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posted by cmn32480 on Saturday July 30 2016, @05:04AM   Printer-friendly
from the old-tech-phased-out dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Six months after slicing production of the iconic Boeing 747 to just one plane a month, the aerospace company has decided to halve the rate of production and flagged it is close to killing off the plane.

A new Form 10-Q filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission spells out the ugly situation as “Lower-than-expected demand for large commercial passenger and freighter aircraft and slower-than-expected growth of global freight traffic have continued to drive market uncertainties, pricing pressures and fewer orders than anticipated.”

Boeing has therefore “canceled previous plans to return to a production rate of 1.0 aircraft per month beginning in 2019.”

The company still has “32 undelivered aircraft” on its books, some yet to be built. But it also has “a number of completed aircraft in inventory” for which buyers cannot be found.

Production of the 747 will therefore been reduced just six planes a year as of September 2016 and the filing makes it plain that Boeing knows it may soon have a difficult decision to make.

“If we are unable to obtain sufficient orders and/or market, production and other risks cannot be mitigated,” the filing says, “we could record additional losses that may be material, and it is reasonably possible that we could decide to end production of the 747.”

The 747 remains a fine aircraft, but twin-engine planes can now match it for capacity and, crucially, for long flights over areas where airports are scarce.

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Kell on Saturday July 30 2016, @04:50PM

    by Kell (292) on Saturday July 30 2016, @04:50PM (#381987)

    While that might work for automotive and consumer components, that most certainly does not work for aerospace, where the metalurgical treatment of the parts is as important as their geometry. We are not yet at the point where we are doing selective computer controlled thermal processing of parts (that I am aware of; although that would be fascinating). This is one of the things that stops third parties from simply measuring and replicating things like jet turbines and fighter aircraft.

    Scientists ask questions. Engineers solve problems.
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  • (Score: 1) by nethead on Saturday July 30 2016, @06:56PM

    by nethead (4970) <> on Saturday July 30 2016, @06:56PM (#382018) Homepage

    Very true. Also the non-metallic parts have to be flam tested and certified. Even the sticker telling you where your life-vest is has reams of paperwork behind it. At least a quarter of any aerospace shop is just QA people.

    How did my SN UID end up over 3 times my /. UID?