Practically Flying Off the Shelves

By May 27, 2010Economy, General, Trade

The Commerce Department report Wednesday on durable goods orders — up 2.9 percent in April — served up a needed reminder (at least for us) of how critical the commercial aviation industry is for the U.S. economy and balance of trade.

Transportation equipment, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, had the largest increase, $7.0 billion or 16.1 percent to $50.7 billion. This was due to nondefense aircraft and parts which increased $7.3 billion.

Without the bump from non-defense aircraft sales, new orders actually fell by 1 percent in April.

To get a sense of how this all works on the ground and in the air, we turned to Randy’s Journal, the blog hosted by Randy Tinseth, vice president, marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle. On May 17, he blogged, “34 per month.”

We announced today that we will indeed increase production rates on the Renton-built Next-Generation 737.

We’ll be increasing the rate from the current 31.5 airplanes per month to 34 per month in early 2012.


The photo is of the Next-Generation 737  production line in Renton, Wash.

Then there’s Randy’s “Captains ‘fantastic‘” entry from Monday, with photos of the very first customer crew to fly a 787 Dreamliner — pilots from launch customer ANA: Capt. Masayuki Ishii, ANA’s director of 787 pre-operations planning, and Capt. Masami Tsukamoto, ANA’s manager of 787 project pilots.

High-tech aviation exports, making the difference between a positive and negative month in durable good orders. Who says America doesn’t make things anymore?

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