Scott Hamilton writing in Leeham News has connected the dots when it comes to the when and hows of a return to service for the grounded 787s and mid year looks possible in an optimistic assessment, or worse if you see developments occurring at a more deliberate pace.
Hamilton has also found a troubling analysis by BB&T Capital Markets analyst Carter Leake who characterizes the proposed containment box for the lithium ion battery as a “super box” and Boeing’s entire proposed solution as a Rube Goldberg approach.
We view Boeing’s “Super Box” proposal as a reverse Rube Goldberg contraption that attempts to solve a very complex problem with an overly simple solution. We believe there is no doubt that Boeing’s proposal is the fastest way to get the 787 flying again, but if the NTSB plays the safety card in its upcoming interim report (which we think they will), the Super Box strategy will be a hard sell for weak-kneed politicians who will care less about the arcane rules of aircraft certification, and more about the open-ended political exposure of supporting a rush job. Worse, we believe the very powerful, but instantly credible, pilot unions will soon weigh in against any solution that contemplates a “contained fire” of any kind. This issue has unfortunately become very political, and we believe the 787 crisis is far from being resolved.
The full entry is here.
Leake is clearly respectful of Boeing’s efforts to get the 787s back in the air, while it fails to understand the political and regulatory imperatives that aren’t easily or neatly going to fit in a super box.