Technology StocksBoeing keeps setting new highs! When will it split?

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From: Eric10/5/2017 7:36:36 PM
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  • Boeing & Aerospace
  • Business

  • Boeing buys maker of drones and advanced robotic systems

    Originally published October 5, 2017 at 8:57 am Updated October 5, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Centaur is an experimental aircraft developed by Aurora Flight Sciences that can be flown with or without a pilot. Boeing is acquiring Aurora Flight Sciences, a developer of autonomous aerial drones and advanced robotic systems, and headquartered in Manassas, Va. (Aurora Flight Sciences)

    Boeing is acquiring Aurora Flight Sciences of Virginia, a specialist in developing innovative aerial drones and advanced robotic systems.

    Dominic Gates
    Seattle Times aerospace reporter

    Boeing is acquiring Aurora Flight Sciences, a developer of autonomous aerial drones and advanced robotic systems that has worked for the Pentagon as well as for Uber.

    The financial terms were not disclosed.

    Greg Hyslop, chief technology officer and senior vice president of Boeing Engineering, Test & Technology, said the acquisition “will advance the development of autonomy for our commercial and military systems.”

    Aurora will help Boeing stay in the forefront of advanced robotic technologies for future aircraft, unmanned or optionally manned, and other aerospace applications, Hyslop said in a teleconference call.

    “The world is going to be about hybrid-electric airplanes, or all-electric airplanes, and … more autonomy, and how artificial intelligence enables that,” Hyslop said. “We don’t know what that market is going to look like in the future, but as it forms, we want to be there and we want to lead.”

    Aurora founder and chief executive John Langford said joining Boeing will allow his team to take “the cutting edge R&D we’ve been doing over the years in a whole range of areas — autonomy, electric propulsion, very long endurance flight — and apply it with the strength of the world’s leading aerospace company to get it out into the world market.”

    “The marriage of robotics and aeronautics is really at the heart of what Aurora is involved in,” Langford said.

    Headquartered in Manassas, Va., Aurora has more than 550 employees. It has a research-and-development center near MIT in Cambridge, Mass., and manufacturing facilities in Bridgeport, W. Va., and Columbus, Miss.

    One Aurora project, called Centaur, installed an autonomous piloting system on a small Diamond Twin Star plane, turning it into an aircraft that can fly with or without a pilot.

    Orion, developed by Aurora Flight Sciences, set the world endurance record for a remotely controlled drone, staying aloft for more than three days. Boeing is acquiring Aurora, a developer of autonomous aerial drones and advanced robotic systems and headquartered in Manassas, Va. (Aurora Flight Sciences)

    Another project, Orion, set the world endurance record for a remotely controlled drone, staying aloft for more than three days.

    Aurora also works on military projects. For the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) it has developed a vertical takeoff and landing experimental vehicle that uses multiple hybrid-electric-powered ducted fans and can both hover and fly forward at high speed.

    And in April, spinning off that DARPA project, the car ridesharing company Uber selected Aurora as a partner to develop electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft for its proposed pilotless air-taxi network.

    Aurora has flown a quarter-scale prototype of the aircraft it is developing for Uber.

    “It’s not like there are no humans involved,” Langford said, saying that the concept is for the Uber air taxis in any given city to be monitored and controlled from a network center.

    “There’s no pilot on board, but there are still humans supervising the network,” he said.

    At the Paris Air Show in June, Mike Sinnett, the Boeing vice president responsible for innovative future technologies, said that the jetmaker has begun researching the possibility of full-scale commercial-passenger jets that will fly without pilots — using artificial intelligence guiding automated controls to make decisions in flight.

    Asked if acquiring Aurora is another step in that direction, Hyslop on Thursday cautioned that “there are a lot of tough technical problems that have to be worked before we ever get to the point of pilotless airplanes.”

    He said the nearer-term goal is to create a “robotic co-pilot.” The human pilot will become a manager of the increasingly complex automated-control systems as planes become more electrified, he said.

    Langford called it “a matchup of computers doing what computers are best at and humans doing the things humans are best at.”

    “They may not be sitting in traditional seats, operating traditional-looking controls,” he said. “The computers are augmenting what the humans can do.”

    Boeing has collaborated with Aurora on various experimental projects, not only on aircraft but also on automated manufacturing systems.

    Langford revealed on the teleconference call that about three years ago, Aurora — working both with Boeing and with Boeing’s key supplier of automated manufacturing equipment, Mukilteo-based engineering-design firm Electroimpact — built the first all-composite prototype wing spars for the 777X in its Columbus manufacturing facility.

    The success of that robotic-techology project led to the decision to go with a composite wing on that airplane and allowed Boeing to set up the 777X wing plant in Everett.

    Hyslop said Boeing hopes to use Aurora’s production facilities not only for rapid prototyping of experimental vehicles but also for component manufacturing.

    Aurora has also collaborated with other aerospace companies in both research and manufacturing, including rivals to Boeing.

    At its Bridgeport facility, Aurora partnered with Sikorsky, now part of Lockheed Martin, to develop the CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter for the U.S. Marines. It built the engine nacelles and designed and built the main rotor pylon.

    At its Mississippi facility, Aurora builds the carbon composite horizontal tail of the G500 business jet, manufactured by Gulfstream, a Savannah, Ga.-based subsidiary of General Dynamics.

    Hyslop said Boeing intends to continue such supplier relationships and that partnering with competitors is “not uncommon.”

    Boeing also wants to preserve Aurora’s culture of innovation.

    Langford said Aurora will operate as a separate independent subsidiary within Boeing, retaining its name and branding.

    That approach was successful when Boeing acquired another drone company, Insitu based in Bingen, Klickitat County.

    Even while retaining Aurora’s independent spirit, Langford said, he aims to integrate with Boeing through its engineering-research unit to develop cutting-edge technology that will make its way into Boeing products.

    He said “the goal is to push not only innovation but products into the big production centers” at Boeing, including its Puget Sound-area airplane factories.

    Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or

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    From: Eric10/6/2017 8:07:42 AM
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    More Launch Details About Zunum Aero Electric Hybrid Planes

    Message 31294146

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    From: Eric10/6/2017 3:38:17 PM
       of 3286
    Do not do this at home!

    (and I'm a FAA Flight Instructor!)


    Pilotless airplanes closer with Boeing acquisition

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    From: Eric10/7/2017 9:13:44 AM
       of 3286
  • Boeing & Aerospace
  • Business

  • Boeing jet hijacked in 1977 returns home — inside a giant cargo plane

    Originally published October 6, 2017 at 12:49 pm Updated October 6, 2017 at 5:42 pm

    The fuselage and wings of a Boeing 737 were transported in a special frame inside an Antonov An-124 cargo jet from Brazil to Friederichshafen, Germany late last month. The Lufthansa 737-200 was hijacked in 1977 with 86 passengers aboard, and after four days all but the pilot were successfully rescued in Mogadishu, Somalia. The plane was abandoned in Brazil after being decommissioned in 2008, and the German foreign ministry purchased it to be fully restored and placed on permanent display in Friederichshafen’s Dornier Museum. (Achim Mende)

    Fully 40 years after a plane hijacking that shocked Germany, a Boeing 737 finally returned to that nation last month. Getting the dilapidated jet home required taking off the wings and slipping the fuselage into a massive Antonov transporter.

    Dominic Gates
    Seattle Times aerospace reporter

    Forty years after a plane hijacking that shocked Germany and gained worldwide attention, a Boeing 737 finally returned to that nation last month.

    The German foreign ministry bought the dilapidated and dirty 737-200 in July for about $24,000 so that it could be restored and put on display as a symbol of a free society, undefeated by terror.

    Former crew members from the 1977 flight joined German government officials and airplane enthusiasts in late September to give an emotional homecoming to the plane.

    Operated by German flag carrier Lufthansa, Flight 181 was hijacked on October 13, 1977 while flying tourists from Palma, Mallorca, to Frankfurt. Four members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine took over the plane and demanded that Germany release prisoners belonging to the allied Red Army Faction, West Germany’s own far-left terrorist group.

    In a four-day ordeal, passengers and crew were forced to travel to Rome, Cyprus, Bahrain, Dubai and Aden before reaching the final destination of Mogadishu, Somalia.

    The terrorists killed the aircraft’s pilot, Jürgen Schumann, while stopped in Aden, a city in present-day Yemen.

    In Mogadishu, a German special forces team stormed the plane, killed three of the hijackers, wounded and captured the fourth, and freed the 86 passengers and the four remaining crew.

    The Boeing 737-200 eventually went back into service and was later sold, ultimately flying for the Brazilian airline TAF Linhas.

    It was decommissioned in 2008, then abandoned at Fortaleza Airport in northeastern Brazil.

    The plane, which had deteriorated over the years, was delivered by air in large pieces back to Germany from Brazil.

    The complete fuselage and wings were separately tucked into a giant Antonov An-124 cargo plane operated by Volga-Dnepr Airlines of Russia.

    Volga-Dnepr’s smaller Ilyushin Il-76 carried the 737’s engines and passenger seats.

    The 737’s final resting place will be an aviation museum in the city of Friedrichshafen.

    Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or

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    From: Eric10/17/2017 9:37:37 AM
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  • Boeing & Aerospace
  • Business

  • Qantas gets its first 787-9, destined for very long flights

    Originally published October 16, 2017 at 5:15 pmUpdated October 16, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    A giant door opens at the Future of Flight Aviation Center in Everett to reveal Qantas’s first 787-9 Dreamliner. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times)

    Qantas took delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner at Everett’s Paine Field. It will use the planes to fly the first nonstop routes from Australia to Europe.

    By Dominic Gates
    Seattle Times aerospace reporter

    Australian carrier Qantas unveiled its first 787-9 Dreamliner in a ceremony Monday at the Future of Flight aviation center at Paine Field in Everett.

    Qantas will use the long-range jet to change the route structure of its flights to Europe, flying the 787-9 from Perth to London starting next year.

    This will be the first time the continents of Europe and Australia are linked by a nonstop commercial flight. Until now, Qantas has stopped either in Singapore or Dubai en route to London.

    Qantas’ first 787-9 Dreamliner is delivered by Boeing at the Future of Flight Aviation Center in Everett on Monday. (Mike Siegel/The Seattle Times)

    More aerospace stories
    • Boeing rivals Airbus, Bombardier join forces on CSeries jet seen as threat to 737 October 16, 2017
    • Monday Memo: Amazon’s HQ2 deadline, new Windows 10 features, aerospace and life science conferences October 16, 2017
    • Surge in drone safety incidents prompts ‘emergency’ action at FAA October 14, 2017
    • Boeing’s Iran deals hang in the balance as Trump condemns nuclear accord October 13, 2017

    Dominic Gates: 206-464-2963 or

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