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Winston-Salem's Tallest Buildings and Skyscrapers
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 Post subject: Re: P.T.I.A.
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2022 7:03 pm 
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W-S lost its one true golden opportunity when the airport location was decided. If enough support had been garnered, we could have had it straddle the county lines somewhere near Kernersville. It would need to be far enough away from CLT and RDU for those airports not to be too competitive for customers, and perhaps close enough to pull folks from Virginia. A simple glance at Google Maps readily shows the economic benefit that was gifted to Guilford County. I guess it's a nice thing not have those loud new fangled jet planes overhead. True, PTI is only a twenty to thirty-minute drive for most, but it's a matter of perception that counts, and for corporate purposes it's the same as any other real estate transaction: Location, location, location.

As for Charlotte HQ moves? Businesses like people grow and mature. "How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm (After They've Seen Paree?)" The triad as a whole cannot compete. CLT offers direct international flights, the importance of which cannot be undervalued, as well as a far more diverse labor pool. This is not to say that we should not try.

To me, W-S is/was old money that would always give W-S an edge and play Mama, but that pot ran dry around the time McLean Trucking and Hanes died. The loss of Piedmont Airlines, not to mention the deregulation of the airlines, was also a major blow. What bothers me quite much is the lack of true and proper investment in that glorified field (INT) we call an airport. The purchase of lands, which naturally would require some folks to relocate, to allow for runway realignments and some organized cumulative growth is something still worth considering all these long decades later. Look at ISP. It is tiny, yet functional as a stand-alone facility. Here's a nifty little FAA gift: All that is required to be given the "international" designation is a direct flight to a true international airport. With some creative finagling, Smith Reynolds could realistically achieve such a designation. Imagine that!

Anecdotally, I had a friend in town from Manteo recently who had grown up here. Downtown blew him away, as we both could remember a time when it was a bit sketchy at times. Oh, the glorious '80s!

The rebirth of W-S can happen, but it is a crap shoot as we are on the cusp. Leadership and, I dare say, especially luck will dictate. We do not have the cache of a New York or a Paris or a Kuala Lumpur to rely on for momentum, but we can, and damn well should, have moxie.


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 Post subject: Re: P.T.I.A.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2022 2:07 pm 
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Posts: 1984
Good post and this information has been discussed on this forum some years ago. The problem lies with W-S arrogance and failure of leaders in W-S and Forsyth to view the big picture. In all fairness to W-S and Forsyth officials, Smith Reynolds was doing well in the 1950s and early 1960s, but W-S and Forsyth officials were short-sighted into thinking it would last because Smith Reynolds (obviously) proved not "convenient" to the so-called triad area whereas the Greensboro Airport was more "centrally" located in the so-called triad albeit "in" Greensboro. In 1978 when the Winston-Salem name was added to Greensboro-High Point and the new terminal was constructed near to the original location, W-S and Forsyth officials should have seen the red flag and insisted (proved) that the equitable as well as smart business move for all would be to locate the new airport straddling the Guilford- Forsyth boundary probably just west of Oak Ridge, but the W-S and Forsyth officials were feckless in this endeavor. So, greed and avarice prevailed (let's refer to it as good business on the part of Greensboro). A once only chance was missed to make the Triad a real entity and highly productive for the entire region. This missed opportunity also led to Winston-Salem (unlike Raleigh/Durham) not being posted with Greensboro on airport departure/arrival boards nationally further diminishing W-S as a national player at least from a recognition standpoint - stated differently, W-S is the only large city "without" an airport.


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 Post subject: Re: P.T.I.A.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2022 10:35 pm 
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In todays TBJ: "The Guilford Board of County Commissioners has announced a special meeting Wednesday, Jan. 26, at 8:30 a.m. to hold a public hearing regarding an economic development incentives grant." and from a previous article: "Denver, Colorado-based Boom Supersonic announced this week that it has entered into a three-year strategic partnership with the Air Force valued at up to $60 million."


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 Post subject: Re: P.T.I.A.
PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2022 8:49 pm 
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From todays TBJ: "A major economic development announcement is set for Wednesday at 2 p.m. at Piedmont Triad International Airport. Will it be Boom Supersonic, the startup aircraft manufacturer widely reported to be considering the Triad for a manufacturing plant? Triad Business Journal has learned that Gov. Roy Cooper’s office will be involved in a press conference at the airport on Jan. 26 regarding a manufacturer announcing a facility to be built at the airport."


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 Post subject: Re: P.T.I.A.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 1:20 am 
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Does anyone have perspective of what this potential Boom deal with background in aerospace?

That is, in terms of total cost of construction, employees, output etc. it seems really surprising that this company can proceed with a plant with only the $60 million government contract in hand. The partnership with United seems very far-fetched.

What do these planes cost to build? I’m very unfamiliar with the aerospace industry and this may bot be a reasonable comp, but it looks like the Boeing 787‘s made in Charleston sell for around $250 million per plane.


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 Post subject: Re: P.T.I.A.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 11:08 am 
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I don’t have a background in aerospace, but I have heard the CEO of Boom interviewed a few times. Boom is targeting a $200M price for their flagship airliner (the Overture). I’ve seen it described as anywhere from a 55 passenger plane to an 88 passenger plane. The planes are supposed to be much quieter than the Concorde, and the hope is that they will eventually be able to fly over land at supersonic speeds. The proposed inaugural routes are transatlantic. Transpacific flights would currently require a refueling stop.

And supposedly the United deal was a cash purchase order for 15 planes with an option to buy 35 more. Virgin and Japan Airlines supposedly have preordered as well, and the firm has raised $240M in funding so far.


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 Post subject: Re: P.T.I.A.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 11:14 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:36 pm
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Robinhood wrote:
Boom is targeting a $200M price for their flagship airliner (the Overture).....

And supposedly the United deal was a cash purchase order for 15 planes with an option to buy 35 more. Virgin and Japan Airlines supposedly have preordered as well, and the firm has raised $240M in funding so far.


So the equivalent of the cost of one plane :thinking:


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 Post subject: Re: P.T.I.A.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 11:43 am 
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I spoke with a friend who’s an aerospace engineer. A couple points -

Cautionary tale - Aerion AS2
‘ Boom will succeed in my eyes tho. They’ve grabbed up a lot of our engineers and top talents from other engine companies.’
‘They definitely need orders though. Like 100’s per year to be sustainable. Right now I think they have like 10’s’


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 Post subject: Re: P.T.I.A.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 12:18 pm 
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I hear at least 3 years of construction for this type of MFG. According to engineer friend. They go quicker because they’re kinda simple pole barn stuff. But that would really be just the “plane” and the fuselage. Engine would be made definitely at an existing plant


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 Post subject: Re: P.T.I.A.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 1:31 pm 
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Reports are that Boom is working with Rolls Royce to develop the engines. RR also did the engines for the Concorde, but while those were engines developed for and already in use by military jets, these would be purpose-built for commercial flight (and take advantage of 50 years of additional technology and development vs. the Concorde engines).

The $240M number was what was reported through Crunchbase, and that may just be investor funding. I don't know if it includes presales.

There are a number of other supersonic and hypersonic startups out there--Hermeus, Spike, Hypermach--and NASA has also been working on supersonic commercial travel. Boom seems to be the farthest along of the lot, but they still haven't flown a test flight. Their 1/3 scale tester--the XB-1--is scheduled to do test flights in the Mojave early this year, but until they get at least that far, there's probably a ceiling on how much they can raise or presell. We'll see. In any event, there seems to be a strong and growing case for higher-speed commercial flight, and it would be good for the area (and the airport) to be a part of this experiment.


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 Post subject: Re: P.T.I.A.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 1:46 pm 
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For sure PTI should go after it so long as they have the type of incentive clawbacks that Winston so wisely put in with Dell. At the very least should Boom not pan out, the airport will get some hangars out of the deal.

See what I did there, dutifully supporting the "TRIAD" in its economic efforts. :peace: Now I expect Rolls Royce to build an engine factory in the Camel City to support Boom's efforts at PTI. Honda Jet set the precedent with siting their engine factory off site in Burlington, which was sorta infuriatingly perplexing considering WS Business laid out CASH MONEY to help secure the Honda deal, something that Burlington/Alamance did not do. I figure we're due for payback for our previously generous regional contribution. :2cents:


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 Post subject: Re: P.T.I.A.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:06 pm 
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Extraordinarily logical, but that never seems to work in W-S - great idea though.


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 Post subject: Re: P.T.I.A.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:06 pm 
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:dontknow: I don't see a downside here. Boom may bust (pun intended), but I'd rather PTI be a part of the journey (and think we could see some knock-on benefits from it) than having production land in Denver or Austin or whatever.


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 Post subject: Re: P.T.I.A.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 10:40 pm 
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Here are a couple of good articles about Boom’s plans: https://fortune.com/2021/06/15/boom-sup ... ospatiale/ and https://www.space.com/united-airlines-b ... r-aircraft and https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news ... c-airliner They seem to be picking up more and more investors, but it also takes billions to design and build a plane like this, so this is a long term bet by the state and only time will tell whether it pays out or not. From what I’ve been able to find, the original development cost of the Concord was somewhere in the range of $10-14 billion in current dollars. If Boom pulls this off, it could be an enormous gain for NC and the area, and I would expect either Boeing or Airbus to try to buy part or all of the company if it looks like they are going to succeed. The interesting bit I’ve gathered thus far is that the commitment by United may actually include an equity stake in the company. No real details of their commitment have been announced, but if they have an equity stake, United would become a part owner of the company which would be a first in commercial aviation. VTOL aircraft using electric engines are the hottest development areas now with companies all around the world working on various designs. Both Boeing and Airbus are investing billions and developing prototypes and there are also dozens of small companies working on concepts and prototypes many supported by Boeing and Airbus. For comparison, Honda Jet has invested around $250 million at GSO and they have 1500+ employees. I’ve read several articles that estimated it cost over $1 billion to develop their first generation jet. They also chose to vertically integrate as much of the manufacturing of the plane as possible so they can maintain their strict quality standards. The Honda Jet fuselage is a carbon composite construction which is a very highly specialized process but it’s much lighter and stronger than the typical aluminum aircraft construction. The Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 have significant sections using carbon composite construction. I just mentioned that, because setting up a carbon composite manufacturing process is extremely expensive and a very specialized process. The more manufacturing Boom keeps “in house” the more high paying and specialized jobs we’ll have at the airport. The Concord had Rolls Royce engines which is probably why they’re working with them now. The initial development might be in Europe, but with enough of a volume commitment, they might consider manufacturing them here. Because they had the backing of the Honda corporation, Honda Jet set up a joint venture in the beginning with GE and thus the facility was located close by. This is going to be an interesting one to follow!


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 Post subject: Re: P.T.I.A.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2022 1:31 am 
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I think the pitch you'll hear from aerospace tech folk is that the days of billion-dollar dev are over. The idea is that new modeling tools and low-cost test unit construction have changed the game. Time will tell. One good indication (pardon the geopolitical snark) will be if a Chinese manufacturer suddenly releases a clone version of the boom design.

Honestly, this is good but not great news for the region. We may (and the odds are, will) end up losing the stake. But you've got to be in it to win it and, if boom is the one-in-five company that comes out of this a winner, so will we. In the meantime, it will excite a generation of young aerospace people, energize local tech schools, and bring scores of interesting new people to the area. There are worse long-shot bets to make!


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