January 2016 Archives

MAX Magic

Just about everything on the 737 MAX program has been right on time. Friday’s first flight was no exception— with takeoff a little ahead of schedule to get ahead of bad weather.


Wheels up for the maiden flight of the 737 MAX at Renton Field. Paul Gordon photo.


A spectacular view from Lake Washington as the MAX takes off. Matthew Thompson photo.

It was a proud moment for all of us at Boeing, including thousands of employees who turned out at Renton Field to watch takeoff.


Thousands of Boeing employees braved the rain to watch the takeoff of the first 737 MAX. The gloves, colored in MAX teal, sported a design mimicking the airplane’s new Advanced Technology winglet. Gail Hanusa photo.

The airplane performed just as expected, with the pilots staying up for just under 3 hours.


Air to air. Paul Weatherman photo.

We were also thrilled to share the moment with our airline customers and suppliers. Thanks to everyone for getting us to this milestone moment.


Landing at Boeing Field. Jim Anderson photo.


Left to right, Boeing Chief Test Pilot and Vice President of Flight Operations Craig Bomben. 737 MAX Chief Pilot Ed Wilson. Keith Leverkuhn, vice president and general manager, 737 MAX program. Marian Lockhart photo.

Week of the 737

Our team in Renton got one good piece of news after another this week.

On Friday, we announced the first flight of the 737 MAX is now set for January 29. While that’s always subject to weather and a lot of other factors, it shows we’re right on track.


The first 737 MAX is ready for its first flight.

As the 737 MAX preps for its first flight, the Next-Generation 737 continues to add to its order backlog. United Airlines and Southwest Airlines announced orders for more of the airplanes during their earnings reports on Thursday.

United ordered 40 737-700s. We’re thrilled to continue adding Boeing airplanes to their fleet. As you know, Bombardier was aggressively positioning its C-Series jet in this campaign.

Southwest also announced its order for 33 737-800s, which was booked in December. We appreciate them for flying an all-Boeing fleet.


A 737-800 for Southwest makes its way down the line in Renton.

Thanks to all of our 737 customers for keeping us busy in Renton. I’m looking forward to seeing the MAX takes to the skies for the first time in the coming days.

Rate change

Today, we announced that the 747-8 production rate would be adjusted to 0.5 airplanes per month starting in September of this year. In the podcast below, I take a closer look at the factors driving that decision.

If you have a question or idea for a future podcast— send it to askrandy@boeing.com

Behind the numbers

You’ve probably read by now that Boeing won the deliveries race in 2015, while Airbus won on the orders side. But in my latest podcast, I wanted to take a deeper dive and see what’s going on behind the numbers. Click below to listen.

For our next podcast, we’ll be answering reader questions on a wide range of topics. If you have a question— send it to askrandy@boeing.com. I look forward to it!

100,000 milestone

The number is mind-boggling. Today at Sea-Tac Airport, ANA marked its 100,000th revenue flight with the 787. ANA becomes the first airline in the world to reach this impressive milestone. With this, ANA has also accumulated approximately a quarter of all 787 revenue flights.


Celebrating at Sea-Tac. All photos by Jim Anderson.

ANA was the launch customer of the 787 and now operates the world’s largest Dreamliner fleet of 44 787s, including the 787-8 and 787-9. The airline has 39 unfilled 787 orders, including orders for the 787-10.


The 787 has formed the backbone of ANA’s international fleet, allowing them to establish new routes worldwide to North America, Europe and Southeast Asia.


To date, the 787 has flown more than 75 million passengers on more than 350 routes around the world, including more than 90 new nonstop routes.

Congratulations to ANA on today’s milestone and thanks for giving all those 787s a good workout.

Delivering on our promises

As we officially kick off Boeing’s centennial year, we’re once again focused on deliveries and executing on our production rate increases. Production rates will climb again this year as the 767 program moves to two airplanes per month and the 787 rate climbs to 12 per month.

It comes after another year of record deliveries that we reported today. In 2015, our teams delivered 762 airplanes, 39 more than the previous year and the most ever for Boeing. In addition, two programs - the 737 and 787 - reached new milestones, with 495 and 135 deliveries, respectively.

On the orders side, we booked 768 net orders—a book to bill of just over 1. Our backlog at the end of the year stood at a very healthy 5,795 unfilled orders.

While there will certainly be opportunities and challenges ahead in 2016, we can look forward to the first flight of the 737 MAX, completion of the 777X Composite Wing Center in Everett and the start of major assembly on the 787-10.

We thank all of our customers for their business—and congratulate our employees on another record accomplishment.

From the runway-- to the fairway

Speed, weight and drag are just a few of the concepts our engineers work with every day when designing Boeing airplanes. These same principles also apply to golf club designers.

So it made a lot of sense when Callaway asked a group of Boeing engineers to collaborate on the design of the company’s newest driver, the XR 16.



In particular, Callaway leaned on Boeing’s expertise in laminar flow control. They were able to strategically place what we call local air flow modifiers— or trip steps— on the club head to help reduce drag from the top of the swing through impact with the golf ball.


In addition to helping create a new product, the Boeing team was able to collaborate with Callaway on an entirely different kind of research and development process. Now that’s what I call a hole in one!


Boeing and Callaway engineers trade ideas.


Learn more about laminar flow and how it applies to golf in our video below.


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