Category Archives: Boeing

Boeing launches the BBJ MAX

Boeing launched the Boeing Business Jet, or BBJ, MAX family of airplanes after receiving the first order from a customer.

It’s not disclosing the name of the customer.

The order is for the BBJ MAX 8, based on a 737 MAX 8, an updated 737 commercial jet with new engines, winglets and other improvements.

It’s a business jet with a range of 6,325 nautical miles.

“We are honored that an existing BBJ customer has become the first to select the BBJ MAX,” Capt. Steve Taylor, president, Boeing Business Jets, said in a statement. “The BBJ MAX provides more room, longer range and emits fewer emissions than its nearest competition, making it an ideal choice for today’s BBJ customers.”

The new BBJ family also will include the BBJ MAX 9, based on the 737 MAX 9, and is expected to offer a 6,255 nautical mile range. Plans for a BBJ MAX 7 are being studied.

Development of the 737 MAX is on schedule, the company said. First flight is expected in 2016 with deliveries to commercial airline customers starting in 2017.

Boeing has taken orders for more than 1,900 737 MAX jets from 37 customers.



Boeing’s P-8A Poseidon to enter full production with $2.4 billion contract for 16 planes

The Navy has ordered its first production lot of P-8A Poseidon aircraft from Boeing in a $2.4 billion contract, Boeing said Tuesday.

The order for 18 additional aircraft means the program will enter full production.

The order takes the total fleet to 53 and marks the transition from preliminary to low-rate production of the P-8A, which will bolster maritime patrol capabilities, the company said.

Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita builds the fuselgae for the P-8A, which is based on a 737-800 commercial aircraft.

So far, Boeing has delivered 13 P-8As to the Navy, which deployed its first patrol squadron to Kadena, Japan, in December.

“This milestone is a testament to the incredible effort and dedication of the team to deliver the P-8A to the fleet as planned,” Navy P-8A program manager Capt. Scott Dillon said in a statement. “The future of the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance community has begun to make history with the P-8As already delivered to the fleet. These full-rate production aircraft will give us the opportunity to deliver the best system through a cost-effective procurement contract.”

The P-8A will enhance the service’s anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, Boeing said.

The Navy plans to buy a total of 117 P-8As to replace its P-3 fleet.

Boeing’s P-8 team includes CFM International, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Spirit AeroSystems, BAE Systems and GE Aviation.

Boeing’s 747-8 commemorates Seahawks appearance in Super Bowl

seahawksBoeing is celebrating the Seattle Seahawks appearance in the Super Bowl with a specially painted 747-8 freighter.

The livery commemorates the National Football Conference Championship and the team’s appearance in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Boeing is a sponsor of the Seattle Seahawks.

The 747-8 is owned by Boeing and used for flight testing.

Here are some fun facts provided by Boeing:

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s longest pass this season, at 80 yards, was almost the same length as the 747-8 fuselage at 243.5 feet.

Russell Wilson threw for 3,357 yards this season, similar to the runway takeoff distance of the 747-8.

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin can dash the full length of the 180-foot  747-8 main deck in less than seven seconds.

The 747-8 can cover the length of a football field in one second at takeoff.

Florida Boeing engineers join SPEEA

Engineers at Boeing Flight Services of Miami voted this month to join the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace, the union said.

Engineers at the growing Miami site work closely with engineers at Boeing’s Puget Sound locations, who are represented by SPEEA.

“These employees asked for our help and we are pleased to help them gain the voice at work they need and deserve,” SPEEA president Tom McCarty said in a statement.”

The election was held by the National Labor Relations Board.

There are only two engineers at the facility. They join more than 15,600 engineers in SPEEA’s professional unit, the union said.


Wall Street Journal: Boeing’s challenge for the 777 until the new one comes along

Boeing announced the launch of its 777X jetliner at the Dubai Air Show this week along with $95 billion worth of orders.

That’s healthy demand for the upgraded model when deliveries begin in 2020.

But the company must keep production lines going for six years as it builds the current version of the jet, the Wall Street Journal points out.

How will Boeing keep selling the older version while the new one gets up to speed?




Boeing 787 assemblies, tooling in Wichita to be sent to South Carolina

dreamlinerSome fuselage assemblies and tooling for Boeing’s 787 are at Boeing Wichita temporarily as “different elements of the production system begin to phase in the new 10/month rate,” Boeing spokeswoman Mary Kelly said in an e-mail.

“It’s space that is available to use, and we’re taking advantage of it,” Kelly said.

Work won’t be done in Wichita, however.

Instead, “it is merely sitting there waiting for a ride to South Carolina,” she said.

Boeing’s site in North Charles, S.C., fabricates, assembles and installs systems for Boeing 787 Dreamliner rear fuselage sections and joins and integrates midbody fuselage sections.

It’s also one of two final assembly and delivery points for the 787.

Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita builds the 787′s nose section and equips it with the needed systems and equipment for flight. It also builds the plane’s pylons.

Boeing is raising 787 production to 10 per month. Last month it announced plans to boost production to 12 per month in 2016.


Air Force KC-46A tanker design finalized

Boeing and the Air Force have validated the final design elements of the KC-46A aerial refueling tanker and concluded that the design can meet Air Force requirements, Boeing said Wednesday.

The step clears the way for production and testing of the tanker that will replace the current fleet of aging KC-135 Stratotankers.

“I’m pleased to report that the design of the KC-46A tanker has been locked down,” Air Force Maj. Gen. John Thompson, Air Force program executive officer for tankers, said in a statement. “This is great news for the nation’s war fighters. The joint government and Boeing team stayed focused on the design review objectives, and truly delivered.”

Boeing and the Air Force held a KC-46A Weapon System Critical Design review in July, which followed months of component and subsystem reviews, the company said.

The tanker is based on Boeing’s commercial 767-200ER.

If all options under the contract are exercised, Boeing expects to deliver 179 tankers so the Air Force. Boeing plans to build four test aircraft and deliver 18 combat-ready tankers by 2017.

Boeing’s 787-9 first flight to be significant

The first flight of the Boeing 787-9, the newest member of Boeing’s 787 family, is coming soon. And it will have greater implications than normal for a “minor model variant,” said an  industry expert.

The first flight of the 787-9 Dreamliner, a variant of the 787-8, would typically be of little consequence, said Scott Hamilton, an industry consultant with Leeham Co.

But the flight will have greater scrutiny than otherwise because of the “painful birth of the lead variant, the 787-8 and its troubled early service that included a 3 1/2 month grounding,” Hamilton wrote in a newsletter.

Boeing made significant changes to the 787-9 based on lessons learned from the 787-8.

Those included a reported 30 percent of the design and also changes to the design and production of the tail, the side-of-body wing join, elements of the wing’s internal structure, some electronics and to the lithium ion batteries that led to the grounding of all 50 787-8 Dreamliners in service, Hamilton wrote.

Dispatch reliability also remains a challenge for the 787-8s, “hovering around 98 percent.” Boeing wants to see it closer to 99.7 percent, the standard set by the 737 NB and the 777, he said.

That may not sound like a lot of difference, but it means a lot to the airlines, Hamilton said.

Expectations are high for the 787-9, he said.

“We hear the first plane emerged from the factory pretty ‘clean,’ that is without the troubles that bedeviled the -8,” Hamilton wrote. “Let’s hope the flight test program comes off without a hitch.”

Boeing also is planning another variant of the 787, a 787-10.


Boeing predicts increased global demand for 1 million new airline pilots, technicians

Boeing says the commercial aviation industry will need more than 1 million new pilots and technicians to support the expanding demand for new airplanes delivered over the next 20 years.

Projected pilot demand is increasing around the world, as is the demand for technicians in some regions.

The projections are part of Boeing’s just-released 2013 Pilot and Technician Outlook.

According to the outlook, by 2032 there will be a need for 498,000 new commercial airline pilots and 556,000 new commercial airline maintenance technicians.

“The urgent demand for competent aviation personnel is a global issue that is here now and is very real,” Sherry Carbary, vice president of Boeing Flight Services, said in a statement. “The key to closing the pilot and technician gap in our industry is enhancing our training with the latest, cutting-edge technologies to attract and retain young people interested in careers in aviation.”

Boeing completes first 787-9 Dreamliner

Boeing has completed the first 787-9 Dreamliner, a stretch version of its 787-8, the company said.

The plane rolled out of Boeing’s Everett, Wash., factory  to the flight line on Monday. And teams are preparing the plane for first flight later this summer.

Spirit AeroSystems builds the nose section of both versions.

The 787-9 is 20 feet longer than the 787-8, carries 40 more passengers and flies an additional 300 nautical miles.

The second and third planes are in final assembly and the program is on track, the company said.

First delivery to Air New Zealand, the launch customer for the 787-9, is scheduled for mid-2014.