The death of the Pentagon’s second-highest-ranking procurement official on October 15 could well delay the crucial decision on whether Boeing or Northrop Grumman/Airbus wins the U.S Air Force KC-X tanker competition.
Mark Van Tine, who was with Lockheed Data Plan when Jeppesen bought that company in 1989, is the new chairman and CEO of the Denver-based company that pioneered the instrument navigation chart. The 45-year-old Tine replaces Horst Bergmann, 65, who retired after more than 40 years with the company, and who was named Jeppesen’s CEO in 1988.
Despite “challenges” in assembly of the first Boeing 787 prototype that have forced delay of the first flight and certification by at least six months, Boeing Business Jets does not expect the delay to have any impact on delivery dates for executive models of the new jetliner. As of today, Boeing claims to have firm orders for nine executive 787s–five 787-8s and four 787-9s. Two of the nine will go to an unidentified leasing company.
Nearly four months after Boeing acquired all of FlightSafety International’s interests in FlightSafetyBoeing Training International, set up five years ago to provide training in Boeing airplanes, Boeing is renaming the venture Alteon. Following a transition period, Alteon will become the official name for the company. During the transition period, the company will continue to be known as FlightSafetyBoeing.
An optional kit for BBJs that will provide a 6,500-foot cabin at FL410 instead of the current 8,000-foot cabin is going through the FAA approval process now and will not be available until mid-year, according to Boeing. The company announced at last year’s NBAA Convention that the kit would be available early this year.
Boeing delivered 11 BBJs last year (including two BBJ2s), five fewer than the 16 in 2001 and down three from the 14 aircraft delivered in 2000. In 1999, its first full year of deliveries, 29 BBJs were shipped. Just four of the 11 BBJs delivered last year are on the U.S. registry.
Continuing “challenges” involving the assembly of the first Boeing 787 prototype have forced the company to delay first flight and certification by at least six months, Boeing said today. It now expects to fly the airplane for the first time by the end of next year’s first quarter and start deliveries in either late November or December 2008.
At the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition last month, Boeing introduced a corporate shuttle version of its Boeing 717 regional airliner, dubbing it the 717 Business Express. The aircraft might also find favor in an all-business-class airliner guise.
Thomas McSweeny, who has been FAA associate administrator for regulation and certification since October 1998, is leaving the agency this month to join Boeing as its director of international safety and regulatory affairs. He will be prohibited from any contact with the agency for one year.
Warranty claims by Boeing aircraft operators are now available online through the MyBoeingFleet.com Web site, cutting as much as two days off the typical six days for processing warranty claims, according to the company. “It reduces errors and eliminates the need at our end to collect, distribute and manually re-key the data into our system,” Boeing added.