Friday, August 18, 2017

Reaching A Quarter Million At The Aviation Renaissance

...was never my intention. Some blogs reach 10 million visits like the All Things 787 blog has, who I depend on for information from time to time. Writing topics has not been a problem to create cheeky compositions or alliteration in this case. Do I know anything? Sometimes I'm spot on and sometimes randomness strikes against my sensibility, but an attempt was made to contribute. The goal is to make a reader think about a Winging It idea when it occurs where each time it tries to make you laugh, cry and stare at what has been written. 

Blog hits are a tricky goal when you don't promote or organize a following. I am thankful for the 245,000 or so visits readers have made. I often think that ending this run is the appropriate thing to do, but then I go back and read some of the misspelled or grammatically incorrect text with lost leading ideas melting into something different than what it started. These are usually posts from 2012 through 2015. I will always have something to read as a living history of aviation's renaissance.

I tried to quit in January 2017 as sometimes I irritate those who are in my company, but fail to acknowledge their presence in the room. I'm possessed by aviation and I know it. The assignment was everything Boeing and not the DDG1000 Zumwalt or the F-35 but **it takes over when something is intriguing arises such a an inverted F-35 firing a missile. Boeing must wait until tomorrow for further Winging It patronizing. However, the original assignment must end, because I too have a shelf life and its rapidly coming to a point where a regular contribution becomes a secondary pursuit for when time becomes so short. A break will come forward as some unfinished Winging It business wraps up. I have charts and tracking that I would like to share and will limit contributions to Winging It leading in with those same charts and tracking just mentioned.

The original goal was to preserve my brain function after a massive heart attack in 2011. I started the blog shortly afterwards for mental therapy regimen having an anoxic brain injury in 2011, and it started before 2012. It will be six years this fall since I started, and its a good time to wind down and rejoin the family function without aviation wings hovering over my attention.

Expect fewer posts and more charts in the mix as a transition is taking place. I hope to greet 250,000 guests to the Aviation Renaissance. It will complete me, if this occurs. This goal should happen by the end of September if all keep reading the blog. Please do so as I reach a final approach and land at least near an airport.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Seeking Alpha Response Leads to This Chart

Recently, Seeking Alpha answered a "Winging It" question with a very valid question.

Question from Winging It: 

The netting order changes are hard to follow. Any Ideas on how its year's cancellations or conversions are found within the Boeing website in detail? Thanks again for your reports?

His Answer:

Thank you for reading, Andrew. Conversions are almost impossible to follow. You basically have to know what airline X ordered and one day you will see that the order from airline X has been changed. Boeing only shows the cancellations by type on its orders and deliveries page. If you want to find out the changes you will have to save each months sheet and look for the differences.

Winging It Follow-up:

After reading his brief appreciated response, Winging It Blog writing began to think of how this may be done. Below is a rough draft chart attempting this exercise on filling in month by month reporting holes created by limited information from Boeing's website.

Please use this as a rough estimation on how the orders are documented as a running total until the end of the year. Since Boeing does not keep its notations longer than the next entry, Winging It must follow closely its entry as Boeing adds and reports them. 

Therefore, the chart below starts somewhere during the year and somewhere is July, 31 2017. A full year's tracking would be impossible at this time since Boeing owns its data and discloses pieces of the puzzle when an update to its website is made. 

Starting on August 15, Boeing's first notation for the chart is added.  The July 31, reporting is a net and gross number without detail of prior changes up and until that date. However, the first entry is from Boeing's August 15, 2017 data change reported from its website, which similar entries will be logged until the end of the year as posted by Boeing.

Take this report chart with the knowledge that all data has not been accounted for until the end of the year, since many transactions are in flux from customer preferences. However, is a close estimation going forward with an accurate gross and net totals provided by Boeing. The Chart is an attempt to interpret those those changes Boeing provides from week to week or when it chooses its report changes for its order book.

Fig. 1 Boeing Data Tracking Report:

Monday, August 14, 2017

Did someone say 747 Freighter? (Qatar information Update)

The latest hot topic is what in the heck Qatar is doing recruiting 747-8F crew members? The world wide spectrum is populated with 747-400 freighters. How does someone infer old 747-400F’s are what's for diner, when the 787-8F’s are so much newer than the world fleet of 747-400F’s?

Image result for 747-8 freighters

The story line is showing that Boeing marketing team is not sitting still. From space shuttle transportation to luxury cars flying about, the 747-400F has gotten old. Boeing has claimed the 747-8F has a future and it knows freight hauling by air is here to stay. The only problem is keeping the 747 production line going and fresh having only seventeen 747-8F’s on its backlog books and one 747-8i remaining to be built.

Qatar as an unidentified Boeing customer, ordered two 747-8F's in July, but it opens the door for more 747-8F's orders as it gears up its flying staff.

Qatar has dropped the “hiring” word for pilots of 747-8’s or other 747 types currently flying. It wants to hire and train for its operation for an unannounced 747-8F fleet expansion. It may be ready to compete in the freight business. A conservative estimation for a Qatar 747-8F order is for a baker’s dozen (including the two just ordered in July) could be coming during the Dubai airshow as it ramps up hiring and training 747-8F’s pilot and crews for its impending freight business.

From Qatar Website:

Qatar is light on freight aircraft on order and only has four-777-F and two 747-8F  for a backlog order. It list one 747-F in its current fleet. The freight tools for Qatar consist of twelve 777-F's and eight A330-F's. Replacing and expanding its freight fleet is a move it may do as it will invest and then compete with other freight haulers in the world. 

Qatar has more Airbus product than Boeing product in its fleet, but the order book for Qatar favors Boeing at this time.

Hiring pilots and crews in the fall before the Dubai Airshow starts the conversation of what to expect in the startling announcements category during the Dubai Airshow. Emirates is holding its purchase cards close to its chest. The stirrings are evident something big will happen in November. This missing piece of this puzzle is, how long will it take Boeing to deliver a few 747-8F freighters for a newly formed Qatar crew just hired from its recent Job postings?

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Final Chapter Of Demand Number 10: A Summary Of Things To Come

What this booklet was to accomplish for addressing 10 thought provoking subject matters from a passenger perspective, and why the aviation industry straddles so many different customer types. The customer types have many opposing objectives as well as many common goals within its industry. A Boeing perspective has a clear vision of its commercial aircraft producing function and must compete in the field with its airline customers.

Image result for over cramped airline passenger

Mission/Vision provided from: 

Boeing Commercial Airplanes is committed to being the leader in commercial aviation by offering airplanes and services that deliver superior design, efficiency and value to our customers and a superior flying experience to their customers. Today, there are more than 10,000 Boeing commercial jetliners in service; airplanes that fly farther on less fuel, airplanes that reduce airport noise and emissions, airplanes that provide passenger-preferred comfort while delivering superior bottom-line performance to operators. Leadership for today and tomorrow. That's a better way to fly.

Judging briefly what this tells this presentation, Boeing is strongly in it with this statement,… 

while delivering superior bottom-line performance to operators. Leadership for today and tomorrow. That's a better way to fly.

Below, is a recognition to its airline customer while it structures its mission towards for that customer while giving an inference to the travel passengers.

Boeing Commercial Airplanes is committed to being the leader in commercial aviation by offering airplanes and services that deliver superior design, efficiency and value to our customers and a superior flying experience to their customers.

The superior flying condition for its passenger customer is affected by an airline’s own goals in the service and capacity areas. Boeing provides an over-all superior environment and advanced technology for passengers. Where the airline controls the passenger configurations for its own profitability and business success. Once again the passenger controls very little demand on its aviation ride.

It is better observed where Boeing has constructed many options for an airline’s consideration. When the airline has a business plan, Boeing commercial airplane flexibility is a big tool box for it to purchase its product. The airline can simply buy seats, adjust colors and offer amenities for which a Boeing produce airplane can offer. Boeing would diminish its product selling capacity to an airline customer, if it controlled airline configuration for the sake of the passenger. Boeing only offers possibilities for future passengers of an airline. There is a separation from the manufacturer and passenger at this point. Boeing sells the ability to do many things for any perspective passenger, but leaves that decision to its airline customer.

Every time a passenger complains about a 787 experience because it was too cramped, it becomes an issue of the airline and not the Boeing 787. ANA, Boeing's first customer in delivery, used the 787-8 by only installing an 8 across configuration in the main cabin. ANA established a configuration for its 787-8 with 8 across economy seating for 180. The airplane capacity has about 222 seats in two classes. They were on to something as an airline customer to Boeing. The manufacturer always said the 787 was design for 8 across seating but had the ability for 9 across seating for which a preponderance of 787’s goes 9 across in the economy section.

The final say for the airline culture, if passengers demand cheap tickets, then it has lost its demand power. If airlines configures beyond the standard design constraints, it cannot blame Boeing. If Boeing provides so many options for idle hands, it has provided enough rope to hang itself.

What is coming is meat hook seating for cheap tickets that can fly 9,000 miles leaving a smaller carbon footprint.

The Culture Of Demand Chapter 9: The Powerless Passenger Can Demand?

The manufacturer and the airline controls ticket prices for what is provided, all the passenger can do is shop cheap airline tickets online. The limits of passenger demand is from what flight outbound has the cheapest seat and then it must suffer its outcome because trains and buses are pure torture and not convenient for world travel.

Premium Economy Class seats for former Business Class passengers.
Image result for premium economy seats

The passenger pushes an airline by not filling an airplane up on a particular route. If the airline can’t fill its seats regularly, it will eventually cancel the route offered, and the passenger then must find a plan “B” for its travel options. The airline is a groping monster looking for a way to make money for its stockholders. If it can’t cram passengers on-board, then it will cancel the offer entirely. Passengers remain glued to ticket price in the process, and has little to do in a product demand participation. 

Most airlines want to upgrade its business class at the expense of a first class section. So the wealthy passenger who may look at price for bragging rights within its own friends circle has lost its power of demand for a sensible ticket deal and has been downgraded to business class offering. Where the business class is downgraded and enticed into Premium Economy and so forth.

Once again passenger demand has little power in commercial aviation. Most manufacturing giants of aircraft brag about three metrics, flight range, customer capacity and fuel efficiency. Airbus has gone five inches wider than Boeing, and markets that point as the main reason to fly with an XWB Airbus. What does 5” really mean to the passengers? Start with dividing a 9 seat row and duo aisles by 5 inches. These eleven units mentioned are from the 9 seats and two aisles and can amount to an average of .45 inches in expansion width for each seat or aisle width for the equation. A 16.5 inch wide seat on a 787 could also be about 17 inches wide seat on an Airbus A-350. A 20 inch wide aisle on a 787 can also be a 20.45 inch wide aisle on an Airbus A350. It amounts to finger's width advantage for the Airbus for each passenger. Don’t even talk to Airbus about having 8 across seating. It about the number of passengers it loads on its “extra-wide-body” aircraft.

Boeing with the 787 dynamic went for efficiency improvement at every corner and remained resolute that it built the 787 for the passenger's travel senses when applying every technology it could muster. Electronic lights, dim-able large windows, and LED lights to name a few. They pioneered breathable air with a 6,000 foot cabin pressure rather than having a 8,000 foot cabin atmosphere. However, they had Airbus at every corner so Airbus went wider than Boeing in its medium wide body.

Boeing also is offering the 777X by 2020. It will be wider than either the Boeing 787 or Airbus A350. The passenger reward for this feat could be 10 across seating by some airlines. The passenger will have no say with this airline demand, because both manufacturers are playing the customer card with the airlines, presenting a profit machine based on seats possible. It won’t be a manufacturer problem but an airline problem for how many seats it orders up for its delivery aircraft. Needing to go to Australia for the lowest cost is a passenger problem. The Airline has to pay for the airplane costing $350 million, so the passenger must pay for this large flying and seating arena. Once again if a passenger needs to get there, they will pay and that’s the airline’s demand. The manufacturer once again is in the business to sell a profit machine pleasing both the airline and its passengers. It falls on the airline to stuff how many seats in each aircraft delivered, and it’s the passenger who demands a low ticket price. 

The passenger surrenders its demand power in place of a low ticket price. An extra wide 5 inches in the cabin is pure marketing genius which the customer won’t analyze when looking at its ticket receipt. Airbus has done an excellent job of a knock-off of the 787 with its A350. When in fact both types are once again, just "profit machines" for stockholders. There is a point in this discussion passengers are just lemmings lured to the edge, with who has what for a travel pleasure at the lowest cost, and this idea trickles down into the single aisle market.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Culture Of Demand Chapter 8: Sit Right Here

Commercial aviation has become something as comfortable as a huge stadium bleacher with its seats. Sometimes over 100,000 fans cram their posteriors between two parallel lines with a row and number painted between the lines. The much vaunted mid field seats on the lower decks go for $100 a seat in any ordinary event going from left to right. The top row of the stadium with the same seat spacing may go for $50 since it is so far from the field of play. What fun everyone had standing the whole time length of the match. Sitting was not an option. The posterior may be only 14” wide when seated but the shoulders may go for 30” across. The stadium space goes for about 16” wide as if it creates a vertical space 16” wide. People may have to stand at an angle facing the field. Going to a game with your significant other fan can stand in a somewhat side-ways layering half the torso behind the person sitting next to you. Fans often fake turning and talking to someone behind them when in fact they are readjusting for the next play since the person(s) in front of them have suddenly blocked the view.

Stadium cushion - No dimension greater than  13.5" x 12" x 14.5"

Image result for bleacher seats

The culture accepts the twist and turns at a stadium event as if it was worth every penny being there at least to be seen either by others or on TV. The airlines have it all wrong in its seating scheme. They too need to go more than 16.5” wide for the posterior and then on three seat row allow the shoulders of the outside seats expand behind the middle seat passenger. A slight stagger in seating is needed much like the stadium twist or moving the arm around the person next to the fan to make more room in the 16” vertical space available.

Airlines think vertically. A 16.5” seat bottom should hold its 30”+ wide shoulders at the top of the seat, hence a stadium twist for the window seat passenger, and half a shoulder’s width sticking out on the other side into the aisle. The passenger seated in the middle just folds its arms in surrender until the snack cart flies by, then all he** breaks out including losing your nuts when trying to open the snack wrapper. Ever had a cola snort up your nose? If so, you have either been to a stadium event or flown on an airplane.

Body bloat may change from passenger to passenger but the smallest frame in a row may have the same horizontal dimension of a larger passenger. 16.5" wide seats is not a good linear solution. People have taken its stadium experience and boarded airplanes without the promise of entertainment. Standing on an airplane will be the final straw for passengers if airlines don’t stop the nonsense. Should the industry have a seat law?

One way to stop the seat silliness is through the manufacturer. It must build airplanes that can only have seat spacing for people who don’t like touching. The airline who tries to cram more in less space would violate the certification of the airplane. In this case example; a 787-8 would be certified for 240 seats and not exceed the limit. The 787-9 would be certified for 290 seats and no more. City safety inspectors do it to restaurants as I sat at a diner recently, a sign said, “maximum occupancy 78 persons”. I know it’s a fire code or something like that, but planes do catch on fire.  A certification process would have to set a standard from square footage of the seating area on an airline. Bring the social engineers, and medical people to determine the non-touching area needed and a pitch which prevents deep vein thrombosis on a long ride. Even though a passengers has a great time at a stadium event, airline travel in a tube smaller than the men’s room at the stadium, is inhumane. If narrow minded seats do not allow a person to open up a snack wrapper on a long trip, then I'm not going.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Boeing Backlog Report In Units and $$

A new feature is looking at Boeing Cash Reserve through its backlog through list prices. No actual amount can be counted until it delivers an airplane. However, the potential cash value at list price indicts what it could receive as it delivers each type at list price.

Boeing Backlog Report:

The Culture Of Demand Chapter 7: Leadership Creates Demand Everywhere

The twist and turns of who is leading whom is the saga of every going concern. Boeing’s business history has had it all and found out what works and what doesn’t work. Listing all of Boeing’s past leaders would be an exercise for the reader or the writer but this story is about a philosophical perspective and will discuss in general terms using one of Boeing’s pst leaders named, Alan Mulally.

Image result for alan mulally sketch

Wikipedia reports this on Alan Mulally: 

Mulally was hired by Boeing immediately out of college in 1969 as an engineer. He held a number of engineering and program management positions, making contributions to the Boeing 727737747757767 and Boeing 777 projects. He led the cockpit design team on the 757/767 project. Its revolutionary design featured the first all-digital flight deck in a commercial aircraft, the first two-man crew for long range aircraft, and a common type rating for pilots on two different aircraft. He worked on the 777 program first as director of engineering and, from September 1992, as vice-president and general manager.

He retired from Ford Motor Company as its CEO in 2014. He led Ford to a resurgence. He led Boeing on everything during the first decade of the 2000’s as provided briefly above. So what’s the magic of Alan Mulally? He was an engineer in an engineering world. There are different type’s industrial leaders. Those coming from the field of work experience, the accountants, and those trained as an example, engineers, in a specialty like aerospace.

Boeing was in the midst of “business storm" as early in the first decade of this century. The conventional wisdom said, "have an accountant as your leader and you will prosper as a company." Others say, "have a financial wizard and you will prosper, and finally the 911 call goes out and says get me somebody who knows what we are doing!"

Boeing went through these stages before settling in on Alan Mulally as its leader and then promptly lost him to a dying Ford Motor Company who is became a leader today in the auto industry while customers came flocking to Ford in droves. A "Sea Change" happened and it was part in due to an Engineer and partly due to Alan Mulally a Leader.

Demand for your product starts at a company's head, and Boeing had lost its head to financial metrics. The engineer wants a work bench or a cad. They talk to people who have grips about what works and what doesn’t. An engineer also has a vision of what could be made and what shouldn’t be made. Alan Mulally is an engineer. The problem here they ignore costs and only want a positive outcome regardless of costs. In comes the accountant leader who knows how to measure progress into oblivion with financial efficiency of a Scrooge. 

In Boeing’s case an airplane begins to look like a suit an accountant would wear. They look at every piece of the program's puzzle. If an electronic switch costs too much, then find a cheaper switch and give up some of the first switches capability.

The problem becomes a conundrum between those who can invent and those who will prevent. Alan Mulally, threaded the needle leading with an inventor’s attitude. Accountants before Mulally had failed to save the company from loss. However, Alan was on the leading edge of spending Boeing’s capital through all its programs, including the 787 project. 

Accountants had to find a way towards financial efficiency with an Engineer at the helm. Going the route of miser loses and going the route of a dreamer loses. Hence, a Dreamliner made a $30 Billion deferred costs pit. A balance had to be found and Boeing missed the balance between the two worlds until success could be found with its products.

The legacy Alan Mulally leaves is a company who does not want another moon shot like the 787, but it needs to keep pace with its obvious market demand or just get out of making airplanes when it can’t keep up with that market demand. Both Ford and Boeing have retained much of what Alan Mulally envisioned but they both keep a wary eye on over-doing it with its customers. 

Both accountants and engineers can make a good or a great leader from its own expertise, but the best results come from a leader having the talent from within themselves in spite of their own subject matter training.

The Culture Of Demand Chapter 6: Boeing Finally Wants A NMA

Boeing has stubbornly held off on a New Medium Aircraft (NMA) replacing its successful 757 since 2005. Airbus, its competitor, has made “Bank” on its A321. It was a direct assault on a cancelled 757 segment. Boeing had a “duh moment” and lost the single aisle wars for a generation of people, not just a decade, but a generation of 20 years. The stockholders demanded profitability, hence the gamble on high priced wide body aircraft which would infuse a flow above $200 million a unit sold and delivered. 

This is a marked contrast having only $100 million for each 757 replacement it could get in the market since 2005. Boeing bet its future on wide body development and it shows on the comparative balance sheets between Boeing and Airbus. Boeing reigns supreme over Airbus with its wide body offering and Airbus reigns supreme with its A321 single aisle offering.

Boeing stalled when coming out with a NMA, because of the 787, Max, and finally the 777X family emergence. Boeing’s strategy was clear, "build-big and they will come". The Max program was a stop gap exercise in manufacturing dominance.  It bought more time as it said it needed to do some customer surveys for a NMA. It wanted to find the right fit for its “customers”.  Boeing already knew what it needed through the results Airbus had achieved with its A321 program. Boeing just needed to build a better and greater A321 than Airbus had managed.

The last thing on Boeing’s to-do list since 2003 was a NMA and it has yet to announce a formal offering of such an aircraft. It now dithers over timing of when it must announce. It has the plan-in-hand for the NMA which awaits final tweaks. 

However, Boeing does not want Airbus to announce an upgraded A321 coming out of its stable. It does not want to over-tax financial resources until the 777X is well on its program way. It’s approaching a debutante 777X start by 2018. Boeing does want a thirsty market for its NMA and awaits “market tensions” for a launch time. In other words the clamor for having a 797 is not loud enough yet, but is closing in on that loud assessment, even as the aviation world puts its demand boot on Boeing’s neck.

What Boeing lacks at this time is available money and airline demand. The passengers can just wait since they don’t have a dog in this fight. Or do they? 

The passenger/customer is the paying part of an airlines fortunes. Boeing is waiting for the passenger crescendo for a NMA which will sweep Airbus off its feet and make Boeing Stockholders happy at the same time. 

The passenger demand is a critical component to this scenario and the Boeing hype machine hasn’t stopped for three years regarding a NMA. Airbus shrugs at a Boeing NMA concept. What else can they do but send John Leahy out saying, "Boeing’s NMA concept is over-rated"?

So the passenger does have a dog in this fight and Boeing is going to make a passenger centric NMA. It should include wider seats, better pitch and cabin flexibility for any greedy airlines who insist on 30” pitch by 17” wide seats. In fact, the human being needs at least 34” pitch and 18” wide seats, which is a coincidental aspiration of an NMA, which may allow for such arrangement. 

Boeing's airline customer may try to wedge in a 30" X 17" seat but a proposed NMA may be designed for a 34" X 18" arrangement. The airline customer may control the pitch dimension but a duo aisle would be hard to go 8 across from a proposed 7 across cabin concept. Unless, Boeing goes a few inches wider on the cabin allowing airline greed to manifest itself with 17’ wide seats enabling 8 across seating on a proposed NMA.

Customers demand both room and low price options for travel. This is a difficult passenger demanded proposition, which the manufacturer may meet the passengers halfway while appeasing its airline customers at the same time. It may trickle down to a 220-270 NMA seat flexibility for both the airline and the passenger's ticket price depending on what business model Boeing’s direct customers may want. 

No matter what is said about what should or should not be offered, Boeing will offer its “Customers”   a chance to name their own poison in that seating range and then say it isn’t our fault, it’s the airlines fault for cramming in seats.

Therefore, "demand" is a nebulous term when designing a new-medium-aircraft. It all depends what position you are in a line at the board room, the terminal, or the Airshow announcement stage.

Image result for passenger security screening denver airport   

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Boeing vs Airbus Estimated Backlog for July Ending

Below are the backlog comparisons in units and list price values as shown by each manufacturers websites.

Fig 1. Wide Body Summary Recap

Fig. 2 Single Aisle Summary Recap: