Boeing starts 777 build at 8.3/mo rate

777 Build Rate: Even as Airbus opened its A350 Final Assembly Line in Toulouse today, Boeing announced it has now gone to rate 8.3/mo on the rival 777. (One must wonder if the timing of the announcement is coincidence….) Here is Boeing’s press release.

Randy Tinseth, in his blog, writes this, with some photos.

Airbus A350: Aviation Week has this story from today’s FAL opening, reporting the company is trying to reassure stakeholders that the program is on track.

 

50 Comments on “Boeing starts 777 build at 8.3/mo rate

  1. 100 per year an amazing rate for such a big aircraft!

    “This rate increase reflects the strong demand for the 777. It continues to be the clear leader in the 300-400 passenger seat market,” Fancher said.

    Lets say 350-400 seat market. The 777-200/ER/LR variants seem done.

    • 42 delivered to end of july is 6.0/mo ( best : 2009 : 88 @7.33/mo )
      A330 has delivered 71 to end of oct. @7.9/mo ( best till now: 2011+12 each 87@7.25mo )

      Everybody increasing production as if there is no tomorrow. Ok, no risk, no fun ;-)

      Flexible Track Drilling seems to be on its way in, not only at Boeing. Interesting.

  2. Randy Tinseth’s Boeing Blog indicates that they have hired hundreds of new workers to accomplish this rate.

    Will there also be a substantial number of new hires to keep pace with the proposed increase(s) in rate on the 787?

    Is this because of retirements or to compensate for them as well as the needs for additional workers. There are some issues with new hires in the pending SPEEA Labor contract ..although most of these particular workers may fall under the current IAM coverage

  3. RE: Airbus A350;

    Although Airbus envisages the -800 being the second model produced, due to enter service in mid-2016, Everard says there is still flexibility in its schedule to advance the -1000 from its entry-into-service date of mid-2017 if required. “The sequence may change depending on the market if there is increasing demand for the -900 and -1000.”

    However, he says there is no risk of its cancellation “for the time being”.

    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/airbus-advances-towards-first-flight-of-a350-twinjet-377959/

    • I don’t think Airbus will cancel the -800, if only because they need something other than a revamped A330 in that segment. However, I would not be at all surprised if they decided to swap the timetables for the -800 and -1000. The -800 is not currently good enough to compete with the 787, whereas the -1000 would handily beat the current 777 and put further pressure on Boeing and their 777x project. Furthermore, moving the -1000 out earlier would help make their case for customers to upsize their -900 orders.

  4. Boeing needs to move quickly with the 777-9X project, while the 777-300R is selling well,they need to leapfrog airbus and the A350 which is bound to have several delays in EIS.
    One of the reasons for the A330 selling well is that the 787 program was 3 years late and the A330 was the only similar available aircraft on the market and with a much quicker delivery date. Not a better plane than the 787,just much quicker to obtain.
    I hope Boeing has learned a hard lesson from the 787 fiasco and will apply that lesson to the 777 program and the 737 MAX and the 787-10,since these are all upgrades to existing aircraft,They hopefully won’t suffer the same teething problems of the 787.

    • The 777-9X cannot leapfrog the A350-1000. At best, it will have similar CASM. Once upon a time, a guy over at a.net claimed that in order to outcompete a bigger aircraft, a smaller one need not beat the bigger airplane’s CASM, but merely match it. If that’s true, it may explain why Boeing increasingly seem to reluctant to launch the 7779X.

      • By leap frogging I meant being able to market the aircraft soon enough to keep repeat customers happy and in the Boeing camp. The triple 7 program was one of Boeing’s best product lines and it enjoys wide acceptance and has been relatively a problem free aircraft with a very good dispatch rate.

    • Boeing may be a wordy bunch. But nevertheless they are observant.

      IMHO Boeing started “smoke on the horizon” sales in 2010/2011 in a move
      to complement the A330 sales success.
      No idea how they used the 777 nice price and A350 delay horrors prongs.

      They may have less time available than Airbus had (and still seems to have).

  5. “Boeing needs to move quickly with the 777-9X project, while the 777-300R is selling well,they need to leapfrog airbus and the A350 which is bound to have several delays in EIS.”

    I think the 777X is more about defending a market position with enhancements then leapfrogging.

    “One of the reasons for the A330 selling well is that the 787 program was 3 years late and the A330 was the only similar available aircraft on the market and with a much quicker delivery date. Not a better plane than the 787,just much quicker to obtain.”

    I think the A330 was a better option for airlines in terms of having an existing global training and maintenance infrastructure, predictable performance and maintenance future, cockpit commonality with A320, A340 and A380, 6C and 8M abreast cabin comfort and a extensive catalogue regarding systems, engines and cabins. Add the attractive pricing of a paid for production line and good looking rest values (cargo conversions a given) and I guess “just quicker to obtain” doesn’t do justice to the 800 A330s ordered since the 787 was launched.

    • The A330-300 is still selling well because on most sector lengths operated by A333s, fuel costs as a percentage of DOC is significantly less than what is the case for longer ranged aircraft flying significantly longer sector lengths.

    • I enjoy your insightful posts regarding aircraft and airlines. My point was that the A330 was the only game in town much like the 747 for years was the only option. Boeing in the past lost sales because of not taking airbus seriously in the early years and thinking airbus would go away as did MDD in the 90’s. They waited too long on revamping the 737,I.E. the next gen aircraft, allowing the A320 to gain a foothold. The outsourcing of the 787 led to an embarrassing 3 year delay which again allowed airbus to make inroads with the A330. Had Boeing been on time with the EIS, the number of A330’s sold would be less, how many, its hard to say,but the 3 year delay was more than many airlines could bear as they needed to replace older aircraft coming up on heavy checks and needed more seats than the 767 offered.
      Boeing has quite a bit of work ahead of them, the 787-9,737MAX, and looking just ahead the 787-10 and 777-9X. The demand for the 777 is high and the next gen 777 is needed to ensure the 777 line continues into the next decade.
      The decision to add the South Carolina 787 line was a step in the right direction as the order backlog is too high and this along with the delay has caused Boeing to lose sales to airbus. Hopefully the monthly rate can be increased dependent on vendors keeping up with production needs.

  6. keesje :
    I think the A330 was a better option for airlines in terms of having an existing global training and maintenance infrastructure, predictable performance and maintenance future, cockpit commonality with A320, A340 and A380, 6C and 8M abreast cabin comfort and a extensive catalogue regarding systems, engines and cabins. Add the attractive pricing of a paid for production line and good looking rest values (cargo conversions a given) and I guess “just quicker to obtain” doesn’t do justice to the 800 A330s ordered since the 787 was launched.

    None of those things matter at all in light of a 10%+ increase in performance. The A330 sold because the 787 was sold out almost until the end of the decade and delays were mounting with no end in sight. The A330 was the only option in its size class, and it’s proved a good airplane, so it sold a lot. Period. The final proof of this will be the steady decline in new A330 orders as 787 production continues to ramp up over the next 2-3 years.

    • Interesting that some put down the recent (last 7 years?) sales success of the A330 to the delays of the 787, yet others are claiming that the 787-10 will be the A330 killer.

      Does anybody really know?

      You may be right about the decline in A330 orders, but if there were one, how would one know if some other factor is not involved?

  7. The A330 doesn’t exist because of the 787, its the other way around.

    And if Airbus does reengine & upgrade the aircraft, all prediction will be rewritten.

    E.g if they pull forward the A350-1000 vs the A350-800, and/or airlines want enhanced A330 freighters and/or MRTT’s.

    Just like Boeing reengining the 737, 747 and 777.

    • Not what I said. The A330 is a good airplane on its own, no doubt, and has done a great job vs. the 767 and 777-200. However, the current high volume in orders is only because the vastly superior 787 has been delayed.

  8. There are very few 777s in the backlog for any years when A350 positions are available. The exact same thing is true for the A330 vs the 787. This tells us everythign we need to know about how the current aircraft stack up against the new-generation competition. There’s lots of fanboy-ism in people’s posts regarding how well the 777 will compete against the A350 or the A330 against the 787. The truth is neither the 777, nor the A330 can effectively compete on operating cost with the new-generation aircraft. This is true even for “neo/MAX-like” dervatives of these aircraft, which is precisely why neither OEM is looking at this approach as their first option to remain competitive. For Airbus, the A350-800 must remain a viable aircraft. A re-engined A330 will not be able to compete with the 787. It would require a new wing as well. The same is true for the 777 versus the A350, which is why the 777X is envisioned with such an extrordinary wing. If either OEM chooses to move forward with a simple re-engined derivative of their current product, the only means of remaining in the marketplace against a much more efficient competitor will be to massively reduce acquisition costs. I know this final option is not a totally ot an unprecedented strategy by either company, but I’m not sure either company wants to add more low/no/negative margin aircraft into their backlog.

    • CM, could you put some cost numbers to your statements above for us all? COC, Trip costs, etc.? That would be useful data.

  9. Scott,

    There are a few problems with me sharing performance comparisons here:

    1. The topic is too complex to discuss by posting a number or two (see the length of Aspire and AirInsight articles trying to explain fuel burn or economic comparisons).

    2. You know my role, therefore you understand my knowledge of how these airplanes compare is based on proprietary information.

    3. There are a few instances where my personal view of how Airbus and Boeing aircraft compare differs somewhat from my employer. Rather than getting into an argument with the fanboys about how this can happen without someone distorting the truth, it is just easier to not have the conversation.

    Generally speaking, Boeing’s public numbers can be found on the web (Google is your friend). What can’t be found online is by definition not public.

  10. I think putting new engine under the A330, sharklets and some earodynamic improvements (e.g. wing-body) can handily shave of 12% of the A330 fuel consumption.

    Airbus is already introducing significant improvements in terms of range/ HGW, level floors, wing lightening, cockpit (HUD, EFB2), maintenance intervals. And further options exist (cabin, AlLi, new variants).

    Combine that with worldwide fleet commonality, paid for development, the by nature ULH OEW of the A350-800 and its relative young design age (similar to the 777, not 737 / 747) ) and I think many are (again) to quick to write of the A330..

    http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/middle/1/8/9/2091981.jpg

    • When you can start pointing to campaigns where the A330 is winning against 787s for delivery in the same year, we can begin to discuss whether people are premature to write off the A330. Until then, it’s a clean sweep for the 787.

      However, for the sake of argument, let’s talk about your A330neo. Why would you invest $1B to $2B into a 20 year old airframe when you could invest that into the A350-800, optimizing that airframe from it’s current “simple shrink” inefficiencies. The A350-800 will already have every thing you mentioned…

      -New engine
      -better wing
      -optimized WTB fairing
      -level floors
      -HUD / EFB2
      -longer maintenance intervals
      -better structural materials
      -etc

      10 years ago people were applying all the same arguments you are making to the 767, and saying that re-engined “767neo” was the answer to the A330. I’m sure you would argue there is little chance such an airplane would have put a dent in A330 momentum. And I agree, yet the per seat performance delta between a 767-300ER and an A330-200 is much smaller than the performance delta between the A330-200 and the 787-8, meaning it will be that much more difficult for the A330 to span that gap with a new engine and a bag of minor tricks. People need to be careful and not drink too much of Leahy’s Koolaid when he talks about how close the A330 is to the 787. He has little choice but to say these things. However, reality looks far different and much more bleak than Airbus’ public performance comparisons would lead people to believe.

      • CM,
        the range of the A350-800 is 8,480 nautical miles, while that for the A330-200 is 7,25 (fully loaded), for the A330-300 it’s5,850 (fully loaded), the 787-8’s is 7,650 – 8200 and the 787-9’s is 8,000–8,500.
        All of the A350 and 787 ranges are higher than the A330-200, very much higher for the A330-300. Would that not have something to do with the sales success of the A330 over the past 10 years. Why pay more for range and hence, weight, when it works against you?
        Also, how difficult and costly would it be to take out the weight from the A350-800 required for such a long range to reduce it efficiently down to the range of the A330-300?
        Unfortunately I cannot find any data showing the yearly orders for each A330 variant and without such a breakdown, this is very much more than the usual theoretical exercise.
        Lastly, I keep reading, and have seen to a certain degree first hand, that the weight reduction of structure, due to composite use, is very much offset, well neigh almost negated, by the requirements for metallic materials which need to be reinserted into the structure for lightning strike and electrical bonding purposes.
        If such is the case, where does the weight and performance improvement come from for the 787 and A350 families?

  11. “If such is the case, where does the weight and performance improvement come from for the 787 and A350 families?”

    You know the answer. New engines and being right sized.

  12. @ Aero Ninja – Full Payload (MSP) range on the A330-200 is not 7,250nm. For the 238t model operated in range mode, full payload range is less than 4,500nm. You have quoted Airbus’ public range number for full passenger payload (no revenue cargo). If I apply consistent passenger weights and interior rules to the both airplanes (and operate the A330-200 (238t model) in range mode), here is how they compare:

    A330-200 Full Payload Range = 4,420nm
    787-8 Full Payload Range = 5,490nm
    A330-200 Full Passenger Range = 6,850nm
    787-8 Full Passenger Payload = 7,770nm

    You are correct that Airbus (in the days before they decided to go composite on the A350 airframe) was telling the world that current return systems and lightning protection for a CFRP structure would negate the weight improvement. It wasn’t true, but it was just one of many untrue things Airbus was saying in an effort to negate the 787 momentum. You won’t find Airbus saying this today. There was rumor a couple years ago that current return and lightning protection added 1.5t to the A350. That’s a very small weight penalty when you consider the weight savings of an A350 wing made of CFRP to an equivalent wing made of aluminum.

    @ keesje – Less than half of the efficiency gain for the A350 or 787 is from the engines. Airbus knows this, as do performance engineers at the airlines, which is precisely why the original plan to re-engine the A330 was almost universally dismissed by the industry. It is also why the 747-8 received a new wing. It’s also why the 777X is envisioned with a new wing. You can try to spin the A330neo into an answer to the 787, but it will result in a huge white elephant for Airbus.

    There have long been rumors about an A350-800R airplane, which is the shorter range & optimized brother to the A350-800. Yes, taking weight out of an already efficient airplane is costly, but so is re-engining plus doing a lot of other things to resuscitate an A330. Airbus will need to be careful and not let themselves be too emotionally attached to the A330. Unless they are willing to re-wing the airplane, it will never come close to the performance or efficiency of an A350-800R or a 787-8.

    • You are assuming that an A330neo would be re-engined with the same generation engines that currently is on the 787. The Trent-1000 has about 12 percent better TSFC than the Trent-800 (same level of technology as that of the Trent-700).

      Source (page 6): http://www.rolls-royce.com/Images/trent_env_tcm92-5900.pdf

      As I indicated in an earlier comment; compared to the Trent-800 baseline, Rolls Royce’s 174 inch diameter “2025 preferred System Concept UltraFan engine” ***, with a take-off thrust of 63,600 lbs, would have a 50 percent increase in overall pressure ratio, a 15 percent increase in turbine inlet temperature and a 5 times higher bypass ratio (30:1 vs. 6:1 on the T-800). The TSFC (normalised for engine power) of the UltrFan engine would be roughly some 22 percent lower than the Trent-800 engine, 14 percent lower than the Trent 900 engine, 10 percent lower than the Trent-1000 engine and 7 percent lower than the Trent XWB engine. Even engines with by-pass-ratios of 15:1 would better the TSFC of the Trent-800 by around 20 percent.

      You can’t fit 174 inch diameter engines under the current twins. For example, the fan diameter of the 115,000 pounds of thrust GE90-115b engine is 128 inches while the bypass-ratio is only 7.08:1. However, if you would hang an UltraFan engine as high in relation to the wing as what’s the case on the 737MAX, you could fit an engine as large as one with a 174 inch diameter without reducing the distance between the inner engines and the apron/runway. K1 on the A388 at operating weight empty (OWE) = 1.28 m (page 48):

      http://www.airbus.com/fileadmin/media_gallery/files/tech_data/AC/Airbus-AC-A380-20111101.pdf

      ***AW&ST/July 9, 2012/Page 89

      Now, the A330 sits significantly higher on the tarmac than the 787 (longer MLG), In fact, the A332F sits about as high as the A350 and 777. If you would use the A332F’s “Dropped Nose Landing Gear Bay” on an A330neo while hanging new state-of-the-art engines as high in relation to the wing as what’s the case on the 737MAX; a crude engineering drawing would indicate that engines with fan diameters as large as 140 inches are possible. In short, therefore, an A333neo having engines with substantially better TSFC than the ones on the 787 – and which are too large to be fitted on a 787neo — would make an A330neo quite competitive with the 787; and that doesn’t include any A330neo weight-trimming. Also, please do note that the “2025 preferred System Concept UltraFan engine” wouldn’t weigh much more than current engines with similar levels of thrust.

      Having said this, I still believe that the best response from Airbus to the 787 post 2020, is a direct A333 replacement aircraft with similar range and a MTOW of around 180 metric tonnes (OEW around 90 tonnes; or about the same as that of the A300-600). Engines would be in the 50,000 lbs range. The aircraft should use the exact same fuselage as that of the A350, but it should have an all new very high aspect ratio wing some 25-30 percent smaller (in area). The baseline aircraft should not be longer than the A350-800.

      The fact of the matter is that both the 787 and the A350 are optimized for long ranges. The 787-10 and a possible A350-1000SR (shorter range -same MTOW and MLG as that of the A350-900), are “opportune stretches”: Good business case for the OEMs; not necessarily the best replacement aircraft for the A333 replacement market. A 787-9 having the same MTOW as that of the 787-8 would IMO be a better option. On intra-Asian routes, for example, the 787-10 will be competing with narrowbodies on high frequency routes. The enormous lower cargo deck (42 LD3s?) would at best fly around half empty, which means, of course, that the empty volume is not only wasted space, but wasted weight as well.

      Finally, as for the current A333 vs the 787-9/-10 and the current 777-300 vs. the A350-1000 comparisons; it should be noted that fuel costs as a percentage of Direct Operating Costs (DOC) on most sector lengths operated by A333s are in the 30-35 percent bracket while fuel costs as a percentage of DOC on many sector lengths operated by A77Ws are in the 50-55 percent bracket. Therefore, one cannot say that since the 77W won’t be competitive with the A350-1000, it must hold true for the A333 vs. the 787-9/-10 as well. I would agree that the A332 cannot remain competitve with the 787-8/-9, but the A333 having, among other thingds, a smaller cross-section, should IMO be able to compete for some time yet. A 5 percent lower OEW for the 787-9 would only result in a fuel burn reduction of some 2.5 percent. Combined with a 12 percent more efficient engines the 787-9 would only better the A333 in DOC savings of between 4.5 and 5 percent. For the 244-inch wide 77W things are different. The cross-section is larger (more drag); the OEW is roughly 10 percent higher than that of the A350-1000, while the TXWB engines are about 7 percent more efficient than the GE90-115B engines on the 77W. According to CX, the A350-1000 is about 17 percent more efficient than the 77W and the A350-1000 should therefore have DOC reductions of 8.5-9.5 percent over that of the 77W on many of the routes operated by CX.

      • Addendum

        However, if you would hang an UltraFan engine as high in relation to the wing as what’s the case on the 737MAX, you could fit an engine as large as one with a 174 inch diameter on the A380 without reducing the distance between the inner engines and the apron/runway.

    • I think the current wing is a reason why the A330 is so succesfull. It carries a lot of fuel and gives excellent airfield performance.

      It’s not like a new wing is neccesary and an older wing a disadvantage. Its about the wing design.

      The A330 wings (by BAe) were developed long and slender with a very high aspect ratio (10.06) to provide high aerodynamic efficiency (low induced drag). The high thickness-to-chord ratio (12.8%) means the long span / high aspect ratio is attained without a severe weight penalty. The resulting aspect ratio for the A330 is 10.06. (777: 8.86, 787: 11.12). The 777 needs a new higher aspect ratio wing much more then the A330.

      • Your aspect ratios are wrong, as is your belief it is the only measure of wing efficiency. Span is a powerful tool to enhance efficiency, but to believe the A330 wing offers similar performance to current wing technologies with similar aspect ratios is very misguided.

        A380 – 7.5
        744 – 7.9
        748 – 8.5
        77W – 9.54
        A359 – 10.24
        77X – 10.47
        787 – 10.78
        A330 – 10.79

        Source = Ferpe: http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm262/ferpe_bucket/Analysisof787350777-8X71mwing.jpg

        Ferpe’s AR calculations include the effective span provided by tip devices, which is why they are greater (and more precise) than what you can find on Wikipedia and elsewhere.

  13. OV-099 :
    You are assuming that an A330neo would be re-engined with the same generation engines that currently is on the 787.

    Not at all. I’m assuming the same engine technology which has been proposed by RR, P&W, & GE for the 777x.

    The engines you are talking about are not offerable from any of the engine OEMs for entry into service until at least 18 years from now.

    Your view on the A330 cross section is dead wrong. Yes, the smaller cross section reduces frontal area, weight and drag, but it is a minor consideration (worth less than 1,000 lbs in actual weight drag equivalent OEW). That small downside from the larger cross section is more than offset by the fact you can get one more seat in every row of economy. You can argue about the comfort of 9ab in a 787, but you can’t argue with the fact almost every 787 operator has opted for 9ab over the more comfortable 8ab. The A330’s cross section is a hindrance to its success, not an advantage.

    • Your view on the A330 cross section is dead wrong. Yes, the smaller cross section reduces frontal area, weight and drag, but it is a minor consideration (worth less than 1,000 lbs in actual weight drag equivalent OEW).”

      That’s a straw man argument; totally taken out of context. I was talking about fuel costs as a percentage of Direct Operating Costs (DOC) for both the A333 vs. the 787-9/-10 and 77W vs. the A350-1000, and where the cross section was only mentioned “among other things”, but where nevertheless it is in the “positive” column for the A332 and in the “negative” column for the 77W; however small the cross-section influences fuel burn.

      It is noted, however, that you skipped talking about the differential in DOC in the comparisons, and what that means for the continued viability for the A333 and the 77W; disregarding whatever Mr. Leahy has to say about the matter. What is clear though, is that a 4.5 – 5 percent higher DOC for the A333 compared to the 787-9 (A333 medium range “A” market) can be offset by pricing. I have a hard time seeing the 77W can compete against the A350-1000 (long range “B” market) when the DOC differential is as high as 8.5 to 9.5 percent, however low it might be priced post A350-1000 EIS.

      As for the choice of cross-sections, I am of the opinion that choice of cross-section of the 787 might have been a strategic error on the part of Boeing.. AFAIK, the 787 cabin was originally trumpeted with having an eight-abreast configuration with 777-sized seats and 2 inch wider aisles, and not with a nine-abreast configuration having 744-sized seats and 18 inch wide aisles. It may look as if airlines such as SQ and CX prefers a nine-abreast cabin having at least the same seat comfort as that of the A330 at eight-abreast with SQ seemingly preferring to differentiate between the nine-across economy class cabins in their mainline airline and Scoot.

      While Boeing is seemingly going to the lowest common denominator in seat width on the 737, 747 (10 across), 777 (10 across), and 787 (9 across), the new entrants in the narrowbody market are all going for seat widths at least as wide as what is the standard on the A320. Think about it, on a two hour flight on the C-series in the middle seat, you will have a nice 19 inch wide seat to sit in, while on a 15 hour flight on an EK 77W you’ve only got a terrible 17 inch wide seat at your disposal. Having flown on both the EK A388 and 77W I can assure you that the level of seat comfort is not comparable. And Boeing shouldn’t count on the average Joe doesn’t notice the difference: They do!

      “Not at all. I’m assuming the same engine technology which has been proposed by RR, P&W, & GE for the 777x.”

      If you put an engine with 15 percent better TSFC than the Trent-700 on the A332, it should lead to the “full passenger range” of the (238 metric tonnes version) A332 being increased to around 7800 nm; that is if the OEW would remain the same as that of today’s aircraft. The larger engines and nacelles would together weigh around 1200 kg more each*** (my estimate). However, a 2 percent increase in OEW would only lead to around 1 percent higher fuel burn; or a reduction in range of less than 100 nm. The higher drag of the engines could be more than offset by new wing tip devices. So, would a 7700 nm ranged A332neo (238 tonne version) be such a bad performer compared to a 7770 nm ranged 788 (228 tonne version)?

      *** As a comparison with the weight differential between the Trent-700 and the Trent-1000; like for like: The Trent-700 engine weight is: 10,500 lb and the Trent 1000 engine weight is: 11,924 lb.

      The engines you are talking about are not offerable from any of the engine OEMs for entry into service until at least 18 years from now.

      Try 13 years (2025).

      https://www.aiaa.org/uploadedFiles/About-AIAA/Press-Room/Key_Speeches-Reports-and-Presentations/2012/Martin-Lockheed-AVC-AIAA-GEPC2.pdf

  14. CM, you can argue about the aspect ratios, sneaking in the 77W wingspan extensions (“raked wingtips”) iso of the 777 etc, but I guess you are able to see that were it is relevant (around 300 seats) the picture is clear.

    Moving from the 767/777 aspect ratios to the 787s, you are moving to the A330 aspect ratio. The pressure to replace the wing on the A330 isn’t that high. (I do not know how Ferpe uses “effective wingspan vs wingspan).

    Having said that, Airbus is actively enhancing the A330 wing. Removing A340 related structure,
    reshaping of the wing’s inboard Slat #1, a shortening of the wing flap fairings and it is considering sharklets. http://www.aeroweb-fr.net/uploads/media/large/2012/03/1744.jpg

    “as is your belief it is the only measure of wing efficiency.”
    No CM, I don’t. But it helps. Ask Boeing (777x, 747-8, 787).

    “but to believe the A330 wing offers similar performance to current wing technologies with similar aspect ratios is very misguided.”
    No I don’t, but replacing it seems (proved) unnecessary.

    It seems you are pretty sure about what others must believe.

    “You can argue about the comfort of 9ab in a 787, but you can’t argue with the fact almost every 787 operator has opted for 9ab over the more comfortable 8ab.”

    The problem isn’t OV-099, apparenly Cathay had a problem with it for its real long flights. Maybe SQ too, moving their 787s to its low cost arm, where 9 abreast isn’t an issue, even A330s are flown 9 abreast (Air Asia).

    Maybe saying 9 abreast on the 787 mainline long haul is pushing it for high fare passengers, isn’t entirely misguided.

    “The A330′s cross section is a hindrance to its success, not an advantage.”
    CM I’m not saying you are dead wrong here, but with 2400 ordered and counting, and its acceptable, efficient 4F, 6C, 8M configuration (most 777s, 787s will have 4F, 6C across too) and just right 2 LD3 side by side, it has set the benchmark long ago.

    • Also, aspect ratios don’t tell the whole story. Just look at the A380! ;-)

      Having said that, if the 779X with a foldable wing tip extension is approved for launch, I could see future A380 derivative aircraft being outfitted with wing spans of upwards of 100 meters, and where the outer 10 meter long foldable wing tip extensions would have no movable surfaces at all (just like the 779X). From the point of view of Airbus, Boeing would thus have de-risked the concept of foldable wings for commercial airliners with the 779X.

      • Airbus seems to have applied for a patent describing large flexible “Henschelohren” ( turned down wingtip devices ) that
        extend wingspan in the aerodynamically loaded condition.

  15. How much PIPs percentagewise did the Trent 700 hung from A330 wings aquire over the years?

    I don’t think we will see wunderengines adapted to an older airframe.

    CM, imho you go too near to Randy’s way of presenting things to come to a balanced conclusion.

    • I don’t think w’ll see wunderengines, but we might see a competition between GE and RR for their on the shelf GENX and Trent 1000 variants. GE offered the GP7000 in 2000 and GENx as far back as 2006. The A330 isn’t a technological old airframe (ref a320, 747, 777 and 737) and the market (330F, 787-10 competitor, KC-Y, new variants) might be there. If the A350 is firmly established/sold out it seems a low risk option.

  16. IMHO, all this sparring over whether A should invest in the A358 or A330neo misses the point. The point is that A will not be able to produce enough -8s to meet mkt demand later this decade, so they must do the 330neo to stay in the mkt or cede it to the 789/10. Current info indicates that A will not reach 10 A350s/mo by 2018 (4 years after delivery of the first A359, so that may change if the A359 is further delayed). No matter how many they build, they will have to focus on delivering the A359 not the -8. They must deliver the -9 on time, including making major improvements on the batch- by- batch system recently announced. They may also chose to focus on the -1000 if they advance it’s delivery date. This means that the first -8 will not delivered until in 2018, if all goes wel, and even only in very small numbers. A may even cancel it.

    Whatever happens, A will need the 330neo to stay in the mkt for years to come because the 7810 looks like a dominant winner. A cannot ignore the risk that B will be able to produce perhaps 5-7/mo or more by 2018. By then, B will have been producing at least 10 787s/mo since 2014, and likely will have reached 16/mo by 2018 if they actually launch the 7810 soon with large orders from SIA, BA, and LH, as presently speculated In the press. These customers will not order unless B proves they can deliver, and A cannot ignore this risk.

    How A got in this position, indeed how they conceived the A350 family in the first place, is the subject of another post.

  17. The 787-10. will be a good aircraft for specific routes, if it is launched. It has disadvantages too, as no design is a one shoe fits all. It won’t be the perfect aircraft for long flights from Asia, its wing and engines aren’t large enough, impacting payloadrange and airfield performance. 9 abreast for those flights might also be inconsistent for airlines flying 777’s 9 abreast, A330/340s 8 abreast and A380s 10 abreast, like e.g. SIngapore airlines, Cathay Pacific and British Airways.

    • Keesje,#42. I get all that. I am talking about what the 7810 can do, not what it can’t. What it can do is compete very well against the 333. Indeed, B wants to replace the hundreds of 333s with -10s. A has no competitor except the 333neo which they can produce at least at 10/mo. It’s unlikely that A will get 50% of the mkt, but they will be in the mkt, with the A358 too.
      .
      The reason, IMHO, that B will launch the -10 soon is to make sure that they get the part of the 300-350 pax mkt for which the A359 has too much range. This is much more important now than PIPing/replacing the -300ER because there is a clear and present danger that if B does not move, the A359, which now dominates the long range 300 pax replacement mkt for the 772ER and A343, will begin to encroach on the mkt the -10 is after.

      I think your analysis of the Cathay and SIA orders is flawed. These buys were not about the -300ER. Cathay’s -300ERs will be around for a long time, with more on the way. Cathay bought the -1000s to replace their A346s, not-300ERs, because they are gas guzzlers compared to the -300ER. SIA did not even buy the -1000, altho I’ll bet the ranch that Leahy stripped naked and danced on the table to try to get them to. In the end, SIA could have had the -1000 for almost nothing. Instead, they passed, and had a great time screwing a rock bottom price and a big trade in allowance for those pathetic A345s out of Leahy for more A359s alone. And then went over to B to be a launch customer for the 7810. I am still not convinced that any battle between the-1000 and -300ER has been joined.

      • When do you see EIS for the -10 ?

        To really effect the A330-300 market perspective the -10 must be available rather sooner than later and in acceptable numbers.
        IMHO Boeings path must include expanding 787 production
        beyond 18..20 per month. A330 production is ramping up; for the year at 71/9mo ~= 7.9/mo. 2011: 7.25/mo.
        ( actually the same situation Airbus sees with XWB1000 sales
        .. and A380 sales also? )

      • “I think your analysis of the Cathay and SIA orders is flawed. These buys were not about the -300ER. Cathay’s -300ERs will be around for a long time, with more on the way. Cathay bought the -1000s to replace their A346s, not-300ERs, because they are gas guzzlers compared to the -300ER.”

        CX doesn’t have A340-600s and I think 26 A350-1000s is a lot to replace the 11 smaller A340-300s.

        CX ordered 48 A350s and SQ ordered 40. And there are further options. United, Emirates and AF/KLM before. All major 777 operators. Short term 777s are rolling of the line but I guess I hope things have landed in Chicago regarding the end of this decade.

  18. Keesje , your are correct re 346s. They had them once, and I thought they still did. Not so according to Planespotters. My apologies.

    I have to go, so I must wait for later to give you a considered response. I do point out however that you keep referring to the 777 without distinguishing between the 772/ER/300 and the -300ER. The A359 has pretty well disappeared the former, but is unrelated to the latter. It may well replace the 772s with Em (and Em’s -300s), AF/KLM, and United/Continental, but at least for now, the A359 is not a threat to the -300ER. Whether the -1000 is not yet clear IMHO.

  19. United says their 787s are delayed. Here’s what All Things 787 has to say:

    “United Airlines – Another big one. United just announced that they are delaying the implementation of it 787 schedule (domestic) as result of delays in the delivery of one 787 that was due in October. They are delaying the launch of some 787 domestic service that was supposed to start on November 4th. Currently the 2nd 787s for United is in test flights and has had two flights already. There are two more on the flightline both of which still need to make their first flights. I do think that Boeing can get both these airplanes in the air by early to mid November and have a least two of them delivered to United by the end of the month with one delivered in the 1st two weeks of November. The other 2 787s that are in change incorporation should be ready to be delivered by the end of December. My prediction for November:”

  20. Christopher Dye aka CubJ3 :
    for now, the A359 is not a threat to the -300ER. Whether the -1000 is not yet clear IMHO.

    I could almost agree with your first statement. Depending on how well Airbus executes on the A359, it may be able to overcome its revenue shortfall (relative to the -300ER) through efficiency gains, particularly for 77W operators who aren’t running at high load factors. The equation works in both directions and it is possible for a smaller airplane to be more profitable, if the op-cost delta is large enough. Many 747-400 operators have replaced aging 744s with 77Ws, and are making more money with a smaller airplane.

    As for the A350-1000, if it ends up not being a threat to the 77W, Airbus will have been truly incompetent in its design and execution. I don’t know anyone who expects this to happen.

    • “As for the A350-1000, if it ends up not being a threat to the 77W, Airbus will have been truly incompetent in its design and execution. I don’t know anyone who expects this to happen.

      So, CM, what is B’s strategy? Enquiring people want to know.

  21. I think we can all see the situation. Determining the right strategy for Boeing isn’t easy. It seems the airlines have reacted cool on the 777-8i specs, further complicating the situation.

    A possible scenario IMO is Leahy will score a further 2 or 3 painfull orders for the A350-1000 (think QF, ANA, BA, AA) forcing them to accelerate a decision. IMO a viable strategy could be to do a quick and dirty 777 upgrade (new GE & RR engines, interiors, weight savings, belly galleys/lavs, wing enhancements) and develop a new bigger wingbox/wing for the 787, creating two 787 heavy variants able to fly up to 365 passengers and cargo over 6000NM. And start working on a new VLA covering longhaul up to 500 seats, replacing the 747.

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