Larger engine, longer range A350-1000 to be announced at Paris Air Show

Airbus and Rolls-Royce have agreed to up-size the Trent XWB engine powering the A350-1000, which will add about 500nm of range, Leeham News has learned.

The formal announcements have been planned for the Paris Air Show. Airbus issued a “no comment” to our inquiry and Rolls-Royce did not return calls.

Emirates Airlines CEO Tim Clark has been urging Airbus to add power to the airplane and enlarge it to 380 passengers in three-classes and add range to allow non-stop service from Dubai to Los Angeles. Qatar Airways and Korean Airlines have also encouraged Airbus to enlarge the airplane.

We’ve learned that Airbus won’t be enlarging the airframe but the OEM will up the gross takeoff weight. The Roll-Royce Trent XWB, envisioned to power all three A350 family members, is 92,000 lbs. thrust. The larger -1000 engine will be another 5,000 lbs. But the increased range will still fall somewhat short of Clark’s goal on non-stop to Los Angeles. Rather, the airplane will be able to do Dubai-Seattle non-stop.

Entry-into-service, advertised as 20142015, will be rescheduled to late 2016, according to our information. (Typo; sorry about that.)

The moves are important not only to Airbus’ customers, but also to Boeing. It also proves Boeing’s skepticism of the original A350-1000 design and engine size had merit.

Boeing has been holding off any decision on what to do in response to the A350-1000, a direct competitor to the popular and highly efficient 777-300ER, until the detailed design definition of the -1000 emerges. Boeing, for months, said that it doesn’t know what the -1000 truly is and officials went much further, declaring the -1000 wasn’t a “real” airplane; and that to meet the performance requirement Airbus advertised, a larger engine and perhaps a larger wing would be required.  One Wall Street aerospace analyst believes the wing will have to be enlarged by 3% but we don’t believe one is part of the enhancement.

Boeing has been suggesting the A350-1000 will have a five year EIS delay from 2014 (to 2019) because of the need to rejig the airplane.

As a result, Boeing concluded that it has plenty of time to decide what to do with the 777-300ER. Its choices are to do nothing except routine Performance Improvement Packages (PIP) until a new airplane is required, or undertake a major upgrade that might include significant changes to the wing and engines, and finally design an entirely new airplane in the 2020 decade.

Whether the rejigged A350-1000 provides the “clarity” Boeing needs to make a decision is too soon to say.

Boeing could not be reached during the weekend for comment.

45 comments on “Larger engine, longer range A350-1000 to be announced at Paris Air Show

  1. I believe the maximum thrust rating of the A350-1000 started off at 95 Klbs then went down to 92 Klbs, up to 93 Klbs and now, presumably from this report, up to 97 Klbs. It’s been yo-yo-ing around a bit. I assume the delay, in part, is related to the A320 Neo program being brought forward and effectively prioritized over the A350-1000. The extra time will of course be useful/necessary towards squeezing more performance out of the engine and airframe.

    Tricky decision for Boeing. They have no problem selling the 777-300ER based on current perceptions and availability of the A350-1000. Will that change as the latter model is better defined and the backlogs of both airplanes settle?

    • 93 klbs + 5 klbs = 98 klbs :) I think Leeham must have used some outdated numbers. The sheet you linked has the thrust for the -1000 as 93 klbs.

      What are the technical challenges in getting thrust up to that level while maintaining weight and fuel burn specs?

  2. FF :BTW, I think Airbus currently has the A350-1000 down for a 2015 entry into service.

    Yes, you are right about that. The new EIS of about 2019 tells me that Airbus will need more ‘tweeking’ of the entire airplane to get just to this new level of design (+500 nm).

    The current design specs I have for the A-350-1000 (before these changes to the engine, etc).
    RANGE; about 8,000 nm
    MTOW; 515,000 lbs
    CAPACITY; about 415 (2 class)
    CARGO; 44 X LD3

    Comparing the current B-777-300ER.
    RANGE; about 8,000 nm
    MTOW; 775,000
    CAPACITY; about 450 (2 class)
    CARGO: 44 X LD3

  3. The new EIS to be announced is SPECULATED by Leeham (based on sound information one presumes) to be 2016. Boeing SPECULATION is that it will be 2019, but there is no announcement by anyone.

    • Well, we _do_ have T-Booms word for it, don’t we?

      777-300ER versus A-350-1000 MTOW is ~30% difference
      in MTOW and thus initial fc.
      Add better sfc engines and the larger wingarea for
      a product not that easy to “defang” by Boeing.

      • No, the 777-300ER has a MTOW 18 percent higher than the current spec A350-1000 (298 tonnes vs. 351.5 tonnes). Still, the considerably better engine sfc, larger wing-area, considerably lower wing-loading, smaller wetted area and state-of-the-art aerodynamics of the A350-1000, will unquestionably make it difficult to “defang”. ;-)

        • Error is TypoBooms, I computed on his numbers ;-)
          Notice that he got the 777 MTOW right, I checked that one.

          515.000lbs could be valid for the “sleeping behind the hangars” A350-700.

      • OK. :-)

        BTW, the 515.000 lbs figure is just about the MTOW of the A332/A333.

        As for a conceptual future A350-700 replacing the A332 possibly outfitted with an A330/787 sized wing (or smaller); I would guess that the MTOW for said plane would be around 450.000 lbs, or less.

  4. Andreas :
    The new EIS to be announced is SPECULATED by Leeham (based on sound information one presumes) to be 2016. Boeing SPECULATION is that it will be 2019, but there is no announcement by anyone.

    Well Boeing’s spin is gospel for KC so you shouldn’t pay much attention to what he says…

  5. Uwe :Well, we _do_ have T-Booms word for it, don’t we?
    777-300ER versus A-350-1000 MTOW is ~30% differencein MTOW and thus initial fc.Add better sfc engines and the larger wingarea fora product not that easy to “defang” by Boeing.

    Well, being a much newer design, and made mostly from composits, it should be much lighter than the B-77W.

    Don’t forget the A-350 started out as the A-330-200-LITE, and has been called the A-280 by Airbus. It then went through 5 more official designs before the airlines began ordering it (except for US, which is in Airbus’s pocket because Airbus bailed them out of the last bankruptcy).

    During that time the B-777-300ER was quietly raking up orders. As of 15 April 2011, the B-777-300ER has close to 500 orders (since launch in 2004) by itself (not counting the 60 B-777-300 non-ERs sold and delivered). OTOH, the A-350-1000 has only (about) 75 orders (since its 2006 launch).

    Is this latest version of the A-350-1000 enough to ignite some more sales for this version? I don’t know. Perhaps we should be asking Tim Clark and Akbar al Baker?

    • I’d suggest that you come back in early Q2 2018. Then we can compare how many orders Airbus has garnered for the A350-1000 over a period of 11 years and four months (since the industrial launch of the A350 XWB series in December 2006) with the current net order intake for the 777-300ER since the launch of that program in February 2000.

      http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2004/q2/nr_040429i.html

      -

      The 777-300ER is the first of two new Longer-Range 777 models. The 777-300ER and the 777-200LR (Longer Range) were launched in February 2000 at the request of airline customers seeking airplanes with additional flexibility to serve the non-stop routes that passengers demand.

  6. Interestingly, this “new” A350-1000 will have the same range as that of the original A340-500 (pax + luggage only). Aircraft such as the 777-300ER, A340-600 and A350-1000 having such a huge under floor cargo area will benefit tremendously with better payload capability if all that extra volume is to be utilised efficiently on routes greater than 6500 nm (still air). However, on all existing routes from Europe to North America, for example, you don’t need an A350-1000 with a nominal 8500 nm range (pax and luggage only) in order to fill up the under floor area with standadised cargo.

    Now, enter a hypothetical shorter range A350-1000 with a MTOW of 268 tonnes. Such an aircraft would essentially be a stretched dash 900. The aircraft would be using the -900′s wing and MLG with 4- wheel bogies. Having done a crude a first order approximation, I believe such an aircraft should have a range of about 6900 nm (pax + luggage only), and should be able to fly such routes as FRA-LAX comfortably (great circle distance 5045 nm) carrying a full load on the lower deck. In comparison, the 777-300 has a range of 6005 nm (pax and luggage only). The original dash -300 was essentially a stretched -200 with almost the same MTOW. Looking at the ~900 nm difference in nominal range between the 773 and a hypothetical “shorter” ranged A350-1000 would seem to indicate that the latter aircraft would be considerably more capable one than the 773, and that consequently such an aircraft would not be relegated to intra-Asian routes as has befallen the 777-300.

    Finally, what I’m suggesting as an additional new A350 derivative is exactly what Boeing now is proposing to do with the 787-9; namely stretching it into a dash -10 version by keeping the MTOW about the same as that of the dash -9. The range though for the dash 10 will be reduced significantly in comparison to the maximum range capability of the dash -9, but should similar performance capability as that of “my” hypothetical shorter ranged A350-1000.

    • Airbus is currently offering 5 versions of the A-350 (-800, -900, -900R, -900F, and the -1000) with current EIS dates for all of these versions between 2013 and about 2017.

      What you are proposing is essentially an A-350-950 (A-3595?), or an A-350-1000-LITE (A-3510L?), which would be almost a completely new airplane.

      I doubt EADS has the engineering assets and engineers to work on another model airplane. IIRC their engineers are currently working on the A-400M, various A-330MRTT models, A-380-800, A-380-800IGW, the mentioned 5 models of the A-350, and 3 models of the A-32X-NEO. That is at least 13 models of their various currently offered, or near future offer airplane models. I’m not even counting the improvements to the A-330 models, the proposed A-380-900, or A-380-800F.

      Of course Boeing has their hands full, too, with the improvements to the B-737NGs, a possible reengined B-737NG, the new airplane the B-7X7, improvements to the B-777-300ER (or a more extensive extensive update to compete with the A-3510), the B-787-800/-900 (and possible -1000), the KC-46A, B-747-8F/I, and various fighter aircraft and possible improvements to the C-17A.

      For Boeing that is 15 + projects their engineers are tied into.

      The Boeing web site no longer shows a price for the B-777-300, but shows a list price for the B-777-300ER at $284.1M USD (much lower than the list price of the current A-350-1000 of $299.5M USD). I would think the B-773 would be in the $250M-$260M USD range at list pricing.

      The B-773 still carries the same 44 LD3s the B-77W does, the A-359 carries 36 LD3s and the A-3510 carries 44 LD3s, so your A-3595 would be somewhere between them, at about 40 LD3s (I just split the difference, so it is a guess).

      The B-773 did not burn any sales records, selling only 60 aircraft. The B-77W shows the airlines want capacity and range. I am also assuming your A-3595 would have a MTOW around 283 tonnes (again I split the difference**). I don’t see your suggested airplane having much more appeal than the B-773, unless it has a range of about 7,200 nm to 7,500 nm.

      ** in reply 4 I incorrectly listed the MTOW of the current A-3510 as ‘only 515,000 lbs’ (I read the wrong line that is the Max Landing Weight), it is actually 657,000 lbs.

  7. I think Tim Clark of Emirates is asking for two different things from Airbus. He would ideally like to get a large sub-A380 aircraft to go from Dubai to West Coast USA. He’s not going to get that. He also wants a plane that is bigger than the A350-900 with the same sort of performance. This MTOW increase on the 1000 would address that need, in which case Emirates will upgrade its 900 order to 1000 and possibly order more.

    • Actually, Emirates is now using the 777-300ER (range 7880 nm; pax and luggage only) on their second daily DXB-LAX flight in a mostly “pax + luggage only mode” due to increased passenger demand (other one being flown by a 77L). The current version of the A380-800 has a nominal range of 8200 nm, so I can’t see why the A388 can’t fly this route with a similar “light” payload. Also, it’s worth noting that the A388 has much less extra cargo space available in the under floor compartnments than that of the 77W. The increased gross weight version of the A388 coming online in a couple of years outfitted with better performing GP7000 engines, coupled with an ongoing airframe weight reduction programme, should increase the nominal range of the A388 towards the “magical” 8500 nm target. Now,this should indicate that Emirates is planning to use the A388 on the DXB-LAX route when the passenger demand is there for one daily A388 flight and one daily 77L/77W flight (might be sooner rather than later).

      http://www.flickr.com/photos/jss8699ca/5459868985/

  8. I think many of the “new changes” to the -1000 were incorporated more then a year ago and seem “rediscovered” here.

    http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/aircraft-pictures/A350-1000%20Key%20Changes%20Over%20-900.jpg

    The chances of a A350 further stretch rise with this expected engine uprate.

    “the popular and highly efficient 777-300ER” has a backlog of a few years, now that the 777-200ER, LR, LRF backlogs have become marginal (a few dozen left ?). Boeing is reviving the 787-10 for a reason.

    Creating a profitable 777 backlog for after 2016 is the real challenge for Boeing.

    Th’ll communicate the 777 is just fine .. until the day they announce something new.

  9. @Keesje, I think the B787-10 will be a more of a “light B77E” replacement and a better A333 replacement…I think this is a plane EK might look at to replace its A332 fleet..as EK is looking to have their smallest plane larger than an A332.

    Boeing is saying 2019 for the -1000, others say 2015-maybe it will be 2017 for the -1000.

  10. What you are proposing is essentially an A-350-950 (A-3595?), or an A-350-1000-LITE (A-3510L?), which would be almost a completely new airplane.

    KC, perhaps I didn’t make my self clear that my proposed aircraft would have exactly the same fuselage length as that of the “longer ranged” A350-1000.

    In short, the aircraft would have basically the same wing and centre fuselage section S-15 and 4 wheel MLG as that of the A350-900 (no extra frame required for the Main Landing Gear Bay to accommodate the 6 wheel MLG arrangement). The fwd fuselage with sections S-13/14 (+ 6 frames) as well as the aft fuselage with sections S-16/18 (+ 5 frames), would be identical to the fuselage of the dash -1000.

    So, it should be obvious that “my” proposal would not entail a “new airplane”. It would rather use the Lego approach to LCA construction (A350-900 wing, MLG and S15 + A350-1000 S11/S12/S13/S14/S16/S17/S18/S19 = A350-1000″SR”). :-)

    The B-773 did not burn any sales records, selling only 60 aircraft. The B-77W shows the airlines want capacity and range. I am also assuming your A-3595 would have a MTOW around 283 tonnes (again I split the difference**). I don’t see your suggested airplane having much more appeal than the B-773, unless it has a range of about 7,200 nm to 7,500 nm.

    No, “my” proposed “shorter” ranged A350-1000 would have basically the same MTOW as that of the A350-900. 268 (metric) tonnes is about as high you can go with a 4 wheel MLG assembly; and remember, this is one of the key points of my proposal. By eliminating 2*2 wheels + MLG structure + one 0.635 m MLGB frame which is required for the 6 wheel MLGB to fit in the MLGB of the “long” range A350-1000, the OEW will be reduced. Gear weight is about 4 percent of MTOW. If the MTOW of the A350-1000 is increased to around 310 tonnes, then the weight savings for the 4 wheel MLG assembly should be around 1.5 metric tonnes. Of course, Airbus could lighten the fuselage structure as well, but to maintain commonality in production and for cost reasons, the aircraft might as well use unmodified A350-1000 fuselage sections, except, of course, section S-15 which would come from the A359 and which will be lighter anyway than the equivalent S-15 section on the A350-1000.

    As I’ve already indicated, 6900 nm nominal range will be more than enough for West-Coast USA to Europe.

    • I might add that if an operator of this conceptual “shorter”** ranged A350-1000 would copy Lufthansa’s aft lower deck Galley/WC configuration on their A340-600 fleet (minus crew rest), then you would have extra space for at least an additional couple of rows of Y-class seats. Also, on intercontinental routes that see a high number of daily flighs, operators may have difficulty in filling up the massive additional volume available on the lower decks of 77Ws, A346s and the future A350-1000. In such cases, additional pax capacity on the main deck is warranted.

      **Shorter range relatively speaking!

      • Your short ranged and lighter A-3510L would not be able to carry much cargo weight, having a MTOW of some 30 tonnes lighter, and still having the pax capacity of the A-3510 with baggage. I just don’t see it able to carry enough fuel for 6,900 nms at a full pax/baggage load, and a little bit of cargo. But, since it will have the 368 tonne MTOW of the A-359, on a heavier airframe (than the A-359), it could use the same engines of the A-359, the RR Trent-XWB-93. The A-359 will have an advertised empty weight of some 115.7 tonnes. Although Airbus has not said what the A-3510 will weigh empty, it should be approaching 125 tonnes, with your A-3510L coming in around 120-122 tonnes (with your weight reductions of the MLG, section S-15, and the RR Trent-XWB-93 engines (not using the newer proposed RR Trent-XWB-98 which Scott said could weigh another 5,000 lbs combined).

      • KC, as an example of payload/range capability, please take a close look at the payload/range chart for the 777-series:

        http://www.boeing.com/commercial/startup/pdf/777_payload.pdf

        The OEM’s advertised range is for passengers and luggage only! On the 777 payload/range chart the range capability for carrying pax + luggage only, is indicated by the dotted lines. What is more interesting, is to look at the maximum payload capability of the aircraft. It is limited structurally by maximum zero fuel weight (MZFW) which is represented by the top horisontal lines of the chart. The diagonal line after the range at the maximum payload point indicates how reducing payload allows for an increase fuel carried, and thus range, when taking off at MTOW. The second kink in the curve represents the point at which the maximum fuel capacity is reached.

        The 777-300ER, for example, can fly 7930 nm (still air) with 365 passengers + luggage, but with no extra cargo at all at that range. Now, the 77W can fly up to 5650 nm (still air) at MZFW. I would expect the 310 tonnes MTOW capable A350-1000 to have the capability to fly at least 6100 nm (still air) at MZFW.

        Now, please note that the 777-300 was stretched by 19 frames, or 399 inches (21 inch frame spacing), from the 77E. The A350-1000 will be stretched by 11 frames, or 275 inches (25 inch frame spacing), from the A359. This means that the A350-900 to A350-1000 stretch is a liitle bit more than two thirds the length of that of the 777-200ER to 777-300 stretch. The range for the 777-200ER at MZFW is about 5600 nm and the range for the 777-300 at MZFW is about 3800 nm; difference in range at MZFW beween the two aircraft being roughly 1800 nm. Extrapolating this number into a first order approximation for the MZFW of “my” shorter ranged A350-1000, we multiply 1800 nm with (275/399) which is 1240 nm. The max range at MZFW for the lighter and shorter ranged A350-1000 would thus be around 4850 nm (still air). In comparison, the max range at MZFW for the A330-200 is around 4200 nm. Of course, this is a very crude analysis, and I’ve been using the 777 data normatively and extrapolating the result into my “A350 equation”, but it nevertheless should indicate that my proposed A359 straight derivative should be more than capable of flying the 5000+ nm routes beween Europe and North/South America with a decent cargo payload in addition to the pax + luggage.

        it could use the same engines of the A-359, the RR Trent-XWB-93.

        You mean the Trent-XWB-84 with 84.000 ibf of static thrust, right?

      • Addendum:

        I made a mistake. I used the estimated range for the “new” A350-1000 at MZFW. Instead, I should, of course, have used the A350-900 as a reference point. The A359 is projected to have a nominal range of 8100 nm. Max range at MZFW for the A359 should exceed 6800 nm (still air), hence the max range at MZFW for my proposed lighter and shorter ranged A350-1000 should thus be around 4550 nm (still air).

  11. Nick k. :

    Andreas :The new EIS to be announced is SPECULATED by Leeham (based on sound information one presumes) to be 2016. Boeing SPECULATION is that it will be 2019, but there is no announcement by anyone.

    Well Boeing’s spin is gospel for KC so you shouldn’t pay much attention to what he says…

    Where did I say anything about the Boeing EIS?

    I don’t think we need to keep going down this road.

    • I’ll ask the obvious then. If you did not use Boeing’s estimate, from where did you get an EIS of 2019?

    • You were the one who led us there, by talking about the new EIS of 2019. Maybe every so often you want to check your facts before posting? This is not meant as a personal dig, but simply an observation based on the number of erroneous statements you put out. Discussion here would be improved by simple fact-checks before posting.

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  14. Response from Boeing to the “new” more capable A350-1000:

    (Reuters) – Boeing (BA.N) vowed on Tuesday to defend its successful 777 wide-body aircraft but said it felt under no immediate pressure to respond to a reported challenge from European rival Airbus (EAD.PA).

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/07/uk-airlines-boeing-idUSLNE75601720110607

    Also, there’s some truly bizarre quotes in the article from Albaugh regarding the NEO vs. 737NG-RE/737RS:

    Airbus has mounted a separate challenge to Boeing in the most active part of the aircraft market by revamping its A320 narrowbody jet with new engines to offer 15 percent in fuel savings, when combined with performance-enhancing wingtips.

    “The A320 is a good plane and has got quite a number of orders but those were orders from carriers that buy Airbus products and were going to buy the A320 regardless,” said Albaugh, who is chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

    “We are spending a lot of time making sure our customers know we are going to do one of two things. We are going to re-engine or build a new small airplane and regardless of which we do, our plane will be better and more capable.”

    Albaugh said the choices were a 737 with new engines capable of producing 8 percent better performance than the A320neo, or a new airplane in 2019 or 2010 with 20 percent better performance in fuel efficiency than where the Boeing 737 is now.

    So, Albaugh is saying that a re-engined (737NG-RE) will be better and more capable than the NEO, with up to 8 percent better performance? Yeah, right! In a best case scenario they might be able to increase the fan diameter from 61 inches (CFM56-7B) to 66-67 inches (Leap-X) without too many costly changes to the basic frame. However, this won’t be enough to completely counter the NEO (GTF fan diameter 81″ inches; Leap-X fan diameter 75″).

    I’m sorry to say this, but it seems to me that he’s just throwing out fantasy “feel-good” numbers not grounded in engineering realities.

    • OV-099 :
      “The A320 is a good plane and has got quite a number of orders but those were orders from carriers that buy Airbus products and were going to buy the A320 regardless,” said Albaugh, who is chief executive of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.”

      Will Albaugh have to revise this statement soon? According to an interview in Businessweek, Airbus seems confident they’ll be able to announce at least one NEO order from an NG operator in Paris.

      • IMO he’ll probably have to revise his statment sooner rather than later. Noting that it’s only been 6 months since the launch of the programme we can relatively safely assume that surely, we havent’s seen anything yet!

        Also, I would not be surprised if the A321NEO will turn out to be a formidable competitor on Boeing’s own turf. In short, I believe Boeing is more concerned about the competitive threat from the NEO than they publicly let on.

    • I am sure there is a range at which a 737NGNE would be 8% more efficient than a NEO. Probably quite short distances. Did a search on A-net for an old post by Mandala499, he did the comparison of the 737NG vs. A320CFM/IAE across a number of ranges for real missions, opposed to the marketing mumbo-jumbo by both OEMs. At shorter ranges the 737NG buries the A320 (>8% advantage per seat at 400nm). At mid-range they are even, and at longer ranges the A320 wins. Or

      Here: http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/4876491/?threadid=4876491&searchid=4877452&s=mandala499#ID4877452

      • Yes, that’s a very good analysis. Hopefully it can help put to rest the delusion that supoposedly the 737NG absolutely is more efficient than the A32X.

        The 8.13 percent figure for fuel burn differential per seat is for a 400 nm flight using the “first-generation” CFM56-5-A3 engine on the A320; it’s reduced to 6,18 percent for the CFM56-5B6/P engine (with the tech insertion package) and further reduced to 4.63 percent for the V2527-A5 engine. At 1100 nm and upwards, the A320 powered with the IAE engine option will burn less per seat than the CFM powered 737-800, and at 1200 nm the CFM56-5B6/P powered A320 will only burn roughly 1 percent more fuel per seat than the 737-800. At 2000 nm, the numbers are all red (except for the CFM56-5-A3 powered A320).

        According to Airbus the NEO will be at least 15 percent more efficient than the current A320 due to the new engine in addition to the sharklets. I can’t see Boeing getting, at most, more than a high single digit gain in efficiency by re-engining the 737NG with a Leap-X engine, which btw, would be less “compromised” than a GTF engine option.

        Due to the fact that Boeing is extremely constrained on extending the fan diameter on a new engine option for the 737NG, although they are trying to let on that this isn’t so; clearly. they will not be able to reap the harvest of all of the efficiency gains entailed by the new generation GTF and Leap-X engines when the fan must be reduced in size, to such an extent, from the engine design “sweet-spot”.

        Therefore, I’m quite sure that in a future comparison between the A320NEO and a re-engined 737NG, an updated fuel butn comparison would only have red figures; IOW a far cry from a situation where a re-engined 737-800, which according to Mr. Albaugh’s seemingly absolute statment, will be 8 percent more efficient per seat than the NEO, presumably in “all mission scenarios”.

  15. OV-099 said;

    “So, Albaugh is saying that a re-engined (737NG-RE) will be better and more capable than the NEO, with up to 8 percent better performance? Yeah, right! In a best case scenario they might be able to increase the fan diameter from 61 inches (CFM56-7B) to 66-67 inches (Leap-X) without too many costly changes to the basic frame. However, this won’t be enough to completely counter the NEO (GTF fan diameter 81″ inches; Leap-X fan diameter 75″).

    I’m sorry to say this, but it seems to me that he’s just throwing out fantasy “feel-good” numbers not grounded in engineering realities.”

    Well, since none of us know what Boeing really has up its sleeve for responding to the NEO, your guess is also a fantasy.

    Somehow I think Boeing engineers have actually looked at the publicly released information (and possibly learned information from P&W and/or CFM) on the A-32X-NEO and have run some numbers to show the response from Boeing, giving them some options, a new design, reengining, or both. The 8% improvement number of a reengined B-737NG over what is currently known about the A-32X-NEO is not an unbeliveable number. I don’t have the real fuel burn numbers, so this is an example;

    If the current model A-320 burns 6,000 lbs of fuel per hour (cruise), an A-320NEO would burn about 5,100 lbs per hour (cruise), based on a 15% improvement.

    If the A-320NEO burns that 5,100 lbs per hour and a B-737-800RE has an 8% improvement over the A-320NEO, then the B-737-800RE would burn about 4,690 lbs per hour (cruise). These numbers are not unachievable.

    “Also, I would not be surprised if the A321NEO will turn out to be a formidable competitor on Boeing’s own turf. In short, I believe Boeing is more concerned about the competitive threat from the NEO than they publicly let on.”

    That could happen. You could be right about Boeing being worried about the NEO getting some Boeing customer orders. Even long time B-737 operator WN has threatened Boeing they could order the NEO.

    As for the A-321NEO itself, it does have good timing as older B-757-200s retire, and the only airplanes in this market that can fill about 90% of the B-757 missions is the A-321NEO (not the non-NEO version) and the B-737-900ER.

    • Well, since none of us know what Boeing really has up its sleeve for responding to the NEO, your guess is also a fantasy.

      No, I’m only talking about the seemingly delusional belief that a re-engined 737NG would be 8 percent more efficient than the NEO. If that’s fantasy to you, fine! ;-)

      Also, I’m not talking about the trade-offs currently going on at Renton/Everett. In fact, I have the highest regard for Boeings’s engineering prowess. However, this has more to do with their long term strategy.

      The 8% improvement number of a reengined B-737NG over what is currently known about the A-32X-NEO is not an unbeliveable number.

      IMO, it’s a totally unbelievable number. Of course, we could grant the benefit of doubt to Mr. Albaugh an assume that it could have been the journalist at Reuters who misinterpreted Mr Albaugh. Perhaps what he was saying was that a re-engined 737NG would be 8 percent more efficient than the current version. ;-)

  16. KCTB I too would have preferred Airbus to keep the A350-1000 lean and mean with a slightly reduced range. However the business case obviously requires it. Maybe a stretch later on.

    http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z160/keesje_pics/AirbusA350-1100Fake649.jpg

    The engine uprate probably has to do with payload range requirements of the growing Asian markets. From hot HKG, SIN or Ghangzou to Europe or the US is a long way. Cargo is important for Asia and the A350-1000 (and the other members of this sub-family, the A350-900R and A350-900RF).

    No doubt likely candidates like BA, Delta, CX, EK and QF convinced them.

    • Is DL and BA even considering the A-350-1000? BA has begun taking delivery of the B-777-300ER, and DL has been rumored to be considering it, too.

      As far as your A-350-1100 drawing goes, I think Airbus needs to get the A-3510 flying first.

  17. Well to begin with every model of the B-737NG begins with a lighter empty weight than the corrosponding A-32X model*, and the NEO is going to add weight, then realizing the B-737NG has a more efficent, longer, and modern wing** (it is a different wing design from the B-737-Classics and the B-737-100/-200/-200ADV) than the A-32X, or A-32X-NEO, that means the NEO has a steeper hill to climb at the beginning. The slightly narrower fuselarge of the B-737NG also has less drag than the A-32X series fuselarge***.

    Don’t forget all the current B-737NGs have more range than current the A-32X series.

    On some mission lenghts the NEO option will only bring the A-32X series up to even with the current B-737NG series.

    If the B-737NG 8% improvement over the A-32X-NEO is close to correct, then that is a 22% improvement over the current A-32X (it would not be 23%, a combined 15% + the 8%).

    The B-737NG already is selling for a lower list price compared to the A-32X.

    But, this debate is all for not if Boeing does not reengine the B-737NG, and decides to build a completely new airplane.

    *the B-737-700 is almost 6,000 lbs lighter than the A-319, the B-737-800 is 2,900 lbs lighter than the A-320, and the B-737-900ER is 7,500 lbs lighter than the A-321.

    ** the B-737NG wing is 117’5″ without the blended winglets, the A-32X wing is only 111’11″ without sharklets.

    *** B-737NG fuselarge with is 12’4″, the A-32X fuselarge with is 13′.

    • Going by the fact that the A320 family advantage gains with mission length
      the weight advantage of the 737 seems to be the most prominent lever.
      The potential wing advantage is nulled by the engine disadvantage.
      Otherwise the 737* would best their complementing a320*
      consistently over _all_ mission length.

      Anyway I don’t think “newer” is a sufficient argument for “better”.
      Airbus seens to have a good hand for getting better aeroperformance
      with simpler measures. ( see that NASA research I linked to some time
      ago.)

  18. The 737′s are great machines.

    They are less capable then the A320s too, that’s why they are lighter. Payload range is lower (look at pay load range, pls forget the passenger only ranges). The A320 cabin is wider, it doesn’t have a fifties cramped & noisy (=drag) cockpit design. The 737 has an oversized/dated tail, can’t carry cargo containers/pallets and has cockpit commonality with other 737s only. It’s wing/LG combi prevents the best new engines to be included (BPR).

    Some of the 737 systems/ assemblies are very modern. Others carry a strong sixties/seventies heritage.

    Boeing is looking at something new for a reason. Expect them to deny any 737 disadvantages, contrary it’s the best NB you can buy, until the last leaves the production line..

    “Boeing has been suggesting the A350-1000 will have a five year EIS delay from 2014 (to 2019) because of the need to rejig the airplane.”

    Spreading disinformation is a proven tactic.

  19. Pingback: Odds and ends: A350-1000, A380 orders coming; NLRB action starts today « Leeham News and Comment

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