In its latest current market outlook published last Thursday, Boeing projects a near-term increase in airline traffic growth, with global economies expected to regain lost ground in the next two or three years as they recover from the latest worldwide recession.
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Notwithstanding the unprecedented scale of composites content in the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350XWB airliners, aluminum still reigns as the material of choice in most airliner fuselage applications. At least that’s the message Alcoa–the aluminum company–wants to send here in Farnborough, where scores of examples of flying machines made of the metals the company supplies grace the static display.
Boeing’s margin of error to deliver the first 787 by the end of the year appears to have dwindled to near nil, as the company comes to grips with delays associated with test instrumentation configuration changes that program manager Scott Fancher said today could push first delivery to Japan’s ANA “into the very early part of next year.”
Boeing’s 2010 Current Market Outlook, released today in London, projects a $3.6 trillion market for new commercial airplanes over the next 20 years, as world economies rebound and strong demand for new and replacement aircraft spurs growth. Boeing forecasts a market for 30,900 new commercial passenger and freighter airplanes by 2029.
Former Boeing president Phil Condit once famously said, in so many words, that there is no point having aircraft at airshows. What he meant was that Boeing didn't really see sufficient value in bringing its aircraft on the international show circuit to offset all the risks and costs associated with this. But the U.S.
Having been dogged by cost overruns, Boeing's avionics modernization program (AMP) for the C-130 Hercules has passed its Defense Acquisition Board Milestone C, allowing low-rate initial production (LRIP) to begin. The AMP provides an integrated avionics system to prolong the useful career of the U.S. Air Force's legacy Hercules fleet, and includes full night-vision-goggle compatibility, glass cockpits and digital systems.
Boeing's decision to re-engine the existing 737 will depend not only on the actions of arch-rival Airbus, but whether or not the Chicago-based airframe maker concludes that it could bring to market a good enough replacement airplane by 2020, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney told analysts and investors at last week’s Sanford C. Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference in New York.
Boeing will move ahead with plans to increase the production rate on the 737 program from 31.5 to 34 airplanes a month in early 2012, the company announced this week. Boeing also said it continues to study the possibility of further rate increases, given strong customer demand for the single-aisle airliners.
The business aviation market appears to be recovering from the economic downturn, propelled by increased sales in Asia and Africa, according to Jahid Fazal-Karim, co-owner of Jetcraft Corporation, and former senior vice president of worldwide sales for Bombardier. However, signs of continued economic instability in parts of Europe could have “a serious effect” on the Western markets.
GE Aviation plans to create an Electrical Power Integrated Systems Research & Development Center near Dayton, Ohio, to research more-electric aircraft systems. The center, which will also explore other non-aviation uses of more-electric technology, is expected to open in 2012.