Straight & Level 22 July

Before the disappointing news broke that the F-35 would not be able to visit the UK as planned, an existential moment from Lockheed Martin’s general manager for the programme, Lorraine Martin: “It is here today… it’s just not physically here today,” she said during a briefing at the Royal International Air Tattoo.

Conner gets in muddle over Max
When a 200-seat version of the 189-seat 737 Max 8 was announced during Farnborough, things got a little confusing.
What should we call the new variant of Boeing’s re-engined narrowbody, a reporter asked?
“Max 8,” replied Ray Conner, president and chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
But isn’t that what Boeing already calls the 189-seat version?
“The other one will be the -8,” Conner said.
So what will the 200-seat version be called?
“The Max 8,” he said.
Almost in unison, reporters said they were now confused.
“Look,” Conner said, “we’re not going to be doing the NG anymore, so [the 189-seater] is going to the be the 737-8. So [the 200-seater] is going to be the 737 Max 8.”
One reporter still could not quite grasp the point. So what will be the 200-seat variant be called, he asked.
“Max 8,” Conner said.
At this point, however, even Conner seemed slightly confused. He looked over to Boeing’s chief salesman John Wojick for support.
“Isn’t that right, you guys?” Conner asked.
Wojick, however, also seemed less than absolutely certain.
“I don’t know if we’ve decided exactly what we’re going to call it,” Wojick said.
There was silent agreement by all in the room that it was time to move on.
Conner returned to the topic at the very end of the hour-long press conference.
“Forget what I said about the name,” Conner added. “We’ll go back and figure it out.”
At least that was clear.

Boeing native
Airbus and Boeing executives rarely move from one airframer to the other, but it appears there is some transatlantic crossover at least. Seattle’s corporate vice- president global brand management and advertising has been named as Anne C Toulouse.

Phinally… at Pharnborough
Farnborough visitors browsing the Flying Display Programme for 15 July may have been confused about its listing for the “Europhighter”.
On discovering the typo, one disappointed warbirds fan was heard to bemoan: “There’s no eff in F-35 either.”

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