Odds and Ends: 777X ATO next month, says AvWeek; 787 and the FAA; A318

777X ATO: Aviation Week reports that Boeing’s Board will grant Authority to Offer the 777X at the next meeting, in April.

Emirates Airlines has previously said it will order 100 or more of the X to begin replacing its 777-300ERs. Lufthansa and Air Lease Corp are likely co-launch customers.

Update: The Wall Street Journal now has an article identifying British Airways and Japan Air Lines as possible launch customers.

787 and the FAA: The FAA is expected to green light this week going forward with Boeing’s proposed fixes for the battery issues in the 787, but this doesn’t mean the challenges are over for Boeing. Extensive lab and flight testing will be required, meaning it still will be some time before the grounding is lifted.

A318 Done: Bloomberg has a story about the Airbus A318 and its dried-up sales. It was never a good seller.

80 Comments on “Odds and Ends: 777X ATO next month, says AvWeek; 787 and the FAA; A318

  1. “Bloomberg has a story about the Airbus A318 and its dried-up sales. It was never a good seller.”

    The A318 was a stupid idea. A waste of time and money. An Airbus product that will be quickly forgotten. Even the A380 had a better business case.

    I find it strange that Airbus shrank the A320 while Boeing was stretching the 737. Today we see Boeing starting with the 787-8 and stretching it into a 787-9. That’s logical enough. But Airbus is doing the opposite. They start with the A350-9 and want to shrink it into an A350-8. It appears to me like a repeat of the A318 mistake.

    • Afaik the A318 was an afterthought family sibling to some degree filling the place that the AE31x ( AE316/AE317 ) had been destined for.

      Elsewhere the A330-200 was a latecomer too and unquestionably a welcome addition.

    • Didn’t Boeing do a shrink of the 737NG? Is that a best seller? I just don’t remember.

      I’m amazed how balanced Bloomberg is to present a negative story about Airbus after the weeks of bad Boeing news. Well done Bloomers

      • By the way I didn’t read the Bloomberg article yet. My opinion of the A318 was made years ago.

        But your conspiracy theory has some merit.

    • Doing the A350-900 before the A350-800 seems to have been a good move. The 787-8 is becoming small quickly and many airlines switch to -9’s.

      • I thought the A318 was meant to compete with the MD-95 or other aircraft in that category. But if it was “launched to kill the MD-95″, the A318 was not only a stupid idea but an arrogant one as well.

      • The irony is that nothing was needed to “kill” the MD-95, it did a pretty good job of doing that all on it’s own.

    • I would say Boeing’s strategy is to issue a standard model and then do a stretch as a Mark II model. Airbus’ strategy is to issue a family of planes from the start. I am guessing Boeing’s strategy ensures planes are optimal designs – because stretches force you to find improvements – but the Airbus strategy is cheaper as you only do one lot of development for the family.

      (The A318 is,however a subsequent double stretch. The A350-1000 seems to require more improvement that Airbus originally would have liked. And in this, as in many other things, Airbus is becoming more like Boeing and Boeing more like Airbus)

      • Boeing’s model, historically, was to future proof the stretchability of the aircraft and thus design an “oversized” wing for the base model in the first place. The A380 was the first Airbus aircraft to follow that model.

        Since Airbus historically didn’t over-size the wing, the base model of for example the A330, has had a much longer shelf life than that of the 777-200.

      • A340/A330 initial family has the wing for the highest MTOW A340-300. Are you sure your attribution is correct?

      • A333/A343 wing design philosophy nicely explained here:

        http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1991/1991%20-%201464.html

        Although the A340 wing has virtually the same span as that of the 747-200, it has only 65% of the area, a high-aspect ratio having been chosen to cut both take-off and cruising drag. Span over the winglets is 60.2m and wing area is 362m2 (compared to the A300-600’s 260m2).

        The multi-role wing’s secret lies in the neat balance of bending moments (exerted on the fuselage by the wing) between the twin and four-engined versions. The A330 and A340 wing bending moments are within 1.5% of each other, allowing the two structures to be assembled in the same jigs.

        Because of bending relief from the weight of its outboard engines, the bending moment of a four-engined aircraft is substantially lower than it is for a twin at the same maximum take-off weight. For the same fuselage weight, therefore, a twin needs a stronger, heavier wing than a quad.

        It follows that, for the same wing, the payload carried in the fuselage must be less fora twin than a four, which is exactly what has happened with the A330/A340; the latter carries about 20% more payload. This translates to about 30t of extra fuel, giving the A340 its long-range capability and requiring the addition of a centre-fuselage undercarriage leg. design strength required was “only 1% higher than the A330″ says Jeff Jupp, BAe, chief engineer, Airbus.

      • Uwe and OV – the A340 wing was too small for the A340-500 and -600. Airbus had to make a huge wing change [chord extension over the entire span plus tip extensions]. The short-fuselage A340-500 was an 800,000 lb MTOW airplane with 50,000 lb SLST engines – a modern version of the 747-200B with a lot fewer seats, but lots more range, especially (like Singapore) with a high percentage of business class and reduced tourist class. The A340-600 was a stretch-too-far of a cross-section dating back to 1972, sort of a DC-8-61/63 on steroids. Neither could compete with the 777-200ER, the -300ER and the -200LR. Both are out of production.

        The A310 was a shrink of the A300 but with a new small wing; OK for the initial versions but unable to compete with the high gross weight versions of the 767-200ER and -300ER. The A300-600 had the A300 wing, but the A310’s tail and two-crew flight deck.

        OV – the Sonic Cruiser was no “con”. Soon after the turn of this century, Boeing made detailed presentations (performance and economics) to potential Sonic Cruiser customers with three alternatives, all with passenger seat counts similar to today’s 787:
        – The Sonic Cruiser
        – An M.98 alternative with normal wing and tail location, but with aerodynamics and performance similar to the Sonic Cruiser
        – A conventional M.85 or thereabouts straight tube airplane
        Alan Mullaly was Commercial Airplanes President at the time; I am probably misquoting him, but one of his aphorisms was “the facts and data will make you free”.
        The conclusion of the study was that the M.85 airplane with constant cross section and below-floor containerized cargo had much better multi-class seating flexibility, more cargo capacity, greater potential for a future fuselage stretch, and better economics than either of the M.98 configurations. The potential customers all preferred this airplane.
        And so the 787 was born. Now if only Boeing had . . . never mind. We already know that part of the story.

      • toyuths, we were talking about the original wing designed for the A330-300 and A340-300. Hence the link.

        You’re right, of course, that the wing for the A340-500/-600 required a three frame chord-wise wing insert and a short wingtip extension. However, that doesn’t contradict what I said in the first place, that the A380 was, in fact, the first Airbus aircraft built with an over-sized wing. NB: The wing on the A320 allowed for a stretch, but on the A321 the Airbus “speciality” of single-slotted flaps had to be swapped out with double slotted flaps.

        Richard Aboulafia said a the time of the Sonic Cruiser cancellation that “a lot of claims were made, yet very little money was spent—a suspicious juxtaposition of facts.”

        Now, if Boeing had done a lot more thorough groundwork for the 7E7 in the years preceding its launch, perhaps a lot of the current problems might have been avoided. Instead of wasting time on Sonic Cruiser Powerpoints etc., Boeing could perhaps have developed an “all electric” prototype aircraft using a 767 frame, and tested all the “electric-technologies” before committing to a launch of the program.

    • I suppose that the A318 was always meant to be a niche aircraft, but I think that its business case was relaying heavily on the PW6000, but this engine got delayed big time and at the end didn’t meet the specs

      • Even with the best engines available today (GTF), the A318 remains too heavy for its meagre payload.

  2. EBBUK :
    Didn’t Boeing do a shrink of the 737NG? Is that a best seller? I just don’t remember.

    The 737 has the same fuselage since 1968 and started with the 737-100, which was already very short. Therefore I wouldn’t consider the 737-600NG as a shrink.

    • So taking your definitions, Uwe is infact incorrect in reply#4 to call the a330-200 a shrink as it was based on the A300 fuselage?

      I flew the baby ‘Bus LHR-CDG last year. A real treat. I’m on my second penny savings jar to fly BA’s A318.

      • There is no doubt that the A318 is a nice aircraft to fly on. Like all the members of the A320 family it has a wider fuselage than the 737 family.

        BTW, the 737 fuselage is based on the 707’s. But I wouldn’t consider the 737 as a 707 shrink.

      • A300, A310, A330 and A340 have the same cross section but they don’t really share the fuselage. A330 and A340 have their own certification. For one the centerwingbox and fairing are completely different.
        EIS order was A340-200,A340-300,,A330-300,,,,A330-200
        A300 is shorter than the A340-200 and the A310 is a modified shrink of the A300B2/3 while the later A300-600 could also be viewed as a A310 stretch. All very convoluted.

    • Normand and EBBUK – the 737 has always been stretched; it has never been shrunk.

      The original 737’s were the -100 and -200. Only 30 -100’s were built. The -200 was about 6 ft longer; more than 1100 were built.

      The next models were the Classics: the -300, about 7 ft longer than the -200, then the -400, around 10 ft longer than the -300. The last Classic was the -500. It was about the same size as the -200.

      The NG models were numbered according to fuselage length: the -600 and -700 were the same size as the -500 and -300 respectively, but the -800 [the best selling NG to date] was about 10 ft longer than the -400. The -900 is about 6 ft longer than the -800.

      The -600 seems to be a size whose time has come and gone. As for the MAX’s the -7MAX may go the way of the -600; probably only the -8 and -9 MAX’s will be built.

      • If we add up all your numbers it makes the -900NG 39′ longer than the original -100. It’s actually 44′ longer.

        The -300 is 9′ longer than the -200, rather than 7′ (+2).
        The -900 is 9′ longer than the -800, rather than 6′ (+3)
        That is where the 5′ difference is.

        Aircraft length of 737 variants:

        -100: 94′
        -200: 100′ 2″
        -300: 109′ 7″
        -400: 119′ 7″
        -500: 101′ 9″
        -600: 102′ 4″
        -700: 110′ 3″
        -800: 129′ 7″
        -900: 138′ 1″

        That means the 737 was stretched by a factor of 1.5 from the -100 and the -900NG.

      • The 720 was 136′, shorter than the 737-900 which is sort of interesting.

  3. I can see why Boeing feels pressure to move forward with the 777X now, and at the end of last year I would have considered ATO at this point to be a welcome development. But in light of yet another multi-month setback, and substantial damage to the public trust in the company’s feature product, I have to think that, before Boeing launches any more programs, they really need to go through a shakeup in leadership followed by a top to bottom examination of what went wrong on the 787. I understand current management’s desire to present the business as usual stance, but I would be stunned to believe that it will fly with customers and suppliers. Maybe that is good news for the company, or maybe it just means current leadership has its hands firmly over its eyes and ears and its foot mashed on the throttle .

    If it is true that the faith of Emirates, British, and Lufthansa really is unshaken, I guess I may need to reconsider my impression, but I won’t be doing so until the rumored launch orders are firmed.

    • Earlier Lufthansa was mentioned as a very interested potential 787-10 customer also.
      Now they are associated with interest for the 777X. ( My guess LH decissions have some weight in appraising a new plane )

      Are these floaters as real as Air Berlin buying 15 787 on the eve before the NTSB interim report was due ;-? ( forbes modified their content but not the headline )

  4. 777x is what, probably three to four times the investment in the MAX. Wing of the future, will we really see a folding wing? What about snow and ice?

    • Yes, the 777X will be a very expensive undertaking, but will it be wise one for Boeing?

      Not only is the A350-1000 going to be so good that the 777-9X only will be competitive at 10 across in coach, but it willl IMO also be at risk of being overtaken by an all composite slightly larger competitior from Airbus just a few years after EIS. Its shelf life could therefore turn out to be as short as that of the A340-600, being squeesed from below by the A350-1000 and from above by a slightly larger A360-800X. Hmm, isn’t that something Boeing has been been busy advertising; that the A350 would be squeesed from below by the 787 and from above by the triple seven. So, what’s different with the scenario of the triple seven being squeesed from below and above? Well, as a starter, the 777-9X would still be a legacy aircraft and the cross-section would, in fact, be a liability if the A360-800X would have the option to seat 11 across at the same comfort level as that of the 777X at 10 across in coach.

      So, if that should turn out to be the fate for the 777X, what would Boeing do then?

      I’m not sure if the excitability of EK for the 777X is going to be a blessing in the end.

      • Big gamble for Boeing. If Airbus doesn’t respond, how many 777 frames to pay for that wing? If Airbus does respond with the A360x, will A have enough money to do a new small airplane?

      • If I were to hazard a guess, I’d reckon that sales of at least 300 777X airframes would be required in order to break-even on the expensive wing-production setup and the other upgraded stuff.

        An all new Airbus single aisle aircraft will, in all likelihood, not be launched until the latter part of the next decade. Hence, the required financial and technical resources should be available for an A360X launch some five years from now.

  5. FF :
    And in this, as in many other things, Airbus is becoming more like Boeing and Boeing more like Airbus)

    Sounds like the dynamics of a duopoly at work!

  6. leehamnet :
    …think about who we are talking about here…..

    I never thought Boeing had a monopoly on arrogance and hubris. The A380 is a supreme example of hubris. And the 787 an unsurpassed one for arrogance.

    It’s interesting to look at the situation from a historical perspective. As Airbus was arriving neck to neck with Boeing for the first time in its relatively short history, they decided to launch the A380. Boeing did not believe AIrbus would do it, but it did. So Boeing had to respond as boldly as possible. And it did.

    So on one side we had Airbus which wanted to “demonstrate” what it could do, and therefore came out with a “me too” airplane. And on the other side was Boeing trying to defend its preeminent position at all costs, and therefore came out with a project with an unbelievable amount of risk built into it.

    In the end Airbus ended up with a black eye and Boeing with two black eyes and a few broken teethes. All self inflicted.

    • “The A380 is a supreme example of hubris.

      I’m sorry Normand, but I don’t agree with you on that. ;-)

      The A380 was launched with a hubristic character in charge (Noël Forgeard), but the concept itself was not hubristic. Airbus had spent the better part of 1990s planning the programme under the very able leadership of Jürgen Thomas. What Airbus did with the A380 was, among other things, to future-proof it. One could argue that the A380 was launched 20 years ahead of its time, but still, with the obvious built-in structural inefficiencies of such a short full double-decker, it easily beat the 747-400, caused Boeing to launch the ill-conceived 747-8 programme and partly IMO, caused Boeing to launch the 787 on a ridiculously abbreviated schedule, because they (Boeing) seemingly “had to do someting” to stay “relevant” — according to some “analysts” — after having, for some bizarre reasons, tried to con the industry with the “Sonic Cruiser”.

      • At least in the last part of your post you agree with me when I wrote: “And on the other side was Boeing trying to defend its preeminent position at all costs.” ;)

        “…because they (Boeing) seemingly “had to do someting” to stay “relevant”.”

      • had to do something” is a reference to the pontification from some analysts at the time of the cancellation of the Sonic Cruiser project — as if that concept ever was more of a smoke screen.

        If I remember correctly, quite a few analysts at the time, were talking about Boeing eventually was going to quit building large commercial aircraft altogether. Hence, Boeing “had to do something” …. ;-)

      • The PR success of the 7E7 later known as Dreamliner was erected on the flashy Sonic Cruiser pedigree.
        See it is the SonicC with speed swapped out for economy!
        No idea if this was premeditated. Boeing does not seem to go
        for a longer planning horizont.
        There are similarities to the runoff between Motorola and Intel in respect to CPU architectures. For decades the onion layers of spontaneous enhancements and good PR were ahead of of a well preplanned product. But today even Intel has a RISC machine inside and only the thinnest outer layer is true x86.
        ( compare to Yokes and “no computer has last say” )
        But the true winners grew on the “MOTO” tree : ARM.

      • The Sonic Cruiser was prematurely trotted out by Phil Condit in an effort to get the focus off of the cancellation of the 747X and 767-400ERX (as I remember it, they were to have common engines and the cancellation of the one killed the business case for the other) and possibly partially to lift the mood at Boeing, which was pretty low at the time.
        Scuttlebutt a the time was that old Phil wandered into the advanced design offices, saw the Cruiser and aid, right, thats Boeing’s new prject.
        It did backfire to a certain degree as he was under way more pressure to provide details to the press about the new aircraft and I believe he actually had an outburst about it. Although the ploy was successful as nobody harped on about Boeing cancelling the 747x and the 767-400ERX.
        I think Boeing realized pretty quickly that the Cruiser was not really a viable option but they tucked in another “secret” project or study as part ot the Cruiser, which became “Yellowstone” and the rest is history.

      • I was in uni but involved on the sidelines at the time. It didn’t feel hubristic at all from where we were standing! A3XX felt like the logical next step and a fantastic opportunity given the recent technological advances and a number of design studies undertaken by both Airbus and Boeing (who were in co-operation until the Sonic Cruiser silliness happened).

        I honestly believe a great deal of the childish bickering and fanboyism we still see on a-net and elsewhere can be traced to the fallout of Boeing publicly turning its back on Airbus and the superjumbo idea after failing to gain ground with its 747 stretch proposals (and again with the Sonic Cruiser).

        Not so much hubris on one side, more like the other side throwing his toys out of the pram. The “teams” were formed and every success on either side had to be jeered by the other side from that day forward. IMHO, of course.

  7. Normand Hamel :

    leehamnet :…think about who we are talking about here…..

    So on one side we had Airbus which wanted to “demonstrate” what it could do,…

    Historically, Airbus decided to develop the A380 to counter Boeing’s cash cow, the B747. And to get a product range similar to their competitor.
    The scepticism expressed publically by Boeing did turn the A389 as a demonstration, albeit partly of what not to do.

    • Officially yes. Airbus did develop the A380 because it envied Boeing for the cash cow the 747 was. But deep down inside it was a statement more than anything else. I don’t want to psychoanalyse Airbus, but I think it took that for Airbus to get rid of its inferiority complex towards Boeing.

  8. I enjoyed my flights on the AF A318s, and hope one day to get the Man to pay for a flight out of LCY on a BA A318 (as opposed to more boring flights with 772s or 744s to IAD.

    It looks cute, and somehow seems to handle very well. I guess it got killed primarily by Pratt’s failure to deliver the PW6000, which would have addressed a lot of the fuel economy issues?

    I hope at least BA gets some more…

    • The engines only accelerated the process. The A318 was too heavy and took a big hit when the price of oil started to rise. Today, more than ever, it’s the combination of engine efficiency and the overall weight of the aircraft that decides if a particular model will be successful or not.

      So even if Airbus mated the GTF to the A318 it would not make any difference. An A318neo cannot possibly work, and even the A319neo is questionable. Airbus bet that oil prices would remain relatively low and it lost its gamble. And between the launch of the 318 and the time the oil prices started to rise the engine was not delivering on its promises. So we can say the 318 never worked and never will.

      But like you say Andreas, it’s cute. Something that cannot be said about the other family members. ;)

  9. Sorry to chage the subject of the topic.A U.S navy militray crashes on a routine training flight
    the aircraft was a Northrop Grummam EA-6B Prowler pray’s for the two crew lost.

  10. Boeing to keep RR off of the 777x in case its engine finds application on an imaginary A350-1200 sounds childish and pointless. If customers want a choice and price competition then they should get it, what Boeing will end up doing is building an aircraft for EK that EK will get at 50% off of list and no other airlines will be able to afford.

  11. Matt B :
    But in light of yet another multi-month setback, and substantial damage to the public trust in the company’s feature product, I have to think that, before Boeing launches any more programs, they really need to go through a shakeup in leadership followed by a top to bottom examination of what went wrong on the 787.

    The problem for Boeing right now is that it has to do everything at once:

    1- Find a new leader.
    2- Review the Dreamliner programme.
    3- Fix the battery problem.
    4- Negotiate penalties.
    5- Clear the backlog.
    6- Increase production.
    7- Launch the 787-9.
    8- Launch the 777X.
    9- Finalize the 737 MAX.

    And if there is time left, and money, start working towards a 737 replacement.

    Alan, are you still interested in the job? ;)

    • 0- change the entrenched culture.
      Building good airplanes has to go back on top.
      ( But imho it is impossible to withdraw the doormat and work it into a hat
      with the kind of entity inbetween ;-)

    • Normand Hamel :
      The problem for Boeing right now is that it has to do everything at once:

      Well, I would say it is bound to seem that way when you’ve painted yourself into a corner, but the consequences of a moment for reflection may still be less than just painting yourself in further.

      After the A380 launch fiasco, Airbus publicly took its medicine, and they appear to have come out much stronger for it. I don’t doubt that Boeing’s current predicament may be harder to get squared, but I doubt any good can come of trying to pretend there are no problems just because they are so ugly that you wouldn’t really want to look at them.

      The market will not tolerate an Airbus monopoly, and Boeing still has enormous capabilities that offer huge advantages over the new entrants. I have to believe they *can* absorb the market share hits they will take while sorting things out. What they may not be able to afford, is to keep doing things the way they have been doing them.

  12. I guess again GE is willing to pump up the billions required to become exclusive on the 777X. They have discount a few big launch customers into ordering it to get the ball rolling.

  13. OV-099 :
    Richard Aboulafia said a the time of the Sonic Cruiser cancellation that “a lot of claims were made, yet very little money was spent—a suspicious juxtaposition of facts.”
    Now, if Boeing had done a lot more thorough groundwork for the 7E7 in the years preceding its launch, perhaps a lot of the current problems might have been avoided. Instead of wasting time on Sonic Cruiser Powerpoints etc., Boeing could perhaps have developed an “all electric” prototype aircraft using a 767 frame, and tested all the “electric-technologies” before committing to a launch of the program.

    I’ve been wondering why Boeing went for the more volatile chemistry when Airbus had already used a more refined product with comparable potential performance.

    Also water cooled power electronics are a sign of lack in efficiency and doesn’t quite fit the taste of things when the 787 was initially offered.

    The available timeframe was extremely compressed.

    Would it be a possibility that a range of scetched out details were just copied over from the Sonic Cruiser project? Scooping up a range of overcome “advanced” technologies.?

    • Now, if Boeing had done a lot more thorough groundwork for the 7E7 in the years preceding its launch, perhaps a lot of the current problems might have been avoided

      Around 2002 the A330 (including the new A330-200) started to outsell both the (still fresh) 777-200ER and dominant 767-300ER. Majors considered / ordered it, ignoring the re-engined 767-400ERX. Waiting for an extra 4 yrs was out of the question. The A330 threat dominated Boeings agenda. EIS 2008 was the starting point.

      In typical fashion, the A330s were not even mentioned in Boeings 200-400 forecasts.
      http://boeingblogs.com/randy/archives/2007/04/market_timing.html

      Ignoring is the sincerest form of flattery?

      • For highlighting all the colourfull 787 advances Boeing invariably references the 767 ( even ignoring their own 777 as if nothing had changed in the meantime.
        Still, most everybody relevant for buying decissions seems to
        have this bait. .. hook, line and sinker for desert ;-)

      • I just went over the comments and they confirm that doing predictions is not an easy bussiness ;-)

      • Best of comments from 2007:

        “When the ultra-efficient, phenomenally capable 747-8I enters service in 2010, the oldest –400 will be 19 years old. This is the perfect ripe age to begin replacing the once ‘ageless’ –400 with a 747-8I, [...]”

        “The A350 is a dead end and risky technology.”

        “Boeing products give the higher reward, lower risk, and customer focused solution. Period. ”

        Also

        “And as it is the 777 becomes ‘technologically older’ compared to the A350.”

        ” I think that once the A350 comes out, it will wipe out the 777. “

      • Thx for the link Keesje.

        Saj from London was certain that the A350 “won’t make it to town” until 2017 and that the originally A330-derived A350, “probably would have been in service 3 or 4 years after the 787″.

      • Waiting for an extra 4 yrs was out of the question. The A330 threat dominated Boeings agenda. EIS 2008 was the starting point.

        Extremely foolish on the part of Boeing to deal with the “A330-threat” by launching such a high risk undertaking on such a compressed schedule. Had they launched a scaled down 777 (i.e. same cockpit, aluminum fuselage, A330-sized cross-section and used conventional bleed-air systems etc.) with new advanced composite wings — sort of a C-series on steroids — I’m sure they could have achieved EIS in 2009/2010.

      • 200 NG: 737-800 @ $89.1m list ?
        so they will continue to receive regular new frames for the next 4..5 years.
        The last order was finished in dez. 2012 ( 7 frames ) ?

    • Many were sure Boeing would have nothing to do anymore after MOL’s many rude comments at Boeings address. No doubt it will be in the contract MOL says nothing about the price they paid in public.

  14. Without wanting to sound too much like the leehamnews expert conspiracy theorist, this announcement of the 777x ATO seems just like the sort of thing that Boeing could do to get the Dreamliner (or “Firebird”, as I read in the comments from a Seattle Times article) out of the “spotlight”, as it were. If one is especially cynical, the Ryanair order could be another phase of this strategy.
    In the past, I think this would have worked but there are two factors that have changed:
    1. Modern day media and communications will make it more difficult for something like this to be allowed to putter out.
    2. Tha NTSB, while not having any authourity over the FAA or Boeing, seems to be working on actively ensuring that this topic stays in the public mind, with the hopes that any “solution” is not rubber stamped.

    On another note, I find it funny that Boeing is taking a survey of people registered on their Dreamliner “fan” site, for lack of a better word, on whether or not they feel comfortable flying in the 787, once it resumes service. Maybe they are looking at the extreme worst case scenario before tackling other groups for feedback. I mean, if this groups response is overwhelmingly negative, they would know that they are really in trouble on the PR side.

  15. Oh the luck of the Irish! The grounding fiasco is just about the best time to negotiate a large order discount with BA. Whatever term MOL used for the first deal, I think we can safely say he had Boeing on its knees gagging for this one.

    Good news for Boeing too. Goodness knows they need it.

    Now to sell some 748s, fix the 787,build the 789, launch the 788-10, launch the 777x, finalise their new narrowbody and sort out the Unions. Not necessarily in that order.

  16. Maybe the A318 was a waste of (a little) money paid back already by a few major airlines and billionaires. I doubt if a CSeries Privat Jet will be able to offer the same space and range..

    IMO Airbus should skip the A319 too and offer the 200 seat stretched A320 Ryanair, Easyjet and Jetblue asked for. That would likely become the new A320, with the old A320 taking over the role of smallest variant. Ryanair would likely have bitten (3 extra seatrows without extra crew).

    • I agree with this*. Also the A320 and a half could substitute for the A321 as a 757 replacement where extra range is required. A small but useful niche.

      * Except I think Ryanair would have stuck with the 737 – because of commonality and Boeing’s need to strike a bargain to shift NG 737s until the MAX comes out. The A320 and a half would be very attractive to any low cost airlines currently running A320 family planes.

    • Enders was speaking recently of improving existing models rather than creating new ones. The A320.5 would be a good opportunity to apply this philosophy.

      Boeing dropped the -600 and sooner than later will also abandon the -700. Airbus should do the same and let go of the A318 and A319. Insert the A320.5 between the A320 and A321 and you have the perfect line of product for this category.

      That would leave Boeing with only the -800 and -900 to offer. With the superiority of the GTF engine over what’s offered on the MAX, Airbus would have a decisive advantage and make Boeing regret not to have launched the NSA.

  17. MHalblaub :
    “The A350 is a dead end and risky technology.”
    “Boeing products give the higher reward, lower risk, and customer focused solution. Period.”

    What differentiates the 787 and the A350 is not so much the performances of the aircraft as the quantity of risks built into each product.

    Airbus wanted to take a low risk approach with the A350 when it offered the Mk1. It was forced by market forces to take more risk with the XWB. But again, it tried to minimize and mitigate risk as much as possible, while being bold by adopting a wider cross section.

    Boeing had the opposite approach. It started with the hyper risky Sonic Cruiser and substituted the ultra risky Dreamliner. And later on it killed the NSA in favour of the MAX. The NSA was a sure path to complete domination in the narrowbody market, while the MAX is the riskiest approach of the two. The risk being to loose competitiveness.

  18. Matt B :
    Boeing still has enormous capabilities that offer huge advantages over the new entrants. I have to believe they *can* absorb the market share hits they will take while sorting things out. What they may not be able to afford, is to keep doing things the way they have been doing them.

    To change their way of doing things would require the appointment of a new leader with a solid engineering background. Bombardier has been very successful at hiring executives from the automobile industry. There happens to be one ideal candidate available from that sector. He (name withheld to protect the identity of the candidate) is just waiting for the call. ;)

  19. SomeoneInToulouse :
    Not so much hubris on one side, more like the other side throwing his toys out of the pram. The “teams” were formed and every success on either side had to be jeered by the other side from that day forward. IMHO, of course.

    What I retained from that period is that Boeing was pitting the 787 against the A380. I always thought this was ludicrous. Like if for example one was pitting the 737 against the A330, saying that the 737 is designed for Point to Point whereas the A330 is a Hub aircraft. Boeing tried to make it into a platonic ideal but it did not resist the aristotelian realty.

    I view the 2003-2013 period at Boeing as the lost decade.

    a) Lost its dominant position.
    b) Lost many opportunities.
    c) Lost key personnel.
    d) Lost expertise.
    e) Lost employee motivation.
    f) Lost any sense of direction.

    And loosing the war.

  20. FF :
    I agree with this*. Also the A320 and a half could substitute for the A321 as a 757 replacement where extra range is required. A small but useful niche.
    * Except I think Ryanair would have stuck with the 737 – because of commonality and Boeing’s need to strike a bargain to shift NG 737s until the MAX comes out. The A320 and a half would be very attractive to any low cost airlines currently running A320 family planes.

    IMO such an aircraft would be attractive for most airlines that operated the A320 for the last 25 yrs. Since then air traffic has trippled and the A321 is a 6t / 7meters / 42 seats bump up, with all costs associated. I think most big A320 operators would love the growth option.

    http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z160/keesje_pics/AirbusA320NEOPlusConcept.jpg

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