Randy's Journal

Leave a comment
(Name, email and comments fields are required.)

All Comments

It's good to have competition - to give customers the very best in what they deserve. It's good to keep innovating your products - to stay ahead of the times. And it's good to keep doing what you are so good at over the years... 'Boeing: Building planes from the past, to the present and into the future'. It's enjoyable reading your blog, and your views of the aviation industry.

Chris T., Malaysia

This article confirms that Boeing's fuselage composite barrel for the 787 is the correct choice. The article also tells you implicitly that 777-300ER will dominate the market until 2016. Now, Boeing has one more year to think about 777-300ER replacement. Boeing has a lot of time.


That was pretty interesting about the 20% more emissions from the Airbus vs. the Boeing jet. I'd be curious (even though it is small in comparison to the overall flight) is there a way to have pre-rotation of the tires before landing to 1) cut down on the rubber smoke and 2) elongating the life of the aircraft tire?

Brent B., Bellevue, Washington

With this new regulation from the FAA, is Boeing planning to replace the 747 with the world's largest twin engine aircraft? It seems like the next logical step. I imagine that Boeing is only really limited my engine size and thrust rating.

Kevin, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Are either of these two (too?) far-fetched concepts at all feasible? 1) Using aluminum with helium bubbled through it while molten to make an ultra-light metal for aircraft structural beams or using an insulating foam with helium bubbled through it to help make aircraft a little less heavier than air? 2) Building an aircraft like "Thunderbird 2" with the passenger/freight section in the form of a self-contained secure unit to be picked up by the aircraft. The passenger unit could be loaded elsewhere (city centre even) and transported out to the waiting aircraft to be picked up and locked in place.

Graham C., Luxembourg

Thanks for providing this blog. Finally, people like myself who are aviation enthusiasts the world over, can find some credible info, online, about the "insider" trends & info about airplanes from the most sought after airframe maker on planet earth: B-O-E-I-N-G. How awesome is that? I'll check the site on a frequent basis, now that I've found out about it....then onto Airliners.net.

Jason F., Ashburn, Virginia

I hope this isn't too far off topic, but I found your post about the closing of the Boeing plant in Long Beach, CA with the last 717. I happened to be there last night and was dismayed to see the beautiful "Fly DC Jets" sign dark. Do you know if there are any plans or efforts underway to save the sign?

John B., Manhattan Beach, California

John, the sign will indeed be preserved, and will be a prominent fixture as part of the Douglas Park construction project across from the factory. The building the sign is currently on is not occupied, so power to the building and sign is turned off right now to preserve electricity.

Randy Baseler

Congratulations with the 747 LCF DreamLifter and an interesting Blog. If this is what Boeing can do to a 747 then imagine what Boeing can do for present & future customers. Talk about a great product (the 747) supporting an even greater product (the 787). In today's competitive airline environment the DreamLifter and Dreamliner inherit similar characteristics to that of the Wooden Horse of Troy. Can't wait for the maiden flight.

Joe, Australia

With the latest FAA ETOPS announcement, why would any airline purchase the Airbus A340-500 or A340-600 now? Unless Airbus will be giving them away, which may be a possibility, the Boeing 777 family just became more valuable to any airline who is operating it now and in the future. With the Airbus response to a long range twin many years away in the A350 family, Boeing should enjoy a virtual monopoly with their own 777/787 family. Way to go Boeing for having the correct insight years ago.

Mark, Newport Beach, California

It will be great if Boeing could build a new 747 with the exact dimensions of the A380 or better. Boeing has the knowledge, finances and technological know how. Come on Boeing, what are you waiting for?

Roger J., England

I was wondering if the design engineers for the 747-8I ever thought about or discussed about making the center wing box area on the 747-8I out of light weight carbon composites? Can it be done? Is it possible to do it on the 747-8I and if it can be done, is it too late in the design and development process to do it? How about the area just under the center fuselage were the ram air ducts, landing gear, wing to body flaring is? Can those panels be made out of composites because it looks like it's just a shroud were the ram air ducts are? Then again, I am sure the design engineers have thought out side of the box and were open to any input from those at Boeing to make the 747-8I lighter. You know it will be great to finally see the 747-8I in flight testing and see the actual performance numbers and be surprised that this new 747-8I performs better than expected. Are the shrouds around the engines made out of light weight composites? Is it possible? Just trying to think of ways to make the plane lighter. I guess the 747 hump can't be made out of composites because of the expansion and contraction differences between composites and aluminum.

Tim, Baltimore, Maryland

What is my dream of the future 737 series? My 737RS (replacement study) planes have 6 different models. The smallest one carries about 100-110 in 1 class and the second smallest one is similar to 737-600 nowadays. They share the smallest and similar wings, which is smaller than the 737NGs nowadays. Then, the two models are close to the class of 737-700 and 737-800 nowadays. And the largest two are close to 737-900ER and 757-200. The largest two can have 4x2 main landing gears. This is my little idea about 737RS (replacement study). These sizes optimize the market needs and extend the 737 market. Hope that all of you share more about the new 737!

Glen L, Beverly Hills, California

In regards to Boeing vs. Airbus, I like and prefer Boeing probably because I am a citizen of the USA. I've flown other airliners like the L1011 to Hawaii but other than that I've flown basically Boeing products. As far as creature comfort, the elbow to elbow seating arrangement on a 737 can be annoying especially on flights longer than 2 hrs. The 757's are a lot more comfy because of the wider seats. I was curious on why can't Boeing just put a little tweak on the width of the fuselage to make the 737's a little more comfortable for passengers as well as I think more appealing to more airlines.

Andrew, Wasilla, Alaska

With the FAA abolishing ETOPS and allowing qualified Twin jets to fly over 5 hours away from a diversion airport, I feel Boeing's long standing vision of point to point travel with fuel efficient twin jets just got the biggest seal of approval Boeing could have hoped for, as if the market hadn't already spoken loudly enough with the 777s absolute trouncing of Airbus A340 product. I feel vindication is in the air, literally, for many people who have long argued that the steady but sure trend toward twinjets over 4-engined aircraft is here to stay.

Alexander R., Edinburgh, Scotland

I suggest Boeing has a party on July 7 to celebrate the fantastic 777 on the date 7/7/'07!

Richard M., Sydney

Many people ask, "What's next from Boeing?" I would say, "give them a break!" Boeing launched 737-900ER, 787, 747-8 and 777-LRF recently. Boeing is in no hurry to launch another product. The 737NG is still selling like hot cakes and 777-300ER does not have any credible contender until 2015. In any case, narrow-body is such a big market that you do not have any time constraint to launch a new one. You can offer a 737 replacement three to five years after a new competitor without any strategic drawback. The situation is slightly different for the 777-300ER, but Boeing has more than six years to think about its replacement. Time is money and Boeing has a lot of both.


It seems as though Singapore airlines has decided to purchase both the A350 and the 787. Given the costs of operating two different fleet types it doesn't seem to make any sense to purchase two different aircraft of such similar capabilities. More astoundingly it seems that they plan to use the 787 for short haul service and the 350 for long haul service. Can you perhaps make any sense of their decision?

Brian, Virgina

This blog is a near-perfect example of what companies should be doing, but rarely do, to engage and inform the public that takes an interest in a particular line of business and a set of products. For every sort of industry there are thousands of well-informed observers and consumers whose intelligence and loyalty can be a decisive help in seeing that the work is done right, and that the news from both sides moves fast. Of course, there has to be a blogger who really wants an exchange among equals. That's where this blog works and so many others don't. Keep it going - you're becoming an example far outside aerospace.

Steve M., Redwood City, California

I cannot understand how anyone could accuse Randy or Boeing of bashing Airbus. Boeing (and Randy) have always kept a professional touch to their press releases and statements. Boeing even publicly congratulated Airbus on the maiden flight of the A380. Airbus has, to my knowledge, never once congratulated Boeing on any of its achievements. Instead, Airbus focuses on casting shadow on anything not Airbus. They publicly called the 787 a Chinese copy of the A330, when now in fact the A350 looks to be a copy of the 787. Both manufacturers make great aircraft, but when it comes down to it, Boeing is far more mature when commenting on their rivals.

Hans M., Hannover, Germany

The new Intercontinental fills a wide niche between the 350 seat (777/340) and the 555 seat (380) planes. It surprises me that more airlines have not signed up for the 747-8i since the gap is so wide.

Dennis, Virginia

What I like about the blog (all corporate loyalty aside) is that you put out the company explanation in a straight forward manner. It's good to see that, because I have come to expect nothing but a high speed spin cycle from the other side. I always thought that what Boeing lacked, as a non apologetic defense and explanation of the company and its position. I know its gotten morphed into political correctness, but there is more a washing out of companies and what they stand for. There is none of that in your blog. Airbus simply has no answer (but then they are just following you guys these days and maybe a look alike blog is more than they can even take!) If Harry Stonecipher had one thing right, it was you guys would go right after the competition, full tilt, no apologies and let the best company win. I think he put the spirit back into the company (or let Boeing know they could be proud of who you are and what you make and express that pride). So, keep up the good work, I look forward to checking in on a regular basis and even more so when the completion starts to rev up the PR machine.

Greg S., Anchorage, Alaska

Love reading your blog. I find it informative and entertaining. I am an aviation enthusiast and have been all my life. Have always been especially fascinated by the "big boys" (747's, DC10's, 777's etc. First thing I did when I moved to Seattle was drive to Everett to gawk at all the widebodies sitting out there! Don't take offense, but I can't wait to see the A380 in person. That being said, I am going to do everything in my power to be somewhere in the vicinity of Paine Field the day the 787 makes her maiden flight!! Please keep us "airplane junkies" enlightened as to the progress of this exciting new aircraft. We appreciate the info you provide on your blog - keep it up. If you happen to cross paths with your Airbus counterpart, ask him if he can start one too - LOL

Bob S., Kent, Washington

Bon jour to Boeing - I'm fully aware of the purpose of your website. To detract the honesty of innovation which America has predominated since the 1950's? Yes I am in support of innovation not standardization of your technical team, who continues to promote an old replica 747. Europeans have a vast knowledge of aerospace and aviation. Mr. Randy, we Europeans invented the airplane. By your nature of your culture everything is based on mass production. Not quality - as France, United Kingdom and Western Europe. Please do us a favor. You have to admit to defeat - yes, it happens to the best of companies including American cartels such as Boeing whom spot the MD-12 which Air France and KLM were interested in. Learn to say AIRBUS. I shall repeat learn to say AIRBUS - the leader of customized aircraft. Yes I find your website full of untruth regarding industry markets. AIRBUS has surpassed you on larger Jumbo aircraft. Boeing, the honest truth is the international market no longer belongs to Boeing, the lagger of 20th century technology.

Somanville, Lyon, France

I think it would be great if Boeing could install webcams for visitors to view planes outside your factories at Boeing and Paine fields. The information is already displayed on the internet in various places so it's not like proprietary information you are disclosing on your company/customers.

John, Los Angeles, California

It really has been a great year! Boeing's vision of the Future of Flight - it's starting to "lift" my Commercial Aviation enthusiasm to a new level. I visited the Boeing factory in Everett and flew on a B777-300ER for the first time, and I know won't be the last! B787 and B747-8I "Here I am" -Boeing keep UP these great airplanes.

Jorge T., Honduras

Congratulations for such a great order, hope to fly this Aircraft as a Pilot in some years. Lufthansa will have a great fleet with 346,380,748 and 787/350 all great Airplanes. Just a pity LH hasn't ordered some 777 - would look so great! Randy: I love to read your Blog it's always interesting.

Konstantin, FRA/Germany

I appreciate you and your colleagues at Boeing and congratulate you all on the fine job you've done putting Boeing in such a strong position in very challenging times. Thanks for your blog and very effective communications efforts throughout the year--I check it almost daily. While admittedly a Boeing cheerleader, your Company makes me proud as an American, a stockholder, and a 747 pilot.

Mark H., Anthem, Arizona

I appreciate you and your colleagues at Boeing and congratulate you all on the fine job you've done putting Boeing in such a strong position in very challenging times. Thanks for your blog and very effective communications efforts throughout the year--I check it almost daily. While admittedly a Boeing cheerleader, your Company makes me proud as an American, a stockholder, and a 747 pilot.

Geoff D., Thanet, UK

Thanks for you insights on the terrific year that Boeing has had. All your fans from all over the world can't wait for the first flight of the Dreamliner and to see the magic 747 continue to grace the skies.

Chris G., Australia

I am curious to know why Boeing didn't come up a with low gross weight version of the 787-9 (a la the 787-3 derivative of the 787-8)? Such an aircraft would work extremely on trans-Atlantic routes for many airlines and save costs on landing fees. I would also like to know why the range was limited to 3500nm for the 787-3? I would think that around 4500nm would be optimum, allowing for Caribbean/upper South American routes from North America and bringing into range most of Europe, Africa and Central and South Asia.

Keith L., Ottawa, Canada

The 777 and the upcoming 787 Dreamliner incorporate fly-by-wire instead of the usual hydraulic controls. Will the new 747-8 also have fly-by-wire as well?

Han, Newport News, Virginia

Looks like the 737 replacement better seat over 200 at the top end.

Gary G., Sydney, Australia

I have noticed the 747-8i virtual mockup and noticed that the 747 which is so clamed as old fashioned airplane by flying barrel maker Airbus executives, has sharper and sleeker design. It is impossible the A380 to have better aerodynamics mainly in the front section. The 747 nose shape is similar to an arrow what is logic on a machine that is supposed to fly. Airbus folks seem to forget about air resistance when they projected the A380. Some of the older drawings show better aerodynamics. As Airbus tried to improve the rest of the design, they moved the shape of the front section to a stage prior to DC-3s conception. If the DC-3 was about the same size as the A380, the DC-3 would have better aerodynamics in the front section.

Cristiano A., Campo Grande/MS, Brazil

Wish you the best with 787 development in the New Year and hope you don't encounter last-minute teething pains like the A380.

Bankelele, Nairobi, Kenya

Now that Airbus has released all its claims and specs for the various A350 models, it's up to you (and Boeing engineers) to one-up them with your 787-1000 and future 777 models (hint: add more composite component as you are doing on the 747-8I...)

Ivan C., Oakville, Ontario, Canada

I must say I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog! Congratulations to the company on the Lufthansa order! Many of us on the Internet applaud your reasoned commentary, and your ability to be above attacking the competition. Keep up the good work! Something that aggrieves me (not about the blog!) is the move away from the traditional Boeing numbering sequence in the sub-versions. 787-8/9 and 747-8 seem quite illogical to me. I know all about the number 8 and the Chinese, but was that the only reason behind all of this?

Trent, Dublin, Ireland

The week running from 4th to 8th December 2006 quite rightly had the slogan of 'The Future is Now'. Congratulations on the stupendous order for the phenomenal Boeing 747-8Intercontinental! No doubt, this ultra-modern, efficient, economical and formidably capable 747 family will be around for many more decades to come. It is an airplane of superlatives, and I would expect the orders for both variants to continue to flood in! Playing off the pun of the 747-8, 'The Shape of the Future', I think Boeing can go even further when considering your industry leading Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and say, 'Boeing IS the Future of Air Travel!' Wishing you all the best for 2007!

Chris C., South Africa

Why is the forward "plug" on the 747-8 so much longer than the aft plug? Do the new engines or modified wing alter the center of gravity or center of lift?

Mark W., Houston, Texas

Remember the QTD2 on All Nippon Airways' modified Boeing 777-300ER? Boeing tested chevrons on the rear engine cowling. Is that patented? Airbus could take your ideas and simply put it on their Airbus A350XWB, which clearly already look like the Boeing 787. It's like using your ideas and stealing it and put it on their idea.

Andre D., Tacoma, Washington

The 747 is amazing... nothing to say! However, why is it that even though it’s no direct competitor to the A380, it still beats it on paper with superior operating economics?! Boeing beat Airbus in this section once again... to be confirmed as time goes by. If indeed after the 1st flight the 748 is still more economical than the Whalejet, then I expect the 747 to become as successful and iconic as in the 70s.

Maj M., Lausanne, VD, Switzerland

I saw your neat Website for the launch of the 747-8I and the cool video of it morphing from the current 747-400 to the 747-8I. My question is how much more does the new 747 wing is swept back than the 747-400? From the video morphing, it looks like Boeing not only swept back the wings more, but, there is more wing flex, but, I read that Boeing is making the inner wing thicker at the wing root. Also in the video, the vertical and horizontal tail is more curved. I was wondering if you ( if possible ) can go deeper into the technical aspects of the new changes on the 747-8I from the 400? And go deeper into the wing twist, aerodynamics that Boeing is doing on the wing? I know the new 747-8I will get many interior features from the 787, but, will it get the same good looking window panels that the 787 has? To be honest, the window panels from the 747-400 looks too 70ish.

Tim, Baltimore, Maryland

An order for 20 747-8's in a direct competition with the A380/A340 by Lufthansa says a lot about the product strategy of Boeing. Well done - keep it up. BTW -I don't find the attitude of the blog at all offensive. I don't think your willingness to cultivate and project a vision for your present and future is at all a problem. Perhaps difficult to accept by supporters of organizations prone to grand gestures in lieu of recognizing market needs. Having worked in the manufacture of parts for Boeing, GEAE, Airbus, N-G, Bombardier and Rolls-Royce I enjoy the insight into the current and long-term vision of a major aircraft maker like Boeing. Your blog does an excellent job keeping interested people informed. It would be refreshing to see someone within Airbus willing to present their market direction but it looks like they would be just as well served re-printing Boeing's ideas 5 years later and calling them "new".

Seth, Ogden, Utah

Congratulation, the long awaited 747-8I order came in. Maybe Cathay Pacific or Air France/KLM is next.

Rob, Las Vegas, Nevada

At no point does Randy "bash" Airbus. He simply details all the information in a very factual manner. The facts tell the truth and it accurately depicts Airbus as the underdog in this market. The truth hurts. Airbus is the company infamous for its rival bashing, not Boeing. Boeing has always publicly regarded Airbus as a viable competitor and has always referred to Airbus with respect. The same cannot be said for Airbus - Just this week a top Airbus executive compared to the 748i to a failed 1960's Ford. Such comments are unfounded, immature and inaccurate. As usual, I found Randy's article to be extremely informative and eye-opening.

Jan E., Heidelberg, Germany

On 6 Dec 2006, Lufthansa announced its 747-8i order and became the first airline to buy the airplane. This order proves at least two things. Firstly, a "serious" airline like Lufthansa does order 747-8i. Secondly, an A380 customer can decide to buy 747-8i. Boeing's strategy to put 747-8i's capacity exactly at 20% above 777-300ER/A340-600 and at 20% below the A380 is paying.


As a frequent flyer who logs many international miles, primarily long-haul, business class, I have seen the window shade situation getting worse and worse. On some daylight flights, the shades are drawn within a minute or two of climb out, and on almost all of the daylight flights (i.e. Bangkok-Tokyo-Los Angeles, the shades go down from a few minutes to an hour or so after takeoff, and remain down for the entire grueling time (on one of two of my trips to the far east within the last 3 weeks, the shades were down the entire time (19+ hours)including a beautiful morning arrival down the California coast into San Francisco. It is frustrating to pay 8 to 10,000 dollars and not see such beauty.

Steve A., Washington, D.C.

I have enjoyed your journal, and I think that Boeing has done their homework on this plane [747-8] and the customers seem to agree. I think that you should install air refueling on all the domestic units sold. Both a removable off-loading boom and a receptacle.

Mike H., Boise, Idaho

I just saw the rendering of the Lufthansa 747-8. She is indescribably beautiful. A fitting tribute to Joe Sutter and a brilliant design. Are these the latest winglets? Sweet.

Ted C., Mt. Vernon, Virginia

Airbus exec McArtor said that the only reason Lufthansa ordered the 747-8 was because Airbus stumbled on the A380. Not true. Lufthansa has said the 747-8 will complement their fleet - fitting in between the A380 and A340-600. The 747-8 will be ordered by more airlines whether it be the passenger or freight versions, so the world must get used to seeing more brand new copies of this wonderful airplane for decades to come.

Mark, Newport Beach, California

Thanks for the insight you provide into Boeing's thoughts every week! I really like both companies, but it is Airbus' fault to be in such major trouble right now, and I believe that the XWB is just not the right plane to pull them out of the mess they are in. I fully agree with your comment on the extremely long delivery time - considering how many resources Airbus has invested in the A350 already, it seems ridiculous that it will take another 7 years until first delivery. This means 7 rather comfortable years for Boeing: you can watch the 787 sell well, update the 777 (which will bring it very close the the 'superior' A350) and work on an all-composite 737 successor, which will secure Boeing's lead position for another 20 years.

Christopher M., Vienna, Austria

The launch of the A350 is healthy to the extent that it promotes competition between the two major suppliers of twin aisle aircraft. Imagine what would happen if one supplier dominated this market. At the other end of the scale - how long before the regional jets grow big enough to challenge the 737/A320 replacements? When will China get in on this gig?

Gary G., Sydney Australia

There is no way this is true! I do not recall the quote you attributed to Sir Richard, at least not in the form quoted, nor in identifying the originator.

Michael, Omaha, Nebraska

Actually Michael, Sir Richard has indeed used this quote many times - that the best way to become a millionaire is to start off as a billionaire and launch an airplane - although others may have said it as well!

Randy Baseler

Enjoy your blog and have a question. When you talk about overweight with respect to Boeing or Airbus, are you referring to an aircraft delivered without interior?? In the case of the A380 is it is 5 tonnes +/- with 550 passengers. What would it be with the seats required for 800+?

Len E., Indonesia

LOL, I have placed a 747 next to a picture of an A380 ... guess the subject says it all! Don't change the shape of the 747 PLLEEAASSE, it is just such an eye keeper!! What an awesome aircraft... as if it's got a life of its own, complete with a personality! Just LOVE IT!

Darryl, South Africa

Boeing needs to continue executing its business plans as effectively as you have been doing in order to maintain your well deserved poll position. Upholding ethics, customer focus and continued product development and improvement will continue to put Boeing in a formidably strong position to face the ever changing challenges of the 21st Century markets. You, Boeing, have achieved this magnificent position purely as you listened to the market and your customers, and strived to improve upon everything - hence forever new frontiers. Boeing clearly is all about working together and building the world's most advanced and finest commercial and military equipment. Every single BCA is an engineering marvel; breaking new technologies and innovations, and providing the most efficient, reliable, attractive, and capable airplanes to the market. You guys got the mathematics right!

Chris C., South Africa

Seems your recent comments echo what many aviation forums have been saying all along in regard to the A350XWB. http://www.fleetbuzz.com/forums//index.php?showtopic=8793
The XWB raises more questions than it answers- and as you rightly point out, the A320 is marginally wider than the 737, yet the latter is the better seller- and by default, the 787 has stolen a huge march on EADS/Airbus- while it fails to address the superiority of the 777 family.

A., London, U.K.

Regarding the 787/A350XWB comparisons: We all know that Airbus is comparing apples to oranges (like comparing their 270-seat A350-800 to a 242-seat 787-8, when they should be comparing it to a 280-seat 787-9). So, in response to Airbus's "Boeing PR" claims, Boeing should use this new term when talking about Airbus's lopsided apples-to-oranges comparisons: "Airbus Math." After all, Airbus's numbers just don't add up right. For proof, look no further than all those A380 delays.

Zachary M., Fort Wayne, Indiana

Some say that the delay of the A380 is not a problem since it won't have a competitor of its size for many years. However, two engines were developed for it, and their delay might be a problem. It seems like the Trent 900 and GP-7200 need to be in revenue service now to take advantage of their technological window. The more efficient GenX engine is poised to take to the skies in large numbers in the not to distant future.

Ted C., Mt. Vernon, Virginia

Some say that the delay of the A380 is not a problem since it won't have a competitor of its size for many years. However, two engines were developed for it, and their delay might be a problem. It seems like the Trent 900 and GP-7200 need to be in revenue service now to take advantage of their technological window. The more efficient GenX engine is poised to take to the skies in large numbers in the not to distant future.

Ted C., Mt. Vernon, Virginia

Seems your recent comments echo what many aviation forums have been saying all along in regard to the A350XWB. http://www.fleetbuzz.com/forums//index.php?showtopic=8793 The XWB raises more questions than it answers- and as you rightly point out, the A320 is marginally wider than the 737, yet the latter is the better seller- and by default, the 787 has stolen a huge march on EADS/Airbus- while it fails to address the superiority of the 777 family.

A., London, U.K.

Regarding the 787/A350XWB comparisons: We all know that Airbus is comparing apples to oranges (like comparing their 270-seat A350-800 to a 242-seat 787-8, when they should be comparing it to a 280-seat 787-9). So, in response to Airbus's "Boeing PR" claims, Boeing should use this new term when talking about Airbus's lopsided apples-to-oranges comparisons: "Airbus Math." After all, Airbus's numbers just don't add up right. For proof, look no further than all those A380 delays.

Zachary M., Fort Wayne, Indiana

Yawn! How predictable that Randy once again is here to bad mouth the competition! Come on, don't be so childish! This is a blog, not a kindergarten! Boeing is a great company that makes great products. However, with attitudes like yours no wonder we Europeans tend to weel revulsion at you Yanks!

Ivor M., Berlin, Germany

I very much appreciate your comments, especially this week's where you explain how AB is trying to slant the comparison. What I'm amazed at is how COMPLETELY AB has faltered...management, finances, design for manufacturability, manning and manufacturing efficiency, etc, etc. The challenges they face are much greater than BA faced with the factory issues in '98. What I don't understand about BA's behavior is why not go for the jugular? Especially if they decide this Friday to pursue the 350, why shouldn't BA proactively try to launch the 737 successor in '08 or so...when they're tied down engineering wise and financially? I'm sure there are might be issues around residual guarantees and others that I haven't considered, but it seems to me that BA is on the cusp of dominance for a decade or so given recent events...why not extend the lead even further? P.S. why you're at it why doesn't BA try to use composite technology to offer a competitive product to the ERJ family? The only way BA is vulnerable long term is from the bottom, don't let them get a foothold and don't make it easy for them to have the R&D dollars to develop composites.

Dick G., New York

For the 747-8I, maybe Boeing could satisfy both Emirates and British Airways with the same size airframe by extending the range with extra tanks similar to the 747-400ER for Qantas? One would hope that Cathay Pacific would get a few for the LAX to HKG route, glad that they don't use the 340-600 for that route anymore.

Rob, Las Vegas, Nevada

I just read in Flight International that this program when launched has slipped at least a year to the 2013 timeframe for the -800,-900. The -1000 is now scheduled for EIS in late 2015. Give me a break. If this variant is to take on the 777-300ER, I am sure this development is not making Boeing shake with fear. In 9 years time, assuming Airbus has no more slips, Boeing will presumably have already made plans for a 777 replacement that will obsolete this plane. Airbus will be playing catch up for at least the next 10 years or more.
Mark, Newport Beach, California

To me this new website [Startup Boeing] that you launched is a noble move. Not many people would contemplate starting a business in airlines, but here you are helping them. :)

Meikah D., Makati, Philippines

I do not recall the quote you attributed to Sir Richard, at least not in the form quoted, nor in identifying the originator. The quote as I recall it goes: "You can make a small fortune running an airline, of course, you have to start out with a large fortune". I am not sure, however, this sounds rather a Bethunesque like saying.

W.K.B., Newcastle, Washington

It seems to me that if you have to make a web site for a startup airline, then they have no business being in that business.

Gregory S., Anchorage, Alaska

Your answer on why the 747-8F has much shorter range that the passenger (higher gross weight) suggests that a freighter ought to have higher lift wing than a passenger plane. Are the wing designs different and are new freighters more efficient than converted passenger planes?

Doug H., Anaheim, California

Two comments: It sounds like Emirates is concerned mainly with only about 100-150 extra nautical miles of range over the baseline 8000 to fit its own guidelines for range/payload/winds. Would it really be that hard to increase the baseline range by such a small amount? Shortening the fuselage seems an awfully high price to pay for an axtra 250-300 nautical miles. I would think apart from efficiency gains, simply raising the take-off weight to 980,000lb and increasing the thrust of the GEnx engines to about 68,500 lb would do the job and then some (10,000 extra lbs of fuel) Second, I also notice that as the max T.O. weight has risen from 960K to 970K the specified engine thrust has remained the same, at 66,500lbs. It has been noted that even though the A380 has a lower thrust to weight ratio, its low-speed wing design allows it to avoid step-climbing to cruise altitude where the 747-8 still requires this, which is all the more reason to increase the thrust of the engines to possibly compensate for this wing efficiency disadvantage. I would think 68,500lbs (at 970K T.O. weight) MINIMUM with the same fuel consumption is reasonable, but would it be enough? It just seems that the 66,500 lbs x4 for a 970k plane is a very small increase (and an inferior thrust to weight ratio) versus 63,300 x4 for the 875k max T.O. 747-400. Here's to some big 747-8I orders coming soon (hopefully)!

John G., Colorado Springs, Colorado

My understanding is that composite materials such as CF and kevlar variants are subject to degradation when exposed to UV light over long periods of time. I also have read that in the higher echelons of racing (namely Formula 1) the composite structures have a limited lifespan of a few races until the tubs are no longer able to meet flex tolerances. Are these factors relevant to the composite structures used on the 787, or are they so much 'urban legend'?

Chris, Austin, Texas

Just curious if people in the marketing department have considered hiring Orange Country Choppers to design and build a tribute chopper to the 787. I think having the Discovery Channel film American Chopper working with Boeing on a bike would be a lot of fun to watch. It would be a great way to extend a "fresh" image of the '87. I enjoy the blog, keep up the good work!

Patrick K., Seattle, Washington

Congrats on conquering South America's biggest challenge to Boeing: TAM. This could be the beginning of a long friendship. Civil Aviation market is growing steadily here, not exactly the best time to delay the delivery of new aircrafts by years.

Ronaldo, Sao Paulo/SP, Brazil

In the Red Herring Magazine, Nintendo quoted that it would be flying in as many as 18,000 Nintendo Wii in each Air Freight as it tries to move 4 million Wii units to the US. It would seem to me that it would be an interesting promotion to fill the 747 LCF with Nintendo Wii. I estimate it would hold about 1 % of the 50,000 Wii units ($12,500,000 worth). I understand that the 747 LCF is in flight test and is not normally going to be used for "commercial freight" but to upstage the Airbus 380 freight (again) and have a holiday flair with Boeing helping Santa Claus make certain there are enough Nintendo games for the Holiday Season. If not possible, I hope this has at least provided a smile.

Timothy S., Saint Louis, Missouri

In a nutshell, is the 787 bleedless engine design more focused on energy efficiency benefits or other benefits such as humidified cabin air?

Ivan, Houston, Texas

Why doesn't Boeing improve its single aisle B737 to beat Airbus A320 family? I have seen a lot of times airlines prefer 320 over 737. Why don't Boeing use entire composite structure or do something different that it could readily beat 320 like the Dreamliner?

Musfequs S., Warrensburg, Missouri

I didn't get your post on Nov 1st. Even though you had mentioned before that Boeing will continue to improve upon the 777, now you seem to imply that further improvements on the 777 is impossible. "The cost of re-doing an aluminum fuselage design that is already complete, using another material set makes it pretty much prohibitive." As you know, A350XWB will be built entirely with composite. The A350-1000 will essentially drive a knife into the heart of the 777-300ER. I hope Boeing will respond aggressively before Airbus overtakes Boeing again.

Victor T., Santa Clara, California

Recently on Bloomberg, Airbus officials claimed that their Airbus A350XWB will be composed of 50% composites, challenging your Boeing 787. With the 50% of composites they can better attack Boeing's 787. Timing and amount of engineers might be their disadvantage, but technology and innovation is on their side, which out weighs timing, because they could see the Boeing 787 and improve their Airbus A350XWB. What is Boeing doing? I also remember that their Airbus A380 and A350XWB and A320E will be in the works together, while Boeing will be freed from juggling the Boeing 737RS and other planes. Also, what are you doing to tackle the supplier and weight issue?

Agustas A., Madrid, Spain

I can't say I'm impressed with the look of the new 747 LCF developed to support the 787 program, but I do wonder if there is a commercial market for this less attractive queen of the skies. Has anyone asked you to build one of these for them? Would you?

William D., Barstow, Maryland

Is it possible to do a mini BWB for 737 replacement? Could give big boost to range and cargo capabilities. On Combi modes, airliners could have a good, flexible, and small aircraft for passenger/cargo modes.

Pangestu A., Surabaya, Indonesia

Like other readers you mentioned in your Nov. 1 blog, it is also obvious to me that Boeing's 777's will have to be weight-reduced by a lot to keep up with the new composite planes. For example, your 787-10 is projected to have a MTOW of under 550,000 lbs and carry as many passengers roughly as far as a 750,000 lb 777-300ER. Those are pretty jarring comparisons! When it (eventually) comes out, Airbus's larger-model XWB A350 will be similar or larger than the 787-10, and unless the 777-300ER "slims down" by a huge amount, it will then no longer be attractive to buy and operate. The only way to get the 777's weight down a lot is by using a fully-composite airframe (and then you can slim down those 19-ton engines it currently uses, and the fuel used, too). All a very virtuous cycle, but impossible to do well enough while clinging to a mainly-metal airframe. Also obviously, you won't tell us what you are going to do about it, but I'm sure you will do what's needed when it's needed! Thanks for your blog, it is entertaining and it often delivers the news ahead of everyone else...

Ivan C., Oakville, Ontario, Canada

I wanted to comment on your blog about the 747-8I. You said that this airplane can fly the same amount of miles when it's fully loaded. A Dutch website (www.luchtvaartnieuws.nl - it's all in Dutch) posted some news about the same subject. They actually told people that this plane will fly 'less' miles then the original model. What is true?

Bas N., Amersfoort, the Netherlands

Would it be possible to offer the 747-8 Intercontinental with a 9-Abreat Economy Class? I think much of the hype that the competing A380 gets is based on the premise that it is more spacious - that it's 10-abreast Eco Class will be so much wider, in seats and aisles, that the 747. I like the space I get on a 777 - that is something that no Airbus product can match. But can we see that kind of cross-section on the 747? How will one seat less affect the economics of operating the 747-8i?

Jun L., Manila, Philippines

I read the other day that Boeing was discouraging buyers from multiple color schemes on the engine nacelles for the 787 because of excessive fuel burn due to the drag generated by the point where the paint lines meet. Why not just clear coat the nacelles after painting? We used to do this with custom paint jobs in the 80's. Could the additional paint weight that much more? Just wondering.

Rick D., Huntsville, Alabama

I understand you have no plans for a 1000 passenger BWB craft, but how about one to supplant the 737? I have read that you are considering a 2-aisle replacement. This sounds like a wider fuselage than the current "tube" so perhaps BWB in which the fuselage becomes a lift body? Doing a BWB 737 would be a good way to start; a small and simpler aircraft at the beginning of your learning curve. Also, is it true that if BWB works aerodynamically and otherwise then it will be much more efficient than the current "tube" designs because the airframe drag will be only about what is needed to maintain lift? If so, why isn't Boeing pushing hard now in this high-fuel-cost market to make BWB work ASAP not only on commercial craft but also military ones, such as the new tanker?

Christopher D., Plainfield, New Hampshire

Can't help feeling that the 747 is finally fulfilling its destiny of being a dedicated freighter (originally on the premise that SSTs would take over passenger duties). Given that the 787 killed off the original A350 as a derivative - is the 787-8 Intercontinental itself too much of a derivative to make a successful passenger plane? I acknowledge that the potential market is much smaller.

Gary G., Sydney, Australia

Giving aircraft sub-models designators like -8 and -9 rather than the more traditional -200 and -300 seems to have been embraced by the industry. Why the change?

Patrick J., Aberdeen, Scotland

We dentists have experimented with composite structures on our patients for decades. Dental people are also very interested in material sciences. If fascinates me that you are taking what we use for tooth colored filling materials and fabricating an airplane. Is the new 787 more of a self cure composite or is it heat or halogen light cured. We also had great problems with durability. How have you conquered that in terms of the temperature extremes in flight?

Jack R., Hudson, Ohio

It's my understanding that the 777 would be in competition with the A350, 787-10 maybe. The question is on everybody's mind. What will Boeing do with the 777? Especially do to the recent rumors of the A350 going the direction of an all composite fuselage. Leap Frog DeJaVu? BTW-IMO Don't make the mistake of Airbus A350-airbusdoesnotknowwhatitis with the 747-8i and 787-10. Cancel the 747-8 pax version, cancel possible 787-10 and put the money into a 777 Dreamliner.

Roy D., Sarasota, Florida

I have read the section in your blog about the possibility (or not!) of imprinting an airline's livery into the carbon fibre of the 787's fuselage. You said that this was not possible, but what about anodized aluminum? This is a tough, hard wearing finish that would save weight. I understand that any new operators of the aircraft would have to paint over the old livery (as would the original airline if their livery changes) but this would be an incentive to buy new! Hope you get the 787 out on time, and I'm looking forward to seeing it fly!

Felix C., London, UK

Is anyone going to think outside the box on changing how people are packed onto long haul planes? There is a lot of density at seat level but nothing occupying above seat level. I would be overjoyed at having Japanese capsule hotel style tubes, and they could be packed all the way to the ceiling. I think you could even fit more people that way!

Roger B., Santa Cruz, California

Is anyone going to think outside the box on changing how people are packed onto long haul planes? There is a lot of density at seat level but nothing occupying above seat level. I would be overjoyed at having Japanese capsule hotel style tubes, and they could be packed all the way to the ceiling. I think you could even fit more people that way!

Roger B., Santa Cruz, California

I see the airlines using their old paint jobs on a plane or two. How about Boeing painting the brown and gold for on the 737er as on the first 737. How about the fat red stripe and black under the cockpit for the 748 rollout?

Ted C., Mt. Vernon, Virginia

The 747-8I uses 241,590 litres (less allowances) to deliver 467 pax 14,800 km = 28.61 pax-km/litre. The A380-800 uses 310,000 litres (less allowances) to deliver 555 pax 15,000 km = 26.85 pax-km/litre. Your plane uses less. It now depends if the reduced freight capacity leaves yours attractive to the airlines.

Ivan C., Oakville, Ontario, Canada

It is no surprise to learn that potential 747-8I buyers wanted a few more seats so that the passenger version would be the same length as the cargo version. Speaking of the freighter, the clear advantage of lighter structure than A380F and having a nose loading door is manifested by the 40+ order it has already accumulated. And the orders for the passenger version will follow since it is the natural replacement for the current -400 operators. In the Pacific sector at least, 744's fly near capacity almost all year round. Additional ~50 seats will fill up if 8I was available today. In short, "If you design it right, they will buy."

Yungsun H., Los Angeles

The newly extended 747-8 Intercontinental, allowing for 467 passengers is closer to the A380 with 555 passengers. The 747-8 is within 84% of carrying the 555 passengers of the A380. I can't imagine this news will make the newly replaced Airbus administration feel confident. Why would an airline pay so much more to buy an A380 that carries only 88 more passengers? Adding to the problem of buying an A380 is the ever-delayed delivery date. The 747-8 will be a success and it is a clever addition to the Boeing line. It further paints Airbus into a corner.

John K., Eugene, Oregon

In this article, Flight International reports that "Boeing opts for larger passenger variant but Dubai airline would rather see it build original longer-range proposal." I think the currently proposed 747-8I's range is about perfect, the dash-eight stands for EIGHT thousand nautical miles. You have to keep the 8-conomics right.


I had read that Emirates actually preferred longer range in the new 747-8I over more seats, whereas British Airways wanted more seats and less range. What will Boeing's response to this be? Would you offer two different 747s? Perhaps a high capacity 747-8 and a long range 747-9?

Eugene, Los Angeles, California

I work at GKN Aerospace - Monitor Inc. on Long Island. Just a quick note to say keep up the good work on your blog. I can't tell you how many times we check back to see if you've updated the site. We look forward to your 'take' on subjects. Thanks and GOOD JOB!

Steve B., Long Island, New York

Randy, you can't leave Boeing! I wish more of the Boeing types were as vocal and knowledgeable as you are. I read where Airbus doesn't know what to do about your blog. Just keep it up! I still think Boeing has played a huge part in convincing Airbus to build the 380. "Ahhh, the old sucker play!" The recent news concerning the versions of Catia is almost too ridiculous to believe... After all, it IS their software. Wasn't the 777 built without a mockup using Catia? I look forward to the blog every week, perhaps you should write twice a week for us news-starved Boeing fans.

Wes C. Arab, Alabama

I regularly fly both airplanes [737, A320], both in the cockpit and in the cabin. While many never discuss comfort of the pilots, it is a fact that the A320 series cockpit is 'bigger' and therefore more comfortable, with more room to work. As for the passenger cabin, people can quote statistics all day. But the fact that the sidewalls are more upright in the Airbus makes the window seat definitely more comfortable. Otherwise, you really can't tell any difference between the two interiors, in my opinion. As emphasized here by Randy, management of airline operations like on-time performance, flight attendant courtesy, passenger amenities are the things that really matter the most. And like any other business, the delivery of those things to the customer clearly varies in importance between different airlines. Certain airlines are more successful than others simply because they tend to focus on the most appropriate things like placing customer satisfaction and safety before everything else. Customers notice this difference and when offered adequate choice, they will spend their money where they perceive the best value, which is not always the lowest fare.

Ken W., Renton, Washington

I'm on my 16th year flying the wonderful 747. If it's possible to have a warm relationship with a machine, then I guess I'm guilty. The admiration I have for the airplane is enhanced further by the new 747 models on your "drawing boards" and I congratulate Boeing for its adaptive and innovating, pilot pleasing engineering over the years. Simply marvelous.

Manny P., Wellington, Nevada

I'm a long time Boeing stockholder. Regarding the 737 replacement, I have a suggestion that is outside the box, if you will. Design the new 737 with 1 larger engine but keep 2 small engines inside the main frame of the aircraft, that would be deployed in event of main engine trouble, that could fly the plane in a slow flight condition for say 500 miles. I don't know if this feasible or not but I like to think outside the box.

Tim C., Southampton, New York

First, I love your blog, and as a stockholder it really helps me to see Boeing's future. I also enjoy the bits about you, such as your picture down in South Africa and how it was funny to be from the northwestern most point of the continental United States. You are an engaging and interesting executive. Keep it up. I know Boeing doesn't actually manufacture and install seating. Nonetheless, I wanted to know if Boeing is taking into account that people are getting bigger and heavier. It seems that with the number of seats that you can squeeze into a plane being airlines priorities, has any consideration been made to make sure real people can fit in these seats? And if a person needs two seats, how to make the two seats comfortable? And if people weigh more, then I assume the airline cannot take on as much freight. Does that space then go unused? Thanks for your input, and keep up the blog!

Carol C., Sacramento, California

Congratulations to the Boeing team for listening to the customer and giving them "what they want" not "what we think they want." Making both versions of the 747-8 the same size will undoubtedly reduce complexity in the manufacturing process thereby reducing cost and risk as the program ramps up. I, like many of Boeing's fans out there, are looking forward to the day when Boeing announces that first big 747-8I order.

Hardy M., Orange County, California

I've perused comments of my fellow bloggers about the proposed darkening capability of the passenger windows in the 787 - and want to express my "two cents" on this issue. When I fly I ALWAYS book a window seat; booking my flights months in advance, to have a good window seat! Obviously, I enjoy the views through my window; even watching for passing air traffic! (Perhaps my fellow bloggers have seen the "air to air photos" posted on web sites including airliners.net) .I shoot photos of major topography / land features, as well, including Mt. Rainier. It's a contradiction for Boeing to offer the largest window ever available in a commercial jet but then allowing cabin crew to control when / if the passenger ( aka me !!! ) can enjoy the view outside the window!? When I fly I don't sleep! My rationale is simple: I don't pay good money to sleep - I can sleep when I reach my destination! I WANT TO ENJOY THE VIEW - THE EXPERIENCE - WHEN FLYING! I can sleep anytime - flying always has and always will be special to me! One of your bloggers reports that he is an "international road warrior" who prefers a dark cabin. All he need do is don an eye mask, close his eyes and he'll see nothing! United Airlines - and others, I'm sure - has eye masks available in their amenity kits. I've seen some passengers who use their blanket to cover their heads, when they want to sleep. During my career in the US Air Force I caught numerous "hops" (free of charge flights) on C-141 and C-5 cargo haulers. These aircraft had NO WINDOWS - except tiny portholes in doors and emergency exits - that their "hitchhikers" could look through! I can assure you, my flights on these airplanes were loooooong and boooooring! I'll have to avoid flying on the 787 if you make it possible for cabin crew to control and dictate when I can look out my window! I just won' pay good money for a bad ride!

Joe B., Warner Robins, Georgia

Been a fan of this blog for about a year now and admire your straight forward style. Much of what you have written in the past seems to be proving out. Here's my question. Is the weak dollar really that much of a problem for Airbus, or just an easy scapegoat for the political leaders?

Ron, Boston, Massachusetts

My students are interested in your site very much. I always aspired to understanding of each student and should visit your site. Now I understand what so pulls them to you.

Alberto A., USA

I work for one of the largest 747-400 Combi operators. (If you look at my location, you'll be able to guess which one ;-)). In our 744 fleet we only have 5 full pax aircraft. The other 744's are all Combi's. Is Boeing also considering a Combi version of the 747-8? That would really make my day!

Frank V., Hoofddorp, The Netherlands

If anything is to be said about the stretched 467-seat Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, it is that there could be no better way to indicate the huge amount of flexibility and design potential this phenomenal airplane is capable of! And as you correctly said in the Blog entry, Added Revenue, what is even more outstanding is that despite this fairly substantial jump in seating as well as revenue cargo capacity and airframe size over both the -400 and the initial 747-8I, the costs are significantly lower than the -400, and the range is still at the 8,000nm mark! That in itself is truly remarkable. The 747-8 airframe is clearly a very efficient, and optimized design. No doubt that, as Boeing has clearly been listening to its customers and continuing to advance the Queen of the Skies, orders for the -8I will definitely begin to flood in soon! As for the 747-8F - Most definitely the freighter of the future! Simply, the 747-8 is an ultra-efficient leviathan that is set to rule the 400 plus seat market for decades to come.

Chris C., South Africa

Why is it that avionics have not reached the reliability of consumer electronics? Seems like a great marketing strategy would be an airplane that you never needed to look under the hood, I mean carpet (EE Bay access hole). This seems like an emperor's new clothes observation. I realize that operating environments are harsh - but it begs the question why we need to service some things in the first place... I can buy a Wal-Mart TV that will last 10 years for $200.

Richard M., Everett, Washington

You mention routes out of South Africa to illustrate that traffic spreads when smaller planes are involved. That is most likely true, but you don't mention the political changes in South Africa since 1991 allowing the growth in air traffic between South Africa and the rest of the world.

Thomas W., London

I enjoyed your latest article regarding the state of affairs at Airbus. Thanks for taking the high road on your opinion of Airbus. It's easy to criticize an opponent when they are down and you chose not to. Good form.

Bruce, SeaTac, Washington

In spite of the set backs that Airbus has had we need to make sure that "Launch Aide" is not in the equalization for their next Jetliner. Do you hear me Jim M?

John L., Tucson, Arizona

I have to commend you on how well written your response was to the A380 program. I love it when an executive does not bash a rival. Peter

Peter S., Scottsdale, Arizona

A very classy statement on a difficult topic. From my perspective, you are quite correct with respect to the need for strong competition being for the betterment of all, be it Boeing or Airbus.

Erik H., Redlands, California

Kudos for not basking in the difficulties of others even if it is the competition, Boeing will be stronger because of it.

Ron B., Boston, Massachusetts

I have thought that Airbus was facing terrible loses over the A380 program. Now EADS is slowly facing the fact that all of their A380 mistakes are catching-up with them. Expect more EADS problems soon. Airlines can't be expected to wait long for the delivery new planes. Expect many A380 orders to be cancelled or EADS will pay penalties for the damage caused by the delays. Airbus has three new planes being worked on now; the A380, A350 wide body, and the military transport M400. They don't have enough engineers to do all of this work = mistakes.

John, Eugene, Oregon

It would appear that Airbus has finally hit the wall. Many observers had predicted that they would suffer a major catastrophe because of the lack of communication within the organization. It's now evident that the proverbial "left hand doesn't know what the right is doing" is true. The disclosure that the CAD systems in France are different to the ones in Germany, and can't communicate in the same software language is incredible, and are the root cause of numerous problems in assembly. A valuable lesson, you should never let political appointee's run multinational companies, way too much conflict and a demonstrated lack of communication.

Ken T., Vancouver, British Columbia

Randy, it's come to my attention at a major airline finance conference, that the vast majority of the 200+ aircraft financiers present preferred to have total control of their window shades. Since these financiers are also frequent flyers, don't you think there is some useful information here for the Boeing Company? In fact, 60% wanted total control of the shades and only 26% were willing to accept the flight attendants setting upper and lower bands of opaqueness (7% had no opinion and 7% wanted the flight attendants to control the shade). This is not a slight preference, but a HUGE preference. The silent majority has awakened and has spoken. What do you have say about this? There is still time to do the right thing before 787 EIS. Take that shade switch out of the galley and do the right thing - full control for paying customers!

Doug R., New York

I wonder when Boeing will announce the 787-10 , and what added benefits it would bring to the table as compared to the competition which exists in that sized market currently and in the future (with the XWB-10).

Gaurav, India

ATW reported http://atwonline.com/news/other.html?issueDate=9%2F29%2F2006 that "A350 XWB entry-into-service date appears to be sliding 6-12 months owing to the ongoing A380 wiring difficulties." If this news is true then the 787 won't have any contender until 2013. In other words 787 will be alone in its market segment during the first five in-service years. It also means that the 777-300ER will dominate its market segment at least until 2015. Time is money and Boeing has a lot of it.


When comparing 1990 and 2006 please remember that South Africa was heavily sanctioned at that time, few countries could do business with them and as such, international air travel was not in such big demand - hence the low frequencies. Regarding today (2006), where only a third of the frequencies are served by the 747 - a third of 168 is still a lot more than the 28 in 1990.

Johnny N., Denmark

As a Boeing field service rep assigned to Anchorage, I want you to know that your Journal is just one more way for me to stay in touch with company news and progress. Although I am on the Military side of the Boeing house (F-15's) I find your thoughts on new commercial aircraft development, processes, innovation, and strategies very informative.

Tom M.., Anchorage, Alaska

Just read about the 747 "XLB." Here's an idea, take the original short hump fuselage and put the 140" plug in it instead of plugging into the long hump. I never liked the hump so close to the wing in the 744 and the old 748i.

Ted. C., Mt. Vernon, Virginia

I continue to read and enjoy this blog and have begun to see how much aviation has changed. The 787 program seems to signify a large part of this change. In particular, the idea of composite construction seems vital in taking the lead in the air so to speak. What occurred to me is whether Lockheed would consider getting back into commercial aviation since they are quite advanced and experienced in composites. (Any joint venture possibilities with anyone?) Secondly, it occurred to me that Airbus will need two new families of aircraft to compete against the range offered by the 787 and 777 programs. It should be interesting to see if they do this. As you are aware, they will remain competitive in many ways.

John D., Auburn, Alabama

Just a quick suggestion for the designation of the 737NG successor...something borrowed from McDonnell Douglas. How about BCA-10, BCA-20, etc. The old designation scheme will seem to have run its course if 797 is applied and although providing a link with Boeing's rich heritage, IMO it won't convey the revolutionary "new-ness" of the 737s successor, but is more evocative of an "evolutionary" development. Hope this makes sense. (Also a lot easier that "A350-800XWB". think of the poor media!) Really love this blog and the opportunity to make gratuitous contributions!

Lumberton, Texas

Like Joe Sutter, I went through Narita many years back (about 1985). As we were taking off, I looked out and saw nothing but 747s. (Maybe 3 that were not out of 29). I thought, boy, that sure tells you where the market is. A great memory and glad to think about it again.

Greg S., Anchorage, Alaska

I, like everyone at Boeing have been scrambling to get definitive data on the new A350XWB family. My comments may be premature but I think the comparison between the 789 and the 358XWB is a valid one. They both have the same published MTOW of 245t, yet the 789 is a larger aircraft, flying more payload over a greater distance (8,800nm v 8,500nm). Yet they weigh the same. This would have to put the A358 at a serious disadvantage and I wonder what the real comparisons will be like between the 787-10 and the A359XWB? To me, it seems as if Boeing is the company pushing the technological boundaries here, particularly in reference to the composite fuselage. I wonder why Airbus hasn't gone CFRP with their fuselages yet? I can only assume they can't see the value in it or they don't have the technical know-how to efficiently produce this type of fuselage. In fact, the only real advantage I can see of the XWB family over the 787 is the extra fuselage width. Even this seems to be very minimal (5-7cm in critical areas) that will make very little difference in a 9-abreast twin-aisle airliner. It is apparent that Airbus is not really challenging the 787 family with the new 350XWB, but the 777 family. However, in this case, it should be more appropriately called the XNB (extra narrow body), as the fuselage width difference between the 777 and the 350XWB is significant (the difference between 9 and 10- abreast).

Dale C., Melbourne, Australia

Maybe Boeing should look at building the 767 Tanker (if it comes into fruition) in Long Beach as a replacement for the C-17 jobs. I also think they should look at putting the 787 next/gen engines on the ship as they way to cut fuel burn and amortize costs.

John L., Tucson, Arizona

I too am leery of the prospect of giving flight attendants control of the window shading range. While we may be able to see out the window during the daytime, what I am concerned about is seeing out at night. The flight attendants will probably assume on night flights that everyone will want to sleep and dim the windows a great deal. I personally greatly enjoy night viewing, especially for the tremendous view of the night sky you can get from an aircraft. But if you dim the windows even a little bit, that may become invisible. What a tragedy that would be for those who have never seen the milky way or a truly dark night sky except from an airplane.

Daniel, New Jersey

In this discussion thread http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/2966986/ somebody asks, "Is The A350XWB Really A Step Above The 787?" The question should have been, "Is The A350XWB Really A Step Above The previous A350?"


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. More and more customers have been ordering their 737s with winglets, for good reason as they can save quite a bit of fuel. Now it seems Airbus is realizing they are at a disadvantage. They are testing large winglets on the A320! See http://www.airliners.net/open.file/1085626/M/

Will W., Everett, Washington

It is interesting to note that the 747 was developed with 'bet the company risk' around management of both Boeing and airline executives that understood their business and that their vision as to what it would mean to the future. I would think the 787 program has some of the some importance as that technology will be shaping the future at Boeing commercial aircraft. Joe Sutter's insight is an inspiration. Please add to your blog any additional comments you may glean from Joe.
Jim H., Wichita, Kansas

I was quite surprised by the comments you received by people who want to keep their window shades up no matter what. I'm one of those international road warriors who likes the cabin dark during long flights. Truth be told, on most intercontinental flights there's nothing much to see anyway. I have observed that moreso on US carriers, there are always one or two individuals who leave their windows open and their lights on all the time. And as you wrote, only one open window in a darkened cabin ruins it for everyone. This new window dimming system of yours sounds like a great idea. It keeps the cabin dim, and still lets the window guy get his views.

Jim R., Chicago

I have just counted the total orders of the 777 family. The figure is quite impressive: in July 2006, 851 units have been ordered. At the same time, 576 have been delivered. If we assume that Boeing delivers on average 44 airplanes per year, the remaining 777s to be delivered represent 6 years of production (up to 2012). If Boeing decides to go to the one thousand mark, it has to keep the line open up to 2015, just about the right time to introduce the 777-8 and the 777-9. One can speculate about the size and the range for these airplanes. My guess is that both will have a range of up to 7,900 nmi, the -8 will seat about 335 pax and the -9 will be a 400 seater. This size fits well between the 787-9 and 747-8i. Although both will be bigger than the current 777, they will be much lighter.


I think Airbus engineers are quite capable - it's Airbuses managers that screwed up. I think the A380 is the most serious mistake, that Airbus ever made - not only is it not selling well, it also prevented Airbus to offer a competitor to the Dreamliner. I'm from Europe (lived in the US for 4years), but I'm still cheering for Boeing. And Boeing really should offer the B787-10, so Airbus won't be able to sell its A350.

Luke, Nova Gorica/Slovenia

Recently Rolls Royce changed the name of its Trent 1700. First: Trent New Generation, Current: Trent XWB. What shocked me is that if Boeing wants an engine from Rolls Royce for their Boeing 787-10 (because they examined their competitor incorporating the ideas from the Boeing 787 and made it better) they would persuade Rolls Royce make a new engine that doesn't carry the title of "XWB", because it represents Airbus' A350. However, the engine will probably come later or after the Trent XWB, and ultimately delaying the Boeing 787-10 until 2013 or Late-2012? Boeing can ask GE to make a more efficient GEnx for their Boeing 787-10 (Which is about the only possibility) and also delaying the Boeing 787-10 or design their Boeing 787-10 with use of bleed air, which is not revolutionary. Airbus wants Boeing to suffer and that's fact. If I were Boeing, I'd watch out and make a decision now! Seriously, Boeing is getting a beating! The Airbus A350XWB is more efficient, the engines has a high-thrust rating (I don't know why it makes a difference), the windows will be larger than Boeing's 787-8 and has a better humidity point and wider fuselage, the Airbus A350XWB is easier to check or review, the Airbus A350XWB has a better range, and the Airbus A350XWB is considering the LCD-windows. Talk about competition! But Boeing could retain its position: -Boeing 787-10 or Boeing 787-9 (Even larger windows), since they are still not frozen. -Boeing 787-10 and -9 with bigger fuselage, like the Boeing 777 (Since it's going to be defeated anyways) -Boeing 787-10 should have more efficient engines than on the Airbus A350XWB I got to say, Airbus has trapped Boeing. Their new tactics are pretty smart. Is there any ideas to counter my opinion, because I can't think of any.

James A., Seattle, Washington

I heard that CBB is closing down due to the insufficient amount of the customers. Many carriers seemed to be happy and I thought many people were happy with this service as well. Yet Boeing says it is not profitable hence ditching the service. I think this is sort of going against the time really. If people are satisfied why ditch it? I think this very un-Boeing thing to do. I also have a suggestion, is the one digit (According to Boeing) usage problem due to the lack of the device that customers can get access to inboard? Because as far as I know in the most airlines that has CBB, you need the laptop to connect to CBB service. So I was thinking, may be renting these internet capable devices on board might change the situation? I heard that there are about 1 tonne of water vapour in the normal aircraft cabin, and the reason why cabin humidity is kept low is to increase the payload by getting rid of some of these humids? Is this true? And I was wondering that if this means that it will affect the efficiency of 787 since it has more humidity than current airliners.

Joo-Mann, Sydney, Australia

I recently heard that the 747-8I will be stretch to the same length as the freighter version. It would be kind of odd if the passenger and the freighter version have different length. With the galleys being move to the crown level for additional seats, is a great idea, just as my prediction. That is great news, one would hope that the designer don't forget to add more wash room since there are increase amount of passengers. Adding additional value by having the same wing box for both versions for future freighter conversion, great plan! Since I am a fan of the 747, it is nice to see this plane flying for many years to come, and let's hope that the airline order enough of them so that it is not so difficult to catch a ride on one. While living in Vegas, I am still required to do a connection for many international flights, but I don't mind if I could get on to a 747, especially the 747-8I. For Asian carriers, one could always guarantee for a 747, but not European carriers, its hit or missed. What I don't understand is why traveling to Europe would require me to connect through the east coast, especially the airline I flew have network and connections in LAX and SFO and they had 747 stopped at those two airports, but on the east coast, I had to get on the others' plane?

Rob, Las Vegas, Nevada

I really enjoyed your interview with Joe Sutter. I finished his book a month or so ago - really a terrific read. Please continue to interview Joe as much as possible in the future.

Erik H., Redlands, California

It is sad to know that Boeing will be closing down this service [Connexion] by end of this year. I wonder if Boeing have tried to market this service to China, as I believe that China may have big market for this service!

Yuen P., Singapore

Nice job on the Weight Watchers post, Randy. You guys maybe have better sources than me but using published figures and some informed opinion from my old boss (who broke me in as a weight engineer at Garrett many moons ago) I see much in the A380 to be apprehensive over. In fact, I blogged about it myself back in February of this year in my blog http:cornponepapers.blogspot.com. I'd probably buy you the lunch of your choice if I had the actual scale figures from the all up, passenger equipped A380 and some CG range information. I've been a little brusque with you guys in the past mostly because I'm a former Douglas worker, so I'm sure you'll see the value in a back of a cocktail napkin weight analysis done by a guy who's definitely not in the pay of either Airbus or Boeing-not that I wouldn't like to be.

Robert L., Des Moines, Iowa

It is always amazing and amusing to read on how the Airbus A380's head of marketing continues to slam the Boeing claims with regard to the 747-8 variants versus the A380 variants. Airbus is making it very clear that they are convinced Boeing is virtually lying about the promised efficiencies and economics that the new 747 offers and that Boeing is grossly over-exaggerating the A380's weight problems. Airbus also continue to say that the 747-8 is an 'old', inefficient design which now has a minor tweak to the wing, and does not offer significant passenger growth over the current -400. Airbus simply have brushed off the latest 747, and have attempted to destroy Boeing's fine reputation in the process. Firstly, there is nothing minor about having an aerodynamically all-new, aft loaded, relofted and re-twisted supercritical wing that is able to hold more fuel, be far more efficient and quieter and still allow the highest economical cruise speed of any current or future passenger and freighter airplane. The wing has inherent stiffness, it is lighter and employs the better high-speed planform than A380's and Airbus are currently struggling with the A380's wing limit problem. Go figure! For Boeing to give Airbus the benefit of the doubt with the A380 wing being all-new, is very lenient. Now, if Boeing were lying about the 747-8's economics and efficiencies - in Airbus's clouded eyes - wouldn't that mean that Boeing is going to destroy their own credibility? Very amusing as it seems Airbus has not thought there comments and claims through very well. The 747-8 role in Airbus's view is to compete directly against the A380. Well, if an airline requires an efficient airliner that seats above 500 seats comfortably then the A380 is the answer, but for the majority of the blue-chip carriers, the 747-8 is the answer for a significant increase of revenue and size from the 747-400, whilst offering drastically lower operating costs, trip costs and much greater efficiencies. It is in this role that the 747-8 competes against A380 - 747 is far lower risk, higher reward, greater flexibility and completes Point to Point travel. As for the 747-8F, I personally think Airbus have quietly admitted to themselves that Boeing no doubt has the right airplane. Quite simply put: 747-8 is the shape of the future!

Chris C., South Africa

I am not impressed by the electronic shading proposal for the 787 windows. I am one who likes to look out the windows of an airplane for the marvelous views. Having to shade the entire window would not provide the ability to block the sun while maintaining partial views. Also, nothing quite so frustrating as when the attendants force everyone to pull the shades during a day trip in order to show a movie. Will they have the ability to do this remotely for all windows whether you like it or not? I think the shading proposal is the answer to a question no one asked. Yes, I know it might save a little weight, but it is one more thing to make flying just a little more unpleasant.

Del, Seattle, Washington

Given that a 747 or 777 is built around an aluminum frame how difficult would it be and how much weight would be saved by "re-skinning" with the same material that is being used for the 787? It would seem to be relatively easier to make pre-molded sheets vs an entire fuselage? Just a thought. Would this be at all practical?

C.W.K., California

Is the 747-8 passenger going to have the same internal features as the 787 such as the electronic window shading? You have spoke so much about the 787, but, very little about some of the features on the 747-8.

Mike C., Long Beach, California

Airbus claims for the A350XWB-800 just don't add up. The 8-abreast A350-800 had a (stated) MTOW of 245t and a (stated) range of 8,800 nmi. Now Airbus wants us to believe a jet with a wider fuselage, bigger wing, heavier wing and landing gear at the same MTOW will fly only 300 nmi less than the smaller jet? Nonsense. I'm thinking 1,000+ nmi is more like it. I think a blog entry refuting the Airbus claims for the XWB is in order.

Robert R., Everett, Washington

Because I have mostly flown on Boeings, the first thing I noticed when I finally flew on a wide body Airbus was the inward sloping interior, cutting off shoulder room and overhead baggage room. A bad first impression. I asked myself what Airliner Executive would board this plane and order it? But they do. The original A350, with that sane interior, logged a mind baffling 182 orders. Then there is the 747-8. It is a make sense alternative to the Airport unfriendly and engineering nightmare A380, and yet, instead of A380 losing orders, SIA just ordered 9 more while the 747-8 Intercontinental is yet to log a single order. Last years wide body sales advantage and this years overall sales advantage that Boeing enjoys is about the first trend that makes sense since this rivalry began. Never-the-less, Airlines buy Airbus even when they fall short. This is why I believe the Airbus camp is giddy over the XWB. The XWB might actually be a worthy of the sales. Airbus doesn't see the 10 inch wider 777 as a threat to the XWB because they figure the 8 across seating will give more comfort than the 9 of the 777. As far a performance claims, they'll make can make whatever claim they want until it actually flies. Perhaps the Boeing answer is a 777-8 with 8 across seating, larger windows, and that awesome 787 interior. Of course, this is easier said then recommended. But that would knock over the Airbus execs.

Greg B., Portland, Oregon

Your quote: "The 787 is the first commercial jetliner of the 2nd century of powered flight." Enjoy your column but, I don't understand this time claim in respect to the currently flying A380, unless qualified as the first "Boeing" jetliner of the 2nd aviation century.

Rene H., Seattle, Washington

I bought Boeing stock when it was fairly cheap a few years back. I had faith in Boeing's ability to build new and efficient product. It appears that my faith was justified, based upon the current share price. Also, Airbus appears to be just one more example of failed European industrial policy. The A320 has sold well, although I prefer any 737 model or DC-9 development to travel on. The A300 is a really efficient medium size twin. After that, what else has Airbus done in its 35 or so years of existence? The A380 is a joke, nobody wants the A340 and the 330 is dying as well. The A350 remains no more than an artist's conception. Go Boeing!

David G., Monroe, Ohio

Recently, Boeing sent me a e-mail regarding the new and revamped "newairplane.com". I glanced on a product to long to be a Boeing 787-9, could this be a elusive preview of the Boeing 787-10? How do you plan to counter the Airbus A350-1000? Obviously, the lucrative 777 market is losing its share to Airbus already, do you plan to counter that? As said "It's better to replace then allow your competitor to eat the market", and since the -200/-200ER will soon get punched out by Airbus' A350XWB-900, do you plan to revive the legacy of the Boeing 777? Such as, importing the ideas into the Boeing 787-10? Obviously, as we know it, the Airbus A350-900 might have a chance to crush Boeing's 777-200ER, but it's not wider. Again, will you import the great aspects of the Boeing 777 into the Boeing 787-10, such as a larger cross-section?

Andre, Seattle, Washington

Ok, Randy, the cat is out of the bag, according to the Boeing sales orders, "2" orders are showing up for 787 BBJ's. So, some of us, are quite curious as to what these 787 BBJ's are going to look like. Any chance of a sneak preview?

Mike C., Long Beach, California

I'm glad I stumbled across Randy's blog. I saw some comments about the A350XWB vs. the 787, in particular regarding SQ's intentions. Given Airbus's track record in on-time delivery and R&D vs. that of Boeing, I'm actually shocked that Tony Lim would even consider another order. The signal to the market by Emirates even weighs clear! The lucrative new long-distance and Moscow routes that the Asian carriers all acknowledge is a growth-market will surely propel great sales of the 787. I'm glad you have this blog and marketing tool present, especially since I myself am even considering to become an employee of Boeing!

Eric G., Cebu City, Philippines

Enjoyed your August post-Farnborough post. But you did not mention that the A350XWB will likely provide full control of the window shades to those who pay for them -- the passengers! This could be a key marketing advantage versus the 787 and the dictatorial control that Boeing is giving to the flight attendants to plunge the cabin into near-total darkness during daylight flights. Electronic window shades are great -- giving control to FAs is not. My trip home from Farnborough was a window seat in BA Business Class -- four windows, under my full control, fully open, all the time. Daytime flying the way it is supposed to be! Do I mind shutting my shade? Darn right I do. Have not been hearing much in the last year about engine swapping on the 787 -- is this becoming the folding wingtip of the 787? A neat idea at program inception that ultimately gains no traction over the life of the program and quietly fades away? And thanks for the DreamSpace at Farnborough -- not only was it by far the coolest space figuratively (with phenomenal displays and a fantastic 787 mock-up), it was the coolest space literally in that sweltering hell called the 2006 Farnborough Air Show.

Doug R., New York, New York

J/24 sailboat spinnaker poles could make a nice graphic demonstration showing how much stronger carbon fiber can be than Aluminum. The J/24 class specifies the weight of the spinnaker pole but not it's material. Carbon fiber poles are virtually indestructible and can be abused with impunity. The loads on similar aluminum poles have to be carefully balanced. A nice video demo would show a straight tubular aluminum pole (with an "A350" sticker?) sailing in a heavy wind with bending and compression loads. It would fail spectacularly - at least folding up and possibly completely breaking in half with the ends flailing about. A carbon fiber pole (with a "787" sticker) of identical size, shape and weight would be shown under identical conditions and be obviously nowhere close to damage. The visual point to be made is that a properly built carbon fiber structure will be dramatically stronger than a similar aluminum structure of the same size and weight. The accurately implied point is that an aluminum A350 will have to sacrifice strength and durability to match the 787's weight.

Doug H., Huntington Beach, California

It seems that Airbus has made several serious miscalculations. In the past several years they have developed three different planes at the same time. The jumbo A380 has taken most of their engineers. At the same time they developed the A350 [first version] and this effort took extra engineers they didn't have. The A350 was pieced together from older and smaller airbus models. The Dreamliner was selling more planes than Airbus expected. They added a few new composite parts and borrowed the new engine from the 787 Dreamliner. At this time, more engineers were working on the new military transport; the M400. Ever hear of the M400? Between the three new planes, they didn't have enough engineers to work on all the planes at the same time. The first version of the A350 has been thrown in the trash and redone with a copy of the 787. The A380 has problems and delays. Now parts of it are being re- designed and it is late. It seemed to be overly grandiose and close to being impractical. It was designed to be the largest passenger plane in the world and to show the superior engineering. It showed that a design needs to work well and sell enough planes to show a profit. I think they need to sell 250 A380's to break even. They have orders for 159 and there are no new orders. I have the strong feeling that Airbus might be in serious economic trouble within a year. They can make 'happy talk' about their clever designs, but they have made too many mistakes. The mistakes are piling up now into an economic melt down.

John K., Eugene, Oregon

I am more and more convinced that 737 replacement will happen if and only if you can sell them at a very low price. It means that not only the next generation narrow body aircraft will be more efficient; its production cost must be significantly lower than that of 737. The 737 replacement must also be simple to operate and robust. So, the four key words for 737 replacement are: Affordable, Robust, Simple and Efficient. In other words, it won't be available before 2015.


I just heard the announcement of the new Airbus A350XWB and rushed to the Airbus site to take a look. My question is how come the supposingly A350XWB, a derivative from the A380, with 787 engines would look identical to the 787 Dreamliner down to the winglet?

Rob, Las Vegas, Nevada

I only recently found your Blog on the web, and I find it excellent. Anyone who reads your blog would be well aware it's just another facet of Boeing marketing, but still your Journal is like a breath of fresh air compared to the usual bland corporate communications. The 787, with its high fuel efficiency, is just the right plane for the times I really wonder about the heavy use of advanced composites, though. I'm familiar with the basic technology, though I have no contact with aviation applications. As I know, it is still very difficult to routinely fabricate an item the size of a 787 fuselage section out of such materials. And Boeing is planning to build 20 to 30 787s a month - wow! Talk about audacity! I have no doubt Boeing's experience and sheer engineering muscle will be able to overcome the problems EVENTUALLY, but you sure are taking a big risk with delivery schedules and your reputation. I suppose that's why Airbus is taking a more conventional approach, even after the latest iteration of the A350-XWB. If you can pull it off, 787 will be clearly superior to the A350XWB, but if you fail, or take a long time to get it right, Boeing is going to get very badly hurt. Wish you all success.

Kit K., Penang, Malaysia

How about some recognition to Eclipse Aviation and the certification of its new Eclipse 500? The Eclipse 500 is every much a "game changer" in its marketplace as is the 787. Both are pioneering new methods of construction and will bring their operators new levels of efficiency and affordability. Additionally, I would be curious to get your take on the emerging air taxi business and what it means to companies like Boeing and Airbus.

Greg, San Diego, California

The 737. From 'Fluffy' to Next Generation, this airplane family continues to ink its self into the record books and continues to be one of the most impressive commercial airplane stories ever! A phenomenal airplane that will without a doubt continue to fly strong and mightily for many decades into the 21st Century! The 737 Next Generation is an airplane of superlatives and a true workhorse of the domestic and regional fleets. The 737 is a solid, sturdy machine that was and is built right. Boasting the highest dispatch reliability, a 3% -7% operating costs reduction, and a maximum maintenance reduction of 22%, over the A320 family, as well as boasting the most efficient design, and ground breaking technologies such as the blended Winglets, this airplane has got to be, without a doubt, the mainstay of any airline, company or private owner. The Boeing 737 Next Generation fleet is the only airplane family to cover the market fully, and offers unique models, such as the 737-700ER and -900ER. Flying faster and higher, yet far more fuel efficient with lower trip costs over the competition, is what makes this 737NG unstoppable, as well as all the other phenomenal Boeing Commercial Airplanes! Congratulations of the 2000th delivery of the 737NG, and may there a few thousand more deliveries of this unique airplane!

Chris C., South Africa

So, Farnborough Air show has finally come to an end. Overall, I'd say it was quite splendid. I was most excited to see a 777 in EVA Air's gorgeous livery on display. (thanks for letting a Taiwanese airline participate by the way) As a matter of fact, 777 is my absolute favorite airliner. Though I've only flown on it once with Singapore Airline, it was my most memorable flying experience ever. As such, I'm glad that Boeing will be improving the 777 further. Although there are those who consider 777 to be dead with the looming threats of A350 and B787-10. I for one believe that if Boeing can keep on rejuvenating its decades-old 737 and 747 to bring new lives into them, I don't see why they can't do the same with their relatively young flag ship. On Airbus front, it seems they've finally decided to get serious with their mid-haul long-range wide-body family by announcing the A350XWB. However, I'm still not all that impressed with Airbus and their new jet. For much of its elements seemed to have borrowed from Boeing's Dreamliner. (it's truly just a "me-too 787") Indeed, when I first saw the new A350, my first reaction was: "who painted the 787 in Airbus's livery?" Also, bigger windows, higher cabin humidity...etc, why to those features sound awfully familiar? So no, there's nothing about the A350XWB that makes it technologically "a leap ahead" of the 787. Nonetheless, though I have my doubts and criticisms regarding Airbus's ambitious claims and performance targets, should they really deliver the A350XWB on-specs and on-time, it'll most certainly provide a formidable opposition to 777 and 787. Therefore, better no take A350XWB lightly Boeing. As you've admitted before Randy, Airbus is a tough competitor. P.S: You're definitely right Randy. Air shows are just short sprints in this VERY LONG marathon of commercial aviation contest. And I expect 2006 to be another excellent year for both Boeing & Airbus.

Yurey Y, Taipei, Taiwan

I'm watching enthusiasm build for Boeing products, and I'm hoping the wave of mandatory pilot retirements will carry me into a Boeing for Air Canada in the next few years. But I start to wonder: the same generation of baby boomers who are hogging all the pilot seats are also building the airplanes. Sure the lack of a mandatory retirement age will soften the blow, but given that a lot of experienced skilled tradespeople are set to retire in the next few years, and given the modern preference of university over trades for smart high school graduates these days, what is Boeing doing to ensure that you'll still have the people to build all the airplanes the world wants?

Aviatrix, Canada

Boeing should not rest on its laurels and allow Airbus to pull a leapfrog on them. The 777, 737 and the 717 should have been designed using 8 technology to really level the competition. We all know Airbus will do what it does best and that is seek taxpayers in Europe to fund its projects. Airbus seems more concerned about sales rather than innovation and technology. If Airbus wants to compete, simply Randy, all Boeing needs to do is raise the bar just a little higher. Convince the manufacturers to make the engines even more efficient. I put my money on Boeing to dominate for the next 10-20 years.

Kevin, Miami, Florida

I currently reside in the beautiful port city of Bordeaux. A world-famous city if you ask me. Even our own Airbus A380 crossed the city. However, I'm very disappointed at the "new" Airbus A350XWB when it's generally based upon your revolutionary Boeing 787. I would not call the Airbus A350 revolutionary. Anyways, does Boeing plan to produce the 787-10? As what Airbus done to you, will you "leapfrog" them? They're fuselage is wider than your 787, but you may make it wider. Airbus also stated that the windows will be the largest in the industry, do you plan to counter that with the 787-10? Hopefully, the Boeing 787-10 range will exceed the Airbus A350XWB. Hopefully, you'll do very well with the upcoming Emirates order.

Thomas K., Bordeaux, France

I will love to see Boeing retake the lead from Airbus. Please try hard to please customers and work hard to get new orders from United, Delta, American Airlines and British Airways, US Air and many others .. Ten row across 3-4-3 will be wonderful.

Desmond C., Indianapolis Indiana

As Airbus has just launched their 5th (6th/7th??) iteration of the A350, I wonder how they are going to pay for the $10B development costs. We know the US will fight tooth and nail against anymore launch aid. Airbus is assuming they will have it ready for service in 2012. But they have many issues to resolve in the near term before they even think about starting production. In addition, 2012 is just about the timeframe Boeing will introduce their replacement for the single aisle family. Airbus will be playing catch-up for at least another 10 years. Also, they can kiss the tanker contract goodbye if they get more EU handouts.

Mark, Newport Beach, California

I am glad you guys have continued to take the high road in the pitched battle with Airbus for the 200-350 seat market. Comments about the 787 being a cheap Chinese copy of the A330 have come back to bite Airbus in the back end. Provide a superior product to the market and the airlines will beat a path to your door. Kudos to the Boeing team for doing just that! I am looking forward to watching Airbus struggle with Boeings future launches of the 737RS and 777"NG" while they are still trying to hit breakeven on the A380 and hit an impossible 2012 EIS for the A350XWB.

Rainer, San Clemente, California

I have over the past couple of months been reading the rhetoric coming from Airbus on the 350, but now with the 350XWB and all the superlative claims "best in class" etc. I have to say something. Much of the efficiency is weight related and if the new 350XWB has a higher internal cabin pressure and larger windows and the fuselage is still aluminum then it makes the statement "more efficient than the 787", even more suspect. With the higher internal pressures and larger windows the skin thickness, skin stresses will be higher and will need to be increased and fuselage weight will go up. Weight increase is very sensitive in the fuselage due to the large surface areas being dealt with. The density between aluminum and composites has the composite being about 43% lighter from a one on one material comparison. The newer light weight aluminums are approximately 7% lighter than standard aluminum materials. If you take a fuselage of approximately 125 feet long and 234 inches in diameter, a thickness increase in the fuselage skin of .010 inches will increase the weight approximately 1,100 lbs, using standard aluminum (that's the thickness of a little over three pieces of paper). A last note, even if the skins were the same thickness the composite skin is a lot lighter than the aluminum skin in the area of thousands of pounds. You need to compensate in many areas to make up for the inefficiencies in the fuselage. Airbus claims don't hold water.

Rich K, Bear, Delaware

I have been annoyed at the loose use of the terms, game changer, leap and even "me too" I saw a FedEx publication that called the A380 freighter a "game changer". While I think it's an impressive capacity increase for FedEx, it's not a game changer in that its just larger size for the existing game. If the can structure worked, they might be better off with two 777s (supposedly the can structure for a 747 does not work for them). It's certainly costing a lot to gear up for the A380. The Leap from thing by Airbus is also eyewash. Its not even "me too" technology, it's the old stuff wrapped in a phony package. Me too would at least be using an all composite airframe, and they are not coming close to doing that. And by the time they do, Boeing will have an experience advantage in its use, application and improvement (or refinement). So, keep beating up on them. For those of us that follow the industry, I am wondering if it would be possible to come up with a passenger count template that would be applied to pax count comparisons? Something that used a 2 or 3 class seating arrangement, how wide the seats are (and how many) as well as pitch or spacing. Along those lines, I think some kind of revenue generating figure that would take into account maintenance (reduced hopefully in the case of the 787), cargo capacity and its overall fuel burn. It seems to me that you add those all up, you have something that's 30-40% better than existing, not just 20% of the fuel efficiency. I think you could then squash any slewed comparisons. I also looked at the latest A350, and it left me wondering about how wide it was and what it gets. You can't get any more seats in it, 5 inches across at 9 seats is literally nothing, and its not as wide as a 777 (which I keep thinking is its only real market). It makes me wonder if it actually gets launched (which I have wondered all along).

Greg Schmitz, Anchorage Alaska

You said that the Airbus A350 didn't make sense? Surely it made sense to Singapore Airlines since they ordered 20 of it?

Noel, Moscow

Has there been any talk of a Corporate 787?

Mike C., Long Beach, California

It is a common census that you don't need be the best to win. And never doubt about the power of your opponent. Reading the Randy's articles in his blog (excellent in my opinion), I've got the impression that Boeing forgets that sometimes things just don't go as we wish. You can just take a look about the recent Airbus selling and you'll understand why. This text has been taken in Flight Magazine website: "Airbus closed its order gap on rival Boeing during the Farnborough air show after declaring firm agreements for 90 aircraft, plus commitments for another 92." This is not a question about when or where you and your rival will "leap" each other. It's a question to ensure the customers won't "leap" you and by from another company. Take it in mind!

Harilton Rodrigues, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Singapore Airlines earlier in the year had an Intention to buy 20 Boeing 787. At the Farnborough Air show SQ also has an Intention to buy 20 Airbus A350XWB. I really don't understand this connection of buy two different types of planes. I have seen the A350XWB and it personally looks like a 787 which doesn't look nice. Does this design of the A350XWB show that Airbus has really no way of competing with the 787? I think Airbus is desperate to compete with the very successful 777/787, but Airbus has killed the A330 and A340 family simultaneously with the range and passenger capacity. Very ironic family kills family. I want your opinion: Which Aircraft is gonna work better.

Yashveen, Cape Town, South Africa

Has Boeing ever thought about running two separate lists for counting aircraft orders? 1 is the way that Boeing currently keeps track of aircraft orders, the other, is the way that Airbus keeps track of aircraft orders.

Mike C., Long Beach, California

I noticed that you mentioned that Airbus has chosen to put up the new A350 against two of Boeing's products the 787 and the 777. I think that you are wrong about that. It is just that the strategy of Airbus is to build a new plane ranging from 250 - 350 seats. Boeing's strategy is to address the 220-310 seats with one product (the 787) and 290-365 with another product (the 777). In the end it is a question about which product best suits the airlines needs. For an A300 or A310 replacement, the A350 would not be relevant. The A330 would be though it is a generation behind the 787. Similarly if an ultra long-range plane is the requirement, the A350-900L would be a good choice. Boeing would have to decide whether to improve the 777-LR or launch the 787-10. So it's a question about positioning. Looks like Airbus has abandoned the 200-250 seat market just as Boeing has no competitor to the A380. The 747-8 has some 1000 seats less. The only plane which I can see as in direct competition to each other is the A320 vs the 737 family.

George, Guangzhou, China

As a native in the city of aerospace in France, I think Airbus over exaggerated their plane. First, the plane is a carbon-copy of Boeing's 787. They claim their windows are larger, and copied the phrase said by Boeing's Mike Bair: "The windows will be the industry's largest". Their plane is NOT more fuel efficient than the Boeing 787 n several reasons. And the range of the Boeing 787 exceeds the A350XWB's range, their plane is not even close and they stress that their plane has more range than the competition, when the Boeing 787-9 has a staggering range of 8,900 nm, compared to their 8,500 nm. A 400 nm difference. Sorry Airbus, but Au revoir!

Phillppe D., Toulouse, France

I LOVE the large windows for the passengers and the new shades. I'm curious, Randy, if you can tell me if they've come up with a shade solution for the cockpit in the 787. It's frustrating to have to put up newspapers in the cockpit of the Boeings I've been flying so far (727,737,757,767,777). Please tell me that the pointy end of the airplane also has a bit of 'high tech' when it comes to shading as well. Thanks! Kent

Kent W., Exeter, New Hampshire

All the talk about the 787 Dreamliner is making those of us in business and in the private sector very excited. It's interesting how our countries officials and the private sector will utilize significant resources on machines that satisfy our "right now" appetite. We are always wanting something to go faster so we may get more done, be more comfortable and rest able so that we may live in luxury and more importantly we are willing to waste no cost. If there is a major catastrophe or terrorist/nuclear attack would Boeing be willing to fly the Dreamliner to devastated areas to evacuate people?? It is important for companies like Boeing to be truly socially responsible and they will see a true incline in their stock and growth. I am no analyst I am not even an educated businessman I am only a young man who believes in the American spirit of togetherness to achieve great things and saving lives is the most rewarding thing someone can do.. How will Boeing play an active role if the west coast was hit by an earthquake or hurricanes threaten the livelihood of the gulf coast? The truth is these things WILL happen we just have no idea when. I hope the Boeing executives commit themselves to social and corporate philanthropy.


As threatening (or not threatening) this new A350X is wouldn't it be in Boeing's best interests to look into further improving the 787? ...just to keep on top of things.


I expect that Airbus will shortly announce a two model program like Boeing did with the 757/767. Yes they very well know their offering of the A350XWB does not and will not compete with the 787. It's very much targeted at the 777 and with "Bleed Air" and Composites it will give this wonderful airplane a tough battle in the 300-400 segment. What these guys do know how to do is get an airplane launched by whatever means (call it launch aid or what ever they will do it) I bet you will see Airbus launching two models within the next year. Yes their Engineering/Production organization is stretched thin with the A380 but they will find a way to give Boeing a run for the money by launching two new planes. Yes, Boeing's assessment is correct that they cannot beat Boeing with one new mouse trap. So how do we as a free market fix airbus? How about big tariffs on their planes?

John L., Tucson, Arizona

At the Farnborough Airshow, Airbus proudly displayed their new product, the A350XWB. This was not the airplane that the industry was waiting for. All they did was take the original A350 & added some pretty lighting to it. The industry is looking for the A350XE (extra efficient) or how about the A350FS (fuel saver). This is what the 787 is all about, an aircraft that will save the industry money in efficiency & fuel savings & will also provide passenger comfort. Airbus, I think it may be time to go back to the drawing board, again.

Mike C., Long Beach, California

I lived my entire life about 3 miles from Kennedy Airport. I watched every airplane in production today fly over my house over the past 20 something years...the loudest was the Super Sonic Transporter. Woke me up every morning at 7am. This new Model (787) will be another amazing site to see when it flies over my house.
Richard D., New York, New York

90 years of innovations in aviation...WOW! Surely that would be a monumental day for Boeing. I send my regards and congratulations. Happy birthday Boeing and best wishes for continuing successes for many years to come.

Yurey W., Taipei, Taiwan

Hey Randy: I hope you knock 'em dead at Farnborough!! Isn't it nice to know you were right all along about the bright future of point-to-point air travel?

Cheryl A., Seattle, Washington

Thanks for posting your tremendous CMO presentation. Not only is Boeing availing itself of the latest aviation technology in its airline products, it is exploiting the latest communications technology (the power of the blog) to give industry outsiders unprecedented visibility into the commercial airplane market and a greater appreciation for the art of deciphering such a complex market. I'm certain that I speak for many in voicing appreciation for your journal.

Bernie S., Centreville, Virginia

As an employee and shareholder, I have the successful delivery of the first 787 in my daily prayers.

Charles C., Southern California

Randy, I just read the market outlook and it is truly remarkable. I was wondering if your analysis took into account projections for the various military derivatives such as C-40, P-8A MMA, 767 Tanker etc. Is BCA committed to building and supporting these aircraft as well?

Tom H., Renton, Washington

Seems to me that airline policies are significantly slowing the boarding process by allowing passengers carry too much luggage onboard. I'm surprised that the airlines haven't collaborated on a restriction for only one small carry-on.

Glenn B., Bothell, Washington

You laid down an excellent wide-body-long-range ("WBLR") product strategy several years ago. The result of your WBLR strategy is now apparent.
The only thing you need to do now is to keep on executing this strategy with strict discipline. Although you haven't made public your intention concerning the 777, your blog entry of 7 July 2006 gives a hint of what you may do to the 777.
Bravo for your clear WBLR product strategy!

G.I., France

Your Journal is always a delight to read. Can you give us a preview of what Boeing has in store for the Farnborough Air Show? Thanks!

Ken W., Chicago, Illinois

I know that the answer to this is quite simple, but why does the passenger version of the 747 have nearly twice the range as the freight? Is it because the TOW is that much heavier; does it fly at a lower altitude? Assuming both jets land with an "empty tank" and a full load of passengers vs. a full load of cargo, the passenger jet would be a continent ahead of its freight twin. Why?

Edward L., New York

I suspect you've already considered this, but Boeing has a week of its own next year - in July. From July 2 through July 8, you'll have: 7-2-7, 7-3-7, 7-4-7, 7-5-7, 7-6-7, and 7-8-7. I'm sure your PR folks could come up with something clever to take advantage of this.

Brad V., Richfield, Minnesota

The Leapfrog article is well taken and interesting, perhaps a bit too much of a jab at the to-be-configured A350/70 (not that I am an Airbus defender). But the other point that Airbus has made publicly is that because 787 is essentially sold out until 2012, or some distant date like that, having a product that won't arrive until 2012 is not that big a problem. That is, if I were to order a 787 today, I wouldn't be able to get my hands on the plane until 2012 anyway. So Airbus doesn't nearly have as much to lose in redesigning the plane, if it means a better product. It sounds reasonable to me, what do others think about this argument?

Edward, San Diego, California

I have been following the 787 closely and your remarks about leapfrog are spot on. While Airbus may have an incremental improvement with their design, it won't be a game changing improvement over the 787. But apparently they aren't even targeting the 787 but the 777. Perhaps a redesign of the 737 first and then the 777 with composite fuselages using the techniques and lessons learned from the 787. Don't stop innovating and trying out new techniques. While the press made a big deal out of the bubbles in one of your test sections a thinking person realizes that not pushing the technology envelope only leaves you behind, i.e. McDonnell Douglas and Airbus today. Building for pride leads to downfall, Lockheed (L1011) and others. The airlines need to get a handle on reducing the time from the Departure curb to boarding at major airports like LAX. No wonder more people are using private jets and leased time. Boeing shouldn't ignore this as it is better for all of us not to have unnecessary increases in smaller planes just because it is such a pain to get on a commercial plane.

D.S., Anaheim, California

There is a historical chance to beat Airbus once and for all. I hope that you can use it!

Peter G., Boulder, Colorado

I can't believe my eyes when I read this discussion thread at airliners.net "Donnelly told Aviation Daily that an engine for the proposed A350 would need to be about 10 percent larger than the GEnx". Gee! This engine is NOT for the A350. This engine will have the right size for 777-8 and 777-9. One can think that Boeing has already started to consider improving the 777 family. Lighter, bigger and better!


Class act this one. Always good to see one taking the high road. I hope Mr. Leahy is reading this one! :-)


Randy, You are a class act and a credit to your profession. In my business I too always talk of my competitors with the respect they deserve. I am a Boeing advocate my self but you bring us all a dose of reality on the developments at your competitor. With progress will comes problems and it can, and will, happen to both of you. Jerry Steele

Jerry S., Tucson, Arizona

First of all, WOW! Very well done Randy! I thoroughly enjoy reading your journals as they are both very informative and persuasive, in addition to not being very...should we say "offensive"? Don't get me wrong, I'm neither pro-Airbus nor pro-Boeing, (I'm a fan of Lockheed actually because they build most of my favorite jets. E.g. F-16, F-22, SR-71...etc) both companies build fantastic aircrafts and I had fond memories of flying on all of Airbus and Boeing's airliners I have the fortune to come across thus far. In any case, I think I'll leave comments more regularly in the future, that is...if you don't mind of course. For now, I'd like to ask you just one more question. Given how Airbus tout their quietest cabin in the sky onboard the A340 on their homepage it makes me wonder... Then, how can the 777s possess smaller noise footprints than the A340 as shown on Boeing's website? I have not flown on an A340 yet, so I can't really do any comparison. But aren't those two facts contradicting to each other? Lastly, regarding Boeing's prediction of point-to-point flights for the future... Personally, I think there's a twist to it. For instance, on a 10 hours flight (e.g. Taipei ~ Seattle) then yeah, I don't want to make a stopover at somewhere like Tokyo. On an 18 hours flight (e.g. Taipei ~ Miami) however, I'd rather take a shore leave at somewhere like L.A so I can go stretch and walk around. Thank you for taking time to read through my comment. Best regards!

Yurey W. Taipei, Taiwan

I'm a fan of your blog. Just wanted to comment on your post regarding the challenges of building very large aircraft. Do you think Airbus underestimated their ability to develop the huge A380, or do you see their recent issues as inherent problems that could not have been foreseen?

Mbwana, Stanford, California

I have to admit it is very nice to see a straight and level Boeing response to the problems that Airbus is having. Instead of taunting them and gloating over their problems, the response was respectful and forward looking. While I am a Boeing fan, this makes Boeing seem even more professional compared with what could have been written. Keep up the good work.

Peter B., St. Charles, Illinois

Syntroleum (SYNM) just signed a contract with DoD to provide 100,000 gallons of synthetic jet fuel. This is an ongoing effort being conducted by the USAF using a B-52. SYNM has other activities ongoing such as in South Africa where for more than a year they have been conducting tests and evaluations using synthetic fuels. SYNM has processes to convert Coal to Liquid Fuels, Natural Gas to Liquid Fuels, and BioMass to Liquid Fuels. They are also developing in joint partnerships large scale production facilities. Does Boeing have research or test and evaluation programs in synthetic jet fuels for all military and commercial aircraft Boeing manufactures? The technology is here. The only question is when will it be deployed to consumers, and for what price. The belief is that it could be a lot cheaper than hydrocarbon based fuel products. The SYNM web-site has presentation materials that explain it further. Fuels developed from the Syntroleum processes are Ultra Clean. But the strongest advantage is the synthetic technology could eliminate the dependence on hydrocarbon based products.

Bill F., Garden Grove, California

Boeing's response to Airbus' problems is pure class. Makes the Company look mature, and well controlled and disciplined. Well done. Cheers

Dr. John S., Brisbane, Australia

I worked in the Seattle area for about nine years. I like hearing about the ins and outs of Boeing with your blog it is almost like being there again.

Andrew P., Baltimore, Maryland

I appreciate how you comment and treat news about Airbus. Your comments are never spiteful, you never gloat, and that shows class. When they do well you acknowledge it, when they have a major accomplishment you wish them well and you don't add to the vitriol spewed when they are struggling. That shows considerable class and adds to your credibility enormously.

Camille, Washington

Is there a means to infuse an airlines' color scheme directly into the composite without weakening the carbon fiber structure? Wouldn't this save a lot of additional weight of not having to paint the plane?

Anton S., Long Beach, California

I have been following your blog from Oct. last year; and it is quite an interesting read. I was wondering if you ever looked at the flight training institutes; which aircraft they use to train jet pilots and if any of Boeing's characteristics has any upper hand over competitors. Would like to read your insights on the same.

Sivaram, Bangalore, India

I have noticed that the Airbus A380 sales have stalled around 159 planes for its first year of sales. What is the break even point for Airbus on there investment on this plane? And how many planes to they have to sell to start making a profit? In comparison, what amount 747's were sold in its first year and how many have been bought in total to this year?

Robert H., Vancouver, B.C., Canada

This interesting article says that Boeing considers lengthening 747-8I. This can be a good idea especially if Boeing considers building bigger, better and lighter 777-8 and 777-9. Boeing wide-body-long-range (WBLR) aircraft family will have a uniform capacity separation of 20% from 230 seats to 475 seats. It will be very difficult to position an aircraft between two Boeing WBLRs.


It is funny watching AIRBUS squirm! No one doubts that it is a very competitive company and will remain a major force in the aviation world. However being humble has never been one of its strong points. For many years it has thrived on planning decisions that left Boeing a little behind in the sales race but that sure has turned and left Airbus on the back foot. Now all it seems to be able to do is rave on about paper planes that will always fly higher, faster and have more seats than the Boeing product. Let's see when these paper planes fly or will they remain on the Airbus site instead of in the air. Good luck Boeing your forward thinking is really starting to work.

Chris G., Australia

A plane stays in the air just like a helicopter, at any given time it must throw down a mass of air equal to it's own weight. This creates turbulence, the bigger the aircraft, the bigger the turbulence. Airbus can try to manipulate the aircraft separation rules, but neither Airbus nor Boeing can defy physics.

Ted C., Mt. Vernon, Washington

Re: Weight a minute. What about actual productivity measured in ton-miles? The A380F range is almost as far as the 747-8F. How would the calculations look then? Total fuel + landing fees + pilot additional labour cost.

Ivan C., Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Isn't it true that the major commercial customers like the ILFC and Singapore Airlines want the A350 to be redesigned so that it can compete successfully with the 787 because they don't want Boeing to have a monopoly on this segment of the market? I've heard that they're afraid that Boeing could then charge whatever the market could bear for the 787.

John H., Renton, Washington

Much has been made of Airbus' late arrival with the A350/70, but through the history of aviation victory hasn't always gone to the first, but to the best, and time often gives the advantage of technological superiority and more detailed knowledge of the market. The Boeing 247 (1933) was trounced by the DC-3 (1935). The 737 arrived two years after the DC-9, and solidly beat that aircraft. The MD-11 (1990) was passed by the A330 (1992) which was then obsoleted by the 777 (1994).

Eric, Lombard, Illinois

Re: Global warming from airliners. Randy, fact-based perspective that greatly aids better objective understanding of this emotionally-laden challenge. Thank you - Barry

Barry S., Mukilteo, Washington

With the bad news of the A380 delay and seemingly limited interest, Airbus appears to be hurting in both the midsize and jumbo market segment. Do you think they would swallow their pride and drop out of both segments and strictly concentrate in the single isle market since Boeing won't redo that plane until much later? This way they would have a head start on Boeing when airlines are looking for a better single aisle plane now?

Anton S., Long Beach, California

My family doesn't fly a whole lot, and we are pretty much 'get from point a to point b'. Hence: to do the flying we do, we are quite willing to make sacrifices in style and sexiness in cars, saving as much gas as we need to, in order to fly where we want to. Electric, hybrid, fuel cell, diesel, whatever - as long as we get there its OK, just keep those planes flying.

Rob L., Chehalis, Washington

Randy, I find your blogs to be very informative and I look forward to reading them every time a new one arrives. It's good to see that Boeing is once again paving the way in the aviation industry. I do wish though that Airbus had something like this so I am able to see it from both sides.

Stanley, Houston, Texas

First Airbus announces production bottlenecks on their A380 white elephant, which is going to cost them dearly in penalties & lost orders... and then Singapore chooses Boeing over Airbus for a huge contract. I love it. Great job, Boeing!
Brent, California

I logged onto my computer only to find some extremely exciting news to read - Singapore Airlines is to order 20 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners! I am thrilled beyond belief. What a great piece of news! Congratulations and well done to you guys at the marketing department that helped sell this phenomenal airplane to one of the world's most prestigious companies. A great team effort - WORKING TOGETHER!

Chris C., South Africa

I am writing this just after a call from friend who is standing on a huge paper loss on EADS shares, caused by news of the latest A380 delays. The markets believe they will lead to performance penalties and possible order cancellations. However, Boeing is also reported to be experiencing challenges with the 787 schedule. Could it be fair to say that in airplane manufacturing, both key parties are perhaps a little too optimistic with estimating when they can resolve the issues surrounding advanced new aircraft, both with their technologies and logistics processes? I am certain both the A380 and especially the 787 will emerge as superlative aircraft in service, but are the present timelines truly realistic?

Borys P., Sydney, Australia

Just learned about your blog at a conference. I don't know anything about aviation, but I think the blog is illuminating. Thanks.

F.G., Stamford, Connecticut

I'd just quickly like to take this opportunity to congratulate Boeing (and you!) on the first of many sales of the 747-8 Intercontinental.

Saj, London, U.K.

Let's examine this chart presenting Boeing's widebody-long-range ("WBLR") strategy. The left hand part of the chart is the situation of Boeing's WBLR family in 2010. Today, you still have to keep the question mark on the right hand part of the chart because Airbus has not yet made public its WBLR strategy. Boeing's will is quite clear: to cover the market from 210 to 450 seat with 5 aircraft having a range of around 8 000 nm and with a regular distribution of capacity between each of them (20% step). Still, you can improve this strategy because 777's capacity is somewhat too close to 787. So, if you put the context in 2014, the conclusions are clear. Firstly, 777 will need improvement and its capacity will have to increase by around 30-40 seats. Secondly, 777-8 and 777-9 won't have any competition in 2014 because Airbus will have just finished the development of its next-new-A350.


On your Blog on June 6th, you note that the A340-600 seat 323 passengers compared with a Boeing 777-300ER seating 365. All the comparisons that I have seen outside of Boeing show the Airbus 340-600 at 380 passengers. Can you please explain the difference?

John L., Tucson, Arizona

I am quite surprised by Boeing executive's willingness to talk openly about the snags during 787 development. See this article. Mr. Bair also seems to be quite comfortable when he said that 787 was 2.5% above the weight target at this stage of development. You appreciate his comments because the message is clear, "We have got some problems but we are working hard to solve them."

Many aviation fans prefer this public relation style to the black out around A380 after 4 months of flight testing.


Your product strategy described in your blog entry of 6 June 06 is valid. However, I see a possible weakness in the wide body long-range family. It is the 777 family. In 2012, all Boeing wide body airplanes will be built based on 2005-knowledge except the 777 family. I can't believe that you will leave the 777 as it is today. Not later than in 2010 one can expect to see the launch of 777-8 and -9 which will be lighter, bigger and better than the current 777. If I apply the well known 20% capacity step between Boeing products, then I expect to see a 777-8 with 335 seats and a 777-9 with 400 seats while keeping the same range as the current 772LR and 773ER. A simple bill of materials change, some aero-tweaks and a re-engining might do the job! That will be a "low" investment of less than 2 bil. USD.


Recently many have read about the 787 barrel tests. Why not get the "Flight Test Journal" up and running, keep people filled in on the latest 787 testing. That would allow those interested to follow it from the VERY beginning to certification? Maybe have the same with the 747-8? I personally would be interested to learn about the tests things go through early in the process, not just once assembled.

Kaleb, Ndola, Zambia

While reading this AviationNow article an idea came into my head. It may sound silly. But who knows? It may be not so silly. There is much space in that unused crown space in 747-8i. If Boeing develops a windowless cockpit technology, you can use this area for a cockpit and crew rest compartment. You can get at least 6 extra revenue seats with forward view for the passengers.


I continue to read this blog and I remain impressed. The competition between the 787 and A350 is quite interesting. I believe they will both do very well. The more I ponder which aircraft will be more successful the more I think of the following saying: the early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese. Keep up the excellent blog

Dr. John D., Auburn, Alabama

While one must always respect its competition and take things seriously, the current disarray at Airbus is rather amusing, and at the same time frustrating. Airbus is no under-dog, but rather a powerful rival, but lately the company seems to be steaming off in the wrong direction and blaming everyone else. Airbus needs to address its issues fast, or it will risk becoming an under-dog's pet. The current fiasco surrounding the A350 programme should have been predicted long ago. Whilst it seems that people are all saying doom and gloom for Airbus, the hard truth is that there really isn't anything positive to say about them at the moment. The A350 was firstly an airplane they said they did not need, then they launched it with launch aid, then they re-designed it four times, and now they are 'blaming' customers for a lack of speedily design input and have flaunted a new A350 to take on both 787 and 777 from 2012. What is really irritating is that they have been rumoured to wanting launch aid to help with its 'new' A350. What I want to know is that should Airbus reveal a significantly improved A350 to take on 787 and 777, do they think that Boeing will not look at further improving the 777 and 787-10x that would become yet another A350 crusher? The 777 family will be ready for further improvements by the time the new A350 comes out - so Airbus will not be out of the woods at all, considering that the already phenomenal 777 family can only go one way with further improvements and that is even more advanced and efficient. As for the slow sales with the 747-8: If Boeing were sitting with 100 orders for the type would you be really happy? I for one would be slightly worried as the current orders for the -8 are in line with your market forecasts, and should you have a swelling order book already would mean Airbus and its A380 are correct - which they are not! The 747-8 is a phenomenal airplane, and with her efficiencies and economics and formidable characteristics, she will sell well over the course of 20 years or so. No doubt Boeing will receive an Intercontinental customer this year as well as further freighter customers. The 747 is simply a great airplane from every aspect. Keep it up Boeing, you are forever heading for new exciting frontiers!!

Chris C., South Africa

I'd like to second the concept of seat pitch. Too many planes have a seat pitch which makes me feel like I am in a baby seat. While I am not too tall (180 cm/5'11"), the leg room especially on long flights, is very cramped (31" seat pitch). Extending this from 30-31" to a more comfortable 34" will help a lot. Currently I scan all plane statistics looking for plane flights where the seat pitch is greater than or equal 32" or at a bare minimum where I can get an aisle seat where my legs can extend into the walk way.

Alexander, Kiev

The problem that Boeing had after the B-777 came up was a complete lack of vision and people at Boeing became very complacent. Today, the company seems to have a bright future with the B787. I fear that the company may once again become complacent and allow its rival Airbus to take the lead. It was very painful for us Boeing supporters to see the title "World Biggest Commercial Airplane Maker" switch sides. Now that the Dreamliner is trashing the A350, Boeing should not become complacent anymore. While Airbus is struggling to remake the A350 Boeing should indeed start thinking of the possibility that the new "New" 350 may actually be better than the B787 and B777-300ER combined. If I were a Boeing CEO, I would ask my people to start seriously working on the replacement of the B777 family (which is a very good plane, I reckon) but which may be seriously challenged by a possibly much more fuel efficient new "New" A350-1000. But if Boeing is certain that the A350 cannot beat the Dreamliner, then it is better to make the B787-10 even more awesome than the upcoming A350 in terms of technological advancements. That will ensure Boeing's dominance in the field and allow our dear company to reclaim the title "world biggest commercial airplane maker".

Andre T., Bloomington, Illinois

I did refer to Geoff Thomas' article about the 748I. It is my belief the 748I cannot do DFW-SYD on a year round basis. I don't know if you can comment on that. The striking thing I found about the article was the claim that QF had dismissed the 772LR. I find this very strange as the 772LR can do MEL/SYD-DFW both directions with ease all-year round. I personally don't think QF has decided yet b/w the 748I and the 772LR (and maybe 773ER). Secondly, I would like clarification on the timing of the 787 program. I read many comments that Boeing will have delays in the program and it is very aggressive. I have even read that QF have been told of delivery delays already. To my knowledge that is not true. Would you care to comment? By the way, my understanding is that the program is running to schedule and no delays of EIS have been advised to the airlines.

Dale C., Melbourne, Australia

With he new "8" technology Boeing should look at some of its older models and consider upgrading each one to conclude their dominance of the aerospace market. For starters the much loved 727 should be upgraded and redesigned using the "8" technology as well as aircraft like the MD-11 and the 717.

Kevin, Miami, Florida

I recently read that Boeing reduced the number of suppliers it works with by 79%. Can you explain how you've gone about doing that? Is it part and parcel of the shift to a global IT organization? How does the reduction fit with the new collaborative model that you've employed in the 787? Much appreciated - great blog, definitely one of the best corporate blogs out there.

D.H., Toronto, Canada

The 777 will be very vulnerable to 787 and A350 competition from 2009. One way of minimizing this before a follow on for this airplane size, is a 777-8. Even before a 797 replaces the 737. The 777 will need lightening, more engine efficiency, more aerodynamic efficiency, active controls, space optimization (maybe you can relocate pilots to a semi-virtual cockpit in the wingbox).

Rene A., Camiling, Philippines

Love the new 787, I can't wait to ride one!! Boeing's out of the box thinking in developing this plane, and the clear benefits to Airlines is showing up in the orders it. I had a question about what Boeing thinks about using a "Flying Wing" design for future passenger aircraft. If you can address this on your blog, I'd appreciate it.

Jason K., San Francisco, California

This Aviation Now article is very interesting. It says "Airbus North America Chairman Allan McArtor said the European manufacturer "guessed wrong" in the initial design of the A350". This article means that this Airbus executive admitted explicitly that the current design of A350 is not good enough compared to 787. Implicitly, he said that whatever comes out in July will be MUCH better than the current A350 design. But, there will be only 2 years of difference between 787 and the next new A350. So, what kind of technology leap will Airbus put into the new A350 to make it better than 787? We are all impatient to see what Airbus will offer.


I'd like to second the concept of seat pitch. Too many planes have a seat pitch which makes me feel like I am in a baby seat. While I am not too tall (180 cm/5'11"), the leg room especially on long flights, is very cramped (31" seat pitch). Extending this from 30-31" to a more comfortable 34" will help a lot. Currently I scan all plan statistics looking for plane flights where the seat pitch is greater than or equal 32" or at a bare minimum where I can get an aisle seat where my legs can extend into the walk way.

Don, San Jose, California

I read your article on the A320 "cabin width" and that got me thinking, how about showing a comparison of aircraft type and seat width & shoulder width. As you probably know Americans and people in general are getting bigger, not smaller. I'm 5'10 and 225 lbs (stocky but mostly in an athletic way), so although I don't need lots of leg room seat width & shoulder room are important factors for my comfort. Why do people hate sitting in middle seats? Mostly because you have two people spilling over their shoulders and elbows into your personal space. If it is hot outside and the air conditioning can't control the temperature it is even worse. I flew one flight on a 757 where I was in the middle and it was almost unbearable. The point of this is that people need enough space that they aren't being bent into pretzels and sweated on. In my opinion the 757 was the all time (now defunked) was the worst in terms of comfort and the 737 is not much better. I much prefer DC-9 type airplanes (better seats and fewer middle seats), Embraer RJs with no middle seats, etc. I think I've read that 787 tries to address this issue. So how about it, what are the seat & shoulder widths for the aircraft out there and what is Boeing's view of the right balance? Lastly I'd like to offer you a challenge. This summer on a hot day fly a 4-hour flight sitting in the middle seat with two big guys (like 6'2" & 240 lbs.) in the other two seats on a 737. Then describe how you felt comfort-wise about the flight on your blog and address whether or not another pencil width or two of seat and shoulder room would have been welcome.

Erik S., St. Louis, Missouri

My question - How does Airbus keep their credibility? Back in December 2004, and even more recently, John Leahy portrayed the A350 as a "brand new" jet with 90% new part numbers which will become a 787 killer. Now 18 months after "product launch", Airbus is still trying to figure out what the A350 is going to be. From the beginning, when Boeing announced the development of the then 7E7, Airbus dismissed it continually - as a "me too" A330, a "Chinese Copy" of a A330, a "Boeing Paper Airplane" and on and on. I have to believe that in airline boardrooms around the world, there must be pictures of Airbus executives Noel Forgeard, John Leahy and Co. with egg on their faces.

Mark, Newport Beach, California

WARNING this all new A350 (the very latest idea emerging from Toulouse: an A350 with a wider cabin and more efficiency) seems to be holding potential 787 customers back... be ready for whatever Airbus can bring out... don't do a typical Airbus mistake and pretend that they can't beat you...or else those 350 787s could be the first and last ever sold.


I would like to suggest that Airbus might be on the edge of bankruptcy. They have too many planes in early or final design with serous design problems. The monster, A380 is still being tinkered with to reduce weight and keep on production schedule. The A350 is now completely back to the drawing boards. How can any airline expect scheduled delivery when the entire A350 design is being redone? They don't have enough good engineers to complete all of this work. Orders for the A350 have been meager to nil, now they will all be pushed back. On top of the A380 and A350 problems, the often forgotten Airbus military transport, the M400 has poor orders and is priced above the Boeing C-17. The C-17 is a proven design. The M400 is a larger copy of the Boeing C-130, a plane used in Vietnam. As an accountant, all of these design problems spell an economic disaster for Airbus. They have too many problems to survive without a major bailout from the French government. They have scurried around Europe arm twisting suppliers to give them more money. If they get government loans, their position in the World Trade Organization lawsuit against Boeing will be damaged. From the French view, the A380 was a design that was the largest passenger plane made and very 'grandiose' and elegant; all show and so much pretense. It was to be an example of "superior French thinking." Now their grand plans are crashing to earth and my guess is Airbus is badly damaged. If you like to play the stock market, think of buying an option on Airbus stock going down. Your broker knows the routine.

John, Eugene, Oregon

Keep up the contributions you make to aviation. They make enjoyable reading and give me an insight into Boeing's aircraft.

Mike M., Marion, South Australia

I'll announce my interest up front. I'm a production engineer at Airbus Hamburg, Germany. I'd be interested to get your thoughts on the recently mooted ideas about redesigning the A350. The question is posed out of personal curiosity and I do not in any way represent Airbus in any official capacity here.

David M., Hamburg, Germany

One thing that always comes up in these discussions is "Well. The A380's larger cube will let it haul all those expensive high value shipments-expensive electronics, cut flowers, and the like from Asia to Europe and the US, while your product, my friend, will be hauling hogs and scrap iron to the Orient. "Last I heard, hogs and scrap iron pay the same in the airfreight business as cut flowers and electronics. The only important thing is if the cargo arrives, on time and intact, and alive if it's livestock. And if your floor can take hogs and scrap iron, you don't have to deadhead-which you will, if your vehicle can't carry hogs and scrap iron. A lot of folks don't seem to know much about the trucking business, which in many fundamental respects is similar to the air freight business. You want to haul as much freight as you can and minimize unpaid mileage, i.e., deadheading and turn time. All that matters is if the customer can pay. Nobody in the airfreight business cares whether the vehicle is refined. It's a truck with wings, for heaven's sake, not a health spa or an art gallery. The rules are different.

Robert L., Des Moines, Iowa

Assuming that Airbus will introduce a whole new design for the A350, Boeing will still have them in a box. If reports are correct, the new A350 will not be available until 2012 at the earliest, with bigger versions available around the 2013-14 timeframe. These dates are right where Boeing plans the single aisle replacement for the 737. Boeing may even be thinking on a replacement for the 777 too. Nevertheless, Airbus will be years behind in the A320 replacement. It looks like Airbus will be playing catch up for their messed up product line for at least the next 10 years.

Mark, Newport Beach, California

If all the production slots are filled for the 787 for the next 3 years would it be feasible to open another like in Long Beach now that the 717 is completed? Instead of losing orders to Airbus due to lack of production capability they would open a new line. Subcontractors and suppliers would need to also ramp up or other subs may be needed. All that space in Long beach needs to be utilized for production.

Doug L., Beaumont, Texas

I didn't know Boeing had a blog! I found this one from a link off the SWA blog site. I'm very glad to see that two great companies are in on the action. I have a vested interest in both companies 1) I used to work for Boeing and 2) I now work for SWA. Boeing and SWA have been the high points in my career and really enjoy what both companies are and have been doing. Keep up the good work!

Roberto A., Allen, Texas

I was quite impressed by the weight issue blog entry, but, even as an uninformed outsider, I was aware of an omission. And it in fact was the one mentioned in the forum link you gave us. The 380 is obviously a much larger plane, and hence much larger volume. It may fill a niche for those sorts of freight where volume and not weight are the issue. I suspect that in the gamesmanship (I am not complaining) it is difficult to concede points now and again. Here I think you should have given a tip of the hat to this issue. Though I enjoyed reading about the controversy. Rob

R.L.L., Seattle

Carrying weight is a consideration but carrying cubic volume is equally important. One item is missing from Randy's analysis of these two aircraft is a comparison of volume for these aircraft. Some cargo containers cube out way before they reach their max container weight. Especially true when you are hauling say flowers for Valentine's Day. Would like to see an aircraft comparison with the standard FedEx cube density in the containers. What is the 2006 FedEx weight per cube?

Tom L, Memphis, Tennessee

I personally believe that due to the 787 Dreamliner embracing the latest technologies of today and tomorrow, the 787 will be so phenomenally advanced that nothing will compete against it for decades to come! The current models, the -3/-8/-9, are perfectly suited and fully optimized for the market they are going to serve. No doubt they will rule the 200 - 300 seat market, (330 seat market in case of high density -3). These airplanes are a very refreshing design, and will become the icon of the 21st Century, as the 747 was of the 20th. It is great, and believable, to read that the proposed -10x will have "economics that are virtually unbelievable" due to its ultra efficiencies, but since this -10x has yet to be launched, why doesn't Boeing totally rethink the Dreamliner from the -10x and upwards? As I said, the current models are perfect for the segment they are going to slot into, but 300 to 400 seats needs a 777 style airplane. Therefore I propose: The 787-10x should be offered as a 777-200/-200ER replacement, whilst a 787-11x should be offered as a 777-300/-300ER replacement from 2015 at the earliest onwards. But, instead of stretching the -9 to ludicrous lengths, rather widen it. Give the -10x/-11x a 777 fuselage diameter and cabin size, bleedless engines of the GE90's, the same style flightdeck , and an all-composite fuselage, new wings and a Mach 0.86 cruise speed. The reason for the wider fuselage is three-fold. Firstly, the 777 diameter is able to seat 10 abreast in economy, secondly, the -10x/-11x fuselage can be assembled in the same 777 jig avoiding high costs (as it is essentially a composite version of the 777 fuselage), and lastly, the fuselage diameter offers the best flexibility for freight flying when a freighter version emerges. You now have a '777-sized airplane' that looks like a bigger brother of the current 787 models. And on the 747-8 side, (my favourite topic), I think that once the airplane nears design freeze, or from about the beginning of the third-quarter, it will receive orders as more performance data and prices can be given to airlines. The -8 Intercontinental also has a good potential to be converted into a -8BCF in 2025, so I am pretty sure that this phenomenal airplane will sell well.

Chris C, South Africa

I'd like to express myself about this "journal". Even if it looks nice, and seems to be the journal of a high Boeing employee, it really looks disgusting (sorry for the term - couldn't find any other) how you use this nice blog appearance to finally just keep on the basic and boring Airbus vs. Boeing, using - as everyone who tries to participate in this "battle" of arguments (pro Airbus or pro Boeing) - just biased arguments, selecting figures that make Boeing planes look better and omitting other figures (while pro Airbus will do the same with Airbus figures). Let's forget that this type of discussion is just good for Airliners forums, everyone choosing his arguments and trying to show that he's right. What I really find disgusting (again!) is that you (a high placed Boeing employee) get into this type of discussion on a Boeing page that looks like your journal where we could think you'd be honest. Well, all I see (and the "Weight a minute" article is just an example) is just Boeing advertisment. Let's not forget you are "vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle", and all you do here is communication, marketing, use of biased figures, and the worst - sad Airbus vs. Boeing battle.

I don't say what you write is true or false. But being so dishonest with you blog-type advertising is really thinking readers cannot think by themselves. Well, I think (and hope) they can and will think about what you write and keep in mind that you are a marketing employee of Boeing. This is a little like the 747-8 website claiming a +28% trip cost(*) for the A380. *Based on Boeing assessment about the A380. Can anyone believe this? And I'd like to add about myself that I am not a pro-Airbus. I like planes, Airbus, Boeing ones or others. 747 and 777 are some of my favorite planes. But I really hate the Airbus vs. Boeing discussions like the ones you do here. Looks like children trying to show that their videogame is the best. Is that the way you want to look? Let this for Airliners forums, there are so many people here ready to send biased figures about Boeing or Airbus to try to win in the A vs. B discussion... And please, don't tell what you say isn't biased. Off course all figures you use are true (just have a doubt about the Boeing A380 assessment ;) - Happy to see that Boeing knows better than Airbus an Airbus plane not in commercial service yet), but you (as about every person does in the A vs. B discussion) use only some figures, some statistics and forget to give others.

Romain, Marseille, France

It is with interest that I have read your blog regarding the merits of the 747 8F as compared to the A380F. There were some really good points as usual but I have not seen anything regarding what types of modifications can be done to modify range and efficiency in particular. Are there plans to alter fuselage dimensions to extend range and payload? I would be surprised if the engineering and marketing expertise at Boeing hasn't been consulted on this Already. Keep up the great work on your exemplary blog.

Dr. John D., Auburn, Alabama

Your blog input of 10 May 2006 "Weight another minute" http://www.boeing.com/randy/archives/2006/05/weight_another.html is quite interesting. Why does someone bother to fly portable PCs or PDAs directly from Shanghai to Los Angeles when you can send thousands of these boxes to Anchorage and then dispatch them to cities in North America? It is not surprising that Anchorage is becomes the second biggest US freight airport. Check the statistics here. http://www.dot.state.ak.us/anc/doingbusiness/departments/marketing/statistics/AnnualSta ts_57-05.pdf Warsaw has a good potential to be the main cargo hub between China and Europe. http://gc.kls2.com/cgi-bin/gc?PATH=sha-WAW,waw-fra,waw-cdg,waw-ams,waw-mxp,waw-lis,waw-mad Weight a minute, Poland is now member of the European Union!


I was very amused when I saw the title of your entry "Weight a minute" and its sequel "Weight another minute". It reminded me of how funny, yet informational reading your blog is. Sometimes it is hard to wait until the new entry is posted ;-) Your point on the dead weight and the significant backhaul loads is indeed very valid. However, as some people pointed out, the sometimes the comparison is also in terms of the max volume, and not necessarily the max weight. Probably depending on the average mission profile (yeah, it sounded military, but could not think of a better way to put it) and the backhaul loads, the calculations for one operator or other might tip the balance. Otherwise, the A-380 would not have any orders.

Overall, I believe the 747-8F is more efficient though. Before I access your blog, I read news on Bloomberg, which leads me to one of the last paragraphs of your last entry: "And when you get right down to it, isn't it ironic that now Airbus is arguing for nonstop flights without the "hassle" of connecting through hubs? I mean, these are boxes, not people!" The news I read was about the 5th attempt of Airbus to re-design the A-350 and spend USD 10 billion in order to compete with the B-787. I remember that their initial argument was that since the A-380 was the future of aviation, a derivative of the A-330 would do the trick in competing with the B-787. Several years later, and several re-designs as well, point in the direction that they would be validating Boeing's strategy (both the twin engine airplanes and the point-to-point travel). Since the new EIS date would now be 2012, Boeing has a clear opportunity to get a very tight hold of the market until the competitor arrives, which reminds me about some rumors a while ago saying that Boeing was considering increasing its production rate for the B-787. Clairvoyance? ;-)

Hernan S., Sao Paulo, Brazil

I am very concern over what is currently happening with the Airbus and its effect on Boeing. For whatever reasons, there are many customers who are aggressively seeking Airbus to create a product that would better Boeing. All the major blue chip players like Singapore Airlines, Emirates, ILFC, and GECAS are all pushing Airbus to come up with a better airplane. And especially with GECAS, whose aircraft engine division worked with Boeing to create the GenX engine, has not even ordered the 787. What is going on in the market place where the customers seem to be more willing to wait for Airbus than to commit to Boeing? It's time to be paranoid and see what can be done to turn around this very real problem. And with the New Airbus A350 to be announced in the next few weeks, it is imperative that Boeing is ready to counter what Airbus may throw at Boeing.

Rebecca V., Santa Clara, California

Randy: Your blog is great, especially last discussion on freighter weights. The link to the SWA blog is appreciated. If flight test or 787 want to create a new culture at Boeing modeled after SWA like management says, then maybe your blog could incorporate more common man stories/entries like the SWA blog does today. IE pilot, mechanic etc. I think the public and Customer Airlines would enjoy.

Brad T., Everett, Washington

When my husband and I fly Southwest to California to visit our family we always have a note of pride because it is one of our airplanes (Boeing's). I just happen to think your comments were appropriate and I wanted to tell you so.

Faith G., Tukwila, Washington

Although I like the idea of continuing the tradition of murals on the factory doors, I have to say execution of the latest one falls a little short, no pun intended. I have heard numerous people, include myself ask, "When are they gonna finish it?" What I am referring to is the appearance that the bottom is missing. Why would you go through all that effort, and only cover 75% of the surface? Can you imagine commissioning Michelangelo for $1,000,000 to paint the Sistine Chapel, and when he's done, instead of completing the scene, he just paints a large dark blue line at the bottom of the work? As a painter myself, I do appreciate the abstract of some of the images, but have to wonder, out of all the great, cool, wonderful things we make at Boeing, that THE best choice for images was a chopped off image of a window, a chopped off image of an exit door, and a chopped off image of a winglet? Instead, what about the marvelous engines of the 777 or the famous hump of the 747, you know, things people recognize as "Boeing-esque"? When I first saw the image of the woman, I thought she was coming up out of blue water (the darker blue banner at bottom of murals). To me it looks like she is bobbing in the ocean, trying to signal a rescue helicopter. Okay, I'm being harsh, but maybe having employees vote on the next mural before it goes up would be an idea. Now please, someone go rescue that bobbing woman before she drowns!

Glen, Everett, Washington

Thanks for the mention about our blog! It's great to be here in the blogosphere with you - we've been watching your blog closely and using it as an example of excellent communication with our leaders. Keep up the good work!

Angela V., Dallas, Texas

I have been hunting for news from Boeing on its new Dreamliner development and those of other aircraft and finally found this blog which is great for aviation enthusiasts like myself. I commend Boeing on taking up the challenge to design newer and better airplanes, and irrespective of who makes "better" planes, we the traveling public benefit from this competition. New planes are the "best" for shorter times as engineers keep surprising us with their ingenuity. I look forward to more blogs or more RSS feeds from Boeing. Congratulations on your website too.

Paul M., Sydney, Australia

I enjoyed the 777-200LR Flight Test Journal. I think it also allowed the media & public to keep up with the test program without it so much being a secret, nor needing the various press releases that get distorted by the reporter. Would it work to have a similar journal about the 787 program beginning with its development. It would be good PR to have one place where the progress and information on the program would be available.

Jay, Bremerton, Washington

Thank you for doing the 'simple' mathematics regarding the weight claims for the Boeing 747-8 Freighter and the Airbus A380-800F! It is very clear that the 747-8F is far more efficient that than the A380F. So, the A380F, will fly around 40% more airplane structural weight for only 5% more revenue payload over the magnificent 747-8F! Rather dismal I believe. But, the A380F will fly further with full payload. Great? Not really! The -8F will fly around 8,260km at Mach 0.86, carrying a 'real-world' high density payload of 158,6kg/cubic meter, as well as carrying the industry standard containers (3.05mX3.05m), at trip costs 30% less than the A380F and 20% less fuel/tonne of freight! The 747-8F also only carries 215,280lts of fuel. The A380F, will not carry the 'real-world' high density payload (will carry 126.6kg/cubic meter), will not fly the industry standard containers, (max for the A380F are 2.44m high), will not have the flexibility and ground readiness support the 747 has, and will fly slightly slower at Mach 0.85. Yes, the A380F will have more volume, but that is of a very limited value. But, the A380F has a fuel load capacity of 310,000litres, nearly 100,000litres more than the 747-8F! But, with that 100,000 or so litres of more fuel, the A380F can only fly 10,360km, some 2100km more! Without even getting into the massive amounts of math involved, it is logical to see that from the above the 747-8F is far more efficient, economical and versatile. Hence, the believable figures of the great efficiencies the -8F offers over the A380F. Therefore, can Airbus justify flying only 5% more revenue cargo 2100km more whilst burning nearly a 100,000litres more fuel, considering the above information, and moreover, can the airlines?

Chris C., South Africa

Randy, I am a great admirer of your blog and cite it often in presentations to my clients as a successful model. I recently posted on my marketing blog on another opportunity for you to comment on Airbus' plans to create standing "seats" as covered by the NY Times. The article is here: http://rohitbhargava.typepad.com/weblog/2006/04/yet_another_boe.html

Rohit, Washington, D.C.

Carrying weight is a consideration but carrying volume is equally important. One item is missing from Randy's Journal and that is a comparison of volume for these aircraft. Some cargo containers cube out way before they reach their max container weight. Especially true when you are hauling say flowers for Valentine's Day. Would like to see an aircraft comparison with the standard FedEx cube density in the containers.

Tom L., Memphis, Tennessee

In your recent comparison between the B748F and The A380F you didn't mention the range advantage of the "heavier" A380. From what I know if both flew 5000nm the Boeing would carry only 113tonnes whereas the A380 would carry the full 150tonnes. That is 37 tonnes and not only 7 more.


Your assessment of the 747-800F vs. the A380F is flawed. The A380 can fly MUCH further - 1400 nautical miles (or 25%.. ) more range than the 747-800F so that makes up for the "dead weight" you speak of... Must do better! Most of your arguments, for A vs. B product are great but this one seems a little under researched.

Stephen, Brighton, UK

"Weight a Minute" - The question then becomes, how expensive is the volume that they are buying? The operators must plan to use the freighters on volume limited type parcel service. Can you expound on this aspect of freighters?

Alan C., Seattle, Washington

Do Boeing airplane fly ??? How far ??? Let's redo the math with the range and you will see that yours is payload limited at 5000nm and the A380F flies 1500nm farther. Always funny to read your propaganda !!!

Stepha, United Kingdom

Randy: I really enjoyed the 747-8F v. Airbus A380F entry. Is the business case there for a LCF Freighter for UPS or Fed Ex? I doubt this is a new idea.

Brad T., Lake Stevens, Washington

I just recently discovered your journal and have become a frequent reader, you point the subjects out very clearly and cleverly. Bad for Airbus! I have a question for you, do you think Airbus would have time to counter-attack the 787 in critical campaigns such as with Emirates, Singapore, etc. if they come to get back to the drawing board and produce a clean sheet new A350 (including the new fuselage)?

Beck N., Brazil

I know I've shared this comment with you before, but - Why not build the sonic cruiser, and make it carry passenger baggage: Passengers could leave right away, and their baggage could leave a bit later. It would catch up in flight, and still arrive before the passengers - giving the airline time to offload baggage for immediate pick up. More than that, wouldn't separating passengers and baggage lessen the exposure to terrorists?

Frank, Shanghai

The game is afoot. Airbus will undoubtedly revamp the A350 - again. Too many market leaders are demanding a next generation product over warmed-up A330 leftovers. And, while late to market, the new product will be able to offer something compelling. Remember the 777 in its early years? Were not some of its variants considered responses to successful Airbus products? Now look where it sits; on top of the heap. Even the fast selling 787 was born out of apparent miscalculation - the Sonic Cruiser program. This competition is never over and Airbus will fight back (albeit with European government support). I give credit to Boeing for having come back strong. Moreover, Boeing looks ready to rumble for years to come. The 787 and 747-8 are only the beginning. For now, Boeing is in great market position and, hopefully, will continue doing the right things to stay in front of Airbus. The 737NG, 747-8, 777 and 787 - Boeing's 4 planes 4 long haul!

Ken W., Chicago, Illinois

Just a quick comment: I like the new door graphics, but while driving by the factory recently my wife commented that she "missed the little girl" - i.e. the stamp graphic with the little girl looking at the 747. I agree - that was a neat graphic. Maybe we can put that on a paint hanger door?

Tim D., Everett, Washington

I am aviation buff and frequent flyer. 75 trips a year. 10 across the Pacific or Atlantic. I hate stopovers and Narita in particular. Believe it or not I am also prone to air sickness. I fly to Thailand and Singapore a bunch and have been tempted to take the direct service offered by TG and SQ to LA. However my experience with the 340 is not good. Is it me or is the 340 a wobbly plane compared to the 777? Also, are you marketing the new 737-900ER to these Business only flyers such as Maxjet? As you may have guessed I am a big point to point guy. When am I going to be able to fly San Diego Asia direct? It takes me 27+ hours door to door form San Diego to Bangkok. I figure LA-BKK direct would take 8-9 hours off the trip and if SD-BKK I would see a 10+ hour savings. Now that would be productive! I am hopeful Boeing can make this happen.

Fred P.

I recently had a whirlwind business trip to many Indian cities. The A320 felt more comfortable than the B737. Especially sitting in the center seat. It was elbow room that was more a problem than shoulder room. The 777 feels more comfortable than the 747 for the same reason.

Raj, Fremont, California

As a window seat enthusiast, there was one variable left out of the width discussion, angle of the window. A vertical window is comfortable to look out of. A window that slopes up to your head like on the upper deck of a 747, are less comfortable for viewing. I'd be curious to see a comparison of the various Airbus and Boeing window angles. Second, apparently the Germans got it right from the start with the first production jet the ME 262 with two engines mounted under the wing. Evolution of jetliners has produced two final answers, a twin with six abreast seating, and a twin with nine abreast seating. Sure, I'd love to fly in a trijet with seven abreast, but money has spoken, and it won. The real question, how do you fly without oil?

Ted C., Mt. Vernon, Washington

It occurred to me that the Boeing 787-10 could face major problems. It was recently stated that the range of the 787-10 will lack the 787-9. Boeing has to sacrifice the range for the length. Ouch. Emirates Airways stated that they are looking at a range about 9100 nautical miles, but it seems that Boeing should get a better engine with better range capabilities. Maybe, GENx Evo? Also, I do have a larger question. Since the Boeing 787-10 is to compete with the Airbus A350-900, wouldn't the A350 get a punch? The A350 is of course, a "carbon-copy" of its brother, the A330 only with new improved engines. However, it's so seemed that the engine will be also the GENx. It's true that the Rolls Royce Trent 1500 has greater thrust, but does it matter? The Airbus A350-900 is also heavier than the Boeing 787-10, because of the use of "unneeded metal. However, it also has the GENx. So do you see a problem with Airbus's A350-900(x)?

Andre, Montreal, Canada

There are several things you have to think about before you make a soup: the recipe, the cauldron and the timing.
Let's consider that you wish to produce some soup in the coming years. Firstly, you try to figure out the appropriate recipe. Secondly, you would contact local groceries and make sure that you can get the ingredients in due time. Thirdly, you will acquire a very good cauldron that can contain the desired quantity of soup that you have to produce. And finally, since you cannot do everything at the same time you would optimize your time schedule. The outcome is a plan like this: from 2004 to 2008: soup for 200 to 250 people, from 2006 to 2009: soup for about 450 people, from 2008 to 2011: soup for 290 to 360 people, from 2010 to 2014: soup for 150 to 200 people.
If you are smart enough, you will define the right ingredients, choose the right grocery and acquire the right cauldron for everything you have to do. In other words, you prepare a consistent production base.


My opinion: Boeing should take advantage of Emirates deferred A340-600HGW's by trying to sell some more 777s ( I never thought that the A340 suited Emirates anyway...) (to other people): come on what's so bad with 787 9-abreast...fine we all want to be comfortable in our economy classes but at the end of the day that's what business class is there for... If anything I'd be more aware of trying to sleep under those new plasticky stowage bins in the A350... that new cabin gives me shivers.


I am impressed how some people in such a large and serious company as Boeing have shown in the last years what clowns they can be. Mr. Alan Mulally clowning and giggling about when attending a press presentation of a possible "Boeing Sonic Cruiser" - showing he had no idea what he was talking about. (and that project then being "scrapped" for the moment). Anyone keeping track of Boeing's Marketing division appearances in the news must have noted how "bitchy" and childish Mr. Randy Baseler has been lately in the 787/A350 competition... Basing himself on a muppet, inane and little thought-out questions from the public he's done nothing but amuse me. Instead of behaving like an editor in a cheap yellowist newspaper maybe it is reasonable to wait until the two aircraft are out and see the different pros and cons each of them presents. Before I forget, Mr. Baseler: There is NOTHING wrong with an 8-abreast seat configuration (as used in A330/340/350), it just makes the aircraft longer -what's more it becomes a more effective use of space. Don't believe me? Read your notes on statistics/normal distribution and amaze yourself in the fact that aluminum cans for drinks are a better use of material the longer and slimmer they are - although impractical (to hold in your hand). Why not perhaps stop and think in the composite fuselage 787 will have? Did you know composites are light, strong but incredibly brittle? On impact all it would do is shatter like cheap glass. I do not go on Boeing or Airbus' side, on the contrary I enjoy the advantages each one of them have presented to the world in their aircraft. All I am against is Mr. Baseler's attitude.

Alan P., Montevideo, Uruguay

I am an engineer, interested in 777-200LR. I have examined the chart payload range. I have seen in Boeing documents that OEW is 145 tons, which corresponds to 301 pax. plus 11 tons of cargo on a range of 9.420 nm. But on Boeing site I see that that range is 9.420 nm only with 301 pax. Which is the real OEW of 777-200LR in the configuration with 3 auxiliary fuel tanks, 301 seats, 162.400 kg of fuel and all that is necessary (passengers and fuel excluded) for a flight? If the OEW was really 145 tons, the range chart says that max range with 301 pax and no cargo is 9.750 nm. Which could be the weight savings with the lighter interior of 787 in the 200LR derivative with six auxiliary fuel tanks for Qantas and max range with 250 passengers at maximum MTOW?

Sorrentino F., Milano, Italy

It would seem to me all the wonderful ideas of passenger amenities have neglected the reality of clear air turbulence (or any turbulence or aircraft upset for that matter). I, for one, would not like to be in the process of flinging a fifteen (15) pound bowling ball just as the airplane loses a hundred (100) feet or so of altitude. We have not, I believe, encountered every type of atmospheric disturbance Mother Nature can throw at us. I'll happily keep my seat belt fastened and read a book ere I go mall hopping at cruise level altitude.

W.B., Newcastle, Washington

Airbus seems to be in a predicament regarding its A350. Airbus has been called upon to re-design and radically upgrade the A350, such as incorporate a new, wider fuselage and an all-new wing in order to be more competitive to the phenomenally advanced 787 Dreamliner. This is the second time now that Airbus has been asked to really 'beef-up' the A350 after ILFC initially voiced concern over the then Mach 0.82 / 0.83 cruise speed - saying it is too slow, and airlines asked for better conditions for the flight-deck crew rest areas - this is a problem on all Airbus products. With these recent calls from ILFC and GECAS to further re-design the A350, it seems Airbus is in a catch 22 position. It has virtually been pointed out now that the A350 does not quite compete against the 787, and in doing so, the Airbus product has become a rather dismal counter to the Dreamliner. The A350 does not have the versatility the 787 offers. The real problem, I believe, is that Airbus did not take the threat of the 787 seriously enough in April 2004 after they virtually laughed at Boeing and said they could counter with a standard A330. We all know what happened after that at Airbus.
Now, they have reached a stage that should they continue with the 'firm' A350 design, they will bring an airplane to the market that will find it extremely difficult to compete against the Boeing products as the A350 is the inferior product, and should Airbus launch a new long haul wide-body family to replace the A330 and A340, the A350 would virtually become obsolete as the newer Airbus family will feature wider cabins, and more composites. But, if Airbus listens to its customers, and decides to re-design the A350 as well as launch an A340 replacement, this will put Airbus in a massive predicament of not having any real competitor to the Boeing products for the foreseeable future. And once the new A340 replacement, 777 competitor, has surfaced, Boeing will already have, if not launched, a 777 replacement . It is also amusing watching the development of the current 'firm' A350 as more and more features that are being revealed are virtually copied from the 787, such as larger cabin windows, four pane windshields for the flight-deck, 787 like interior (although the A350's looks very plastic)...must I continue?

Chris C, South Africa

We here in Oak Ridge are designing Flight Deck components for the 787 and we don't get much info as to what else is going on with the 787 elsewhere so it is good to see more info on this plane. I especially liked the seating comparison...well done.

Mike M., Oak Ridge, Tennessee

I saw the mural at Paine Field when it first got done on the Boeing Tour. Great job by the painters who worked on that masterpiece!

Andrew, Seattle, Washington

I am still fascinated with this blog and the stories it features. It truly reveals how Boeing has responded to the challenges of the market place and to those of a worthy competitor. Most helpful has been explaining the different corporate philosophies and then seeing the effect on the aviation shortly after. I will continue to follow as the dedicated men and women in both companies continue to produce phenomenal aircraft to benefit everybody.

Dr. John D., Auburn, Alabama

I recall when Boeing was trying to convince Singapore Airlines into buying 747's vs Airbus's Giant simply on the name and past glory of "BOEING". There was an older Boeing rep that held respect of SAS, but that was not enough and SAS was very cordial, but determined to advance with technology. BOEING has it now, but at a price! The SONIC CRUISER could have captured the world simply on the basis of nations saying, "We need one to show the flag". Never mind the expense! I think the DREAMLINER is great. Why can't BOEING give just a little more room for a little wider seat? I flew on an AIRBUS in Morocco and that plane (coach) was a real comfort to Spain. Now is the chance to make the mark; get a customer to buy the stretched 747 and fit it with seats. Another item; pay more attention to Korea or they will desert BOEING for jobs in their nation's aircraft industry.

John M., San Diego, California

I know I've shared this comment with you before, but - Why not build the sonic cruiser, and make it carry passenger baggage: Passengers could leave right away, and their baggage could leave a bit later. It would catch up in flight, and still arrive before the passengers - giving the airline time to offload baggage for immediate pick up. More than that, wouldn't separating passengers and baggage lessen the exposure to terrorists?

Mark M., Wichita, Kansas

The mural on Boeing's Everett Site is simply superb! The Mural sure makes that massive Boeing wide-body plant look attractive, and in many ways, makes Everett Factory look extremely modern and efficient - a prelude to the phenomenal airplanes being built behind those doors. Congratulations and well done for capturing the joy and passion of flying - both in your mural and your awesome airplanes.

Chris C., South Africa

I read today that the chairman of Singapore Airlines has told Airbus to re-design the A350 again. This brings the number to three very influential airline buyers who have called for the same action. This only validates Boeing's approach to the market and how far Airbus has fallen from grace. Their fall over the last year is stunning - a true subject for a Harvard MBA case study. Boeing's market and product strategy saw years ago the hole in Airbus' strategy and only now are we seeing the exploitation of that hole - one big enough to fly an A380 through. Good work Boeing.

Mark H., Newport Beach, California

Could the 747 transporter for the 787 barrels be commercially sold as oversized transporters or passenger liners to compete with the A380? Since it's been designed and built already anyway. Has Boeing considered it?

Anton S., Long Beach, California

I heard that Australian carrier Qantas is eyeing the 777-200LR as "hub-buster" for the presently unattainable London to Sydney route. Qantas claims 777-200LR currently does not have range to fly this route now what are you doing to change this.

Matthew P., Westfield, New Jersey

Do inches count? There have been some hot debate about inches here: http://www.boeing.com/randy/archives/2006/04/max_headroom.html http://www.boeing.com/randy/archives/2006/03/war_of_inches.html http://www.boeing.com/randy/archives/2006/03/width_is_which.html. When you read these articles carefully, all is about economy class seats.
The reality is that businessmen who travel on long flights of more than 4 hours are in business class and their travel expenses are paid by the employer. So the question about fare and seat width is not relevant because all business class seats in med or long haul flights are very comfortable.
Now, you do not really care about comfort on a two hour flight if you can go to where you want to go at the right time and without delay. The value of an hour is much higher on short business trips than on trips with a long flight. On a short business trip, a journey that is 45 minutes longer can cost you the whole day and even add an overnight stay plus hotel and restaurant expenses.
How about VFR flights? (VFR = Vacation, Friends and Relatives) For these trips the only thing that counts is that you arrive at your destination with the lowest fare possible and on time. You would prefer to spend the money with you friends or your family during your vacation.
So, why all this fuss about inches?

G., France

Looking at the use of composite materials in new aircraft compared to previous metal alloys, composites provide some ease of maintenance (and in particular they are free of corrosion), as well as a weight saving. However, composites do not take strain in the same ways as the metal alloys used traditionally, and I was wondering if there was some comparison you could give for example in terms of twist & flex for the fuselage & the wings - does a composite fuselage twist more, and a composite wing flex more?

R.S., Bournemouth, U.K.

Does Airbus know what they are doing? Even after the president of ILFC says the A350 needs to be redesigned, they say no to a "new A350." Oh well as long as they continue to ignore their clients' complaints about the plane, they will lose orders, how ignorant of them. By the way, the only thing that Airbus has going for it is the A320 family. The A300/A330/A340 are losing orders to the 777, but yet they continue those programs. Even Emirates sees this, and responds by postponing an order of 20 A340's worth billions, too bad. The 15 billion dollar A380 has 159 orders which needs 350 to even break even. Sales have slowed down and will continue because of the 747-8. I'm not even going to talk about the 787 and A350 because they aren't in the same ball park. Even with the A320 market majority, Boeing takes in about half of it with its 737-NG family. So I predict as does just about everybody else, good times are in store for Boeing. Keep up the good work, and keep selling those planes!

Troy H.

You have a great plane in 777, this will make Boeing a world leader for along time. Showcase the 777 to buyers in BRAZIL, RUSSIA, INDIA, CHINA AND INDONESIA, at least three times in a year. Fly the executives of industry/business/govt in theses countries to make them feel the wonder of 777 built by Boeing.

Brigadier N., Portland, Oregon

Thank you for the great insights. I expect you to be over-loyal to Boeing (as I am, and a lot more people) but I've always seen your comments and arguments as being sensible to most intellects and sensitive to the facts. This I commend you and your Boeing team. I have yet to ride a Dreamliner, but we all know that Airbus has been more of a "trip maximizer" than a passenger pleaser. Surely, their planes might make more money per trip on some routes, primarily they have made their planes half passenger, half cargo aircrafts. While their fuselages seem wider, inside the passenger compartment - they are downright cramped! They've placed the floor so high for cargo to fit below. It's a good for utilization, but if passengers really wanted to have volume parity with cargo, then maybe a C-5 Galaxy would be a great selling plane. Both A330 and A340 are cramped and tight inside, and for a 5-foot-9 guy that I am, whenever I fly an Airbus - I find my face almost doing a beso-beso with the wall. I've never felt this on a 737, 757 and 767; much more on a 777, which is a wonderful aircraft to fly on - any class. The fundamental argument is clear - Airbus is using their 1960s A300 fuselage to come up with a 21st century design. It just will not work. The sales numbers have told them that. Udvar-Hazy just told them that. Emirates' Tim Clark has told them that, as well. Airbus has just been crazy in making per-seat mile costs based on inflated seat counts. Has any airline configured a 340-600 for 380 seats? And they say it's a 747 replacement? There they go. Randy, I call on you. Bring Scott Carson to Manila. Bid for Philippine carriers to get the 777, the Dreamliner and the 747-8i. We need to bring back the magic into flying.

Jun L., Manila, Philippines

I enjoy your blog very much and I read it regularly. And, yes, I have been a Boeing fan for a long time now... However, I'm getting very disappointed with what I've been hearing about the B787. In your latest blog entry you talk about the B787 vs. A350 width and you claim that the B787 in a 9-abreast configuration will have the same "comfort levels" as the B747 and A330/A340. Sadly, the latter are based on 30-year-old designs and are noticeably more uncomfortable compared to the more modern B777 and A320. So, where is the extra comfort that Boeing has been promising on the B787? To be honest, I'd rather fly on the A350: more (or same) room per passenger and a better config (I like window seats and I'd rather have one person next to me instead of two). An 8-abreast B787; yes, that'd be something to look forward to. But, by the sound of it, this will be the exception rather than the rule.

Tony, Burlington, Massachusetts

I know you have touched on it, but it would be nice to get a comparison of the fuel burn on the A340 series vs. the 777 series of jets...clearly the difference is not 7%.

Howard R., New York, New York

Thank you, Randy for the wonderful explanation on the 8- v 9- abreast seating for the 787 v A350. You are preaching to the converted here. I'm a huge 787 fan and my nerves really jangled as QF was deciding which way to go. I really thought the 787 was the plane for them but I was highly suspicious of certain Airbus tactics. I think Udvar-Hazy is correct in saying that Airbus really have to look at a massive redo of the 350, or cede a high proportion of the market. The 787 really caught them on the hop and continues to do so. Thanks again for mentioning me in the blog. It's quite an honour.

Dale C., Melbourne, Australia

Who is going to have ultimate control of the electronic window shades on the 787? I like to fly back from Europe (or any other daylight flight) with my shade open, enjoying the view and the light. The flight attendant would prefer me to put the shade down, so the cabin falls asleep and requires less service. Who gets the master switch? The customer who has paid, potentially, several thousand dollars for a window seat or the flight attendant? What's the point of putting large windows into the fuselage of the plane if someone in the galley is going to make them dark all the time so they don't have to offer up another round of beverages? I don't want 10% discretion on shading, I want 100%. If flight attendants can adjust the cabin shades, that is OK, as along as the individual customer has ultimate control of the full range of electronic shade darkening. Give me the control switch. It is maddening to sit in a plane in darkness on a daylight flight -- instead, put the shades up, stay awake, and avoid jetlag. Please give me the control switch and let me admire the view out of those new large windows.

Doug R., New York, New York

I recently read that a major lease company has told Airbus to scrap their A-340 and A-350 in light of the fact that the 777 and new 787 has rendered those Airbus models impotent in sales campaigns. It seems that if it takes 8-10 billion dollars to bring an entirely new airplane to market, that Airbus may very well have planned themselves out of the game for the foreseeable future. Unless of course their governments bail them out with new development loans. With this in mind--what exactly is Boeings response if Airbus does come online with two new designs?

Mike L.

When will the Boeing 787-10 be announced? Some say this July for the Farnborough Air Show, awaiting the large order Emirates Airways will place. Emirates Airways is known for their large orders in air shows. Take Dubai 2005 for example, they bought about 42 Boeing 777, such as the Boeing 777-200LR/-200LRF/-300ER. P.S. I hope all goes well for Boeing and Singapore Airlines on their new wide-bodied order!

Andre D., Montreal, Canada

As a North American, I am partial to our products and for some time thought that Boeing was the greatest. That was when I was 12, and still under 6 feet tall. When I got to 6'5" and filled out a little, it became painfully obvious as a few other people have pointed out here that the Airbus has apparently given us an extra inch or two in the width of the seats that make a world of difference. For me, a 13 hour flight between Vancouver and Hong Kong is bearable on a Boeing but can be downright comfortable on most of the larger Airbus that travel this route. Air Canada uses both Airbus and Boeing, and any long flight on a Boeing, for me, is met with a sigh of resignation. I don't vote French often, and think that command by committee is usually a poorly done thing, but I have to admit that the Airbus consortium has overall done a pretty sweet job. Looking forward to seeing what Boeing will do for us slightly oversized people in the near future.

Trevor W., Toronto, Canada

Is Boeing any closer to bringing the BWB onto the market?? I think the advantages of the BWB design over the "tube with wings" design that has been in use for decades are staggering and have the potential to radically alter air travel as we know it.

Joseph B.

Your competitor's long term strategy is obviously less attractive than yours. Be careful not to crush your competitor if you do not want to have trouble with the anti-trust law. There is only one way out to avoid this: put higher price tag on your airplanes. You are condemned to amass hefty profits in the next fifteen years.

G. France

Hello, Boeing cries around the world that the Dreamliner very better is, as the A350. In Europe we have a proverb that is "who laughs too last, laughs best". Greetings from Germany.

Frank S., Hamburg, Germany

If airlines opt for the nine across seating in the 787, I think the average traveler just lost the "war of inches". Not good for 8 or 10 hour flights. I thought it was mostly weight that drives up the cost of flight. Does giving each passenger more volume or space cost so much? It seems like you're only lifting air up into the air, which should be basically free, except that you have to buy another 10 feet of airplane initially.

Ted C., Mt. Vernon, Washington

The headline of this Flight International article is "Airbus aims to counter 787 stretch with heavier A350". It will be very funny when Flight International will publish the article "Boeing aims to counter A350 stretch with lighter 787".

G., France

Pardon my paraphrase, but in this business isn't it "It must SHOW to GO"? That is why so many folks are reading your blog. For me, I can't wait to read the next one. Maybe you should write two a week! I'm a life-long Boeing freak; I'm sorry to say I got duped one time to fly an A300 from ATL to LAX. No air vent, smokers behind me, one gigantic headache for two days. Keep up the good work and writing.

Wes C., Arab, Alabama

I have read your blog for a long time now. It is good to see you write about Latin America and of course about Mexico. Aeromexico is sure in a very good moment now. It has its first B-777 (best airliner in the world so far) and being a Boeing client for a long time Aeromexico has made a good choice for the future. I think our other Airline, Mexicana had its best time as leader in Mexico when it had a big B-727 fleet, now they took the back seat and most of their planes are Airbus. Are you trying to get them on their senses? Id sure love to see them use Boeings again in the future.

Alfonso A., Guanajuato, Mexico

I am sure the argument on comfort level between the A320 and B737 is going to be a long one, depends on which side the writer is in favor of. As a passenger, I flew on both and could not notice much difference. Supporters for both sides are arguing on the issue of national pride, there are no winners or losers for such an argument. Most of my business traveling is with Southwest Airlines due to my employer has a long term contract with the company, where most of my flights were on time. Traveling leisurely, I purposely book flights that use Boeing products unless it is unavoidable. What I do notice is the noise level, during the initial applying of thrust after the aircraft is aligned on the runway and reverse thrust is applied after landing, the noise level seemed to be more apparent on the B737 as compare to the A320. But I don't feel there is a noise level different between the A330, B767, or B777. What I don't like on the A330 or 767 is the seating were 2-3-2 as compare to the B777's 3-3-3 when traveling with family and prefer to have a window seat. The 777's bigger bin is a good feature when having carry ons in preparation for connecting flight where there were chances that one's luggage does not make it to the destination. My personal favorite is the 747 of course, the cabin is big and seating is 3-4-3, it is always a nice feel every chance of coming on board even if it is an economy seat, and the in seat personal entertainment system lessen the boredom for the long flight. Now that more airlines are using the 777, it is additionally difficult to get on a 747 flight, but I am delighted that Boeing is extending the 747's life with the -8. If larger is more comfortable as Airbus is marketing the A380, then it is all for comfort for the majority of us who fly economy. I really doubted that the airlines would have shops and restaurants install as Airbus envisioned because it does not generate additional revenue. Nor I could see the Sky Suite offerings as Boeing envisioned because it further inflated the ticket price for first and business class. What I could see is the airlines would move all galleys off the main deck of the 747-8 for additional revenue generating seats.

Rob, Las Vegas, Nevada

I know the A-320 is not much wider than the 737, however, it seems to appear to be larger and more comfortable. Perhaps it's the brighter cabin or some other optical effects. I fly the 737 whenever possible, but the A-320 seems to offer wider seats (more than a 1/2 inch).

Denis, Vienna, Virginia

Regarding the recent story on narrow body cabin width, is it not also important to take into account cabin noise? The difference in cabin width between the 737 and A320 might only be a few inches but I definitely notice it. What I notice more however is the difference in Cabin Noise. The A320 is considerably quieter. I hope this will be a major consideration in the comfort of the new 787 as it seems that more airlines (two thirds so far) are choosing 9 abreast seating in economy class on the 787 while the number will be 8 abreast on the majority Airbus' A350 due to considerably narrower cabin interior.

Joe M., Dublin, Ireland

The most maddening thing about flying has nothing to do with the plane. It has to do with passengers being allowed to stuff, cram, and pound oversized bags into the overhead spaces. My last two flights were delayed 20 and 30 minutes EACH WAY because of passenger back up. Worse, if possible, on my last flight I helped an older woman take down TWO oversized bags from overhead spaces. I don't see how plane design will cure that evil.

Howard V., West Hollywood, California

As a salesman and a pilot (King Air) I really appreciate the job you are doing for Boeing. You represent the company, and as a matter of fact the USA in a fashion that I really admire. Please keep up the good work and keep telling it "like it is". The Boeing Co can indeed "walk the walk" I hope somewhere down the line that you will be able to get close to South Carolina with one of your talks. I'd really like to hear you speak and see the presentation that you give. Keep the faith (and pile it on).

Spike T., Laurens, South Carolina

737 v. A320 width - a controversial topic indeed! But the shoe is on the foot when comparing the 787 and the (narrower) A350. Almost comically, John Leahy of Airbus was quoted at Asian Aerospace was saying that the four-inch difference between those two airplanes was "not that much." But he sure likes to talk about the seven-inch difference between the A320 and the 737! Keep the controversy coming, Mr. Baseler -- I like the way you take on your competitor without hitting below the belt.

Art C., Portland, Oregon

Randy, to say that "For all practical purposes, most people can't tell the difference." between the A320 and 737 is incorrect in my opinion. I think the comment made by John L. from Tucson, Arizona really nailed it. I've flown on many 737/757 before. But the first time I flew on a Northwest A320 back to Detroit from my Boeing interview in Seattle, I was able to notice the difference. Not so much in the seats, but in the isle I was able to roll my carry-on without hitting the arm rests of the isle seats. Surprisingly, as insignificant as that sound, it does make a difference in people's perception for all practical purposes. Now the United 777 I flew to Seattle on was just awesome, first time on a 777 too. The 737 is a great airplane, I enjoy seeing them everyday now at work. I know the replacement narrow body from Boeing will be way better than the competitor's version.

G.W., Seattle, Washington

The next generation Boeing transport must take technology to the next level. That being, the flight profile and ground operations be fully automated with no humans in the front end. Most of the required technology exists today. We must make this giant leap ahead if we are to stay in front. A freighter aircraft would be a good way to start with this next generation of transport.

John S., Canada

Randy, just discovered your blog through a link on airliners.net. I definitely agree with you about the reliability issue being more important than space in the short haul market. I can honestly say that I have never had a delay in a 737 that was maintenance related. However, I can't tell you the number of times I have had maintenance related delay or cancellation on an Airbus product, both narrow and wide bodied aircraft. I look forward to future posts of yours.

Kris, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Come on Boeing ... what are you waiting for: get out the 787-10 !!!! Emirates have already announced that they will buy it !!!!


Thanks for this excellent blog. The kind of insight that you provide makes the business aspect of aviation so much more interesting to enthusiasts like me. People on the internet like to be arm-chair CEOs, discuss Boeing's future strategies, and compare them against that of Airbus. We enthusiasts never get an opportunity to look at the PowerPoint slide decks that you share with media people when you visit them around the world. As a great fan of Boeing and their products, and one who has been bitten by the business side of aviation, may I kindly request you to share some of your slides with us? It would make the process of understanding the fantastic field of aviation, and aviation business so much more enjoyable and fun-filled.

Harry S., Maryland

Harry, you can view one of my recent presentations here.

Randy Baseler

OK, so I work for "The Other Guy", but being passionate about the industry as a whole, I have to say that I find your blog a very enjoyable read. At the end of the day, we're really not that different: We love what we do and believe that we work in the coolest industry around. Cheers!

Nicolas A., Toulouse, France

Wow, you are a busy fellow! According to your latest journal, it appears that you are the energizer bunny of Australia. But I'm glad you have some energy left to write your blog. Your insight is appreciated and most beneficial to me personally and professionally. Keep up the fine work!

Bill L., Everett, Washington

Why would anybody buy an Airbus A350, when you could buy a 787? I Have no idea other than they must be an idiot. Randy, I love reading all your stories. I have to say I am a great admirer of Boeing planes. Don't like airbus at all.

Troy H., Lincoln, Nebraska

Sorry, with 25+ years of flying under my belt, the 320 feels roomier than the 737. You can make your case, but if you are a passenger the 320 wins on this one. In addition, on United Airlines I can pull my wheely computer case down the aisle on the 320 but need to carry it on the 737.

Devereaux D., Portland, OR

As Boeing and Airbus both struggle to come up with a replacement for their current narrowbody lines, it's interesting to observe that the concepts will inevitably be extremely similar. They will both use the same engines, same materials, probably have roughly the same dimensions, and will end up being about equally efficient. How much sense does it make for two manufacturers to spend billions of dollars each to end up with the same thing? We're nearing perfection on the basic airliner design. Even then, the figures only indicate that perhaps a 10% improvement will be possible over current narrowbodies. In my opinion, the only thing that will set Boeing apart from Airbus and justify the expense of developing a new aircraft is the Blended Wing concept. Unless Boeing takes the leap on this one, airliners from here on out will have no clear advantage over their competitors. Boeing would have the advantage because of the research they've done on this concept. Come on Boeing, take the next step!

Dave, Ogden, Utah

Hopefully the replacement narrowbody aircraft for Boeing and Airbus include 18.5" seats with 19.5" center seats and a 21.5" Aisle, or better yet a 2+2+2 18.25" seat configuration with two 19" aisles. Any thing short of that, and it's not going to matter much to anyone but the bean counters, we'll still be shoved in there like sardines. The reality, the cabin width on both of these aircraft families is a joke. You got the right idea with the 787, even if a couple of airlines are looking at 9 across.

J.P., United States

You hit the nail on the head, Randy. Claiming A320 to be more comfortable than 737 just due to 7 inches is one of the most ridiculous comments not only made by Airbus itself, but also by many analysts and Airbus fans around the globe. Like you, I made the same calculation several times and found that extra width not to have any significant impact. And I was convinced more when I traveled twice by A320 (Detroit to San Diego by Northwest, San Diego to Washington by United) and once by 737-800 (San Diego to Newark by Continental) and found NO difference. So for those who claim A320 is sold on the account of its superior cabin comfortness, they would rather support their claim by other things.

Ashkan M., Montreal, Quebec, Canada

What is my dream of the future 737 series? My 737RS (replacement study) planes have 6 different models. The smallest one carries about 100-110 in 1 class and the second smallest one is similar to 737-600 nowadays. They share the smallest and similar wings, which is smaller than the 737NGs nowadays. Then, the two models are close to the class of 737-700 and 737-800 nowadays. And the largest two are close to 737-900ER and 757-200. The largest two can have 4x2 main landing gears. This is my little idea about 737RS (replacement study). These sizes optimize the market needs and extend the 737 market. Hope that all of you share more about the new 737!

Tom P., Hong Kong

Interesting information about the 320 vs. 737 because I heard that argument several times as a reason why airlines prefer the A320. But why do you think the A320 has a growing market share and is selling so much better than the 737?

Stefan, Germany

After I read Randy's Journal for March 02 concerning the perceived 7 inch width advantage that the A320 has over the Boeing 737, I am convinced that Boeing senior management does not fly their competitor's product in coach class. I don't need a poorly researched Boeing survey to convince me that the A320 does not have a width advantage. The seats are an inch wider and that makes a big difference in coach when you have to sit by a supersized person which tends to be more the rule than the exception. Also that extra inch in the aisle makes it much easier to roll your carry on without getting hung up on the seats and easier to pass other passengers when boarding or deplaning. Gee wizz, I fly about a million miles domestically with equal time in coach on 737's and A320's. Boeing is the definitely the General Motors of the Commercial Jet Business!

John L., Tucson, Arizona

Randy, you said it very well on the 737NG - A320 Comparison. The A320 might be wider as a whole, but it's how wide inside that really counts. And half-an-inch per seat difference is almost negligible that, I doubt if it'll ever be an issue. I think more airlines get the A320 because of deep price discounting and source of financing, especially if the airlines (and the countries where they are based) can get loans from European institutions, then they will most likely pick Airbus. This has been the situation here in the Philippines, where our carriers have been turning to Airbus for the narrow-body fleets. Inside an airplane, if the carrier crams so much seats into the cabin - heck! Even a 777 will seem cramped. The 737NG is a good plane - a great legacy laden with the newest technology.

Jun L., Manila, Philippines

I'm a big fan of Boeing. I refuse to ride on an airbus product. Living in Houston, I am fortunate in that my home town airline (Continental) is all Boeing. I liked your comparison of the 737 vs. A320. Glad you finally put some truth to the cabin size. To me, seat pitch is what counts. I would like to see the public better educated on higher, faster, farther. I suspect that the 737 has lower fuel burn since it's lighter. Can't wait to ride on Continental's 787 when they arrive. Keep up the good work.

Eric B., Houston, Texas

I have to totally disagree with you on the 737 vs. A320 available cabin width. You refer to the 3 inch difference at eye height, but the truth of the matter is we are mostly pear shaped humans and its shoulder and hip width that really matters to a passenger. The A320 has a far more comfortable width cabin than any the existing B737 range. Plus the overhead carry-on baggage space is much better on the A320. Here in China this is a key point for the traveling Chinese who rarely travel domestically with check in baggage, preferring to have large tote bags.

Mike L., Beijing, China

The truth is quite clear that the 747-8 is set to force the A380 into an even smaller market niche and at the same time, completely seal off the gap beneath the A380, thus effectively cutting the legs away from the Airbus giant. And, to really put the spanner in the works for Airbus and its A380, the 747-8 will without a shadow of doubt be more efficient, economical and environmentally friendlier. How can the 747-8 not be, considering it is far lighter, far quieter, uses the world's most fuel-efficient and advanced engines, has a significantly improved-super critical aft loaded wing that has been re-twisted and re-lofted amongst many other aerodynamic improvements, and employs many of the latest technologies from the 777 and 787. For Airbus to say the -8 will have the same old 747-100 wing, as well as say that the flight-deck is the same as the old 747-400 flight deck is very amusing!
It has been made emphatically clear that the flight deck will employ the latest in advanced flight-deck technologies, and that the wing is also 'essentially new' due to its significant upgrades. The 747 wing has also been praised as being one of the most advanced as well as the fastest commercial wing in the world. The comfort issue is also a rather amusing area. The 747-400's interior is already light years ahead of the first 747 interior. What Airbus can't seem to tolerate is that the 747-8 will employ cabin 'creature comforts', that the A380 will not be able to, such as the 'Sky-lofts', larger cabin windows, Boeing Signature sweeping architecture, as well as cabin technology from the 777 and 787. Also, due to the -8 being the new benchmark in noise reduction, the cabin will also be quieter, due to the engine chevrons, thus the comfort issue will favour the -8 as noise fatigue will be lower. At least Airbus has conceded in saying the 747 is an excellent freighter, but for them to say the -8 will only be a freighter programme is very pre-mature. Airbus's 'war of words' regarding the two giants are rather childish and filled with too much personal emotion, whilst Boeing's are mathematically balanced and professional.

Chris C., South Africa

While reading your blog entry of 13 January 2006 once again, I realised that BCA's strategy is really staggering. Firstly, Boeing hit the right size, the right range and the right technology with the 787, secondly it announced 747-8 with the same engine as the 787 and similar wing manufacturing techniques. Why can't you apply the same wing technology to 777? There is no doubt that 777 can lose much weight. A better and lighter 777 will be more than attractive compared to its competitors. Just imagine this, 2008: 787 EIS, 2009: 747-8 EIS, 2011: New 777 EIS, 2014: 7n7 EIS. You can roll out a brand new and simplified product line based on the same technology level in just 6 years!

G., France

Thought you might be interested in a series of photos I have been working on featuring airliners. They are taken with great detail and printed in large format in limited editions. A recent show was at Paul Kopeikin Gallery in LA. There was a nice write up in the LA Times.

Jeffrey M., Kingston, New York

A question mark has been raised over the Airbus victory in the 2005 aircraft sales war, according to a report from Reuters. The news agency says it has spoken to airlines in China, which say they have not paid deposits in the sale of 150 A320s. The sale enabled Airbus to snatch victory from Boeing in terms of the number of aircraft sold in 2005. Airbus says that it had met the criteria for reporting the aircraft as firm orders.

Andre M., Bloomington, Illinois

Having spent 40 hours of the last week on (mostly Boeing) aircraft inc. 12 hour flights on 747-400 and the new Air NZ 777-200e I think the first aircraft maker/airline to solve the problem of head/neck support for sleeping seated passengers would get my money when flying. All very well for those up front on the bed type seating but there must be an answer for the others. The new 777 was great esp. with a bit of help from Bose QC2 headphones!

Robin C., Auckland, New Zealand

Since Airbus managed to convince Qatar to reopen a previous decision to order the 777, Boeing should try to return a favor by trying to convince Qatar to rethink their order for the A350. And if Qatar has put down non-refundable deposits on the A350, we need to take that into considerations. I know the advantage is currently against Boeing with the original 777 decision being revisited. We should check with Qatar if they are willing to look at a new bundled package with 777 and 787 while eliminate A340 from Qatar consideration and erase A350 from Airbus' order book. I don't know if Qatar A350 decision is based on a larger aircraft, but with 787-10, we might have a chance of kicking Airbus out.

Victor T., Santa Clara, California

2005 was a hell of a year for both Airbus & Boeing, but, in a recent news story, perhaps Airbus was not #1 in sales orders for year 2005. This comment says it all: "We have not made any down payment, as we still don't know how many A320 jets we will get," said an Air China Ltd. official in comments echoed by other carriers. Smells fishy if you ask me.

Mike C., Long Beach, California

It's interesting to read the "patriotic" comments from the USA contributors. Whilst there's no shame whatsoever in home grown support of your industries, I think it's somewhat rich to "Burn the torch" for Boeing so brightly when you should consider that it is only where it is today because of competition. This isn't the Australian "Tall Poppy Syndrome", it's being realistic and pragmatic. In a word or two, stop being so blinkered and xenophobic. If Airbus was such an inferior product, then realistically they wouldn't sell a single plane. At the end of the day, if it were THAT poor, no amount of subsidy would encourage their buyers to pay for the product. Kudos to Boeing for the 787; damn smart, well sized; smart product, and well priced. The street price is good.... but what the likes of QANTAS, et al really paid we'll never know. Before too long I'm sure there'll be another "787" success out there... maybe it'll be the next gen' A320? Maybe it'll be the next gen 737?

Alvin G, Sydney, Australia

Boeing has a distinct advantage over Airbus with the 787. They know it, you know it. So, why not leverage the advantage you have by doing a "Dash-10". It would, most likely, seriously devalue the A350, since everyone knows what plane will be using older technology. Don't give Airbus even a hint of a chance of catching up.

James, Honolulu, Hawaii

Randy, love reading all your stories. I have to say I am a great admirer of Boeing products. Don't like airbus much at all. Keep up the good work.

Keith W., Sydney, Australia

If the current GEnX does not have the thrust for the 787-10 why not use an updated GE90 without bleedair to power the 787-10. DAH!!!!

John L., Tucson, Arizona

Let's be green.
This Flight International article is very interesting. It says that the 737 successor could have a better efficiency of "only" 9 to 10% than today's aircraft. If you work the figures out, the conclusion is clear. Boeing will have to build this aircraft as soon as possible. Why? Because better fuel efficiency will be translated into less CO2 (and less $ burnt) in the atmosphere.
Let us run the number crunching.
+ a 737 sized airplane's fuel burn rate is about 4,400lb/h
+ it operates about 10 hours per day
+ it operates about 350 days per year
In one year it burns 4,400 * 10 * 350 equals 15,400,000 lb. of fuel. Ten percent better efficiency means 1,540,000 lb less fuel burnt per year per aircraft. You can translate this into USD too! The result is about 420,000 $ per year and per aircraft if fuel price is 1.8 $/gal. Everybody knows that 1 lb of fuel produces about 3.15 lb of CO2. So ten percent better efficiency means 4,851,000 less CO2 in the atmosphere per year and per aircraft. Now, if you replace a fleet of 4,000 737 by its successor then the total CO2 emission would be reduced by 19,404,000,000 lb per year. And if you consider a period of ten years then the figure sums up to 194,040,000,000 lb less CO2 in the atmosphere. Hell! That is a huge number! So please be green and go for this 737 replacement.

G. France

Since Airbus's then VP of Ops at Le Bourget last year (Paris Air Show) was ready to criticize the Boeing assembly line approach (moving line) guess what's the recent news from Airbus? Airbus is doing now the same thing as Boeing, namely they will start a moving line for A318/A319/A321 and they're planning to extend this to 330/340 and to some work on 380. I guess good business decisions do spread, in due time.

Vladimir K., Everett, Washington

As a shareholder I would love to make it policy that all Boeing employees fly coach domestically so they can see from the consumer's perspective why the A320 is a superior airplane to fly in. The 737 is simply a 60's car with a few updates. Why did the A320 outsell the 737 last year by a 3-2 margin? It is simply a much better product.

John L., Tucson, Arizona

I'm glad to see that Boeing caught up with Airbus last year. I personally think that Airbus is going to fail with the A380. They never earn the billions of investments back. So the philosophy of you Boeing guys to use smaller planes on point to point destinations on long distances is in my opinion the right strategy. I can't wait to fly on the 787! But the best news for me was launching the 747-8. I'm a huge fan of the plane. I'm sorry but I have to give one comment about the A380; speaking with the words of Joe Sutter as he had seen the first of the double deck proposals of the 747 in 1965: it's a turkey

Miquel P., Türkheim, Germany

The Airbus A340 Family is going to need much more than simple 'cash-backs' to stay attractive, economical and viable. I can not believe what I read in Flight International, which is a very reliable aviation team in my opinion. Senior Airbus executives are quoted at saying that since they can not match the superior Boeing 777, they will simply offer 'cash-back's or pay for the fuel advantage of the 777, in order for them not to invest 'billions' of dollars in a major upgrade of the A340. That is absolutely ludicrous! One would be forgiven if they thought Airbus in actual fact had something up their sleeves. How can Airbus, a world class aviation firm, say such things! Not only have they publicly said that the 777 is the far more superior product, but they have indicated that they are not really worried - since they have money to waste? The first thing that came to mind when I read the article is the environmental issues. How can Airbus possibly justify polluting the environment, since the A340 burns more fuel, by giving airlines money? Not only that, but the A340 will waste the extremely expensive and precious fuel. So much for the A340 being a lean, green, flying machine! Does Airbus think they can always buy their way in life? If so, what happens when the money runs out?

Chris C., South Africa

Is it possible, that next year Boeing could report their sales second, rather then first, since Airbus, in my opinion, is very capable of fixing their books without any censor or without anyone double checking them, this way we get a fair shake at the numbers? Whatcha think, otherwise we are really setting ourselves up for a constant loss each year.

Kathy, Seattle, Washington

Let's look at the A380 sales numbers in another light. 154 orders, 34 from the Emirates and 10 orders each from FedEx and UPS. What am I missing?

Ron B., Boston, Massachusetts

I'm a big Boeing fan. Having lived in the Pacific Northwest and several classmates from my college employed by Boeing, I can only say, GO, GO, GO. You have a winner in the 787. Love your blog and the connection of back home.

Jeff, Las Vegas, Nevada

Interesting blog...keep keeping us informed. Good going for the rest of 06.

Desilu S., St. Kitts and Nevis

Congratulations to you and all BOEING employees on a great year, I enjoy reading your blog. My wish list? A new single aisle aircraft from BOEING, as much as I like the 737 its age is showing. BTW, I also enjoy the fact that you have always shown a lot more class than the "other team", hope it continues that way.

Eric Z., Mexico

First of all, thanks for the airliners.net shout-out! Quick question about the Airbus management team. Do you think that there is a management problem at Airbus? Every article I read features Airbus executes saying completely different things.

Sharango K., Los Angeles, CA

Randy, I really love your journal. I often check for updates several times a week hoping for more news or information. I appreciate your honesty in your Boeing vs. Airbus comparisons, something I'm sure most people admittedly think about, but rarely comment on. Also, I went to college in Washington, and felt many of the Seahawks pains and frustrations through the 90's, I've been a fan ever since. Go 'Hawks, Superbowl 40!

Lester K., Riverside, California

I must say this blog is excellent. Randy tells it as it is. He stays calm and even jokes about things. He writes his opinion in a well mannered way. The blog is a stark contrast to the childish attacks Airbus' John Leahy resorts to in order to make Airbus seem bigger and better. At the recent Airbus conference I couldn't help but notice how uncomfortable the top brass seemed to be. And how on earth did they rack up those orders? Something tells me they've fudged numbers. Airbus always come across as a child who simply cannot accept that someone else is better at one thing than they are. I'd bet good money that they've either fudged their 2005 order numbers or offered "incentives" to airlines in December. In fact, John Leahy is on record in the press with offering airlines "cash back" for ordering their A340 rather than the superior 777. He said we would pay the difference in fuel burn. First they pay US Airways to order A350s.. now this. Come on! All I can say is well done to Boeing and Randy for not stooping to childish name calling or fact twisting to make Boeing seem on top.

Alex R., United Kingdom

Who cares about who finishes 1st, as long as we are making more money! And many thanks for taking the time to mention airliners.net. Your Website is certainly the talk of that Website. On www.jetcareers.com, your website is quoted as well. We enjoy your website for your honesty & gentlemen type comments. Taking to time to wish Airbus good fortunes on the success of the A380 rollout was one that many will always remember.

Mike C., Long Beach, California

I recall how Europe 'crowed' about the lead they took in commercial aircraft with the development of the SST Concorde back in the 70's. A very nice airplane in its own right but a money loser for a very small market, just the same. Now we fast forward to the present with Airbus banking on the gigantic A380. Does the world really need an aircraft bigger than the 747? What's realistic in regards to the market potential for a plane that requires expensive upgrades by airports to accommodate it? Does the term "Edsel" ring a bell? Looks to me that the 787 is reflective of the real future for commercial air transportation. And one that will keep Airbus engineers working late into the night. Great Blog, Randy!

Ken M., Long Beach, California

Actually my fear with this plane [A380] is Customs/Baggage pick up. I fly across the Pacific multiple times a year and landing in LAX on a 747 when another 1 or 2 747's/767's land it is bad enough. The thought of 2+ A380's landing makes me shudder. Which really comes back to the issue of convenience. Flying isn't a novelty anymore and going for fuel efficient 250-350 seater jets I believe gives two very nice advantages: more flights ( always handy ) and more even airport traffic ( balanced a little in favour of the A380 at the hub's where air congestion is an issue ). Keep up the blogging. It's always fascinating and I actually miss the Flight Test Journal, the more I know about how much work goes into safety etc, the more relaxed I feel flying.

Nigel, New Zealand

Yes, 2005 was indeed an excellent year as far as aircraft sales are concerned. More than 2,000 aircraft were sold in 2005 by Airbus and Boeing (in alphabetical order). This number is equivalent to more than 2.5 years of deliveries. The sales volume is so big that you can think that this situation is somewhat bubble-ish and that it includes some speculation-orders. I am wondering if production slots or purchase rights will be auctioned at ebay.com in the near future. I sincerely think that in such bubble-ish situation you need to be sure to whom are selling your aircraft. One can also wonder whether all those 2,000 ordered aircraft will be delivered to the initial buyer.

G. France

I was one of the students who were fortunate enough to listen to your presentation at the University of New South Wales, Sydney last year. Thank you for your continued posting and commitment with the blog, as well as explaining Boeing's views and strategies for the future. I have to say that your post "Field Position" of January 18th was definitely one of your finest yet. It is very encouraging to see your arguments backed up by solid hard-facts. Happy Blogging!

Dickson C., Sydney, Australia

Boeing seems well positioned to dominate the profitable end of the airliner market for the next decade. The 787 and the 777 have done extremely well. The 748 will steal some A380 sales and the 737 sells well to established airlines. It is more than likely that Southwest, for example, will be around for another couple of years and may accept and pay for a frame or two. This contrasts sharply with some of the booked A320 orders. On the other hand, the A380 appears to be irrelevant to the current market, the A340 is dead and the A330 is not looking too healthy. The A350 looks to be too little, too late. It suits neither the 787 nor the 777 niche. Finally, Embraer is on the offensive at the low end, which does not bode well for the A318 and A319 members of the A320 family. At the end of the day, it seems as though Airbus has lost whatever drove the company to create great designs, like the A300 and the A320, while Boeing needed only to regain its footing as the world's leading maker of jet transports.

David G., Monroe, Ohio

I am a certified Boeing fan in this side of the world and will always be. I'd like to share some comments.
1. Let's build a 777-400ER - let's fully conquer the Airbus 340-600 market with a 400 seat twinjet! I think, by studying the seat maps of airlines that I fly on using 777's, we definitely can stretch it further to add more seats. This will give it the actual 50 seat gap between the current 747, which will seat 450. The current gap is 416 to 365.
2. Let's push the 747-8 to seat 500 - That is the magic number here. 500 seats. Maybe the freighter's stretch body will be better for the passenger version.
3. Make a new 777 with 787 technology - I know there's loud talk of the 787-10X, but why build one when we can have a tested platform in a 777 that will have its technologies and efficiencies.

Jun L., Philippines

In addition to passengers wanting to go "where they want to go and when they want to go," our strategy should include providing passengers also the "HOW they want to get to their destination", i.e. the flight experience (which is/will be superior to Airbus). AND it is not solely up to the airlines to determine the experience, Boeing has a role as well!!

Steve S., Everett, WA

Your blog makes a great reading and is very informative. Kudos to you.

Ravi G., IIT Kharagpur, India

A 767-8, a Boeing 767 optimized and fitted with appropriate 787 technology for very low seat-mile cost, is a possible solution to the unavailability of early delivery slots from the 787. The 767-400ER can be used as the basis model. The 767-8 will compete with the A-330 and the A-350 and can be offered at a lower price level, since most development costs have already been amortized.

Rene A., Camiling, Philippines

After all of the "mouth and trousers" of the last two months, you managed to finish second again. What a shame!

Norman, London, UK

Airbus beats Boeing again on 2005 order! How did Airbus pull that off? Did we become too complacent at the end of November that didn't see their trick? Marketing people should have known Airbus better. Boeing had a good year and there is no point to say that we sold more high-value airplanes. We are 53 short and that is avoidable fact.

Dr. G., Canoga Park, CA

When I grew up as a little boy in a developing Far East country many moons ago, I was always intrigued by these "snake oil" salesmen who promised cures of anything including Malaria and other tropical diseases just by sprinkling some "snake oil" onto the skin! Well, after all these years, some of these snake oil salespeople are now selling Airbus planes! Except that it now takes two more weeks after the conclusion of the sales to register the effect. Wow! Who would have thought the modern bean counter can learn from the old "snake oil" salesman? As usual, the desperation in EADS to "top" the Americans is embarrassingly comical.

Chris C., San Jose, California

So Airbus has fudged the figures again. Last minute orders that have yet to be confirmed. If major airlines are counted Boeing have won hands down. Just add Qantas which has not yet been added to the count and Airbus is out of it anyway.

Chris G., Australia

It is interesting to read the different newspapers around the world and the different spin. Beside the fact that it is not clear right now who will win the wide body market in the upcoming years although Boeing really had the lead this year and Airbus something to think about. But Boeing has to find a way to compete against the 320 family because this is the biggest market in the near future and Airbus did more than just well there. I did not expect the December punch of Airbus. It was a very good marketing success and airbus made the headlines with it.

Frank, Koeln, Germany

Finally, thanks to Airbus's announcement of all new A320 out of composites, we will see a new Boeing 737 replacement. How about combining 787 composite technology with the canard / swept wing of the earlier proposed Sonic Cruiser? Then you will absolutely "blow away" anything that Airbus would put out. You will achieve superior economics, and really make a statement for the next generation. New engines, proven canard design, and really cool. What more can you ask for !!!!

Michael, Glenview, Illinois

The 747-8 is a beautiful aircraft! It's much more feasible than the A380: well done Boeing. It's a real shame that they shelved the Sonic Cruiser 3 years ago, I was really looking forward to seeing it around, it would have revolutionised passenger aircraft however I can understand that it wasn't going to be a very economical plane. The 787 is a great aircraft and I think it's an insult that Airbus brought out the A350 to counter it: the 787 just cannot be compared to an old design with upgraded features

Sam, Malta

I would like to see the 772ER killer be a 777. If the 747 can be improved with a 1969 wing, isn't the 777 with a 1995 wing and FBW, worth improving on? Personally, I'd like to see a 650 to 700 ton 774 that was 10' longer than the 772. This, with lighter materials and better fuel efficiency. An overstretched 787 reminds me to much of the 346. What do you think the future holds for more 777 models?

Ted, Mt. Vernon, Washington

A new, WIDER CABIN - narrow body aircraft with 787 technology sounds like money in the bank to this stock holder. Go for it.

Jim H., Kirkland, Washington

Boeing's B747-800 is perhaps 10 years late in addressing Asia's call for an upsized B747 but this has allowed it to incorporate B787 technologies. It now leaves Boeing's sales and marketing team to take hold of all the subtle cultural nuances of Asia (remember that not all of Asia is homogenous) and sell the B747-800 like it did with earlier Jumbos. Joe Sutter's legacy lives on in this new model and half a century after the first B747 prototype flew, we will still be seeing the distinctive shape of the B747 in the sky! The Queen continues to fly high. Congratulations to all at Boeing - you have set the benchmark higher for yourself in 2006 and beyond!

Kok., Singapore

What will this year have in-store for the phenomenal Boeing Company? One thing is for sure; Boeing will continue with its massive momentum throughout the year and well beyond! Boeing clearly has the right philosophies, the right attitude, the right people and the right products. From the world's most technologically advanced commercial airplanes to the most efficient and modern production systems, to the superb commitment from the Boeing employees and much, much more, Boeing has everything! And, above that, Boeing is an ethical and responsible company and also takes on the competition seriously and with respect. Boeing has a fine leadership, especially Mr. McNerney and Mr. Mulally. With the imminent revenue service entry of the 777-200LR, the first flight of the 737-900ER, the anticipated first order for the 747-8 Intercontinental as well as the continued strength of the BCA products, this year is set to once again make Boeing formidable and proud. Well done Boeing for predicting the market correctly and for building the most suitable and efficient airplanes around. If anything is to be said about 2005, it is that it could have been a no better year for Boeing to advertise its WORKING TOGETHER slogan with pride! All the best for 2006!

Chris C., South Africa

On Dec. 19, 2005 Alan Mulally said that the replacement for the 737 might be possible in 2013 to 2015. I do not think that the new airplane is a "737 replacement" because it won't be exactly at the same positioning as the 737. In my humble opinion, a capacity of 140 to 205 seats and a range of 3,500 nm would be appropriate. It will be a narrowbody airplane with a slightly larger fuselage diameter than that of the 737. In other words its external aspects will be similar to 737. Will the airframe be in composite? The wing will be in composite, but the fuselage can go either way, all-alloy or composite.

G., France

Boeing's advanced technological advances and investments in the past years have given them the competitive advantage in the market of Commercial Airliners. A great example of this is being reborn in the 787, which incorporates new advancements and improvements in the way airframes are built and maintained. These are primary reasons why airlines are excited about Boeing products, including the 787.

Andrew R., New Milford, Connecticut

I am a passionate Boeing fan from Austria and want to congratulate the entire company on the enormous success in the year 2005 and especially thank you for the good job you do at Randy's blog. The stories are always very interesting to read and they offer a lot of information not only about Boeing products and aviation in general but also - not least because of the various links in the articles - about the life in your fascinating country; for me as European very exciting small insights. I wish you all the best for 2006 and look forward reading the next stories from Randy

Oliver F., Graz/Styria, Austria

I've enjoyed your blog a lot, it give a good company perspective that is less rigid than a press release and not filtered by a reporter. Keep it up. What I think is Boeing's best achievement recently is the filling in of the complete range of aircraft with all modern models. The widebodys share a lot of commonality. There is now only a small gap between the 737 and the 787 on capacity, then seamless thru the 747-8. It's exciting to see Boeing on a roll right now.

Jay, Bremerton, Washington

I think the reason that a 737 replacement is going to take a few years is two-fold. First of all, replacing a best seller is always difficult in any industry. Secondly, I wonder if engine technology in this type of proposed replacement aircraft is ready at this point. I suspect when this happens, Boeing will once again raise the bar in commercial aviation.

The new 747 is a coup! Anything big has its share of unique considerations. Big houses, big SUVs, even big pets all create, shall we say, opportunities for us to wish we had thought differently at the time that we obtained these things. I suspect the a380 will evoke such thoughts. The new 747 with its derivative technology and unparalleled history of achievement in aviation will clearly make customers think very hard before they choose in this segment. Any known proven concept will prevail. Understandably, Boeing's new 747 will be the better choice.

Dr. John D, Auburn, Alabama

It is great to see Boeing compete so well against Airbus. The success of the 787 is outstanding. Kudos to the design team for hitting this one out of the park. From what I've read is looks like Boeing is making a lot of good decisions, from product design to also employment. Perhaps fixing one of the greatest problems for employees by stabilizing work. Perhaps Boeing could take a page from the airlines and create a separate division for smaller airplanes. Relieving the design and production from the extreme organizational mass required for large planes but able to access the technology of the parent company. Bob Lutz was able to do something like this at Chrysler when he created the Viper then other specialty cars.

Darren S., Anaheim, California

Every time I hear of a press release from Airbus concerning the A350, they are talking of something else that will be standard on the A350. Bigger windows, increased humidity, improved lighting, lower cabin altitude, better economics. Question is, can all of these improvements be possible for a non-composite aircraft? If so, could be not make these changes for their standard aircraft such as the A320, A330, A340, & the A380?

Mike C., Long Beach, California

The 747 Large Cargo Freighter can be an upsized competitor to the A380 Freighter for parcel air cargo companies like UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc. The advantage of the 747LCF is that it can use the container system of shipping to maximize air time for the aircraft. To minimize weight use air tube containers.

Rene A., Quezon City, Philippines

Yes okay, you're currently focusing on the new B777-200LR for point-to-point ultra long-haul routes and designing the state-of-the-art B787 and B747-8 (which I am very glad to see, have way better design than the airbus equivalents!), but you've even admitted the following. Narrowbodies are your biggest market! The B737 and A320 are both alright aircraft, but they are both aging. Airbus haven't ever upgraded their models, Boeing have and offer newer aircraft with better overall performance. BUT WHY NOT COME UP WITH A NEW DESIGN ready for service in 2012 when the next "low-cost boom is expected". Using B787 technology you COULD drive the A320s off the shelf and Airbus would have to stretch their budget well beyond reality. Develop the B787, B747-8 and B7N7 (proposed narrowbody...B797?) and low-cost, scheduled and charter carriers will love it. 150-seater transcontinental range (eg. Boston-Los angles. London-New York) B797/B787.

Ed F., UK

Randy take a bow, you guys deserve it. The Qantas win was a watershed moment for Boeing. It seems that in the past when you went up against Airbus, Boeing would come out second best. The new sales team is definitely a winner. Cheers!!!

Eric, Fort Worth, Texas

Kudos to Boeing for its long range airplane strategy. With the launch of 747-8 you have now a complete family of aircraft with a range of more than 8,000 nm and with a capacity ranging from 210 to 450 seats. In addition, both 777-200LR and 787-8LR can serve the niche market of long, thin, high-yield routes up to 9,500 nm. Well done Randy!

G, France

I realize that Boeing has received the majority of firm orders this year, primarily based on the outstanding 777-300ER and -200LR. I also had heard that China was going to give Boeing an order for about 150 737's but then ended up making the order only 50. I just read in the paper yesterday that they promptly turned around and gave Airbus an order for 150 -320 series aircraft! Clearly the 737 NG aircraft are newer and, I presume, more efficient with fuel, aircraft drag, etc. and therefore lower operating costs. Why are the world's airlines still going predominately with -320's? Do you expect at some point this disparity to go back to 737's or will we have to wait until new single aisle aircraft is produced by Boeing based on 787 engines and other technology? I want to thank you for your excellent blog. I enjoy reading everything that I can find about Boeing and you obviously have an insider track and know your "stuff." You really perform a service for those who want to read beyond the usual trade magazines.

Stephen W., Springfield, Ohio

Does Boeing plan to enter the market for 50-100 seat aircraft? It seems that may be a developing market here in the U.S. and elsewhere. If point to point travel is the future, doesn't that indicate a larger market for such aircraft? Tucson, Fresno, Spokane, Colo. Springs, and similar cities could probably fill those planes. Even if there is a market, has Boeing made a decision that its commercial product line is large enough? I love your birds. Unfortunately, our "home town airline" Am.West/US Air flies a lot of Airbus clunkers. You won't say that about their stuff...but I will.

Douglas M., Phoenix, Arizona

If the improvement of seat-mile cost for 747-8 over existing 747-400 is realized, then airlines can seat the same number of passengers with ~4 inches of more legroom in the economy class without increasing the fare. That would be the greatest thing for the vast majority of passengers who cannot afford first/business class.

Y. H., Los Angeles, California

It's sad to see the once best-selling Boeing 717/MD80 go to the sunset. But the 717 may yet see the sunrise as one of Boeing's China cards. Boeing can get goodwill in China by building on the 717's (formerly MD80) history of manufacture in China. As counter to the 150 plane Airbus deal, Boeing can optimize and extend the 717 into say a 717-8ER, for manufacture in China. This leverages the 717 asset into a China beachhead, instead of just throwing it away.

Rene A., Camiling, Philippines

It's sad to see it (the 717) go out of production. I had many very pleasant flights on the 717 with AirTran and look forward to many more over the years. I especially enjoyed the 100% fresh cabin air. It made a real difference in this passenger's comfort.

Wes O., Dayton, Ohio

Randy Wow! Thanks for the nice words on the 717, that was very respectful to the people involved on the 717 program and course to the legacy of Douglas. You also showed what a gentleman you are with your prior comments on the A380. Believe these words reach people.

Mike C., Long Beach, California

I noticed in your most recent post that Boeing is stopping production of the B717. While this plane has always struggled to find a market it surprises me that it would be so short lived. I work for a company that produces parts for the commuter jet market and the two main players Embraer and Bombardier are just now making planes that are pushing into the seat capacity of this plane. It just seams odd to me that while Boeing sees no market for a plane they already have Embraer is selling 170/190's all over the place and Bombardier is seriously thinking about launching the C-series. Are the economics on these planes so much better than the 717 or could Boeing have made a slightly smaller 717 and taken a good share of this market?

Gregory M., Ontario, California

Why can't Boeing build a two engine 747 similar to the 777 concept?

Larry S., Corona, California

Congrats with the launch of the 747-8 program! Can you tell me, and that also counts for the 787, if there is going to be a Weblog about the testing of this new airplanes? I ask this because I really like the Flight Test Journal for the 777. I think it's a perfect way to show people around the world what you guys are doing!

Bas N., Holland

Airbus is clearly trying to do to the Far East with the A380 what Boeing did to trans-Atlantic flight thirty years ago with the 747. Boeing is going much further with the 787; the aircraft and the derivative technology is going to change global travel in every market, just like the 707 did. Congratulations.

John D., Auburn, Alabama

I saw a series of adverts in the Tuesday 22-Nov European Wall Street Journal for the A350. Most emphasized 60% new materials, better range, more people, less fuel than the 787 and best of all, point to point. In the end the market will decide. My question is can we effectively model all flight characteristics, fuel consumption of an aircraft before launch? Enjoy the Blog and the dogfight with Toulouse.

Thom D., London, UK

Congratulations to Boeing for winning the 777 deal! Now, the next project. How about that 787-10 Emirates wants? And Emirates wants to be a launch customer. Go for it! Bite the bullet and take banner away from Airbus. I would rather have Boeing cannibalize itself than let that other company get away with it!

Marina G., Gonzaga/Cagayan, Philippines

What's the story with Boeing and QANTAS? Boeing clearly has superior aircraft in many respects. Having the misfortune of flying on many Airbus's over the years, as well as having a pilots licence of my own; one cannot understand why an airline would wish to indulge in slow, expensive aircraft that suffer from severe airframe noise and loose fitting interiors. In geographical terms I would have expected QANTAS to have realised the opportunities that aircraft such as the fine 777-200LR offer, and I would have expected them to place an order with Boeing to replace their ageing 767 fleet. However, there seems to be more interest in the A320 and A330 than anything else, not to mention that obese looking A380. Not wishing to sound trite, but as an airline with an impeccable safety record (lets not mention the 747-Golfcart VH-OJH), one would expect that a winning formula with a supplier such as yourselves would not be changed. This to my mind seems the only logical choice.

Paul T., Sydney, Australia

I see by your 787 comments that you feel width is the most important seating consideration. You are wrong. The distance between the reclined seat in front of you and the space to your knee caps is the most important. I recently flew a 777 from Hawaii to O'Hare with someone sitting in my lap from the seat in front of me. It's been 3 days since my flight and I'm still recovering. You need at least 33" between the seat back and the reclined seat in front of you to endure these long flights. I'm 6'3" tall. I don't know what taller people can do to survive.

Fred M., Mollusk, VA

Congratulations to all the Men and Women of Boeing! After recent order announcements at Dubai and the exploding Market in China and the Far East the outlook for the balance of this year is astounding. It has proven once again that Boeing's vision was the correct one. The right planes at the right time have ensured the success of Boeing aircraft now and in the future. As a shareholder in Boeing I could not be happier. Skeptics were quick to predict the demise of the Commercial Aircraft Division only a couple of years ago, and of course they are now eating their words. Many in the Industry have blamed Noel Foregard for the poor sales performance of its star the A380, because they failed to listen to their customers, and instead followed the vision of Mr. Foregard, this is now proving to be the most costly industrial failure in Aviation. The Boeing Company is now poised to be the Aviation leader for the next decade, with the right products, built by the best people. What an astounding turnaround. Gotta go get me some shades.

Ken T., Vancouver

The B747A would be a great replacement for Varig's fleet of MD-11s. I'm not when sure they'll reach the end of their service life, but the 747A would be an excellent alternative. Anyone that "enjoys" hub and spoke flying has too much time on their hands. Yea right, unload me at Miami with 600 people going through baggage/customs/security and then load me on another flight to Orlando. I'll never get on board a 380. I landed in Mumbai on a 747, another came in 45 minutes later, it took me 3 hours to get my luggage as it went round and round, and I was still in line to get a luggage cart. The 747ADV will pull A LOT of orders from the 380. Unless they are running 80% loaded, it's a money loser for the carriers. Ever been in the back of an A340 in mild turbulence, like a pig wallowing in mud, what a crappy ride. The 777 feels like it's flying, the 340 feels like it's isn't really sure what it's doing. Ok, maybe I am biased due to many flights in a KC135, but Boeing jets are just nicer machines. I never had a take off time on a BA jet delayed because they couldn't get a cargo door closed, happened a few times on an Airbus, you just keep in the back of your mind "...I hope it stays closed..."

Michael D.

Airbus has already started the war of words about the new 747, not surprising considering the 747-8 is set to not only to take a massive chunk of the airplane market above 400 seats, but that the new 747-8 beats the A380 in costs, operating economics, versatility, efficiency and above all flexibility. Airbus executives had started calling the 747-8 nothing more than a warmed over 747, a 60's design, and that the only reason that the launch customers have been cargo carriers is that airlines want more than the 'old' 747. Well firstly, when I could pick myself up off the floor after laughing so hard, I then realised that Airbus was in a massive predicament. Secondly, calling the 747-8 a warmed over 747, is like calling the A380 a warmed over A300! Airbus does not have the mathematics to back up its superficial claims. The 747-8 employs the latest technologies making her the most technologically advanced aircraft in the mega-jet arena. Airbus clearly has forgotten that the 787 Dreamliner's advanced technologies have been used extensively in the 747-8. Secondly, Airbus forgot to also highlight that the two launch customers of the 747-8, are the world's top freighter companies who have extremely high standards, stringent regulations and demand the most capable, most reliable and efficient aircraft to transport their freighter, hence the selection of the 747-8F. Airbus also has now claimed that they are relieved that Boeing has acknowledged there is a market above the 747-400. Well, never once did Boeing deny that there is a market for a larger 747, but the market is too small to accommodate two new VLA concepts. Moreover, the 747-8 is not a direct competitor to the lumbering A380, thus Boeing is not validating Airbus's market views. What's even more irritating for Airbus, is that the 747-8 will rule a relatively small but important market, the 400-500 seat gap, without any challenge! And the A380 cannot step in there since the economics of the 747-8 would crush the A380 instantly.

Chris C., South Africa

I enjoy reading your blog every day to keep up with the commercial aircraft developments at Boeing. Question, why not make the cockpit of the 747-8 resemble the 787? It seems the queen of the skies isn't getting the glamour treatment.

Paul B., Redondo Beach, California

Hail to the "Queen of the Skies"! Thank you Boeing and all you hard working Boeing-ites for bringing back the one and only "Queen of the Skies". A good plane is not only great because it is a passenger or a freighter. It is both. Now, let's roll in the numbers and show them who is indeed the Queen.

Chris C., San Jose, California

The fact that Boeing now gets back into the very large-market somewhat takes away the edge of their previous comments. Boeing's claim that there's no need for bigger aircraft (than the 777-300), when traveling point-to-point, loses its edge. Isn't the order book for the 747-8 also a bit small for the project to be launched? 20 planes with no pax-versions ordered isn't much. And please Randy, quit bashing Airbus for re-using old technology with the A350, now that you're doing the same with the 747 (as with 737). "The Shape of the Future"-slogan feels somewhat silly when talking about a soon-to-be 40 year old design. Thanks for an entertaining blog though.

Johan B., Sweden

Great site, Randy !! Very informative, even to engineering / structural material aspects. Information here is very useful to pilots, engineers and airline management.

Paul S., Indianapolis, Indiana

I have great interest for all from Boeing since my infancy. I always was passionate for those immense airplanes settling in the international airport of Brasilia. Now, Airbus is betting firm in the intercontinental market. This market will be not promising. The promising market will be of regional jets. This is a moment of Boeing and Embraer, to get the world with its wing.

Antonio R., Brasilia/DF, Brazil

Kudos to Boeing for the launching of the B-747-8 Family! As a die-hard fan of the 747, I have been waiting for this announcement for quite a bit and I can say that I am thrilled to see it is finally coming true. It may be a good idea to set a Flight Test Journal for this airplane as well. I am positive that thousands of fans of the plane will love to hear all the news about it. In my particular case, I can not wait to fly in one of the B-747-8 Intercontinentals. Hopefully soon.

Hernan S., Sao Paulo, Brazil

Congratulations on the 747-8 launch! This could become the better 8 with "the lowest seat-mile cost of any passenger airplane." And there sure is still room for passenger capacity growth in the future by using a 747-8F with an SUD and more 787 technology packed in. Are Qantas, Cathay, BA, SIA, etc. in on the Intercontinental already?

Rene A., Camiling, Philippines

SEVEN HUNDRED AND FORTY-SEVEN CHEERS FOR THE NEW LONG HAUL LEADER. Boeing can once again stand proud and mighty, as another remarkable airplane project is launched! What a majestic, graceful looking airplane! The 747 is the only "Queen of the Skies" and she is the ultimate flying machine ever built. Moreover, this new, ultra-high tech 747 family provides more range, speed, flexibility, versatility, as well as great capacity at lower costs. Being the most efficient and economical wide-body aircraft above 400 seats, the new 747-8 Family is set to once again be the benchmark in long-haul wide-body aircraft. What's even more phenomenal about this 747-8 Family is that it will continue the 747 legacy for decades to come!! Who would have thought, Joe Sutter himself, back in the late 1960's that their massive, elegant 747 Family would continue to remain a back-bone in the long-haul high capacity sector well into the 21st Century? The 747 is simply a solid machine, and I am thrilled beyond belief that this advanced 747 has been launched! Embracing technologies from the ultra-modern 787 Dreamliner and 777 Families, will not only make the 747-8 an industry leader in technologies, but also offers passengers, the environment and the customers a superb product with massive benefits at a relatively low-risk. The unique 747 design will rule the skies for decades to come. What an outstanding Company Boeing is! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!

Chris C., South Africa

I appreciate your view that the A380 is a large plane for a small market, and it will not be surprising if the A380 succeeds in taking the segment previously occupied by the 747-400. The Europeans haven't managed to build the world's largest airplane until now so why not let them do it? But commercially, could this huge chunk of money spent on launching the A380 be better spent elsewhere? Getting the A380 to dominate the very large jet market is one thing, getting a reasonable return out of one's investment is another; unless you are backed by governments with "hand-me-down" launch aids.

Benjamin S., Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Randy, I've always hoped Boeing would launch a Blended Wing Body (BWB) style product for the very large jet market. I know Boeing has considered and decided against this approach in the past. However, do you think the concept could have a revival on Boeing's drawing boards or are we stuck with the ol' tube and wing approach? Seems like the BWB concept had inherent design efficiencies that could be coupled with today's cutting edge composite construction and engine technologies to give airlines (or the military) a significant value proposition.

Ken W., Chicago, Illinois

I have read in various forums that Thai Airways is still losing money, primarily because of fuel costs on their nonstop JFK-Bangkok service. This route is less than 1 year old and already Thai has reduced their service from 6 days/week to 4 days/week. Even though loads have averaged between 70 and 80 percent and Thai is reported to be "satisfied" with the fare structure, fuel costs continue to drag down any profit to be made on the route. Perhaps now would be the perfect time for Boeing to purchase the current aircraft on the route, the A340-500, and offer Thai the 777-200LR. Thai already operates the 777-200 and 777-300, so I don't think the 777-200LR would be difficult to integrate into their fleet. Not only would they save on fuel costs, but because of the length of the route, the 777-200LR could be equipped with an additional first class section that the A340-500 does not now have, thereby increasing revenue. I would hate to see Thai Airways have to discontinue this route that they just recently started.

Jay A., New York, New York

As I see it, the replacement for the 737/A320 class of jetliner is the much bigger story that's lurking in the wakes of the 787 and A350. I would expect nothing less of Boeing that to be hard at work applying the technologies developed for the Dreamliner to the "797" single aisle...or baby twin aisle. But I hope you guys handle the PR for the "797" differently than the way you handled the 7E7 run-up. You just gave away your hand too much back then, in my humble opinion. My wish is to one day wake up to pictures and video of the 797 concept airplane being rolled out of the Phantom Works - totally surprising not just me....but that other airplane manufacturer on the other side of the Atlantic as well. Not unlike May 15, 1954. Call it the 737-80 Air Force tanker if you like! The news from Air Canada is all good. And congratulations for the 777-200LR's world record. To secrecy and soaring sales!

Len P., Toronto, Canada

Can Boeing afford to wait on the 787 baby brother? I understand that Southwest has officially asked Boeing to consider a new super efficient 737 replacement. The A380 is a cool plane (even if I do work for Boeing) but I really don't think that is where the market will be.

Gary C., Washington, D.C.

Randy, I have to believe that a follow-on model for the 777 will be a plane that seats around 400 passengers, given the wing area modifiable and engine growth. Why not make the 747 advanced a 475-500 seater to stage the market? You get the seating to close and neither plane will win in the market.

John L., Tucson, Arizona

Nice article on replacing the 737, what you did not mention is the twin aisle under 200-seat plane that Boeing patented recently. It's an interesting alternative to a single aisle plane as passengers can enter or clear the plane quickly. It will also give a more comfortable ride for passengers due to the increased space. I'm a big fan of your blog and I also keep a lookout for your comments in the newspapers and post them in my blog Radar Vector.

Ow T., Singapore

It is just a matter of time before Boeing builds the 787-10X to satisfy large airlines like Emirates. Moreover, the Airbus 787-9 will dominate the 777-200. Boeing is doing the right things now and a 787-10X will solidify that trend

Sam G., Santa Ana, California

If a brand new airplane can have 20% lower manufacturing non-recurring and recurring costs than the current 737 and if the potential market of such airplane is over 3000 units then it may make sense to stop 737 production and build this new airplane. Lower manufacturing cost means either you have better margin or you can offer lower prices. For airlines, lower price = lower ownership cost.


It seems Boeing's long term forecast does not include the competition from the Chinese homemade airplanes. Chinese people had worked for a period of ten years, but they had been at a stand still more than ten years, for some reason. They have to face the technology gap now. So I think Boeing does not need to worry about it at least ten years.

Silver, Guangzhou, China

I read a comment on aviation now.com that Boeing isn't very interested in pursuing the B787-10 at present because of the lack of engine maturity for an aircraft its size, in this case, the a359 will have the field to itself given that carriers such as EK are looking for new more efficient 300 seat replacement (such as the a359) for its b772er, especially given that the a359 seats almost 300 (do you think so?) And has almost the same range as the 772er, so where do you think this will leave the 772er if the a359 is so fuel efficient (30% by airbus estimates compared to 772er)whereas the 787-9 doesn't have the extra seating capacity (259 pax?... However I read somewhere that the b789 has space for couple of extra seat rows. Is that true?). So a359 beats the 772er in fuel consumption for a 300 seater & betters the 789 in terms of more seats hence lower fuel per seat. How do you intend to counter that, as the 772er will be obsolete in the next 7-10 yrs just as the a332/3 will be?

Timir M., Mombasa, Kenya

This matter has had more news coverage lately (I read AW&ST), and it looks like EADS is going full bore for a least a portion of the KC-135 fleet replacement work with the KC-30. One of their new focus points is the larger size of the A330 versus the 767-200 base aircraft (in addition to building a plant in the US and teaming up with Northrop-Grumman). My question is, why is Boeing stuck on the 767-200? Why don't you propose using the 767-300 or 767-400 as baseline tanker aircraft? This way the US military can buy less aircraft and still have the refueling capacity it needs. I am sure that others have questioned why you don't consider the 777 or even the 787 as base airframes, however, I suspect the unit cost would be too high.

Mark F., South Setauket, New York

It will be interesting to see if Airbus releases a two engined version of the A340 to compete against the 777-200 and 300. I would think the development costs are reasonable. I wonder what Boeing's response will be since this plane may have better operational costs than the 777.

John L., Tucson, AZ

I think you forgot at least one major derivative for Boeing vs. Airbus chart. We actually have more new aircraft than Airbus. I would definitely put the 767-400ER on the list, as it played a big part in shaping my career. It was type certified in 2000. Also, what about the 757-300?

Matt A., Seattle, Washington

Are we at a stage in airplane development, where we can repackage the current planes into the state of the art renditions of the 787? What I am suggesting is using the carbon fiber tech of the 787 to overnight make new versions of the 737, 777 and maybe the 747? Does Boeing really need cycles of 13 years between totally new products? I look at the 60's when Boeing churned out the 727, 737, and 747 within a period of in-service dates of six years! Let the good times roll!

John L., Tucson, Arizona

Randy, Great info on the comparison of Airbus vs. Boeing new model development. If you count the 777-300 in 1997, we have actually introduced more than Airbus.

Jay M., Everett, Washington

Randy, I think your comments concerning the investments Boeing has put in were right on the money. Boeing has had to do a major transformation in how it builds aircraft without stopping production. Making aircraft isn't like building cars where every summer the plant shuts down and new equipment is put in. Boeing did these changes on the fly. Also, the Renton earthquake, merger with McDonnell Douglas, etc. all forced Boeing to figure out how to do things better. To those who say Boeing didn't invest in the future, the perception for that is due partly to Boeing developing some derivatives such as the 757-300 and 767-400 that did not result in many orders but were planes our loyal customers wanted. Also the reason the 737NG was not made wider was due to Southwest's request. This has cost us lost sales to Airbus with other airlines, but Southwest is our best customer now. If Boeing had started work on the sonic cruiser or other unwanted aircraft, we'd have some real financial troubles. Boeing had to make sure that the next plane it launched was the right one, and it is with the 787. This transformation of Boeing, while causing us to lose the lead in orders for a few years, positions Boeing for the long run.

Paul M., St. Louis, Missouri

Is it economical to come up with a short-range jet that can move people and goods within a small range of distance at a reduced cost to build it up (i.e. to be running interregional from like in Mombasa (Kenya) to Kinshasa (DRC)) but the jet in itself have the capacity to carry like the Long range Jets and have a large capacity to carry a large volume of goods. Am talking like this maybe for the Air Transport to take over transportation of goods from coastal Ports to Mainland areas which is being dominated by Road transport of which this is going to have reduced cost on maintenance of roads by third world countries for I am seeing the long Haul vehicles which carry containers from the coastal ports are really destroying roads of which it has become evident that African governments its becoming Hard for them to maintain the roads. Please I am talking from my perspective from what I see in the African (3rd world countries) of which I view it as a means to help the concerned countries to cut Road maintenance costs. Please let me give you my thoughts the way I look at things from my country. Kenyan Perspective.

Johnathan A., Kenya

About two or three months ago I wrote Boeing informing them that as a frequent flyer my main gripe with air travel was the dreaded business of paying the "little room" a visit, never in all my years of flying the most pleasant of tasks. And why? For two very basic reasons.....some of us are men and some of us are women. Now come on, is it beyond Boeing's designers to come up with a wall-mounted foldaway urinal neatly stowed away in some tiny little space and would flush automatically when returned to its fold away status, thus avoiding us, the flying public the indignity of standing in somebody else's you know what.

Christian W., Trinidad and Tobago

I was once an assembly line worker in Renton, Washington, for three years while attending college in the 60's. I found your web-blog through an article in a Seattle newspaper. Once you have worked for Boeing, I suppose you are always a little curious about what's happening down there. My suspicion leads me to believe that as the market in China matures, that they will develop and build their own commercial airplanes. I would be surprised if Boeing's long term forecast does not include some variation of this theory.

Rev. Michael S., Tucson, Arizona

I concur with Mr. Baseler's journal comments on the launch of the A350. One thing, let's not let Airbus receive a dollar of launch aid for this plane even if it means bypassing arbitration with the WTO.

John L., Tucson, Arizona

Randy you sound very stressed out. Bit of advice for you which you should remember. Don't worry yourself about the A350. Its only going to kill the 777-200A and 777-200ER and they don't really sell that well we both know that. The only reason airlines got them is because you hadn't launched the 747A which I am sure will be a modern and adjustable aircraft when it's approved in 2060.You're going to lose the WTO dispute anyway as the WTO chief is a old friend of Airbus. Then we'll get even more launch aid for the next gen A32x series and finish you off. Hard times ahead for you I think...

Frederick S., Toulouse, France

I am glad that Boeing made the correct decision about developing 787. It now faces the challenges from A350, as there exists a huge market. But my concern is about A350-900. The unique plane Boeing offers is 777-200ER. But the question is that the sales of 777-200ER is decreasing in recent years. So the developing of the double-stretched 787 is feasible and essential for the replacement of the 777-200ER. Otherwise, Airbus can get the huge replacement market from 777, once again like the 767.

Tom P., Hong Kong

For the most part I enjoy your blog, but I was hoping for something other Airbus bashing. ETOPS: If they (Airbus) have got it wrong and are finally seeing the error of their ways for twin engines vs. 4, why are we considering the 747 Advanced? I agree that city pairs are better than spoke-and-hub flying, but transoceanic flying means big planes. Operators all over the world admit that we build a better airplane, but there must be some reason AB has a full order book. The same reason I bought an '87 Toyota Corolla not a new BMW 3-series last spring (and I'm a huge sports car guy): The cost-to-benefit ratio has to make sense. I'd like to see more focus on what we as a company need to do to stay competitive, rather than cheerleading or Airbus bashing. It's a tough fight, and we still have some ground to make up.

Geoff C., Everett, Washington

In your statements about Boeing flight decks you should really remain on the ground. Compared to Airbus, Boeing's flight decks are nasty and old style. Airbus introduced commonality on their flight decks, side sticks, fly by wire and so on, their entire fleet has the same deck, allows cross crew usage and planning for the operators. I understand your position as a Boeing man, but you should remain honest, Boeing has underestimated the possibilities of Airbus and Europe. This was my experience I made when I was working for an American airframer in the nineties. This was the biggest mistake of the Boeing marketing people they ever made. You should accept this, Boeing is currently reacting on Airbus design and activities, not the other way round as you try to make people believe.

Klaus, Munich, Germany

Looking at the design of the 787 I am impressed with the forward thinking by Boeing in terms of the use of composites and titanium. Good luck in developing these new and innovative construction methods. As a keen observer of the obvious I continue to chuckle as each iteration of the A350 looks more and more like the 787 design. The combination of aggressive aerospace engineering and design coupled with a sensitivity to the individuals experience on the aircraft are long overdue for the commercial aerospace business. I appreciate your continued efforts to keeps us up to date on Boeing's efforts.

Seth K., Ogden, Utah

I & other aviation members enjoyed some of your comments on the A350. I am sure that you saw the latest nonsense from Airbus, I could not stop laughing when I read this quote:
"Speaking to Flight International after the launch last week, chief operating officer John Leahy said the "biggest problem" he faces is "our ability to ramp up A350 production. If I could get more, I could sell more."
Sorry British Airways, we would love to sell you 50 A350 aircraft, but, we just can not do it right now, contact us later in 2-3 years! HA! If you cannot increase production with a FIVE year heads up, you have no business being in the business of constructing complex structures. If little Embraer can ramp E-jet production like they are, Airbus can ramp A350 production. Sheesh!

Mike C.

Despite what certain armchair CEO's, oddball consultants and disaffected ex-salesmen may be saying, Boeing is on a roll. Airbus has no answer for the B777/787 combo punch. The quad passenger market is on life support. (Pssst - wanna buy the last A340 off the line? I'll give you a good price and a ticket to the Louvre). Boeing is like an aircraft carrier. Slow to turn around. But when it does, watch out!

David H., Seattle, Washington

I hope Boeing will launch the 747 Advanced very soon. If it will have per seat acquisition and operational costs that are significantly lower than the A380, it will rule the Very Large Airplane sector for at least 5 years after its first delivery. It will stunt the sales growth of the A380 in that period that may cause losses to Airbus and to the A380 project. After enough airports will have been modified to accommodate it, the A380 may recover. At the very least, the 747 Advanced will rule the 350 to 500 passenger load segment, a very wide one. I hope to see the 747 Advanced flying very soon with the latest Boeing developments.

Rene A., Manila, Philippines

If anything is to be said about this A350 launch, it is that Airbus is under pressure. I am sure a technologically advanced company as Airbus could have easily designed an all-new mid-sized twin to compete more directly with the 787. The A350 very clearly shows Airbus' true colours. Rather bleak colours as well! Airbus is a company that seems it will very quickly dump all its philosophies over night, leaving its customers with unanswered questions and uncertain OR even worried thoughts regarding Airbus's world view too. Not only have they launched an aircraft that they said they did not need, but they have hurt their own products, especially the A330 and A380. The only positive view of the A350 is that it is environmentally friendlier than its other Airbus family and that it will boost Boeing's correct outlook on the commercial airplane world. One must now ask Airbus - If they are so certain that its A350 will do well, why did they require launch aid? I suppose the correct answer, but never to be revealed is - If the A350 is a flop, we don't pay. But, Airbus, your employees, shareholders and most importantly your customers will pay dearly- just like they will on A380!

Chris C., South Africa

It is my understanding Boeing is not able to match Airbus's pricing for similar in production airplanes. It is my impression that, Airbus's labor costs are non-flexible over the long term. Meaning they are not able to competitively manage their production labor costs. This being driven by taking EU tax payer's money and needing to employ as many people in those counties as they can. In contrast, Boeing has been able to competitively find lower cost suppliers for our airplane components, even if it means out-sourcing major assemblies. With all that being said, at what point in the future (near term / long term) will Boeing's production costs be reduced enough to undercut Airbus enough and turn a good profit, or is this topic all about their EU subsidies? I bet you are wishing you had a crystal ball to answer this question, but we must have a silver bullet somewhere we are counting on.

Greg M., Mesa, Arizona

Please update us on the 747 advanced. I think it would be even more attractive to passenger airlines if the range were improved to say, 8500 nautical miles and the speed to mach .875 or .88 - a more substantial edge over the A380 and definitely within the abilities of the 747 airframe and wing platform. Also, the USAF has been saying now that it needs bigger tankers - KC-10 size - Boeing should get on the ball and offer a tanker based on the 777LR freighter- it would be perfect.

John G., Colorado Springs, Colorado

The flight deck of the 787...absolutely breathtaking! But I would expect no less from Boeing which has always been a class act. Great picture!! Can't wait to see more...Eat your heart out Airbus.

Tim H.

If a strike is so bad for Boeing, why doesn't Boeing do something about it rather than implying it's the machinists' fault? Why don't you list the average salary of your mid level and upper managers if you're going to list the machinists' salaries? Maybe we could do a comparison of your CEO's or other top executives' total compensation to that of the machinists and then compare that to the same ratio for Airbus? Then maybe we'd have some sympathy for your cause. You've only provided one side of the story.

Mike J., York, Pennsylvania

I am a big supporter of Boeing. I am very upset with the Machinists union for wanting to strike. This is ridiculous behavior! The workplace is very different from years ago. There are many people who would jump to the chance to work as a machinist at Boeing without being part of that union. No one is being mistreated and if they think they can get better pay, go work for someone else.

Rebecca V., Santa Clara, California

I am a frequent traveler between, nowadays, NZ and the American west coast as well as to Europe. If you live here everything is far away and tickets are already expensive enough so economy/cattle class is the only options if you do not want to break the bank. So you can understand the smile of relief on my face after reading your posting the other week in regard to seating. More and more airlines mistreat the regular economy fliers (I do about 15 intercontinental return trips per year). Please tell us more about the research regarding the inside of a plane as that is of great interest to me and others too.

Mark, Wellington, New Zealand

Randy, I must confess I have been singing the praises of the 787 to colleagues in the US and it is a major factor in my moving to fly Air New Zealand as 1st preference. Your comments on how vertical the sides of the 787 are at eye level made me realise why I was so taken with it's interior at first look. Thank you for all the work your organisation has done to help enhance the flying experience, coming from a country with a 12 hour flight from LA this is a topic very close to my heart.

Nigel C., Paihia, New Zealand

Nice, simple and effective illustration on your "Freight that flies article"! Thank you. So, are we going to get the 747A Passenger version or the Freight version first? The silence is deafening! Please announce an official launch sooooooon.

Chris C., San Jose, California

Given the fact that Boeing seems to have gone the extra mile to design the 787 to be attractive to financial buyers, such as leasing companies, can you explain why at least 3 leasing companies have ordered the A350 and none the 787 (to date, and notwithstanding the positive remarks made by ILFC)?


Re: 777-200LR. Thank you for building such a beautiful airplane. I love Boeing aircraft. My favorite all time Boeing airplane is the "queen of the skies," the classic 747. I have had the pleasure of flying in one to Europe at least four-five times and what a beautiful site she was. I am an aviation ''fanatic'' and flight sim enthusiast, and love all kinds of airplanes from the classic propliners until today's Boeing airplanes.

Carmine P., Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Boeing and Airbus really do seem like two incredible companies. Why do they not want to initiate co-production on a new aircraft which would level the playing field and benefit everybody?

Dr. John D., Auburn, Alabama

It is becoming very clear to the aviation world that the 747 is needed and will be needed for a very long time to come! This phenomenal machine continues to set new records, set higher standards and continues to embrace the latest technology, making her unmistakably the Queen of the Skies. The 747 is simply the best commercial machine in the sky! Airbus slammed the threat of the 747, saying that the 747 will come to an end once the A380 is flying. In fact, the 747 has gained more interest than it had during the A380 ramp up to first flight. I personally feel that the airlines are becoming lukewarm about the Airbus giant. The 747 is an attractive airplane from every aspect, and will remain a true aviation icon for decades to come. With almost the same quantity of orders as the A380 for this year, once must ask - Was the A380 the most logical step for Airbus?

Chris C., South Africa

Has Boeing thought about offering a 767 Cargo/Tanker with the new engines being utilized on the 787? Maybe it makes sense to start the program with existing engines for the first year or two and offer a retrofit option. Hey, let's not waste taxpayer dollars by building a suboptimal tanker.

John L., Tucson, Arizona

Great stuff week after week. A real treat for those of us interested in the marketing side of things.

Kit P., Washington

I saw another note to you from a gentleman who stated that the British and Europeans as a group have paid far higher monetary support to their industries and Airbus than the U.S. government has ever paid in recent years. I believe that it really would be helpful to expose the apparent fact that Airbus is successful because of their government subsidies allows them to sell their aircraft for artificially low prices in comparison to Boeing that sells aircraft based on cost, not nationalism. While I am personally disappointed that the 767 contract for tankers was cancelled, it quite clearly indicates that in this country, the aircraft industry is largely on its own.

Stephen D., Springfield, Ohio

If it is determined that the 777-200LR cannot economically fly the Sydney-London route for Qantas, then perhaps you could use the knowledge gained in composites with the 787 and build the "ultimate" 777, with the range to fly halfway around the world economically?? I hope to see this soon!!! Best wishes on a fantastic aircraft!!!

Jay A., New York, New York

Re: Arabian Peninsula orders. I wonder if anyone has taken the time to do a reasoned analysis of what the airlines in this area are going to do with all of these 380's, 350's and yes 787's and 777's. There can not possibly be that demand forecasted!

Ian H., Vancouver, Canada

The A380 is: 1) Over budget by 1.5 billion pounds. 2) Over weight 3) Plagued with problems 4) Destined for a very limited market 5) An airports nightmare re: passenger numbers and 6) Already 6 months late. It all points to Boeing's selection of the best strategy. Additionally, I hope that Boeing builds the 747 Advanced; the 747 is the most elegant looking plane in the world. It single handedly revolutionised the way we travel and is easily the most recognisable, most loved aircraft the world over. Although I can't wait for the 787 and I adore the 777, I think as a pilot I will always remember my first love, the 747. I agree with what another poster said in terms of stretching it 22 feet, it gives room for future increases in capacity and range.

Paul S., Sydney

I am enjoying your blog. I found out about it from U.S. News. I am enjoying the information about China, because I was a China specialist in college and teach a class in the local community college about it. I'll share some of my blogs with you to read and pass around. Why China Matters, Playing With Trains.

Michael C., Tucson, Arizona

I think we need the Sonic Cruiser, and you need to build it. My rationale is truly simple: A sonic cruiser could "leap-frog" a slower, conventional passenger jet. Sonic cruiser could take off 15-minutes late, pass-in-flight, and arrive 15-minutes early... Carrying baggage. You see, I don't necessarily care whether I get to my destination more quickly - jets are fast enough - but I really would like to spend less time fussing over my luggage. That's why I'd like to see the airlines operate a "Sonic Leap-Frog Baggage Cruiser", so that they can have the baggage ready for pick-up the moment we passengers reach our arrival gate. So, here's what I hope you'd consider: 1) Build the Sonic Cruiser as a cargo aircraft. 2) Make it capable of automated baggage loading/unloading.

Mark M., Wichita, Kansas

Qantas CEO Geoff Dixon said at the UK aviation club in London "... we're also looking very seriously at the 777LR, ... if Boeing gets its math right, it could be what we call our 'hub-buster' strategy". No doubt, that he means Sydney-London non-stop (against headwinds), the "holy grail" of all flight routes. Dixon says: "Boeing is not too far from an economic payload into London". Your 777LR, the civil aircraft's "beauty queen" has an official range about 17400 km (with auxiliary tanks). Rumours say that its range is some hundred nm more than expected. Boeing has the historic chance to build the first aircraft that can do the Sydney-London route. We wait with impatience. Let it fly... your fantastic 777LR.

Maraite L., Belgium

Are there any plans to change the basic design of the airframe? The "tube with wings" design is a bit long in the tooth... how about a blended wing design? This should provide big improvements in the aero package and fuel efficiency... think green.

Dorian, UK

Me thinks the average bear will never see airplane seating arrangements as shown in the pictures of the new Dreamliner. The line companies will crowd the cabin into what looks like 6X4 with a pitch about right for a midget. Some things just never change.

Leo S., Pekin, Illinois

Good job on the Blog. It's an executive insight not available through normal media channels.

George R., Huntsville, Alabama

First, I would like to give some comments about placing the customers' logo on the 777-200LR. I think that place is not a good place as it is difficult to see. In 787, I hope the customers' logo can be placed on the top of the windows, between the first and the second door. It is more clear to see and it looks much better. As I love Boeing so much, I would also raise the concerns about the A350-900. It is going to compete with 777-200ER directly. As shown in the undelivered place, 777-200ER has about 61 being unfilled. It's a good figure. But after 3 to 5 years, customers are preferred to A350-900 rather than 777-200ER as it is more economical. I suggest Boeing can develop a derivative from 787, just called 787-10, to carry close to 300 passenger to compete. Or why don't try the 777 to be made up of composite as much as 787? It can still improve a lot.

Tom P., Hong Kong

This is the first time for me to visit a foreigner's blog. Just happen to come to here just because of your blog's name. (I am working in a Boeing as cabin attendant). I will try to learn more from your website. P.S. Seems I have to add something in English in my blog.

Loui L., Shanghai,China

Congratulations on your new CEO. I'm sure he'll guide Boeing into the future with a steady hand and a skillful approach. As a US Service member, I appreciate what you guys are doing for the nation. Like the military, but in a different way, you guys are playing your part in America's future. Without companies like Boeing, America would not be the world's technological, military, political, and economic powerhouse. Credit goes to Boeing for much of this. Since I was a child, I have always relished the miracle of flight and have never tired of flying on Boeing airplanes. Not only are you airplanes commercially successful, they are beautiful to watch. Modern works of art, unlike your competitors who seem to simply make different sizes of the same aircraft. Even to this day, I look forward to every flight no matter now long, cramped, or uncomfortable it might be, because I get to take part in the greatest technological achievement of the 20th century; the gift of safe and speedy air travel. Kudos to your team. I wish you all great success and future prosperity beyond your wildest aspirations. I also look forward to seeing you sell 10 times more 787's than Airbus sells of the A380. I firmly believe Boeing is on the right path, and I can't wait to fly a 787 across the country sometime. Thanks for all you guys do in keeping America strong. v/r,

Captain Michael T. Philipak, United States Army Military Intelligence Corps, Wiesbaden, Germany

It's interesting how airlines are now inquiring about an advanced 747, with only about 35 seats added. One would think the aircraft should be stretched to about 475 seats at least, to find a real home/niche between the 777-300 and A380. Is it possible to stretch the upper deck a bit further (or even all the way back to a taller vertical stabilizer/rudder)? Or, a few more fuselage frame plugs should do it, and this would drive the cost per seat-mile down even further. I'm sure the Boeing engineers have kicked this one around already.

Mark F., Long Island, New York

I loved to see challenges being encountered by Boeing of which they are making them brace ahead for greater ideas and innovation that's going to make air traveling more comfortable. I don't know, but it seems the competition is focused on passenger planes only. I have an IDEA: Focus also on cargo planes, who knows, make an Air Ship(like the Zeppelin)that's going to carry more cargo or just another type of plane that's going to revolutionize the Cargo planes and even snatch a market share in the Sea-Transport.

Jonathan A.

Can the current 747-400 wing be modified from a cost effective standpoint to accommodate the lift and related approach speeds for more than 450 passengers? If so, Boeing should look at both a 450 seat and 500 seat Advanced model. Then Boeing will have a widebody offering that moves in increments of 50 passengers from the 787-8 (223 passengers) to the high-end 747 Advanced (500 passengers).

John L., Tucson, Arizona

As a consumer I'd like to choose the airlines with larger, or better comfort. The people I saw on our flight in March were not happy, and we didn't have such a pleasant flight. In fact I decided there has to be a better way-for us.

Joyce S., Bourbonnais Illinois

I wonder if anyone has taken the time to do a reasoned analysis of what the airlines in this area are going to do with all of these 380's, 350's and yes 787's and 777's. There can not possibly be that demand forecasted!

Ian H., Vancouver, Canada

I must say, with all honesty, the Boeing 777-200LR is just a superb machine! The pictures that I have seen of her are great. The interior is simply state-of-the-art, and the flight-deck leaves pilots like myself extremely envious. I will be quiet comfortable flying in that bird for over 18 hours - she is just so passenger-friendly by the looks. Also, it is good to see all-Airbus operator, Qatar Airways, ordering 777's. It just shows that no aircraft can compete against the 777!

I am very pleased to see that the 747 Advanced is gaining huge momentum as well as interest. The 747 is simply a phenomenal machine. I really hope that the Boeing Board grants the launch soon! . The comment in the Blog, Timing, is a very good piece of writing. I am sure that many airlines are extremely eager to launch the 21st Century 747. I am now saving as much money as possible in order to fly from Johannesburg to Seattle to hopefully watch the first flight of the 787 as well as the 747 Advanced!

Chris C., South Africa

(About the 747 Advanced) It will cost less to develop only one airframe. Big upper deck from the passenger version and the longer length fuselage from the freighter. (1) extra length means extra room or 30 more seats on the passenger version. (2) extra upper deck on the freighter will accommodate the next two big things for freight. Couriers. And, the same trend as sailing ships: passengers on freighters (individuals or charter groups).

Robert W., Kailua Kona, Hawaii

I would like to take a thought on P2P. I agree, everybody traveling knows how annoying these stops on hubs are. But did you ever think of countries where hubs are essential, because the traffic from their cities are just not enough to fill a Boeing 787 on long haul flights? Try to fill a 787 in Hamburg flying to Seattle! So what do you do as a major airline in these countries (this should count for a lot of European countries i.e. France, Germany, UK))? Yes you need a hub and then you will need a giant airplane.

I believe both companies are correct in their philosophy. And let's be honest, isn't the Boeing 737NG also a derivate of former planes like the 707 and 727? It even still uses the same front section and parts of the fuselage. Which doesn't mean that it is bad, no, its still one of Boeing's greatest.

Andreas H., Berlin, Germany

Just flew to Asia via Northwest and 330s. We were fascinated that the flight from BKK arrived at Narita, sending passengers on to some ten US cities, and there were probably some ten other arrivals. Point to point would seem to require up to a hundred flights. This is of course hub scheduling at its extreme. Seems that it works pretty well. So the QN. When and where do and will hubs work well, what are some of the parameters involved.

Rob, Chehalis Washington

I loved to find more information about the 747 Advanced in your space Randy. Kudos for that. Are you planning to put together something similar to the World Development Team that was established for the 787? I know that the design part in the 747 will be restricted, but you guys may want to get some input from the clients as well. Anyway, I am dying to open your site and find out that the 747 Advanced has been officially launched. Can wait for that!!!

Hernan S., Brazil

It will cost less to develop only one airframe. Big upper deck from the passenger version and the longer length fuselage from the freighter. (1) extra length means extra room or 30 more seats on the passenger version. (2) extra upper deck on freighter will accommodate the next two big things for freight. Couriers. And, the same trend as sailing ships: passengers on freighters (individuals or charter groups).

Robert W., Kailua Kona, Hawaii

I would like to be able to own my airline and offer a different service never seen before, to pull back the glamour to fly. My favorite ones to compose my fleet would be the 747 Advanced. Congratulations to all Boeing team for the 777LR and 787.

Cristiano C., Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

While I absolutely love the 747 and don't ever want to see it discontinued - why only extend it by 11 feet? Why not extend it by 22 feet or more?

John, Miami, Florida

We have seen some fantastic news stories the last year. Private enterprise taking ordinary people into space, Europe with its Airbus, and so on. Yet it seems to me that we all have a far bigger concern, which is getting more and more pressing, to wit the development of some other energy. It is time we left off working out how we are going to improve this or that invention that basically uses oil, and instead start thinking about where the energy is going to come from.


I would like to take a thought on P2P. I agree everybody traveling knows how annoying these stops on hubs are. But did you ever think of countries where hubs are essential, because the traffic from their cities are just not enough to fill a Boeing 787 on long haul flights? Try to fill a 787 in Hamburg flying to Seattle! So what do you do as a major airline in these countries (this should count for a lot of European countries i.e. France, Germany, UK)? Yes you need a hub and then you will need a giant airplane.

I believe both companies are correct in their philosophy. And lets be honest, isn't the Boeing 737NG also a derivate of former planes like the 707 and 727? It even still uses the same front section and parts of the fuselage. Which doesn't mean that it is bad, no, its still one of Boeing's greatest.

Andreas H., Berlin, Germany

Welcome to Dubai. If you thought it was hot in Paris, you "ain't seen nothing yet" as the saying goes. Sitting in my office, as one of the main contractors for the expansion project at the Dubai International airport, I could see the "Worldliner" awaiting to greet the VIP's here in Dubai and the Middle East. What a surprise to look out and see it parked not more than 200 yds away. It is truly an awesome airplane and can't wait for the Dubai Air Show at the end of the year to have the opportunity to go on board. I hope it is coming back to Dubai of course!!

Best of luck with your "Going the Distance" world tour and I look forward to reading reports as you tour the globe.

Roger Auker, Quality Manager, Al Abbar Aluminum

Well the Paris Air Show was certainly a show-stopper in terms of orders, commitments and announcements. It is so good to see the aviation world being so vibrant and healthy. I must say, with all honesty, the Boeing 777-200LR is just a superb machine! The pictures that I have seen of her are great. The interior is simply state-of-the-art, and the flight-deck leaves pilots like myself extremely envious. I will be quiet comfortable flying in that bird for over 18hours - she is just so passenger friendly by the looks. Also, it is good to see all-Airbus operator, Qatar Airways, ordering 777's. It just shows that no aircraft can compete against the 777! I am very pleased to see that the 747 Advanced is gaining huge momentum as well as interest. The 747 is simply a phenomenal machine. I really hope that the Boeing Board grants the launch soon! I am sure that many airlines are extremely eager to launch the 21st Century 747. I am now saving as much money as possible in order to fly from Johannesburg to Seattle to hopefully watch the first flight of the 787 as well as the 747 Advanced!

Chris C., South Africa

Just flew to Asia via Northwest and A330s. We were fascinated that the flight from BKK arrived at Narita, sending passengers on to some ten US cities, and there were probably some ten other arrivals. Point to point would seem to require up to a hundred flights. This is of course hub scheduling at its extreme. Seems that it works pretty well. So the QN. When and where do and will hubs work well, what are some of the parameters involved?

Rob, Chehalis, Washington

Could you say something about the maintenance regime and possible changes when you go to a mostly-composite aircraft like the 787? I fly some composite small aircraft (sailplanes, aerobatic airplanes) and compared to aluminum and rivets they seem to require more inspecting and attention to make sure there aren't any cracks, delaminations or the like. And when there is a problem it's not so easy just to cut out a piece and put another in, or as simple as replacing a rivet.

Steve Merlan, Redwood City, California

Great to see your blog, Randy! On the subject of boarding/deplaning passengers, there's a solution begging for someone to adopt it. How many passenger doors does a plane have? Usually 4-6. How many are actually used for passengers? One, plus for jumbos a second only for first/business. Essentially everyone enters and leaves by one door. Big airports could easily add ramps to the rear door, and even use a starboard door as well, still leaving a starboard door for catering, etc.

What'cha think? Cut boarding time in half? Would customers like that? Would that improve on-time ratings? Push the idea to airports before Airbus does and millions of travelers will cheer! Drop it and it's business as usual for another generation.

Keep up the good work!(and thanks too for those big 787 windows!)

Art, USA

As an aviation fan I say competition is good. It makes both companies better because of the other. Boeing needs to invest heavily in infrastructure that will keep your company at the foreground of the aerospace industry, particularly commercial. I am pleased to see Boeing gaining some momentum. Now is the time not to rest on your laurels but to go full speed ahead. I am following your rivalry with Airbus carefully. I think they are way off base by comparing their launch aid to your tax breaks, govt. investment in defense and the JADC. I am also confident that the 787 will be a superior aircraft in every which way than the A350. Their rush to get the A350 approved is testament to the success and correct strategy of the 787 Dreamliner. Being an avid traveler I appreciate being able to fly to major destinations from regional airports. Further, having flown all Airbus and Boeing products I can honestly say the 777 is the best aircraft ever made.

I also think the Next Generation 737 is a great aircraft, but wish it was just a tad wider. I also hope you make the 747A so that it can compete with the A380. Not only should the 747A be technically superior but I hope it is larger in size than the current model. You don't have to have the biggest aircraft on the block just the best!!

R. Mark S., Totowa, New Jersey

I work for Alteon out of the Long Beach office, though I am on assignment for the Alteon-Gatwick office and had the pleasure to attend the Paris Air Show. I was able to get onboard the 777-200LR and I must say that Boeing built one hell of an airplane. The minute you step onboard, it gives you the warm comfortable feeling that make you feel at ease right-away. Of course, I am still waiting for the 787, been in the aviation industry for about 20 years, and this is the first time that I am excited about an airplane in the 787.

Michael C., Long Beach, California

I am glad to have accidentally discovered this site while searching for Paris Air Show 2005 news. Ever since the main Boeing.com web site stopped allowing general (unsolicited) email comments I felt a bit stonewalled (even though I rarely had something to say to the company). It might not be a bad idea to set up a link to this blog from the Boeing.com contact page.

What I wanted to state here was my amazement as to how long the 737 series has been around. Granted, the "next generation" has been extensively modernized and has good operating attributes, however, it seems long overdue for replacement. Even though the current series is selling well (not really if you take Southwest and Ryanair out of the picture), Boeing lost a lot of narrow body orders to the A320 series, and I believe a lot of it had to do with the "perceived" obsolescence of the 737 line (I believe this held true for the 767 losing orders to the A330 and will also be a problem for the 747 Advanced, if it is launched). The 737 "tube" is still a shortened version of the original Dash 80 and has 1960's written all over it (at least you finally ditched the "eyebrow" cockpit windows, when you should have reshaped the cockpit window glass back when the NG series came out). If you really want to reestablish the company as THE premier airliner manufacturer, you need to "fast track" the 737 replacement, which obviously should be based on the 787. There are plenty of A320 and B737 from the 1980's due for replacement, and a 787 based narrow body would be an "A320 killer". I've heard that Boeing is already working on this project and would like to see something announced as soon as possible, while Airbus is tied up with the A380 and A350 and probably does not have a lot of resources available for an A320 replacement at this point.

Mark F., Long Island, New York

I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to write in your journal and share your thoughts with the rest of us regarding the industry and the air show. Although I don't work on the airplane side of the house, I am, and always have been interested in airplanes and the business. I appreciate your insight and mix of business and technology in your writings.

Mark B., Leesburg, Virginia

In 1997, when I wrote Chapter 36, The Future of Air Travel, of my book "The Inside Story, The Rise and Fall of Douglas Aircraft" I predicted that the future of air travel was in travel between city pairs in smaller, longer range airplanes, not in 1000 passenger transports. Looks like Boeing agrees!

Harold Adams, Chief Designer Douglas Aircraft (retired), Philippines

Just found out about your blog in IBD. Enjoy reading all you have to say. On the airport congestion thing, you are so right about the small airplanes. One of the reasons that US airports were getting congested was the number of turbo-props serving those airports. Separations between airplanes have to increase substantially when a "small" follows a "large," whether on take-off or landing. Wake turbulence is the problem. The same will go for regional jets. Keep up the good work.


I have been looking at the 787 videos this evening, comparing to what has come out of Airbus lately. I must say, whilst the 787 may not be as awe-inspiring as the A380, nonetheless to me as a prospective passenger, whilst I can imagine waiting for the A380, I can't wait for the 787 to arrive.

To me, a friendlier interior, a comfy environment and new design on the inside count more than the thought of traveling with a thousand passengers on just one plane. Not happy to say this as a European. However, I think Boeing are about to demonstrate their capacity to think anew altogether instead of just magnifying old concepts when it comes to the traveler's experience.

Markus S., Germany

Have fun at Le Bourget, Randy! What with the subsidy debate reaching the boiling point, the anticipated announcement of major A350 sale(s), and the ongoing debate of Who Is Right: the A380 or 787?, this should be one of the most interesting and entertaining Paris Air Shows in years.

I look forward to the fierce competition each day as the Boeing and Airbus chalets practice their one-upmanship. Who will gather the most headlines: Baseler or Leahy?

Bob R., Everett, Washington

I accept that a blog (particularly one that is even hosted on the company server) by any executive necessarily will reflect a desire to promote a certain product. Despite that, I've always found this blog to be exceptionally interesting.

Recently, however, I feel like Randy may be shooting himself in the proverbial foot. Surely by exerting so much energy on denouncing the A380 and its merits, the net accomplishment is to highlight that Boeing sees it as a focal treat and a one that will not fail just on its own. Isn't perhaps the silent treatment a strategy that could work also outside a grade 6 classroom? Or one that simply highlights the merits of your own (excellent) planes?

Erik G., London, UK

A further stretch of the B787-9 with the seating capacity of the B777-200ER would seem to have substantially lower operating costs and manufacturing costs, while offering better performance. It seems that EK are asking for just such a plane. Might Boeing consider a further stretch of the B787 before first flight?

M. C., Vilnius, Lithuania

I've been reading the blog for a while now, great work! And I agree with you on the increasing importance of P2P, having had to try to book flights for my teenage daughters to Chicago this summer from Frankfurt. The vast majority of flights were via London, Paris, Amsterdam or some other hub. We're paying a premium because we don't want the girls to have to change planes (they've traveled a lot, but this is the first international flight on their own), and while I remember fondly the days of dirt cheap flights, as an economist I recognize the realities of costs and load ratios. I've commented on the subsidies problem in my own modest and intermittent blog: it might interest you to see the take of an American economist living in Germany, doing industrial forecasting. You can see it under:


John O., Frankfurt, Germany

I must applaud Boeing's effort to actually seek what passengers want. I hate the time I have to spend boarding a plane as well as disembarking from one. In addition, waiting for baggage claim as well as security clearance is a pain. Boeing was right on the mark when it decided to take the more efficient route of designing the 787. Can you imagine 555 passengers trying to board a plane or worse, trying to escape a burning A380? Randy, I hope Boeing still develops the Sonic Cruiser though, bc I'd love to get to my destination much quicker but for now I love the 787 and cannot wait to fly it.

Kevin C., Bahamas

I came across your blog by chance and think it is very informative and fair minded. I am hoping to see the B747 advanced but assume this probably won't happen unless BA (at least) decides that this will be the basis of its modernisation (along with 777s and also the 787).

BA will need to make modernisation decisions fairly soon as it although I think the business section of the 777 will need to be rejigged as it is far too cramped (especially on North Atlantic runs) for the premium fare compared with what can be had on a 747, especially if one can grab an upper deck seat. That comes close to first in comfort and, I think, is quieter than first.

I hope the 787 will have a premium section that is as good or better than what can be had on a 747, although even there the main deck can be rather crowded but never as claustrophobic as the 777. I also assume that, although the 747 is an old aeroplane, the Advanced will have much that is new not just in engines but also materials. I don't fancy arriving with 700 others on an A380 and waiting for immigration and my bags - it's bad enough as it is. Will the 380 be an essential for Europe to North America - I suspect maybe not with point to point travel on the increase...

Anyway, the blog is great and a pleasure to read.

Professor Christopher Dandeker, Department of War Studies, King's College London


First of all congratulation to your site. I got your name from the German magazine Der Spiegel where they laughed about you and your ideas. The whole article was arrogant and not fair. But this is the reality here in Europe - everything what is coming from Boeing is bad - everything what’s coming from Airbus is super super. Hope that one day the European arrogance will be stopped.

Markus E.

I have just read a very interesting piece out of ATW, that Airbus plans to secure more than 100 orders for the A350 by the end of Paris Air Show. But the most interesting part of the article is that the Airbus A350 is no longer classed as an A330 derivative! Airbus now confirms that the aircraft is an 'all-new' design with increased width, range, length and economics! Now, they are confident that it will sell, whereas the 'original A350' attracted none, except Air Europa. But, has Airbus missed the boat? They are designing an aircraft more in terms of a 777-200 competitor than the 787.

Further, they seemed to have failed to outline a domestic variant of the A350, like the 787-3. Not only have they backed up Boeing's Point to Point strategies, as you have said, but they are making the same fundamental problem as they did with the A380 - The aircraft are emerging too big. Sure the A350 will probably sell quite well, but not for the same reasons as the 787.

Further, Airbus is now discrediting its 'precious' A330, as well as its point of view regarding its 'beloved' A380. If I were an airline CEO, I would shudder and the thoughts that Airbus is now back tracking on its future views of travel, and supporting in many ways, the Boeing philosophy, which Boeing have stuck too since 1996 of fragmentation. Surely the A350 hype will damage A380 sales?

Keep up the professional approach to rather sensitive subject matters, and the Blog is always interesting.

Chris, South Africa

We are not talking about selling cola to fashion conscious teenagers here. If an airline buys an aircraft without doing a full and exhaustive analysis of every aspect of an aircraft's performance, maintenance costs, residual values, OEM relationships, fleet commonality issues, choice of engines and equipment, suitability for current and future routes, escalation clauses in contract costs, timeframe for replacement aircraft and of course current and future pricing, then they are fools.

What I am suggesting is that descending to the level of attacking the competitor’s products is akin to the negative "attack" advertising of recent US Presidential elections. It is not that productive, and consumes vast amounts of management time and resources that could be better used to deal with more pressing and relevant problems. Sell the positives of Boeings excellent aircraft, not the negatives of Airbus' range of excellent aircraft.

As one of my American co-workers has said, "When you wrestle with pigs, it doesn't matter who wins, you still end up coated in muck". And rest assured, I have said exactly the same things to Airbus' people, on many occasions.

Mike J.

Who would you rather be right now:

a) Airbus, with a new $15,000,000,000 airplane that has stagnated at 154 firm orders, but you need almost 500 just to break even and you don't know yet if it will be certified for 555 passengers because it may not pass the FAA evacuation test, and you don't have any other new cutting edge technology aircraft in development, and the one you do have in development (the A350) has only one customer so far and is nothing more than an updated A330,

- or -

b) Boeing, with a brand new cutting edge 787 plane for which orders are coming in left and right, and who has just won back Air Canada and Northwest Airlines which had been big Airbus customers, plus a 777 with new a new long-range variant plus the 737 models which are generating more orders than you can shake a stick at?

I'd be nervous if I were Airbus; the pendulum is swinging back!

Brad V., Richfield, Minnesota

I can't see why people's presumed urge to fly P2P means that Airbus has got it wrong with the Airbus A380. Seems to me that the bigger the city (and the bigger the population), the bigger the need for a bigger plane when flying P2P. I'm sure there are plenty of P2P routes that require the services of something as big the A380 (London - New York, London - Shanghai London - Australia, London - Los Angeles, etc.) It's just the market for that size of plane will be smaller than for something the size of the A380. However, I'm sure there is a profitable market for the A380.
Stephen G., London

Have heard you speak, and generally you are interesting, however tone down the Airbus bashing. If your product is better, people will buy it. If the A380 is the wrong choice, airlines will either not buy it, or choose to buy only a few and buy more 777 / 787 / A340 / A350 aircraft. Constantly bashing Airbus demeans your comments and makes you look like you can only make Boeing look big by making Airbus look small.
Mike J., Sydney

How can Boeing say that the hub system is not the future when the only profitable "major?" airline in the U.S. is Southwest. The point to point of BUSINESS GLORY PAST was AA, United, Delta, etc. Where have they gone in the past 3 years and where do you see them going in the future with advancing tech lessening their travel execs bread and butter tickets? How can the A380 with a claimed 1/5 cost per passenger not be a desirable option for the carriers???? Are their claimed numbers for real, and how does the 787 compare??
Brian, Florida

It's wonderful to see that the 787 is going very well in sales!!! Beautiful airplane!!!! I still hope that the 747ADV will be introduced, and that this airplane will keep on flying for a long time.
Miquel P., Germany

I like the idea of point-to-point flight.

US-EU open sky agreement will open new routes. Some of these routes are what I would call "blob-to-blob". Many mid-sized cities in Europe have international airports big enough to support trans-Atlantic flights.

For instance Bordeaux-Merignac is more than capable to handle transatlantic flights. Bordeaux can be the mini hub for the whole south-west French region (or the "blob"). It simply means that the spokes of a minihub are not flights but other means of transport (car, bus, train) and the region covered by this mean of transport is a "blob".

For instance, a traveler from Agen (or even Toulouse) who wants to go to New York can take a TGV (high speed train) to Bordeaux and board a 787 flight to New York instead of going to Paris and take a flight to New York.

I am convinced that there are enough travelers from the south-west of France to the US to justify some daily flights using mid-sized jets.

Just discovered your journal this morning - very good info. Your positive comments on the A380 show far more magnanimity than we should ever expect from them once the 787 takes wing! Good to see that we're actually selling planes again over the past 3-4 months. What changed? Are we getting closer to our customers again? Whatever it is - I love it! Keep up the good work.
Dave F, SeaTac, Washington

The Airbus A380 has been described in the general European media as the "Super Jumbo".

The 747 affectionately known as "Jumbo Jet" for the past 37 years, should remain the only "Jumbo" to fly.

The Airbus A380 being larger, should be aptly named after the next largest mammal on the planet, the "Whale".

Airbus advertising has always been very clever, whilst not always being factually true, so we should start calling their behemoth as the "A380 Whale".

It will be interesting to see how many people want to wait hours to board and disembark from such a whale of an airplane, especially when it is likely several whales would be harbored at limited airports, leading to even longer passenger delays.

Let's cheer instead for the 787 Dreamliner, 777 Worldliner, 747 Jumbo jet and 737 next generation, to carry us all into the future, without delay and directly to where we want to go (no detours, no delays, no whale tales).
Russ A., Luton, UK

I think you are failing to fully list the A350's history. As I understand it, the A330, is a derivative of the A310-A300, which came out in 1972. So, if you list it, the A350 is a derivative, of a derivative, of a derivative, 1972 design. I can see why no one is buying it.
Greg Schmitz, Anchorage, Alaska

I already started to save all my money in order to buy the new Dreamliner-jet from Boeing. I hope it will fit into my garage (the A380 won't!).
Michael B., Germany

Your comments regarding the A380 first flight are spot on. Boeing and Airbus are fierce competitors in the marketplace, but all of us share common bonds as part of the global aviation community.
Jim M., Renton, WA

I have your blog on my favorites and have recommended it to others. Your marketing persona comes through, but it wouldn't seem authentic and "you" if that wasn't true. Keep on keeping on.
Barb O.

As an Aerospace Engineering student at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, I find Randy's Blog to be quite entertaining. While I may not want to work for Boeing (I'm a small-company kind of guy), I find it incredibly useful to have an insight into the commercial big-jet part of the industry.
Dan W., Prescott, Arizona

I am glad that in "Five-Card Draw" you have addressed the subsidies issue. However, I think it would be more convincing if you can present some hard figures.

A while back, I have personally done some basic research on the subject. Since Airbus' inception, BAE Systems and EADS (and their predecessors) have clearly had more revenues from government contracts, both in absolute terms and as percentage of total revenue.

Also, it is my impression that the government-funded research at European government agencies like DLR, ONERA, and at European higher-education institutions has been more near-term oriented than research at NASA and other US government agencies. Sometimes, their research is even directly applied to upcoming product development (e.g., GLARE).

NASA has a huge budget relative to EU's budget, but only a small amount is directly applicable for commercial aviation. For a layman, one tends to see the size of NASA rather than how much activities at NASA that directly benefits Boeing. So, if you don't publish hard figures, many people will believe what Airbus says.
Andrew C., Cincinnati, Ohio

Mr. Baseler, splendid job with your entry about Rapid Rewards and Southwest Airlines! In fact, I wrote about your article.
Dave Taylor

I enjoy reading your thoughts on aviation, particularly your take on Airbus and competition in general. I would be interested to know your opinion on the E-jets from Embraer and how they compete (or don't compete) with the 737.

And regarding those who think you don't post often enough, I would rather read a well-written, informative, insightful post every 3-6 days, not "I had tuna for lunch today .. "
Danny B., Portsmouth, Virginia

I have the strong feeling that the airplane manufacturing industry is entering maturity.

Like any maturing industry what will happen is that the manufacturers will reduce unit production cost drastically resulting in either:

- Better product while maintaining the same price (like personal computers or cars) or

- Lower price for a similar standard
Gustav I.

I just read your blog on the competition between Airbus and Boeing and thought of putting down my thoughts on this. For me this issues is more than selling planes, it about the technology and ownership of the technology. I do think there are people from all over the world who work at Boeing to create the company that it is, but how much does Boeing give back to the countries that these people come from, purely in terms of technology that is.

I come from Asia and strongly believe that if there were an Asian initiative like Airbus there would be public pressure on the elected governments to support it.

While I do believe that Airbus is unfairly extending the use of government money to fund its business, it does generate a lot of jobs and create technology that is useful in a lot of areas and makes the case of active government support. So the question to be asked is would Boeing use government money/support if it were offered, well we would only know when we come to that.

To finish it off, it is my view that if you believe that you have a better plane than they do them you will be the ultimate winner.
Raghav V., Massachusetts

I don't know what people were expecting to find on the site, and so I don't understand the complaints about the site "not being interesting" or "it's stupid", etc. I find it very informative. I'm not in the airplane business, but when I was 7 years old I was convinced I was going to be an astronaut. In any case, I'm still nuts about things that fly, and I'm very interested in the philosophical differences between Boeing and Airbus, so I enjoy the blog. Keep going Randy, and don't listen to the people who have nothing to do besides complain!
John G.

I find this blog to be quite interesting; I really wish that there were more of these such things from "inside the beast." The timeliness of the perspectives is the real draw here. This blog is a very nice complement to the somewhat static content found on the official Boeing company web pages.
Erik H., Redlands, California

Don't listen to the naysayers. I read your blog because I love the content. As an aerospace engineer I am somewhat familiar with the technical aspects of aircraft. Your blog provides a business context to airplane product development. Keep up the good work.
Tim W.

I have been a Boeing enthusiast and loyal supporter since I can remember. Boeing is a great company, and I firmly believe it will remain that way. Boeing builds the finest aircraft in the world, not to mention the most attractive and reliable as well. I am a pilot myself, currently working towards my Commercial Pilots License. My dad is a captain for South African Airways, who was privileged enough to be able to fly the Boeing 747-200/300/SP/200F and the magnificent 747-400 for 9.5years. The 747-400 was the aircraft that got me interested in flying when I was just six years old.

I think it would be very, very sad if Boeing decides to axe the production of the majestic Boeing 747-400, for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is Boeing's flagship airliner. Yes, the 777-300ER is a fantastic airplane, but it is not a flagship. The 747-400 symbolizes what Boeing is: a mighty company that builds reliable, efficient and majestic aircraft.

Secondly, I firmly believe that the 747-Advanced will find a very suitable market in the 400-500 seat capacity, not to mention the freighter segment! From what I have gathered and studied, the Advanced seems very efficient, economical and advanced, thus it can only but be a success. Thirdly, if the -400/Advanced production line closes, it will leave a large chunk in the large airplane market open for Airbus.

Can Boeing afford to lose this once mighty image? I fully understand the philosophy behind the 787, and I fully agree, but there is going to be hub-to-hub flying, and many carriers don't want the large A380 due to the risk of filling it, but I suspect that they will be happier with a 450 seat 747, which is more economical anyway! The Advanced will also boost employee moral and spirits, not to mention the rest of the aviation world! The Advanced is an aircraft that will crush an A380-700 Shrink. I understand that my P.O.V counts zip in the final decision, but please, consider the consequences if the 747 is axed. The Advanced will be a phenomenal airplane, and I really hope it is given the green-light.
Chris, South Africa

Is Airbus the only thing you think about? Are there no other reasons, why you get money from Boeing? You want to tell everyone, how worse Airbus is, and how great Boeing is. This is okay, but don't tell lies. The thing about the number of engines is one of those.

Please try to write more true things, or stop to write your blog.
Oliver J.

You have created a wonderful mechanism bringing Boeing closer to the public. As someone who has only been in the aerospace arena for a short time your candor about what you do, and what this blog is about is very refreshing.

I believe that through this medium you can come closer to your customers' customers, and learn exactly what they like and dislike about your products, and how you can improve.

In addition, you are educating us at the same time about the inner workings of a large organization, with a global reach. This will certainly awaken some Boeing employees even, making them realize how tough of a job you do have.

Keep it up, look forward to reading more! Don't let it go stale, post quality over quantity, but never let it go stale.

James McMurry, MBA, MSc, Fullerton, California

The "five card draw" article is the most clear, simple, and best argument against Airbus launch aid that I have seen.
Robert W., St. Louis, Missouri

I thank you for your "blog" and enjoy reading it. A friend of mine in London and I enjoy discussing your blog via email regularly.

I especially appreciate your willingness to address the big topics and to give your point of view. Your clarity and willingness to address the topics "head-on" is refreshing. I happen to agree with you that Boeing is a good company and that blogs that are rants by people are tiresome. If anything, the internet has become the worldwide watercooler where people who look at life as a miserable affair have an opportunity to try to evangelize those who look at life with optimism.

As well, I find that most people debate news stories rather than direct quotes and thus find themselves off topic or on an altered opinion of the topic. Thank you for giving us source comments and ideas.
Harvey F.

Wow! First time I've seen a photo of the 787 windows! Amazing!!! Can't wait to fly (on) it!
Stephen G., London, UK

My comment about your blog is that you don't post often enough, but when you do, I do enjoy reading it. I like the view it gives to your industry. Thanks for the RSS; now I will know when there is something new.

Randy, I enjoy reading your blog and follow it often. Kudos on taking feedback and improving your blog. Keep it up.