May 2013 Archives

Family affair

What an exciting week for the 787 program. Two more customers received their first Dreamliner, and I was lucky enough to go along for one of the delivery flights.

On Thursday, I took off from Paine Field in Everett on board the first 787 for Thomson Airways. The airplane is the first of eight 787s Thomson has on order—and is the first to be delivered to a UK airline.

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Taking off from Everett— headed for Manchester. Gail Hanusa photo.

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A great photo after landing in Manchester.

It was a fantastic flight and a warm welcome as we arrived in Manchester. Boeing has a long history with the UK and we’re proud to be celebrating 75 years of partnership this year.

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Here’s me speaking with reporters after landing in Manchester.

Meanwhile, China Southern Airlines took delivery of its first 787. They become the first Chinese airline to take delivery of the Dreamliner. It’s the first of 10 Dreamliners for the airline.

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China Southern celebrates the delivery of its first 787.

We’re thrilled to welcome these two airlines to the 787 family fleet and look forward to putting these beautiful airplanes into the hands of more and more customers.

Getting the job done

I’m pleased to announce that Boeing has now finished installing the new 787 battery system in all 50 of the delivered airplanes that required a retrofit.

Six of our eight in-service customers have returned to passenger service, with the others following in just a matter of days. We can’t thank all of them enough for their patience, partnership and support over the past several months.

I’d also like to thank our AOG (Aircraft On Ground) teams that fanned out across the globe to complete this work. It was truly an integrated effort across all of Boeing— involving engineering, development, fabrication, supply chain management, regulatory and repair services.

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Boeing AOG teams at work.

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Here’s me checking out some of the battery installation work during my time in Ethiopia last month.

I saw firsthand the work being done in the days before Ethiopian Airlines became the first 787 operator to resume service. It was a great effort by all involved.

The Dreamliner fleet will continue to be monitored by our 787 Operations Center in Everett, ensuring the fleet’s reliability and supporting ongoing maintenance.

ANA resumes 787 service

We’d like to congratulate ANA as they resumed 787 revenue service over the weekend. The airline is operating five non-scheduled, domestic flights with the Dreamliner this week— in advance of the resumption of scheduled 787 services on June 1. ANA has implemented the battery modifications to all 17 of its 787 aircraft.

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Give me wings

There’s more progress to share as the 787-9 continues to roll along. The wings for the first airplane recently arrived at our Everett factory.

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The wings for the first 787-9, from our partner MHI. Matthew Thompson photo.

I also wanted to share a picture of the flight deck for the first 787-9, also known as Section 41 of the airplane. As part of the production process, our friends at Spirit recently powered up Section 41.

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The team at Spirit powered up the first 787-9 flight deck recently in Wichita, Kan. Photo courtesy of Spirit Aerosystems.

It’s great to know the wings and other sections will soon be taking shape for the 787-9 as the airplane moves toward first flight later this year.

Stateside service resumes

I wanted to send out my congratulations to United Airlines as they became the first airline to resume 787 service in the United States. United Airlines Flight 1 from Houston to Chicago left on time and landed ahead of schedule. A few of my colleagues, including Boeing’s chairman, president and CEO Jim McNerney, were lucky enough to be on board. By all accounts, it was great flight. As Jim said today— the 787 is back and on the way to fulfilling its promise. Enjoy the photos.

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United’s Flight 1 at the gate in Houston.

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Leaving the gate for Chicago.

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The flight crew for United’s 787 return to service.

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The CEOs! Boeing’s Jim McNerney and United’s Jeff Smisek.

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Inside the flight deck before takeoff.

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Wheels up!

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The view from the 787’s larger windows on the way from Houston to Chicago.

Launching the MAX 7

It’s only fitting that the launch customer of the new 737 MAX has now become the first airline to order the 737 MAX 7. Today, Southwest announced it will convert 30 existing orders for Next-Generation 737s into orders for the 737 MAX 7. The airline is expected to take its first delivery of the 737 MAX 7 in 2019. Southwest now has a total of 180 737 MAX airplanes on order.

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The 737 MAX 7 in Southwest livery.

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Southwest’s announcement brings our total number of MAX orders to 1,315. That includes this week’s new order from Turkish Airlines for 40 MAX 8s and 10 MAX 9s.

As more airlines begin to modernize and expand their fleets, we’re proud they’re choosing the 737 MAX. For example, the MAX 7 will extend the range over today’s 737-700 by approximately 400 nautical miles. The MAX program continues to track toward firm configuration by the middle of this year and we’re excited about the progress. Our focus remains on building the very best single-aisle airplane for our customers and their passengers.

787 deliveries resume

A lot of great things are happening at our 787 factory in Everett. In just the past few days, the first major piece of the 787-9 arrived—and the first 787 built at the increased production rate of 7 airplanes per month rolled out of the factory. Today, we marked another important moment as 787 deliveries got back underway with a delivery to ANA.

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787 Line Number 83 for ANA being prepped for delivery earlier this week. Photo by Patrick Rodwell.

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Line 83 is seen here during a previous test flight. Photo by Tim Stake.

The health of our 787 factories in Everett and North Charleston has never been better or more efficient. And despite the disruption in deliveries over the past several months, we still expect to deliver all the 787s we originally planned to by the end of the year. We once again thank our customers for their patience and confidence as we begin delivering on our commitments.

Unforgettable flight

Boeing employees take great pride in their work. And recently, some of them got the chance of a lifetime. Six 777 frontline mechanics who’ve been honored for their commitment to quality got to fly with American Airlines on the delivery flight of its new 777-300ER.

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The newest 777-300ER for American Airlines parked at Boeing Field. All photos by Marian Lockhart.

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Mt. Rainier is seen in the background as the 777-300ER for American Airlines prepares to depart.

The Boeing employees flew from Boeing Field to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, where they toured American’s facilities. For some of the employees, after years of building the airplanes, it was their first chance to fly on a 777-300ER. They were joined on the flight by more than 100 American employees.

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Signing the final paperwork to make the delivery official.

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The six Boeing 777 employees invited on to the flight gather with Elizabeth Lund, vice president and general manager for the 777 program.

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The entire American Airlines and Boeing teams gather for a group photo before heading for Dallas.

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Flyaway for the American Airlines 777-300ER.

American is the first airline in the U.S. to operate the 777-300ER. They now have six of the airplanes with 14 more on order. Congratulations to everyone involved for this beautiful airplane and one unforgettable flight.

Smooth

Here’s a very visible sign of progress on the 787-9. The first major piece—the horizontal stabilizer— has arrived in our Everett factory some three weeks early. The horizontal stabilizer was built and assembled by the Boeing Advanced Developmental Composite team in Tukwila, Wash., with final installations and paint by the Boeing Salt Lake team.

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Dave Effner, 787 final assembly, readies the first 787-9 horizontal stabilizer for its move into tooling within the Everett factory. Matthew Thompson photo.

This is the kind of performance we’re seeing across the entire 787-9 supply chain. Since major assembly began in August of last year, the 787-9 build process has gone smoothly, on or ahead of plan in many cases.

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787 final assembly employees help load the first 787-9 horizontal stabilizer into tooling. Matthew Thompson photo.

The 787-9 will seat 40 more passengers than the 787-8, with a range of 8,000 to 8,500 nautical miles. The first 787-9 will enter final assembly at midyear. First flight is scheduled for the second half of 2013 and first delivery is set for early 2014 to Air New Zealand.

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The 787-9 is the second member of the 787 family.

Step by step

I’m thrilled to say that we’re taking the next step on the 777X. Development keeps progressing and we’re now able to share more technical, pricing and scheduling details about the airplane with our customers.

And let me tell you—customers love what they’re seeing. We’ve also gotten a lot of great input from them.

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Here’s a rendering of the 777X.

The 777X would serve long-range and high-cargo demand markets in a larger seat class (350-400 passengers) than today’s 777. It would also feature new GE engines and a larger composite wing for improved fuel efficiency. It’s also expected to provide the lowest fuel burn per seat of any airplane in commercial service.

The timing around the official program launch depends on the market response during our next phase of discussions with customers—but we’re still targeting entry into service near the end of this decade. I know a lot of you are excited about this airplane— and so are we.

 

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