January 2014 Archives

Topping the charts

When you travel as much as I do, the kind of airplane you fly on makes a huge difference. That’s why I always look forward to flying on a 777 whenever I get the chance. It seems like a lot of other people do too.

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2013 proved to be another winning year for the 777 as it topped several reader-voted travel award lists. Readers of Global Traveler named the 777 the Best Aircraft Type for 2013, an honor the airplane has held since 2011. The GT Tested Reader Survey winners were chosen by Global Traveler’s frequent business and luxury travelers.

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The 777 was awarded Best Aircraft Type by Premier Traveler, a back-to-back win for the airplane.

For the third year in a row, it received the honor of Best Aircraft Type by readers of Business Traveler USA magazine. And, the 777 was named Best Aircraft Type by readers of Executive Travel, earning the 777 its sixth Leading Edge Award, and firmly establishing it as a fan favorite.

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These awards recognize the commitment the 777 program makes to our customers and their passengers. Our goal is to continue the legacy of being a traveler favorite for many years to come as we deliver hundreds more 777s— and build on the passenger-preferred interior of today’s airplane by incorporating state-of-the art interior design and technologies into the new 777X.

Model masterpiece

We all loved paper airplanes in our youth. But for one young man, a paper airplane has turned into a labor of love that caught our attention—and millions of others across the world.

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All photos courtesy of Luca-Iaconi-Stewart.

Back in 2008, 22-year old Luca Iaconi-Stewart of San Francisco started making a 1:60 scale model of a Boeing 777-300ER using only manila folders. Today, he’s just a few months out from finishing his masterpiece. We talked with him earlier this week to learn more about his passion.

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“I was inspired by my love of aviation and technology and never expected it to grow into what it is now. I never would’ve started if I’d known it would take this long,” he told us.

He started off simply enough by using a can to trace the circular cross section of the airplane. Then, he worked the fuselage, eventually turning to a computer and Adobe to help in the process.

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Luca studied photos and airplane planning documents he found online for dimensions. Someone sent him a training manual which proved to be even more helpful. Throughout the process, he’s worked one step at a time and kept his focus narrow so he didn’t get lost in all the detail.

“It evolved over time. As my abilities evolved, so has the project.”

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Luca’s work has impressed all of us here at Boeing, including 777 vice president and general manager Elizabeth Lund.

“Luca’s work is remarkable and highlights the beautiful design of the 777. I am thoroughly impressed by his craftsmanship and replication of our design,” Lund said.

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Luca chose the 777 for its “aesthetically pleasing” qualities and will use Air India for the livery. He plans to finish up the project this summer. Today, he tipped his hat to the Boeing employees who bring the real 777 to life.

“I give them a lot of credit. I can’t imagine what it’s like to build them all the time. I love the airplane for the visual perspective and when I think of the whole operation, it’s astounding. It must be a cool job.”

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The man behind the masterpiece. Thanks for sharing Luca.

We invite you to check out Luca’s photo gallery and his YouTube channel— including the video below.

Tour record

As our employees in the Everett factory go about their work every day, they’re also putting on quite a show for thousands of people who come to see our public tour. We’ve counted the numbers from last year and found out we set an all-time attendance record.

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From the tour balcony high above the 747 production line, tour guide Greg Coe points out major assembly positions. Gail Hanusa photo.

Since 2010, participation in public tours has increased by 10 percent each year— to a record 239,579 visitors in 2013. The biggest day ever came on Aug. 9, when 1,849 people took the tour.

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High above the 787 production line in Everett. Ed Turner photo.

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Sharing the Boeing story on the Everett tour. Gail Hanusa photo.

While the airplanes are the stars of the show, the tour guides also play a key role. We have a dozen Boeing tour guides in Everett who share the company’s history and products with aviation fans from all over the world. They are truly Boeing ambassadors who love to share our past, present and future.

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On the 747 tour balcony, visitors are greeted by the cross-section of a 747-100 and several multimedia displays. Gail Hanusa photo.

If you’re in the Seattle area on business or vacation, I highly recommend you make the drive up to Everett. You can find much more about the public tour at this link.

The path to 100

We’re celebrating today with Seattle’s hometown airline in more ways than one. Alaska Airlines took home its 100th direct delivered Next-Generation 737 this morning. Our photographers tracked the airplane in our Renton factory and followed it through the painting process.

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The airplane gets a new coat of paint before its debut. All paint hangar photos by Jim Anderson.

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Then today, a special delivery flight made up of Boeing and Alaska employees took off from Boeing Field.

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The 100th direct delivered Next-Generation 737 for Alaska Airlines flies away from Boeing Field. Colleen Pfeilschiefter photo.

Alaska also completed Boeing’s first firm airplane order of 2014, by adding two additional 737-900ERs to the books.

The partnership between Boeing and Alaska Airlines isn’t just good for us and the airline— it’s good for the Puget Sound community and the tens of thousands of jobs that support both companies. Congratulations to Alaska— and thanks for being a great customer.

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Thanks for being all-Boeing! Colleen Pfeilschiefter photo.

"Infinity exciting"

When one of our 787-9s landed in Alice Springs, Australia for hot weather testing this week we didn’t realize we’d be greeted by a very young—and very enthusiastic fan.

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The 787-9 lands in Alice Springs, Australia for flight testing.

Six-year-old Thomas Barnetson heard the 787-9 was heading to his hometown in Australia’s Red Centre, and begged his dad Jason to take him to the airport to watch the airplane land. When he was invited by Boeing and local television station ABC (see their report here) to take a tour, he said it was “the coolest thing ever.”

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Young Thomas checks out the 787-9.

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Touring the 787-9 in Alice Springs.

When the television reporter asked Thomas whether he wanted to fly the Dreamliner one day, Thomas was clear: “I want to build planes!”

During the visit, Thomas met Ryan Smith, test operations manager for the airplane, and Chuck Killberg, chief test pilot for Boeing Test & Evaluation. And his final words on what it was like to see the aircraft up close: “It was infinity exciting!”

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Thanks for visiting, Thomas!

Off and running in 2014

We’re already off to a busy start in 2014. The 787-9 is making its international debut in Auckland, home of launch customer Air New Zealand. The second of three 787-9s dedicated to the flight test program flew direct from Boeing Field to Auckland International Airport on January 3. The airplane will conduct hot weather testing as well. Check out this video of the 787-9 in New Zealand.

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The 787-9 lands in Auckland.

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Earlier today, we announced a commitment for eight Next-Generation 737-800s from Air Algerie—and flydubai firmed up its big order for 75 737 MAXs and 11 Next-Generation 737-800s made at the Dubai Airshow.

These early orders and commitments for 2014 come on the same day we announced our orders and deliveries total for last year. We delivered 648 airplanes, the most ever in a single year—including 65 of our 787 Dreamliners. Our net order total of 1,355 was the second largest in Boeing history. We thank all of our customers for keeping us busy now and into the future.

The year ahead promises to be just as busy—as we begin laying the groundwork for the 777X in Puget Sound, first delivery of the 787-9 and increasing production rates on the 737. Stay tuned!

 

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