The Chart:

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I've Got Good News and Bad News...

First the bad: Boeing is lowering their production rate to 1.5 frames a month, 18 a year, down from 1.75 a month, or 21 a year. This doesn't really bother me, because I'd forgotten they were actually at 1.75 and not already at 1.5. This rate extends the current backlog to approximately three years.

Now the good: Project Ozark is a big deal (thanks to Mario Felarca for the link). Not only is Boeing continuing to improve the 747-8, but they have ambitious targets they want to reach, including an 8500 nautical mile range. Boeing doesn't design their planes in a vacuum. They rely on customer input, so there must be some substantial interest in jumbo jets with this kind of range (the newest A380s will also have an 8500 nm range). An easy guess would be the Middle Eastern carriers, but it very well could be anyone. Well maybe not anyone. I doubt it's Southwest Airlines or Air Koryo. I'm speculating that one of the targets is Emirates, possibly as a replacement for some of their A380s when they start to retire them. I think Qantas could be another target.

Lastly, GE is looking at software changes to stop icing in the cores of their 747-8 engines. This event has happened a couple times now, but hasn't caused a real emergency yet thanks to having three spare engines on each jet. What scares me more about this issue is the prospect of it happening on a 787, which shares very similar engines to the 747-8, but only has two.


  1. Korean airlines just announced an order for 5 more 747-8s

    "Korean Air Lines Co. (003490), the country’s biggest carrier, agreed to buy $3.7 billion of aircraft from Boeing Co. (BA) to modernize its fleet amid growing travel demand.

    The carrier is buying five 747-8 Intercontinentals, five 777-300ERs and one 787 Dreamliner, the Seoul-based airline said in a regulatory filing. Korean Air’s board today approved the purchase, for which initial agreements were announced earlier.

    The orders for the new stretched version of the 747 jet, known for its iconic fuselage hump, will help the carrier retire 15 older 747-400 jumbos from its fleet by 2017. Korean Air,"

    full article at

  2. Good to see the June PAS announcement finalized. Now hopefully we can see the Transeaero, Air China, and unidentified MoUs turned into firm orders as well, which would be another 10 8i frames. Perhaps the Etihad rumors from earlier in the year may come to fruition along with their rumored 77X order at the upcoming Dubai Air Show. Perhaps they could eventually become another operator that uses both the 8i and 8F.