Thursday was a good day for the Boeing Company, a very good day. In addition to winning the long sought and much publicized tanker deal, it also successfully launched the space shuttle Discovery on its final mission to the International Space Station. Boeing is the prime contractor for both the shuttle and the space station. Finally, the delayed 787 program reached the 1,000th flight milestone in its flight-testing program. Together these three news items strike a most positive note and is why Boeing’s stock was up on Thursday, even though the rest of the market was down again.
EADS, the parent to Airbus has ten days to file a protest to this tanker contract award. If recent Pentagon acquisitions are any indication then an EADS protest is likely. One can only hope that after so much practice, the Air Force has finally gotten its act together this time around, after all the third time is a charm.
The Eisenhower era airplanes that the Air Force wants to replace are over fifty years old. One of my co-workers flies them for the Guard. When asked what they were like, he didn’t describe how they flew, or what they looked like, but how they smelled. 🙄
While the House Republicans were grabbing all of the headlines with their slashing of the budget, the Senate was acting with the utmost of decorum. The Senate passed the Aviation Jobs Bill, before the Presidents Day holiday. This bill was passed 87-8. How’s that for bipartisanship? This bill authorizes $35B and is supposed to generate 280,000 jobs. Frankly, this is a better return on jobs investment than the tanker deal. Really though, what this bill is about is a revamping of the air-traffic control system. It is almost as old as those aged tankers and its replacement has been almost as plagued as the tanker deal. The envisioned system will allow airplanes to fly from Detroit to Saint Louis in a straight line, well actually a great circle, but who’s counting. No more need to fly through Indianapolis or Chicago and I am speaking of direct flights. This will save the airlines time, gas and money.
Just like here, it is raining in Monterey, so there are no pictures from Chris. Is everyone celebrating with Seattle, by channeling their weather? Dave is at Purdue. Speaking of Dave, Anne is wondering what he is really doing at NIH. She has started to work on taxes. Instead of earning a salary, he has been earning a “taxable energy grant”, whatever that means. Maybe he is training his mindless mice to generate electricity on their little exercise wheels?
I’ve always loved airplanes and unlike most guys, only felt lukewarm love towards cars. A day like today makes my heart soar. I think that in light of today’s news, I’ll take the rest of the night off and celebrate some! Just a little though, because Friday is another workday, don’t you know.