Airbus’ A330 improvements aimed at maintaining market position vs 787

Airbus last week announced additional gross weight upgrades and improvements to the A330-200/300 that increase range and reduce fuel burn. Aviation Week has this story about the enhancements.

This is the latest in a series of improvements taking advantage of the four year delay in the Boeing 787 program that Airbus believes will enable the airplane, which first entered service in 1994, to remain viable well into the 2020 decade.

Boeing launched the 787 in December 2003 and promptly claimed the aircraft would kill the A330. Had the aircraft entered service in May 2008 as originally planned, Boeing might have been able to make strides to do so. But delays allowed Airbus time to incorporate several Performance Improvement Packages (PIPs). The European company has sold more A330s post-787 launch than it did before.

The latest improvements give the A330-300 an anticipated range of more than 6,000nm, compared with less than 4,000nm when the airplane entered service.

Now Boeing is closing in on developing the 787-10 derivative. A “soft” Authority to Offer (ATO) was approved by the Board of Directors in October, but a formal launch is now not expected until next June, in time for the Paris Air Show. British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa Airlines and Air Lease Corp are widely talked about in aviation circles as the launch customers. The -10 currently has a range target of 6,700nm but there is some pressure on Boeing to increase this to 7,000nm. EIS is now targeted for 2018 or later, according to a person close to the program. An original target EIS date, according to potential customers we’ve talked to, had been 2016.

The 787-10 will have better operating costs than the A330-300 and more range, even with the recently announced enhancements. But the low pricing of the A330-300 goes a long way to keeping the airplane competitive, and the improved range enables the aircraft to cover 90% of the missions for most airlines.

Boeing is not yet talking pricing for the 787-10 as best we can determine. Disregarding the list prices of either OEM (they are meaningless), we understand the 787-9 current is selling for $120m+. The A330-300 is currently selling for around $100m, according to our sources.

Recall that we’ve previously written that Airbus cited $900,000 and $1.2m monthly lease rates for the -300 and the -9 in public presentations, thus validating the market intel of the capital cost of buying the aircraft.

Will the 787-10 “kill” the A330-300, as Boeing claims? “Eventually” is the answer we received during our trip last week in which we talked with lessors, analysts and advisors. But the view is that this will be 10-12 years away. With an EIS now targeted for 2018 or later for the -10, Boeing can’t produce enough -10s to make a dent in the market until well into the 2020 decade, at which point the A330 will be nearing the end of its natural life cycle in its current form. This undoubtedly is why Airbus is  now saying it will sell the A330 beyond 2020.

Note that we said the A330 “in its current form.”

Suppose eventually Airbus decides to proceed with an A330neo, using GEnx or Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines with enhancements to 2020 standards? For about $2.5bn in today’s dollars, Airbus could have an inexpensive competitor to the 787-9/10 with much better fuel costs, perhaps on the order of 8%-9% or more for engines plus another several percent for the airframe. This is the approach it tried to take for the A350 V 1.0, to market disdain. This is the approach Boeing seems to be taking for the 777X.

The A350 V 1.0 was a poor concept. But simply doing an enhanced A330neo may well make some sense by the turn of the decade.

One customer we talked with predicted Airbus will proceed with a neo, though he had no timeline forecast.

As of today, Airbus is not, repeat not, talking with the engine OEMs about an A330neo. But never say never.

Separately:

See this article commenting on the Airbus-Boeing ad wars. We couldn’t say it better. The article concludes: “As Boeing and Airbus dispute each other’s claims, their customers (the airlines) will objectively evaluate which one provides the greater bundle of benefits. If one has a decided advantage over the other, the marketplace will discover the truth and undoubtedly favor the plane that can deliver the combination of safety, economy, and comfort that airline passengers want.” Since Airbus currently has 86% of the VLA market and 60% of the single-aisle re-engine market, one could argue the customers have indeed chosen.

59 comments on “Airbus’ A330 improvements aimed at maintaining market position vs 787

  1. I still think the 2 tonne increase from the current offer of 240 tonnes is a waste of time. Airbus needs to make other improvements, such as engines, etc. to be able to compete with the B-787 family. AW&ST mentions the sharklets are a non-starter due to the wing modifications that it requires. That alone limits how much more capability Airbus can sqeeze out of the A-330 airframe.

    • What does “Airbus need”? More than 50 firm orders for A330 in 2012. A costumer with a strong wish for winglets should order an A350.How many B767 did Boeing get to costumers to keep the line open until KC-46 is ready to take over? 4 aircraft for Air Astana and 15 freighters for FedEx. 12 tons more payload? What about A330-200F with 242 t MTOW? Did you hear about any improvements according to B767 useful to US Air Force?

      • As far as I know, the A-332F is not included in the weight increase, only the two pax versions are. But it would make sense to do that. Yes, customers wishing for new winglets on the A-330 should order the A-350. No, I have not heard of any improvements, lately, about the KC-46A (B-767-2C), but it does already have have a higher MTOW than the B-767-300ER/ERF, at 415,000 lbs. IIRC, FedEx ordered 29 B-767-300ERFs. That airplane won the ‘compitition’ over the A-330-200F for FedEx.

    • Then probably the 800+ A330s ordered since the launch of the airplane that was meant to succeed it are a waste of money? And all the customers are a bunch of clueless morons?

      The A330 obviously is an attractive product earning money for both the OEM and the customer. The 787 is an attractive product, but it has limited availability 4 years after scheduled EIS and isn’t (yet) profitable for it s OEM and supply chain.

      Airbus will ‘need’ to make other improvements when orders start do go DOWN. Last time I checked, production rate was planned to go UP.

      Business is not about winning peeing contests on fuel burn per seat or payload range. Business about profits.

      • I did not say the airlines who have ordered the A-330 in the past were wasting their time. I only said the Airbus plan to increase the MTOW of the A-330 over the current offer of 240 tonnes is a waste of time.

  2. The A350 v1 was an acceptable medium term successor to the A330, but not the A340. The A340 was the bigger problem. It just couldn’t compete against the 777.

  3. FF hit it on the mark. The A330/A350MK-I just wouldn’t have been competitive against the B77W and larger variants of the B787(at least the B787-10X). Sales of the A350 (especially the A359) has shown Airbus has taken the correct strategy.

    The advantage the B777 program has for the B77X is that the B779X to a certain extent won’t even be competing with either the A35M or the A380.

    Lowering the cost price of a plane only works so much. Countries such as Singapore and the United Arab Emirates have aggressive accounting policies and can take advantage but carriers such as DL, UA, BA, etc. keep their planes for decades. The change in cost doesn’t vary as much for them.

  4. According to “Reuters” Qatar has just ugraded its 350-800 to the -900 and -1000 version.
    This would seem to further question the viability of the -800 version. would this perhaps speed up the thinking on the 330 Neo ?

  5. If the 787-8 and -9 aren’t more fuel efficient then the A330s, something went terribly wrong in Seattle :)

    Airbus announced they’ll up production of the A330 towards 11 a month in 2014. To keep a backlog until e.g. 2020 they’ll need a backlog of at leat 700-800. So another x00 to go. At just 50 sales per year the backlog is shrinking fast..

    The 787 is a more fuel efficient aircraft. To balance that the A330 has some advantages too..
    - a paid for, proven production chain (i proving cost price)
    - worldwide A330/340 MRO/ crew infrastructure / stocks
    - slot availability in two yrs for new customers
    - cargo conversion opportunities enhancing recidual value
    - engine choice with the three major OEM’s
    - long term maintenance guarantees
    - general accepted just right 4-6-8 abreast long haul comfort standard (9 abreast leisure)
    - tight fit LD3 side by side cargo capability.
    - narrowbody (A320) commonality

    Nothing to do with fuel efficiency, all to do with daily operations and total operating costs.

    That said, the latest round of A330 improvements may be the last one before the big one reducing fuel costs by 10-12%.. Also I think a A333F will see the day of light as soon as the cargo market recovers, maybe with a center gear to enhance MLW.

    Maybe Airbus can let AviationPartners have a go at the wingtips, a challenge given all restrictions. As part of solving the NEO conflict.

    • “That said, the latest round of A330 improvements may be the last one before the big one reducing fuel costs by 10-12%.”
      If this is another hint at neo, then what is the business case? I just don’t see it, even with a postponement of the -800. What is the point of bringing 242T to market and immediately announce the launch of a re-engine programme? The commonality goes out of the window…
      Airbus is expecting to sell another ~900-1000 a/c till 2025, which should buy them enough time to get the A358 right, to cover the 250-270 seat range. The current configuration just doesn’t cut. Rather than having a straight shrink, it should be optimised.

      “… A330 has some advantages too..”
      Which is correct, so why jeoperdise the advantages with having neo, which will make it a bit more competitive with the 787 and lose them time?

      “Maybe Airbus can let AviationPartners have a go at the wingtips”
      Why? Does AP know the wing structure better than Airbus?

      “As part of solving the NEO conflict.”
      They don’t have a NEO conflict, they have a Sharklet conflict, which by the way had been Certified.

      • Commonality won’t go away with new engines. It will be on top of PW, RR and GE powered A330 and CFM, RR powered A340s. Lots of commonality, except the engines.

        The business case? What about continuing a successful, paid for cashcow, keeping the competitor honest, offering a long haul 250 seater, medium range 300 seater, a capable freighter, superior MRTT & getting rich?

        You won’t sell another 900-1000 A330s by sitting on your hands in todays market. So Airbus keeps moving.

        I expect the A350 to be sold out until 2000 soon. So let the successful A330 series die by not keeping them up to date? I don’t see the wisdom..

      • ‘Commonality won’t go away with new engines.’
        Things aren’t as simple as you think. It will be a significant project. The situation is rather different with neo v MAX.

        ‘The business case? What about continuing a successful, paid for cashcow, keeping the competitor honest, offering a long haul 250 seater, medium range 300 seater, a capable freighter, superior MRTT & getting rich?’
        And they can do ALL of that now, without a re engine. By the time Airbus can EIS A330neo, the first 787 will effectively be 15 years old. In my opinion Airbus will be better off to continue incrementally improving the A330, then launch a proper A358, lighter and optimised to take on 787-8/9, sub 300 market.

        ‘You won’t sell another 900-1000 A330s by sitting on your hands in todays market.’
        I didn’t say they should sit on their hands, CPD of the A330 has been key feature since the EIS, i expect it will carry on. Long term, neo isn’t the solution in my opinion.

        ‘I expect the A350 to be sold out until 2000 soon. So let the successful A330 series die…’
        The A330 has been marketed side by side with the A350. I expect this to continue going forward.

      • Keesje, by the look of things, Airbus could well be producing some 100 A330s per year at least through the end of the decade. The significant market demand, for example, for A333s on intra-Chinese and intra-Asian routes, doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. IMO, Airbus will be better off milking the current A330 for all its worth, and then — as UKair suggests — launch a proper optimised A350-derived product by the end of the decade, to take one the 787-8.

        Hence, a new A350-derived family with the baseline aircraft similar in size to the 788 would have an A332/788-sized wing, a decade more advanced engine technologies than what was available for the 787, and an all new lighter main landing gear properly optimised for a MTOW of not more than 210 metric tonns.

  6. “Airbus last week announced additional gross weight upgrades and improvements to the A330-200/300 that increase range and reduce fuel burn.”
    The ‘upweight’ is a headline with all sorts of other tweaks and twists lined up.

    “This is the latest in a series of improvements taking advantage of the four year delay”
    And they are using this advantage wisely. Having this development in service in 2.5 years, would be very good and should keep a healthy backlog going forward.

    • Independent of increasing sales potential drip feeding improvements into the A330 triggers Boeing’ s “proactive” gene. But they seem to not garner guidance from customers for their preferences.

      A lot of churn. ( a bit of payback for the A350Mk”n+1″ tour de force?)

  7. UKair, OV-099, we seem to disagree on what is needed to keep the A330 viable this decade. I’m afraid by the end of this decade the A330 is done if significant improvements aren’t implemented. By then hopefully Boeing has contained the weight and other issues on the 787-8, the 787-9 will have matured, the -10 will be doing TATL / intra Asia and production rates have gone to 10 a month and slot availability for new 787 customers has become 2 yrs or less.

    Some of the advantages the A330s have today will have gone. Having a new wing/ Freighter, MRTT and medium range optimized A350XWB seems very ambitious/expensive.

    The A330-300 has an empty weight some 7-8 tonnes lower then the A350-800. The A330-200 even 5t less (12-13t vs the A358). For reference, the 787-8s OEW will be 20t lighter then the A350-800. If all have the same generation engines, I wonder what magic would be required to make the A358 look good on 250-280 medium haul ranges. Simply to much aircraft.

    A new engine won’t be free for the A330, but E2 billion, 2016 first flight seems feasible. It’s no rocket science. And GE might be willing to invest, now that the XWB seems even harder to get on with RR A350-1000 exclusivity and the -800 being suppressed by Airbus.

    • Keesje, as you indicate, a re-engined A330 would at least cost a couple of billion euros. At least, you’d have to strengthen the centre wing box to accommodate the heavier engine and possible changes to the bending moment of the wing due to sharklets or other winglet-type devices. Since a re-engined A332 and A333 would compete with the 787 at longer sector lengths where a heavier metal fuselage is more disadvantaged than a CFRP one — when compared to short sector lengths — a lot of mission creep could possibly inflict the re-engining undertaking in order to keep weight down. An A330neo would possibly need 2 additional fuselage frames aft of the wing (same as the A350-900 Mk-1) in order to properly balance the aircraft. You could see a change to a CFRP centre wingbox, a CFRP empennage barrel etc. A re-engined A330 would also in all likelihood be outfitted with a similar cabin to the one on the A350 Mk-1. In contrast the current A333 will in all likelihood hold its own until at least the end of the decade. In order to properly compete on CASK with a 250 tonnes 787-10, and since the A333neo would have been transformed into a a true B-market aircraft, Airbus would IMO be in need to develop an an all new A-market 70 meter long A330-400 stretch aircraft (Adding a billion euros at least to a neo program).

      The heaviest part of an aircraft is the wing and centre fuselage. Hence, I’m obviously not advocating that an A350-based 788 competitor should use any of these major A350 aircraft components. What you would re-use from the A350 would be the forward and aft fuselage, empennage and possibly the vertical tail plane, but obviously not the wing, MLG and horizontal tail plane. So, for a smaller optimised aircraft, you’d need an all new smaller wing, a lighter centre wing box, smaller and lighter MLG and VTL.

      From 2000 to 2014, Airbus will have developed three all new wings (A380, A400M and A350). Strategically speaking, in order to ensure that the Airbus wing design and manufacturing units remain on top of their game, an all new Airbus wing should be in the cards not too long after the EIS of the A350-1000. Since an all new NB won’t seemingly EIS until 2030, at the earliest, a 788 competitor (A350-300?) based on an A350-derived aircraft incorporating design and technologies a decade more advanced, would IMO be the next logical step.

      The issue of industrialization is an often overlooked metric in these discussions. What is a fact is that the A350 is designed to be manufactured using significantly more automation in the production processes than what’s the case with the A330. Hence, when the production system has reached a mature level, the incremental cost for an A350 should — at the minimum — not be higher than for the incremental cost of an A330 (excluding engines). A 788 competitor derived from the A350 would take advantage of much of the A350 production infrastructure. Hence a production infrastructure producing 20-25 WBs per month using the same common fuselage, but different wings etc, should be a more profitable and strategically sound undertaking, due to (among other things) economies of scale, than say two whole different production infrastructures producing 10 A350s and 10 A330neos per month.

      Finally therefore, I believe that a 6-8 billion euro, A350-derived family (A350-200X, A350-300X. A350-400X), with the A788-competitor A350-300X designed as the baseline aircraft, would trump any A330neo undertaking which IMO would cost upwards of 3 billion euros.

  8. Chinese airlines are not taking delivery of the Dreamliner anytime soon.According to this article,they are hoping to get the aircraft from
    2Q2013.
    I wonder in what state will those completed aircraft will be after such a long storage time.
    http://centreforaviation.com/news/boeing-to-delay-delivery-of-787s-to-chinese-carriers-191412

    The other question is : Is the CAA helping or doing a disservice to chinese airlines? The fuel efficient planes could give china a competitive edge and help save tons of fuels and millions of dollars.

  9. Reply to OV-099 # 16:

    “Finally therefore, I believe that a 6-8 billion euro, A350-derived family (A350-200X, A350-300X. A350-400X), with the A788-competitor A350-300X designed as the baseline aircraft, would trump any A330neo undertaking which IMO would cost upwards of 3 billiion euros.”

    Very similar to CM’s point made elsewhere on this blog re whether A will cancel the A358 in favor of neoing the 330. Neither of us believes this will happen because, as CM said, why would A neo the 330 just to get a new wing and up-to-date engines when for the same or less they could do a new wing specialized for the A358. This would eliminate that plane’s fuel burn disadvantage, while giving A an entirely new, state of the art plane, including engines, which neoing the 330 will not accomplish. Also, if A cancels the A358, they will have spent billions and produced a family with just two variants separated by only 36 seats with little commonality.

    • I see no reason for Airbus to cancel the A350-800. What we are currently seeing is Airbus going all out on the A350-1000, while the A358 will undergo better structural design optimization with an EIS likely targeted for the end of the decade. A 269 tonnes MTOW A350-800 should be a very good option for long thin non-stop routes (i.e. Hub to hub or hub to point routes such as Singapore/Bangkok to most of North America.)

      IMO it’s not an either/or option for Airbus regarding the A358 and a new A350-derived family; but it should be viewed rather as an option in a well crafted strategy on the part of Airbus where the A358 will in all likelihood find its place as a succesful “niche” aircraft. Hence, an all new 788/A332-sized wing would not be attached to the A358, but rather become the centre-piece of a fully optimised family having significantly lower MTOW.

      However, as I’ve indicated in previous comments, I do believe that an A330neo — without a new wing — would still be a pretty good and quite competitive aircraft. However, an A330neo would always be lagging behind the 787 performance-wise. What is true though is that Airbus has some pretty good options moving forward, but a new wing for the A330 does IMO not belong in the category of smart options.

        • Late 80ties ;-) But that is not a “hard” qualification.
          Note what Airbus got out of those little tweaks on a fossil. Nothing to sneer at.

          Contrary to people talking it up the NG wing forex
          didn’t bring much advance in relation to the A320 wing ( if any ).
          So what kind of _hard_ improvement would a new ’2015′ wing for the A330 actually provide ?
          How much is aero related and what attributable to weightsavings?

  10. The notion that plane purchases are based on some objective analysis is myth, but one that the people doing these decision want to believe.

    For starter, operating airliner fleet is very complex optimisation problem with many variables, so thinking there exist The Analysis, which will objectively and conclusively tell you what is good and what isn’t, is misguided. Then you have the fact that until the plane has track record of at least several years in service, lots of these variables are actually unknown.

    Or just read the stories about the circumstances under which those deals are inked and it’s clear the actual analysis is only one of the inputs while the others don’t need to be about some objective calculation at all. I think that especially the case of 787 shows airlines are filled by mere mortals and they too can be influenced by PR hype.

  11. OV-099, Christopher.

    The A350 fuselage seems large, heavy and expensive for a 767/A330 replacement / 787 competitor. Boeing skipped the 787-3 for a reason.

    Aside from that it looks like the A350 will be busy enough through this decade. Theoretically the A330 fuselage seems more optimized for short / medium flights, it even started there. So if a new smaller wing / wingbox is required for short/medium haul flights, the existing, payed for / successful / getting idle later this decade, A330/340 line seems more logical now the A340s are gone for ever.

    http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z160/keesje_pics/AirbusA330-700Light.jpg

    New wing/ wingbox, engines, new smaller tail, LDG all optimized for <5000NM flights. L~56m, wingspan: ICAO Code D gate, cabin 9 abreast optional, OEW: 93-96t. Engines e.g. PW GTFs at 65,000 lbf.

    • I do like those “Keesje-pics” — keep ‘em coming! :-)

      The A350 fuselage is similar in size to the ones on the shorter length L1011s and the DC-10s, and really not that much bigger than that of the A330. The lower lobe radius on the A350 barrel is roughly identical to the lower lobe radius on the A330. However, the fuselage frame spacing is 25 inches (0.635 m) on the 350 and on the A380, while it is 21 inches (0.535 m) on the A330. In comparison, the fuselage frame spacing on the 747 and 787 is 21 and 24 inches respectively. This would seem to indicate that newer CFRP-based semi-monocoque fuselage-design are utilising optimised CFRP, titanium and aluminium fuselage frames with a significant weight-reducing increase in frame spacing. Theoretically yes, the smaller diameter barrel may seem to be better optimised for WBs with shorter overrall fuselage lengths and/or short/medium ranges, but that may not be the case with the 222-inch diameter legacy A330 barrel vs. the state-of-the art A350 barrel. Hence, from a production infrastructure point of view, using the A350 barrel is a non-brainer if the option is an all new 222-inch diameter fuselage barrel using totally different design and manufacturing methods than that of the existing A330 set-up.

      A new wing for shorter length flights could be designed along the lines of this Boeing patent, while a larger, but similar wing using the former as a baseline, but incorporating chord-wise and span-wise inserts, would IMO be a very good option for two new A350-derived families of aircraft. With two different wings sharing a lot of structure and system commonality, you’d have in one go an all new replacement for the A332 — and formidable 788 competitor — in addition to an all new replacement aircraft for the A300/A310/767 as well. Not bad, not bad at all. ;-)

      • “A new wing for shorter length flights could be designed along the lines of this Boeing patent, while a larger, but similar wing using the former as a baseline, but incorporating chord-wise and span-wise inserts, would IMO be a very good option for two new A350-derived families of aircraft. With two different wings sharing a lot of structure and system commonality, you’d have in one go an all new replacement for the A332 — and formidable 788 competitor — in addition to an all new replacement aircraft for the A300/A310/767 as well. Not bad, not bad at all.”

        Do you think the 787-3 was a good idea? IMO the A350 is far to heavy to become a good short/medium haul aircraft. It’s a massive machine lifting 300 passengers and a large cargo load to / from Asia. A SUV, compare the OEWs. Unfeasible at the current fuel prices.

      • The wing of the 787-3 was essentially going to be a clipped one. The centre wing box was dimensionally the same as that of the 787-8 using 8 fuselage frames with a frame spacing of 24 inches; or a total of 192 inches (4.88 m). In comparison, the centre wing boxes for the A310 and A330 use respectively 5 and 10 frames with a frame spacing of 21 inches (0.535 m); or a total of 105 inches (2.68 m) and 210 inches (5.35 m) respectively. The centre wing box on the A350 is using 8 frames with a frame spacing of 25 inches (0.635 m); or a total of 200 inches (5.08 m).

        Hence, a wing for a short/medium haul WB should have a centre wing box dimensionally more similar to that of the A310 and not to that of the A330, 787 and A350.

    • I think a A320 based large frame is a better way to cover the lower market, not the full 757-300 length but between the 300 and 200 size.

      Does all long range aircraft have to be twin aisles? Loading times are less important on lower frequency traffic. What is missing is engines in the 40K thrust class and a NB wing of the latest and greatest tech. Would it be possible to do a 230-240 seat NB?

      The optmal size would be somewhere of the 762 in a middle market model IMO, but it has to be a lot more efficient than the 762 of course.

  12. The problem with using lower pricing as a sales technique is that your competitor can reduce their prices too. If they have a better product in other respects they will win. Boeing is happy to keep their prices high while they run down their backlog. They can’t sell many more planes so what’s the point of reducing prices and profits? At a certain point, Boeing will have capacity to shift. At that point, the A330 will lose its sales advantage.

    Airbus problem, I think, is that neither an A330 NEO nor a A358 optimally fills the gap between the A321 and A359 – the gap the 787 addresses. To make things worse,the needs of many airlines will be met by a common family of 787-9 and X models . Unless they have very long ranges, they won’t need the A359 or 10. Airbus are fine for this decade but the problem will become acute in the next decade.

      • Independent of prior art:
        This simplistic change in planform and the required changes in real structure are probably not closely related.
        You’ll find “simple inserts” like the drawing shows done in commercial shipbuilding though. So Koreans, beware!

      • What you would to with these inserts would be to make two different planforms sharing as much commonality as possible. However, it wouldn’t really resemble plug & play shipbuilding-construction/refitting. For example, with CFRP you do two different one-piece unique upper and lower wing covers. However, the movable flight surfaces inboard of the engines and outboard of the spanwise-inserts would be similar, if not identical. The spars would be dimensionally identical at the root, but have slightly different tapering in the area of the spanwise inserts etc.

  13. FF:
    “The A340 was the bigger problem. It just couldn’t compete against the 777.”

    The A340 was a well-selling “cheap” version of the massively selling A330,
    and if GE had not agreed to increase the max. thrust of the CF6 engine
    from 80+ k thrust to 120+k, the 777 would NOT have faired as well as it did!
    GE made that commitment, on the condition that Boeing agreed to make
    the CF6 engine, the “sole-source-engine” on the 777.
    I am not sure if that commitment still holds for next 777 version in the
    making, but most probably NOT, if it will turn out to be an all-new a/p!

    • You say CF6 when you mean GE90. To widely different engines. CF6 is on A330, 747-400, 767, A300, A310 (probably more, but can’t find my CF6 info booklet right now).

      GE90 is 777 only.

      • It is interesting to note that all RR 3 spool engines in official documentation were tagged RB 211 …. . For the Trent line “RB 211 Trent 5/6/7/8… .” indicating some certification heritage?
        This is was dropped with the Trent 1000 which in FAA/EASA documents is just a “RR Trent 1000 …”
        Nothing similar across the CF6, GE90 and GenX.

  14. FF :The problem with using lower pricing as a sales technique is that your competitor can reduce their prices too. If they have a better product in other respects they will win. Boeing is happy to keep their prices high while they run down their backlog. They can’t sell many more planes so what’s the point of reducing prices and profits? At a certain point, Boeing will have capacity to shift. At that point, the A330 will lose its sales advantage.
    Airbus problem, I think, is that neither an A330 NEO nor a A358 optimally fills the gap between the A321 and A359 – the gap the 787 addresses. To make things worse,the needs of many airlines will be met by a common family of 787-9 and X models . Unless they have very long ranges, they won’t need the A359 or 10. Airbus are fine for this decade but the problem will become acute in the next decade.

    As far as the Boeing pricing on the 787 goes, all I have heard seems to indicate that after fire sale on the inital 500-600 or so, Boeing can ill afford to “sell” more 787s at low prices for the foreseeable future.

    Concering your forecast for the market segment (smaller wide bodies with lower range), I do believe that this is what the discussion is all about and it does seem that Airbus is thinking about what they will do for the next decade. But that is the next decade and right now they have their hands full with the A350 family.

    • Still, a one piece CFRP wing cover does not allow for plug & play. Most of the mould outboard of the spanwise insert on the larger wing cover would be identical to the outboard part of the mould used for the smaller wing cover.

      • The idea was producing a range of wingskins (varying span, depth and thickness) on the same mold.
        “hard form” tooling is the expensive part in the future.( imho and all that jazz)
        The future variable layup frames projected for introduction in the -1000 use the same basic mold circumferentially and toroidally wound with variable amounts of carbonfiber. (Then cut into two complementary frames )
        Adjustments seems to be done via the connecting “clips”.
        If one can port that method to wingskins …

  15. keesje :
    a NB stretch would be possible with a bigger wing. However capacity would considerably lower at similar comfort levels.
    http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z160/keesje_pics/AirbusA321A322NEOStretch757.jpg

    That aircraft would be perfect for Iceland Air, but they now went with MAX and keeping their 757s for longer routes.

    For a medium range/size aircraft, were is the optimal cross section? A tad smaller than the 767? Somewhere between A320 and 767? 2-3-2 and max 240 seats, optimal above 3200nm up to 5000 nm? Would there be a market for it? If it could replace the 757/767 and A332? Many say that the 787-8 will replace all these, I think this will be suboptimal on many routes, it is a 112t frame!

    • Iceland Air has ordered 12max(8/9mix) + 12 options.
      They currently have 15(+1 -300) active pax 757-200.
      ( and their 767 are either leased out or operated for other airlines )
      Any tie in to the 787 they have on order?

  16. en590swe, interesting topic, often discussed. I think Boeing also has been testing the water for a real 757-767 replacement for some time. The flattened 2-3-2 NSA cabin could have provided a credible platform for 220-300 seat offerings in the future.

    I think the 757, 767, A300, A310, Tu154 all were / are in this segment. Both A and B have been forced to ignore the segment though, because of higher priority projects like 787, 748, A380, A350 and NEO / MAX. Looking at the 787, it’s clear it’s optimized for long haul operations. http://www.aviationnews.eu/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/IMGP4520-Boeing-787-Dreamliner-testplane-LB2011.jpg

    The 75/76/A300/10 have no real replacements IMO. Yrs ago I uploaded a general “Greenliner” concept for narrow seats 2-2-2 for short haul and wider 3-3 for long haul, with a cross section slightly wider then a A320, but narrower then a 767.
    http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z160/keesje_pics/greenlinercabin.jpg

    A shortened / rewinged A330-700 (reply #27) would still be relatively large, offering 300 seats in e.g. transcon lay-out, slightly more then the old A300s..

    • As the 100-150 seat market seems lost for A+B, the only way is up? A model above the 739/A321? Or will this be a part of their NB replacements? If the smallest model would be in the size of the 737-800(162 seats) Then maybe there would be romm to grow upwards?

      The current NBs (NEO/MAX)are just a nudge below the 757 in capacity and range, but they seem a bit too stretched to make it all the way. Wings and UC+engines.

      Is there a market between the A321 and the 787-8? Currently neither of A+B seems to think so.

      But as fuel keeps getting ever more expensive maybe airlines demand more optimized models in the future. A middle body would certainly beat the 787-8 on middle range and capacity, say 4500nm and 220 seats filled. Lacking are engines in the 36-46K thrust class, not since the 757 was EOLed has anyone even looked at that range. 50-60% of the OEW of the 787 would be a target? But how many seats and what range?

    • A MAX is up to 20% more efficient than a 752 said Iceland Air, do we have numbers on the 300 model? Say a 260 seat 757-300 vs a 200 seat 739ER?

  17. What you said is “Airbus needs to [do more]” and I challenge that. They are selling more A330s than they can build and they will soon have outsold the 787. Making the aircraft better than it already is comes at the expense of profits unless the improvements are feasible with minimum investment.

  18. kc135topboom :
    To get to a 260 seater FI needs to look at the B-788 or A-332. Then again the B-767-200ER is still on the market according to Boeing.

    Actually FI has one 757-300, dont know about how many seats it has but it is certified to 280 seats. That is one mother of a NB :)

  19. kc135topboom :
    To get to a 260 seater FI needs to look at the B-788 or A-332. Then again the B-767-200ER is still on the market according to Boeing.

    The 767 has a relatively low OEW and could be further optimized for 8 abreast. The -200 and -300 could be made even lighter at the cost of range / cargo capabilities. New engines, system updates, it could IMO have a (significant) market niche of its own under the 787/A330/A350..

    http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/4672776/

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