For those who are watching, I might add with relief, this year’s Farnborough Air Show from afar, Boeing has been providing an excellent if partisan daily wrap on YouTube.
However today’s video, which dwells within the spiritually upliftingly named Pavilion of Enduring Awareness, is mostly about other things than airliners, so if you are into infra-red or heat imaging, and multi-spectral surveillance which can be used to totally invade whatever privacy hasn’t been compromised by your browser, operating system, or choice in social media, it’s an exciting 2 minutes and 24 seconds that almost perfectly fills the attention span of our oldest and youngest citizens.
With little announced when it comes to major orders or aircraft design initiatives so far, it is sad to note a tendency in all quarters to over announce everything that happens in aviation, and count the dollars involved multiple times to win some sort of huffing and puffing contest.
An example from Boeing, but one that is illustrative of all the airliner makers and their major suppliers, and customers, is the overnight ‘commitment’ by Dublin based Avolon Leasing, for 25 current and MAX versions of the 737.
Boeing said that ‘the commitment includes reconfirmation rights for five more 737 MAX aircraft’. However when pressed in an ATW report, Boeing says ‘a reconfirmation refers to a firm commitment that has some flexibility around it’.
Which means it is really an un-firm commitment. No? And if it is a reconfirmation ‘right’ then presumably the airlines pays for this? Or is it just another turn of phrase invented to create an illusion of action?
What aviation reporters and analysts now have to navigate with the aircraft makers are the quicksands of maker-customer relations and the need for publicity machines to churn the brand name as many times as possible in relation to what used to be reported as singular deals. We have equally triumphant announcements of intentions, commitments, understandings, ordering rights, and, the latest excitement, the reconfirmation.
All of which, from a distance, makes a ‘reconfirmation‘ in the ‘Pavilion of Enduring Awareness‘ seem like an oddly semi-religious activity totally out of step with what used to be expected in air shows.