Monday, December 11, 2017

"Skalkaho" Is a rough scribble through Chapter 6

The link provided takes you Skalkaho's introduction were all chapters can be accessed by several methods. 

Primary One: is found on the links provided below the main body found on the page Introduction.

Alternate-2: is found by Clicking on the upper left corner on  the word "Skalkaho" found on the upper left introduction page and is also found just above the words "A Journey in Adventure".

Clicking it will take you to a list of chapters/postings showing five chapters at a time on this page. The other chapters not visible can be access by clicking on the "More Post" button at the very center-bottom of the Skalkaho chapter/pages link mentioned (in the upper left corner as stated in instruction 2). 

Example: More Post


It All Seems Like A 767

It all seems like a restart of the 767 passenger version is eminent. Sans new technology engines it will install new weight saving components replacing the older versions or former generation "heavier" parts. The electronics bay could have micro seized foot prints traveling throughout the same old 767 air frame. Saving a ton here or there would make a newly minted 767 a respectable flying example in air for passengers. The A-330 program tried its NEO routine with limited market response. The 767 program is even hoping for a similar response but only as a place holder and not an augmentation to its own wide body line of aircraft. 

The A-330 erodes its sibling mate the A-350 in the market place and does not help either model well. As few orders for A-330 NEO were made and fewer orders for the A-350 occured when airline ordered a few of the A-330 NEO's instead of the A-350 as a cheap alternative.

The 767 restart rumor makes sense if the 797 is not ready for a prime time announcement. Those who may order a re-surging 767 model may also be an early customers for the 797. They may also operate older 767's in its fleet today. Boeing is poised to launch a 797 within its own time slot. All the customer wrinkles will be retired before such a launch announcement and all the Boeing innovations intended for the 797 will be resolved. It sounds like ten years before the 797 delivers. Hence the rumor of a 767 restart has some legs to the story. A renewed 767 is no augmentation of its popular 787 but it is a bridge to the 797's unannounced program. 

Boeing would hope to sell about 200 of its renewed 767 as a segue for its 797 announcement in 2020. The ten year entry into service mark is about right before a 797 is ready to go. It would allow time for first delivered 797 matriculation into its fleet over an additional five years thus bringing a renewed 767 retirement fifteen years out from its delivery.

Boeing doesn't hint about things as substantial as a dead 767 passenger program renewal, unless some serious wheeling and dealing has taken place in the background. The North American trifecta of United, Delta and American airlines has expressed interest in its 797 model. The all have 767 experience and they all have an established market for a 5,000 range of service. Coincidentally, it fits the 797 profile that has bantered about in the press. The deal making could conceivably offer a low priced 767 now and a fixed price 797 into the indefinite future. A one to one order pairing with the 767 and 797 is a possibility. A 797 launch time could be pushed out further building more momentum for its announcement moment. The 767 rumors are more of an unannounced reality.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Menu Airline The New Way To Fly

New airlines have found a way to encroach upon legacy airline routes. In this case, a look at transatlantic carriers is a good example. Much like a restaurant, the menu airline allows each customer to order off the menu according to a customers taste, price and need. Legacy airlines may sell a ticket for $499 but a menu airline could sell a ticket as low as $99 going from Boston to London. The $99 reserves a spot on the airplane where the real browsing on the menu starts and  trip price is not noticed. After all the seat cost $99.


  • Needing luggage ? $39.99 per one standard bag
  • Wanting food? $39.99 for two meals
  • Adding entertainment or computer connectivity? $19.99 for the trip.
  • Needing full Concierge service during departing or arrival? $39.99
Total added values= $140 added on ticket price of $99 during a budget airlines special promotion. This could go higher if a "discount" airline starting seat price is $199.

The above list is short and a passenger may have an option for the full buffet. An offering one price for key services during travel, but that price would not include all its offered services. The point of sale remains the seat price. The Customer culture is eager for that price and nothing else. They will pay for the extras without notice as so conditioned by traditional travel ticketing.

The menu offers a passenger a $99 ride and that's it. A ride, but the six hour ride would not even include a napkin for the seat. Its another way of marketing a new airline past the legacy airlines already entrenched on a primary course. Travelers compare ticket prices not services offered. A restaurant offers a steak for $6.99 but the salad and a potato costs another $5.99. The $12.99 restaurant is shied away by those cost conscience travelers who only look at the $6.99 price on the menu for a slab of cooked meat.

A menu airline could cost some serious money unless you analyze what you want or need throughout your travel status. Travel wise customers will wear what they will need for a 24 hour trip there and back. A vacationer will pay for full service because its part of the experience of enjoying time off. The budget airline hopes you are traveling for pleasure. Per day business allowance pays for the lowest cost seat. You will need business expense approval to plug in the computer.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Boeing Makes 159 Jet Sales During November

Boeing order below indicate a Robust book order tally for November. None of which includes what the Dubai Airshow. It is hoped Boeing will book those orders before January 2018.



Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Winging It Goes Gonzo Writer

I've been ready to move on to the next project for sometime. Winging It has been going for five years and I now have started a new project of writing a novel based on the American West at its start. There is an outline where this story will go and there is so much to fill in for the story. I wanted to share this new Blogging Link for your own enjoyment, I hope this story provides. The main part of this project allows the reader to look over the writer's shoulder while each chapter's draft is completed and posted for anyone's interest. It will be a year long project and Winging It will continue posting as events and time present itself during 2018.

Here is "Skalkaho's introductions" Link to: 



...chapters will be posted as completed for your rough draft readings. Please follow this project as it may eventually have a completion by December 31, 2018. That is the goal. Your own goal is following the writing journey as a private audience experiencing a writer's first attempt at a story. Save the blogging posting link for future reference. I am already starting Chapter 2, chapter 1 is short at this time and it may need additional story information. Chapter 1 is called Skalkaho: Blackleaf Camp.

The Blog site is called "First Cut an Adventure In Writing" found at Skalkaho.blogspot.com . Use this as a search reference. (copy rights reserved by author)


Friday, December 1, 2017

The Giant Airshow Is Nothing More Than A Big Beauty Pageant :)

It's a time were airlines shows off  its bottom line, its  bulbous order book, and made-up looks. The big order reveal is not unlike the swim suit portion of a beauty pageant. Makers from all parts of the world, with its customers, love to reveal all the aforementioned parts by the showing its order book to the public. The static line is for gawkers who must have its up close and personal airplane fantasy satisfied. Venues are selling product that will enhance your "bottom line".

The 777X Shows Folding WingsImage result for Bathing suit competition at pageant

Cinco de Mayo Announces Contestants (TBA productions)

The crowd ohs and awes at weird looking aircraft as the make-up drips on the flight line. The talent competition comes and goes in vertical climbs having short take-offs and landings, with dancing on the runway. Even a parachute or two pop out of the sky. 

Then there is the grand promenade fly-over with clusters of multi formation bimbos suggesting how cool it looks when it puffs colored smoke out the "back end". Yes the Airshow is a beauty pageant where makers and customers alike put on a big show as found in Farnborough, Paris and Dubai. 

After which the trickery arrives as airshow pitchmen talk in circles of what? "The six zillion aircraft were sold after all MOU's are finalized. The headlines latch onto the word zillion and won't let go of it. They will save reality for another day when any deal making falls apart. No matter what, the six zillion  aircraft is the press release of the day. After the zillions are digested some even attempt to explain what it all means while starting each sentence with the word "If".

Having to compete with the press mania, any self respecting blogger must dig in and remark about the airshow de jour through having so many qualifying statements. The blogger is forced to look up words before writing begins such as "alleged", "purported" or "List Price", where the news is allowed to bombast its headlines with billions and zillions transacted at the "Timbuktu World Airshow", aka TWA. Wasn't TWA an airline at one time? No, that couldn't be, I think that would be SWA near Phoenix, Az. The S comes before T in the alphabet.

At least it sounds logical as both TWA and SWA were flying at one time or at the same time. However, the TWA event suffers a wind mishap involving sand and paint finishes. Reporting is tough and certain words are often used. Just wait for it before using the word "mishap". It can be used as it often is needed. 

Nothing is ever an accident or a disaster its just a mishap. Airlines try to stay away from any airplane "faults", as if it were someones else fault it happened. Once again airshows are beauty contests without having beauty, but it does have many models to view. Just keep an airshow word thesaurus nearby before blogging and don't write like you work for a news agency. 


Thursday, November 30, 2017

Counting Airplane Orders Ain't For Sissies

The nebulous subject of counting airplane orders becomes a convoluted process at best. The press reports what it hears and in the world of semantics, what is said or indicated becomes a fill in the blank report by every writer of airplane orders. The key words and what it means is the first step in understanding of what happens at an airshow within an airplane maker’s venue. It is in its best interest, if it presents an order in the best possible light for bragging rights. In this case the Dubai Airshow is a good example to use for this discussion.

The Paris airshow is so long ago (June 2017) having many more customers ordering in play than Dubai had and so much has happened to those Paris orders. It becomes a nightmare explaining what has happened to those "orders" since the airshow. 

However, Dubai is much more manageable for this discussion. There were several major orders announced at the show. Specifically, the 40 Emirates 787-10, Avolon's 225 737 Max and finally Indigo Partners 430 units for the Airbus A-320 family of aircraft were announced.

The bantered around words were commitment, MOU and firm order. One headline stated Indigo Partner's placed the world largest order implying a firm deal. 

However, to avoid confusion for what occured, always refer to the Airplane makers own website listing those orders that are booked as firm orders. Airbus is making a mad dash with Indigo Partner's firming up those 430 A-320 NEO committed so it can add to its 2017 order counts.

The word "committed" is key in the reporting and it is not the same as ordering and is usually supported by some Letter of Intent (LOI). The back story of this announcement lists a handful of airlines that will be receiving these committed 430 aircraft. Within the announcement it is discovered the following airlines are customers of Indigo Partners for:

  • ·       Wizz -       72  A320neo, 74 A321neo
  • ·       Frontier - 100 A320neo, 34 A321neo
  • ·       JetSMART -56 A320neo, 14 A321neo
  • ·       Volaris -    46 A320neo, 34 A321neo


The total units come to 430 NEO's as mentioned. Indigo Partners negotiates with its airline customers and then negotiates with Airbus for these committed aircraft. It isn't a firm deal yet! It may have an LOI supporting the potential deal. Under ideal conditions it should go through. The affected parties have been working a long time to get to this point. Mark down that an LOI is a commitment with no contract yet signed, therefore the 430 NEO's aren't booked until Airbus reports the order contract and is signed and booked.

The MOU is an often used term and does not mean an order has placed as a completed "firm" transaction.  Memorandum of Understanding is a detail of what will occur when all parties are brought to the contract table. In fact most negotiations continue after an MOU is issued by the affected parties. It is a somewhat binding agreement over what will occur once all documents are completed to the participating parties satisfactions. The MOU would not include final prices but would include how many aircraft are required and what types requested. Pricing maybe included as a reference. Other services or product would be listed for contractual purposes. Everybody agrees with what is to be worked for on the final contractual order and purchase. An MOU is not a firm contract that can be booked. It is an over arching agreed upon statement for what will be accomplished concerning the potential firm order.


Referring back to the Airbus potential sale for 430 NEO's, it is possible changes could be made or the customer has further considerations needing clarification. The commitment status has a high likely hood of completion unless a disputed condition cannot be resolved. This alone does not make it a firm order yet. Legally, the customer acts in good faith over the commitment via its Letter of Intent and is bound by that LOI unless sale conditions change which would nullify its LOI. Examples could be, a customer could go bankrupt, or the maker could not possibly deliver the product as required. With Indigo Partner Airlines, the risk becomes greater but not likely there will be a failure from a customer commitment status.

A firm deal will costs participating customers money if the contract is violated by an order change. The manufacturer is bound by delivery and performance issues. If it cannot fulfill its end of its promise it may owe the customer money if it fails with contractual points. The word "firm" is a "done deal".  

When the press banters about the subject of orders it often uses its license of journalism by loosely using those terms or words mentioned above without accountability, because no one really knows, even those familiar with the process what the airline or maker has done when it says, "Commitment, LOI, or MOU". It could be all three conditions at the same time but no one really knows which until the customer or maker defines it at some future time.

The best counting method for orders is from the airplane makers-framer own website. Rely on it as it post its orders. Otherwise, a very confused airplane geek can say 430 NEO and 225 Max were sold in Dubai without having the Maker's website even reflect those orders as firm, even into next year.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

What's Under The Christmas Tree Starts With Lufthansa

Back in the day, Winging It Started a what's under the tree topic on December 24, 2012


When reading that blog at this ABOVE link, REMEMBER IT WAS 2012. Most everything has been since accomplished with the "Winging It" speculations, as if it were looking through futuristic glasses at the end of 2012.

Once again, as was then its about the 777X or 9X as it has become. Lufthansa, an early 777X customer, unwrapped its business class section today for its up and coming 777-9 as shown Below this line.

Lufthansa
Lufthansa unwrapped its gift for its business section customers with a redesigned view celebrating its future 777-9 before entry into service. (Photo credit not sited per FMT News)

Lufthansa unveils new Business Class-FMT

It shows six across seating in a plush arrangement with expansive work space in front of the passenger. It has a 87" lie flat sleep configuration for up to 7 foot tall passengers. The "Business" passenger will have a real business space for making a case or being pampered before arrival at Lufthansa's destinations. Merry Christmas for this first unwrapped gift of 2017.

Monday, November 27, 2017

McAllister's Mantra Wants Boeing "Faster-Nimbler"

What does that say about Boeing's game on the big stage? It says the 797 will not be built until all options are vetted and all show stoppers mitigated when introducing the next big thing such as a complete 797 proposal. In comparison, the 787 program was a "damn the torpedo full steam ahead" project having a  "we will invent any solution when needed" approach to airplane building. After all it got Boeing from 2nd to first place in the great airplane war over its arch rival Airbus. McAllister recognizes with opportunity must come a flexibility to adapt and focus on timeliness to make it ahead of the competition.

Under McAllister's watch expect a deep reach into Boeing's playbook pulling out items more intriguing than just a folding wing. How quickly can Boeing make a clean sheet airplane enter service? How adaptable is that airplane for changing from one capability to another? Most aviation geeks won't have long to wait since the 797 vetting process has endured customer survey after survey these last five years. 

What Boeing has learned from its customers is every customer wants what  it wants and nothing else. What McAllister proposes is a nimbler response giving every customer what it wants from a gap range aircraft holding between 220-270 passengers. The customer will have to ask what Boeing can do for them in this Boeing faster-nimbler world.

McAllister wants all options or possibilities on the table with a timeline to get it done. His timeline becomes the control point for any new program. Divisions, such as R&D, will have to become nimbler and think beyond the concrete blocks holding the corporation up. To become nimbler any Boeing sub organization must have a road map through or around corporate road blocks, challenges and innovations where it must produce results or become a modern relic.

The other denominator in this formula, is speed with validation. New concepts will have to use everything in Boeing's box already developed and proven before even plugging it into the Boeing concept. The 797 must have an engine family capable of addressing the various customer needs. It stands to reason a one engine maker offering will be applied to a 797 once an engine is chosen. A gear driven engine option would not of been available with a McAllister plan. Airbus is paying for that side bar with PW woes on its gear driven example. 

Therefore, the usual suspects are what's for diner at a Boeing board room for an engine choice. GE and Rolls will have to come up with nimble option before hanging an engine on a customer's wing.  What an engine maker will need to know is weight and distance required for a 797 order from the customer. The customer orders a 240 seat 797 for 5,000 miles an engine is available for that purpose. The customer may want a 270 seat version, hence another engine pairing is for the 270 seat and range purpose. What if a current 797 service frame changes its use for customer's new purpose? Out comes the seats and on comes new engines for a range and weight change of an in-service aircraft.

That sounds like a nimbler idea in the above scenarios mentioned. The other item is how fast could these plug and play options be developed within a clean sheet design? Boeing is almost there for the 797, except waiting for more data on what it customers want in a 797. McAllister steps in again and smirks about a plug and play concept aircraft within its range of operation and for what a particular customer wants. The "what ifs" becomes a Boeing design motif. 

The 797 must transform as the need changes for its customers. The ability to radically reconfigured a 797 is a selling point for each airline to consider. Boeing can make it faster and nimbler for each customer. 

Image result for airplane transformer

The Back Side Of The Aviation Business

Boeing has often approach business as a customer first purpose in manufacturing. However, there are different levels of whose those customers may be. The airline, the supplier or the passenger are most of the likely customers Boeing pursues. Its competitor, Airbus, advertises traveling space for its passengers over its competitor.

On the other hand Boeing talks efficiency, cost savings and innovation for its airline customer. Airlines job one is to make money by running a tight ship. Boeing has invested a considerable amount of money into ancillary services offered its customers. Maintenance plans, Boeing expertise and parts/servicing are to name a few products it offers to its airline customers. The philosophy from Boeing is if buying a Boeing aircraft an airline can hire mercenary services from Boeing without having to build its own ground services for itself for great cost.

Airbus has invested its campaign towards patronizing passenger sensibility when it featured a 5" wider wide body as its key reason for flying on its WB. It skipped past what it had to offer as an airline maker concerning its technical and ancillary support for a reason to buy its product. Boeing has emphasized its other contiguous services with the sales of its airplane. 

The theory being, when buying a product without added value accounted for in the sales transaction, it becomes an apple and orange product comparison. Boeing's additional ancillary offerings make a complete deal for any building airline.

The first years of the 787 in service is a good example. Every time the 787 had a fault during service a Boeing team was there to mitigate that fault. Boeing offers a similar service for its normal operations but with the caveat it will be more convenient, cheaper and efficient if hiring Boeing doing the ground work instead of an airline providing a vast number of trained employees to do the same.

This is an example of Boeing's emphasis towards the airline and not directly at the passenger. The second part of this becomes more intriguing for airline planners. Give the airline enough advanced technology for enticing passengers and then the airline is free in its decision on how the passengers are provided. The Airbus model was 5" wider and it fit wider seats in the space provided. Airbus spent money on how window shades were much better than dimming windows. It spent money on LED  lighting systems like Boeing had and it spent money  on its archaic bleed air air filtration processes which Boeing can skip from its electric driven air systems.

Airbus attacked to the passenger sensibility when convincing its airline customer the A-350 was a better deal. The 787 was designed for eight seats across and the A-350 was designed for nine seats across but most airlines choose nine seats across on the 787 in economy. Making a list of who does what better for this wide body class easily becomes an obvious choice in most categories the "new" aircraft offer.

Boeing wins the following battles for the customer: Lights, air, and windows.

Airbus wins the 5" wider space for nine seats across or about 1/2" per seat wider.

The noise difference is a push between the two makers. They are both quiet while hearing people do there thing becomes the issue.

All other comparisons are dependent on how well the airline serves its passengers

Passengers are comparing how seats are configured, airline service and who is able to offer the cheapest ticket. For the price conscious passenger the journey is not the vacation. The vacation starts upon arrival. The passenger not caring for travel prices as its deal breaker, since the typical airline first class or business class is 4-6 seats across no matter what airplane model a passenger flies on. The passenger in this class is looking for airline service from start to finish. However for economy, a ticket price is directly influence by an airlines efficiency, therefore an efficient flying aircraft will have the best seat prices in a competitive economy market.