September 2006 Editorial

These are exciting times, both for the industry we serve and for High-Performance Composites. I just read that Alan Mulally, the exec who led Boeing Commercial Airplanes through the tough post-9/11 slump, has replaced Bill Ford Jr. as president/CEO of Ford Motor Co. Although building airplanes and mass-producing cars

These are exciting times, both for the industry we serve and for High-Performance Composites.

I just read that Alan Mulally, the exec who led Boeing Commercial Airplanes through the tough post-9/11 slump, has replaced Bill Ford Jr. as president/CEO of Ford Motor Co. Although building airplanes and mass-producing cars are quite different enterprises, Mulally oversaw Boeing's conversion from mostly metal aircraft to the 777 and the 787's unprecedented 50 percent composite construction, making possible the weight savings and fuel economy that have earned the 787 its equally unprecedented number of preproduction orders. Greater fuel economy and unprecedented sales are something Ford could use right now. Hopefully, some of Mulally's understanding of and commitment to composite materials will rub off. Meanwhile, his replacement at Boeing, Scott Carson, the man most responsible for narrowing the sales gap between Boeing and rival Airbus, will work closely with Boeing manufacturing guru Jim Jamieson, the Commercial Airplanes unit's new Number Two. In Carson's own words, the choice of Jamieson indicates Boeing's commitment to fulfill the 787's composites promise: "We've got to produce what we develop."Good news for our industry on both counts.

HPC also is doing some significant retooling. I take great pleasure in announcing HPC's new editor-in-chief, Jeff Sloan, who will assume my duties in that area to free me, as a full-time publisher, to focus on a number of exciting new projects. Jeff comes to HPC after a stint as group publisher of the Plastics Group at Canon Communications, where he had the oversight of three plastics publications - the industry-leading Injection Molding Magazine, Modern Plastics Worldwide (the plastics market's longest-running publication) and Plastics Machinery & Auxiliaries. Jeff served as editor-in-chief of IMM from 2000 to 2003 and took over as editor of MPW when it was acquired by Canon.

Jeff and I have known each other since he broke into the plastics industry in 1990 as an editorial assistant and then associate editor for Advanstar's now-defunct Plastics Machinery & Equipment magazine. Some of you may recall that Advanstar published, at that time, Advanced Composites magazine, for which I served as publisher before starting HPC and sister magazine Composites Technology, here at Ray Publishing. Jeff brings to HPC an excellent understanding of both plastics and composite materials as well as trade publishing.

Most of you have probably heard that, in July, the composites world lost two outstanding leaders. On July 21, Steve Loud died in a California hospital of a recently diagnosed lung disease. The next day, Anthony Falcone succumbed to an incurable neurodegenerative disorder he had been battling for a decade (see our News article, p. 21). I had known Steve since the early 1990s - he wrote for Composites Technology during its first year in 1995. Steve and I frequented many of the same trade gatherings over the years. His good company and wit were always appreciated, but his forté was keeping his finger on the pulse of the latest trends in the composites market. A long-time employee of Boeing Phantom Works, Tony had been active in the Seattle Chapter of SAMPE since 1984. Already suffering from the disease when he assumed the SAMPE presidency, Anthony's commitment to the job was an inspiration to everyone. These men contributed much to this industry, and the industry will sorely miss them.