|BOAC, Now British Airways, Crews Cheer Arrival of DeHavilland Comet, World’s First Operational Jetliner Image: BOAC|
Chicago – 17 June, 2012 – In the interests of professional full disclosure, I completely disagreed with Boeing’s decision to drop development of the Sonic Cruiser – an aircraft with the potential to completely reshape the commercial air travel landscape in a way not seen since the debut of the jet-powered DeHavilland Comet, Boeing 707 and supersonic Concorde (I had the profound privilege of being aboard Concorde 4 times) in favor of the aesthetically boring -save for the exquisite interior- though technologically advanced Dreamliner. An analysis in queue, but never completed owing to national security related events which commanded our full attention, was entitled “Boeing Chooses Mediocrity Over Greatness”. Indeed, a wonderful opportunity was missed to give the flying public a large glimpse of the future in aircraft design, and one that would have had people flocking to airports just to see it. It should be mentioned however, that according to Flight Global’s Steve Trimble last month, there is reconsideration -on going as we speak- of a somewhat reconfigured, and in all likelihood Mach 1 capable, Sonic Cruiser as replacement for 757.
|Artist’s Rendering of The Sonic Cruiser: If Boeing Doesn’t Build it The Japanese and The Chinese Most Certainly Will Image: Boeing|
The foregoing statement is one given substance as I recall recommending to then British Airways Director of Public Relations John Lampl that he should strongly consider having Concorde visit Tampa International Airport. In the aftermath of having flown this superlative aircraft on its inaugural run for Miami service in March of 1984 and then again the following year, I felt this visit would act as a stimulus for further developing the passenger base in the Tampa – St.Petersburg -Clearwater market. John agreed, and Concorde did indeed visit Tampa in 1985 and thrilled the 100,000+ people who responded to an excellent PR campaign that included a full page ad simply saying “Concorde’s Coming!”.
|Airbus A380 Image: Airbus|
I always believed Boeing management, under the then captaincy of Dr. Philip Condit, weakly bowed to pressure from Airbus’ John Leahy and under informed aviation media’s public debunking of Boeing’s Sonic Cruiser announcement in 2001 following a near total rejection of its revamped 747X in favor of the “clean sheet of paper” A380 Super Jumbo. And in hindsight, must be viewed as nothing more than a thinly disguised fear by Leahy that the proposed near-sonic Boeing aircraft would simply neutralize the market momentum and presumed ascendancy induced by A380.
In the 2001 analysis “Boeing Going?” Leahy was quoted as saying “The 747 is a very fine airplane, but it’s based on 1960’s technology.” To which our editorial team responded:
|Then Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Alan Mulally Unveils a 3-dimensional Model of the Sonic Cruiser during the 2001 Paris Air Show. There is Little Doubt That Mulally Would Have Successfully Launched the Program Image: Boeing|
|Delivery of 787 Aircraft to Launch Customer ANA at Everett, WA Production Facilities in September 2011|
Destined For Success: Dreamliner Completing World Tour
With the delivery of 787 aircraft to launch customer ANA last September, and the near completion of its world tour flight demonstrations, Boeing appears to be on a roll.
The myriad manufacturing process issues, particularly the conjoining of metal to composites, seemed to have been resolved, although academic colleagues in the field of metallurgy and an aerospace industry supplier are not totally convinced that Boeing has crafted a long term solution to the latter concern. “In my mind, I keep envisioning a [DeHavilland] Comet-like state of affairs from an aircraft structural integrity standpoint; the result of pushing the technological envelope too far, too fast,” said a supplier colleague. “While I have seen Boeing engineers over the decades demonstrate an incredible knack for ultra-complex problem solving, the issue of composites being used this extensively in an airframe (50%) and conjoined metal to composite in the wing box is a new animal. No one has demonstrated or answered convincingly to my satisfaction that separation of the conjoined components will not occur subsequent to X amount of flight cycles. You can’t put one thing that doesn’t move on top of something that does.
“Of course, I very much want 787 to succeed brilliantly. And, although confident that every problem has a solution, I remain convinced that only a short to mid-term solution has been crafted to gain FAA approval. An approval mind you, that prompted a GAO investigation into the 787-specific modified certification processes.”
|Boeing 707 Image: Boeing|
To be continued next week…
The anguish of unrelenting cold in the camps is reflected in the face of this Afghan Boy
Image: Andrea Bruce, New York Times
“We were up all night trying to keep her warm, but there weren’t enough blankets. Then we heard her cough. It was her last breath.” Mr. Samid Gul, on the loss of his infant daughter, as told to the BBC’s Andrew North
UPDATE: Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan ( March 24-31, 2012) – In the aftermath of a deadlier than usual winter for young children in Afghanistan, in which at least 40 children have frozen to death as a result of inadequate clothing, shelter, and blankets, a British Afghan Women’s Society air cargo of warm baby clothes, baby formula, and other items has arrived in Kabul, and delivered to the refugee camps in Kabul where many of the freezing deaths occurred. The cargo is the result of an outpouring of sympathy from Britons and people from around the world, who responded overwhelmingly to calls by the Society for donations of these items.
The cargo was transported through the generous donation of air transport services from a number of companies working together, picking up different legs of the trip. It is believed that this is the first time a purely cooperative effort attempting end-to-end delivery of such a large quantity of donated relief items has been accomplished in the Afghan theater. The donated items are being driven directly to the camps after sorting and will be put into the hands of the neediest families.
The refugee camps hold an estimated 35,000 people who have fled the violence and fighting in other parts of the country, and live in squalid conditions, mostly in
tents and mud huts.Twenty three of the deaths occurred in the camps in Kabul,
considered the most secure area of the country. All were children under five.
The British Afghan Women’s Society gathered over 2,000 kilos of children’s clothes
and blankets, the weight equivalent of a Ford Explorer. The transport mission is
led by former Newsweek special correspondent Mr. Myron D. Stokes of Global HeavyLift Holdings Inc. of Bloomfield Hills, MI, working with strategic partners at Kalitta Air, DHL-United Kingdom/Bahrain/Bagram, Aviapartner Belgium, and Fast Forward Freight, Belgium.
British Afghan Women’s Society Director Zarghona Rassa and Driver Sameer pose with DHL Bagram crew during pick up at Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan Image: DHL-OAIX
The Mission Begins: 0745z/24 – Liege Airport, Belgium
The airlift took-off from Liege Airport in Belgium at 0745z March 23rd last weekend, briefly stopped at Bahrain, and arrived Bagram at 0500z/24, March 24. Distribution was carried out Saturday March 31 in the refugee camps in Kabul following a news conference that morning from within the DHSA compound. The flight has been christened “Ismail’s Flight,” after the youngest of the children who froze who were named in a New York Times report. Ismail was 30 days old.
The donation of children’s items comes as relations between the Afghan government and the US government are at an all-time low, after recent incidents such as the Quran burnings last February and, more recently, the murder of 16 civilians allegedly by a US soldier now in custody. The organizers noted that in addition to the great need for the winter baby clothes, the timing of the delivery to the refugee camps in Kabul is significant,
as it coincides with the Afghan New Year.
Afghan tradition holds that on Nowruz, the week of celebrations for the New Year, if a
person is warm and kind to their relatives, friends and neighbors, then the New Year will be a good one.
As reported in the BBC by Mr. Andrew North on 21 February, “Nearly 40 children have
frozen to death in Afghanistan, according to Afghan officials, as the country experiences one of its harshest winters in decades.”
More than half these deaths took place in and around Kabul, the most secure area in
The DHL air crew handling the final leg of the mission into Afghanistan flew into the often dangerous airspace, at risk, in order to deliver the load.
Although death by cold or starvation, especially among young children, is a common occurrence every winter in rural areas in Afghanistan, this year the world was shocked as dozens of infants and young children froze in the most populous and secure city, the capital of Kabul.
In February Andrew North of the BBC reported the story of Mr. Samid Gul, who had
recently lost an infant daughter. Mr. Gul said:”We were up all night trying to keep her warm, but there weren’t enough blankets. Then we heard her cough. It was her last breath.”
The temperatures on the coldest nights in Kabul ranged from just below freezing to minus ten degrees Celsius, for refugees living, for all practical purposes, outdoors with no heat in such temperatures.
In January the BBC’s Bilal Sarwary reported of life in Kabul in general that “Many
homes lack basic heating and many Afghans simply do not have enough clothes to keep
them warm.” The deaths in Kabul were also reported by Rod Nordland of the New York
Zarghona Rassa and Sameer Ahmad Mastoor pose with DHL crew after truck loading at Bagram Airbase Image: DHL-OIAX
Bringing Together a Global Logistics Team
Myron D. Stokes of Global HeavyLift Holdings, Inc. said of the complex logistical
team working together, “Not only are they happy to do this, they are excited. We can’t thank the aviation professionals like Pete Sanderlin, Sean Pryce, Thomas Henry, Emil Pando, Mohamed Durgana, Benjamin Seamans, Heath Nicholl, Diana Bean and Connie Kalitta of Kalitta Air; Susan Westlake and Doug Choyce of DHL UK, Nick Mariano, DHL-Bagram, Ebrahim Abdulla and Sami Juma, DHL-Bahrain; Bob Swindens and Aurelie Seron of Fast Forward Freight Belgium; Menno Van Goch and Stef Lemmens of IAS/Kalitta Belgium and innumerable others, enough for this extraordinary effort that moved significant relief goods across the world into a conflict zone in record time. Even more significantly, I believe this represents a new humanitarian resource transport model that has demonstrably removed, via this mission, the typical and often frustrating complexities for moving such goods to the critical point of utilization.”
Stokes also commended Global HeavyLift’s Director of Middle East Operations Benjamin Ballout, who, after discussions with Ed Corcoran of Global Security and Jobs For Afghan’s Ralph Lopez, recommended the mission. “He simply called and said, ‘We really need to do whatever we can to assist’, and that was the trigger”, Stokes said.
Stokes says he has to reserve special praise for the ground team in Kabul which required precise coordination between DHL-Bagram’s Nick Mariano, British Afghan Women’s Society Director Zarghona Rassa, Sameer Ahmad Mastoor, the transport convoy co-organized by Shahir Zahine of Development Humanitarian Services of Afghanistan (DHSA) Najim Dost, and NYE Express Marketing Director Sayed Hanif Ghanzafar. “The flexibility and resourcefulness demonstrated in the face of rapidly changing circumstances associated with pick up at Bagram Airfield to delivery and storage at the NYE Express warehouse is the stuff of movies”, said Stokes. We’ll be re-telling the story for the rest of our lives, I think. And, I don’t believe that on their best day Oprah Winfrey’s producers could find a grander example of strong, brave and resourceful women like Zarghona Rassa.”
“Driven Away by a War, Now Stalked by Winter’s Cold” by Rod Norland, New York Times, Feb.3, 2012
“Uncovering the Sadness of Young Deaths”, by Rod Nordland/Andrea Bruce photography, New York Times, Feb. 8, 2012
“In the Midst of $2 Billion Per Week Spending on War, Babies Freezing in Kabul for Lack of Food, Fuel.”
About Global HeavyLift Holdings, Inc
Founded in 2002, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan-based GHH is a strategic air transport solutions entity that was born of a multi-year public/private effort (Commercial Application of Military Airlift Aircraft-CAMAA ) among forward thinkers in both the private sector and government to mitigate emerging and observable vulnerabilities in the U.S. industrial base global supply chain. Such vulnerabilities are represented by the fact that no ocean-borne shipping is in U.S. hands at present, thus potentially subjecting American corporations, especially automotive, and their global operations to the whims and perhaps economically hostile activities of and by foreign governments. Add to this the risk of terrorist activities, which have, according to the Department of Homeland Security, targeted maritime operations; i.e., ships, ports and ocean containers.
Incorporated in Delaware and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) listed, (ccr gov) it is the goal of GHH and its strategic partners around the planet to work with key logistics personnel within these corporations and government agencies to conceptualize, craft and structure long-term global supply chain alternative transportation methodologies through continuous — not stop gap or emergency — air augmentation solutions. Its most important mission, however, has been in the co-development of global architecture for infrastructure of a new American controlled industry, Heavylift, utilizing the excellent airlift performance characteristics of the Boeing BC-17.
74 W. Long Lake Rd.
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
“Once Again, The Chinese… Have Proven Themselves Masters of the Endgame, and True Progeny of Sun Tzu…”
What Kevin Wales euphemistically calls China’s process of “Innovation through commercialization” to accelerate technology prove-out is simply considered, by every other industrialized society, as theft, industrial espionage, illegal acquisition of intellectual property, patent right infringement, unfair trade practice by government subsidization… In other words, economic war on a massive scale, coupled with an endgame strategy epitomizing zero sum. – Myron D. Stokes and the ER Global Team (Go to full analysis)
“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.” Sun-Tzu; 6th Century C.E.
Publisher’s note: As can be readily inferred from this latest United States China Economic and Security Review Commission Report, companies doing business, or seeking to do business with China must never, ever, forget they are dealing with a communist, dictatorial regime that has created a facade of privatization to lure foreign business entities to their shores with the ominous, insidious intent to extract proprietary technology and process. And then, unceremoniously, discarding of the carcass while simultaneously preserving, with the skill of a taxidermist, the external aesthetics and internal workings of firms (read; GM) deemed critical to their ideological, militaristic and economic mission. Too late, too many companies and their governments, most recently SAAB-Swedish Automobile and Sweden, are finding this to be a sad, if not shocking, reality.
Indeed, Sun Tzu should be required reading for anyone desirous of doing business with the world’s oldest continuing civilization. To not do so is tantamount to mounting a military campaign without weapons…
– Myron D. Stokes
From the USCC Release:
Washington, D.C. – Today (10/27/11) the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission released a new report, “An Analysis of State-owned Enterprises and State Capitalism in China.”
China’s breathtaking economic growth, has often led observers to assume that the
country’s economic system has been transformed into a capitalist economy dominated by
private enterprise. Although China’s reliance on private enterprise and market-based
incentives has been growing, and the CCP’s treatment of private enterprises and
entrepreneurs has been changing, it is a mistake to minimize the current role of the
State and the CCP in shaping economic outcomes in China and beyond. The Chinese
government and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) remain potent economic forces. Indeed,
some of China’s SOEs are among the largest firms in China and the world. They are
major investors in foreign countries. They have been involved in some of the largest
initial public offerings in recent years and remain the controlling owners of many
major firms listed on Chinese and foreign stock exchanges.
Previous reports and analyses by academics and policy experts have estimated that
Chinese SOEs, and other state-affiliated enterprises, hold a lower share of China’s
non-agricultural GDP than that estimated in this report, which provides a
comprehensive analysis of that country’s control and influence over its economic
enterprises. This report tracks testimony heard by the Commission that China’s
privatization reforms have, in some cases, reversed and that the state sector is
The report concludes that:
· SOEs and entities directly controlled by SOEs, accounted for more than 40
percent of China’s non-agricultural GDP. If the contributions of indirectly controlled
entities, urban collectives, and public Township and Village Enterprises (TVE) are
considered, the share of GDP owned and controlled by the state is approximately 50
· The share of GDP accounted for by the non-state sector, including foreign
invested firms without ties to the government of China, is also approximately 50
· Based on the current direction of economic policy making in China the state
sector will continue to play an important role in China, even if its share of GDP
· China’s SOEs are potentially formidable competitors because they benefit
from a number of government preferences in China. Based on recent U.S. regulatory
filings by SOE-owned entities, SOEs and their subsidiaries benefit from preferred
access to bank capital, below-market interest rates on loans from state-owned banks,
favorable tax treatment, policies that create a favorable competitive environment for
SOEs relative to other firms, and large capital injections when needed. Further,
Chinese SOEs also appear to dominate China’s expanding government procurement market.
· When it joined the WTO in 2001, China promised that the government would
not influence, directly or indirectly, the commercial decisions of SOEs. China does
not appear to be keeping this commitment. The state very much does influence SOE
commercial decisions and the most recent five-year guidance does not herald that this
is changing. If anything, China is doubling down and giving SOEs a more prominent role
in achieving the state’s most important economic goals.
· For some U.S. firms whose participation in China’s economy facilitates the
government goals, China will continue to be a profitable market. For others,
especially those in strategic and emerging industries that the government is
targeting, the Chinese market may become far less hospitable. (italics ours)
This report was prepared for the Commission by Capital Trade, Incorporated. It can
be found online at: