Move Over, Boeing, There's a New Plane in Town

Written By Alexander Boulden

Updated February 13, 2024

Dear Reader,

You’ve surely heard about the door flying off of one of Boeing’s latest crown jewels, the 737 Max 9.

Investigators found there were missing bolts and even loose bolts on other Max9s. It caused the FAA to ground 171 of these planes, causing Boeing stock to crash more than 20%.

Now, Alaska Airlines and Unites Airlines are the only companies flying the new Boeing Max 9s, and the grounding will cost the companies hundreds of millions of dollars.

This comes after the 2018 and 2019 737 Max 8 crashes that killed 346 people and shed light on some dysfunction within the stalwart American company, namely putting profits before safety…

Ever since, Boeing has been grasping at straws trying to claw back public support and trust.

This latest sky-high debacle again highlights much of what’s wrong with American companies today.

It got me thinking about how these planes are assembled, where the parts are coming from, and who exactly is in charge of the final say.

Back in April 2023, Simple Flying published an article detailing how outsourcing has caused a plethora of problems at Boeing.

It stated, “From aircraft components and fuselage sections to software coding, Boeing’s outsourcing strategy might be producing more problems than solutions.”

Now, I’m no aviation expert, but I do know a thing or two about how successful companies are run, and a old quote by Boeing’s director of supplier management doesn’t look good now…

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He said, “Our strategy is to become an integrator. It comes down to this: We take big pieces and assemble them, and build an airplane. We get anything from small to large subassemblies from suppliers. We expect suppliers to do more of the work.”

The article lists some recent failures caused by outsourcing:

  • February 2023: 787 deliveries are temporarily halted again. Boeing noted that it had discovered an analysis error by Spirit AeroSystems connected to the aircraft’s forward pressure bulkhead.
  • 2021: A Reuters report noted that titanium 787 Dreamliner parts provided by Italian suppliers had been improperly manufactured since 2018.
  • 2021: Boeing is engaged in a back-and-forth legal dispute with GDC Technics — the firm that was originally tasked with modifying two 747-8s set to be the next Air Force Ones.
  • 2019: Reports emerge showing that Boeing had been relying on temporary workers from firms in India to develop and test software. A former engineer noted that the process was far more inefficient compared to in-house engineers writing the code.
  • 2008: Emerging from the 2019 story regarding outsourcing software development, a staffer on the 787 project complained about sending drawings back to a team in Russia 18 times. This reportedly had to do with the external firm having trouble understanding that smoke detectors had to be connected to the electrical system.
I agree that we shouldn’t bash outsourcing or Boeing altogether, but it’s an issue of trust at this point. What’s the old saying? Trust is the easiest thing to lose and the hardest thing to get back.

But I think this highlights a more pressing topic…

Air travel is rapidly changing.

First of all, if there’s one industry that uses more fuel than any other, it’s the airline industry. Traditional planes burn a tremendous amount of fuel just to stay in the air, roughly 750 gallons an hour. All the overnight Amazon deliveries, the shipping, the heavy transport…

This industry is ripe for disruption.

And if we know anything about Wall Street, it’s that it loves disruption.

We don’t have to look back too far to see the proof…

The Forgotten Era of Flight

Take a trip back to 1936, if you will.

You see, in the early 1900s, airships could be seen flying over major cities, like the famous picture of the zeppelin floating over Manhattan in 1936.

Did you know the Empire State Building was designed as a landing station for blimps?

Planes have obviously changed a lot since then, so it’s not hard to surmise that they’ll change again.

Nothing stays the same…

Now, all commercial zeppelin travel stopped after the Hindenburg disaster of 1937. The Van Wagner Airship Group estimates there are only 25 blimps in use around the world today, used mainly as billboards.

That could soon change. Technology has come a long way, and experts think the airship industry is being reborn as we speak.

Two companies in particular are working to disrupt the luxury air travel and heavy shipping industries using airships.

First, Hybrid Air Vehicles built the Airlander 10, the longest aircraft in the world, designed for slow, luxurious, and green commercial travel. It can also be used for surveillance and other military operations.

Using helium to float (instead of the flammable hydrogen used in the Hindenburg), it can take off and land vertically, allowing it to reach remote corners of the planet.

While it does use combustion engines for thrust and trim, the ship emits 75% less carbon than other aircraft. The company plans to use a hybrid electric motor, which will reduce emissions by 90%, with the goal of using all-electric engines in the near future. For now, the Airlander fits a niche luxury travel market, but airships have commercial uses as well.

Paris-based company Flying Whales created its airship out of necessity to bolster the French lumber industry. With a cargo capacity of 60 tons, the LCA60T can enter remote regions of the country to retrieve logs and carry them to sawmills. The company hopes to carry other commercial equipment, like shipping containers and wind turbine blades.

For the naysayers of airship travel… Jeff Bezos literally shot himself into space on a rocket. It’s not far-fetched to think we can gently float ourselves from point A to point B.

There’s a New Plane in Town

One major problem with massive airships is the weather. The side of an airship acts like a big sail, so heavy winds really push it around.

However, smaller vehicles — like drones and personal electric airplanes — have an advantage by being able to cut through the wind… and now they’re being used for deliveries (of goods and people).

In fact, this sector set to grow to $223 billion by 2027.

Delivery drones from Amazon, Walmart, and even Google are making their way into the skies.

Recently, Google’s Wing drone could be seen delivering Walgreens packages to residents in Frisco, Texas.

The appeal is that these small EV planes can vertically land and take off, making it much easier to get in and out of tight areas and expanding the reach of the vehicles.

We can also use this technology for human travel.

Which brings me to the new type of airplane that’s taking over.

It’s called an eVTOL plane, which stands for electric vertical takeoff and landing.

And it’s got the traditional plane-makers shaking in their boots… especially after all these recent debacles.

What’s the company behind these eVTOLs?

I can only reveal that information to my premium subscribers.

Get access here.

Stay frosty,

Alexander Boulden
Editor, Wealth Daily

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After Alexander’s passion for economics and investing drew him to one of the largest financial publishers in the world, where he rubbed elbows with former Chicago Board Options Exchange floor traders, Wall Street hedge fund managers, and International Monetary Fund analysts, he decided to take up the pen and guide others through this new age of investing.

Alexander is the investment director of Insider Stakeout — a weekly investment advisory service dedicated to tracking the smartest money on the planet so that his readers can achieve life-altering, market-beating returns. He also serves at the managing editor for R.I.C.H. Report, a comprehensive service that uses the highest-quality investment research and strategies that guides its members in growing their wealth on top of preserving it.

Check out his editor’s page here.

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