With demand for single-aisle aircraft showing no sign of abating, Boeing has once again announced an increase in its production rate for its 737 program, this time to 38 airplanes per month in the second quarter of 2013. The decision comes as Boeing prepares for a number of expected option conversions and closure of “current sales campaigns,” including an anticipated firm order for fifty 737s with Russia’s State Corporation Rostechnologii.
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Boeing has revised its 10-year forecast for the Asia-Pacific air transport market, and its new figure reflects a 37-percent increase over the previous total. Boeing’s original figure of 670 aircraft has been upped to 920, with a corresponding increase in value to $120 billion.
Boeing has consolidated its military aircraft business into four divisions from six, as part of a rationalization process prompted by slowed defense spending. Two of the previous divisions are amalgamated into a single missiles and unmanned airborne systems division based in St. Charles, Mo., while the current rotorcraft division is split.
Pratt & Whitney and CFM might not like to hear it, but if the assertions of Boeing CFO James Bell prove accurate, the 15- to 16-percent fuel efficiency gains the engine makers have repeatedly advertised for their respective next-generation turbofans will translate into less than double digits if and when they make their way onto existing narrowbodies.
“Elevated used inventory, attractive used pricing and macro uncertainty continue to hold down demand for new business jets,” JPMorgan Equity Research noted in its latest business jet monthly report, issued this morning.
Chances that Boeing will fit new engines on the existing 737 appear slimmer now than at any time since the company began talking publicly about the prospect, judging by the comments of Boeing CFO James Bell today at the Morgan Stanley Industrials Unplugged Conference in New York.
Five aerospace companies have been awarded a total of $125 million in contracts as part of an environmental initiative to spur development of new aircraft technologies. Each company–Boeing, General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce North America–will receive $25 million and is required to match the contract in terms of resources. It is part of the FAA’s Cleen (continuous lower energy, emissions and noise) program.
A decision to re-engine the Boeing 737 will hinge largely on the company's ability-or lack thereof-to introduce an all-new narrowbody by the end of this decade, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said last month.
Boeing has revealed its latest thinking on how the C-17 heavy airlifter could meet the joint future theater lift (JFTL) requirement that is emerging in the U.S. The “Advanced Tactical C-17” would retain the basic wings and tail of the current C-17A, but feature a new fuselage that is four feet narrower and consists of more composite structure. The four P&W F117 turbofans would be upgraded to provide 13 percent more thrust.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Jim Albaugh fully acknowledged here at Farnborough that the new 787 faces a possible seventh delay if first delivery slips into next year, which was hinted at in a statement from the company last week. Such a slip would be a small setback, but by no means an end to Albaugh’s effort to restructure the division in the face of continuing international competition.