We have been promising a retired Boeing engineer and a classic airplane restoration buff a story as soon as we had space, and while it is not about InFlight Entertainment, it is Old Flight Entertainment – sorta. Anyway, we thought this aviation story was too good not to be published. More importantly, this tale is about his work rebuilding and saving one of the most important American airplanes, the Lockheed Constellation. It was designed and produced for public aviation transportation from 1943 to 1958 and flew till the 1990’s with 856 being built. And yes, we have flown in one.

Bob sent us the story a couple of weeks ago and as much as we love aviation history and aircraft restoration images, we wondered just how much the IFEC folks would respond to a bit of aviation history. After waiting for a news story that was late, we decided that history was better than nothing – so here we go! Oh, and be sure too check out the many photos of the project here.

“People ask what I do in my retirement. I tell them I run an Animal Sanctuary for Airplanes. A Sanctuary with a ‘No Kill’ policy. About 25 Saves into this unforeseen new life after Boeing, I currently have about 8 more in various stages of ‘Salvation’. Like down at the dog pound, many have had very bleak prospects for surviving, but somehow we have muddled through with mostly good outcomes (but not all.).”

“And so, we come to this forlorn Connie – one of six I have worked on (being especially partial to this beautiful aircraft.). She really was the very last mutt at the end of the long row of cages and seemed completely unadoptable, by even the softest hearts, when – 3-4 years ago – I got this call from a hotel guy in New York. “They were building a new hotel at JFK airport in NYC, and did I know –” Well, as they show on some of those dog shows on TV, sometimes even the mangiest mutt turns out to be a Star. And the rest, as they say, is history.”

“As I’m very fond of saying: To Scrap a Connie is to Commit a Mortal Sin!”

Be sure to check out Bob’s website:  Trains, Planes, etc. One look at it and it is clear that he is a pilot, aviation lover, airplane historian, a former Boeing Director, and so much more.


Last Week’s Hot Topic: By the way, last week we ran a story on the Galgus and this week we got a team picture.


AIRBUS

New business announced in June provided a significant mid-year boost as Airbus logged orders in June for 145 single-aisle jetliners from its A320 and A220 families, while delivering 76 aircraft from the company’s A220, A320, A330, A350 XWB and A380 product lines. With Airbus’ Paris Air Show launch of the A321XLR – which will become the longest-range single-aisle airliner – bookings now stand at 44 aircraft. Joining the list of initial customers for this “Xtra Long Range” version of the A321neo were: U.S.-based American Airlines, ordering 20; Qantas of Australia, acquiring 10; Spain’s Iberia, with eight aircraft; and Aer Lingus for six (making the Irish carrier a new customer for the A320neo Family).

The A321XLR represents the A320neo jetliner series’ next evolutionary step, responding to market needs for even more range. It brings 30% lower fuel burn per seat than previous-generation competitor aircraft while delivering an unprecedented range capability of up to 4,700 nautical miles. Service entry of the A321XLR is targeted for 2023.

Also in June’s new business, Airbus registered bookings for 86 other jetliners from the A320neo Family, composed of: 23 A320neo and 13 A321neo aircraft for an unidentified customer; 30 A320neo versions for Saudi Arabian Airlines; 18 A320neo aircraft for Japan’s All Nippon Airways; and two A320neo jetliners for Atlantic Airways of the Faroe Islands (becoming a new A320neo customer).

Airbus’ order book for the A220 Family also increased during the month, with acquisitions of the A220-300 longer-fuselage variant by two U.S.-based carriers: JetBlue Airways, ordering 10; and five for Delta Air Lines. Both airlines are repeat customers for the A220 Family.

Leading the single-aisle aircraft deliveries in June was the A320 Family, with 54 provided in both the NEO and CEO versions (including the first A321neo for JetBlue), along with six A220s.

Wide-body deliveries during the month were led by the A350 XWB, with a total of 10 aircraft provided in both the A350-900 and A350-1000 versions. Notable handovers involved the initial A350 XWBs for China Southern Airlines and Japan Airlines – both receiving A350-900s. Completing the wide-body activity in June were deliveries of five A330neo aircraft and one A380.

Taking the latest orders and deliveries into account, Airbus’ backlog of jetliners remaining to be delivered stood at 7,276 aircraft as of 30 June. The single-aisle tally was composed of 5,871 A320 Family jetliners and 473 A220s; while the wide-body backlog was comprised of 605 A350 XWBs, 275 A330s and 52 A380s.

Atlantic Airways, the Faroe Islands flag carrier, has taken delivery of its first A320neo, MSN8918. Leased from Air Lease Corporation, this aircraft is powered by CFMI LEAP-1A engines and is configured in an all-economy cabin layout. With its new Airbus fleet member Atlantic Airways will further develop its European network. The airline, an Airbus customer since 2008, already operates an all-Airbus fleet of three A320 Family aircraft (currently two A319ceos and one A320ceo). In addition, the airline also recently placed a firm order for two additional A320neos.

Featuring the widest single-aisle cabin in the sky, the efficient A320neo Family incorporates the very latest technologies including new generation engines and Sharklets, which together deliver more than 20 percent fuel and CO2 savings as well as a 50 percent noise reduction. With more than 6,500 orders received from over 100 customers, the A320neo Family has captured some 60 percent of the market.


BOEING

The Boeing Company announced deliveries across its commercial and defense operations for the second quarter of 2019. Boeing delivered 239 aircraft in first half of 2019 vs 378 in the first half of 2018. Heres the breakdown:

Model 2nd Quarter Year-to-Date
737 24 113
747 2 4
767 10 22
777 12 22
787 42 78
TOTAL 90 239

And lastly, congratulations to GE for their recent world record for thrust –  developing the most powerful commercial aircraft jet engine after reaching 134,300 pounds (test performance). This achievement breaks the record held by GE’s GE90-11B engine of 127,900 pounds set in 2002.


OTHER NEWS