787-10 decision anticipated very soon, perhaps within days

Boeing’s Board is expected to be asked very soon, perhaps at its meeting in October, to grant Authority to Offer the 787-10 to customers, according to two sources.

A Boeing spokeswoman said that ATO for the 787-10 is expected to occur before the ATO for the 777X, since the -10 is a more straight-forward project than the X, but could not confirm the October timeline.

The straight-forward stretch of the 787-9 will have less range (about 6,900nm) than either the -8 or -9 models, which comfortably top 8,000 nm but it is expected to carry around 323 passengers, putting it squarely in the class of the 777-200ER and the A350-900.

At 6,900nm, the airplane will cover most missions required by airlines. By foregoing a new wing and added fuel tankage, the operating weight of the airplane is expected to be roughly equal to the 787-9. A slightly higher-thrust engine will be required. Rolls-Royce announced a higher thrust version of the Trent 1000 now powering the 787 at the Farnborough Air Show, and insiders said this engine is specifically intended for the 787-10.

The 787-10 is billed by Boeing as the airplane that will “kill” the Airbus A330-300, but the 787 was also billed as the airplane that would kill the A330-200. The delays in the 787 program have given Airbus time to enhance the A330 family and the rival announced gross weight, range and engine Performance Improvement Packages to the 300 (and which are anticipated for the 200) at the Farnborough Air Show.

Airbus is also selling the A330 family at discounts to the 787 family today and this will continue in the future. The lower capital costs, Airbus believes, allows the A330 to remain competitive. Airbus COO-Customers John Leahy told us that Airbus expects to sell the A330 beyond 2020.

The 787-10 would replace the 777-200ER, which has largely been killed by the A350-900.

47 comments on “787-10 decision anticipated very soon, perhaps within days

  1. It seems few people disagree the 787-10 looks like a good idea. Capasity at low CASM for TATL, transcons, Euro-MEA, intra Asia etc. The sectors the A333 ruled during the last decade. Real live range will probably be around 10 hours/~ 5000 nm’s. Just like 5700 nm seems is a good estimation for 773ER/A3510 from SIN with lots of LD3’s in the belly ( Ferpe, a.net). http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm262/ferpe_bucket/Payloadrange359vs35Jvs35JNvs77W-2.jpg

  2. By the logic presented in this posting, it would be interesting to see how much any A359 sales potential is blunted by the continued offering of the A332/3 beyond 2020. One can make claims about “killing” or making obsolete a competitor’s offering, but that is a sword that can cut both ways when there is overlap in one’s own product lines.

  3. I was discussing just this morning on a.net how I thought it would be a good idea for Boeing to launch the B-787-10 and forgo the B-777X program and go for the full Y-3, perhaps as a BWB and up to 3 engines. It could be an A-380 killer.

    • KC135TopBoom :
      I was discussing just this morning on a.net how I thought it would be a good idea for Boeing to launch the B-787-10 and forgo the B-777X program and go for the full Y-3, perhaps as a BWB and up to 3 engines. It could be an A-380 killer.

      I the 747-8i already took care of the A380?

      While I understand Boeing’s shyness to launch the 777X, I see a much bigger problem in completely foregoing it. This would a) leave much of the 777-300ER niche to the A350 for years to come, b) definitely kill the 747-8i (unless they want to develop a new airplane that replaces the 777-300ER and nothing but the 777-300ER, which seems like a silly idea), c) expose them to the risk of having to run two major development programmes (partially) in parallel, namely the New Big Airplane (NBA) and the MAX-successor (aka NSA). I’m pretty sure that they’ll try to avoid that.

  4. I think the base of preferring the 787-10 over the 777X now is the fact the former champion 777-200ER was washed away by a combination of 300 seat A330-300 and A350-900 orders. The -200/-200ER/-200LR backlog has evaporated and this segment is much larger then the 350+ segment. When the market saw a 777-8i no way can become lean, the choice for the 787-10 became inevitable.

    With the A350-800 proving moderately popular/ ULH, and competition showing up Airbus will probably launch a A330 NEO family, with the latest GENX and Trent engines, Sharklets, weight savings, HGW variants, new cabin and possibly a stretch. Modifications like HUD and EFB2 were recently certified so probably limitted upgrades in the cockpit. An A330 family with a 10-15% lower fuel burn, I guess there is a market, also for A330F variants. Maybe Fedex and AirAsia can be launch customers.

      • Hmmm, somehow I just don’t see your point, Uwe. the B-787-8 has some 520 orders, and about 19 delivered to date. That is almost as many orders as the entire A-350 family, which has about 558 total orders.

        keesje, you do understand the A-358 only has about 118 total orders. I wouldn’t call that “moderately popular”. Airbus won’t launch any A-330NEO, as any orders for it will take away from the A-350 program. I agree they will reduce the weight some more, add sharklets, and will try to improve fuel comsumption by another 1%-2% for the A-330 family. But Airbus won’t add their own competitor to the A-350. The market disagrees with you on the A-330F, as FedEx has already rejected it in favor of the B-777LRF and B-767-300ERF. The A-330F is slow selling, at best, having secured only about 60 orders. Although QR is planning on converting some of its own A-330s to A-330P2Fs.

        • I expect significant customer type upgrade swaps. in the future.
          ( which would be a Good Thing (TM) for Boeing, afaics )

  5. I am wondering if this suggests that Boeing is going to try to ramp up production numbers of the 787 line above 10 per month? If this is the case (say 14 has been a number I’ve seen), would this explain the launch of the -10 now?

  6. Reply to Uwe #1: “LH sitting by with pen poised?”

    So B says. LH is very skilled at buying early and cheap; eg. 741 ordered 6/30/66, A343 delivered 1/30/93, A346 delivered 12/23/03, 748-I, C Series, and now perhaps the 7810. LH’s 23 A343s were delivered between 11/30/93 and 12/21/01according to Planespotters, so maybe replacing them is why LH wants the -10.

  7. I’m sure the 787-10 will become the most popular version of the family based on economics. Between the A380, 747, A350, 777, and 787-8 and 9, how many 7000nm aircraft does the world market need?

  8. KC135TopBoom :
    Hmmm, somehow I just don’t see your point, Uwe. the B-787-8 has some 520 orders, and about 19 delivered to date. That is almost as many orders as the entire A-350 family, which has about 558 total orders.
    keesje, you do understand the A-358 only has about 118 total orders. I wouldn’t call that “moderately popular”. Airbus won’t launch any A-330NEO, as any orders for it will take away from the A-350 program. I agree they will reduce the weight some more, add sharklets, and will try to improve fuel comsumption by another 1%-2% for the A-330 family. But Airbus won’t add their own competitor to the A-350. The market disagrees with you on the A-330F, as FedEx has already rejected it in favor of the B-777LRF and B-767-300ERF. The A-330F is slow selling, at best, having secured only about 60 orders. Although QR is planning on converting some of its own A-330s to A-330P2Fs.

    KC135TopBoom, the A350 is sold out for years, without the major western airlines having ordered many. Leahy was complaining the lack of slots hampers his sales. The A330-200 offers capacity above the A358, the A333 is for medium ranges and the A330F won’t have a replace for the next 10 yrs. The existing A330 high rate production line is to good to kill. A NEO would continue to compete with the 787.

    Fedex has more then hundred Airbusses and 100 DC10/MD11s. 1 777F on order and 27 767s on order. Calling it a done deal sounds wishfull to me.

    • keesje, blah, blah, blah. If Leahy sold any more A-350s, the slots would be found. There are slots available with the 30 or so cancel A-350 orders. The A-359 also offers capacity above the A-358, ans well as the B-789 does. Boeing is still selling the B-787 and still has a back log of of more than 800 airplanes. The B-787-8 alone has sold almost as many airplanes as the entire A-350 family. Airbus can also transfer the extra capability to produce the A-350 from the A-330.

      You better check your numbers for FedEx.
      They have;
      B-777F, 19 in the fleet, 13 on order, and 13 options. Entering service: 4 in 2013, 2 in 2014, 2 in 2015, 2 in 2016, 2 in 2017, 1 in 2018.
      B-767F, 27 on order. Entering service: 3 in 2014, 6 in 2015, 6 in 2016, 6 in 2017, 6 in 2018
      A-306F, 71 in the fleet, none are currently scheduled for retirement.
      A-310F, 35 in the fleet. Exiting service: 2 in 2014, 4 in 2015, 8 in 2016, 4 in 2017.
      MD-10-10F, 52 in the fleet. Exiting Service: 8 in 2015, 12 in 2016, 6 in 2017, 5 in 2018.
      MD-10-30F, 17 in the fleet. Exiting service: 3 in 2014, 1 in 2015, 1 in 2018.
      MD-11F, 64 in the fleet. Exiting service: 1 in 2015, 1 in 2016, 8 in 2017, 4 in 2018.
      All of this is as of May 2012.

      I expect FedEx to order additional B-767-300ERFs (I’m not sure if they hold any B-767F options, or not) to continue replacing the A-312/3Fs, MD-10F/-30Fs, and exercise the options on the B-777-200LRFs to continue to replace the MD-11Fs. I have not included the B-727-200Fs (41) which are all being replaced by B-757-200SFs (75 in the fleet and another 10 on order).

  9. Uwe :
    737 is LH DNA. A big gift to Boeing.

    To be precise, the B737-100, which sold even worse than the B737-600.
    Other famous and successful aircraft with Lufthansa DNA: A310, A340, B747-8I
    Aircraft with lesser success which have definitely no Lufthansa DNA: A330, B777, B767

    If Lufthansa is your launch customer, you’re doomed.

    • So, the 737-200 and onwards were a complete new design? Don’t fall over your laces ;-)
      Topboom is so happy to note the greatness of the family on a regular basis.

  10. What is the “secret” of the B787-10 (compared to other widebodies)?
    Range-optimization!
    The 6900nm (and we can comfortably expect a few nm less) are some 1500nm less than the A350’s design range. Reducing range means reducing weight.
    The A330-300 is so successful because it is a genuine medium range aircraft. It can’t go beyond 5000nm because it doesn’t have the fuel (remember: the A330 has the same wing as the A340, but doesn’t have a center wing tank, making the aircraft severely fuel volume limited [A330-200 does have center wing tank]).
    B777-200[ER] always was designed for 7000nm, making it less efficient in operations at ranges below 5000nm (which dominate the TATL market), despite its better engine technology.

    As Airbus can hardly clip the wings of its A350, it cannot compete with the B787-10 unless it updates the A330 with technology that reduces its fuel burn. As the -10 sits at quite some capacity, there might be a spot for a 5000nm aircraft able to accomodate around 250 people in a medium range two-class config.

  11. I don’t think that Airbus will lunch A330NG for the following reasons.
    – A 350 is 3-5 tons lighter than A 330
    – A 358 is a simple shrink as 332 and 319
    – The wider body of A 350 is better suited for the 250 + seaters category

    I understand the point of smaller wing, I even voted for a HGW 787-300 a few years ago, but market proves me wrong.

  12. True, it would probably be more cost efficient to re-design the A350-8’s wing than to add new engines to the A330. It cannot think of an A330NG, although it sounds nice.

    • It all goes down to slots availability and output capacity. 350XWB assembly chain will necessarly be limited in numbers, what ever Airbus and suppliers manage to pull out.
      At the other end, the supply chain of the 330 is vastly different, as most of the airframe is diffrent (material wise).

      The 2Bn dollar question is whether or not Airbus has filled out its 330 slots enough to have enough time to upgrade significantly its 330 without loosing 330 deliverly slots.
      My understanding is that it doesn’t, so it can’t do a 320NEO-like coup this time. The 320NEO worked, because the 320 slots were full for enough years to make it happen without having unwanted slots later on.
      Also, engineering ressource wise, it feels like all of the Airbus ressources are already used for the moment, and until th 351 stabilises itself, Airbus won’t have much left to spare.

      So as unfortunate this sounds, 330NEO isn’t sadly viable for the moment, and I’m afraid it will never be, because the conditions will not improve on both front (slots saturation and engineering ressource) as it requires to two conditions to work out.

  13. At long last, -10 is moving up the decision chain of Boeing; pretty slow for a world class company ,I suppose. I cannot see it kill 330 the way it is ,a simple stretch . 330 will come back lighter ,better engines et al . B keeps giving to A in this segmen- they can never fully recover from the project delays of 87.

    • According to Aspire Aviation, where they did a good analysis of the B787-10X versus A333, it will indeed be an A333 “killer”. Just as the A333/A359XWB combo and B77W/A388 combo is killing the B77E model and B748i model respectively. I don’t see Airbus doing an “A333NG” anytime soon, if at all. Costs (>$4-5 billion), time and resources are just a few of the limiting factors.

      • Aspire tends to be a bit too “bubbly” over things Boeing.

        $4..5 billion was more than enough for the A340-5/600 “incremental” developement ( ~€3.9b.afaik )
        A new engine should not be more expensive than the similar A320 NEO effort i.e. ~$1b.

        I would not be surprised if the PAX A330 is dead by 2025.
        But currently Boeing is unable to bring enough 787 into the
        fight to effect that killing, so to speak.

        • Yeah, we all saw how successful the A-345/6 were, didn’t we Uwe? The A-346 sold just 97 airplanes, and the A-345 sold 34, with 2 yet to be delivered (probibly canceled by now). Just to pay off the ROI for the A-345/6 adds some $263.5 Million USD to the offered listed price. If course Airbus didn’t add all that money to each of the 129 airplanes actually delivered (including the 1 QR A-346 that was a w/o before delivery, tail number F-WWCJ).
          Airbus is not going to make an A-330NG, there is no business case for it against the B-787 family, and they do not want to compete with their own A-358/9 lines.

        • Reads a bit incoherent.

          If you do the simple math of distributing €4b over 131 frames you get €30.5m/1
          Then, all the stuff you iterate over is irrelevant to the comparison of design efforts.

          What did you want to tell us, please?

        • Uwe :
          Reads a bit incoherent.
          If you do the simple math of distributing €4b over 131 frames you get €30.5m/1
          Then, all the stuff you iterate over is irrelevant to the comparison of design efforts.
          What did you want to tell us, please?

          This from the chief of incoherent posts? Go back and check your math, and it is 129 airframes.

          But to answer your question, Airbus lost their shirt on the A-345/6 program, thanks to the B-777. 4 for the long haul……..LOL

          The A-350 went through 6 versions until it was finally settled on what is now know as the A-350XWB, or as I call it, the A-350 Mk. VI. Airbus tried to launch the A-350 Mk. I (A-330Lite) in time for the FAS in 2004. They went through a lot of critsizm from their customers, including the two biggest customers, ILFC and GECAS, for the first 5 different versions, including one that was suppose to be powered by the GEnx-2B-72 engine. But now since they don’t have a GE engine option, they will get no orders from GECAS. The A-350XWB was finally launched 2 years after theA-350 Mk. I feascal, launching it at the 2006 FAS with an order (it was actuallu a MOU) of 20 from SQ and 20 options. The first firm order came in Jan. 2007 for 2 airplanes from Pegasus Aviation Finance Company.

        • All that narrative is pretty much removed from my cost reference on what a new engine could cost on one side (A320NEO) and a new wing, new engines and new tech on the other side ( A340NG ). We don’t even have to meet on project success or not.
          ( and producing math that is a factor of 10 or more off doesn’t give you much handle
          on chiding others on the topic )

  14. Leeham’s commentary on the 787-10 displays a transparent and gross bias in favor of Airbus. When comparing the ability of older Airbus A330 aircraft to remain competitive against the newer technology from Boeing, he writes two paragraphs regurgitating the Airbus talking points about lower price and capital costs. Those financial arguments could be persuasive if he was consistent. But he abandons those arguments when the aircraft is Boeing, and in one short sentence dismisses any ability of the 777 to remain competitive against the A350….a plane that has not even been delivered yet!

    • We’d point out, Scott Mc, that Boeing’s own analysis shows the 777 operating costs to be more than the A350 and we’ve published Boeing’s own chart illustrating this point. We’d also point out that over at AirInsight, we published a critique of the Airbus view and approach that price point is how it competes with the A333 vs the 787-9′ challenging some of the assumptions. Boeing as yet isn’t pricing the 777 to compete in this fashion against the A350.

  15. Uwe :
    Aspire tends to be a bit too “bubbly” over things Boeing.
    $4..5 billion was more than enough for the A340-5/600 “incremental” developement ( ~€3.9b.afaik )
    A new engine should not be more expensive than the similar A320 NEO effort i.e. ~$1b.
    I would not be surprised if the PAX A330 is dead by 2025.
    But currently Boeing is unable to bring enough 787 into the
    fight to effect that killing, so to speak.

    I don’t see Aspire Aviation to be “too bubbly”. They take enough “pot-shots” at Boeing as well.

    $4.5 billion for the A345/A346 was 10-12 years ago. The original A350MK-I (essentially an “A330NEO”) price tag 7-8 years ago was about $5 billion.

    A new engine on an A330would require a lot more modification than an engine modification on the A32X. Wings, wing spars, pylons, ect. would need to be modified.

    Once the B787 lines become efficient enough, there might be more than enough production finish off the A333.

    • Jacobin777 you are mixing the A330-lite changes with the pricetag for the A350Mk1
      ( well, it looks like … )

      ex WP:EN:A350 :
      A320-200Lite:
      “Airbus initially proposed the A330-200Lite, a simple derivative of the A330, which would feature improved aerodynamics and engines similar to those on the 787.”
      A350Mk1:
      “The original version of the A350 superficially resembled the A330 due to its common fuselage cross-section and assembly. A new wing, engines and a horizontal stabiliser were to be coupled with new composite materials and production methods applied to the fuselage to make the A350 an almost all-new aircraft.”

      A discussion within the constraints of factual information would be welcome.

      • I stand corrected-it was indeed the A350-MK which had the $4 billion price tag. I’ll have to do some research to see what the price tag on the “A330 lite” was then (unless someone knows it off-hand). That being said, the “330 light” didn’t seem to be receiving too much attention from the carriers.

  16. Many modifications for the A350mk1 are already implemented and some more. Since the 787 was launched as a responds to the A330 and pushed as its “killer” (“doing to the A330 what the 777 did…”) it has been a remarkable slow kill. To summarize : the airlines ordered 780 additional A330s and continue to do so & Airbus is upping production rate above 10 a month.

    Many modifications were introduced in recent yrs, HUD, engine PIPs, EFBs, HGW’s etc. while others are announced (sharklets, 240t MTOW, longer maintenance intervals), however the biggest opportunity of all; significant better engines, was left out for various reasons: hurting A350 sales, no competition, additional investments.

    Things have changed : the A350 is sold out for yrs, the 787-10 is coming and ROI on everything A330 proved rich. Additionally there are new programs A332F and MRTT that need attention and new opportunities in the air (e.g A330-300F, FEDEX/UPS – Mobile, A330-400, AlLi, China, aging A330s).

    A fuel use reduction of about 15% is feasible IMO, further enhancing the A330s sharp CASM, benefiting from maturing GE and RR 787/748/A350 engines. Also reducing noise and Nox restrictions. The A330 is still young compared to e.g. A320, 737 and 747 and recent sales indicate it might be far to early to write it off (again).

    It won’t “hurt” the A350 to much: it is sold out, looks good sofar, is optimied for > 8000nm, heavier and bigger.

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-05-25/airbus-may-sell-new-a330-to-boost-range-or-passengers-carried

  17. You keep saying that, keesje, the A-350 line is sold out. Are you really saying Boeing can produce 800+ B-787s in 8 years, but Airbus cannot produce 500 A-350s in 6 years? Boeing is still selling B-787 production positions. Airbus could reduce the production of the A-330 and move that capacity to building the A-350, if they really wanted to.
    As far as I know the Mobil production line will be for the A-320 and A-320NEO series, not the A-330 series. Airbus has not sold an A-330MRTT in about 3 years now, and the A-332F is selling poorly, if at all. I already talked about FedEx not needing the A-330F because of the B-777F and B-767F orders. UPS is not in the market for new build freighters right now. From what I am hearing from friends, UPS is not happy with the performance and maintenance costs of their A-306Fs, when compared to the B-757PF, B-767F, MD-11F, and B-744F.

    • “Boeing is still selling B-787 production positions.”

      They haven’t sold much (if any) and definitely not new production slots since 2008.
      But they have rubber banded the projected deliveries interval to about twice the duration.
      With that knowledge available at the time nobody would have bought the frames that now populate Boeing’s books. ( Actually I think this was fraudulent from Boeings side )

  18. Pingback: Special Report: Boeing remains formidable even if BAE/EADS merger goes ahead | Aspire Aviation

  19. “Are you really saying Boeing can produce 800+ B-787s in 8 years, but Airbus cannot produce 500 A-350s in 6 years?”

    If we start counting in 2008 ( scheduled EIS) Boeing has 2 yrs left to produce the 700 remaining 787s. Personally I doubt they can do that.

    A330 and A350 have seperate production lines. A is ramping up one, while completing the other.

    About the A330F, you keep repeating it has poor sales, forgetting to mention all freighters sold poor, the industry is in a historic slump. As far as UPS and FEdex go, you might see hard to understand / accept events in the coming yrs. Mark my words.

    A330F from Mobile is an old plan.

  20. jacobin777 :
    I stand corrected-it was indeed the A350-MK which had the $4 billion price tag. I’ll have to do some research to see what the price tag on the “A330 lite” was then (unless someone knows it off-hand). That being said, the “330 light” didn’t seem to be receiving too much attention from the carriers.

    A330-Lite : never offered, in the news late summer 2004
    A350-Mk1:
    oct 2005 : 140 firm orders ( at official program start )
    end 2005 : 172 firm orders ( target 200 )
    ( src: WP:DE:A350 )

  21. Pingback: 787-10 decision anticipated very soon, perhaps within days | Aviation & Airliners | Scoop.it

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