There could be less nervousness about the Trump administration in American aerospace following the rolling out of the second stretch of the Boeing Dreamliner family, the 787-10, in North Charleston overnight.
President Trump declared it as ‘all American made’, meaning that either he doesn’t get the Boeing message of many years about how the Dreamliner is a global airliner, or alternatively, that he understands it perfectly, but will call it all American anyhow rather than pursue his hard line about American jobs going overseas.
Maybe the Boeing graphic at the top of this post, which has featured large in numerous Boeing briefings for almost four years, never quite made it across his desk, or has been kept hidden by his aides and entourage.
In any event the apparently improved relationship between the President and Boeing is likely to calm rattled nerves in the US aerospace sector, although less so in Lockheed Martin, because of his regular references to whether or not Boeing’s Super Hornets mightn’t prove better value for money than the Joint Strike Fighter.
A short guide to the recent history of the Trump-Boeing relationship can be read here.
The 787-10 shown below is a payload versus range trade off that recognises that current Boeing (and Airbus) widebody jets generally offer more range than they are likely to need for the routes they most frequently fly.
It is also likely to be prominent in this part of the world because that compromise, of more seats for less range, fits very well with launch customer SingaporeAir’s needs on its routes to Australia, China, South Korea, Japan and India.
Singapore Airlines is committed to purchasing 49 Dreamliner 787-10s, as well as 67 similarly sized but much longer ranging Airbus A350-900s, some of which will be optimised as ultra long range models for non-stops to New York and Los Angeles.
The critical question for air travellers however is whether or not Singapore Airlines will render the 787-10 in economy class in the spacious eight across format Boeing designed for it, or the nine across arrangement that jams the hip bones or passenger hard together for what can be an intolerably miserable ride over any distance.
So far, airline accountants appear to have more say in these decisions among 787 buyers than executives who understand that being a full service carrier means you don’t try to get away with the smallest longer distance airline seats ever seen in service for the entire commercially successful jet age which began almost 60 years ago.
Boeing says the 787-10 will begin its certification flights within a few months and enter service next year.