Birthday bash: Boeing rolls out jets from 707 to 787 to celebrate

Birthday bash: Boeing rolls out jets from 707 to 787 to celebrate

Boeing puts its passenger jets on display for centennial celebration.

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Boeing officially celebrated its 100th anniversary Friday, marking the occasion with a celebration for employees and spectators Friday at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

The U.S. jetmaker showed off all of its modern “7 series” passenger aircraft at the event. The lineup included everything from Boeing’s 707 that revolutionized the jet age when it debuted in the 1950s to the state-of-the art 787 Dreamliner that entered commercial service in 2012.

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The event marked the occasion of the company’s official founding on July 15, 1916.

“The innovative spirit of our founder Bill Boeing — who 100 years ago today dedicated this company to building something better — is alive in the generations of our people who continue to deliver products and services that matter and positively change lives around the world,” Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in a statement marking the occasion. “As we embark on our second century, our commitment to excellence is stronger than ever, our potential for achievement is as great as it was for our founders, and our goals must be even more bold, visionary and inspiring.”

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Check out photos from the company’s Seattle celebration above. Or scroll down to for a dive into Boeing’s photo archives and a look at a special Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 painted specifically to commemorate Boeing’s 100th birthday.

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Birthday bash: Boeing rolls out jets from 707 to 787 to celebrate

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The world’s most expensive private jets

The world’s most expensive private jets

Boeing Business Jet

Boeing Business Jet

Boeing Business Jets

Price: $100 million

Boeing Business Jets is a family of planes with the most expensive costing around $65 million and going up to around $100 million by the time it has been customized.

It is considered the top end of the private jet market and typically used by heads of state, sports teams or music stars, Varsano said, adding that the biggest contingent of these jets is bought by Middle East buyers.

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This jet has an office and meeting area, kitchen, dining room and a private bedroom and can be customized in many ways.

The Boeing Business Jet can fit eight people and has an interior width of 3.53 meters.

Airbus ACJ319

Airbus ACJ319

Price: $100 million

The Airbus ACJ319 is the rival to Boeing Business Jets and again can cost up to around $100 million depending on the interior.

It comes in two variants – the “Elite” and “Elegance” – which have different interior layouts depending on your needs.

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The “Elegance” version has a cinema area, social lounge, office and meeting area as well as dining room and like the Boeing Business Jet, can hold up to eight people.

The inside cabin width is slightly bigger than the Boeing Business Jet at 3.7 meters.

Gulfstream G650

Gulfstream G650

Gulfstream G650

Price: $64.5 million

This could be the private jet for you if you suffer bad jet lag.

“When you are flying on some airplanes, people talk about jet lag. It’s not jet lag, it’s the cabin pressure. You are flying at high altitude so there’s less oxygen. Airlines recirculate the air in the cabin, sometimes it affects you but on a corporate jet you are bringing fresh air and the cabin pressure on G650 is lowest of all jets, which means when you are going on a 10-hour trip, your body doesn’t feel the pressure, you arrive in a more relaxed and hydrated situation,” Varsano explained.

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The Jet Business founder added that the G650 is the fastest plane in production.

It can fit up to 19 passengers and boasts that it can fly 12,964 kilometers nonstop with eight passengers on board.

The G650 cabin width is slightly narrower than the Boeing Business Jet and Airbus ACJ319 at 2.59 meters.

Bombardier Global 6000

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Price: $54 million

It offers less mileage than the G650, but this is one for the Bombardier fans, Varsano said.

The cockpit is known as the Borbardier Vision Flight Deck, a very advanced system and something known to fans of the aircraft.

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In the aircraft are a number of rooms such as the “stateroom” – the quietest part of the cabin with a divan, wardrobe and entertainment system.

The internal environment on board is controlled through a touch screen with high-speed internet on board as well.

One of the benefits of the jet is its ability to land at challenging airports due to its “short takeoff” and “slow approach” capabilities.

Dassault Falcon 7X

Dassault Falcon 7X

Dassault Falcon 7X

Price: $53 million

“The 7X would become the first business jet to use fighter jet technology with an elegant, whisper-quiet executive cabin,” Dassault explains of its digital flight control system, which automatically stabilizes the aircraft during turbulence.

It can accommodate 12 to 16 passengers depending on what floor plan you choose and is equipped with showers and a dining area.

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Like the Bombardier Global 6000, the Falcon 7X can land at challenging airports with short runways such as London City. This is because the Falcon 7X has three engines instead of two which helps it slow its approach when landing.

It has good endurance and can fly 11,019 kilometers with eight passengers.

Embraer Lineage 1000E

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Price: $53 million

Introduced in 2013, the Lineage 1000E seats 13 to 19 passengers and is Embraer’s most luxurious private jet.

Some of the key features include a large master suite with a queen-sized bed with a walk-in shower, a dining room, office desk, and lounge area.

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It has a shorter flight distance than some of its competitors; it can fly 8519 kilometers with eight passengers.

But like many of its competitor the Lineage 1000E has the ability to land at difficult airports – making it ideal for the business traveler with a lot of cash.

The world’s most expensive private jets

Skyrocketing Aerospace Growth and Complex Supply Chains

Skyrocketing Aerospace Growth and Complex Supply Chains

Commercial airplane makers are ramping up production to meet historic demand from operators around the world, but the good times come with risk in this increasingly complex business that sees supply chains sprawling further and often into emerging markets.

Now, more than ever, a mastery of aerospace logistics is key to success. Without it, the chance for failure grows.

Thanks to new data from Boeing, we know demand for airplanes is skyrocketing and that the world’s fleet of passenger planes is on track to more than double by 2034. The planemaker anticipates demand for 38,000 new airplanes valued at $5.6 trillion, up 3.5 percent from last year’s 20-year forecast.

Boeing says the market for single-aisle planes is the largest and fastest-growing segment. Narrowbodies like the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320 carry up to 75 percent of passengers on more than 70 percent of the world’s commercial aviation routes. About 35 percent of the single-aisle market will go to low-cost airlines.

And, as passenger demand continues to rise, so does demand for planes from the cargo side of the business. Boeing predicts cargo carriers will order 920 new planes in the next 20 years.

Supply Chain Strain

Higher volume, of course, puts greater strain on supply chains, which are only as strong as their weakest links. Consider that in some cases, aerospace parts travel from all over the world to a centralized assembly site. Some orders have to be translated into foreign languages. Measurements may need to be converted into and out of metric.

With all this going on, supply chain managers must ensure suppliers work in harmony and that none become overextended. Parts shortages or errors disrupt downstream production. And that, in turn, boosts the risk for delayed aircraft deliveries.

If planemakers are going to meet the stunning demand for their products, they need to know that the right parts are available to them at the right time. It requires coordination, logistics, industry know-how, and a 30,000-foot view.

Sometimes it requires an ability to adapt quickly to business conditions in newer markets. We know that emerging economies are investing heavily in transportation infrastructure in an effort to take advantage of global business opportunities.

It is quite clear that the commercial aerospace industry has a rich future.
The Asia-Pacific region — by far the biggest market — will add 14,300 new planes to its collective fleet by 2034, Boeing says. These are new players in an already competitive landscape.

That rivals the combined total number of planes set to enter the already robust North American and European fleets during the same period. But those more mature markets demand new fuel-efficient planes to replace retiring gas guzzlers.

Emerging markets such as Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa represent the greatest industry-growth regions in the coming decade. But there are high barriers to entry. The top three barriers in those markets are internal compliance concerns, establishing initial operations, and limited resources to pursue new markets, according to UPS’s study, Aerogistics: Insights into Emerging Markets and Supply Chain Complexity.

To seize opportunities in emerging markets, aerospace companies must be agile and responsive in their supply chains. They need supply chains with contingency plans that can contain or minimize disruptions.

Think earthquakes. Think tsunamis.

The Role of Logistics

Clearly, this is a dynamic industry with complex needs. That’s why aerospace companies increasingly require assistance throughout the product lifecycle: pre-production, aftermarket service, inventory, and supply chain visibility.

Doing this job right requires deep industry knowledge and an understanding of market conditions and regulations around the world. Aerospace exporters must also be prepared to navigate a challenging customs landscape as goods cross international borders.

Logistics partners can see to it that planemakers, their suppliers, and their customers can focus on core business and sleep better at night.

Skyrocketing Aerospace Growth and Complex Supply Chains

The First International Beauty Contest Judged By Robots

The First International Beauty Contest Judged By Robots

Robots are starting to appear everywhere: driving cars, cooking dinners and even as robotic pets.

But people don’t usually give machine intelligence much credence when it comes to judging beauty. That may change with the launch of the world’s first international beauty contest judged exclusively by a robot jury.

The contest, which requires participants to take selfies via a special app and submit them to the contest website, is touting new sophisticated facial recognition algorithms that allow machines to judge beauty in new and improved ways.

The contest intends to have robots analyze the many age-related changes on the human face and evaluate the impact on perception of these changes by people of various ages, races, ethnicities and nationalities.

Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov, a consultant on the competition and CEO of Insilco Medicine, a bioinformatics company focusing on aging research, says “Recent advances in Deep Learning have made machine recognition of beauty aspects far better than ever before.”

Machine intelligence capabilities have been steadily growing in sophistication every year. Some experts say Moore’s Law — where a microchip doubles in computing power about every 24 months — may not hold up as well as it has in the last two decades. However, even if Moore’s Law fails in the future, new methods of computing, like quantum computing, may again set the industry on breakneck development speeds.

Part of the AI beauty contest framework is not just for humans submitting selfies, but also programmers submitting their best algorithms for machine detection of beauty. Near the bottom of the contest website is a link for algorithm submissions that takes coders to a page saying, “Would you like to go down in history as one of the first data scientists who taught a machine to estimate human attractiveness?” In a way, this makes the contest a crowd-sourced event.

Of course, getting robots to understand beauty is not just for kicks. Behind the motive is a massive anti-aging industry that wants to better understand how youthfulness can be better monitored and implemented. I suspect it’s part of the reason Microsoft, Nvidia, Youth Laboratories and other companies are prominently listed on the website as “partners and supporters.”

“This contest will help build impartial feature-specific and general robots that will help us understand our faces. But my personal dream is to have this contest extended into anti-aging and general healthcare space,” said Nastya Georgievskaya, robot tutor at Youth Laboratories, a company developing deep learning systems for facial analysis.

Getting robots to understand beauty is not just for kicks.
Dr. Zhavoronkov told me the contest hopes to facilitate the launch of a series of apps that will allow people to track the effects of various products (including cosmetics) on their face — ones that quickly allow them to understand the impact on perception using impartial opinion of deep-learned algorithms.

“People may not care about how to extend their lifespans, but they definitely care about the way they look,” Zhavoronkov wrote me. “Insilco Medicine used massive multi-omics data from academic and commercial partnerships to predict the likely geroprotectors that may have beneficial effects on human skin, and we need a way to test the efficacy of these interventions. We will be launching an application called RYNKL in the coming weeks if all goes well, which will allow users to take standardized selfies periodically to analyze the changes in ‘wrinkleness’ of their face in the context of their lifestyle, behavior, and other interventions.”

This beauty contest will run every half a year, and more and more teams from all over the world will be invited to try their robots on human faces linked to multiple other parameters. The overriding goal of the contest is discover complex rating systems that will teach machines to evaluate humans, which will be important to getting robots to act more like us — and also to understand our ways. Of course, humans may be in for a surprise if machines decide many of us are not attractive — or are even downright ugly.

Alex Shevtsov, founder and CEO of Youth Laboratories, recently asked, “You may like your Tesla, but would you like your Tesla to like you?”

Despite the competition featuring the next generation of machine recognition, the beauty contest does not allow participants to use make-up, have beards or wear hats in their submitted selfies. Maybe in a few years, that will be worked out, so machines will be able to understand more than skin-deep beauty, but also human’s love of endless and often artistic material accessories, like earings, fancy dresses and even tattoos.

Eventually, through this technology, machines may even learn to judge another machine’s appearance, opening up the possible world of robot attraction and love.

The First International Beauty Contest Judged By Robots

The World’s First Supersonic Private Jet Just Landed its First Order

The World’s First Supersonic Private Jet Just Landed its First Order

The World’s First Supersonic Private Jet Just Landed its First Order

After 13 years of developing a high-speed business jet on paper, billionaire-backed Aerion Corporation is a big step closer to making supersonic passenger travel a reality again. The company—funded by both Texas billionaire Robert Bass and European aerospace giant Airbus—just inked its first order for 20 of the $120 million jets.

If Aerion can execute an ambitious timeline unveiled last week, its AS2 could be in the air in just five years, with first commercial deliveries beginning in 2023. That would make the jet the first passenger aircraft designed for trans-sonic travel—at speeds both above and below the sound barrier—since the retirement of the iconic Concorde in 2003.

The Concorde ferried passengers at roughly twice the speed of sound, or roughly 1,300 miles per hour, shaving hours off the average trans-Atlantic passage (it once flew New York to London in just under three hours). But the economics of the aircraft were a nightmare. It carried a quarter of the passengers as a typical Boeing jumbo jet while burning through twice the fuel, and regulations restricting ear-splitting sonic booms in American and European airspace limited it to trans-oceanic routes. High operational costs—translating into high ticket prices—eventually rendered the jet unsustainable.

With the AS2, Aerion believes it has engineered a clever work-around for companies and individuals that want to take advantage of supersonic intercontinental flight as well fast subsonic intra-continental travel. The AS2 would cruise efficiently at speeds just below the sound barrier while over land as well as at roughly Mach 1.5—or one-and-a-half times the speed of sound—over the ocean (at sea level sound travels about 750 miles per hour). Capable of carrying between eight and 12 passengers up to 4,750 nautical miles at supersonic speeds, the AS2 could trim three hours off a transatlantic flight and more off longer trans-Pacific routes, the company says.

A partnership with Airbus announced last year gave Aerion’s concept a major boost in both credibility and technical know-how. Under the agreement, Airbus will provide both components and technology as well as its expertise in bringing an aircraft from drawing board to commercial market, says Jeff Miller, an Aerion spokesman.

That backing has proved enough to lure Aerion’s first customer to the table. Flexjet, a company that sells fractional ownership and leasing of private aircraft, placed an order for 20 of Aerion’s AS2 jets last week—the first firm order for the yet-to-be-built aircraft. Flexjet anticipates demand among its clientele for intercontinental round-trip travel in a single day. The AS2 could provide the necessary speed and comfort, company execs say.

In the early going Aerion expects most of its customers to fit a similar profile—either high net worth individuals or charter operators that cater to well-heeled companies and individuals. The AS2 makes a lot of sense for head-of-state travel or high-level corporate travel, Miller says, because of the time it can save in the air. It might not make as much sense for corporations to own the jets outright, at least not at first, he says. But Aerion expects corporate customers will follow as supersonic jet travel becomes more mainstream again.

Of course, first Aerion has to build, test, and certify the AS2. The timeline unveiled last week calls for first flight of a test aircraft in 2021. The company and its partners at Airbus are currently choosing the location for Aerion’s final assembly site and plan for construction to start in 2018. Aerion declined to disclose a list of potential sites, but Miller says its factory will be in the U.S. and—given the nature of sonic boom restrictions over land—likely in a coastal region.

The real question for Aerion now isn’t whether the company and it’s partners at Airbus can actually build and fly their AS2, but whether they can beat the bad economics of supersonic passenger flight that grounded the Concorde. While there’s little doubt the AS2 can improve on the inefficiencies of the supersonic jetliner, its less clear if there’s a large enough market for a supersonic passenger jet that costs twice as much as something like a Gulfstream G650—generally a top aircraft in the private jet market—while flying only 50% faster, and then only some of the time.

Aerion and Airbus think so. The company does not disclose its financials, and therefore it’s difficult to determine how many $120 million AS2s the company will need to sell after 2023 to turn a profit. If the demand does exist, however, Aerion and Airbus could find themselves pioneering the return to supersonic passenger flight.

Fortune

 

The World’s First Supersonic Private Jet Just Landed its First Order

Windowless plane lets you fly with your head in the clouds

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In this plane, everyone has a window seat. And yet there are no windows.

Instead, this concept plane from the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) lines the cabin with curved high-definition screens. Cameras mounted on the aircraft’s exterior then pipe in video that make it look like the walls are see-through.

Windowless plane lets you fly with your head in the clouds.

Supersonic business jets

Business World

How would you like to trim three hours off the current commercial jet flight time between Paris and Washington, D.C.?

Or two hours and 48 minutes off the flight between New York and Sao Paulo?

Or two and a half hours between Tokyo and Singapore?

Airbus to help develop first supersonic business jet.

Fry, fry away

Later today, Finnair is planning to fly an Airbus A330 from Helsinki to New York partly powered by recycled cooking oil. It is an interesting concept. The airline will not disclose the ratio of fossil fuel to cooking oil it has used until the plane touches down, but to be certified jet fuel must contain at least 50% of the traditional, dirty type.

Fry, fry away | The Economist.