Mock up of the Boeing 747-8I in full Boeing livery. Photo by Boeing.
A quick little update on the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the Boeing 737. Too much interesting news coming from Boeing to write individual posts, so here we go:
787 DREAMLINER ZA102 AND OTHERS:
Boeing announced on Monday that they expect the first 787 to be delivered to All Nippon Airways (ANA) during third quarter 2011. Boeing stated, “The new delivery date reflects the impact of an in-flight incident during testing last November and includes the time required to produce, install and test updated software and new electrical power distribution panels in the flight test and production airplanes.” They have also worked additional time into the schedule in-case other issues pop up between now and then. Flight Blogger asks some important questions of these changes. ZA001, ZA002, ZA004 and ZA005 are all back in test flight status.
As of now ZA102, the ninth 787, has still not taken flight. Word was it was supposed to take flight on Monday, but as of now it still has not flown. I asked Lori Gunter, with Boeing 787 Communications, about the delay and she brought up a great point. “It wouldn’t be right to call it a delay. We are working through the disciplined process of getting to first flight. Until all of the work is complete, we won’t fly. Boeing has not committed to a first flight date on ZA102.” All the 787s are still going through the testing phase and I am sure Boeing wants ZA102 to fly more than us outside observers do.
747-8 INTERCONTINENTAL ROLL OUT DATE: On Tuesday, Boeing announced the roll-out ceremony for the passenger version of the 747-8I (RC001) will be on February 13th — a perfect Valentine’s gift for all those airline geeks out there. The Boeing 747-8 Freighter has been conducting flight tests, but this will be the first Boeing 747-8 that will carry passengers. I have been told the first aircraft will be delivered to a private buyer. As of December 2010, the Boeing 747-8 has eight private buyers, which were all governments. I haven’t been able to track down who will take delivery of the first Boeing 747-8I. However, I have confirmed the aircraft will be in Boeing livery, but unsure if it will be the full livery or light (I am hoping for the full). At this time, Boeing does not know the exact time and of course the date could move depending on the circumstances. I will keep you updated on any changes for the roll out and first flight of the 747-8I. If you can’t make it to see in person, Boeing will be providing a live webcast of the event.
737 FUEL EFFICIENT ENGINES: Although the Boeing 747-8 and 787 have been getting a lot of attention recently, the Boeing 737 is making a bit of news as well. United/Continental has been working with Boeing to test out a new, more fuel efficient engine on the 737. It might only be a 2% savings, but with the average flying of a Boeing 737, that can add up to about $125,000.00 in savings per airplane, per year — not to mention the environment impact.Learn more about this and watch a video on Boeing’s website.
UPDATES: Man, Boeing is just on a roll this week with exciting information. I normally do one blog per day, but have been doing two per day because of Boeing’s good stuff. Here are two more additions announced today:
777-300ER FOR AMERICAN AIRLINES American Airlines and Boeing announced today that the airline has ordered two Boeing 777-300ER. This is the first US airline that has ordered this type of aircraft. The two -300ERs will join American’s fleet of 47 Boeing 777-200ERs. American hopes to take delivery of the new aircraft in late 2012.
CHINA ORDERS 200 BOEING AIRPLANES
Again today, Boeing announced that China will order 200 aircraft worth a reported $19billion. Boeing spokesman Miles Kotay told KOMO news that the deal is for 185 Boeing 737 jets and 15 Boeing 777s. Although exciting, this does not change the current 737 backlog numbers, but confirms the finalization of orders already announced.
Airbus versus Boeing. Who doesn’t love a good competition between the world’s two largest commercial airline manufactures? I try to say I am not slanted one way or another, but living 15 minutes away from where most Boeing aircraft are made might make me a bit biased. The saying around these parts, “If it isn’t Boeing, I am not going,” is pretty popular. I actually know a few people who honestly will not fly an Airbus or Boeing product just on principle. I don’t go that far.
Anyhow one of the constant “this manufacture is better,” arguments I hear is that the Airbus A320 seats are so much wider than the B0eing 737s. I figured it was time to find out. I took a look at airlines from around the world that fly both aircraft and used SeatGuru.com to find out the width of each seat.
I wanted to check the accuracy of the information SeatGuru has on their site, so I spoke with Jami Counter, Senior director of the site and he stated, “SeatGuru’s content team utilizes flyer comments to maintain the accuracy of our airplane seat information and updates the site with both user-submitted reviews and independent research.” That being said, I am by no means saying this is 100% scientific, but I think it can give a good comparison between the two.
Both the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 families have the same width no matter what model they might be (ie a Boeing 737-200 is just as wide as a -900). Airbus starts out ahead with a fuselage width of 156″ and a cabin width of 146″. The Boeing 737 is a bit smaller with a 148″ fuselage and only 139″ in the cabin. This means that the Airbus A320 has 7 more inches of width than the Boeing 737. If an airline did things right, each seat and the aisle could have 1″ more width than the 737.
I took a look at airlines running the Boeing 737 and/or the Airbus A320. I compared both the standard economy seating and also premium seating (some airlines call it first class, business, etc). The economy is shown with an “E” and premium with a “P.” If an airline had multiple seat widths in the same category, I averaged them together. Here are my results in inches:
On average, the Airbus A320 seats are wider, but not by much. Only about 1/2″ in economy and almost no difference with premium seats. It seems that airlines and seat manufactures are not using that extra 7″ of cabin width that the Airbus A320 provides.
When I asked Counter from SeatGuru about his thoughts, he told me, “While the A320 does have a wider diameter fuselage, it doesn’t necessarily mean that airlines will put in a significantly wider seat.” He also took a look at the data they have on their site and came to a similar conclusion that the A320 will have slightly more width on average. “On SeatGuru we’ve found that while there is some variation, we generally see airlines give about 17-17.2″ seat width in coach on a B737, while they give about 17.5″-18″ seat width in coach on an A320. These differences depend on the types of seats airlines use, as well as the overall seating configuration of the aircraft. ”
Is it worth making an effort to fly on a Airbus A320 for more room? I am going to say no. I know that many people have a preference of aircraft type they fly on and I am assuming that fractions of an inch isn’t going to persuade a person one way or another. However, airline loyalist have always surprised me in the past. Does this information change your views on flying on either the Boeing 737 or Airbus A320?
What flies, is the best selling jetliner in history and is getting some new insides? That’s right… the Boeing 737. Boeing is getting closer to finishing the first new Boeing 737 “Sky Interior.”
Forty five airlines and leasing companies have ordered the Boeing Sky Interior for more than 1,100 airplanes; that’s half of Boeing’s 737 backlog. It will be the new standard in the single-aisle market.
The first Boeing 737 with a completed interior will be done by the end of October, until then, you can check out their process in this video.
Be sure to check the winglet in one of the shots to give away who will be taking delivery of this aircraft.
Last Saturday, I decided to drive around Paine Field located in Everett, WA. I have done it before, but not since I started my blog. I wanted to see what planes I could see and how close I could get before hitting a fence. I was quite surprised with some of the views I found.
I took my camera and iPhone along and took pictures and thought you might be interested in what I saw:
The best part, it was all free and anyone can access all the areas I went. The day was gray and rainy, but well worth it. Turns out a Twitter follower, Kevin (@TxAgFlyer), followed the same path on Sunday and got some pretty nice pictures with the sky being blue and purple, instead of gray.