I wish I was in Farnborough this week for the air show. When I was there in the 80s, I was thrilled to see the then new 747-300 with the extended hump
Delta Sky magazine has an interview with Boeing’s new CEO Dennis Muilenburg as it celebrates its Centennial.
“The design process is something that is measured in years, sometimes a decade. In some cases, we are modifying existing designs and bringing to market a highly modified airplane—the 737 MAX, for example. The 787, on the other hand, was an all-new clean-sheet airplane. So our decisions around a clean-sheet design or a derivative design are based on the market size and our conversation with airline customers on what they need and what makes economic sense. It is all based on what I will call customer-inspired innovation.”
See case study from one of my books on the 787 and vid below on the MAX and other Boeing news from the air show.
The Spaceship, as many have nicknamed it, is over one mile in circumference—that's wider than the Pentagon. When it’s completed later this year it will house 13,000 employees—including design grandmaster Jony Ive, who helped sculpt the iPhone, and CEO Tim Cook, who helps keep profits in the “billions-with-a-B” territory.
Campus 2 will run entirely on clean energy, powered by renewable sources. But what’s really grabbed our attention are the thousands of panels of curved window panes—the largest pieces of structural glass ever made—that will encase Apple’s mothership. Equally cool are the 60,000 pounds of hollow concrete slabs that allow the building to “breathe,” bolstering its eco-friendly qualities.
In March, BMW marked its centennial—and a century of technological rivalry with Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz. In newspaper ads, Benz, which can lay claim to having invented the car in 1886, congratu-mocked its Bavarian archenemy: “Thanks for 100 years of competition. The 30 years before that were a little dull.” That’s like M-B doing doughnuts on BMW’s driveway.
Delta has been working on something it calls "innovation lines," a slightly modified version of the normal TSA checkpoints that already bog down every airport. After spending over a million dollars in an attempt to fix the system, it seems like they've arrived at a solution. Even if it's not the best possible option, it's got to be better than what we've got.
Delta's innovation lines rely on a couple of tweaks. Instead of having passengers bin-up their stuff one at a time, the innovation lines have five designated stations so that the whole line isn't held up by one person who can't fish their keys out of their pocket. On top of that, the conveyors move automatically, and cleverly route empty bins back to the stations for the next people who are anxious to get going.
The old-school suitcase is getting an upgrade. Though innovation has been slow to hit the luggage industry, which accounts for $3.3 billion in revenue in the U.S., according to the Travel Goods Association, more companies have introduced high-tech luggage equipped with location tracking, phone chargers, and other savvy features that cater to connected travelers. Bluesmart and Samsonite were the first with smart bags, and now Tumi has partnered with AT&T T -1.01% and LugTrack to develop its Global Locator, coming later this year.
At the Chanel boutique in Bushwick, Brooklyn, black-and-white tweed skirts hang near gold lamé gowns. Classic black-toed beige pumps are on display on a glass platform lit from below. A quilted leather handbag with a gleaming gold clasp is also on view, perfectly paired with a rabbit fur coat.
Alas, this shop is not open to the public. That’s because it’s just two feet long by two feet tall, and it’s inside the apartment of a man named Phillip Nuveen.
Mr. Nuveen, 27, is a designer who works almost exclusively in miniature, often making minute versions of the most sought after luxury goods. Each item is made by hand or with the help of a 3D printer. He has designed little Hermès bags, Eames chairs and Louis Vuitton steamer trunks that Barbie most likely would be only too happy to have Ken carry for her.
In other words, this is more than an art repository. It’s a beautifully designed experience, a template for other museums—a mix of flamboyance and subtlety, reverence and playfulness, right down to the perfectly seamless tour guide app. Some of the upgrades, exemplified by the shimmering exterior, smack you in the face. Other technological innovations, like the sensors that monitor the living wall, are subtle or hidden.
Ed Bastian is Delta’s new CEO. He is a long term Delta executive most recently its President. He is also a new age executive. For many a compliment or complaint or research request for profiling Delta in my blogs and books, I have emailed him for years now and he often responds within minutes.
I was pleased to see in his first letter in the airline’s Sky magazine, he focused on technology. As he says “As the next generation of travelers becomes a significant part of our customer base we want to meet their expectations that a top brand be a leader in technology regardless of their business. That’s why we look to companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Salesforce.com, among others, as examples of global leaders in technology that provide a great product and great customer service.”
He describes some of the innovations that Delta frequent fliers have enjoyed for years now
“..last month, we were among the earliest companies, along with Starbucks and Hyatt to use Twitter’s new direct message button within a tweet—something that’s essential for communication private customer information”
“..we have invested heavily in making the FlyDelta app an essential travel tool with the ability to book,change and monitor flights. track bags at all points of the journey and even watch the Earth scroll by via the unique ‘Glass Bottom Jet’ feature.”
“We have upgraded our flight attendants’ handheld devices with more information and functionality; we’re investing In radio-frequency identification, or ”RFID,’to improve maintenance and baggage handling and we’re deploying thousands of tablets to Delta pilots to serve as electronic flight bags.”
Look forward to more innovations from Delta under his new role.
Photo Credit – Delta of Guest Service Tool flight attendants use to personalize service in the air.
I was assigned a Hyundai as a company car in Saudi Arabia in the mid 80s. So pleasant was the experience that I avoided the brand for the next 3 decades
Their long warranty helped dispel lingering quality concerns and I finally got one of their SUVs. Since then, every member of the family has got one for the value, and increasingly for the curvy looks.
“Fluidic Sculpture is not a physical form, but a spirit. The lively beauty Hyundai Motor wishes to express is sometimes portrayed as dynamic curves, and at others, as more refined inner strength. Although expressions may vary, there is only one essence - Fluidic Sculpture.”
Design philosophy or marketing slogan? Probably a bit of both but the cars have come a long, long way.