August 2016 Archives

Remembering Joe

Today’s passing of the legendary Joe Sutter has touched the entire aviation world. As we look back on the life of the Father of the 747, I wanted to share some of my personal thoughts.

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Here’s Joe posing next to the very first 747, named the “City of Everett.”

I got to know Joe very well during my time on the 747-8 program. His love for the airplane was unsurpassed, but he also cherished the people around him. He was a legend— but he never let it go to his head.

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The father of the 747 poses next to Lufthansa’s new 747-8 in May 2012.

We often joked that Joe never really retired from Boeing. While he was an ambassador for the company, you may be surprised to know that he still came into the office on a regular basis. In what would be one of my last conversations with him just a few weeks ago, we had a long discussion about product strategy.

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Here’s a picture of me and Joe at the delivery ceremony of the first 787 in September of 2011.

Joe’s legacy lives on in the countless people he inspired here at Boeing. He was a true Incredible. I’ll miss his stories, his wit and his vision. But most of all, I’ll miss the man.

One for the record books

The 777X hasn’t even started production, but it’s already helping set new records. A 3D printed wing trim tool for the airplane, developed by Boeing and researchers at the Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee, now holds the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title of the largest solid 3D printed item.

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Official measurement of the 3D printed trim tool co-developed by Oak Ridge National Lab and Boeing.

The lower cost trim tool was printed in only 30 hours using carbon fiber and ABS thermoplastic composite materials. The tool will be used to secure the 777X’s composite wing skin for drilling and machining before assembly.

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At 17.5 feet long, 5.5 feet wide and 1.5 feet tall, the 3D printed structure is comparable in length to a large sport utility vehicle and weighs about 1,650 pounds.

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Coming soon— the 777X itself.

Additively manufactured tools, which save energy, time, labor and production cost, are part of Boeing’s strategy to apply 3D printing technology in key production areas.

Thanks to the folks at Oak Ridge for helping us come up with one for the record books.

Freighter flyover

The crowd at the Boeing Classic golf tournament got quite a show on Friday. A 747-8 Freighter for Korean Air did a flyover of the course in Snoqualmie, Washington.

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Wide view of the flyover.

The video below really captures just how spectacular the flyover was.

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More than 300 Boeing employees and retirees volunteered for the annual event, which benefits the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason.

Underwater tribute

I want to give a shout out to our friends at the Seattle Aquarium for coming up with a unique way to celebrate Boeing’s centennial. As you can see in the photo below, they took the tribute underwater into their giant Window on Washington Waters exhibit.

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Inside the giant tank at the Seattle Aquarium.

It has been my pleasure to serve on the aquarium’s board of directors for the past 7 years. The work being done there is both impressive and important. I look forward to our continued partnership.

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Here’s me at the opening of the harbor seal exhibit at the Seattle Aquarium a few years ago.

50 and counting

We talk a lot about the 787 passenger experience. But here’s a stat that shows you just what the 787 means to our airline customers.

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ANA’s 50th 787. All photos by Tim Stake.

ANA took delivery of its 50th 787 today, and relayed this message to media in attendance. Compared to 767, the Dreamliner saves the airline $98 million a year in fuel. That’s an endorsement that speaks directly to any airline’s bottom line.

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ANA also says its passenger surveys show travelers most often mention the calmness of the 787 and its quiet takeoff—as well as the larger windows.

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As the launch customer of the 787, ANA has been with us all the way on what has sometimes been a very long road. We couldn’t be happier to see them take their 50th Dreamliner. Congratulations!

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New livery

We had a lot of reasons to celebrate a recent delivery to Belavia. The airline took its first 737-800 purchased directly from Boeing, which came with a new fresh, modern livery.

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Airline employees, media and citizens of Belarus greeted the airplane when it landed today at Minsk National Airport.

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The new livery is the result of a collaborative effort between Belavia, Boeing and the design firm Teague. Before creative concepts were drawn, Boeing’s Airline Partnership Marketing team and Teague provided guidance and training through a series of brand workshops.

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The logo was inspired by the cornflower (“Valoshka” in Belarussian), which is a national symbol of Belarus— representing beauty, friendship and prosperity. The airplane’s interior combines a blend of cornflower blue, light grey and white with the Boeing Sky Interior lighting.

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The airline’s rebranding is closely timed with an expansion of its fleet and route network. Belavia is one of the fastest growing regional airlines in Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

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Congratulations to Belavia on this special airplane. You can see more in the video below.

100 million served

Now that almost 450 of our 787s have been delivered, we’ve passed an impressive milestone. More than 100 million passengers have now flown on a Dreamliner (approximately 109 million to be a little more precise).

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The fleet has now accumulated 1.3 billion revenue miles, saving over 9 billion pounds of fuel in the process.

And just as impressive, the 787 has now opened 120 new nonstop markets that didn’t exist before this airplane went into service. We’re excited that our customers are flying routes we never expected.

You can always follow the fleet on our 787 Flight Tracker.

Seafair Sunday

It wasn’t the best weather we’ve ever had for Seafair weekend in Seattle. But the 737 MAX still made its debut at the summer festival on Sunday above the crowds on Lake Washington— along with Amazon’s 767 Freighter. All photos by Paul Gordon.

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Numbers game

The numbers are out for the month of July. Boeing delivered 57 airplanes and booked 73 orders (minus 12 changes/cancellations). Airbus also reported its July numbers, and I find them to be very interesting.

You may remember that on the last day of the Farnborough Airshow, Airbus claimed victory with 380 net orders for the year. But now, they’re only showing 323 net orders through the end of July. And the much hyped “firm order” from AirAsia for 100 A321neos is nowhere to be found on their books.

Will that AirAsia order eventually go firm? My guess is yes. Was it a PR stunt at Farnborough? Some think so. We’ll just have to wait and see how things work out.

Here’s where things currently stand through the end of July.

Deliveries

Boeing: 432

Airbus: 339

Net Orders

Boeing: 334

Airbus: 323

 

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