#boeing

Aussie company has only approved technology for Qantas Boeing 737NG wing crack detection

Very simple story. Aussie based company Structural Monitoring Systems (SMN AX) has the only approved crack detection product in the market.

The 5 Qantas Boeing 737 NG planes (and dozens like it around the world) could have had far earlier detection with SMN’s CVM technology. To cut a long story short, CVM technology has vacuum channels, which if broken (via cracks emerging) notifies the ground crew of the structural issue.

The company already has a contract with Delta Airlines for its aircraft. This type of technology not only has the potential to ward off catastrophic failures but reduce the cost of inspections for airlines.

CM has owned SMN for over a decade. This trend was always coming.

Parker Hannifin orders slump again

Despite an EPS beat, Parker Hannifin (PH) orders fell by even greater margins over the last quarter. Overseas orders -10%. North American orders -6%. Aerospace +22% but that is on a 12 month rolling basis and more driven by anticipation of 737MAX returning to service and the long lead times involved. In short, manufacturing is bound to get weaker than it already is. Caterpillar results already portended this. PH confirms it.

CM has been saying for almost two decades that PH orders are a great global barometer of industrial health. PH supplies all the monster tier 1 industrial companies like Boeing and Caterpillar. It is like a major hardware store for major industrials. PH is a world leader in pumps, hydraulics, pneumatics, linear drives, vacuums, seals, gaskets, valves, hoses and pretty much any other widget that is used in modern machinery.

Worse to come from global industrial indicators.

Parker Hannifin slowing (still) in 4Q

Parker Hannifin.png

Parker Hannifin (PH), the world’s industrial giant hardware store reported the following orders for the quarter ending June 30, 2019, compared with the same quarter a year ago:

  • Orders decreased 3% for total Parker (-4% in 3Q)
  • Orders decreased 4% in the Diversified Industrial North America businesses (-6% in 3Q)
  • Orders decreased 8% in the Diversified Industrial International businesses (-4% in 3Q)
  • Orders increased 10% in the Aerospace Systems Segment on a rolling 12-month average basis (+2% in 3Q)

PH is such a good read across on global activity. It supplies the likes of Caterpillar, Boeing, Cummins, Freightliner etc etc. in seals, pumps, hoses, connectors, filters, actuators etc etc. it supplies food companies with linear systems and pharmaceuticals with clean systems/pumps.

No wonder US Fed Governor Jerome Powell just cut rates. The world’s industrial powerhouses aren’t expanding and PH’s order book reflects the underlying weakness. No wonder Trump tweeted that Powell should make more cuts.

For the FY2020 outlook, PH is forecasting flat to down 3%. North American industrial flat to -2.8%, International Industrial -3.2% to -6.2% and Aerospace holding things up at +3.0% to +5.6%.

Typical US management bluster in the conference call. What else is new?

Perhaps you shouldn’t be a pilot

A Canadian pilot is trying to claim the Boeing 737MAX has caused career damage, emotional and mental stress. He claims Boeing demonstrated “reckless indifference and conscious disregard for the flying public” in the development of the plane.

Presumably he migrated from the 737 Next Gen to the 737MAX meaning gaining type certification of the outgoing model would not be a stretch meaning career damage would be limited, especially given that Boeing forecasts the need for 790,000 new pilots out to 2037.

The lawsuit also contends the FAA and Boeing colluded in “an unprecedented cover-up of the known design flaws of the MAX

It should be quite disconcerting for a pilot to claim mental stress in this way given the role requires nerves of steel at important times. This is not to criticize those with legitimate mental health issues but this class action seems more like The Simpsons episode where everybody ends up suing everybody.

The stress from flying domestic routes in Canada is not the same as the stress of flying a cargo plane out of Bagram Air Force base where insurgents fire surface to air missiles.

Is it realistic to think the 400 pilots who supposedly intend to join the class action have all suffered from the same trauma?

British Airways places order for 200 Boeing 737 MAX

Nothing like a confidence boosting 200 plane order for the highly criticized Boeing 737 MAX jet at the Paris Airshow. British Airways CEO Willie Walsh said,

We have every confidence in Boeing and expect that the aircraft will make a successful return to service in the coming months.

There is no doubt Boeing offered a competitive price to generate some positive news spin since the crisis erupted. As CM always contended,

Ultimately the market will decide on the 737MAX. The plane has a 4,000+ unit backlog. Even if airlines wanted to change to A320neos, the switching costs would be prohibitively expensive in terms of pilot certification, maintenance and joining the end of an equally long queue. The order book is unlikely to suffer widespread cancellations.”

The mainstream media proves again its proclivity for sensationalist journalism without understanding the industry dynamics or the facts.

Boeing raises 20yr forecast

Boeing reports airlines will need around 44,000 new commercial aircraft worth $6.8 trillion by 2038, vs. 43,000 planes worth $6.49 trillion estimated in 2018. The biggest demand will remain for single-aisle jets. 32,420 narrow-body planes are likely to be built.

So much for the fear of global warming induced by air travel. In total, planes are 2% of human induced CO2. Or 0.00024% of the CO2 in the atmosphere.

Although the International Air Transport Association (IATA) wilted to the gun held to its head by the UN. The IATA has got behind the movement to do its bit for climate change. In a two page flyer, it covered the idea that we reckless passengers must consider our carbon footprint but at the same time help the U.N. raise $40bn in taxes, sorry ‘climate finance,’ between 2021 and 2035.

The reality is if Greta Thunberg receives an invite by the Queensland government to lecture on climate change she can rest easy that the footprint in the air will be so tiny because there isn’t a diesel electric train to get here.

Sustainable air travel will require extra sick bags

Air France-KLM is looking to fund the Dutch Delft University of Technology to explore a flying wing design known as the Flying V, where passengers will sit.

Boeing dabbled with the idea in 2007 but scrapped it as it likely worked out passengers sitting out toward the wingtips would be thrown around like rag dolls in turbulent weather. Anyone who has tried to drink hot coffee during rough weather will know how even sitting toward the centre of the plane causes it to swish about, mostly in the saucer. A wing aisle seat would mean one would wear it.

Better to save shareholders’ funds Air France/KLM. Prototyping this “sustainable aircraft” might do wonders for its CSR signaling but has it considered that it must include the environmental footprint of extra sick bags and all those nasty chemicals required to clean up the mess of those who suffer motion sickness but didn’t make it in time?

Perhaps Mother Nature has given us all tips on air travel. There are many passenger jets shaped like birds. Yet no birds shaped like the Delft University of Technology design…

If Air France/KLM is so worried about the environment the best thing to do would be to close down operations.

The Virgin Group CEO Josh Bayliss said,

“It’s definitely true that right now every one of us should think hard about whether or not we need to take a flight.”

Close the airline if it means so much to save the planet.