July 2010 Archives
The gate scene out the wing of this United Airlines Airbus A319 (N822UA) is not National Airport, the destination of my ticket. Instead, I have found myself at Dulles Airport after flight 626 diverted when National Airport shut down with thunderstorms over Washington, DC. Listening to Channel 9, we had enough fuel to hold over the city until 8:31 ET. A few minutes before that time arrived, ATC called up and reported that DCA was fully gridlocked. Our alternate was now active, sending us to Dulles. While DCA was locked up tighter than Fort Knox, we made a smooth approach on 19C to IAD.
We taxiied to the gate expecting to deplane and get a taxi to the city, however United dispatch decided to send up a fuel truck to fill up the tanks and make the 35 mile flight from Dulles to National. We are finishing up the fueling process now, and United says we are pushing back in about 20 minutes. I was given the option to deplane here at Dulles, but what self-respecting aviation geek wouldn't take the opportunity to fly an A319 from Dulles to National.
Having heard more than my fair share of airline customer service horror stories, I thought it was very much worth noting how great the United crew has been on this flight, keeping us updated on the latest status while maintaining a positive and friendly attitude about the whole situation.
UPDATE: We pushed off the gate at 10:37 PM with information Quebec and taxiied to Runway 30, and were cleared for takeoff at 10:45. Our intern-extraordinare, Dan Webb, was flipping through Hemisphere's magazine as we taxiied for takeoff. Like any good aviation geek, he stopped on the route map for a moment. Looking across the two seats at his open magazine, I joked. "You're not going to find it in there."
During the quick hop we made it as high as 7,000ft before landing on Runway 1 at 11:07 PM. We were back at the gate at 11:11 PM, making our total travel time a whopping 34 minutes. Twenty-two of which was spent in the air, compared to 12 minutes taxiing. All put together, the flight from Dulles to National was just about the same time as drive from Dulles to downtown D.C.
Last night reminded me of another short hop flight that United runs as normal scheduled service. Flight 3, which includes a leg from Kahului to Kona, Hawaii, clocking in at 18 minutes. That flight, flown with a much larger Boeing 777, hops between tropical islands before heading back to Chicago. DC was humid and downright tropical last night, but Hawaii it was not.
AirVenture 2010 will soon be home to thousands of airplanes, hundreds of thousands of people and dozens and dozens of great programs all designed to stimulate just about anyone's curiosity about all things aviation. For the social-media curious, there's something new this year ... collaboration ... with an attitude!
Jetwhine is teaming up with the Airplane Geeks, Flightblogger and MyTransponder to build an interactive session that answers the social-media question to which everyone wants an answer; how can we stop wasting time and money noodling with Facebook, Twitter and blogs and solve some of the real customer-engagement problems facing our industry.
The panel begins at 4 PM on Tuesday July 27th in Pavilion 6 just north of the control tower and runs until 5:15 PM. That means we'll run concurrently with the airshow so arrive early to get a seat up front.
Our panelists include Rob Mark and Scott Spangler from Jetwhine, Rod Rakic from MyTransponder, Dan Webb from the Airplane Geeks and Jon Ostrower from Flight Global. All are experienced social media practitioners who will tell us where social media's headed and what your company needs to know to stay one-step ahead of your competitor.
If you're "just" a social media aficionado hoping to follow the action or meet the experts, you're most welcome to join us and listen in. But we also hope you'll add your two cents to the discussion.
Whether you plan to join us or not, do send along a real-life aviation problem that social media has solved for you, or an area the industry needs to focus on where engaging huge groups of people might just be the answer for you or your company.
And just for fun, we'll be auditioning a guest host for a future Airplane Geeks show, so plan to rehearse your best elevator pitch before next Tuesday about why YOU should be our choice. We'll also have some Airplane Geeks T-Shirts to give away and of course, some of those incredible Jetwhine buttons to impress your friends at the show.
All our panelists should be on Twitter during the show by the way. Rob Mark's @jetwhine, Dan Webb's @danwebbage, Jon Ostrower's @flightblogger and Rod Rakic is @mytransponder.
See you next week. And we'll even tell you the meaning of #OSH10 in today's title.
Rob Mark, editor
Trying to rip open the planet's most established - and entrenched - duopoly is not for the faint of heart.
Three years before its entry into service the world media is trumpeting the 2010 Farnborough Air Show as a failure for Bombardier without an order for the CSeries, though at this point in the new aircraft's development is a rapidly growing backlog essential?
The shopping spree witnessed at Farnborough was almost entirely for aircraft that are currently in production, with near term delivery dates attached. In part, Farnborough represented a show of pent up demand after 18 months of cautious buying.
The only aircraft not currently in service to receive firm orders at the show were 3 787-8s from Royal Jordanian and 30 Sukhoi Superjets from Kartika Airlines. Farnborough was about the aircraft of today, not the ones of tomorrow.
Let us for a moment put things into a bit of perspective: According to the Flight archive, in March 1986, two full years before its entry into service in 1988, the A320 had 100 firm orders and 157 options in the backlog.
This stands in comparison to CSeries orders three years before entry into service at 90 firm and 90 options.
Would an order represent a major boost of confidence for the program? Absolutely. Orders are the stamp of approval for the product, validating its backing by existing customers, as well as investors.
Yet what Bombardier needed, and what it got this week, were orders for its existing commercial and business jet portfolio. From a development perspective, deposits for CSeries are not significant enough to pay for the program moving forward, what Bombardier requires is healthy cash flow through its mature aircraft programs to help pay for CSeries development.
Most importantly, Bombardier is no longer competing with today's A319 and 737-700. The product has successfully forced Boeing and Airbus to defend its territory. The CSeries on paper is a step change beyond both, but the CSeries is now shadowboxing three products that may or may not come into existence before the end of the year.
By all appearances, the big four, Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer, are playing a game of chicken, seeing who will blink first and announce their plans for their respective narrowbody products.
Airbus is believed to be pacing this decision for the industry, with one official on the propulsion side of the business telling FlightBlogger that Bombardier would prefer to give more clarity to its technical plans after Airbus's re-engining details emerge, rather than the other way around.
Boeing's company line remains firm, with the airfamer saying it will be "market driven" in its decision, at least indirectly implying that its customers are in a holding pattern for what will be offered by both airframers as the market has yet to make a decision. At this point, Boeing is hinting at a single engine choice for whatever it does next. As of April, Boeing had tested only a 737 with a CFM Leap-X engine configuration in the wind tunnel, says an engineer close to the development.
For Embraer, which was mum on its plans for the future, hinted late in the week to Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico that it would make a decision on a clean-sheet 130-seat jet by year's end. For Bombardier, its intentions are clear, but the technical details behind its new aircraft remain elusive. Industry officials say that even the geometry of the aircraft's composite wing has been a closely held secret by the Canadian airframer.
With a lack of clarity being the only constant across the world's leading airframer, how can customers possibly make a decision about which horse to back?
Though as another mid-summer show draws to a close, what Boeing, Airbus and Embraer decide to do over the next five months may decide the course of commercial aircraft development for the next decade.
In the insanity that is a mid-summer air show, occasionally things get left behind. In this case it was day two and day three of Flightglobal's interactive Flight Daily magazine iFlight. Make sure you take a minute to dive into both issues. We hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed putting them together.
FARNBOROUGH -- US carrier Virgin America has announced its intent to order 40 A320 aircraft equipped with sharklets plus 20 more options.
Deliveries of the aircraft are expected to begin in 2013. This order, when firmed, will triple the airline's fleet.
FARNBOROUGH -- Since its first flight in February, Boeing's 747-8F flight test program has
completed roughly a third of its 1600h flight test campaign, though steady momentum has been elusive, as the new jumbo freighter has encountered one time consuming technical issue after another.
The sum of three main issues, including two more recent ones, have eaten Boeing's remaining margin, causing Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO, Jim Albaugh, to caution that "The entry into service could slip into 2011."
With the landing gear door flap vibration issue now resolved, flight test challenges have given way to troubleshooting two primary issues.
The first centers on the aircraft's inboard ailerons and the power control unit that drives them. Boeing found that when a pilot makes a slow input on the jumbo jet's controls the high pressures in the hydraulic system cause an oscillation, requiring a fix in the actuator, according to two 747-8 program sources.
The second, the freighter was found to encounter a structural flutter at mid-weight near cruise speed, requiring engineers to dampen out the aeroelastic vibration. Options for resolution include adding structure to the wing or potentially developing a new control law to avoid the condition.
RC501, the lead flight test aircraft based at Boeing Field in Seattle, has for the last month and a half has been dedicated to trouble-shooting both issues. Programme sources say the company aims to complete resolution on the flutter issue by the close of the month.
Boeing declined to address the specific issues encountered by the program, though the company continues to caution that while first delivery to Cargolux remains "at risk", certification is remains targeted for year end, adding:
The 747-8 Freighter flight test development program is a dynamic process of performance demonstration, validation and issue identification and resolution. To date, we've flown approximately 550 hours and completed substantial airworthiness, aerodynamic performance and systems testing. Over the course of testing, technical issues are discovered and resolved. As we advance toward completion of flight testing, fewer and fewer discoveries are expected. As we have previously demonstrated, when an issue arises, we address it immediately.With five months to go in that goal, Boeing's remaining flight test margin is virtually gone, with the company's Flight Operations, Test & Validation organization looking for ways to find - or create - contingency where available. Boeing has already opted to grow its flight test fleet from three to four, with the addition of RC503, which may fly before the week is out, heading immediately into high intensity radiated field (HIRF) testing in Arizona.
Compared to its composite stablemate the 787, which has progressed more swiftly through its flight test campaign, 747-8F has struggled to find its footing along side the company's flagship program. While still technically a derivative aircraft of the 747 family, the aircraft's all-new fly-by-wire wing, engines and avionics, make it a significantly different aircraft from the variants that preceded it.
The length of its approximately ten month flight test program is on par with past Boeing programs, though the pressures of dual flight testing both the 747-8 and 787 side-by-side made its schedule aggressive.
Yet, while it has been Boeing's signature product for the last 40 years, the 747 has never been the company's primary focus even in its earliest days competing for resources against the Supersonic Transport program. As it has progressed, Boeing has incorporated advancements developed for other new programs back into the jumbo, enabling step changes in efficiency during the type's four decades in service.
Boeing holds orders for 108 747-8 aircraft, including 76 of the freighter variant.
FARNBOROUGH -- Finding time at the show to download, tweak and upload photos during an air show is harder than finding a (insert snark here) at an air show. I've uploaded 177 photos from Sunday and Monday-Wednesday's will follow tomorrow. I've got about 935 to sort through, so it may take a little. This set is dominated by 787's arrival on Sunday and the tour on board, though also includes A400M, Qatar's 777-300ER and Etihad Crystal Cargo's A330F. Enjoy.
Breaking: Superjet earns MoU from first North American market customer, originally uploaded by flightblogger.
FARNBOROUGH -- Pearl Aircraft Corporation, a new Bermuda based lessor, has announced memorandum of understanding to purchase 30 Sukhoi Superjet aircraft plus 15 options. The order marks the first order for the 100 seat jetliner in the North American market.
Day Two Order Tally:
Hong Kong Airlines - converted 15 XA330 to 15 x A350 (MoU) ordered 10 x A330 (MoU)
LAN - 50 x A320 (MoU)
RBS Aviation - 53 x A320 (previously booked as unidentified customer)
Total - 91 x A320, 20 x A321, 11 x A330
Air Lease Corp - 10 x ATR-72-600
Azul - 20 x ATR-72-600
Golden Airlines - 2 x ATR-72-500
Lao Airlines - 2 x ATR-72-500
Total - 30 x ATR-72-600, 4 x ATR-72-500
Air Lease Corp - 54 x 737 + 6 x 737 (options)
Avolon Air Lease - 12 x 737 (ordered in 2009)
RBS Aviation - 43 x 737-800 (previously booked as an unidentified customer)
Royal Jordanian Airlines - 3 x 787-8 (previously ordered as an unidentified customer)
Total - 109 x 737, 12 x 777-300ER
Vista Jet - 4 x Global Express XRS, 2 Challenger 605
Russian Customer - 4 x Global Express XRS
Total - 10 x Global 5000 + XRS, 3 x Challenger 605
Air Lease Corp - 15 x E190
Azul - 5 x E195
Flybe - 35 x E175
Trip Airlines - 2 x E190
Total - 35 x E175, 17 x E190, 5 x E195
Orient Thai Airlines - 12 x SSJ-100 Super Jets
Total - 42 x SSJ-100
- Air Lease orders 10 ATR 72-600s
- Sukhoi expecting Alitalia decision on Superjet
- Air Lease signs LOI for 10 Embraers
- Thomson to be first European 787 operator
- LAN to sell A318 fleet
- Brazil's TRIP orders two Embraer 190s
- HK Airlines tentatively signs for A350s, A330s
- Etihad takes delivery of first A330-200F
- NAC acquires seven ATRs
- Emirates warns that physical constraints threaten further orders
- LAN signs tentative deal for 50 A320s
- ATR logs 42 orders during the half-year
- Azul orders 20 ATR 72-600s
- New lessor Avolon orders 12 Boeing 737-800s
- Rolls-Royce outlines Advance engine plans
- Flybe taking Embraers for continental push
- AgustaWestland unveils 'game-changing' AW169
- Flybe orders up to 140 Embraer jets
- Qatar blames P&W for CSeries impasse
- GP7200 to power all 90 of Emirates' A380s
- NA sees beyond KC-X for US market growth
While the Canadian airframer maintains that the air show is one event in the course of the year, a perennially impatient industry is caught in the expectations game. The summer mega shows are akin to Major League Baseball's All Star Game, home field advantage in the World Series to the winner. Yet the pennant is won over 162 other games.
Though the significance of gathering the industry's All Stars together in one place cannot be understated. The world is your stage, and shaping perception, especially for a new market entrant, is reality. Bombardier's CSeries may just be ready for its chance in the starting line up on Wednesday at Farnborough.
FARNBOROUGH -- Superjet International, a joint venture between Sukhoi Civil Aircraft and Alenia Aeronautica, further detailed the progress of its SSJ100 flight test program.
Sukhoi, who is responsible for the assembly, production and testing of the new 100 seater, says the certification campaign is 70% complete having flown 1800h over 710 flights.
The aircraft is currently undergoing hot ands high testing in Armenia. The next phase, which will begin in August will see the regional jet fly to a dedicated airport in Italy for high-intensity radio frequency (HIRF) testing.
Three SSJ100 aircraft will be delivered to Aeroflot and Armavia. The company says six aircraft are in final assembly, with 18 in production oveall.
FARNBOROUGH -- Steven Udvar-Hazy, whose reputation in the commercial aviation industry is near-legendary, pushed to the forefront at the Farnborough Air Show, with the launch of an ambitious new leasing venture and an large narrowbody order to match.
Udvar-Hazy, who was temporarily sidelined by the travails of bailout recipient AIG, parent company of the International Lease Finance Corporation, which he began in 1973, placed an order for 30 Airbus A320s and 21 A321s for the newly launched Air Lease Corporation (ALC) with former ILFC president John Plueger.
Day One of the Farborough, illustrated the rebounding economy, with a day that held more resemblance to the better days of 2007 and 2008 than the year just endured, but strong questions remain about the evenness of the recovery. North America and Europe are significantly lagging behind emerging markets in Asia and South America, clouding the picture for a full global recovery.
At the first day of the Farnborough Air Show, ALC's order was mirrored by GECAS placed an order for 100 aircraft, split between 60 A320s and 40 737s. The strong influence of lessors at this show, may indicate a stronger trend toward third parties assuming greater risk for airlines amidst an industry with an outlook whose uncertainty is its only constant.
Before the week is out, we are virtually certain to see a North American lessor to order the first batch of western Superjets, primarily to put a safety buffer in between the airlines and the aircraft in case it doesn't perform.
Additionally, Udvar-Hazy suggested that we'd be hearing from ALC later in the show, with strong hints that a 737 or turboprop order was in the offing, adding that this was only the first round of portfolio growth of the nascent lessor.
Day One Order Tally:
Aeroflot - 11 x A330-300
Air Lease Corp - 31 x A320, 20 x A321
GECAS - 60 x A320
Total - 91 x A320, 20 x A321, 11 x A330
Emirates - 12 x 777-300ER (30 total, 18 were previously ordered this year as an unidentified customer)
GECAS - 40 x 737-800
Norwegian Air Shuttle - 15 x 737-800 (exercise of purchase rights)
Total - 55 x 787-800, 12 x 777-300ER
Qatar Airways - 2 x G5000 Business Jets, 1 x Challenger 605
Total - 2 x G5000, 1 x Challenger 605
Kartika Airlines - 30 SSJ-100 Super Jets
Total - 30 x SSJ-100
Compiled by Uresh Sheth
- Kartika intends to build 160-strong fleet
- CFM to certify step decrease in 737 fuel burn by end July
- GECAS orders 60 A320s and 40 737-800s
- Norwegian leans towards 787 for long-haul
- Airliner markets return, but only slowly
- Bombardier quiet on new CSeries orders as engine tests start
- Azul orders five more Embraer 195s
- Indonesia's Kartika firms 30 Superjets
- Dassault certificates Falcon 900LX
- Aeroflot firms A330-300 order
- New lessor ALC orders 51 Airbus narrowbodies
- Two Asian carriers take winglets on 90 737s
- Emirates orders 30 more 777-300ERs
- A400M arrives after first photo-call with RAF peers
- Boeing boosts forecast but remains downbeat on very large aircraft demand
- P&WC starts work on advanced turboprop for regional airliners
- Leahy predicts Airbus will double year-to-date orders tally
- F-35 buoyed by Canadian commitment, but top buyer no-shows
- Etihad prepares to receive first A330 freighter
- Aero Sekur displays integrated survival solutions
- Messier-Bugatti plans demonstration of electric taxi concept
- C919 is biggest threat since MDC disappeared: Boeing
FARNBOROUGH -- Word around the show suggests that Saudia Airlines is set to be identified as the mystery buyer of 12 777-300ER aircraft booked into Boeing's backlog earlier this year. Additionally, a report out of the Arabic-speaking media, suggests the signing is imminent.
Boeing has scheduled a customer signing for 4pm here at Farnborough with an undisclosed customer.
FARNBOROUGH -- Superjet International's quest to break into the commercial jetliner market worldwide received a big boost today with Kartika Airlines of Indonesia firming an order for 30 SSJ100 aircraft.
Deliveries for the 100 seater will begin in 2012 and stretch to 2015. The order grows the firm backlog for the Superjet to 131.
Breaking: Udvar-Hazy back in the game with order for 51 A320, originally uploaded by flightblogger.
FARNBOROUGH -- Steven Udvar-Hazy's new Air Lease Corporation has ordered 51 A320 family aircraft, placing the leasing giant back at the industry's forefront.
The order, split between 31 A320s and 20 A321 aircraft fitted with sharklets, will be first delivered in January 2011 stretching through the early part of 2015.
Breaking: Emirates buys 30 Boeing 777-300ERS #FARN10, originally uploaded by flightblogger.
FARNBOROUGH - Emirates has purchased 30 777-300ER aircraft further bolstering the carrier's status as the largest 777 operator. Currently operating 53 777s of all models, including the new freighter, Emirates will grow its total 777 acquisition to 101 up from 71 previously announced.
FARNBOROUGH -- With yesterday's generously autobraked arrival of the 787 at Farnborough, I wanted to take a chance to get up close with ZA003. Over the course of several hours yesterday, I went nose-to-tail around the Dreamliner. Movie Monday today runs just shy of 10 minutes.
The view from my parking space for tonight, seat 24A on United Airlines flight 918 to London Heathrow Airport. This 777-200(ER reg?) will host me and a lot of other folks heading to Farnborough air show. No, seriously, I'm on a flight full of aerospace branded polo shirts. I'll hit the ground tomorrow morning and will (more or less) go straight into covering the show, starting with a briefing with CFM on their commercial engine line. Okay, time to switch off. Catch you on the other side of the pond!
Mary Kirby and I have teamed up once again to anchor Flightglobal's social media coverage of the 2010 Farnborough Air Show, and we've put together a quick video overview of next week's show. The whole Flightglobal team will be on the ground in London starting on Saturday morning covering the show wall to wall. Beyond our brief rundown, Flight International Magazine's Farnborough "Fattie" is packed with features covering the industry end to end. Here's some more on our view of the industry's goings on.
A shaky recovery?
Air shows are an interesting beast. The annual international gathering provides a snapshot in time of the state of the industry. Farnborough will be no different, representing a barometer of the health of the global economy and its bright spots, uncertainties, and potential surprises around the corner. Orders are inevitable, but an order boom only tells part of the story. What goes on behind the scenes at the countless meetings that will take place away from the glare of the camera and press releases is the real story of the air show. How real is this recovery and has it gone global?
787's International Stage
Since its absence at the 2008 and 2009 summer shows, the presence of the 787 Dreamliner is a major moment for Boeing and its supply partners, which will, for the first time, will show off its carbon fiber jetliner to the world media. With all the fanfare that will accompany the Dreamliner to the UK, there are still big questions for Boeing and its new jetliner.
Boeing won't be the only one discussing timetables for its composite aircraft. Airbus has the spectre of the company's last clean sheet design, the A380, imposing itself on the A350 XWB program. Program delays have become the rule not the exception in aircraft development, and Airbus must demonstrate how it will recover its lost margin and/or a way to avoid schedule slippage for the A350. MSN001 will be in final assembly a little over a year from now, and how Airbus gets from here to here is essential to demonstrating it can meet its 2013 entry into service goal.
Bombardier's 40 frame order from Republic Airways represented a major victory for the CSeries, but can its success be replicated in markets around the world with blue chip customers. Boeing is anticipating at least one new market entrant will be successful, will it be the CSeries? While an order from Qatar and a Chinese customer appear likely, is the expectations game working against Bombardier? Also, will the program begin to provide more technical detail about its new 100 to 149-seat jet? The industry is hungry for details.
For both Boeing and Airbus, their largest products are secondary conversations at the show, but are vitally important to the health of each airframer. Have the A380 production issues been resolved as a smooth production ramp up has eluded Airbus? Will 747-8F meet its goal of delivering to Cargolux by the close of 2010 without further unexpected flight test discoveries, and will its new passenger jumbo escape the struggles its freighter sibling has seen?
Re-Engining or Replacement?
A year after its debut in Paris, the Sukhoi Superjet appears poised to make a big splash with a big order from North America and Asia, but can the Russian/Italian collaboration demonstrate it's ready to support the new 100 seater in service while deliver enough engines to support production?
What about Embraer?
Here's my complete story on the potential slip. It will be interesting to see how this changes the tone, and the questions, Boeing will be getting at Farnborough next week.
With its debut at the 2010 Farnborough air show days away, Boeing has issued a "cautionary note" that the first 787 delivery could slip into early 2011, citing slower than anticipated instrumentation configuration changes and inspections of the horizontal stabiliser.
Boeing vice president and general manager Scott Fancher says some of the recent issues have "stacked up" and "could see [first delivery] move a few weeks into the new year".
Fancher says the schedule has not officially slipped beyond the fourth quarter timeframe to early to 2011, but adds the airframer will provide more information "as we get closer to the conclusion of flight test".
Airplane 28 won't be radically different from any of previous 21 production 787s that proceeded it, but this airframe, that will eventually end up in the hands of Air India, is crucial to Boeing's production ramp up.
With its next 787 delivery re-sequencing coming in September, Boeing plans to hold structural deliveries to final assembly for more than a month, allowing all ends of its supply chain to catch up.
The schedule "float" as its been dubbed internally, which will follow the arrival of Airplane 27 in late August, will pause deliveries to the company's Everett, Washington final assembly line for 30-manufacturing days or roughly six weeks.
Boeing declined to comment on the re-sequencing as the Farnborough Air Show approached.
Airplane 28 is being called Boeing's "get well" aircraft, achieving 100% completion of assembly and no outstanding traveled work from its North Charleston facility, just renamed Boeing South Carolina, where the aft and center fuselages are integrated.
While program sources in Everett and Charleston say that there are no significant engineering issues driving the hold, many of the issues originate down stream at suppliers around the world, where part shortages cause incomplete work to flow to Charleston, slowing down integration before shipment to Everett.
For example, floor grids, doors and wiring have contributed to the slowdown. Installation of the floor grid, in particular, is a critical path assembly milestone as it provides installation access to the upper crown of the fuselage.
Additionally, the slide is as much an opportunity for Charleston to catch up as it is to provide Everett additional breathing room to focus on the aircraft already through final assembly.
This latest hold is longer than the 24-manufacturing day hold the company put in place following Airplane 22 in late April, allowing its supply chain to catch up on design changes and part shortages.
When Boeing announced the second re-sequencing on June 25, 787 general manager and vice president Scott Fancher, indicated the scheduling change was to "take advantage" of shifting customer delivery schedules. However, programme sources say the request for the hold was made directly Boeing staff, not by airlines who sought to slow deliveries.
When Airplane 28 arrives in Everett in October, it will also represent the start of a faster rate that will see nearly three 787s delivered to final assembly per month.
Yet, the question remains for Boeing: As the ramp up continues toward building 10 aircraft per month byt the end of 2013, how does the company avoid overwhelming its supply chain forcing additional halting stops and starts on its road ahead?
The original design had the lower part of the door canted out 45-degrees, while the revised design feature the lower door more in line with the upper door. The modifications also include vortilons on the inboard flap as well as a bullnose design on the leading edge of the upper half of the outboard landing gear door.
Photo Credit Liz Matzelle
(Three more photos after the jump)
Structural sections for the first Charleston-built 787, Airplane 56, will arrive at the company's sprawling new final assembly building following its completion in July 2011, followed by handover to the Indian flag carrier in the first quarter of 2012.
Boeing declined to comment on how Air India was selected to be the first 787 delivered from Charleston, while a spokesman for the carrier was unaware of the carrier's selection.
Air India expects to take delivery of its first 787, Airplane 25, which is currently undergoing final assembly at Boeing's Everett factory, in the first quarter 2011.
Photo Credit ClemsonPilot
VENICE -- Nearly a generation has passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the bi-polar world of communist and capitalist economies has given way to an interconnected world of globalized competition and industrial integration often bolstered by state support.
With the commercial jet aircraft manufacturing landscape having dwindled to just four players over the past decade, that trend of industrial consolidation is set to reverse itself in the years to come. Russian aircraft manufacturer Sukhoi, best known for its portfolio of fighter aircraft, is the first in a spate of new entrants to offer a jetliner assembled solely in the eastern hemisphere, but marketed to the world.
Its product, the 100-seat SSJ100 aircraft, made its first flight from Komsomolsk-on-Aumr, Russia in May 2008. It is powered by two PowerJet SaM146 engines, and is the launch point of a new business model which aims to challenge the established airframers Embraer and Bombardier on a global battlefield, starting with entry into service by year's end with Russian flag carrier Aeroflot and Armenian carrier Armavia.
As the first new entrant to step up to the plate, Suhkoi Civil Aircraft (SCAC) solidfied its strategic partnership with Alenia Aeronautica, the civil branch of Finnemeccanica, in June 2006 with a 75%/25% development split. A year later forming Superjet International, a Venice, Italy-based joint venture between Alenia (51%) and Sukhoi (49%) that took the reins on global marketing and product support.
The road to it's year-end entry into service, like the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787, has faced two years of delay after its originally planned November 2008 first delivery slipped due to an over-optimistic development schedule and production issues on the aircraft's engine. The engine-maker now claims it is in control of those issues, and is now winding down its four-aircraft flight test program with the approaching first flight of its first production aircraft.
With next week's Farnborough air show marking just over a year since the new 100 seater's western debut at the Paris air show, the Superjet is poised to announced new orders, including a fresh Letter of Intent from a North American lessor for up to 65.
In a Movie Monday befitting the coming 2010 Farnborough air show, I have reached deep down into the vault to pull out newsreel footage from the 1950 Farnborough air show. The foundations of the UK air show haven't changed significantly in the past sixty years, though the products on display most certainly have.
Watching the 10 minute clip narrated by Leslie Mitchell of British Movietone News, you can spot the parallels between the 1950 and 2010 shows. A mega-military airlifter (Blackburn Universal Freighter), the new long-range jet airliner (DeHavilland Comet), the biggest passenger plane of its day (Bristol Brabazon), and the ever hot topic of aerial refueling.
History doesn't repeat itself, but it certainly does rhyme.
After the jump you'll find a second five and a half minute clip that is a mostly narrarator-less B-roll of the 1950 air show that preserves the audio of the aircraft making low fly-bys. Turn up those speakers.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian flagship airlineAeroflotexpects to acquire 22 Boeing Dreamliners and 22 Airbus A350s by 2016 as it expands its fleet, CEO Vitaly Savelyev told Prime Minister Vladimir Putin."We expect to receive 22 Dreamliners, that is the Boeing-787s, by 2016, and we also expect 22 aircraft of the Airbus-350 model, which is currently being developed, to enter into service," Savelyev said according to RIA news agency.However, Putin urged the executive to purchase more locally-made planes."We are already purchasing them," Savelyev said in a portion of the interview broadcast on Russia-24 television."Not enough," the prime minister replied.
A Bloomberg Businessweek article on the same topic expanded on Putin's comments:"I want to understand how much domestic technology Aeroflot will buy," Putin said in a meeting with Chief Executive Officer Vitaly Savelyev today. "You want to dominate the domestic market, but you don't want to buy Russian technology. That won't do."
Savelyev said he would report back to Putin with a revised plan.
Photo Credits Yvan Panas & Christophe Ramos
ZA001 and ZA003 were scheduled to be in a planned maintenance layup at the moment and the rework is being done concurrently, says Boeing.
ZA002, Boeing's second 787 flight test aircraft which wears the colors of launch customer All Nippon Airways, is on reserve for the mid-July air show in case ZA003 is not out of rework.
However, Boeing estimates that the ZA003 will complete the rework by Friday, July 9, eight days before the aircraft is set to depart Boeing Field for Farnborough airport in the UK on July 17.
Meanwhile, ZA004 kicked off its flight loads survey today from Victorville Airport in Southern California after nearly a month of being outfitted with fresh instrumentation that will compare and measure the loads on the aircraft's structure against design expectations.
ZA005 is currently undergoing flutter testing that began on July 2 to evaluate the airframe engine combination of the GEnx-1B engine. Additionally, first flight of the sixth flight test aircraft has slipped into early August, says program sources.
The first 787 to be painted in JAL colors has emerged from the ATS hangar following change incorporation. The aircraft, which is either Airplane 20 or 21, is registered JA821J. It's entirely possible this is Airplane 21 because it lacks the special decals planned for Airplane 20 based on the drawings submitted by Japanese children.
UPDATE: The aircraft pictured is Airplane 20, which will be first handed over to JAL.
Photo Credit Liz Matzelle, Video Credit Matt Cawby
See my complete Bombardier set on Flickr from my trip, which includes CRJ900 interior and flight deck, CSeries systems integration building (CIASTA), Chinese center fuselage test barrel, wind tunnel model, engineering sim and interior mock up.
While the article reads like a litany of US brands the author's firm likely holds an interest in, the article's title is what grabbed my attention. It suggests something far beyond domestic technological innovation, which, I should add, is a monopoly held by no one country.
A New York Times article exploring the iPhone supply chain through China grabbed my attention this long weekend and the aerospace parallels (and their implications) could be significant.
What the latest analysis shows is that the smallest part of Apple's costs are here in Shenzhen, where assembly-line workers snap together things like microchips from Germany and Korea, American-made chips that pull in Wi-Fi or cellphone signals, a touch-screen module from Taiwan and more than 100 other components.Airframers are perpetually jockeying for position in China's rapidly growing market; moving component and structural assembly to achieve significant cost savings with lower labor rates while cultivating market access for state controlled airlines to select their fleets accordingly. Even homegrown final assembly lines set up by Airbus (Tianjin) and Embraer (Harbin) avoid high import tariffs while delivering directly to Chinese fleets.But what it does not reveal is that manufacturing in China is about to get far more expensive. Soaring labor costs caused by worker shortages and unrest, a strengthening Chinese currency that makes exports more expensive, and inflation and rising housing costs are all threatening to sharply increase the cost of making devices like notebook computers, digital cameras and smartphones.
But how will this shift to higher wages and inflation impact the aerospace industry at large?
The list of Chinese content on western jetliners is continually growing and will, for example, eventually include 5% of the A350, the center fuselage of the CSeries, the rudder, vertical stabilizer leading edge and outer wing-to-body fairing panels of the 787, as well as the horizontal stabilizer, inboard flaps, ailerons and spoilers of the 747-8.
The rising labor rates for consumer electronics production may or may not translate to higher wages for higher skilled manufacturing jobs in China, though the increased costs of doing business could shift the dynamic for increasing workshare.
The tilted playing field toward low labor costs, driven by an undervalued currency, and strategic market access made the shift East a virtual necessity. Though if rising labor costs, which still may be competitive against western wage rates, significantly increase the cost of doing business in China, how will this impact the shape of aerospace supply chains in the future?
This will be a trend to watch.
Q: With all the issues cropping up in the supply chain from Italy, is Alenia its weakest link?
Q: How was the issue first discovered? Over the course of the 25 shipsets that made it to Everett, just being found at that point in the quality system, what has been done to make sure this doesn't happen in the future? And what's being done to make sure this doesn't happen in the future?
Q: Can you tell us what the quality control procedures are within Alenia, how it works with Boeing, how it works at Seattle?
Daniele Romiti, chief operating officer, Alenia Aeronautica:
We talk about this, let me call it a manufacturing problem, which is fixed and we used to fixed this with Boeing, as we work as a single team on these subjects, so I think it's quite normal, I would say even though, I was not happy it even happened, we should say it's normal in a manufacturing process and is not related even to those new technologies, it was during assembly of spacements, secondary spacements, on the main spar. So, we have fixed it together with Boeing and there is activity ongoing to just complete our repairs on the aircraft.
Bob Noble, vice president, 787 supplier management, Boeing:
The defect was found in Everett during a routine inspection. I don't believe we have inspected every horizontal yet, however, this defect is not on every unit. We're still working our way through, which units that have the defect and which ones don't. I wouldn't characterize it...Alenia is not the weakest link in the 787 supply chain.
It is a complicated supply chain, Alenia, as you're going to see, builds a very complicated part of the airplane. Unfortunately you won't see the horizontal here (in Grottaglie), I know that's of current interest, but what you're going to see is this is a very complicated manufacturing process, and unfortunately, periodically, things happen, that's why we perform so many inspections. You asked about the inspection processes, Alenia has an approved quality system, that has inspections for defects, it as a part of that system, Boeing, also provides inspection of the units before they leave Italy. And of course, we also inspect the unit when we received it in Everett, and we inspect it periodically during the manufacturing process.
Unfortunately, every once in a while, something of this complexity will have an escape, they're very unfortunate when they happen. This is not at all related to the material system, it is not related to the quality system, it is just one of those things that happens during a manufacturing process. We know what it is, it won't happen again. Absolutely, positively certain we won't have that same defect again. We have put counter measures in place to assure ourselves of that.
So what happens when you have something like that you look at all similar things, in fact, we'll look at all similar things throughout the world. So the shim is in a join, so this will cause us to go back and look at all of our joins and make sure the similar thing can't happen anywhere else. And we don't see any evidence of it, this is a unique workmanship issue.
GROTTAGLIE -- Buon giorno from Italy! Just arrived here at Alenia Aeronautica for a day of briefings. The painting above is in the lobby here and it is a wonderfully Italian interpretation of the 787. Lots going on here today. Stay tuned.