Boeing this week at the Air Show gave the first public details about its plan to use robots in assembling 777 fuselages. Initially on the 777, and then on the 777X, it will use German machines that can drill and fill 60,000 rivet holes on each plane. Missed in the initial reports was this…More
The forthcoming 777X large widebody jet will have an interior cabin with the same pleasant passenger features that have been a hit on the 787 Dreamliner: large windows, less dry air, and a lower cabin altitude pressurization.
All those features were introduced with the Dreamliner and touted as an advantage of the carbon fiber composite that’s used to make the fuselage. That material is stronger and lighter than aluminum and doesn’t corrode when the surface is wet.
The 777X will have a traditional aluminum fuselage, yet it will have the same features,More
At the Farnborough Air Show Monday, Boeing said the secretive automation process it’s been developing over more than a year for building the fuselage of the 777, which has been undergoing testing inside a facility in Anacortes, is in the final phase of testing and production readiness.
Boeing said the 777X fuselage, which will be assembled in a new building now under construction in Everett, “will be built using automated, guided robots that will fasten the panels of the fuselage together, drilling and filling the more than approximately 60,000 fasteners that are today installed by hand.”
Boeing spokeswoman Elizabeth Fischtziur said the new robotic system “will be implemented first on today’s 777” and once its high rate production capabilities are validated it “is expected to be baseline to 777X fuselage production.”More
On the first day of the Farnborough Air Show Monday, Airbus answered all the big strategic questions hanging over its widebody jet line-up.
As expected, the European jetmaker launched a new model of its A330 mid-size widebody jet, the A330neo. Predictably, sales chief John Leahy made confident claims that it will best Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.
More surprisingly, Airbus chief executive Fabrice Bregier at the press conference here gave clear, firm answers to the other two outstanding strategic issues.
Airbus’s widebody jet line-up, like Boeing’s, is now firmly set.
Yes to an A330neo, with an investment of between $1.4 billion and $2.7 billion. Consequently, the similar-sized A350-800 model that wasn’t selling will fade away.
In addition, Bregier gave a definite no to any near-term re-engining of the A380 superjumbo, which Gulf carrier Emirates had requested.
And more importantly for the rivalry with Boeing, Bregier said Airbus will not launch a new larger widebody with 400+ seats to go head-to-head with the 777-9X.More
From today’s Seattle Times front page:
When the Farnborough Air Show opens Monday, “The eyes of the aviation world are on Airbus,” said Richard Aboulafia.
The European jetmaker is building airplanes at record rates and has been executing its new programs brilliantly. Unlike the 787, its A350 is on schedule. And it just rolled out its first narrowbody A320neo, at least a year ahead of Boeing’s 737 MAX.
Still, in London its executives face nagging decisions about their future widebody jet strategy.More
Machinists have been standing in line for hours to vote in Everett today, unlike November when the lines moved quickly. With only two volunteers stationed at computers inside the union hall to ensure machinists are eligible to vote, the line has weaved out the door and through the parking lot all afternoon. Those who received their eligibility…More
If Nancy Stapleton is any indication, Boeing has made some inroads with Machinists in its latest contract offer. Stapleton, 60, of Kent, voted “yes” Friday at the Machinists union hall in Renton, after voting “no” to Boeing’s initial offer in November. She said she was encouraged that the company backed away from a proposed change in…More
National media outlets are looking at Friday’s vote by District 751 Machinists through a variety of lenses. Here’s some of the coverage: The Wall Street Journal notes that while Boeing delivered more than 90 of its highly profitable twin-aisle 777s last year, “Production of those current models is expected to be phased out gradually once Boeing…More
Boeing on Friday started notifying locations around the country of their status in the 777X site selection process, company spokesman Doug Alder said. “We’re appreciative of everyone who has taken part, and our teams continue to evaluate the sites that remain under consideration,” Alder said. “A final decision is expected early next year.” Though Alder said Boeing…More
The Greensboro and Winston-Salem area in North Carolina, served by Piedmont Triad International Airport, is among the suitors for Boeing’s 777X manufacturing and assembly facilities, according to a local business newspaper. The Triad Business Journal reports on its website Monday that the airport authority’s chairman says local officials “have been working night and day on…More