The Chart:

Monday, June 30, 2014

Project Ozark Lives

The 1500th 747 delivery came and went without much fanfare. That was disappointing to me. But...

More news of orders for the 747-8, specifically for the Intercontinental, are mentioned in this Aviation Week article. The article makes the 747-8, more than ever, sound like a continuous work in progress to eke out better and better economics. As far as I know, this is a new style of business for Boeing. The first 747-400s performed about as well as the ones that rolled out 10+ years later.

Lufthansa says the aircraft is meeting original specs, but they want more. Boeing seems willing to bend over backwards to keep the model in production. They've removed 9,000 pounds, and they want to remove more. They want to raise MTOW over a million pounds, and they want to extend real world range over 8,200 nautical miles. These are all part of Project Ozark, which is Boeing's program name covering all of these continued improvements.

Leeham has once again rained on the parade, with more pragmatic doom and gloom. Let's hope Boeing can prove them wrong.

At least it's good to have so much discussion still going on about the 747. It was getting pretty quiet for a while there, and that's what I found really disconcerting.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The Day They Delivered the 1,500th 747

Maybe not today exactly, but the papers have been signed, and the fly away is pending. One Thousand Five Hundred 747 Jumbos built... but technically fewer delivered into service so far, as at least eleven frames prior to this frame have yet to enter service (line 1 never did either, the only 747 that's waited longer than line 1416). Maybe we can have another celebration in ten or so deliveries.

Lufthansa will take line 1500 (RC035) D-ABYP back to Frankfurt, and there couldn't be a better customer for this milestone frame. Well, maybe Pan Am. It's funny; Lufthansa just got done feting their 75th 747 a few months ago, and now this much more significant milestone. Honestly, every delivery right now is a reason to party for me.

Anyhow, here's a great read on the event, as well as an even more interesting video which mentions interest in follow on orders from existing customers:

I'll be updating this post as more stuff starts to pop up.

 ... and we got a 1500 decal.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Potential Order Roundup

Rumors, rumors. That's all we seem to get regarding 747-8 orders right now:
  • Emirates - Boeing says they're in sales talks with Emirates to sell them 747-8Is. I have a feeling that, like me being in relationship talks with Kate Upton, this is a one sided discussion.
  • Asiana - They still fly 747-400 Converted Freighters, and four passenger 747s. While the passenger jets are most likely getting replaced by the "Big Boned" A380, they're reportedly in talks to replace the freighters with 747-8Fs.
  • China Airlines - The Taiwanese national carrier is starting to retire their 747-400 fleet this year. They have 31 total active frames, including 18 freighters and 13 passenger frames (including the last 747-400 passenger frame, delivered in 2005 and not even ten years old yet). The passenger frames are being retired for 777s starting at the end of the year, and losing first class. However, they might still order some 747-8Is and Fs to replace some of their long haul fleet. A lot of their 400s, however, are very young (less than twelve years old), and they've already parked three other freighters at the twelve year mark, so my feelings on this are mixed.
  • Centurion Air Cargo - They're expanding their fleet with 747-400Fs and supposedly some 747-8Fs
  • Lufthansa - I'm hoping for a top up order soon, maybe around the delivery of line 1500. The only evidence I have for this postulation is A.) earlier rumors about a 20th frame back in the order books, and B.) some excitement has to be made of the 1500th 747 being delivered.
  • Transaero - Still reported to be negotiating for four more 747-8Is (for a total of eight).
 Older rumors still hanging around:
  • Turkish - They've mentioned they're considering them before, and their relationship with Lufthansa gives me hope they'll order some 747-8Is after hearing how great they are from their German friends. Maybe they'll join in with Lufthansa on an announcement at the 1500th delivery ceremony. If it happens you'll call me brilliant!
  • Delta - After the CEO downplayed four holers, the only hope is that he's bluffing for a lower price from Boeing.
  • Etihad - They're still operating one 747-8F (via Atlas ACME) and they haven't said no to the 747-8I yet.
  • United - United loses hundreds of millions every quarter anyway. Might as well buy a few 747-8I and fly them half empty! That was a joke!!
We really need some 2014 firm orders to happen soon.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Delivery Dearth (but...)

Well so far it's June, almost halfway through the year, and we have 5 deliveries of 747-8s, which makes even 1.5 frames manufactured a month seem high. This time last year we had about 11 deliveries. It seems nobody but Lufthansa wants their jumbos. NCA's two seem destined to join their sister in the desert, SilkWay's and Cargolux's have languished for months, and nobody seems sure who lines 1501 and 1502 are even meant for.

But today Silkway's line 1493 (RC641) 4K-SW881 went for a C1 flight. Does this mean she'll deliver soon? Or is it a fake out and will she go into storage. Stay tuned... In the meanwhile, Lufthansa should take delivery of line 1500 (RC035) D-ABYP this month. I'm hoping they make an event out of it.

You know who

And here are some great pictures of the 747 FAL just recently taken.