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JonesNL
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CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:07 am

In the last minute of the 10 minutes about discussion at Leeham it is mentioned that during the Boeing Annual Shareholders’ Meeting Calhoun said that dividend is top priority at Boeing. Scott Hamilton deducts that new plane is not priority:

https://leehamnews.com/2021/04/21/10-mi ... etirement/

This seems to confirm what a lot of people feared; Boeing is still an Wall Street company instead of transforming back to an engineering company...
 
micstatic
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Re: CEO Boeing: Top priority is back to pre-covid dividend after balance sheet repair

Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:20 am

Yes it sure does
 
Opus99
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Re: CEO Boeing: Top priority is back to pre-covid dividend after balance sheet repair

Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:25 am

https://twitter.com/lesliejosephs/statu ... 53737?s=21

Scott was reaching. This was what Calhoun actually said Verbatim

And I believe that is absolutely fair enough
 
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tistpaa727
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Re: CEO Boeing: Top priority is back to pre-covid dividend after balance sheet repair

Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:29 am

Shouldn't be a surprise. One has to also think about who he was speaking to...shareholders/investors. To make them happy he will say that is the number one priority. At an industry event he'd likely say safety, innovation and customer experience all the top priorities.

Deep down we all know it is about making shareholders happy. At my last job, the executive leadership team would always talk about the number of consecutive quarters the company paid a dividend and how great of an investment the company is. Not a single, non shareholding employee (which is almost everyone) cared. They, like Boeing, are more focused on scratching each other's backs. Fortunately or unfortunately, this is the way of business.

If Boeing focused on engineering, delivering a quality product efficiently, that would lead to shareholder benefits. However, that is a long-term strategy and shareholders are in it for the short-term. Screw tomorrow for the gain today.
Don't sweat the little things.
 
morrisond
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Re: CEO Boeing: Top priority is back to pre-covid dividend after balance sheet repair

Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:55 am

The title of this thread is very misleading and should be changed.

He did not say they want to get back to the same divided. The actual quote is:"We want to get back to a dividend policy. I can't give you a date and we need a return in our commercial aviation department to support that." -- Boeing CEO Calhoun at annual meeting.

That dividend could be a partial amount of what they were paying before. They just want to pay something.

If they wanted to continue to focus on being a financial company - Calhoun would not be sticking around for 5 years and Greg Smith the financial engineer would not be leaving.

Once everything is back to somewhat normalish it should be possible to start paying a nominal dividend and do new Airplane development.

Whatever they choose to do - one must remember that they do have a state of the art wing facility and plenty of space in Everett to start a new program which will save Billions vs a new clean sheet program. When the engineers are done with MAX and 777X they will need to do something.

It leads me to believe that Revelation is right - we may not see it until 2023 but it's coming.

It may only be an incremental $1-2 Billion per year to fund a new program out to 2030. They should not have an issue doing that and restarting the dividend once deliveries are back up to speed.
 
sxf24
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Re: CEO Boeing: Top priority is back to pre-covid dividend after balance sheet repair

Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:56 am

tistpaa727 wrote:
Shouldn't be a surprise. One has to also think about who he was speaking to...shareholders/investors. To make them happy he will say that is the number one priority. At an industry event he'd likely say safety, innovation and customer experience all the top priorities.

Deep down we all know it is about making shareholders happy. At my last job, the executive leadership team would always talk about the number of consecutive quarters the company paid a dividend and how great of an investment the company is. Not a single, non shareholding employee (which is almost everyone) cared. They, like Boeing, are more focused on scratching each other's backs. Fortunately or unfortunately, this is the way of business.

If Boeing focused on engineering, delivering a quality product efficiently, that would lead to shareholder benefits. However, that is a long-term strategy and shareholders are in it for the short-term. Screw tomorrow for the gain today.


Shareholders own the company. They are entitled to set expectations on how their capital is best utilized. Investing billions in an airplane you can’t sell for more than current products seems like a poor choice that this community can’t comprehend.
 
morrisond
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Re: CEO Boeing: Top priority is back to pre-covid dividend after balance sheet repair

Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:26 pm

sxf24 wrote:
tistpaa727 wrote:
Shouldn't be a surprise. One has to also think about who he was speaking to...shareholders/investors. To make them happy he will say that is the number one priority. At an industry event he'd likely say safety, innovation and customer experience all the top priorities.

Deep down we all know it is about making shareholders happy. At my last job, the executive leadership team would always talk about the number of consecutive quarters the company paid a dividend and how great of an investment the company is. Not a single, non shareholding employee (which is almost everyone) cared. They, like Boeing, are more focused on scratching each other's backs. Fortunately or unfortunately, this is the way of business.

If Boeing focused on engineering, delivering a quality product efficiently, that would lead to shareholder benefits. However, that is a long-term strategy and shareholders are in it for the short-term. Screw tomorrow for the gain today.


Shareholders own the company. They are entitled to set expectations on how their capital is best utilized. Investing billions in an airplane you can’t sell for more than current products seems like a poor choice that this community can’t comprehend.


And what actual product would that be vs what current product that they are actively offering for sale? I'm assuming you didn't miss the MAX disaster which postponed NMA launch and then COVID which has thrown most short term plans in the garbage.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Wed Apr 21, 2021 1:52 pm

Maybe Boeing is planning on becoming a defense company who also happens to make a few commercial jets. For those of us who have certain feelings about Boeing being the 'home team' a successful MOM is/was essential for the company to be an international leader in civil aviation. It doesn't have to blow Airbus out of the water (sky?), just be a top notch performer in a fairly large niche. Oddly enough were Boeing to look at the two Washingtons (state and DC) as partners and supplier of industrial policy whatever subsidies were legal might be forthcoming.

Speaking of industrial policy, the federal government should be taking over providing medical insurance, unemployment insurance, and pension insurance - too many companies are crashing over facing all of the problems of R and D, as well as production hells. Then they find themselves saddled with immense insurance obligations. Which should be paid for via some sort of income tax.
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Noshow
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:14 pm

Who were the major investors behind Boeings turn to maximize the stock market appeal at the cost of not investing enough in strategic products back then? Did they like what happened? Where are they now? Are they still as powerful? Just look what happened to GE back then the role model for an entire management generation.

Don't get me wrong please. It's perfectly fine to generate profits for investors and shareholders who risk their own money in the first place hoping for return on investment but all this must be balanced over some long term and sound development. Not just cutting off all the fruit at one moment for a single party. A problem many stock related companies seem to have these days. Shiny quarterly figures are put above everything. Investing looks like not making enough profit within this system and senior guys will be punished for doing so with lost bonuses.
 
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Revelation
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:26 pm

Noshow wrote:
Who were the major investors behind Boeings turn to maximize the stock market appeal at the cost of not investing enough in strategic products back then? Did they like what happened? Where are they now? Are they still as powerful? Just look what happened to GE back then the role model for an entire management generation.

Don't get me wrong please. It's perfectly fine to generate profits for investors and shareholders who risk their own money in the first place hoping for return on investment but all this must be balanced over some long term and sound development. Not just cutting off all the fruit at one moment for a single party. A problem many stock related companies seem to have these days. Shiny quarterly figures are put above everything. Investing looks like not making enough profit within this system and senior guys will be punished for doing so with lost bonuses.

As pointed out in our board shake out thread, Harry Stonecipher is ex-GE, had large stock holdings in McDD as its CEO at the time of the merger with Boeing, sat on the Boeing board then became CEO after Phil Condit walked the plank, accumulated more shares as CEO, and handed off to the CEO job to Jim McNearney who was also ex-GE. I believe he was the largest single stock holder after the McDD-Boeing merger. So, if you want to attach a name to it all, I think Harry Stonecipher is as good a name to choose as any, although some argue McNearney was even more of a Jack Walsh disciple than Harry was.

If you think Boeing is getting away from the GE influence, you should check out David Calhoun's wiki page... :white:
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WayexTDI
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:39 pm

In layman's terms: we haven't learned a thing of the 787/737 MAX debacles and will continue to place short-term profits over long-term viability.
 
Opus99
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Wed Apr 21, 2021 2:50 pm

I don't know why people are overreacting to what Calhoun said. He said they want to get back to a dividend policy, but that will depend on getting commercial back to profitability, for commercial to be in profitability its products must be working, they also have to climb out of the immense debt that they're in which Calhoun also talked about.

Also why do people think Boeing does not know what got them where they are, they are very aware of what did and shareholders have also become more aware and more pressing. Like i've said many times before, Boeing will be fine, they will continue to build planes and all they've been doing. What is going on at Boeing is what a restructure looks like
 
astuteman
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Wed Apr 21, 2021 3:15 pm

Opus99 wrote:
I don't know why people are overreacting to what Calhoun said. He said they want to get back to a dividend policy, but that will depend on getting commercial back to profitability, for commercial to be in profitability its products must be working, they also have to climb out of the immense debt that they're in which Calhoun also talked about.


Good summary in my opinion.

I'm a bit challenged by the blunt "Boeing only exists for the shareholder dividend" bit, although I recognise the fundamental truth underneath it.

Companies have different ways of generating shareholder value. Some are short term, some are long term.
The board's job surely is to manage the shareholders short term aspirations to ensure the long-term ability to add shareholder value.
It would be nice to think shareholders could learn this.
But most of them are corporate entities anyway....

Rgds
 
Sokes
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Wed Apr 21, 2021 3:41 pm

Can't they make more debt to finance dividends?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
LCDFlight
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Wed Apr 21, 2021 4:03 pm

Opus99 wrote:
I don't know why people are overreacting to what Calhoun said. He said they want to get back to a dividend policy, but that will depend on getting commercial back to profitability, for commercial to be in profitability its products must be working, they also have to climb out of the immense debt that they're in which Calhoun also talked about.

Also why do people think Boeing does not know what got them where they are, they are very aware of what did and shareholders have also become more aware and more pressing. Like i've said many times before, Boeing will be fine, they will continue to build planes and all they've been doing. What is going on at Boeing is what a restructure looks like


I think our most productive topic to discuss is, is Boeing’s restructure being done in a way that maximizes their future potential. What I’m not seeing is a willingness to pay engineers to innovate like SpaceX. That is today’s generation at work. Engineers are dirt cheap for what they provide. For 50 million a year, you can hire a whole bunch of good engineers to build spaceships or advanced new aircraft. Where are the future concepts Boeing is working on?
 
Opus99
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Wed Apr 21, 2021 4:21 pm

LCDFlight wrote:
Opus99 wrote:
I don't know why people are overreacting to what Calhoun said. He said they want to get back to a dividend policy, but that will depend on getting commercial back to profitability, for commercial to be in profitability its products must be working, they also have to climb out of the immense debt that they're in which Calhoun also talked about.

Also why do people think Boeing does not know what got them where they are, they are very aware of what did and shareholders have also become more aware and more pressing. Like i've said many times before, Boeing will be fine, they will continue to build planes and all they've been doing. What is going on at Boeing is what a restructure looks like


I think our most productive topic to discuss is, is Boeing’s restructure being done in a way that maximizes their future potential. What I’m not seeing is a willingness to pay engineers to innovate like SpaceX. That is today’s generation at work. Engineers are dirt cheap for what they provide. For 50 million a year, you can hire a whole bunch of good engineers to build spaceships or advanced new aircraft. Where are the future concepts Boeing is working on?

The future concepts are there and we know this. There are multiple threads on it. Boeing just hired a massive amount of cockpit design engineers to begin work on that next design. But nobody event wants to point to that and I don’t know why. Boeing reduced R&D by 27% probably to take out unnecessary R&D. There’s still about 2.5 billion dollars Boeing is spending in R&D. Unless they don’t know where that money is going or somebody is stealing it? Airbus said they are suspending all R&D besides XLR, there’s is also declining R&D there. If not for funding from EU for green aviation.

Another data point is Apple spends more on R&D than Airbus and Boeing combined. Tesla probably trumps them too.

Everybody goes on and on about Boeing and the next thing or will Boeing not do. They are spending about 2.5 billion a year which is the same thing Airbus is spending or usually around the same ball park, before the pandemic it was 3.1 billion - Unless that money is going on the dustbin, I want to believe something is happening. The only difference is that Airbus is showing you PowerPoint of electric aircraft.
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Wed Apr 21, 2021 4:24 pm

This seems to confirm what a lot of people feared; Boeing is still an Wall Street company instead of transforming back to an engineering company...


I have to disagree. As a former Boeing shareholder, the lack of a dividend was a major reason that I sold my stake a month ago. People like me invest our capital with the expectation of a reasonable return. As part owners of a corporation, we shareholders have a reasonable expectation of attaining that return, in this case through a dividend. The stock market mantra of buy low, sell high, doesn't always result in the average investor getting anything back for tying up his hard earned cash.

A company can be both an engineering power and a dividend payer, as Boeing was for many years. The two are not mutually exclusive. It doesn't have to be a massive dividend either, perhaps just a few pennies while Boeing rebuilds from the MAX debacle, but enough to reward the shareholders for sticking with them.

Another issue also comes into play - future investment. As a pretty mature firm, Boeing can't expect new cash inflows to come from nowhere. Were they to issue new stock offerings, a dividend would be required to attract buyers into purchasing said new stock offerings, and thus investing in and funding Boeing's next round of projects. That's also the purpose of issuing stock - to attract new investment into the corporation. Without a dividend, why would an investor tie up his cash in a relatively non-volatile corporation where buy low, sell high likely won't happen overnight? They wouldn't, but a dividend will attract investors, particularly buy and hold types.
 
JonesNL
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Wed Apr 21, 2021 4:36 pm

Aptivaboy wrote:
This seems to confirm what a lot of people feared; Boeing is still an Wall Street company instead of transforming back to an engineering company...


I have to disagree. As a former Boeing shareholder, the lack of a dividend was a major reason that I sold my stake a month ago. People like me invest our capital with the expectation of a reasonable return. As part owners of a corporation, we shareholders have a reasonable expectation of attaining that return, in this case through a dividend. The stock market mantra of buy low, sell high, doesn't always result in the average investor getting anything back for tying up his hard earned cash.

A company can be both an engineering power and a dividend payer, as Boeing was for many years. The two are not mutually exclusive. It doesn't have to be a massive dividend either, perhaps just a few pennies while Boeing rebuilds from the MAX debacle, but enough to reward the shareholders for sticking with them.

Another issue also comes into play - future investment. As a pretty mature firm, Boeing can't expect new cash inflows to come from nowhere. Were they to issue new stock offerings, a dividend would be required to attract buyers into purchasing said new stock offerings, and thus investing in and funding Boeing's next round of projects. That's also the purpose of issuing stock - to attract new investment into the corporation. Without a dividend, why would an investor tie up his cash in a relatively non-volatile corporation where buy low, sell high likely won't happen overnight? They wouldn't, but a dividend will attract investors, particularly buy and hold types.


I agree that dividend and engineering focus can coexist, but the reason they were able to pay dividend was because there house(BCA) was in order. Top prio should be to get the house on order and dividend/profit will follow.
 
Opus99
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Wed Apr 21, 2021 4:47 pm

JonesNL wrote:
Aptivaboy wrote:
This seems to confirm what a lot of people feared; Boeing is still an Wall Street company instead of transforming back to an engineering company...


I have to disagree. As a former Boeing shareholder, the lack of a dividend was a major reason that I sold my stake a month ago. People like me invest our capital with the expectation of a reasonable return. As part owners of a corporation, we shareholders have a reasonable expectation of attaining that return, in this case through a dividend. The stock market mantra of buy low, sell high, doesn't always result in the average investor getting anything back for tying up his hard earned cash.

A company can be both an engineering power and a dividend payer, as Boeing was for many years. The two are not mutually exclusive. It doesn't have to be a massive dividend either, perhaps just a few pennies while Boeing rebuilds from the MAX debacle, but enough to reward the shareholders for sticking with them.

Another issue also comes into play - future investment. As a pretty mature firm, Boeing can't expect new cash inflows to come from nowhere. Were they to issue new stock offerings, a dividend would be required to attract buyers into purchasing said new stock offerings, and thus investing in and funding Boeing's next round of projects. That's also the purpose of issuing stock - to attract new investment into the corporation. Without a dividend, why would an investor tie up his cash in a relatively non-volatile corporation where buy low, sell high likely won't happen overnight? They wouldn't, but a dividend will attract investors, particularly buy and hold types.


I agree that dividend and engineering focus can coexist, but the reason they were able to pay dividend was because there house(BCA) was in order. Top prio should be to get the house on order and dividend/profit will follow.

Exactly my take, and there's nothing that Calhoun said there that deviates from that fact. He says commercial must be giving them returns. the only way commercial can be giving them returns is for their products to be up and running, customers to be happy accepting delivery. this latest 737 grounding shows me that Boeing is not taking any chances when it comes to their products, yes they made a production change back in March 2019, they discovered it and are currently implementing a fix for me that is saftey working. same thing we saw with the 787, bear in mind it was the only thing making cash. They halted deliveries for 6 months to get out all the issues, they've gone deep into the supply chain to sort out these issues, the planes are going back into the factory for re-work, deliveries have resumed. slowly but surely the house will be in order, KC-46 has many issues but military have said the last 12 months (basically since Calhoun came in) they've made a lot of progress, same thing with Starliner, they've made a lot of progress, SLS is also back on track.

From what i've gathered Boeing of 2018 would have never grounded those MAXes, they would have continued delivering those 787s to sort out the quality issues, yes these are things they OUGHT to be doing, but the sad truth is they were not doing it before and that to me is an improvement because it is, it's short of where they should be, but IMHO they are getting there
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Wed Apr 21, 2021 6:42 pm

I agree that dividend and engineering focus can coexist, but the reason they were able to pay dividend was because there house(BCA) was in order. Top prio should be to get the house on order and dividend/profit will follow.


There's no reason that both can't occur at the same time. It seems that a lot of folks who are against a dividend see it as a zero sum game, a one or the other choice. It can be both. Also, Calhoun didn't say when he expected a dividend to occur, only that it was a priority. Many things can be priorities all existing simultaneously.
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Wed Apr 21, 2021 7:15 pm

Sokes wrote:
Can't they make more debt to finance dividends?


Of course they can. Markets seem to be gladly lending them money.
They are even legally able to, despite a negative shareholder equity of -18 billion USD, or thereabouts. (In many jurisdictions, negative shareholder equity -- i.e. liabilities exceeding assets -- is called "trading while insolvent", and is grounds for obligatory bankruptcy filing. Apparently, not in the US.)

The remaining question is -- whether it would be a smart idea to do so.
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iamlucky13
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Wed Apr 21, 2021 7:36 pm

LCDFlight wrote:
What I’m not seeing is a willingness to pay engineers to innovate like SpaceX.


I know people who work at SpaceX.

If Boeing can figure how to offer as inspiring of a work environment as SpaceX, then that would be awesome. However, for their sake, I hope Boeing engineer's never have their effective rate of pay match what it currently is at SpaceX.

LCDFlight wrote:
For 50 million a year, you can hire a whole bunch of good engineers to build spaceships or advanced new aircraft. Where are the future concepts Boeing is working on?


I'm not sure what SpaceX's exact engineering headcount is, but as a rough estimate, I would wager they are spending close to $1 billion a year on their engineers.

They are moving fast because they have an unconventional development strategy where they are not afraid to try difficult things and fail, but learn. It helps that they have so far not needed to attempt to certify a product to standards as extensive as FAR Part 25. There are a lot of differences between what SpaceX is trying to, and what Boeing needs to do to continue to be successful.
 
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HowardDGA
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:53 pm

Full disclosure, small Boeing stockholder here.

A couple of points:

1. Some institutional investors will not invest in corporations which do not pay dividends. This reduces demand for the stock and depresses the stock price over time. As one example, GE pays a four-cent dividend - but this widens the pool of mutual funds which can buy GE stock. Which has been slowly improving.
2. Boeing’s bond rating is BBB- (lowest investment grade). This affects the interest paid on commercial paper as well, and affects Boeing’s financial subsidiary too.
3. There is some research that bond ratings move in the same direction as dividend changes.
4. Finally - and perhaps some Boeing employees can tell us - if their pension fund holds Boeing stock, raising the stock price is important to employee long-term financial health, too.

With the huge Boeing debt load, reinstating a small dividend may wind up saving money if it improves rating agency confidence. It is a little more complicated than a zero-sum game of dividends versus R&D.
 
Sokes
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Fri Apr 23, 2021 12:02 am

Maybe he means to say Boeing will rather pay dividends than buy back shares.
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
tys777
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Re: CEO Boeing: “We want to get back to a dividend policy”

Fri Apr 23, 2021 10:25 am

Locking this thread. Veered way off-topic for civil aviation.

If you want to argue the semantics on why a corporation is in business, please take it to non-aviation.

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