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Seattle Times aerospace reporter Dominic Gates covers top industry events to bring you the latest news, highlighting how it impacts Boeing and its competitors.

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July 18, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Goodbye from the Farnborough Air Show

The Show is over, and news of the downed 777 and all the lives lost now dominates the aviation world. It’s a devastating ending to an Air Show. I’ll say goodbye, and thanks for following the blog this past week. I have a few planned days off in Ireland. I’ll get away from work, visit my…



July 18, 2014 at 11:43 AM

Héroux-Devtek: from small now to the next big name in landing gear

Heroux-Devtek of Quebec, Canada, may be the third largest supplier of aircraft landing gear in the world, but it’s so tiny compared to the big two, United Technologies (its former Goodrich unit) and Safran (its Messier-Bugatti-Dowty unit), that many had never heard of them until last fall. The big two have traditionally supplied all the landing gear for…



July 18, 2014 at 11:16 AM

The core of commercial aviation innovation for the next decade: the engine makers

With Airbus and Boeing both determined to pursue “incremental” development of their current airplanes for at least the next decade, the advances from one generation of airplanes to the next depend crucially upon innovation from the big three engine-makers. The technological leaps we heard about at Farnborough include: Geared fans. Additive manufacturing of intricate fuel nozzles deep…



July 18, 2014 at 6:59 AM

At air show, Malaysians cope with ‘incomprehensible’ news

Salmah Hayati Ghazali deputy director general of a Malaysian government development agency

Salmah Hayati Ghazali,
deputy director general of a Malaysian government development agency

At the Malaysia pavilion inside one of the exhibition halls here at Farnborough on Friday, tears welled in the eyes of Salmah Hayti Ghazali, a Malaysian goverment official, as she spoke to me about the shocking and cruel news that came late yesterday.

“It’s incomprehensible,” she said. “We did not think this could happen. It was out of our minds.”

“It’s no fault of ours,” Ms. Salmah said, struggling to find a better word than “unfair” to describe the murder of of 298 innocent travelers.

“I do feel the world is with us,”she said. “When I came this morning and I saw every flag at half mast, that was something consoling.”

The downing of the 777 has cast a pall over Farnborough.

The rows of international flags lining the entrances to Farnborough are at half mast today, in mourning over the tragedy.

And Boeing canceled the planned flight display of its 787-9.

Yet the living must go on. Ms. Salmah, deputy director general of MARA, a Malaysian government development agency, was at the Air Show Friday to welcome a group of about a dozen young Malaysian engineering students who attend universities around the U.K.


Comments | More in 777, Boeing, Farnborough Air Show 2014, MH17

July 17, 2014 at 1:21 PM

As Air Show ends, Airbus and Boeing widebody strategies diverge

Just before departing the Farnborough Air Show, senior executives at Airbus and Boeing confidently asserted that their now-divergent widebody jet line-ups are complete and that there’ll be no more big strategic moves in the near future.

IMG_1131[1]What may be the last big piece deployed in this chess match was launched by Airbus on the opening day of the Air Show: the A330neo, an update of its successful mid-size twinjet sporting new engines, extended wings and winglets.

According to the leadership of both sides, now all the pieces are in play and it’s game on for the sales teams.

In an interview Thursday, Fabrice Bregier, chief executive of Airbus, said the two rival manufacturers “have slightly different strategies.”



July 17, 2014 at 7:17 AM

Airbus logs more Air Show deals; Boeing still leads in orders

Airbus had a very good Farnborough Air Show, successfully launching the A330neo with a total of 121 commitments from three major aircraft lessors and various airlines.

The A330neo launch gave the European jet maker, which has lagged well behind Boeing in orders this year, some sales momentum. And it gives needed direction to its widebody jet strategy.

Airbus CEo Fabrice Bregier at the press conference annoucing the final sales tally at Farnborough

Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier at the press conference annoucing the final sales tally at Farnborough

At Airbus’s closing press conference, chief executive Fabrice Bregier declared it “the best Farnborough Air Show in Airbus history” in terms of jet sales. “I am personally very happy,” said Bregier.

Boeing had a great sales year leading up to Farnborough, including that massive order from Emirates for 150 new 777Xs, announced as a commitment last year but finalized just the week before the Show.

Though it had fewer orders at Farnborough, Boeing remains ahead in total net sales so far this year.

“We came in with more net orders. We’ll leave the Air Show with more net orders,” said Randy Tinseth, Boeing’s vice president of marketing. “We’ve had a good Air Show.”

Here’s how the final figures look:



July 16, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Behind the scenes at Farnborough, Boeing lobbies to save the Ex-Im Bank

Tim Keating, Boeing’s chief political operator in the halls of Congress, this week is frequenting the company chalet at the Farnborough Air Show and the related aviation industry dinners and receptions in central London.

He’s offering reassurance to Boeing’s foreign airline customers, some of whom are worried that the controversy in Congress around the Export-Import Bank could end the financing they need to buy jets. And he’s hosting the many U.S. political delegations here as part of Boeing’s intense lobbying effort to save the bank, whose authority to operate expires in September.

Tim Keating, Boeing senior vice president of Government Operations  (company photo)

Tim Keating, Boeing senior vice president of Government Operations (company photo)

In an interview at the Air Show, Keating sharply blamed the Tea Party movement within the Republican party for the current impasse.

His message to the visiting U.S. politicians is to listen to their own stump speeches, where a constant refrain is: “We want to grow jobs in the U.S. We want to grow manufacturing in the U.S.”

“We are what America should be: manufactured here and sold overseas,” Keating said of Boeing.

He warned that killing the Ex-Im Bank “is a policy that would actually punish companies that choose to build in the United States.”


Comments | Topics: Airbus, Boeing, Export-Import Bank

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