Boeing’s product move kills direct 767F replacement, puts 787F in doubt - Leeham News and Analysis

2022-11-14 14:44:46 By : Ms. Anna luo

Nov. 4, 2022, © Leeham News: David Calhoun’s decision to tank all-new airplane development kills the direct replacement for the Boeing 767-300ERF that was under development. It also places in doubt the development of the 787F.

Calhoun, the CEO of Boeing, said on Nov. 2 that Boeing won’t launch any new airplane until the mid-2030 decade.

Will Boeing’s cancellation of all new airplane development until the next decade breath new life into the 767-300ERF? It might. Source: Leeham News.

Boeing’s Product Development (PD) department was working on a 767-sized airplane that would begin with the freighter. For lack of a better term, we’ve called it the NMA-F in previous articles. The NMA-F would then be followed by passenger models for a full family of airplanes.

PD was also working on a derivate freighter for the 787, the 787F. Internally, the two teams were competing, as is Boeing’s process.

Killing all new airplanes kills the NMA-F. Funding for the 787F has been reduced, LNA is told. But there is no assurance that the 787F will be launched. If it is, as a derivative its launch would not be considered a “new airplane” program.

Although not the principal reason for Calhoun’s move, killing the NMA-F and casting doubt over the 787F may help Boeing in its effort to exempt the 767 from stringent standards adopted in 2017 by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The Federal Aviation Administration announced earlier this year it plans to adopt the ICAO standards. The emissions standards cannot be met by the 767. (Nor could the 777 Classic freighter, the 777-200LRF, meet them. Boeing launched the 777-8F program which will meet the standards.)

Under the ICAO standards, production of the 767-300ERF (and 777-200LRF) must cease from 2028. Boeing already seeks an exemption should the FAA’s plan become US policy.

With no alternative to the 767-300ERF, Boeing can argue that continuing production of the 767-300ERF with an exception to the rules is in the best interests of commercial aviation. FedEx and UPS each have large 767F fleets and continue to order new production models. FedEx Chairman Fred Smith told LNA in a September interview he’d like to see production continue.

Smith also pointed out that continuing production of the civilian 767 helps keep costs of the Boeing KC-46A aerial refueling tanker that will become the mainstay of the fleet for the US Air Force. The KC-46A is based on the 767-200ER. Both models are built on the same assembly line at Boeing’s Everett (WA) plant.

FedEx and UPS fly the 767-300ERF on average stage lengths of 2,000 to 3,000 miles, or largely US domestic flights. Whether Europe’s EASA would grant an exemption for use there, given no mid-market alternative, is unknown. Europe tends to be more aggressive on environmental matters than the US.

Before Calhoun’s move, it was expected that Boeing might be ready to announce a launch of the NMA-F or the 787F at next year’s Paris Air Show.

 Tags: 787-F, Boeing, David Calhoun, NMA-F

Boeing seeking an exemption to the rules? I’m shocked.

Headline: Boeing is losing the plane race. So it packed up and left for Washington

why not?…if they lose a big order to someone else they will just call their puppets in DC and ask for a 300% tarrif to be put on their competitor (remember the c-series loss to Delta) since there is no possible way that a foreign competitor could possibly win a bid on merit!!!…no point in developing better aircraft when you can just buy protection for less in DC.

Nothing wrong with exemptions if they don’t apply or make no difference when the regulatory agency is off base.

The alert system update was never intended to apply to the MAX or its derivatives and it had no reason to be put in legislation (a lot of legislation has stupid clauses that go onto haunt the world)

So I also have no issue with the 767F. The KC-46A by far surpass any new build 767F and it will continue on (fighters don’t meet emissions but there is no reason a tanker can’t, other than the fact its military and they are exempt – so the clause should include the military as long as its civilian derived)

“Boeing holds 550 new orders, with 122 received in October alone. It currently has a backlog of over 4,300 jets, valued at $307 billion list price. Airbus holds a similar net order of 647 through the first nine months of the year, with its current backlog sitting at 7,294.”

” Boeing holds 550 new orders, with 122 received in October alone. It currently has a backlog of over 4,300 jets, valued at $307 billion list price”

yep its the ” we lost/lose $$ on every unit- but make it up in volume … mantra.

“4,300 jets, valued at $307 billion list price”

This give an average price of 71 million, the 307 billion is definitely not the list price value but probably the inventory value.

It’s more likely the product of the number of jets on the order book and the assumed average selling price (based on conventional discounts). Two problems with that: (1) Boeing doesn’t pocket the selling price — it pockets the margin, which is the selling price minus the production costs. JP Morgan has previously estimated the typical margin on a 737-8 to be about $10M, for a sale price of $45M (discount = 55%). (2) Boeing’s margin is lower than typical, because it has been offering bumper discounts on recent sales, and because there are higher costs involved in de-mothballing and re-furbishing stored aircraft.

In reality, that $307B is more realistically of the order of about $50B.

They dont have anywhere alse to build planes so where are they going?

Calhoun seems to be in a Quandry (the old model) if he doesn’t cut progress and development of new airplanes, his bonus and performance shares take a big whack. If he does cut virtually most/all future stuff needed to compete then the company ( commercial side ) goes down the drain within the decade.

But by that time, he will have pulled the rip cord on his platinum chute and enjoying his retirement and basking in the glory of having proven that his godfather welch was correct when Jack finally admitted his emphasis on ‘ shareholder value’ instead of engineering excellence was a stupid idea.

And he will have avoided the doorknob in line with his posterior.

Hard times in the Bored of Directionless ahead- Bail now or later ??

That is well (and politely) expressed.

Its exactly why many of us think Calhoun is a bag of wind (well his track record actually proves it as well as incompetent)

Someone wrote that crisis in companies have 3 era’s, the acts that got them there in the first place, the clowns who continued that policy despite knowing what it was doing to the company and then the person who rescues it (if its savable at that point)

Calhoun is the latest enabler.

If there had been a change in leadership I would understand a change in plans. But the plans for 787F are relatively recent and belong to existing leadership. So what has caused this change?

Could it be politics, and a new level of confidence that 767 can expect an exception?

“So what has caused this change?”

Some new-found financial realism, perhaps?

No, its called smoke and mirrors. Calhoun pulls the wool over investors eyes (or tries) and then he kicks the Airplane down the runway.

As Bubba2 noted, his financial windfall depends on profits when they kick him out. Poor guys would be short millions (well on top of the 10s of millions he will go out with).

Wanna guess how much of any profits go right into dividends and share buy backs?

a bit of history re Boeing stock 05/18/1966 2 for 1 09/13/1977 2 for 1 04/16/1979 3 for 2 04/15/1980 3 for 2 06/10/1985 3 for 2 06/12/1989 3 for 2 06/11/1990 3 for 2 06/09/1997 2 for 1

Note last split- 25 years ago and about the time McDouglas bought out Boeing with boeings money :)).. and about the same time the 777 hit the market in multiple numbers. Other than the P-8 posiden ( 737 base ) the history since then has been down hill with a few minor flashes of ‘ good news ‘ as to various programs. Boeing managed to fubar the southern Border high tech survellience program considering they had some experience with tunneling and other intruder detection on the minuteman program in the days of viewfoils and no power point ranger types…

Bryce. The tipping point was manpower. BA was scurrying around the world to find people to do the work. They could have found the money as the CFO said it was out there. They had the PD guys spooled up with candidates in the pipeline, but in the end, the massive retirements of the current senior skilled personnel in advance of the retirement law changes doomed the efforts.

Actually the ‘pension’ game by Boeing started over 22 years ago-

BOEING SHAREHOLDER PROPOSALS ON PENSION 2001-2003 2001 PROXY PROPOSAL # 7 PAGE 49 OF 61- 52 MILLION VOTES 2002 PROXY PROPOSAL # 13 PAGE 47 OF 53 – 64 MILLION VOTES 2003 PROXY PROPOSAL # 13 PAGE 52 OF 68 – 61 MILLI0N VOTES- about 12% of outstanding shares at that time.

About 1999 Boeing implemented the PVP ( pension value plan ) which was similar to the then ripoff pension plan change at IBM known as the Cash balance plan.

And the rest is sordid history..

Bubba. The recent changes to interest rates have nothing to do with Boeing’s past pension plan changes. These changes are forcing employees to choose between retiring before the end of Nov or suffer a nonrecoverable loss of future benefits that in some cases were over 200,000. None of the current exodus has diddly squat to do with any of the previous plan changes. While they make for interesting footnotes in history, they aren’t particularly useful in describing today’s reasons for leaving.

RE pnwegeek- Actually BEFORE the 1999 and following pension plan changes stuffed down the employees and eventually SPEEA, the’ lump sum’ option while technically available was rarely used unless one was on deathbed. The default calculations were strictdly a function of salary and credited service with only a few hidden options such as up to 10 years of additional credited service while working full time for a union. Interest rates were not really involved except to affect/determine the amount of company funding needed for the pension plan in accordance with ERISA. But of course that was then. I have wrangled with SEC and Boeing ( Perkins Coie ) and won 3 out of 5 times at bat on those issues

@ Pnwgeek “They could have found the money as the CFO said it was out there.”

I’d like to hear what plan the CFO has for this. Wall Street would be even more curious to hear it, I imagine. I strongly doubt that such a plan exists — not a viable/realistic one, at any rate.

I agree with regard to the effects of the brain drain, but let’s not forget the paralyzing effect of the debt mountain. It’s very hard to survive when you have to pay $620M per quarter in debt interest.

How much more money can be pulled out of BCA before it is hollowed out to collapse?

Which parties can be seen as beneficiaries of this process?

Has GE promised Boeing a compliant CF6-80C2EVO by incorporating a bit of GEnX or GE9X technology?

Seems like a suicide threat for the congress and senate. Guess this might be calhoun’s ultimate card. First the threat to kill the max10 if boeing doesn’t receive exemptions. Then all the drama on B777X. Now he’s just saying if you don’t let boeing has its way, everything related to boeing dies, From the airforce to commercial aviation. Boeing wants exemptions from grandfathering policy (max10), environmental policy (B767F), certification requirements (B777X) and maybe even trade policy (slap tariff on airbus to protect boeing?)

You know the saying about a cornered cat…

You insult my cat. He fights his way out of corners not weasels around.

“Boeing wants exemptions from grandfathering policy (max10), environmental policy (B767F), certification requirements (B777X) and maybe even trade policy (slap tariff on airbus to protect boeing?)”

One thing I will give Boeing here is: They have the nerve to do actually ask for exceptions.

If I had just been in a situation where my company badly implementing a safety-relevant feature from regulators had cost more than 300 people their lives, and my production quality issues had led to the regulator halting my deliveries of one type for over a year, and it had been shown that in various areas I was getting a bit too cozy with the FAA and signing off on things myself… I would probably have got the message, went home and started to do my actual homework, rather than asking for exceptions.

But hey, I don’t run Boeing, so what do I know.

I would said that one factor is that Boeing, from now until 2030-2035, cannot afford to pay back its huge debt, spending 15-20 billion on a new aircraft development… AND resuming dividend payments. This should not be Boeing top priority but it is unlikely that many shareholders would be willing to wait 10 years before receiving dividends, and we know Boeing obsession with stock price and “shareholder value”.

So, Airbus is just going to patiently wait for the Chinese to catch up?There is no better way to destroy your industrial base. No worries about the Russians , despite a huge step up from their experienced aerospace base, they have done themselves in.

“No worries about the Russians , despite a huge step up from their experienced aerospace base, they have done themselves in.”

I don’t agree. 176 countries still have normal trading relations with Russia — including some very important ones (BRICS & Middle East).

For the last 20 years Russia had had the skills and financial resources to invest, but instead they decided to spend the dosh on German built superyachts Dictatorships just work that way.

Reality is two decades ago, Russia was still in an abyss after Westerners’ Shock “Therapy”

I have to agree with Bryce. Russia is going to build 1000 commercial aircraft between now and 2030 (bwahhhahhhhhhahhahha)

@TW I am holding my breath waiting for what comes out next from BCA’s alphabetical soup. Apparent to me the biggest threat to BA’s long-term survival is not your favorite AB (oops a Phoenix from being derided as a “job program”) or any barbarians at the gate. It’s an inside job. Well done!!

So those 176 countries are going to buy those super-efficient, modern Russian airliners?

Oh wait, there aren’t any!

Give it time. The Russians are now more motivated to make a success of it…as are the Chinese.

And those 176 countries don’t necessarily need cutting-edge aircraft: as long as the product is relatively cheap and reliable — and immune to western sanctions — it will be interesting enough.

Besides, look at BA’s narrowbody offering — is that anything to get excited about?

What are they going to buy? Il-96s, Ty-204s?

@ Stealth66 They can buy MC-21s (with PD-14 engines).

And they can buy CR929s, when they become available.

They might even buy SSJ100s, if Sukhoi gets its act together.

The SSJ is too small and has lots of issues.

Sanctions are hurting the MC-21 even with Russian engines.

Wake me up when the CR929 is in service with any airline.

Sanctions are only hurting the MC-21 because it hasn’t yet been purged of western parts…but that operation is currently in progress.

The CR929 will probably be ready before any new widebody from the competition.

The SSJ’s problems are purely to do with after-sales service — and those can be quickly cured if the Kremlin decides that the project is of national importance.

Remember that the Russians now have powerful technological allies in Beijing.

Well, they just have to build another 1000 or so and good to go.

“Sanctions are only hurting the MC-21 because it hasn’t yet been purged of western parts…but that operation is currently in progress.”

It has been in progress for a good while now, same with the SSJ (a good while longer there) and look where we are. You don’t just WILL your aerospace sector into being able to produce the required components at the required quality levels in terms of economy and reliability.

“The CR929 will probably be ready before any new widebody from the competition.” Which isn’t saying much, because it’s basically catching up with the 787, A330 and A350. It also currently has no engine available, as the China-Russia cooperation currently means the originally planned Western engines aren’t available, and there is no Chinese or Russian equivalent ready, either. Also, with regard to the timeline, I would politely point not just to the C919 and ARJ-21, but also to the C929’s own delays so far.

“The SSJ’s problems are purely to do with after-sales service — and those can be quickly cured if the Kremlin decides that the project is of national importance.” The SSJ was already THE spearhead programme at the time, with original sales and leases to Mexico, Ireland, Indonesia. It already had national importance. And again: You don’t just WILL things like good support into place by decree.

With Western parts, the SSJ was an unreliable pile of junk.

Without Western parts, that situation is not going to improve.

About 1/3 of the entire SSJ production is just sat at Zhukovsky airport slowly rotting away.

“176 countries still have normal trading relations with Russia — including some very important ones (BRICS & Middle East).”

And yet, look at how many countries outside Russia itself the SuperJet and MS-21 had been sold to even before the Ukraine war. Look no further than Russia itself, where Aeroflot already took the Tu-204/214 out of its fleet more than 10 years ago and now they get to order enough to almost double the total production of the type between 1996 and 2022. Which also shows you how realistic their production prognoses are.

Also note that the issue isn’t just selling the planes, it’s actually producing them and it’s getting/building all the components.

Make no mistake, Russia basically catapulted themselves back into a USSR-like situation, being only able to fly domestically produced planes, which were 10+ years behind their Western counterparts in terms of technology and efficiency. Their best bet at getting around that would be if China got anywhere with their commercial aviation programmes, and Russia would be able to obtain planes from them. A good number of “but”s attached to that, of course.

Why is someone here talking about Russian civil aviation? It looks so funny to me because none of the commentators knows the actual state of affairs there.

I’m out of the Russian aviation industry, but I keep a close eye on the state of affairs following publications/comments here and there.

You can forget the topic for years, believe me.

Discuss Embraer or China, please. This is more to do with actual production but declarations.

—— Why do I think so?

The whole country is slowly collapsing, so there is no future for new aircraft.

None of the following SSJ-100, MC-21, and the PD-14 engines can now be completely built without western components. Lobbyists are asking Putin for a lot of money to get rid of dependence on foreign components but they actually don’t want to make anything real they just wants more and more money,

Rostech promises a new engine PD-8 instead of SaM146 within 2..3 years (!!) declaring that it’s just a simple derivative from PD-14. But this is a double untruth. First of all, PD-14 will be ready for the real serial production at best in 2025. At best, a dozen and a half engines per year.

Then let’s think about PD-8’s future.I don’t see anything optimistic.

The Russian engine manufacturer in Perm city is in dire need of a workforce that has nowhere to take. Young workers are hired at the factory, then they very soon realize that they were deceived about the actual wage, and then immediately quit.

The peculiarity of Russian state capitalism is that billionaires do not come out of thin air. The habit of deceiving workers about actual wages is firmly ingrained. Worst of all, there is no trade union, they are absent here as an entity.

Receiving huge amounts of money from the state, the rich are not going to pay a significant part of this to the workers.

Many and many government officials are just desperately lying, thereby ensuring their own survival in the jungle for the next 2..3 years. And they are right – their lies will be forgotten very soon by everyone in the government except industry specialists, but who in the Russian government is interested in the opinion of ordinary workers?

They are to keep silent and do head’s bidding.

I see no prospect for Russian civil aviation. Everything grows out of key specialists, but there is no place for promising specialists. You can’t develop your aviation industry in isolation from the whole world.

It is the beginning of the end for MacBoeing as a commercial aircraft manufacturer. They MAY eventually survive as pure military or space suppliers to USAF/NASA as the government will want to keep Space X, LM and NG honest if possible. No new commercial product for 10 to 15 years realistically means no new product ever, as McB will be losing yet another generation’s worth of irreplaceable “tribal knowledge” during that span of time. Who wants to be in R&D at that shop for the medium term?. Derogations to regulatory requirements are possible but unlikely, and would be limited to domestic operations as international regulators are unlikely to play along. That will merely prolong the agony and keep the bonuses coming for a time. McB will also be competing with AB for use of any new engine technology, and we know which EOM the GE/PW/Safran types will favor down the pike – the 9ne that’s likely to pay them on time and not to compete with them for service. What airline will willingly paint itself into a no exit corner over the coming years? United will need to answer that question shortly for wide body fleet replacement. They better start digging the grave and chiseling the headstone, hole that still have funds!

“Calhoun, the CEO of Boeing, said on Nov. 2 that Boeing won’t launch any new airplane until the mid-2030 decade.”

Did he actually say mid-2030 for the launch (starting to sign purchase agreements with potential customers) or is this a typo or am I misinterpreting things?

Re 767-waivers, don’t. Only then will Boeing be forced to come up with a more efficient solution for the market. I am sure they will suddenly find a solution when they have to.

Roll out, is I believe what he said.

-> “There’ll be a moment in time where we’ll pull the rabbit out of the hat and *introduce* a new airplane sometime in the middle of the next decade,” [Calhoun] said

Think he is confused with the need to pull his head out of posterior sectiion- needs a map and flashlight ..

Big difference for mid-2030 Entry to service vs mid-2030 launch new airplane (means Entry to service after 2040)

Well Calhoun said something about we don’t bring products on line to fill a gap, we do it (well then I got lost, I think it had to do with the Tooth Fairy and Santy Clause but maybe it was Mother Goose)

I asked a manger one time, why do you beat me to death for answers when you let Wes off with BS?

Well you give me honest answers and facts, when I get done with Wes I don’t know if I am coming or going (Calhoun in a nutshell and heavy on the nuts)

I did ask, so I get punished for not obscurating? Snort, gasp, etc.

First was the talk of a new production system producing aircrafts much cheaper and quicker with existing engines, now they say they need new engines giving them a 15% better econimcs than todays MAX or NEO. There is some logic to that as it is very hard and expensive to make an aircraft cheap and with better than 5% SFC with exisiting engines and then in the mid 2030’s comes new engines on a new A320 series replacement that Boeing has to counter. If you move now you know an A322 with 35k engines will pop out with a new carbon wing flowing out of the existing A320 production lines at competetive prices. So with lots of problems where do you put your resorses and keep the talent busy? I would look at the 777-8F to get the cost out of it. I would reengine the 787-10 to increase range, get GE to pay and do the CF6-80C2 compliant for the 767F, modify the 737MAX to be able to procuce it faster, more reliable and cheaper and to develop the wiring/boxes for EICAS as an option for those countries demanding it and airlines wanting it, keep the development engineers busy with the truss brazed aircraft to verify its perfromance, cost, reliability and volume production design.

“I don’t think we’re gonna even get to the drawing board this decade,” he added.

” They better start digging the grave and chiseling the headstone, hole that still have funds!’

The first shovelfull was in 1995 with the golden handshake which got rid of about 9000 old ( expensive) fogies ( including myself ) then they followed up with the mcdummy buyout and the infusion of Welch $$$ above all else.

Name one on time program since ( exception navy sub hunter based on 737 )

I think we’ee now at about the middle of the end. The beginning of the end was the 1997 merger with McD when the beancounters subjugated Boeing Commercial. What Calhoun did today is nothing more than continue down the path that has seen their market share fall from 60% to 40%. We’re about 20-30 years away from the end of the end, for Commercial that is.

McD was able to acquire Boeing with its (Boeing’s) own money. What can Boeing do to pull itself out of this (eternal) downward spiral? A merger with Embraer as an equal partner??

Step one would be to get the finance people out of the decision making process (that was added when McDouglas bought Boeing) and put an Engineer back in charge of building airplanes.

An engineer won’t be able to magically solve the debt/funding problem.

Yep, some of us have seen the movie called “The McDonnell Douglas Story: The Decline & Fall Of America’s 1st Great Commercial Aircraft Manufacturer” in the 1980s & ‘90s.

And just like many other movies & tv shows in recent years, here comes the reboot, brought to you by David Calhoun called, “Once Wasn’t Enough: The Decline & America’s 1st Great Commercial Jet Manufacturer, McBoeing”.

Because bankrupting & destroying companies with long in the tooth, stale airplanes designed decades ago is what we do best.

Simply put, Calhoun has now announced the screenplay for a movie many of us have seen before, and as the expression goes, (sadly) we know how the movie ends.

But, hey, at least Calhoun will get his platinum parachute and stockholders can look forward to resuming milking/draining the company for dividends and stock buybacks later this decade!

So exactly how does Calhoun acquire and retain the talent to build a new airplane in the 2030s?

It takes some very unique skills, knowledge, and problem-solving ability to design new airplanes. Being able to design a short and stiff and small fighter jet is different than being able to design a long and flexible and large commercial airplane. Speaking from firsthand experience here.

How do you keep the people around that know how to optimize wing design? That know how to design high lift devices and systems? Or know how to integrate engines and landing gear?

And designing for high rate production in the commercial world is very different than the designing for the rates typical on the defense side.

Engineers chose the trade because they want to create things. If they aren’t creating they aren’t happy and they’ll go somewhere else. And when it comes time to build that new airplane that type of talent can’t be bought no matter what salary you are willing to pay because it just doesn’t exist elsewhere.

Talent cost money, which reduces Free Cash Flow and limits the price boosting stock buybacks ….he doesn’t want it, it is overhead to be minimized. He does want accounting talent….he needs it to help make those periodic $20 billion disasters disappear down the rabbit hole of program accounting.

I ask the execs the same question and the answer is always the same, Design Practices…. When BCA cant get a re-wing right (777X) what chance will it have in 2030 to do a clean-sheet???

Jeff your cohort is gone and sorely missed by those that remain, the generation after you is also looking for the exit while there are still companies out there that are impressed when they see Boeing on the resume.

I find it deeply satisfying when history (derivatives killed McDD) repeats itself in a company that keep touting the importance of lessons learned.

This is just so sad to see what’s happened to this once great aerospace company. You know, the same company that gave us the 707, 747 (in just 4 years!) the 777 (on time!). William Allen bet the company on the 747 and an amazing engineer named Joe Sutter told him we could do it. The rest is history.

But having worked for Boeing in the past twenty years none of this surprises me nor many others still there or retired.

So many commenter’s on this blog, including Scott, have touted in the past several months that Boeing is coming back and hiring massive engineering talent and others and they will compete. Calhoun has concluded they can’t do it with any new type of clean sheet. A true leader would have got this figured out. But the reality probably has struck Calhoun that they just can’t afford it.

Boeing has surrendered to Airbus. Think about where that company will be in a decade?

I really want to see Boeing compete and be successful. But with this announcement I just don’t know any longer.

I truly hope AB have the smarts to realise what you’ve said above, and continue to keep talent busy developing and skilled up for new/next programs. Plenty more to do on all their existing programs to further improve and derivatize them, (a322, a220-500, 330neo freighter/mrtt, a350neo) but with noting to react to… Will they too rest on their laurels and profit at the expense of development? Hope not !

“…but with noting to react to…”

They’ll have environmentalists and legislators to react to: LH2 aircraft require a lot of R&D.

And the China-Russia axis may produce a few surprises: perhaps not so much in terms of new tech as in terms of eroded market access.

A sizeable chunk of that market has already gone.

China needs thousands of aircraft in the coming decades — to name but one example.

“Nothing to react too” Having worked for an airline for over twenty years I would say the airline customers will give Airbus plenty to react too. The airlines are always asking; what have you done lately for us on product innovation? Same goes for the engine OEM’s

I just don’t see Airbus caving to not moving forward with innovative future designs and program improvements.

Nor so I, but OEMs are naturally risk adverse, and with no Boeing to spur them on, my feelings are ‘hopeful/historical airbus’. Airlines have more sway when there is a rival to pick from. I do worry shareholders may not care as much, and they may influence AB. As I said, plenty for AB to do, on an already great product product line. I’m ‘hopeful’.

Think back 52 years ago when Airbus started developing the A300. Then there was the US aerospace power houses of Boeing, McD and Lockheed. This competition didn’t persuade them to bail out and they invented the first twin wide body.

Maybe you’re right, but I think Airbus still sees the competition ahead and won’t rest on their laurels just like they didn’t 52 years ago.

@ Airdoc I agree. Airbus takes COMAC seriously. After all, Airbus knows what an initial underdog can turn into.

Again, I don’t ‘think’ they will rest on their laurels, I’m just nervous shareholder approval and stock price will overly influence the board, when there’s less Boeing to compete against. AB has always been innovative. I’m a fan because of that. On a side note, what reaction has their been to this announcement from shareholders, airlines, US government etc. Boeing is an important entity, Anywho… Big bang theory beckons.

I posted this previously in a different but similar topic:

This speaks volumes about the reality of Boeing’s situation and looks as tho the mad max relic will be with many airlines for years to come.

If you’re an airline CEO, with this announcement, would you get in line for a future with a superior airframe or continue ordering a 55 year old design?

But then again it’s all about the money.

(No doubt my comment regarding relic will fire up commenters again ?)

Those aircraft that entered service after 2010 are probably good enough to continue production until mid-2030’s before the environmental policies are once again revised (likely 2028 when current ICAO goals are implemented). By then, airframes like the B787 and A350 probably only need a simple neo to meet the new requirements for another 10yrs. On the narrowbody end, both Airbus and Boeing are both hinting at a new clean sheet design by mid-2030. That leaves the question, what about NMA? The only difference between boeing and Airbus is that for airbus, they have the A220 which can be further stretched to seat up to 200pax (aka the – 500,-700). That will allow airbus to fully concentrate the clean sheet design on market seating more than 200pax – (essentially the NMA), replacing the A321neo and A330neo. Boeing on the other hand, no longer has the Embraer JV to cover its lower end of the market hence its new clean sheet design will have to cover market from 150pax all the way to the NMA with one single airframe which will be quiet a stretch. That might force boeing to leave pockets of holes in its product lineup (likely the upper end of the NMA segment as the segment will be less lucrative). In short, both airbus and boeing are still on equal footing as of now in terms of new clean sheet aircraft development. The only catch is that airbus lineups are full of potential new derivatives (A220-500, A350-800) while the boeing’s lineups are maxed out.

In the future Airbus can take as much market share as it wants. The short term problem is both manufacturers are constrained by supply chains, they cannot produce as many planes as they want to.

Airbus success with A300 was due to very highly educated engineers in Europe mainly Germany, France and Great Britain Those engineers were experienced due to more than half a century of successful manufacturing facilities, and efforts in WW2 They were in large numbers to choose from. Thi is Just to explain the difficulties China has to come up with modern aircraft from scratch despite what they learned from experience from US and Europe … and Brasil and USSR Without all those components together, Boeing will not survive

My feelings as well though there was and is no need for Boeing to starting hiring people.

Did Calhoun just wake up this last week to financial reality? I mean the data has been Plane (pun) for a long time.

Of was a bull spin all along?

I trust him about as far as I can throw the Aswan dam.

I don’t endorse the MAX or the 767F extension because he says it, I do so because the facts say it makes sense and good for the industry and the US economy at no loss to safety (or impact on the environment).

Very good perspective, thanks. I just want to warn about throwing the exemption around like it’s a no brainer. Exemptions are deviations from the basic CFR (regulations). Boeing is a master at exemptions. I challenge anyone to look up on the FAA website on the number granted alone for the 737. Why do you think this is besides being 55 years old?

To be fair, one must demonstrate ELOS or equivalent level of safety to be granted the exemption. Some, not all, must be renewed. OEM’s go after them because mostly they can’t meet the regulations as published for lots of reasons. It’s a scam and so is ELOS.

Most regulations were written in blood, meaning an accident occurred and people died. So why should they be deviated from?

This is the case on requirements for EICAS on the mad max program and the grace period is fast approaching.

TW. From what I hear, the hiring was needed, and late. BA forecast the need to staff back up for rate as well as to blunt the retirement spike the change in retirement laws created. They are behind the curve in many areas as they have redeployed the engineers to finish the -7/10 as well as the Trip7. There was no reason to do this because of the financing difficulty, the CFO said he had a path to get the funding they needed. This happened because Boeing can’t do the Engineering of the future today, because the knowledgeable people are leaving in droves and back-filling was never going to get them healthy. It was getting very difficult to hit milestones while training the next engineering generation at the same time.

“..the CFO said he had a path to get the funding they needed”

Talk is cheap. Did he give us details of this alleged “path”?

The CFO may be able to scrape together a billion here, another billion there. The problem is without dangling a big FCF number, the stock will tank which no doubt strikes fear into the hearts of the C-suite.

Er. Isn’t this Boeing stepping aside, gesturing at the red carpet, and inviting Airbus to walk down it and help itself to the entire aviation market?

One of Boeing’s biggest problems is that it seems to not know how to develop aircraft these days. I don’t see how taking an 8 year development holiday is going to hone those skills.

Meanwhile, Airbus can presumably hoover up whatever engineering resources it wants, and corner the talent pool all for itself.

Well its not, its just place holding until Calhoun retires, gets his ill gotten gains and hands the mess off to someone else.

Why would Calhoun care about 8-12 years from now? He’ll be living on his own private island in the Caribbean, sucking on Cuban stogies on his yacht.

“Calhoun, the CEO of Boeing, said on Nov. 2 that Boeing won’t launch any new airplane until the mid-2030 decade.”

Did he actually say mid-2030 for the launch (starting to sign purchase agreements with potential customers) or is this a typo or am I misinterpreting things?

Re 767-waivers, don’t. Only then will Boeing be forced to come up with a more efficient solution for the market. I am sure they will suddenly find a solution when they have to.

To follow up on the foregoing comments, as a former member of the BCA Product Strategy team and (still) a Boeing investor I am totally distressed with the direction this company is headed.

Calhoun has elected to follow the direction of McDonnel Douglas and milk the current product line for as much as he can and as long as he can until the end of his tenure. Hopefully this last will be soon enough to allow the company to reverse course and pull up before impact. The Boad of Directors should realize the inevitable consequences of this current course of action, but I doubt if they have the intestinal fortitude to do so. Perhaps some of the larger pension funds will start and insurrection and clean this house of the GE leftovers.

A smart, well-managed company will decide when to obsolete its products before someone else does. This outside threat is well underway with the A321 neo at the upper end of the Boeing 737 line. All Airbus has to do is stretch the A220-300 into the -500 and the 737-8 Max is in the same tough place as the Max -9 and -10 relative to the A321 neo.

If Boeing is to survive then is has to proceed with replacing the 737 and 767 lines. The 787 is not the solution for the narrowbody problem although the 787F could be a viable replacement for the 767F. ICAO will not provide an ongoing 767F exemption even if the US does.

Perhaps BCA should be sold off to Lockheed or Northrop-Grumman before all of the engineering excellence ant BCA walks out the door. At least we would be done with Jack Welch wannabes.

Excellent piece, great to get your perspective. A smart well managed company is no longer at Boeing. They simply don’t have the money to develop any new airplanes being $58B in debt. Nor do they have the leadership.

Lockheed/Martin nor Northrop/Grumman want the headache.

Thank you for bringing up the debt — a lot of commenters forget that. BA’s debt is eating $620M of earnings per quarter. And you can’t just go out and borrow more when you already have $58B on your tab.

A long time ago I have predicted Boeing will have to go chapter 11 as a result of the MAX fallout. I have to concede that I underestimated their ability to borrow money and to lead investors (and many others) on with fairy tales like the incredible oval-body NMA, but slowly we are getting there.

Chapter 11 may also be the only chance to reverse course, getting rid of most of the current management and to set the company back on track with a priority on customer satisfaction and the future of aviation instead of satisfying the greed of the C-suite in the disguise of “shareholder value”.

After a Chapter 11 properly managed it is a possibility for LM or NG to do what Airbus did with Bombardier … at 1€ the company, plus accepted liabilities and a sizable sales backlog ???

Yes, that’s a possibility — and, perhaps, will ultimately be the only option. Equity/bond holders won’t be happy, of course.

Bryce. About debt. You noted that a chapter 11 might be the only path forward. Fair point, but have you considered the Texas Two Step Bankruptcy. BA is big enough to create a wholly owned subsidiary, move all the debt and lawsuit exposure to it and place it into bankruptcy sparing the rest of the corp. It has worked for #m with the military earplug debacle as well as Johnson and Johnson with the Baby powder talc nightmare………. I haven’t heard this actually mentioned out loud, but it has to be in play there somewhere. Where would BA be if they unloaded the debt, fines and lawsuit exposure….. Frightening isn’t it… This is one of the paths forward for the CFO to fund development.

@ Pnwgeek As far as I’m aware, the Texas Two-step can only be used to dodge Tort liabilities, by transferring them to a subsidiary — general liabilities cannot be transferred/dodged in this way.

So the CFO won’t be “funding” anything using this route.

For purposes of general enlightenment:,others%20will%20assume%20assets%20of%20the%20original%20company.

equity holders !!! made a lot of money on dividends and share buy back Bonds holder !! quite a different story of course money back??? maybe

“Perhaps BCA should be sold off to Lockheed or Northrop-Grumman”

It certainly looks as if BA won’t be able to save itself without some sort of intervention/takeover, probably accompanied by a split-up. Recent quarters have shown us that normal operational income is simply not enough to overcome the crippling debt interest burden.

BCA recent quarterly performance: 85 deliveries, loss of $690M 112 deliveries, loss of $650M For reference: loan interest (for BA as a whole) was $621M in Q3. Taking on new debt to pay off old debt will only increase the interest burden.

Curious that you’re “(still) a Boeing investor”…

” Curious that you’re “(still) a Boeing investor”… Well if one assumes that many many moons ago, one bouudt a few shares of BA stock, then the cost per share would be quite low, despite the recent drops and few or no dividends in the last few years. If no need to sell- then one could still be an ‘ investor’/

All true. But it might be more prudent to sell now and use the proceeds to buy other stock with better prospects. Not much point in “hoping” that things improve. And if the company goes belly-up, the whole investment will get flushed.

2035 launch. We all know that the true development period is 10 years until anyt is produced n volume. Mid century then?

“Calhoun, the CEO of Boeing, said on Nov. 2 that Boeing won’t launch any new airplane until the mid-2030 decade.”

– Since when have Boeings predictions on PD been credible?

– Calhoun will retire soon, others will decide

– Engineering has its hands full on 777-9, 777XF, 787F derivative, 737-10, T7 and probably 767F-GENX.

– Congress will support creating “a level playing field” for the US Civil Aerospace. Somehow financing a new aircraft, ignoring WTO.

Even DoD is getting worried.

I think Calhoun has another 3 years? on his dump him contract.

But he can do huge damage by what he does not set in motion.

At some point you loose the talent (if they have it now) to do a new aircraft.

I know I’m being pedantic (“check”), but, clearly, it’s also a clear indication of the long, continued decline of western civilization: It’s LOSE, not LOOSE, in this above context. LOOSING the talent might, in this case, actually be a good thing!

Congress creating a level playing field??? The playing field got tilted the day McD took over Boeing in 1997. Is Congress going to round up all the ex-GE beancounter execs and march them off into the Katyn forest? Or maybe Congress will force Airbus to hire a bunch of ex-GE Jack Welch disciples to run itself?

“Or maybe Congress will force Airbus to hire a bunch of ex-GE Jack Welch disciples to run itself?”

Look into that Spanish manager that transferred from GM to VW:

an elaborately set trap afaics.

What I would expect is the US setting some damages/litigation trap for Airbus ( compare Diesel Gate )

Asking a question that was already asked:

In light of the announcement that there is going to be no new aircraft anytime soon;

Bryce October 27, 2022 The big question: what’s this BCA R&D money being spent on? – NBA/NMA? Wasn’t that supposed to be “ready to go” long ago? – 777X redesign / 777XF? Is it worth it? – 787 HGW / 787F? A logical step (for a change). – Factory of the future? Is that just hot air?

IIRC Calhoun had said that future aircraft would benefit from efficiencies in manufacturing and this is where the savings would be. Now he wants 20% from an engine or no new design.

What about all the design/planning hirings that were made? Are they going to be cut, now?

I’m honored by your quote ?

On the subject of new hires: who said (m)any of them are design engineers? A company with a broad personnel drain needs to replace all sorts of employees…

I’m not entirely sure there will be many more new hires.

The company today has effectively said it’s officially entering into legacy mode, a general wind down (and that is what it’ll become if Airbus’s market share starts becoming truly dominant). If that’s is how investors start seeing things, to them Boeing is a corpse to be picked over, not a herd to be fed and cared for.

Worse, there’s a chance that the jobs market will start thinking of it that way; who’d want to go and work for a company that may be in terminal decline?

I think there’s a big question here as to what Airbus does now. They could decide to go for the jugular, set up a North American engineering team, hire a load of engineers to supplement the European design teams. That could sink Boeing’s prospects quite quickly and allow Airbus to launch whole new range of models quicker.

However, there is a much more political route open to Airbus. They could simply expand production factilities in the US, but keep all the engineering in Europe. For the USA that could be terminal; if the only company that designs airliners in the USA stops designing them, and no one else sets up shop for USA engineers to practice that craft, then the USA will end up with no engineers capable of this kind of development job at all. This is a good strategy for Airbus, because it means that future competition is less likely to rise pheonix-like in the USA. That’s a pretty good way of ensuring Airbus’s market share gains are permanent.

Better still, Airbus could recruit engineers in the USA, but move them to Europe / UK. Sure, a move such as that won’t be for everybody, but the attraction of serious work, socialised health care, more paid leave, generally more secure employment, being 3,000 miles away from US politics, etc, could persuade the creme-de-la-creme to leave the USA altogether.

This kind of permanent loss of capability happens pretty quickly, around about 10 years.

Certainly a lot of worth in that statement to ponder.

Or does Airbus move to the US because you can get away with a lot more? They have stated the US has the lowest production costs in the world (that takes in the whole system not just hourly pay for the builders)

“They have stated the US has the lowest production costs in the world”

Got a link for that?

And what about the quality of US production? Charleston is hardly a poster child in that regard.

-> Subaru says U.S. inflation is so bad that the automaker *has trouble competing on wages with the local McDonald’s* outside its Indiana assembly plant …

A legacy mode wind down is exactly what these GE people did to Douglas 30 years ago….once they sucked all the cash out of Douglas legacy programs the parasites found a willing host in Boeing. In a couple decade Boeing Commercial will be near death and the cash sucking parasites will look for a new host.

Airbus has an engineering office in Mobile and there’s Montreal of course

@DukeofURL, I wonder how much the Mobile office is involved in design work?

Part of it could depend on the US government. Some sort of clear indication that the US Gov would accept a Mobile-based Airbus product as “American enough” could make it worth Airbus’s while. The USAF tanker story hasn’t exactly been encouraging. If they’re never going to be allowed to break into the US military market, there’s not many reasons to to put more design jobs in the US

Its a ‘design’ office like I said with hundreds of engineers “Also in Mobile is the Airbus Engineering Center, which opened in 2007. This operation employs hundreds of Airbus engineers responsible for the design and development of cabin and cargo interior elements for Airbus’ aircraft. It is also part of the global team responsible for the growing modification market for Airbus single-aisle and long-range aircraft. ” Wouldnt be a specific type of aircraft that they are responsible like say Montreal. Then again a lot of lower level design work is pushed down the Tier 1 manufacturers

Also I didnt realise their first US design office was in Wichita in 2002

‘Airbus opened its first U.S. engineering facility in 2002, in Wichita, Kansas, a city proudly nicknamed “The Air Capital of the World”. Some 300 aerostructures engineers in this office work on all Airbus jetliners. The team relocated in 2017 to Wichita State University’s Innovation Campus, allowing rapid development of innovation via the pairing of industry and academia. With its proud heritage in aircraft engineering and manufacturing, Wichita is a destination of choice for a growing number of aviation and aerospace professionals.

@Dukeofurl, well that’s a fairly comprehensive presence. Aerostructures, large scale modifications; there’s a lot in common there with new airframe design. As they’ve already got a fairly large design office, they’ve got means to soak up any engineering talent that leaves Boeing.

I wonder if Airbus would claim to be the only organisation keeping this kind of engineering skill alive in the USA. If Boeing aren’t, and Airbus are, that could mean something quite significant for the DoD’s military-industrial strategy. The US Gov clearly has an interest in maintaining a pool of talent able to design aircraft on this scale, but to me it’s looking increasingly like Boeing isn’t that pool any longer.

It may be wise for Airbus to let Boeing have 20 to 25% market share (and even keep Boeing alive as minor player) rather than killing off Boeing. The reason is because the airline industry does not want a monopoly. The airlines want competition to get better deals and new features. Without a competitor to Airbus, airlines lose leverage and will have to take whatever Airbus gives them. If Boeing is gone, airlines will look to get a new competitor, most likely COMAC. Then Airbus will have a competitor with much lower labor and engineering costs, and also has a huge home market.

COMAC is going to grow, one way or another. Airbus seems to realize this.

There’s numerous good reasons for there to be a healthy Boeing company. Trouble is that, now, the Boeing seems intent on killing itself off. There’s not a lot Airbus can do about that, other than sabotage their own product line up in some way or other.

Airlines probably can’t help either; if Boeing’s line up descends into outright uncompetitiveness, why would they buy Boeing aircraft? We’re a long way from the point where even a $0.00 Boeing aircraft is uncompetitive. However, the trajectory is now seemingly towards that point, not away from it. Boeing are seemingly at the point where they’re making tiny margins on some deals, just to stay in the game.

COMAC are still a long way off, but their trajectory is towards competitiveness. However, there are two things that I think will get in the way. The first is that China still doesn’t know how to make good engines. They remain reliant on Western engines. The second is geopolitics, which could limit their market reach. Could become a Western/Airbus China/Comac world…

@ Matthew The Chinese will soon enough get the hang of making their own engines — as is the case with other technologies that they turn their hand to. In the meantime, they have the PD-14 from Russia — which they can even help to manufacture in bulk, under license from Russia.

I transcribe Richard Aboulafia’s opinion after Boeing’s statements about a new aircraft:

“The possibility of disruptive new technologies has provided a useful excuse for Boeing to do nothing. There may be new propulsion technologies coming in 15 years. Or 20. Nobody can say. In the decades, the middle market is the hottest segment the industry has seen in decades. And it now belongs to Airbus. All that remains is for Airbus to develop the A220-500, seriously damaging MAX8 sales. That will knock Boeing down to 25% market share. And being reduced to 25% market share is the best excuse ever for continuing to do nothing. “(Richard Aboulafia)

This opinion is contained in the publication below.

Great read. Thanks for the link. I concur.

Could Calhoun be dismissed because of this? It such a strange announcement for a company to make.

I believe he made a true announcement but used false reasons to substantiate it. It would be a way of not admitting any kind of failure for not launching a new aircraft project in a short time.

Nothing’s gonna happen to Calhoun. The BOD and all the other executives just bob their heads in concurrence, and this goes for all senior managers as well. None of them ever lose their jobs, except Muilenberg who left with ~$60 million severance pay. Calhoun is chairman of the BOD and for sure presented this plan before going public. Nothing is strange about Boeing any longer. Sad but true.

Reading Calhoun statement in depth, he claims its only worth it if a 25 and even 30% improvement is possible.

That indeed is pure BS and he knows it.

What we are seeing is truly one of the possible Boeing futures that they just wind down BCA.

Chairman of Boeing is Lawrence Kellner, former CEO of Continental airlines

I stand corrected. Yeah Kellner will hold them all accountable …..not. Lol!

Is he an engineer? Nope. Is he a commercial pilot? Nope. He was the CFO of a Hawaiian bank before he joined Continental. He is also heading a private equity firm. You think Calhoun and this guy are the right mix to turnaround the ship? Or sink it after they get into a lifeboat??

Muilenberg started his career at Boeing as an aero engineer ( bachelors and Masters). And led Boeing into an almost company crushing crisis period.

So what was your point again.

Enabled by Calhoun and Kellner, lest we forget!!! All those at the top are responsible.

Mulally led the company into what company crushing period? He left Boeing in 2006 when McNerdy was announced. Boeing was doing very good when he departed and those of us that remained had hoped he would have been the CEO. Alan led the 777 to amazing success. You obviously don’t know his record with this comment.

I was talking about the ‘engineer’ Muilenberg , the most recent Chair and CEO Mulally left Boeing nearly 20 years ago and wasnt the CEO or Chairman but was highly regarded. Bill Allen was a lawyer and how did his time work out ? The point hes making is just nonsense, as the previous experience as an aero- engineer doesnt make someone good at the top job. Check what I say before having your 10 cents worth

“Mulally led the company into what company crushing period?”

Sonic Cruiser (2002 going into limbo) and its conversion into the “Dreamliner” project (official start 2004). Widely scoped groundwork done towards a FUBAR developement. and still twitching ..

People BA stock is unstoppable! Everyone is laughing all the way to the bank.

A technical comment regarding BA stock:

Because BA is a component of the Dow 30 and S&P 500 indices (among others), the stock is also a component of a whole range of ETFs based on those indices: accordingly, when investment in such an ETF increases, this produces a commensurate increase in the BA stock price.

The real measure of the stock’s intrinsic performance is to compare it to that of the broader index — that way, one factors in non-ETF trades. As one would expect, using this measure, the stock is (severely) underperforming.

Wow, and I just thought you looked at the stock price and could determine what was going on!

Meanwhile, Boeing shouldn’t assume Airbus will sit on it’s hands.

They’ll likely continue developing new variants and types. Regardless of what Boeing does/ doesn’t do.

3-4 Row stretches of A320NEO, A321XLR and/or A220-300 seem feasible.

Calhoun could care less at this point clearly.

Sadly he leaves Boeing a worse wreck when he runs away with the lucre.

I am having a hard time making a round wheel out of Scotts square start.

The 777F is also highly popular and FedEx has a significant fleet and orders for it. So why would the fact that UPS also has 767F bear into the fact that the 777X-F is still a go?

1. Airbus and the A350F and its success 2. If Boeing gets and exempt on the 767F, why not the 777-200ERF? 3. Airbus has not upped the ante with an A330NEO-F.

If we believe Boeing’s announcement, it seems to me that the next step would be for airbus to accelerate the study of the A 330neo F ( -800) and to propose to FDX/UPS a proposal that it could not refuse to take into account the high transition costs. Good luck.

Such an A330 neo F is certainly worth studying — it wouldn’t be an expensive project. The success of the A330-300 P2F must be very much on the radar at AB. Of course, one must ask whether such a freighter would partially “eat the lunch” of the A350F…

With 251t MTOW an A339F would be a worthy target, wouldn’t it? How much money for transferring the 332F STC to a 339 frame? ( and .. How much work is there in moving the MRTT to a A330NEO base )

At the risk of simplifying , Boeing’s announcement raises the question of replacing the B763ERFs of major operators such as FDX/UPS/DHL, the only ones capable of ordering 50-100 aircraft and making such a project viable for BA or AB (excluding the PtF modification). The range is in the 3000-5000nm envelope to be transcontinental US and transatlantic flight like CDG / Memphis . Not so easy to find a successor to the excellent B767ERF because it needs an engine more efficient than a well-known reliable engine of the -80C2 type (large MRO base offer), a wing integrating the aerodynamic improvements appeared since the 70’s, and an airframe with a minimum OEW (B763ERF has an already one around 86T according to wiki). Trent 7000 , improved NEO wing could answer the first two points . In my opinion, with an OEW around 135T of the current A339( pax conf) , the gap with the target is enormous because the fuel load is for an aircraft with a 7000 nm range, well above the needs of FDX/UPS. AB would have to go through a costly massive “weightloss” program which seems to me unrealistic or consider a longer version of the A339 to increase the load and decrease the range by at least 1000nm. With the unsuccessful A332F program , AB has already quite a good idea about that issue. Apart from this way by AB, IMO the FAA exemption beyond 2027 makes sense from an industrial point of view because the lack of competing offer . The 788F route may be the opportunity for BA to maintain its dominant position in this growing market over the next 20 years …. if it has the financial means and the managerial will.

A339 without (functional) center tank would fit your description !? OEW~~=115t, MLW could be an issue.

A potential dent in BA’s order book — this time, for Defense:

“Boeing’s $14 Billion Indonesia Jet Deal Stalls Over Financing”

“(Bloomberg) — Boeing Co.’s proposed sale of 36 new F-15 fighter jets and equipment to Indonesia has hit a snag over financing, according to people familiar with the matter.

“Executives from the US plane-maker flew to Jakarta this week to discuss the transaction with Indonesian officials on the sidelines of an annual defense exhibition, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential.

“Boeing is concerned about the ability of Southeast Asia’s biggest economy to finance the jets, with Indonesia insisting on paying in installments, said the people. The meetings ended without a conclusive outcome, meaning plans to sign the deal before the end of this year will likely be delayed, they said.”

Of course, the US EXIM bank can always jump in and offer to act as a guarantor — certainly wouldn’t be first time. Loan guarantees count as subsidies, and BA has received almost $75B in state and federal subsidies since 1994.

That is not new. Indonesia had difficulties (or did not) respect its financial obligation in the KF-21 Borame program.

It may not be new, but it’s even more relevant now: BA is on its knees, and needs every penny of revenue that it can muster.

Korean president believed corruption inflate the defense budget by 25%.

Jaw dropping stuff. To me either:

1) Calhoun simply doesn’t understand (or maybe understand but not care about) market dynaics, both of the products he sells and of the people and resources needed to create them; or

2) The Western commercial aircraft industry is actually set to become a stagnant or declining industry due to a combination of the politics of climate change and cleavage into a bi/multi-polar world (and, of course, maybe direct conflict) and Calhoun is acting accordingly while dressing the decision in other clothes.

Why the “Western” commercial aircraft industry? Airbus is also in the West, and it’s doing just fine.

Airbus isn’t building a new aircraft either, btw. The next two models to die off the production line are the A330 and 767 (with the A220 about 10 years later).

With the ‘climate change’ fetish now driving so many decisions and virtual meetings replacing business travel to boot, it would be a paradigm of silliness to launch a new aircraft as the world plunges into a huge recession without a real, new 30 year engine program to support it. What engine mfg is ready for that? RR? LOL. GE doesn’t want to do it in this Bidenflation era either. Pratt has had very little to no interest, and laid off around 20,000 largely pratt employees back in 2021.

Congrats Leeham and fans here, this is exactly the world you wanted to see; Boeing collapsing new product development, no new jetliners period. But hey, the great Patty Murray will probably be re-elected yet again next week for Washington aerospace workers.

Oh well, back to fan fiction fantasy stories about renewable fuels, battery powered commercial aviation, green new deals, and supporting labor unions/socialist candidates/policies.

“Congrats Leeham and fans here, this is exactly the world you wanted to see; ”

Wow – way to go, placing blame for BA spending 10’s of billion on buybacks and dividends, building faulty jet(s) and robbing the kitchen cabinet dry of future talent…on tree huggers, socialists and Biden.

Funny how the competition seems to be doing just fine, in the same environment.

It’s easy to find who’s the culprit when it’s predetermined, isn’t it??

I also struggle to find any rational explanation why one would think the A330 would die off the same time as 767.

Do you want some twisted to go with that bitter?

The declare that the A220, which is the most modern single aisle on the market, is on its way out is a rather strange statement.

While you don’t seem to support it, being environmentally friendly is not going to go away. Even in Australia, the environment was the key driver in the latest election. It did not matter if you were left or right, to do well you had to have green credentials (which is why the Teal independents did very well).

“Airbus isn’t building a new aircraft either, btw.”

Gosh, I recall reading a lot about a trio of LH2 aircraft that Airbus is studying/developing…

And then there’s the A220-500 “bun in the oven”, of course.

But, apart from that, AB doesn’t urgently need a new aircraft at present, does it? After all, its NB offering isn’t a hapless relic, is it?

Boeing doesn’t seem interested in a new product, any time soon, whatever the excuse. Let’s say that your theory about the Max 7 & 10, added to the 777X, materialize. They don’t get made.

So there is no tit-for tat, marginal increase pressure. Yes, there is China to consider, but there is no immediate need to make a move. You can strangle BA with the current line up. They are.

So keep things neat and tidy, work on manufacturing efficiencies, sure – keep investing in R&D so that if need be, there are options. Work on banking the 10 billion Euro’s.

Let Boeing keep stepping all over their crank…

@ Frank You can’t buy a Porsche when you only have enough money for a Lada. Boeing will just have to get thrifty, and cut its cloth to suit its measure. I think the rumored 787 HGW/F variants fit in that pattern: small investment with a clear-cut business case.

How many billions — and years — would have to be pumped into the 777X to get it certified? And for what return? And will Emirates wait that long — particularly now that the new A350 interior configuration can carry 400 passengers?

I’m sorry, I’ve got to work on my clarity.

If it goes like that, with BA getting thrifty, then AB doesn’t need to make risky, heavy capital expenditure moves…like rolling out the A220-500 (which you know I’d like to see – I think it’d be a great jet).

Small tinkering? Sure. Is this what we’re going to see from the two OEM’s?

(Side note: I’m sure Comac would love this approach. )

@ Frank Just because AB may not *need* to do something, doesn’t mean that it won’t do it anyway.

ASML has no competitors in EUV, but it still continues to innovate in that space.

@Texl: “Congrats Leeham and fans here, this is exactly the world you wanted to see; Boeing collapsing new product development, no new jetliners period. But hey, the great Patty Murray will probably be re-elected yet again next week for Washington aerospace workers.”

You haven’t been reading Leeham closely. We haven’t wished for Boeing’s demise by any shot. We want a healthy Boeing and a strong competitor. We’ve been advocating for new products for a decade and crab over indecision. This is just a nutty comment.

Yah, lotta Fox news talking points in there.

No fan of aviation wants to see the demise of Boeing. In fact, I think the biggest point that the two sides of the AB/BA discussion agree upon, is that Boeing needs to be given back to it’s engineers and get rid of the bean counters running the company.

A nutty comment? No, you have been looking for a way to announce that whatever choice Boeing made, was wrong.

Wrong program, wrong plane, wrong time, wrong production site, wrong engine, wrong target/family design/plan, wrong way to work with suppliers, wrong development cost estimate, wrong engine, whatever.

Fox talking points, Frank? LOL, this is the site that just last week ran a fan fiction piece about whether Trump could hop from Florida to Moscow in his newly updated plane to flee…the FBI I guess?

The economic malaise that is causing this is all…from the guy whose inauguration was roundly celebrated here.

If truth does matter, why not admit the connection between the commercial aircraft outlook globally and…the abject, utter…failure and stagflation the American left has wrought, as we all sit closer to nuclear Armageddon than any time since the Cuban missile crisis.

“you have been looking for a way to announce that whatever choice Boeing made, was wrong.”

You are totally in the Alternative Facts land.

@ Texl1649 If Biden, Leeham, etc., are somehow linked to Boeing’s demise, then how come we haven’t seen a similar effect in other branches of the US aerospace industry, e.g. engine makers?

This is 100% Boeing’s own fault — the culmination of decades of bad corporate choices.

Trump brought a “great” deal to BA, forced it down its throat. And the contract is still bleeding cash ….

BA’s T-7 and MQ-25 are also loss makers. Biden’s fault??

The twin crashes, Biden’s fault? The 787 delivery halt due to production issues, Biden’s fault??

@TW “The Western commercial aircraft industry is actually set to become a stagnant or declining industry …”

Are you going to dispute the above?? ?

As I asked before (in a previous article), has anyone figured out what’s the chance BCA can pump out 600 NB a year? Last year, BA received less than 400 order of 737.

I’ll believe it when I see it.

A question regarding Boeing’s decision to delay the launch of a new commercial aircraft project: is it possible for Delta Airlines to consider the A321LR or XLR as a replacement for the 757? Delta’s 757 fleet is well aged and I don’t believe Delta will wait for Boeing’s decision much longer.

Of course it’s possible. Delta already has A321s in its fleet, and it wouldn’t be the first airline to replace 757s by A321(X)LRs.

I think the same thing. There was information that Delta had not placed orders for the LR and XLR variants of the A321neo because it was awaiting a new Boeing aircraft. Maybe now things will change.

Aer Lingus didn’t even wait for the XLR: it replaced its 757s by LRs.

Delta has a more immediate need to replace their aging 767s I believe.

Which they can do with A330neos ?

Yeah it would be quite better if that would happen.

I think Boeing sees Airbus can easily do a capasity for range stretch of the A321XLR, that can still easily do transcon, Europe and east Asia.

CFM, Pratt will do a mid life upgrade of their engines designs up thrust a bit. Creating an aircraft, produced in USA also, that will be hard to beat.

It is unfortunate Boeing does not have a powerful top sales executive like a John Leahy at Airbus or Ray Conner.

Those two could convince the bean counters at the top that sitting around doing nothing for the next 15 years was a losing strategy with airlines.

Yeah it would be quite better if that would happen.With them two I think they would make a very good freighter

How would a different sales exec help when the most pressing problem is lack of funding?

In the mid 1990’s Ray was a upand coming assembly manager on the 777 program. Was always willing to listen and took pride in helping out or pushing improvements in assembly issues. So he is/was quite experienced in the ‘ real world’ of assembly-manufacturing- scheduling- costs, etc. Know this cuz I wuz there. Ditto for Alan M as to avoiding blowhard bean counters and walking fod chartboys.

Agreed about Ray Connor and Alan Mulally! I knew them both, not close but of course as an employee. Alan M was a true leader, held people accountable and removed obstacles to keep the program on track to deliver the great 777. He would have been the perfect CEO to keep the 787 on track but no, they bring the ex GE Jack Welch disciple. Ray Connor was a good man but he turned out to be just another yes man to McNerney. Now he sits on the BOD at Alaska Airlines and drives the mad max orders and ensures they dump the Airbus. Nothing wrong with this, just saying. And we all know the great things Mulally did for Ford!

In 2004- a very good friend of mine Dan Hartley wound up in the hospital on a Saturday. Alan knew Dan very well. When I found out about Dan, I emailed Alan, expecting he would find out Monday. Much to my surprise, I got a response from Alan within an hour with more details who later visited Dan. Dan passed away a few days later. I mentioned Dan and Alans response to a friendly reporter who also knew Dan. When the reporter left a message for Alan to verify a few details, Alan **immediately** responded with great stories and admiration of Dan which was later published. At his memorial service, Alan was there. Afterwords, I mentioned to Alan I was the person who had emailed him. Thus I became one of maybe a few hundred to be hugged by Alan. Later Alan responded to me re my emailed question about certain 911 /WTO/ Boeing related issues and directed Nicolle Piasiki to explain further which she did.

Thanks for sharing this nice story. Yes, Alan was very much a people person….. sorely lacking in todays management ranks. I once worked for the best boss I ever had at Boeing, Director Bob Manelski. He introduced me to Alan and the great Joe Sutter. Good memories and an honor to meet both. Bob once worked for the legendary first Boeing chief mechanic, Jack Hessburg, on the 777 program.

I would say their are still good people at Boeing, but hampered by the ‘yes managers’ and don’t ‘question our decisions’.

Thank you, Scott for allowing us to share.

I understand what you mean but your totally wrong

“A legacy mode wind down is exactly what these GE people did to Douglas 30 years ago”

This is a comment above from John and IMO deserves a decent look.

Is this what we are looking at now? Every man for themselves, get what you can, when you can?

The legacy DC9/MD variants were outclassed by the 6 across single aisle B737 and A320. The 110 seat version with new engines was the last version introduced , was that going to sell more than a few hundred?

The MD11 development failed to meet it’s numbers at EIS and cost MDD plenty of money in payments.

As it was a 3 engine design by the 90 s was never going to compete with the newer big twins . Boeing was already had it’s similar fuselage width 777 in development. What model would you chose to continue in production.

Douglas cooked it’s own goose ….twice , first time was McDonnell and second time round round Boeing wasn’t interested in it’s dated Long Beach productt line other than the C-17 The commercial planes were dying anyway from the Douglas management before Boeing came along

I suspect Boeing was quite happy to take over the F-15 and F/A-18 as well.

How many remember that the F-18 was mostly a Northrup design for starters. ? And the MD-11 aero types who wound up at Boeing managed to mess up the 737 NG but were saved by Aeropartners winglets first used on the BBJ which proved to be useful unlike the MD ‘ trailing edge wedge ‘ used to tweak the range shortfall of the MD ? Douglas folded all because Douglas didn’t know how much the DC9 really cost to build and McDonnell wanted to get in commercial business.

The MD-80 was not the same reliability step forward as when Boeing went from the 737-200 to the 737-300 series. The MD-90 was a big step back. Hence Douglas should have done the A320 instead and not having big wind tunnels in Los Angeles at the time added to the doom, loosing talent to North American, Lockheed and Northrop did not help. Boeing with less competition for talent and lots of experience from jets after the war helped alot together with bet the companie strategies, when aircrafts become more computerized together with the design tools the competition from Microsoft and similar made filling the ranks with top engineers harder. You have to keep all engineering specialities busy otherwise they leave, move into purchasing, quality, project management or loose their edge, you cannot just turn on the supply of skilled engineers, it takes several projects to hone them. Still having too many mediocre put brakes on the talanted ones and letting “Kelly Johnson” types thrive and be funded is one key.

” Is this what we are looking at now? Every man for themselves, get what you can, when you can?”

Also sprach harry stonecipher, jack welch,and a host of welch – GE interns now running Boeing into the ground. Fish and boeing bored rots from the top.

Bill Allen , T Wilson, and Joe Sutter rollling in their graves fast enough to power seattle if we wired them up.

How about a share repurchase tax/surcharge?? Is it doable?

-> Arguably one of the most inadvertently successful “excess profit” tax provisions created the jet age. Boeing had huge profits from military sales during the Korean War, but instead of giving back its windfall it invested the excess and created the aircraft that became the 707.

Obacht! The charge would have been “war profiteering”, i.e. that money would have gone “poof”. Sinking enough money into the Dash80 project to avoid that obstacle … they still needed to float on that large research stash from Germany _and_ local people that understood the scope of that work. Elsewhere ( UK ) synergies from German researchers joining up with their brit counterparts paved the way to Airbus (still) advanced wing designs.

IMU there is an overlooked conceptual thing around often presented in US-Movies: There is this single guy/girl with an outstanding invention that you can buy, steal, destroy, loose, … :: a view of limited merchandise. ( IP is the culmination of that kind of thinking ) While with true inventors you have a fount of inventions. you can steal one invention but you cannot “close” that fount.

uwe ? plz explain …” ( IP is the culmination of that kind of thinking )…” what is “IP”

A Bit of history re single ‘ inventor’ games and IP.

ElectroImpact magnetic riveters are used now all over the world. In August 2004 in the seattle times had a long article

” Peter Zieve stood up to Boeing and kept control of his invention”

. . . Zieve’s UW research was partially funded by Boeing. Its engineers had invented a high-voltage electromagnetic riveter, which was proving problematic: it was hard to maintain and its operators were afraid of the high voltage. Zieve found a way to make the device low voltage and reliable…

That was correct as far as it went- but the real story is an example of the hidden facts about the invention. The title should haved been development instead of Invention.

The first test- development riveter was made in 1967-68 on the partially government financed SST (B2707) program, and as a result, patents on then process and licenses would be under government control. But what happened was the supervisor and manger moved most all of the work and themselves to commericial a few years before program was cancelled. First use was on inboard wing sections of 747. The inventor- engineer was laid off when SST folded as he was still on the SST program.

So the patent was filled in August 1968, granted in 1972 has only the names of the then ( 1967 SST Program ) Supervisor and Manager (3,704,506 ). After that patent and related was granted, the Engineer a few years later came back to Boeing. The lightweight C frame shown in the patent was made and tested in 1967 in the development center on the SST program.

Peter Zieve was not aware of the full history until 2004 /2005. The Engineer involved did not become fully aware of the patents and dates until the 1990s mainly due to the internet availability.

The Dash-80 was not the risk that Boeing paints it to be. Boeing had already developed aerial refueling technology in the flying boom and had delivered the KC-97 to the US Air Force with delivery in 1951. The operational limitations for use with the B-47 where the KC-97 was at its max speed and the B-47 was at its lowest speed demonstrated a clear need for a swept-wing tanker. First flight of the Dash-80 was in July 1954, two years after first flight of the B-52, with first flight of the KC-135 occurring only two years later in August 1956. Initial orders from the US Air Force were made in 1954 as well.

Activist investors make it difficult for a capital intensive company like Boeing to retain profits for future programs. So while it is easy to state that Boeing should not have bought back shares when 737 rates were high, one needs to consider how the investor community and those pursuing predatory class-action lawsuits based upon failure to execute fiduciary responsibility to share holders would have perceived sitting on a pile of cash for a yet to be launched program.

In the early 1990s, there was concerns that Boeing might be targeted for such a leveraged buy-out. Others on this thread might be more knowledgeable than I on the basis for that fear and Boeing actions to counter it.

Airbus success with A300 was due to very highly educated engineers in Europe mainly Germany, France and Great Britain Those engineers were experienced due to more than half a century of successful manufacturing facilities, and efforts in WW2 They were in large numbers to choose from. Thi is Just to explain the difficulties China has to come up with modern aircraft from scratch despite what they learned from experience from US and Europe … and Brasil and USSR Without all those components together, Boeing will not survive

Good points . The Brits were leaders in wing design at the time as the VC-10 had the first airliner with a ‘super critical’ wing design, which was their speciality in the A300 design and production. Plus the 3 nations involvement mean a broader subsidy pool to draw on

The new A300 exploited a niche in then widebody market for a twin with the newer big fan engines. The US manufacturers with the DC10 and Tristar couldnt go there as a crucial domestic design requirement was West Coast to Hawaii which under distance rules then in force couldnt be done on 2 engines over water. European, Asian, African airlines could fly over land for the most part.

The first US airline to put in service ( as a special form of lease) was Eastern, who under the regulated networks of that time , I dont think flew to Hawaii, and its big routes were from northeast cities to Florida and other sunshine states

Question: During your lifetime which are you more likely to encounter: Bigfoot, the Loch Nest Monster, or a clean sheet airplane built by BCA? Answer: The Loch Nest Monster (assuming you fly to Scotland. Why not Bigfoot you say? It may be remotely possible that he would elude detection today, but where are the bones of his ancestors, why are there no remains? But those Scottish lakes are deep enough that perhaps remains of the creature could sink to the bottom and be lost. As far as a new Boeing plane, this management has a long history of cash extraction. Rather than investing in the future they seek to dis-invest, to extract cash from investments made decades earlier. The metaphor from real estate would be a reverse mortgage. Previous generations invested billions to pay for a commanding product line, ie, they built and paid off the family mansion on the hilltop. This generation inherited the mansion and is selling it off bit by bit.

They have two . The 777 and the 787.

Even the Wright brothers had derivatives ( Flyer I, II and III) and its the way the aeroplane industry works

It what the customer wants, the airlines not the passengers

Dude, Not sure what you’re saying here cause every plane that flies was at some point a clean sheet airplane. If you can count the 777, which was developed and delivered by the pre-merger old Boeing, then why not count the 737, 747, 757, and 767? My 91 year old mother has seen all of these as new clean sheet programs. I thought it was obvious from my comment that I was referring to new clean sheet programs from now on, not what was done 15, 30, or 100 years ago.

Minor nit- the 757 is and is a two engined 707 albeit with majoor wing changes and IF i recall correctly, a lot of the same body assembly tooling as to size and production joints as the late versions of the 707. So perhaps the 757 is NOT a ‘ clean sheet ‘ design.

FWIW the B2 uses a slightly revised 767 main landing gear

And the 777 -787 used a lot of info from the B2 program re catia and carbon composites and lightning protection but had to do a lot of ‘repeat’ development and testing to avoid certain tech transfer issues

Bubba. The 797 fuselage is 148 inches in diameter. The 757 is 150 inches in diameter. There is no commonality in frames, stanchions, floor beams, skin panel assemblies, wiring provisions and on and on ……

Bubba. “I assume you meant the 707 not the 797 ? If so I stand corrected re my 707-757 commonality.”

No problem at all, It is hard to keep all the numbers straight, especially with the lego like reuse of previously designed structures. Back in the day, some DC-8 parts were still being plugged into the MD-11 because they were fine to reuse. There is a fine line between intelligent reuse of structures and the driving of derivative air frames because derivarives are almost universal in their fratricide of the parent product…….

When was Airbus latest ‘clean sheet’ and when’s the next one ? Dont forget their ‘clean sheet’ plane that flopped badly and recently stopped production Im not sure which dude ranch you spend your time at ?

Pnwgeek November 6, 2022 Bubba. The 797 fuselage is 148 inches in diameter. The 757 is 150 inches in diameter….

I assume you meante the 707 not the 797 ? If so I stand corrected re my 707-757 commonality.

I am eager to see what Mr. Aboulafia has to say about all this.

Agreed. Chomping at the bit awaiting his take. Should be quite interesting.

We already know Mr Aboulafia’s initial reaction:

“Richard Aboulafia shared this view: “The possibility of disruptive new technologies has provided a useful excuse for Boeing to do nothing. There may be new propulsion technologies coming in 15 years. Or 20. Nobody can say. In the meantime, the middle market is the hottest segment the industry has seen in decades. And it now belongs to Airbus. All that remains is for Airbus to develop the A220-500, gravely damaging MAX8 sales. That will knock Boeing down to a 25% market share. And being reduced to a 25% market share is the best excuse ever for continuing to do nothing. “”

-> But can Boeing develop such an aircraft that’s better than the A321?

“It’s a real $15 to $20 billion question and no one has the answer,” Udvar-Házy said.

The longer Boeing waits, the more the A321 will penetrate markets and airlines, making a transition to other aircraft more difficult, he said.

The problem for Boeing is the Safran/GE RISE program. If they move now with an EIS of 2030 that aircraft will be optimized for somewhat higher bypass engine than the current ones perhaps 10% better than the LEAP. But RISE is aiming for 20% improvement and Hydrogen compatibility.

If Boeing moves now assuming no RISE (or other disruptive engine technology) Airbus can wait a bit and possibly leapfrog Boeing immediately making Boeings new aircraft obsolete.

I know some here dismiss the RISE as nothing but open-rotor vapour. But I think Boeing’s delay is evidence that they see a new disruptive engine technology in the 2035 EIS timeframe as a very real risk.

Add to this list what might happen in autonomous flight in the next 5-10 years, possible extensions of regulations on sustainable aviation fuels outside the EU, geopolitics and re-shoring of the supply-chain and what that does to air freight, FAA/EASA mandates for flight crew human factors requiring flight deck re-design, and renewed regulatory scrutiny on critical software development processes.

The airlines as well don’t know what they want. How important is freight revenue in trading against lower operating empty weight? Do you need to provision for bellyfreight or do you just carry passenger bags?

Should ICAO gate standards constrain new airplane development because fuel efficiency/SAF dictates a high aspect ratio wing. Or is it worthwhile to develop new gate standards for a low-carbon world?

And how does one work with Southwest and RyanAir to formulate a plan to transition from 737NG/MAX fleet to a new FBW NB airplane?

Add to this list that airlines will want whatever you decide to build will have to be delivered at a rate that quickly matches the current build rates of 737MAX and A320/A321 airplanes.

@ jbeeko Regardless of all the considerations that you set forth, BA doesn’t have the funding for a cleansheet project.

It’s like a bag lady looking through the window at Tiffany’s: she can fantasize, but she can’t buy.

Boeing can make a carbon wing Al-Li fuselage A321neo/A322neo derivative, but so can Airbus quicker and cheaper. Hence Boeing needs the new engine, RISE or similar, performance for a new narrowbody costing them $20bn and take 7-10 years to certify together with robotic build and automation with optional pilots to get cost down. So not much will happen until GE/CFMI comes to Boeing HQ in Washington to present a new engine design with thrust, mass, SFC, cost, time on wing and warranties for Boeing to move hoping the skilled engineers are still there.

There are other players that might produce a suitable engine.

I am sure Boeing had done its calculations regarding the business case for a new aircraft, but I wonder if they aren’t being too timid here. There will always be technological advancements and waiting for the perfect moment to launch may result in missing a good enough moment. It is a very long time until the mid-30s.

I wonder if this feet dragging opens an opportunity for Airbus to develop a successor to the A310 and create the 767F replacement Boeing doesn’t want to provide. For those saying Airbus should coast off its advantage-this is how MDD disappeared and Boeing allowed Airbus to grow. It will be much harder for Boeing to launch its “saviour airplane” against a competing aircraft instead of a gap in the market.

I have been saying forever that the NMA would never be launched by Calhoun (the latest Jack Welch hologram in the Chairman’s chair, because I read about his religion……

It has been written: “Verily I say unto you, ’tis easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than for a GE cash-extraction king to launch a new clean sheet program…” …The Book of Jack, Book I, Verse I.

-> Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary expects only 40-45 #737Max deliveries from Boeing in the first half of 2023, instead of scheduled 51 aircraft …

-> There are other concerning bits in the article, too, like Calhoun (Boeing CEO) saying “It’s not unreasonable for us to think about autonomy on the next commercial airplane.” Ok, so, a couple of things about that:

-> It’s not unreasonable to _think_ about it, if you’re going to take another quarter of a century before getting anything new off the ground. Sure, think. And think hard, because I would not trust a fully autonomous commercial airliner operated by current state-of-the-art AI/SW.

-> And would I trust one that came from the manufacturer that brought us MCAS relying on a single sensor? Hell no. Boeing is far from having demonstrated the required magnitude of change to get past that.

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