Industry wisdom that civil aerospace is continuing its super-boom while defense prospects waiver was clearly confirmed in the headlines from last month’s Paris Air Show (June 17 to 23). The 50th staging of the biennial event was dominated by yet more airliner orders, plus breakthroughs in new aircraft coming to market and significant deliveries.
Backed by five launch customers from across Europe, Asia and North America committing to 102 aircraft, Boeing pressed the “Go” button for its long-anticipated 787-10 development on June 17. United Airlines, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, GE Capital Aviation Services (Gecas) and Air Lease stepped up to support the stretched, longer-range Dreamliner, and they appear to have been influential in shaping the design and performance goals.
Boeing has shifted its 737 Max schedules to reflect first delivery of the Max 8 to Southwest Airlines in the third quarter of 2017, as early as six months ahead of the original plan, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president and general manager Scott Fancher revealed here in Paris yesterday. As a result, schedules for the Max 9 and Max 7 would also shift by at least a quarter. The company expects the program to reach firm design configuration in July. “The risks are understood, they’re being managed effectively and we have no serious technical issues to deal with,” said Fancher.
Boeing fired the starting pistol on the much-anticipated launch of the 787-10 here yesterday, in the process collecting order commitments for 102 airplanes from five customers across Europe, Asia and North America. Air Lease, United Airlines, GE Capital Aviation Services, British Airways and Singapore Airlines form the group of launch customers.
Aviation Partners Boeing has launched the split-scimitar winglet program for the Boeing 737-900ER with an order from United Airlines. The carrier had already launched a similar program in January for its 737-800s, with FAA approval for a supplemental type certificate (STC) expected in October. The 900ER STC should be approved next February. The split-scimitar winglet modifies the existing blended winglet with a new cap section, and adds a ventral strake.
Boeing says it has finished installing a battery system modification on the first 50 delivered 787 Dreamliners that were grounded pending the retrofit. Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of marketing, made the announcement in a blog post on May 29, reporting that all eight current 787 operators expect to return their Dreamliners to service within days and “we can’t thank all of them enough for their patience, partnership and support” during the grounding of more than three months.
A pair of major new suppliers for Embraer’s next-generation E-Jets identified themselves last week in a sign that program advancement continues apace despite the airframer’s reservations about communicating any details about its plans for an industrial launch or even performance specifications.
A new survey by the University of North Dakota Aviation Department suggests that young people are being turned off by the prospect of a career as an airline pilot. Just under one third of the 205 student respondents (32 percent) said they are now reconsidering their plans to become an airline pilot. A further 8 percent said that they have already abandoned this career path.
Embraer Commercial Aviation CEO Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva said he sees requests for proposals coming from U.S. airlines for between 200 and 400 regional jets in the 70- to 76-seat market segment as relaxed scope clauses continue to drive demand on this side of the Atlantic while a “pause” in Europe takes hold.
Battery system modifications to the world’s Boeing 787s continued at a steady pace while details of plans for service resumptions gradually began to emerge by the time Qatar Airways flew one of its five airplanes on a route between Doha and Dubai last Wednesday.