch a ride on the Dreamlifter to North Charleston where the Boeing South Carolina team will integrate it with other 787 structures. Final assembly will take place in Everett in 2013. First flight of the 787-9 is still set for 2013 and first delivery in 2014.


The 787-9 is the second member of the 787 family. At 20 feet longer than the 787-8, the 787-9 will carry 16 percent more passengers up to 8,500 nautical miles (15,750 km).

Reaching this milestone is a significant step for the program—and making it happen on schedule is even more impressive. I can’t wait to see this airplane in the skies very soon.


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