Boeing finally found another customer for the beleaguered 747-8i program. This new variant of the 747, using new technology engines also used on the 787, plus a new wing and new systems, provides economic improvements over the existing 747-400 to better compete with the A380. The key question is whether this is a bellwether order to be followed by additional commercial success, or fills a replacement need for some existing aircraft and not much more. Continue reading
The news that the head of the troubled Boeing 747-8 program, Mohammad “Mo” Yahyavi, was removed August 27 is long overdue and only endemic of the slow pace at Boeing to address and correct program difficulties.
Inexplicably, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney—who inherited a growing mess from former CEO Harry Stonecipher (and his interim successor and caretaker, the late Lew Platt)—has been excruciatingly slow to make changes in the 787 and 747 programs.
While the 787 has garnered all the attention and headlines for what is fast approaching three years in delays after seven program reschedulings, the less-visible 747-8 is also a poster child for Things Wrong at Boeing.
Even before the 787 roll out on 7/8/07, information was circulating that resources were being diverted to or retained by the 787 program from the 747-8 and other programs. As the 787 problems got worse, so did the insidious affect on other programs. Boeing’s plan had been that once the 787 entered service in May 2008, a replacement airplane for the 737 was going to be pursued, followed by one for the 777. But the issues with the 787 and 747-8 upset these plans.