Tag Archives: Boeing

Iran Aseman Selects the MAX

Iran Aseman Airlines has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with Boeing for the purchase of up to 60 737 MAX aircraft.  The deal, which was announced in Tehran on April 4, consists of a $3bn firm order for 30 jets, plus purchase rights for a further 30.

This is the second large order the US manufacturer has reached with Iranian airlines since sanctions were eased in January 2016, following an international agreement on the country’s nuclear programme.  It follows an $8bn deal for 80 aircraft with Iran Air last December.

Boeing says it has negotiated the MoA under the authorisations from the US Government following a determination that Iran had met its obligations under the nuclear accord.  This latest deal still requires final approval from the government.  Once this is received a firm contract can be signed, with the first aircraft expected to be delivered to the carrier in 2022.

Maiden Flight for Boeing 787-10

Boeing flew the largest member of its Dreamliner Family, the 787-10, for the first time on March 31. The aircraft made it maiden flight from the manufacturer’s facility at Charleston, South Carolina, undertaking a four hour 58 minutes sortie.

“The 787-10’s first flight moves us one step closer to giving our customers the most efficient airplane in its class,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Kevin McAllister. “The airplane will give carriers added flexibility in growing their network routes and build on the overwhelming success of the 787 Dreamliner family.”

Boeing Test and Evaluation Captains Tim Berg and Mike Bryan conducted the first flight, testing the jet’s flight controls, systems and handling qualities. Boeing hopes to begin customer deliveries of the 787-10 in the first half of 2018.

Berg, who is also the manufacturer’s Chief 787 Pilot, said: “From take off to landing, the airplane handled beautifully and just as expected. The 787-10 is a fantastic machine that I know our customers and their passengers will love.”

Boeing has secured 149 orders for the 787-10, which is 18ft (5.5m) longer than the -9, from nine customers. Singapore Airlines is the launch customer with airframes scheduled for delivery to Air Lease Corporation, All Nippon Airways (ANA), British Airways, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, GE Capital Aviation Services, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and United Airlines too.

BOC Aviation Adds More MAX 8s

BOC Aviation has placed an order for 13 additional Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.  The latest purchase agreement takes the lessor’s commitment to 209 aircraft from the Boeing Next-Generation 737 Family including 74 MAX 8s.

“Airlines are attracted by the 737 MAX 8’s lower operating costs and fuel efficiency, and we are delighted to announce the inclusion of these additional aircraft as we build our future delivery pipeline,” said Robert Martin, Managing Director and CEO of BOC Aviation.

Dinesh Keskar, Senior VP, Asia Pacific & India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: “BOC Aviation’s purchase for an additional 13 737 MAX 8s is a testament to the superior value, performance and economics the 737 MAX will bring to airlines around the world.”

FAA Certification for MAX 8

Boeing’s 737 MAX 8 has been certified by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  This paves the way for the manufacturer to begin delivering the aircraft to customers.

Certification was achieved after a comprehensive test programme that took just over a year and included four aircraft, plus ground and laboratory testing.  The FAA has granted Boeing an Amended Type Certificate for the 737 MAX 8, verifying the design complies with required aviation regulations and is safe and reliable.

“This certification is a true testament to the dedication and commitment of our entire MAX team throughout the process, from airplane design to flight testing,” said Keith Leverkuhn, VP and General Manager, 737 MAX Program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.  “The Renton team looks forward to delivering superior efficiency, reliability and design to our customers as they start to receive their 737 MAX aircraft in the next few months.”

Boeing 737 MAX 9 Debut

Boeing unveiled the newest member of its 737 Family when it rolled out the maiden MAX 9 at Renton, Washington State, on March 7.  The CFM LEAP-1B-powered aircraft will now undergo system checks, fuelling and engine runs prior to beginning its flight test campaign in the coming weeks.

“The 737 MAX team continues to do a fantastic job getting us to these important milestones right on schedule,” said Keith Leverkuhn, VP and General Manager of the 737 MAX Program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.  “Our primary focus is delivering an aircraft that has the legendary reliability our 737 customers depend on, plus the optimised flexibility and range capability they desire.”

The 220-seat aircraft has been designed with a 3,515 nautical mile (6,510km) range and is scheduled to enter service in 2018.

 

TFDi Design 717 Update

TFDi Design has released a status update, showcasing what’s next for the 717.

TFDi Design’s Collin Biedenkapp explained: “Since the launch of the 1.0.6.0 to the community beta, we’ve been doing a lot behind the scenes and we’ve had a bit of a shift in position. A lot has changed since the last update already and there is more to come. We’ve been much quieter than we had previously been (which, despite how it may feel, is actually a good thing) and I will explain that.”

The following ins an exctract from their blog:

A Little Background

Since release, the TFDi team came to realize that we were looking at the state of the aircraft the wrong way. In the professional software world, releasing an initial iteration of a program and adding features over time is not only acceptable but standard. This is exactly what we did. That said, that method of approaching it is unreasonable for something like an aircraft. You wouldn’t make a car without air conditioning and windshield wipers but promise them later – that is more how our release happened (but not what we intended). That leads to our shift in position – along with the community beta, which gave us a place to test things before we throw them into the official release, we’re working on not band-aiding bullet holes.

First, what’s new (so far).

The REF System

In the spirit of more meaningful updates and permanent solutions, we started by revising the MCDU, page by page, and correcting/finishing it. So far, we’ve added the entire REF system (minus one page, which is pending a change in another system). Here are some images of it.

The REF system, although it may not be the seemingly highest priority, was the foundation for another feature that plays a big role during particular approaches – place/bearing/distance (PBD) waypoints. Here’s an image of that working.

We also revisited the system that handles pilot waypoint entry, which allowed us to support latitude/longitude waypoint entry and brings both PBDs and latlon waypoint support to the FIX, REF, DIR INTC, and FPLN pages all at once.

The MCDU Annunciators

Along with the improvements to the MCDU, we’ve also added the annunciator lights for various scenarios.

The 2D Popups

For those of you not participating in the Community Opt-in Beta (COB), we’ve added the ability to hide the yokes and 2D popups for the 6 display units, the standby display, and both MCDUs. We’ve also improved their default size and position since 1.0.6.0, as seen by their new default position below.

VMIN/Approach Performance

Further improvements have been made to the autothrottle system and FADEC/engine response since 1.0.6.0. We’ve also redone the VMIN calculation which will allow the aircraft to properly fly its approach speeds (and the autothrottle can actually be trusted to fly that close to VMIN now).

Stability/Bug Fixes

In addition to a slew of fixes between 1.0.6.0 (for those not in the COB) and 1.0.6.1, we’ve fixed one of the major issues not covered by other systems – the sound spool down during takeoff. The sounds work as they should during takeoff and climb now. We’ve also launched our advanced crash debugging system to help us isolate and solve the remaining CTDs. Performance remains an issue for a handful of users and we’re still looking at it, but just as we focused on performance/stability initially, now we’re focusing on the airplane as a whole before polishing it again. It’s a process but we’re on the right side of it now.

What’s Pending Code/Systems-Wise

We’ve got a lot of big items on our to-do list and some that are in progress. Here are a few major items that I can’t show off quite yet but will make it into the next release.

  • Significantly improved NAV magenta line tracking (including through turns)
  • ETE (and possibly EFOB)
  • Automatic turn coordination
  • Mouse wheel acceleration for AFS knobs

In addition to those, we’ll be continuing through the MCDU and finishing it, both in terms of stability and functionality. Once the MCDU is at a place we’re happy with it, we will begin the same process on the autoflight system to squash the rest of its bugs. Once both of those are complete, along with the rest of the bugs we’ll fix and requests we’ll honor, the aircraft will be borderline unrecognizable from its initial release in December.

(The following part was written by Brandon Filer)

Visual Updates

While improvements have been made to the systems, I’ve been working on a ton of enhancements to the exterior.

To give some background, the original artists who did the modeling/texture work on both the exterior and interior left a lot to be desired. Over the last two years of development, I’ve done a ton of work on the cockpit to bring it up to our standards and to represent the real aircraft as closely as possible. As we approached the end of development, we ran out of time to revisit the exterior.

Since release, I’ve been working to bring the quality of the exterior up to that of the cockpit. It was for this reason that we have continued to hold the release of the paintkit to the public. Since many of the changes made have been to the textures (and there have even been a few mapping changes), we didn’t want to release the paintkit, only to end up releasing an update that would break all repaints.

What’s New/Improved

  • Improved/optimized materials
  • New environment map for better-looking reflections
  • Fixed loss of reflections when turning on logo light
  • Redid cargo bay textures

A few screenshots showing the new environment map:

 

As well, here’s a before and after of the cargo bay textures.

What’s Still Being Worked on

  • Redo of all seams/rivets on the fuselage and wings (very inaccurate/generic before, and lots of missing details)
  • Redo of all normal maps (rivets were way too big/pronounced before)
  • Paintkit being made in 4K to enable painters to optionally offer 4096×4096 versions of their liveries (not ideal in a 32-bit environment for VAS reasons, but good for future-proofing or for those with few addons)
  • Various improvements to textures in general (more dirt and details, along with better coloring of certain parts)
  • New alpha channels (some parts are reflective, but shouldn’t be, etc)
  • Cabin illumination at night
  • Exterior lights will illuminate the surrounding parts (ex. beacon will illuminate the top of the fuselage)

 

For the sake of comparison, here is a before and after of the nose.

 

Timelines

We’ve been quiet while we were working this time. We’ve been focusing primarily on getting the improvements done and plowing through the prerequisites to pave the way to permanent answers. Rest assured, although you haven’t heard as much from us, we haven’t retreated away. We will release 1.0.6.1 to the COB when it’s in a good place, but we’re reworking some areas at the moment. We highly encourage anyone interested in helping us polish the aircraft to participate in the COB. Our goal is to have the aircraft essentially complete before the next major non-beta release.”

Click here for more information on the TFDi

Juneyao Finalises Dreamliner Order

Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines has finalised an order for five Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. The deal includes options for five more examples and is valued at $1.32bn at current list prices. It represents Juneyao’s first order with Boeing and its first for widebody aircraft.

“Our strategic vision is to develop into an international airline that provides high quality service with an extended network, while ensuring excellent profitability,” said Wang Junjin, Chairman, Juneyao Airlines. “Today’s order is set to play a key role in our growing business in the years to come, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with Boeing into the future.”

Juneyao Airlines was founded in 2005 and began operations the following year. It is one of China’s largest private carriers and provides domestic and regional services.  Its international network includes Japan, South Korea and Thailand and it plans to launch routes to North America, Europe and Australia by 2020.  Juneyao’s current fleet consists of 41 Airbus A320s and 19 A321s.

Rick Anderson, VP of Sales for Northeast Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: “We are pleased to welcome Juneyao Airlines as a new Boeing customer.  This order is an endorsement of their confidence in the 787 Dreamliner, which is the first choice for many single-aisle operators to start widebody operations.”

More Boeings for Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has signed a letter of intent for 20 Boeing 777-9s and an additional 19 787-10 Dreamliners, plus six options for both types.  The Star Alliance carrier is the launch customer for the 787-10, having previously ordered 30 examples.

The 777-9s are scheduled for delivery from the 2021/22 financial year and the 787-10s for delivery from 2020/21.

“Today’s major order for widebody aircraft enables us to continue operating a modern and fuel-efficient fleet, providing the SIA Group with additional expansion opportunities to ensure that we retain our industry-leading position,” said SIA CEO, Goh Choon Phong.

“We are continuing to invest for the future of the SIA Group.  This order is also another demonstration of our commitment to further growing the Singapore hub, as we will be able to offer even more travel options for our customers.”

Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Kevin McAllister said: “Singapore Airlines has been a valued Boeing customer for more than 50 years and we are honoured they have selected the 777X and additional 787-10s to expand its future widebody fleet.  We appreciate the trust, commitment and endorsement of Singapore Airlines, and look forward to delivering market-leading capability to one of the world’s most widely respected industry leaders.”

China Southern Lines up 787-9s

Guangzhou-based China Southern Airlines has finalised long term lease agreements with Air Lease Corporation (ALC) for five new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

Three are scheduled for delivery in 2019, starting in the first quarter, with the remaining two following in 2020. The General Electric GEnx powered aircraft come from ALC’s existing order book with Boeing.

ALC currently has Airbus A320s, A321s, and Boeing 737-800s placed with China Southern.­

“We are pleased to further grow our relationship with one of the premier airlines in China and a long term strategic customer for ALC,” said Jie Chen, ALC’s Executive VP and Managing Director, Asia.

Bigger Dreamliners for LOT

LOT Polish Airlines has concluded a deal to lease three Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from Aviation Capital Group.  The Polish carrier already has six 787-8s and plans to operate the larger variant on its flagship routes to New York and Chicago.  LOT intends to operate the -9s, the first of which is scheduled to be delivered to Warsaw in March 2018, in a three-class configuration seating 24 passengers in Business Class, 21 in Premium and 249 in Economy Class.  The 787-9 will be the largest aircraft in LOT’s history.

Rafał Milczarski, CEO of LOT Polish Airlines, said: “With the 787-9 we will open a new chapter in our history.  This aircraft will give as an opportunity to significantly increase the capacity on our existing, most popular routes, in addition to opening new ones.”

“This aircraft is the best for our flagship connections, such as New York and Chicago.  Thanks to the increased capacity and lower costs, we will be able to accommodate more passengers for relatively lower prices.”

Milczarski stated that after debuting on flights to the US, LOT plans to use the 787-9s on services to Asia as well.

Two more 787-8s are due to be delivered to the Polish national carrier in July and August enabling it to expand its international network.  New York, Chicago, Toronto, Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo already enjoy Dreamliner services from Warsaw with new routes to Los Angeles and Newark launching in April.  From August LOT will also use the Dreamliner on direct flights between Krakow and Chicago.

Fleet expansion is a key part of the airline’s growth strategy, with the Warsaw-based airline also set to take delivery of four Boeing 737-800s and two 737 MAX 8s this year.