On the Boeing Front
Customer Support is the Backbone to Selling Commercial Aircraft
One of the key successes of the Boeing Company Commercial Division in selling commercial jetliners beginning with the introduction of the 707 is the support for their aircraft. I thought it’s time to share with my readers the inside look at the operations of Boeing’s Spare Distribution Center (SDC located very near to the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.)
The 700,000 sq.ft. facility ships more than one million spare parts each year. It handles receipts, shipments and repairs of thousands of parts needed to keep Boeing Aircraft aircraft flying every day.
As an ex VP of spares in the car and Heavy Duty Truck industries, I took a detailed tour of the facility in 1996. The facility officially opened in 1993 and is one of five regional distribution centers for Boeing. The other facilities are located in Atlanta, Beijing, Dubai, London and Singapore.
Open 24/7, The the SDC employs more than 245 workers to handle spares and the facilities MRO operations. Approximately 60% of the staff works first shift, which handles AOG (airplane on the ground) and restocking parts. The remainder of staff (approximately 15%) work third shift, which focuses on getting parts out the door.
Each day, the Seattle SDC handles around 600 receipts and ships 2,000-2,200 orders. Annually, the SDC has around 300,000 receipts and issues one million spare parts, including 400,000 AOG shipments.
The SDC has 150,000 sq.ft. bulk floor storage area which contains parts too large to store elsewhere in the building. Boeing has packaging engineers in-house to design boxes, which are made from heat-teated treated wood and shaped for the most efficient fit on cargo aircraft.
Each package leaving the facility includes a Boeing 8130—an FAA form stating that the part is airworthy. The SDC’s top priority is AOG. All AOG parts are ready to ship in four hours. The facility’s mission is “right part, right place, right time.
Source : Personal notes and observations/ Pictures MRO online
ON THE AIRBUS FRONT
Airbus Rolls Out Higher-Capacity A321neo
Assembly of the first A321 neo ACF (Airbus Cabin Flex) has been completed in Hamburg, the manufacturer confirms.
The CFM International Leap-1A powered narrow body will undergo ground tests prior to its scheduled first flight Airbus adds. It gives “mid-2018” as the time frame for the first delivery to a customer.
The variant’s exits are positioned immediately aft of the wing and can be removed to allow a higher-density seating capability. In the high-density single-class layout, with a space-saving aft galley installed, the aircraft can seat up to 240 passengers.
This total is attained by locating 102 seats ahead of the overawing exits, six at the exits themselves, with 59 in the cabin between the wing and repositioned aft exits and 73 in the rearmost section. Pegasus, Qatar Airways and VietJet are intending to take the A321neo ACF.
Source : Airbus/Picture Airbus
Mitsubishi Aircraft Details Latest Organizational Changes
Mitsubishi Aircraft plans to undergo organizational changes that will see MRJ program director, Alex Bellamy, run what the company calls its new program management division which started on January 1, 2018.
The division was established to “reinforce the development and management of the MRJ program,” the division encompasses the newly established integrated product team (IPT) execution department, the governance management office, and the product strategy office.
In a recent interview with AIN, Bellamy reported that the program teams had flown four flight-test airplanes a total of some 1,500 hours, while production crews had attached wings and began painting the fifth flight-test airplane. Bellamy detailed the status of the flight-test program at Moses Lake, Washington, where the four existing flight-test airplanes have completed more than 50 percent of their duties ahead of expected certification in late 2019. Targeting first delivery to launch All Nippon Airways in mid-2020, program leadership now expects the MRJ flight-test airplanes to clock as many as 3,000 hours, some 500 hours more than originally allocated.
Source : AIN/Photo Mitsubishi Aircraft
GE Completes First Ground Test of Advanced Turboprop Engine
Aviation completed the first test run of the new Advanced Turboprop (ATP) at GE’s Prague engine manufacturing facility in the Czech Republic. The first application for the 1,240-shp ATP is the Cessna Denali single-engine turboprop, which is scheduled to fly late this year. Engine certification testing begins this year.
With a 16:1 overall pressure ratio, the engine is expected to offer 20 percent lower fuel burn and 10 percent higher cruise speed compared with competing engines. Time between overhaul is set at 4,000 hours. The ATP is part of a family that will include engines in 1,000-to 1,600-shp range.
This new engine is also aimed at the Pilatus PC-12 and Daher TBM900.
Source : GE Aviation/ Ge Aviation Picture
OTHER AVIATION NEWS
Alaska Airlines Set to Anchor Paine Field Opening Late this Year
Seattle-based Alaska Airlines is looking to solidify an anchor presence at the redeveloped Paine Field-Snohomish County Airport in Everett, Washington with the January 16 announcement of 13 daily flights to eight cities set to launch in the fall of this year.
Alaska’s new point-to-point destinations from Paine Field will be Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Orange County, California; Phoenix; Portland; San Diego; San Francisco; and San Jose, California. Alaska said it will detail flight frequencies and departure/arrival times in the year, pending government approval.
Snohomish County is partnering with Propeller Airports to build a new passenger terminal at the airport for a planned opening in the fall of this year. Paine Field, originally constructed in 1936, is the home for Boeing’s Everett Factory, the manufacturing plant for Boeing’s 747, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft. The airport is also home to over 650 general aviation, business and historic aircraft. Of the three runways at the airport, only one— Runway 16R/34L, at 9,010 ft in length and 150 ft. in width— is suitable for large aircraft. Alaska said last year that it is planning to utilize Boeing 737 and Embraer E175s for the new routes.
United Airlines is also planning for commercial flights at Paine Field. In August 2017 the Chicago-based carrier said it will operate six daily flights from the airport to its hubs in Denver and San Francisco.
Source : ATW/Ed’s Research on airport information
GECAS Takes Delivery of its 394th—And Last—Next Generation 737
Culminating a 20-year history of new orders for the type, GECAS has received its 394th and final skyline order of Boeing’s Next Generation 737.
With an initial order placed in 1996, GECAS’ NG order book accounts for roughly one of every NGs delivered to date. Surpassing other lessor’s skyline orders for the type, GECAS’ placements of NG’s have been leased to 64 operators across 32 countries. Exclusively powered by CFM-56 engines, the narrow body has served the airline industry for decades and is ideally suited for both commercial passenger and cargo aircraft.
“An exceptionally valuable asset in our portfolio, the Next-Generation 737 has been incredibly reliable for our customers,” states Declan Kelly, GECAS Executive Vice President, noting “Much of our success since the 1990’s is in some way attributable to the NG and the relationship we’ve developed with the team at Boeing.”
The Next-Generation 737 has been an icon of the aviation industry for two decades,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Kevin McAllister.
“It’s been a workhorse for the airlines and lessors alike and we’re proud to have delivered so many of these airplanes to GECAS. We look forward to beginning a new chapter of success together when GECAS takes delivery of its first 737 MAX this year.”
Source : GECAS/Boeing
FAA Approves 787-10 for Airworthiness
Singapore Airlines can take delivery of the first Boeing 787-10 on schedule after the US Federal Aviation Administration approved an amended type certificate.
Boeing announced the entry into service for the 787-10 as broadly the “first half of 2018”, but the approval of the amended type certificate now means that the first delivery could happen by the end of the first quarter.
Four years after Boeing launched the third and largest member of the 787 family, the 787-10 with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-TEN engines entered flight testing 10 months ago at Boeing’s factory in North Charleston, South Carolina. The smaller 787-8 and 787-9 models will continue to be assembled in North Charleston and Everett, Washington, and the 787-10 is exclusively assembled in South Carolina.
The 787-10 received approval from the FAA after completing about 900 test hours. The aircraft is 5m(16.4ft)longer than the 787-9, but the two aircraft are nearly identical with a few exceptions. To accommodate the longer fuselage on takeoff, Boeing installed a 777-300 ER-style semi-levered main landing gear.
Boeing also increased commonality by moving some design changes made for the 787-10 into the smaller 787-9. The latter is now produced using the stronger wing designed for the 787-10.The 787-9 also uses hybrid laminar flow control in the vertical tail only, after the same system was deleted from the vertical stabilizers in the 787-10.
Source : Boeing/Boeing Picture
- Xiamen Air has committed to purchase 150 CFM LEAP-1B engines and MRO support for 20 engines at $2.05 billion. The engines will be used to power Xiamen Air’s Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
- Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services has committed to lease the first two Boeing 737-800 freighters(737-800SF) converted by Aeronautical Engineers INC.(AEI) from GECAS, with the first delivery expected in June of this year.
- Air Astana has taken delivery of the first Airbus A321neo. The aircraft, on lease from AerCap, is configured with 28 business class and 151 economy class seats.
- Ukraine International Airlines took delivery of a Boeing 737-800 NG in December, completing its 2017 fleet expansion program.
- Silver Airways Florida-based regional carrier has firmed its order for 20 ATR turboprops
- KfW IPEX-Bank has financed two Boeing 787-9s, equipped with Rolls-Royce engines for Air New Zealand.
- Irish Lessor AerCap firmed an order with Rolls-Royce to power 10 forthcoming Boeing 787-9s with Trent 1000-TEN engines. The transition is valued at $450 million at list prices.
- Emirates Airlines has announced a $16 billion deal for up to 36 additional Airbus A380s.The Commitment is for 20 A380s and 16 options with deliveries to start in 2020.
Aeronautical Engineers, Inc Delivers B737F to ASL
Aeronautical Engineers, Inc, has redelivered a B737-400SF freighter to Irish based ASL Aviation – the company’s one hundredth conversion of this type.
ACL Aviation owns and operates a fleet of nearly 90 jet and turboprop aircraft, providing capacity for up to 147 passengers or 40 tons of cargo.
The delivery represents the thirteenth AEI B737-400 converted freighter that has been re-delivered to ASL over the last few years.
ASL currently has an additional four B737-400SF freighters, either undergoing conversion or scheduled for modification in 2018, at partner Commercial Jet’s Dothan, Alabama facility.
AEI president Roy Sandri said: “This milestone represents another important achievement in AEI’s history”.
“The AEI B737-400SF has been an exceptionally successful fighter for not only ASL, but all our leasing and operator customers worldwide.”
Source : aircargonews/ ASL Picture/Ed’s Research
Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul News
Southwest Adds MRO Capacity
Southwest Airlines is pressing ahead with plans to build a new maintenance facility at Houston Hobby airport.
The new 240,000sq-ft hanger will have space for six Boeing 737 aircraft and will include aircraft wash facilities on the apron outside, taxiway connections, parking and loading docks, as well as offices and parts storage areas. Work on the hanger should begin this spring to ready it for opening in late 2019.
Once the project is finished, SWA will have six maintenance facilities in the US, which should leave it less exposed to some of the mishaps that have resulted from outsourced MRO work in the past.
The new maintenance capacity is also needed to service a growing fleet. Southwest has roughly 200 Boeing 737 Max 7 and Max 8 narrow bodies on order, although it recently deferred deliveries of 23 Max 7s from the 2019-2021 period to 2023 and 2024. In December the airline indicated that it might use gains from proposed corporate tax cuts in the US to further invest in its fleet. Most of its backlog is for the larger Max 8 model, to which 40 more units were added in late December when SWA excessed options with Boeing.
Source : mro-network/Ed’s Research/Picture Southwest Airlines
MRO Latest News
- LATAM Airlines Group plans to build a maintenance center at Sao Paulo Guarulhos Airport in the second half of this year to simultaneously service seven wide bodies or 19 narrow bodies.
- Limco Airepair has a Korean Air contract to maintain aircraft heat exchangers.
- Precision Aircraft Solutions redelivered three Boeing 757-200PCFs in December 2017: two to AF Airlines and the third to YTO. Haeco Xiamen, Ameco each modified one.
- Bulgaria Air has awarded FL Technics a three-year deal to undertake base checks. Work has already begun on an initial Airbus A319.
- Eva Air has extended its co-operation with Lufthansa Tecknik to cover component maintenance on its Boeing 777 Freighters. EVA Air took delivery of its first 777F in November 2017 and set to receive four more through September 2019.
Researched and Compiled by : Ed Kaplanian
Commercial Aviation Advisor
Contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
P.S. To all my international readers, thank you for following my blog. Your comments, questions and suggestions will be appreciated.