• Jim Albaugh speaks at the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS)

    June 21, 2011 - Addressing more than 250 aerospace leaders and enthusiasts at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London on Wednesday, Jim Albaugh, Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, said globalization and new competitors in the aerospace industry are reshaping the market landscape. “Aerospace is at a crossroads” Albaugh said as he delivered the RAeS Sopwith Lecture before heading to the Paris Air Show. “Over the last 20 years we’ve seen the impact of information technology, globalization and international terrorism. Looking forward, our industry also will be affected by major shifts in economic and military power, international competition for talent and resources, global warming, and the pressing need for energy independence.”

    Albaugh said the new airplanes Boeing will deliver later this year -- the 787 and 747-8 -- will help the company define aviation in the 21st century, just as it did in the 20th. He also talked about applying lessons learned on those development programs to future efforts; Boeing’s commitment to innovation and always having the most capable product in every market it serves; and the challenges of increasing production rates 40 percent over the next three years to address customer demand for airplanes and a 7-year backlog.

    The RAeS Sopwith Lecture was established in 1990 to honor Sir Thomas Sopwith, who became England’s premier aviator after World War I and established the first authoritative test pilot school in the world. Sopwith’s Company produced more than 16,000 aircraft of 60 types between 1912 and 1920.

    Drawing on the important contributions that Sopwith, Bill Boeing and many others made to the history of aviation, Albaugh noted that, “At the Royal Aeronautical Society, I’m always reminded that we are the stewards of a proud and vital legacy. And I believe now – as I always have – that aerospace is the greatest wonder of our age."