Boeing 787 Dreamliners have a new manufacturing problem, the FAA says – this time in the jets’ noses

Boeing 787 Dreamliner unveil
The first Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

  • Some undelivered Boeing 787 Dreamliners have a new manufacturing issue, the FAA said.
  • The problem is near the Dreamliner’s nose and will be fixed before the 787s are delivered, it said.
  • Boeing previously halted deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner due to quality-control problems.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Monday said that some undelivered Boeing 787 Dreamliners had a new manufacturing quality issue, Reuters first reported.

Boeing, the largest US planemaker, will fix the problem before the planes will be delivered, the FAA said.

The issue is “near the nose on certain 787 Dreamliners in the company’s inventory of undelivered airplanes,” The FAA said. The problem was discovered during an inspection of Boeing’s 787 manufacturing, the administration said.

“Although the issue poses no immediate threat to flight safety, Boeing has committed to fix these airplanes before resuming deliveries,” the FAA added.

The air regulators said it “will determine whether similar modifications should be made on 787s already in commercial service” after a review of data.

Boeing declined to comment to Reuters. The airplane firm has around 100 undelivered 787s in inventory.

Boeing suspended deliveries of the 787 in May after the FAA raised concerns about its proposed inspection method. The administration said it was “waiting for additional data from Boeing before determining whether the company’s solution meets safety regulations.”

In September, the FAA said it was investigating manufacturing flaws involving some 787 Dreamliners. Boeing said in August airlines operating its 787 Dreamliners removed eight jets from service because of two separate manufacturing issues.

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Amazon and cargo airlines are scouring the Arizona desert for old and cheap passenger jets to fly packages

A stored Boeing 767-300 aircraft - Pinal Air Park Aircraft Storage Facility Visit
A stored Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

  • Cargo carriers such as Amazon’s Prime Air are searching the American Southwest for former airliners stored in the desert.
  • Arizona is home to Pinal Air Park, where between 40 and 50 jets have been bought by cargo carriers.
  • Older passenger planes were bought at a discount during the pandemic and converted to freighters.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

When consumers turned to Amazon to buy more goods during the pandemic, Amazon turned to aircraft storage facilities in the desert to buy more cargo planes.

The rise of pandemic online shopping and e-commerce caused a cargo industry boom in the past year. While passenger airlines found themselves with too many airplanes, cargo airlines had too little and went shopping for planes being stored in the American Southwest.

“80% of all the stored aircraft worldwide are stored basically in the Southwest,” Scott Butler, chief commercial officer for Marana, Arizona-based Ascent Aviation Services, told Insider. Ascent is responsible for storing most of the aircraft at Pinal Air Park in Marana on behalf of airlines and aircraft leasing companies.

While some might know these facilities as the places where aircraft go to die, they’ve been keeping airliners alive by preserving them through the pandemic. More than 400 aircraft from airlines around the world were stored in Marana alone during the worst of the crisis.

They’ve also been veritable shopping malls for cargo carriers and startup airlines looking to purchase planes on the cheap.

A stored Boeing 767-300 aircraft - Pinal Air Park Aircraft Storage Facility Visit
A stored Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

Between 40 and 50 aircraft left Marana bound for cargo airlines since the start of the pandemic, with Boeing’s 737-800 and 767-300ER being the most popular. Aircraft sales didn’t occur straightaway after March as airlines contemplated whether to hold on to the planes until aircraft values recovered from the nosedive they took in the pandemic’s early days.

“[Airlines] didn’t want to sell an aircraft that had multiple years of use left,” Butler said, “but as pandemic dragged on, the need to convert assets into cash became necessary.”

Airlines were losing billions each quarter and shedding aircraft was one way of stopping the bleeding. Amazon was a major customer and bought 11 Boeing 767-300ER aircraft from Delta Air Lines and Canada’s WestJet to power its Prime Air fleet.

Read More: Amazon Air’s plane-buying spree could put 95% of Americans in 1-day shipping range, a new report says

Once purchased, the former passenger jets still need to be converted into freighters, a process that’s only performed in a handful of facilities around the world. And there is a backlog of aircraft waiting to be converted.

Israel Aerospace Industries is one of Amazon’s conversion partners of choice. The Middle Eastern firm is a long-time player in the conversion realm with experience on Boeing jets and is also working on converting the world’s largest twin-engine passenger plane into the world’s largest twin-engine cargo plane.

Boeing 767-300ER cargo conversion
Converting a Boeing 767-300ER to a cargo plane.

Conversions take between 90 and 120 days, depending on the aircraft, and can cost between $13 and $14 million for a Boeing 767-300ER, almost the cost of a second-hand 767 itself. There is a wait, though, and Israel Aerospace Industries’ Yossi Melamed told Insider in February that the firm is booked through 2022.

Some cargo carriers that had planes stored in Marana were quick to get them flying again. Atlas Air was one that reactivated four Boeing 747-400F cargo planes to handle the increase in demand, Air Cargo News reported.

“We had three 747-400s on-site for National Airlines for an extended period of time and when cargo picked up last year, they put them back into service,” Butler said, adding that it wasn’t a cheap endeavor to restore the planes to flying service but the airline likely saw more value in having the planes flying than sitting on the ground.

The modern-day gold rush in the Arizona desert, however, has largely dried up as Marana’s best aircraft have been bought off. But that doesn’t stop airlines from trying.

“I get calls, still, from people looking for cargo aircraft in the desert and they just don’t exist right now,” Butler said. “Anything that has storage capacity, has some good engines on it, and has some time on it left, [cargo operators] are utilizing the aircraft far more than passenger operators were.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Cargo plane makes emergency landing in ocean near Honolulu

The silhouette of a Boeing 737 cargo jet
The silhouette of a Boeing 737 cargo jet. A cargo jet reportedly landed in the water near Honolulu, Hawaii.

  • A Boeing 737-200 cargo plane with two people on board made an emergency landing in the ocean off the coast of Honolulu, Hawaii, early Friday.
  • The aircraft went into the water at around 2:30 a.m. local time about two miles from Kalaeloa Airport.
  • Both pilots aboard the jet have been rescued by the US Coast Guard.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A Boeing 737-200 cargo plane with just two pilots on board made an emergency landing in the ocean off the coast of Honolulu, Hawaii early Friday morning, officials said.

Transair Flight 810 – operated by Rhoades Aviation, Inc – was forced to land in the water at around 2:30 a.m. local time, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed in a statement to Insider, after having trouble with both of its engines.

The emergency landing took place two miles from Kalaeloa Airport.

“The pilots had reported engine trouble and were attempting to return to Honolulu when they were forced to land the aircraft in the water,” the FAA said.

Both pilots have been rescued by the US Coast Guard.

“The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate,” the agency added.

Air traffic control had cleared the Boeing 737-200, operating as”Rhodes Express 810,” for takeoff from Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport on Runway 8R minutes before the incident occurred. Flightradar 24 data then shows the aircraft making an immediate right turn from the runway, climbing to an altitude of 2,000 feet.

The flight map of Transair flight 810.
The flight map of Transair flight 810.

Confusion ensued as air traffic control appeared to miss multiple calls from the aircraft attempting to declare an emergency after experiencing engine issues, according to air traffic control recordings reviewed by Insider.

“Rhodes 810, radio check, how do you read?” pilots asked Honolulu Tower after not hearing a response to their emergency call. Air traffic control had also been communicating and servicing other aircraft throughout the emergency, the recordings show.

Another Rhodes Aviation aircraft sharing a similar callsign was on approach to land, further complicating the airwaves. Pilots didn’t immediately return to the airport and kept flying away from Honolulu, stating that they needed to “run a checklist” and would stay around 15 miles from the airport.

“When you get a chance, can I get a nature of the emergency, I know you said an engine out, – which one? – how many souls on board and fuel?” air traffic control asked the aircraft as part of standard protocol.

Twin-engine jet aircraft can fly on a single engine in the event that one is lost. A United Airlines flight in February was able to land safely at Denver International Airport after losing an engine shortly after takeoff.

But by the time the aircraft requested to head back to Honolulu airport, they had lost sight of the airport and needed air traffic control to provide vectors. Pilots anticipated losing both engines after the operating engine showed signs of overheating, which would’ve decimated the aircraft’s ability to maintain viable altitude and speed to land safely at Honolulu or any airport if too far from shore.

“Proceed direct to the airport and you are cleared to land any runway,” air traffic advised.

“Will you let the Coast Guard know, we can’t maintain altitude,” one pilot told air traffic control.

“Rhodes Express 810, the Coast Guard is on their way,” air traffic control said and then suggested a diversion to nearby Kalaeloa Airport, only three miles away. Pilots turned the aircraft in a likely attempted to land at Kalaeloa Airport but couldn’t maintain altitude and was forced to land in the water.

The entire flight, from takeoff to the emergency water landing, lasted less than 15 minutes.

The Boeing 737-200 involved was 46 years old and had started its life flying for Pacific Western Airlines in Canada, according to Planespotters.net. After numerous stints in Canada and Malaysia, it found its way to Hawaii flying for Transair in July 2014.

Read the original article on Business Insider

From Tesla to Workhorse, here are the 50 most popular stocks among retail investors on Robinhood

GettyImages 1291817095
Robinhood is hugely popular among day traders, putting it at the center of the GameStop frenzy

Robinhood has been the poster child of the commission-free trading movement that has drawn a new generation of investors into the stock market, and its user base skews heavily to Millennial and Gen Z investors. From iconic companies like Apple, to upstarts looking to disrupt whole industries, here are the top 50 stock picks among Robinhood users.

50. Workhorse

Workhorse Truck
Workhorse

Workhorse, the Loveland, Ohio-based electric-vehicle maker, has become a retail favorite among other auto manufacturers, like Lordstown Motors and Canoo.

49. Boeing

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Thomas Pallini/Insider

Shares of the plane-maker have rallied more than 12% so far this year.

48. Zynga

Zynga Peak
Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The mobile-gaming company sees more than $1 billion in sales opportunity if it expands beyond mobile games to consoles and computers, Bloomberg reported.

47. Uber

Uber
Photo by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Shares of the San Francisco-based ride-hailing company have been barely changed so far this year.

46. United Airlines

Flying United Airlines during pandemic
Thomas Pallini/Insider

The airline slumped amid the COVID-19 pandemic but has turned around as air travel picks back up.

45. SPDR S&P 500 ETF

A number of value stocks have been surging on the S&P 500 in 2021.
Kena Betancur/VIEWpress

The ETF tracking the benchmark index has risen about 15% so far this year.

44. NVIDIA

nvidia impressive ceos 2x1
Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia. Nvidia; Skye Gould/Insider

The chip and graphics card producer has rallied more than 50% year-to-date.

43. General Motors

General Motors headquarters Detroit
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The automaker is among a slew of others in the industry that retail traders have rallied behind.

42. Coca-Cola

Coca-cola billboard
Peter Macdiarmid/Reuters

Shares of the Atlanta-based beverage company have rebounded from a slump earlier this year.

41. Vanguard S&P 500 ETF

Vanguard vs Fidelity
MoMo Productions

The exchange-traded fund has rallied 14% so far this year.

40. Norwegian Cruise Line

The Norwegian Prima cruise ship
Norwegian Cruise Line

The cruise industry was hit hard amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but shares of cruise operators are on the rebound as the world reopens.

39. Ideanomics

GettyImages 539998802
P. Steeger/Getty Images

Ideanomics, a small company focused on sustainability, has rallied alongside other meme stocks like GameStop this year.

38. Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic

The space tourism company has been a focus among Reddit retail traders for months. Shares soared in May after the company announced its successful test flight.

37. FuelCell Energy

fuel cell
REUTERS/Hugh Gentry

The Danbury, Connecticut-based company creates “clean, efficient and affordable fuel cell solutions,” according to its website.

36. AT&T

AT&T
Brendan McDermid/Reuters

The media and telecommunications company based in Dallas is among retail-trader favorites on Robinhood.

35. Moderna

woman getting vaccine
A physician injects someone with the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

Moderna shares have rallied in recent days since the pharmaceutical company announced its COVID-19 vaccine should work against the Delta variant.

34. Starbucks

A Starbucks barista makes coffee in Florida.
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The popular Seattle-based coffee maker recently added oat milk-based drinks to its menu.

33. Twitter

Twitter logo over computer
NurPhoto/Getty Images

The social-media site has been a hub for retail traders exchanging ideas this year.

32. Advanced Micro Devices

austin amd
Jack Plunkett/AP

Advanced Micro Devices, a semiconductor company, is frequently mentioned on Reddit investing threads like Wall Street Bets.

31. Canopy Growth

canopy growth
REUTERS/Chris Wattie

The Canadian cannabis company is one of a handful of its kind that are among retail-trader favorites.

30. Facebook

facebook logo
Getty

The social media behemoth is now worth more than $1 trillion after a federal judge dismissed antitrust lawsuits against the company.

29. Tilray

Tilray marijuana
Tilray

The Canadian cannabis company has seen a lot of Reddit hype as retail investors look to position themselves for the possibility of legalization in the US.

28. Coinbase Global

The photo shows physical imitations of cryptocurrency
INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images

Coinbase was the first major cryptocurrency exchange to go public on April 14.

27. Bank of America

BofA logo
Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Shares of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank have rallied about 36% so far this year.

26. OrganiGram

weed thc marijuana cbd cannabis
Olena Ruban/Getty Images

The Canadian cannabis company is one of several retail traders have hyped up.

25. Alibaba

alibaba jack ma NYSE
Alibaba went public on the NYSE in 2014. Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Shares of the Chinese e-commerce company have fallen about 2.6% this year.

24. Netflix

netflix
Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images

The streaming site recently launched an e-commerce store to sell items from popular shows like “The Witcher.”

23. Snap Inc.

Snapchat messaging application.JPG
REUTERS/Thomas White

Shares of the social site have rallied about 35% so far this year.

22. Delta Airlines

Delta Air Lines Airbus A320
A Delta Air Lines Airbus A320. Philip Pilosian/Shutterstock.com

The airline is among several others that struggled during the pandemic but has begun to rebound.

21. Churchill Capital Corp IV

money
Boonchai Wedmakawand/Getty Images

Shares of the special-purpose acquisition company have nearly tripled in price since going public earlier this year.

20. Palantir

Alex Karp - CEO of Palantir Alex Karp speaks to the press as he leaves the Elysee Palace in Paris, on May 23, 2018 after the "Tech for Good" summit, in Paris, France, on May 23, 2018.
Palantir CEO Alex Karp. Photo by Julien Mattia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Palantir CEO Alex Karp said the surveillance company is a favorite stock pick because the company respects the intelligence of the retail-trading community.

19. GoPro

GoPro Inc's founder and CEO Nick Woodman holds a GoPro camera in his mouth as he celebrates GoPro Inc's IPO at the Nasdaq Market Site in New York City, June 26, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Segar
GoPro Inc’s founder and CEO Woodman holds a GoPro camera in his mouth as he celebrates GoPro Inc’s IPO at the Nasdaq Market Site in New York City. Thomson Reuters

The maker of wearable cameras has rallied 38% so far this year.

18. Zomedica

veterinarian
Westend61/Getty Images

The Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company is focused on helping meet the needs of veterinarians, according to its website.

17. GameStop

gamestop store
John Minchillo/AP

GameStop was recently added to the Russell 1000 Index, a list of the largest companies based on market capitalization, thanks to its epic rally pushed by retail investors.

16. Carnival

carnival cruise
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The cruise line industry shuttered amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but operators like Carnival are making a comeback as the pandemic recedes.

15. Aurora Cannabis

Aurora Cannabis
Alberta Cannabis Inc/Handout via REUTERS

Aurora is another Canadia cannabis company that retail traders have flocked to amid excitement over potential legalization in the US.

14. Pfizer

pfizer vaccine us
Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The pharmaceutical company has surged in popularity, largely thanks to the production of its COVID-19 vaccine.

13. Nokia

FILE PHOTO: Visitors gather outside the Nokia booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez/File Photo
Reuters

Nokia has been looped into the basket of meme-stocks, like GameStop and AMC, that have gripped retail-traders attention this year.

12. Plug Power

Saudi Aramco hydrogen fueling station
Photo by Wang Haizhou/Xinhua via Getty Images

Plug Power, based in Latham, New York, is focused on creating hydrogen fuel cells to power vehicles.

11. American Airlines

American Airlines tails
American Airlines’ planes parked at a gate in Washington. Joshua Roberts/Reuters

The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline has rallied about 35% year-to-date.

10. Amazon

amazon warehouse truck shipping
ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

The e-commerce giant is among the biggest companies in the world with a $1.7 trillion market capitalization.

9. Microsoft

Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella is the CEO of Microsoft. Sean Gallup: Getty Images

Microsoft is among the largest companies in the world with a $2 trillion market capitalization.

8. Disney

Disney World
The Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World, Florida. Roberto Machado Noa / LightRocket via Getty Images

Shares of the media and entertainment conglomerate have dropped about 3% so far this year.

7. NIO

Nio
STR/AFP via Getty Images

The Chinese electric-vehicle maker has rallied more than 600% in the past year.

6. General Electric

GE.
General Electric reports strong earnings. Hussein Faleh/Getty Images

Shares of the long-time company have been on the rise this year, rallying about 25%.

5. Ford

Biden Ford
President Joe Biden drives the new electric Ford F-150 lightning at the Ford Dearborn Development Center in Dearborn, Michigan on May 18, 2021. Nicholas Kamm/Associated Press

The legacy automaker garnered attention earlier this year when President Joe Biden floored one of its electric trucks.

4. Sundial Growers

Marijuana Cannabis
AP Photo/Steven Senne, File

Sundial, among other Canadian cannabis companies, is a favorite among retail traders.

3. AMC Entertainment

AMC stock
Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AMC Entertainment became a retail-trader favorite earlier this year, and led a rally in memes last month amid renewed interest in meme stocks.

2. Apple

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Apple CEO Tim Cook. Karl Mondon/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images

The iPhone maker is the most valuable company in the world with a market cap of more than $2 trillion.

1. Tesla

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during the unveiling of the new Tesla Model Y in Hawthorne, California on March 14, 2019.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has captured retail-trader attention in both his company and in the realm of cryptocurrencies.

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United is upgrading most of its planes to include television screens, power outlets, and more by 2025 while getting rid of smaller jets

A rendering of United Airlines' new signature interior.
A rendering of United Airlines’ new signature interior.

  • United Airlines is adding 270 aircraft to its fleet that will come standard with seat-back television screens.
  • Existing Boeing and Airbus will be upgraded to include seat-back screens through 2025.
  • United can now better compete with Delta Air Lines and surpasses American Airlines in the entertainment realm.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

United Airlines is giving its aircraft a massive upgrade to keep flyers entertained.

The Chicago-based airline on Tuesday unveiled the largest aircraft order of its history for a total of 270 next-generation Boeing and Airbus aircraft. The order, part of the “United Next” plan, will overhaul United’s domestic fleet and make its aircraft some of the youngest in the skies.

Inside the new aircraft will also be a brand-new entertainment suite for passengers with seat-back screens at every seat. More than 2,800 selections of movies, television shows, music, podcasts, and games will be available through the seat-back systems in a 180-degree reversal from United’s previous strategy of relegating entertainment to mobile devices via streaming.

United’s first class seats will see 13-inch high-definition screens while economy seats will have 10-inch screens. In-seat power will also be offered through USB charging ports under the screens and standard power outlets under the seat.

Mood lighting will be standard on the aircraft for a futuristic look that creates an ambience to match the time of day. Flyers also won’t have to stress about finding a home for their carry-on bags as larger overhead bins will be installed that United CEO Scott Kirby says will be able to fit “100%” of bags.

A total of 178 new aircraft with the new interiors will be added to United’s fleet by the end of 2023. Existing aircraft will also be upgraded to the new standard through 2025 with the majority of United’s fleet being upgraded by the end of 2023.

A rendering of United Airlines' new signature interior - United Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8
A rendering of United Airlines’ new signature interior.

Regional aircraft including the Embraer E175 or Bombardier CRJ550 fleet will not see the interior upgrades but United is planning to use more “‘mainline” Boeing and Airbus aircraft on North American routes that will have the entertainment upgrades.

United’s plan will better position the carrier to compete with Delta and will give the airline a leg up on American. Delta is the only airline among the “big three” US international carriers to offer seat-back screens on the majority of its Boeing and Airbus single-aisle aircraft, with the exception of the Boeing 717.

“United, with today’s announcement, is certainly eroding some of the product features that Delta has such as in-seat entertainment,” Henry Harteveldt, travel analyst and cofounder of Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider, noting that Delta had similarly retrofitted most of its aging narrow-body Airbus and Boeing aircraft with new interiors that include television screens.

United will also quickly surpass American Airlines in the in-flight entertainment realm by offering seat-back screens. American shares United’s former thinking that streaming entertainment is the way forward and does not include seat-back screens on many of its domestic narrow-body aircraft.

Beyond in-flight entertainment and power, United will also offer more flights on aircraft equipped with first class and extra-legroom “EconomyPlus” seats, to the tune of 75% more premium seats per departure compared to present levels.

Read More: United’s CEO argued it’s not a problem that airlines will keep burning tens of millions of cash per day for months

At least 200 of United’s 50-seat aircraft will also be retired and replaced with larger jets with more premium seating. The move follows an industry trend of retiring the smallest regional aircraft that don’t feature first class cabins.

“United was very clear that it is going to compete not necessarily by having the most first-class seats on a domestic narrow-body aircraft, but certainly they’re going to compete with having what appears to be more extra-legroom seats on their planes,” Harteveldt said. “And that I think could be a very, very successful strategy.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Boeing’s largest 737 Max aircraft just took to the skies but it won’t see passengers for another 2 years – take a look at the $134.9 million jet

Boeing's 737 Max 10 departing Renton Municipal Airport on its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

  • Boeing’s 737 Max 10 just flew for the first time, departing from Renton Municipal Airport near Seattle for a test flight on June 18.
  • The largest member of the Max family can fly up to 230 passengers as far as 3,300 nautical miles.
  • United Airlines holds the largest order for the aircraft with 100 planes to be delivered later in the decade.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Boeing just put another milestone between it and the grounding of its 737 Max.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 departing Renton Municipal Airport on its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

The first 737 Max 10 successfully took to the skies on June 18 for its maiden aerial journey.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

The Max 10 is the fourth and largest Max variant to take flight but the first new model since the Federal Aviation Administration ungrounded the aircraft family in November.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

Boeing test pilots flew the plane, still designated as “experimental” until its official certification, from the manufacturer’s 737 production plant at Renton Municipal Airport near Seattle to nearby Boeing Field.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 departing Renton Municipal Airport on its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

Though the straight line distance between the two airports is five miles, the test flight took the long way around Washington and even performed a touch-and-go landing at Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington.

The route of the Boeing 737 Max 10's first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The route of the Boeing 737 Max 10’s first flight.

Take a closer look at the Boeing 737 Max 10.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

Boeing is entering a new realm with the Max as it’s not only the largest Boeing 737 Max but the largest Boeing 737 family member to be built by Boeing since the product line’s inception in 1964.

Looking at Boeing's 737 production plant in Renton, Washington
Boeing’s 737 production plant in Renton, Washington.

Read More: Boeing 737 timeline: From the early days to the grounding of the 737 Max after 2 fatal crashes that killed 346 people 5 months apart

Until now, each 737 Max aircraft has had a previous generation counterpart. The Boeing 737 Max 8 has the 737-800, the 737 Max 9 the 737-900, and the 737 Max 7 the 737-700.

Boeing 737 MAX

But the Max 10 is in a league of its own as there’s no Next Generation equivalent. It’s closer in size to the Boeing 757-200 with a difference in length of only 10 feet and four inches.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

In terms of length, Boeing’s latest jet comes in at 143 feet and eight inches, enough to seat up to 204 passengers in a two-class configuration and 230 in a single-class configuration. Its size does come with tradeoffs, however, most notably in range.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

Source: Boeing

The Max 10 can fly up to 3,300 nautical miles when equipped with an auxiliary fuel tank, making city pairs such as New York-Dublin, Ireland; London, UK-Dubai, UAE, and Hong Kong-Perth, Australia feasible under the right conditions.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

The smallest Max 7, for comparison, can fly a greater range of 3,850 nautical miles.

Boeing 737 Max 7

Source: Boeing

In terms of wingspan, however, the Max 10 shares the same dimensions as its sibling at 117 feet and 10 inches.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

Source: Boeing

Also the same as its predecessors are the Max 10’s engines. A pair of CFM International LEAP-1B engines power the entire 737 Max family.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

The engines offer 28,000 pounds of thrust apiece and contribute to the aircraft’s increased fuel efficiency compared to older model 737 aircraft.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

Source: Safran

Also aiding in the aircraft’s fuel efficiency is a pair of “advanced technology” winglets on each wing, which comes standard on all Max aircraft.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

United Airlines holds the largest stake for the aircraft with 100 jets on order.

United Airlines Houston Boeing 737

Source: United Airlines

United also flies the smaller Max 9 and will fly the even smaller Max 8 this summer.

United Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9
A United Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9.

Read More: I flew on United Airlines’ first Boeing 737 Max flight in nearly 2 years and it was just the boring flight the airline needed

The Max 10’s range would allow United to fly the aircraft of any of its domestic routes and even fly to cities in Western Europe from its Newark and Washington, DC hubs.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

Boeing has been quickly putting the Max saga behind it, even after a second grounding came in April once electrical issues were discovered with some aircraft.

Boeing 737 Max

Read More: I flew on an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max weeks before it was grounded again — here’s what it was like

Most countries around the world have allowed for the Max to fly and more than 130,000 hours have been flown by the aircraft family since November, the Seattle Times reported.

FILE PHOTO: An employee works near a Boeing 737 Max aircraft at Boeing's 737 Max production facility in Renton, Washington, U.S. December 16, 2019. REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson
An employee works near a Boeing 737 Max aircraft at Boeing’s 737 Max production facility in Renton

Source: Seattle Times

The notable exception remains to be airlines in China, where the jet has not yet been approved to fly once more.

Boeing 737 Max
Boeing test pilot Jim Webb gives a thumbs-up from the cockpit of a 737 MAX 7 at Boeing Field, on March 16, 2018 in Seattle, Washington, after completing the plane’s first flight. The aircraft is the shortest variant of fuel efficient MAX family.

All four US airlines that ordered the Max have resumed or began service with the Max and they can be found flying across the country.

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max
An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max.

Read More: I flew on Boeing 737 Max aircraft from United and American and found one airline to be a lot more transparent than the other — here’s how the 2 compare

Boeing is also reportedly clearing out its backlog of “whitetail” aircraft, the term for planes that were built but lost their customer, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

Source: Wall Street Journal

The Max 10 still has a ways to go before it will be flying for any passenger airline, however, and likely won’t do so until at least 2023, according to the Seattle Times.

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

Source: Seattle Times

Safety fixes to prevent another fatal crash are being implemented into the aircraft, including a third sensor to gauge the airline’s “angle of attack.”

Boeing's 737 Max 10 at Renton Municipal Airport for its first flight - Boeing 737 Max 10 First Flight
The first flight of a Boeing 737 Max 10.

Source: Seattle Times

The Max 10, as the largest variant, competes against Airbus’ A321neo aircraft. Airbus already has a head start on Boeing as it began delivering the A321neo in 2017. And so far, it has a flawless track record.

Airbus A321neo

Source: Airbus

But by the time the Max 10 is flying passengers, Airbus will already have introduced another long-range version of its popular A321neo aircraft, the A321XLR.

Airbus A321XLR
A computer rendering of an Airbus A321XLR.

Compared to the Max 10, the A321XLR offers a 4,700 nautical miles range and United is also a customer.

A321XLR United Airlines

Source: Airbus

Boeing has still yet to provide a next-generation replacement for its Boeing 757 aircraft that directly competes with the Airbus A321.

LAX Day Trip Alaska Airlines - Delta Air Lines Boeing 757
A Delta Air Lines Boeing 757.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I flew on a 38-year-old Boeing 757 used as a ‘testbed’ and saw how it’s ushering in the next era of tech to help stop the rise in pilot error-related incidents

Honeywell Aerospace's Boeing 757 testbed - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

  • Honeywell Aerospace is one of the leading aviation firms developing the safety technology of the future.
  • Its largest aircraft, a Boeing 757, tests everything from weather radar to brand-new engines.
  • The tech being developed by Honeywell and tested by the aircraft could’ve avoided recent near misses and can save lives.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
On July 7, 2017, a routine Air Canada flight from Toronto to San Francisco nearly ended in disaster when the Airbus A320 almost landed on a taxiway instead of a runway.

FILE PHOTO: An Air Canada Airbus A320-200 airplane prepares to land at Vancouver's international airport in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, February 5, 2019.  REUTERS/Ben Nelms
An Air Canada Airbus A320 airplane prepares to land at Vancouver’s international airport in Richmond,

A total of four aircraft were on the taxiway and thousands of lives were in jeopardy. Many potential incidents still come down to pilot error, despite massive strides in aircraft technology.

FILE PHOTO: A United Airlines Boeing 787 taxis as a United Airlines Boeing 767 lands at San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California, February 7, 2015.   REUTERS/Louis Nastro
A United Airlines 787 taxis as a United Airlines 767 lands at San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco

Honeywell Aerospace is one of the companies trying to stop such incidents by increasing automation in the cockpit and developing new technology to aid pilots. One such system is “SmartLanding and Smart Runway,” part of Honeywell’s “Runway Awareness and Advisory System,” or RAAS.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

The system recognizes which runway, or taxiway, a pilot is aiming for even when the aircraft is miles away from the airport.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

After engineers create the program, hours of actual flight time are required to test it in real-world conditions. I rode along on Honeywell’s Boeing 757 flying “testbed” to see the technology in action.

Honeywell Aerospace's Boeing 757 testbed - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

This Boeing 757 is the largest aircraft in Honeywell’s ever-growing fleet of testbed aircraft.

Honeywell Aerospace's Boeing 757 testbed - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

The 38-year-old plane started its life as an airliner flying for Eastern Airlines and found its way to Honeywell in 2005 for a second life.

Honeywell Aerospace's Boeing 757 testbed - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

A variety of Honeywell technology is tested onboard the aircraft that’s contributed to greater levels of safety in the aviation industry. Weather radar, in-flight WiFi, traffic collision and avoidance, ADS-B, and data link systems are just a few of what this aircraft tests.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

This plane can also test new aircraft engines. A mount of the side of the fuselage holds the engine while systems inside the plane monitor its performance during flight.

Honeywell Aerospace's Boeing 757 testbed - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Engines with thrust levels as great as 16,500 pounds can be tested on the aircraft. Each engine manufacturer has its own testbed aircraft for this very purpose.

Honeywell Aerospace's Boeing 757 testbed - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

A safety briefing is conducting before each flight where the pilots and onboard engineers will review the plan for each flight, including what is to be tested and which maneuvers will be performed in the process.

At a pre-flight briefing - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Our flight was going to be testing the Smart Runway and Smart Landing system at two airports in Northern Arizona: Flagstaff Pulliam Airport and Prescott Regional Airport.

At a pre-flight briefing - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

The plan was to test the system by making four approaches in total, each intentionally unstable or to an incorrect runway to see how the system would respond.

At a pre-flight briefing - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Also being tested on the aircraft was Honeywell’s single-antenna radar altimeter, a simplified radar antenna system meant to improve accuracy and reduce costs for airlines and aircraft operators.

Honeywell Aerospace's Boeing 757 testbed - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Stepping onto the plane, I quickly realized that this was unlike any Boeing 757, or any passenger airliner, that I’ve ever been on. Most of the passenger seats had been ripped out and many of the aircraft’s panels removed.

Inside a Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Massive computer testing stations replaced the passenger seats in order to collect data and monitor the onboard systems being tested.

Inside a Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

A light crew of only three engineers was on board for this test run.

Inside a Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Captaining the aircraft was Joe Duval, Honeywell’s chief test pilot, an industry veteran with thousands of hours in the cockpit.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

We departed Phoenix and headed north towards Flagstaff. Just off the left-hand side of the aircraft were the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona.

Looking down on Sedona, Arizona - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Flagstaff airport soon came into view and Duval planned his approach. The Honeywell flight team has a saying that they have to get really good and bad landings to test these kinds of systems.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

“Approaching 03,” the system informed Duval a few miles from the runway’s threshold. This simple warning alone could’ve prevented the Air Canada incident before it even became an incident.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Duval continued approaching the runway with a higher than normal rate of speed. “Too fast, too fast,” the system warned as Duval neared the runway.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Once it became clear there was no way to land safely, the message “unstable, unstable” came from the system. A pilot, at that point, would know to abandon the approach or risk damage to the aircraft.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Duval increased the thrust and discontinued the approach, performing a “go-around” maneuver.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

The second approach simulated landing at a high speed with no flaps. We approached the runway again but this time, the system warned “flaps, flaps!” in tandem with a message on the primary flight display.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Duval continued the approach, however, to continue to test the system. Once more, the system gave its final “unstable, unstable” and Duval performed the go-around maneuvers.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

For the final approach into Flagstaff, Duval performed the approach at a higher altitude than normal.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

This time, the system warned “too high, too high,” and a message flashed on the primary flight display. Being too high on the approach could mean landing further down on the runway and possibly overshooting it.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Duval once more abandoned the approach and performing a go-around.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Next on the list was Prescott, where Duval would simulate landing on a runway too short for his Boeing 757.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Approaching Runway 21R, it was immediately clear to all that the Boeing 757 could not handle the runway. But pilots can get confused at nighttime or in bad weather conditions.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Knowing that the runway was shorter than normal, the system informed Duval that the amount of runway available was only 4,846 feet long.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

“Caution, short runway, short runway!” the system blared as Duval intentionally lined up for Runway 21R.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Soon after, “too fast, too fast” and “unstable, unstable” warnings blared and Duval once more increased the throttle for a go-around.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

If he’d actually set it down on the runway, it’s questionable whether the aircraft would have been able to stop before reaching the other end. This Boeing 757 definitely would not have been able to take off from the runway in the event of an accidental landing.

Inside the cockpit of Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

A similar incident occurred in 2013 when a Boeing 747-400LCF Dreamlifter accidentally landed at Colonel James Jabara Airport in Wichita, Kansas instead of McConnell Air Force Base.

Boeing 747 Dreamlifter

And while Duval was having fun in the cockpit, engineers in the back were collecting data on the Smart Landing and Smart Runway system, as well as the single radar altimeter system.

Inside a Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Back on the ground in Phoenix, Honeywell maintains a veritable airline full of test aircraft.

Honeywell Aerospace's Cessna Citation testbed - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

The newest arrival is a Gulfstream G550 painted in Honeywell’s red-and-white livery. Honeywell and Gulfstream frequently team up for innovative cockpit designs, including the Symmetry cockpit powered by Honeywell’s Primus Epic avionics.

A Gulfstream G550 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Other aircraft include an Embraer E175…

An Embraer E175 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Cessna Citation…

A Cessna Citation testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Pilatus PC-12…

A Pilatus PC-12 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Beechcraft King Air 200…

A Beechcraft King Air 200 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

And Falcon 900EX, to name a few.

A Falcon 900EX testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

They’ll all test the next-generation of aircraft technology but the Boeing 757 is the only aircraft large enough to test engines.

A Boeing 757 testbed aircraft - Honeywell Aerospace Boeing 757 testbed aircraft
Flying on Honeywell Aerospace’s Boeing 757 testbed aircraft.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Airlines are not prepared for the surge in travelers because they don’t have enough planes – or pilots to fly them

A Southwest Airlines plane lands at Los Angeles International Airport next to American Airlines planes.
A Southwest Airlines plane lands at Los Angeles International Airport.

  • Airlines are discovering they retired too many aircraft during the pandemic and let go too many pilots and flight attendants.
  • Southwest Airlines says it doesn’t have enough planes to sustain its model in 2022 and 2023.
  • Airline schedules are highly unreliable as a result, leading to flight changes and cancellations.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Travel is surging in the US and airlines are once again faced with shortages, but it’s more than just pilots this time.

Many US carriers shed older aircraft from their fleets in a cash-saving effort during the worst times of the pandemic. At the time, vaccines a distant dream and travel demand wasn’t expected to rebound for years.

“The airlines were being forced to make very complex decisions under enormous pressure,” Henry Harteveldt, travel industry analyst and cofounder of Atmosphere Research Group, told Insider. “Key among them is: How do you bring your costs down to survive an approximately 96% decline in demand?”

But Southwest Airlines, after accelerating the retirement of 737-700 aircraft in 2020, is now saying that the airline’s current fleet won’t be enough to support the carrier’s business model in the upcoming years and could hinder expansion efforts.

“We don’t feel like we have enough airplanes for 2022 and 2023, and that’s just doing what you know us to be famous for,” Gary Kelly, Southwest’s chief executive officer, CNBC, referring to its current business of mostly domestic flying.

Now that demand is ramping up, airlines might find themselves without enough planes to keep up and Southwest isn’t the only airline that shed planes during the pandemic. Delta Air Lines similarly parted with three fleet types including the McDonnell-Douglas MD-80/MD-90, Boeing 737-700, and Boeing 777-200 series of aircraft.

Those aircraft now sit in storage facilities and bringing them back into service would be too great of an expense for airlines, according to Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis for Teal Group. New builds from manufacturers, including the Boeing 737 Max and Airbus A220, are preferable but come at a slower rate.

Read More: Airlines are delaying new plane deliveries and seeking financing – and that’s bad news for Boeing as the 737 Max inches toward its return

The aircraft shortage is also compounded by the age-old pilot shortage, with not even pilots to fly the ambitious schedules that airlines have set. American Airlines saw the impacts of over-scheduling in mid-June when hundreds of flights were canceled in a single weekend thanks to a combination of labor shortages and severe weather.

“The pilot shortage that loomed over the industry in 2019 may have abated slightly, but it hasn’t gone away,” Harteveldt said.

Airlines moved to shed staff last year, including pilots and flight attendants, through buyouts and voluntary separation programs in a bid to lower costs. But just like with aircraft, some may have parted ways with too many now that demand is rebounding.

“Perhaps they had lost more pilots and flight attendants than they otherwise would have wanted and as a result, that may have reduced their ability to scale up their flying as demand returned,” Harteveldt said.

Shortages stemming from massive staff reductions also could’ve been avoided since airlines were the recipients of three rounds of federal stimulus money.

“I think that the airlines would probably admit – privately if not on the record – that perhaps they should have been less aggressive in encouraging employees to the pilots and flight attendants to take buyouts and leave the company when the government was going to cover 70% of those employees’ wages,” Harteveldt said.

Delta has committed to hire and train 1,000 new pilots between now and next summer and United has launched a pilot training program, Aviate, that provides financing options and a pathway to flying its aircraft for students.

Airline schedules are now highly unreliable and travelers booking flights should be prepared for unexpected changes or cancellations. Changes to airline schedules can occur anytime and travelers should frequently be checking their bookings to see if changes have occurred.

If an airline has changed a traveler’s trip, they have the right to request a new flight or even a refund if the change is great enough.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The new Air Force One plane may get delivered a year late

Air Force One
Air Force One.

  • The upgraded VC-25B planes meant to serve as the next Air Force One aircraft may not arrive until 2025.
  • Air Force officials said this week that Boeing has told the service it needs to tack on an additional 12 months “beyond their original schedule.”
  • The Air Force is reviewing the company’s request to delay the delivery by at least a year, officials said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Boeing Co. is behind schedule on two new Air Force One aircraft, which could mean the upgraded VC-25B planes will not be delivered until 2025, according to service officials.

Testifying before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces, Darlene Costello, principal deputy assistant secretary for Air Force acquisition, technology and logistics, revealed that the service is reviewing the aerospace and defense company’s request to delay the delivery by at least a year.

The aircraft were originally scheduled for delivery at the end of 2024.

Boeing has told the service it needs to tack on an additional 12 months “beyond their original schedule,” Costello told lawmakers, adding that the service must agree to the new terms.

“As soon as we get the updated schedule, we’ll determine if we have to adjust our baseline or schedule,” Costello said.

To make up for unforeseen costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Boeing said it may ask the service to pay more for the planes. The original $3.9 billion deal for the modified 747-8 airliners was set in 2018. The company has not asked for additional funding yet, Costello said; a dollar amount was not disclosed.

Air Force One
Air Force One.

Rep. Joe Courtney, D-Connecticut, expressed concern that the delivery delay might also create unforeseen costs to keep the current VC-25A aircraft – introduced in 1990 – flying longer.

“We may need to put in one more maintenance cycle for that aircraft, depending on the timing,” Costello replied.

Lt. Gen. Duke Richardson, the Air Force military deputy for acquisition, earlier this year acknowledged that the new Air Force One aircraft would be late because of a dispute with one of the suppliers remaking the aircraft’s interior.

“Boeing is working hard. They’ve got another supplier identified, [and] we’re going to transfer as much of the work on the interiors as possible,” Richardson said during the annual McAleese conference in May.

Boeing in April canceled its contract with GDC Technics, a Texas-based company, to redesign the state-of-the-art “flying White House,” stating that GDC failed to “meet contractual obligations” regarding work deadlines.

The subcontractor then filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and claimed Boeing was responsible for the program’s mismanagement, according to court documents filed in San Antonio and reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Boeing estimates GDC’s delays and problems related to the pandemic cost it $318 million in building the VC-25Bs, the company said in an earnings call in April.

Boeing began modifying the aircraft last year. The planes were originally ordered for the Russian airline company Transaero in 2013, DefenseOne reported in 2017. The company never delivered the jets to the now-defunct airline and instead put them in storage.

The aircraft passed its critical design review last spring, according to Defense News.

Air Force Two C-32
A C-32 frequently used as Air Force Two.

The Air Force One news comes after the service shelved plans to replace another high-profile executive aircraft: its small fleet of C-32s, or enhanced Boeing 757s, typically used to transport VIPs such as the vice president.

While the C-32 will remain in the fleet, the Air Force will not pursue investment in the airframe beyond already planned modifications, according to the service’s fiscal 2022 budget request. DefenseOne was first to note the service put off purchasing another Air Force Two aircraft.

“The C-32 Executive Transport Recapitalization program was intended to replace the aging C-32A aircraft fleet,” according to its Research, Development, Test and Evaluation Budget Item Justification.

Instead, remaining funding for the C-32 program was recently “applied to the evaluation and maturation of advanced high speed transport scale aircraft,” the budget request states.

The Pentagon last year awarded three companies contracts to begin prototyping a supersonic aircraft that could someday carry the president and other officials around the world in half the time. But until then, the C-32 – flying since 1998 – will press on, officials have said.

– Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump plans to restore his ‘beautiful’ Boeing 757 with Rolls-Royce engines and new paint job for future rallies

Trump Boeing 757 private jet
Donald Trump’s personal Boeing 757 private jet.

Former President Donald Trump announced in a press release Friday that he’s fixing his private plane ahead of future rallies.

“Many people have asked about the beautiful Boeing 757 that became so iconic during the Trump rallies,” Trump said. “It is now being fully restored and updated and will be put back into service sometime prior to the end of the year.”

Trump’s Boeing 757, informally nicknamed “Trump Force One,” has been parked at Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, New York, unused since President Joe Biden’s Inauguration.

CNN previously reported that one of the plane’s pricey Rolls Royce RB211 Turbofan engines was broken and had been removed from the plane awaiting repairs, which could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Trump said the plane will soon be brought to a service facility in Louisiana for inspection and repairs, including updated Rolls-Royce engines, as well as a new paint job.

“When completed, it will be better than ever, and again used at upcoming rallies!” Trump said in the statement.

Trump frequently used the plane a prop for rallies during his 2016 presidential campaign.

During his presidency, Trump traveled on Air Force One.

Read more: ‘He will not go to sleep’: White House staffers reportedly dread foreign trips with Trump aboard Air Force One, where he holds meetings at odd hours and constantly watches Fox News

Read the original article on Business Insider