When Boeing CEO Jim McNerney early this month referred to the Bombardier C Series as one of a class of “regional jets that are getting a little bigger,” executives at the Canadian company might have taken offense. After all, since the launch of the program, Bombardier has spent untold marketing resources positioning the airplane as a mainline jet, capable of flying from Denver to either coast of the U.S.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Boeing announced yesterday that it received expanded type inspection authorization (TIA) from the FAA for the 747-8 Freighter on June 11, clearing the way for FAA personnel to participate in test flights and collect required data.
Boeing has begun assembling the fuselage of the first 747-8 Intercontinental at its factory in Everett, Wash., the company announced today. Mechanics loaded panels for the 31-foot, 8-inch long front section of the new airplane into the assembly tool.
Boeing has chosen South Carolina as the location for fabrication and assembly of interior parts for the 787 Dreamliner. The company continues to review potential sites for the new facility and expects to reach a final decision by midsummer.
The Boeing 747-8 Freighter took to the air for its first flight today from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., at 12:39 p.m. PST, marking the start of a flight-test program scheduled to last until near the end of this year. The first of three 747-8 prototypes built for the program took off some two and a half hours later than originally planned due to a low cloud ceiling over Paine Field this morning.
For Boeing employees watching the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner on December 15, there was a palpable sense of relief and joy when test pilots Mike Carriker and Randy Neville lifted 787 ZA001 off the wet runway at Paine Field in Everett, Washington. ZA002, in livery of launch customer All Nippon Airways, made its first flight about a week later, on December 22.
Airbus and Boeing tallied their 2009 delivery totals this month and each managed to meet its respective target, giving the companies a chance to trumpet all-time records during a year that by most others measures was “challenging.” In fact, Airbus even met its projections for gross orders for the year with 310, worth $34.9 billion.
Boeing is “assessing the market viability of the 787-3” after the only remaining customer for the type, Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA), converted its order for 28 of the planned high-density, short-range version of the 787 Dreamliner to an order for the same number of 787-8s.
Boeing announced today that it has established several new senior-level engineering leadership positions “to help drive engineering excellence and ensure program success across the company.” The appointees include vice president and chief project engineer for the 787 program Mike Delaney, who will now serve as head of airplane performance and product architecture for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Boeing Business Jets announced in May at EBACE that its then-president Steve Hill would be retiring in July after 30 years at Boeing and that BBJ chief pilot Steve Taylor would be taking over as president. One of Taylor’s first tasks as president, he related to the author at that time, was to find someone to replace himself as chief pilot.