Monday, August 16, 2010

Saudi arms deal will include Apaches & Black Hawks

On top of a proposed deal to sell 84 Boeing F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, the Obama administration is also poised to sell about 70 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters (made by United Technologies) and up to 60 Boeing AH-64 Apache Longbow helicopters to the birthplace of Islam.  If the deal is pushed through, it would be the largest overseas U.S. arms sale in history, with estimates putting the total cost to as much as $60 billion over 10 years.  The arms package will include flight simulators, spare parts, and long-term support, but the aircraft and rotorcraft involved will not have certain weapon systems installed that U.S. officials deem "conducive to regional stability" or would be seen as objectionable by Israel or Congress.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New video of first 787 Dreamliner

Here's a link to a neat 3 minute video that showcases the interior of ZA001, the first Boeing 787 Dreamliner to come off the production line.

787 Video

Monday, August 9, 2010

Saudi Arabia to acquire F-15 Fighter Jets

The Obama administration is proceeding with a plan to sell 84 Boeing F-15 Fighter Planes to Saudi Arabia.  The 10-year arms package, which is worth about $30 billion (and is one of the biggest deals of its kind), is designed to help the Saudis check the growing Iranian threat within the Middle East.  The proposed sale has come under a bit of fire from Israel.  However, the U.S. has made efforts to quell Israel's concerns by agreeing not to equip the F-15's with advanced long-range weapons, which Israel had strongly opposed when the deal was first developed.  Along with the F-15's, the deal will also include several dozens of UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopters from United Technologies Corp.

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Inmarsat to purchase 3 Boeing satellites

U.K.-based Inmarsat has announced that it will purchase three Ka-Band satellites from Boeing for a total cost of around $1 billion, beating French satellite maker Thales Alenia Space.  The satellites will allow Inmarsat to provide high mobile broadband speeds (up to 20 times faster compared to its existing fleet of 11 L-Band satellites) to its commercial and government clients by the end of 2014.

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Cathay Pacific orders 777-300ER

Today, Cathay Pacific agreed to purchase six 777-300ER aircraft from Boeing (in addition to 30 Airbus A350-900 aircraft as well).  The order comes amidst increasing passenger revenue and cargo traffic for Hong Kong's largest airline.

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Boeing to move C-130 & B-1 from Long Beach to Oklahoma City

In what company officials say is a cost cutting move in light of expected cuts in defense spending, Boeing has announced that it will be relocating both its C-130 Avionics Modernization and B-1 programs from Long Beach, CA to Oklahoma City, OK.  The move will begin around the first quarter of 2011 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2012.  Out of the 800 workers that are currently employed by both programs, about 550 will be relocated, with the rest to be transitioned into another programs within Boeing.

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Monday, August 2, 2010

P-8A Poseidon T3 Completes First Flight Test

Aircraft T3, one of 6 flight-test aircraft for the Navy's P-8A Poseidon program, successfully completed a 2.8 hour flight test from Boeing Field in Seattle, WA.  During the flight, T3 performed various in-flight systems checks including autopilot flight modes and APU and engine shutdowns and re-starts.  Next up for T3 is for it to join sister test-aircraft T1 and T2 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River (located in Maryland) where it will undergo further ground and flight tests.  T3 has been designated as the P-8A program's mission system and weapon certification aircraft.  The U.S. Navy plans on purchasing up to 117 P-8A Poseidon aircraft (which is based on a Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 airframe) to replace its aging fleet of P-3 Orion anti-submarine/maritime surveillance aircraft.

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Emirates offers advice on future of 777

Good read from the Seattle Times about Tim Clark, president of Dubai-based Emirates, whose extraordinary growth has been nothing short of remarkable in spite of the slow global economy.  Because Emirates owns the world's largest 777 fleet (86 aircraft with 46 more on order), they wield significant influence on Boeing's future plans for their 777 family, whether it be improvements to the existing airframe or an all new aircraft type.  Clark's advice to Boeing?  Develop a new family of twin-engine aircraft "bigger" than the largest Dreamliner, using the existing 777-300ER as a baseline.  It also must be able to fly several hundred miles farther than the 777-300ER on a full 55-ton payload.  Boeing does need to make a decision soon on its 777 plans with the Airbus A350-1000 (which is viewed as a direct competitor to the 777) scheduled to come into service within the next decade.  Does Boeing invest billions of dollars to develop a new 777 aircraft just to satisfy one customer, albeit a very powerful and very rich customer???

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