McNerney’s interesting comments on the new airplane

We’re off hiatus, having completed several projects that now gives us some time to pay attention to this column.

It didn’t seem to get much pickup but on the Boeing 1Q earnings call, CEO Jim McNerney said something on the call that really perked up our ears.

First, some necessary context.

In interviews Mike Bair, VP of the 737 future product development, conducted in March with a number of journalists, including us, Bair said over and over that Boeing was leaning toward a “larger” airplane that began at 150 seats, and perhaps even 180, and went as high as 220.

This seat range covers the 737-800 through 757-300 sizes. The 757 is beginning the downward leg of its life cycle and Boeing has for more than two years noted the up-sizing of aircraft in its annual market forecasts.

Jim Albaugh, CEO of Boeing Commercial Aircraft, told us at the Farnborough Air Show last year, that he sees 180 seats as the “sweet spot” for a new airplane. This generally means that 180 seats is the optimized design, around which one stretch and one shrink is most efficient.

Boeing historically jumps and shrinks airplanes in increments of 20-30 seats. Thus, if 180 seats is the sweet spot, you’d be looking at a family of airplanes between 150/160 seats to 200/210 seats.

One hundred and fifty seats is also a key size. At 151 seats, the Federal Aviation Administration requires another flight attendant, adding to the cost of staffing the aircraft. Thus, a consideration for an airline like Southwest, an airplane with 150 seats is good while one with 155 seats is adding a lot of cost for not that much more revenue.

Geoffrey Thomas, an Australian reporter with a good track record of sources deep within Boeing, some time back wrote a piece, based on his Boeing sources, that predicted the new airplane would start at 180 seats and go all the way to 240 seats. This struck us at the time as being a bit large—we were hearing more like 160-220—but Boeing is still fluid. What was consistent between what Thomas wrote and what we and others were hearing was that the airplane would cover the upper end of the 737 line and replace the 757.

Coupled with Bair and other Boeing officials saying the 737 would remain in production to “at least” 2026, it and based on direct comments from Bair in our interview, it became clear that the new airplane would complement the Boeing family of airliners rather than be a “replacement” for the 737.

With all this as context, here’s what McNerney said on the earnings call that caught our attention:

Doug Harned of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.: Good morning. My understanding is you’re still looking at an all-new airplane but re-engineering remains an option. Can you update us on that strategy? And I would include when a decision might come. With the timing of a new program, if you did it, would it materially impact R&D and then any implications if your rate increase plan potentially on the 737?

McNerney: Doug, I give you our current thinking, which is largely unchanged, I think, from the last time we discussed it. By the end of this year, we should have a sharper view of new airplane versus re-engine. As you know, most of the data and customer feedback is suggesting to us that the new airplane option is the most favorable, but we’ll — we’ll get to that decision on a timely basis. We’re 2019, 2020, that’s the timeframe that the market seems to want this new airplane and where we can deliver technologies that can make a meaningful difference. We see a plane that will be an orderly transition. The heart of the market is sort of an orderly transition from the heart of the market today, maybe a slight upgrading in terms of capacity of the airplane. But the real story about the airplane will be much more economical, much more efficient for customers to use. That’s what that market segment needs, and we’re in the definition process there.

Robert Spingarn, of Credit Suisse: So could we see a 737 inhabit the below 150 space and compete perhaps with the lower end of the market on price? It’s obviously a very profitable airplane. And then simultaneously maybe you do a 757 type aircraft for the above 150 space?

McNerney: I think we in all likelihood will be addressing what I termed a minute ago the heart of the market first, which is not to say that we will leave the 757 space unaddressed at all. Because it’s a legitimate market segment that we can participate in. But I think the heart of the market…tends to be in the 145 to 175, 185 range in there. [That] is — and we haven’t sorted it out totally — is in all likelihood where we’ll start. …[A]s I mentioned before, we are continually improving the current 737. And how certain sizes are feathered in first and other…complementary sizes are allowed to go a little longer on the NG, we’ve got to sort that out.

But these are the answers that we’re trying to figure out, and while we all have biases, we’ll let the data and our customers tell us exactly how to do this and you’ll hear more from us at the end of the year.

McNerney said very clearly that replacing the 757 may not be part of the objective of the new airplane—and he dropped the starting size from 150-160 seats to 145, with an upper range (with 20-seat increments) of 185 seats.

This is solidly in the 737-800/737-900 class and a slight up-sizing of the 737-700.

This can be considered as being for Southwest Airlines, Boeing’s largest 737 customer in the world.

Southwest has made it clear it still wants an airplane below 150 seats but slightly larger than the 137-seat 737-700. Coupled with 25 737-500s with 125 seats and an incoming fleet of 86 117-seat Boeing 717s, a new airplane starting at 145 seats is perfect.

A 145-seat airplane will also be a move against Embraer, which is considering a new airplane in the 125-155 seat market. This new Embraer airplane is slightly larger than Bombardier’s 100-130 seat CSeries and would be slightly smaller than the oft-talked about 160-220 seat new Boeing airplane.

And what about a 757 replacement?

As we wrote for Commercial Aviation Online, Boeing and its customers believe the 757 works best at the edge of its performance capabilities. (Airbus believes this, too.) The 737-900ER can perform 80%-90% of the 757’s missions, and Airbus likewise believes its new A321neo can do the same. Beyond that, it’s tough to make a business case for an airplane for that extra 10% or 20%, the two manufacturers believe.

Add this one additional item. While there has been a lot of talk about a “new light twin” aisle airplane from Boeing, Albaugh told the ISTAT conference last month he didn’t see the NLT as the likely solution. A 145-180 seat airplane makes very little sense in a twin-aisle, while a 160-220 seat airplane could arguably be an NLT.

McNerney’s comments compared with the messaging from Bair as recently as last month reflect the continuing struggle Boeing has in determining just what is the right sized airplane in the market.

Some final thoughts:

Bair, and other Boeing officials, currently see the new airplane as providing between 18% and 20% better fuel burn than today’s airplanes, which is only 3%-5% better than the A320neo. (Bair accepts the 15% lower neo fuel burn, including the new sharklets.) Airbus COO Customers John Leahy doesn’t see Boeing making a $10bn investment in a new airplane for only 3%-5% fuel burn gain vs the NEO, and Boeing is continuing its efforts to shave fuel burn from the 737NG, with a tough-to-achieve goal of 1% per year between now and 2019. If this lofty goal were achieved, the new airplane wouldn’t have that much advantage over the NG, just 11%-13%, at much higher ownership costs.

When you add the capital and ownership costs of a new airplane, which are projected figures that at this point Boeing may not even know since it hasn’t settled on a design, will a new airplane at 18%-20% fuel savings be reduced to an inconsequential number?

This is essentially the argument Boeing makes against the A320neo.

We don’t know the answer. But it certainly makes for an interesting intellectual exercise.

25 Comments on “McNerney’s interesting comments on the new airplane

  1. Thanks for your commentary, Scott. I am confused about seat counts, whether they are single class or a mixture of economy and business. The point you made about Southwest and the 150 seat threshold for the number of flight attendants is relevant mainly to low cost carriers with a single class layout. Airlines running two class layouts are less concerned about the number of flight attendant I believe, partly because their layout has fewer seats and partly because they may want more flight attendants anyway to provide a better service.

    • Nobody really specifies one-class or two class, whether it’s McNerney or Bair talking. So we don’t have an answer for you on that.

      You write: “Airlines running two class layouts are less concerned about the number of flight attendant I believe, partly because their layout has fewer seats and partly because they may want more flight attendants anyway to provide a better service.”

      You must not be talking about US carriers, at least not the ones we fly. “Better service” is an oxymoron.

      • Ha ha. The legacy carriers probably think they provide a better service.

        In Europe Ryanair operate 737-800s with 189 passengers and have said they would be interested in a plane with exactly 199 passengers to stray within the 4 flight attendant limit. Easyjet mainly fly A319s with 156 seats with 4 flight attendants but sometimes disable some seats and carry just 3 attendants. However, they are not interested in buying more A319s, preferring to buy the bigger A320. I understand Southwest is moving to the 737-800 from the 700. So I think it’s the 200 single class seat plane (170 seats or so in two classes) that is of most interest to LCCs.

      • The point being that if the middle plane is fixed at 170/200 seats, that also determines the size of the shrink and the stretch. If my theory is correct, the new plane would be bigger than the 737-700/800/900 by about ten seats.

  2. The most striking point I retain from the quarterly earning report is about the 40% production increase in the coming three years.

  3. So is Boeing really saying they will do 2 airplanes? The NLT for the 180-220 or 240 seats and a possible B-737RE (NNG?) for the 140-180 seat range? The smaller airplane could get by with updated BR-715 engines in the 20,000-22,000 lb class, if the airframe could be lighter than today’s B-73G. A 60″ fan version of the CFM Leap-X would also easily fit a reengined B-73G, and offers more thrust. The NLT would be easier for an engine selection, as it would be designed with thoughts of bigger fans from the beginning. The question then becomes what range do you want for the NLT? To be a true B-757 replacement it needs to be able to replace the B-757 in 100% of its missions, otherwise all you need is the B-737-900ER or A-321NEO.

    • They don’t know and have no idea.
      But they want to appear assertive and
      “on top” of the process.

      All these little bubbles are blown to see
      who reacts enthusiastically on propositions
      that preferably entail little outlay and
      effort on Boeings side.

  4. I concur with your reposte concerning cabin crew numbers, budget carriers have set the bar at an all time low, establishing an uncomfortable trend that many like lemmings have followed, most seem hell bent on shaving cabin crew to the bone without giving a fig about the quality of cabin crew the service the fail to provide.

    Regarding Mr McNerneys, apparently complacent comments, he more than most will understand that it is less than a quarter of century ago that EADS was forced to jack up production to meet increased demand.

    Both EADS & Boeing continue to receive politicaly biased orders, the majority of EADS orders were based on technical superiority or cost, either purchase or operational, it’s undeniable that EADS generaly continues to out sell & out produce Boeing, & that had EADS not been around its order book would have automatically dropped into either the Boeing or the now deceased Douglas order books.

    • Phil, first off, the cabin crew and numbers of them have nothing to do with customer service. They are required by agencies like the FAA and EASA to manage the passengers during an emergency exit from the aircraft. WN is about to receive new B-737-800s for the first time. Because that model seats more than 151 pax, 4 cabin crew are required, as opposed to the 3 required on the smaller B-737-700. It works the same way for airlines operating the A-319 and A-320.

      Second, where is this gobbly-goop about EADS having ‘superior technoligy’ over Boeing? Is it in the FBW? How about the wingtip devices? Nope…. The truth is both OEMs offer advanced technology, one airplane family may have a slight edge over its opposite family, but that reverses for the next family. Both use the same engines, avionics, and offer different wing profiles. The A-32X-NEO family has a slight edge over the B-737NG. But the A-330/-340 family is far behind the B-777 family. The B-787 is the most advanced airplane flying or one the design boards right now.

      Third, sales have been bouncing back and forth between Boeing and EADS year after year for a long time now. The same with production. The bottom line is Boeing has about 50% of the large airliner market and EADS has about 50% of the large airliner market. No, I don’t consider the CRJs and E-jets as large airliners. I’m talking about from the B-737/A-32X families and up.

      • Cpuple of points:
        Wikileaks exposed a judicious amount of political US arm twisting in Boeings favor. This imho will get even more pronounced in the decade to come ( but loose effectiveness on obvious reasons )

        Airbus tends to be able to achieve better aerodynamics with simpler design
        solutions. ( See that NASA report I linked to some time ago )

        (Large) Wingtip devices alleviate highly loaded wings with an inefficient lift distribution. The best wingtip device still is more wingspan.

        Please compare Boeing and Airbus production numbers over the decades gone by.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Airbus-boeing_deliverycomparison_2010.png

        While Boeing’s output ( and thus the workforce ) is very dynamic to put it mildly Airbus was able to keep numbers on a steady rise even in times of crisis.

        Boeings core problems today are imho linked to excessively shrinking the workforce following pure capitalistic doctrin.

      • I inadvertently seem to have set the cat amongst the pigeons, firstly my comments on EADS technical superiority were not a swathing carte blanche observation but allied to either a technical or price selection bias.

        I’m sure most reading this column will be aware of the statutory cabin crew numbers, as such I’m not sure what carriers you fly or indeed what your flight expectations are, they don’t seem to tally with my own. My not inconsiderable experience on the subject is that cabin crew have everything to do with providing & enhancing the quality of my flight.

  5. A few discussion points:
    1. Both B and A have had areas of technological advances to be proud of but the jumps “ahead” occur sporadically. Neither has been able to pull ahead for prolonged periods of time.
    2. The overall offerings tend to favor B in the marketplace although A has done very well also:
    320: 737 is an example of parity
    330: delayed 787 is an example where poor execution of plan has allowed a good market share for A
    340: 777 is where B has a major advantage with at least 5-7 years advantage until (or if) 350xwb makes it to market
    380: 747 i/f is likely parity although still in doubt with A hoping for a larger market for VLA and Boeing depending on the f version

    Airbus has also had its share of problems financially (Power 8 ) and is likely always going to be under some internal stress due to its design (France and Germany in bed together has always been intellectually humorous to me)

  6. Uwe :
    Cpuple of points:

    Boeings core problems today are imho linked to excessively shrinking the workforce following pure capitalistic doctrin.

    Boeing has hired 2000 workers this year alone in Washington state as well as 1000 at their new South Carolina factory… So much for the argument for the ravages of Capitalism argument

    • So that makes 2000 rookies then that bind a comparable fraction of
      the existing workforce for training and initial supervision.

      You are supporting my argument that opportunistic workforce reductions
      are detrimental to workflow and quality.

      The more qualification and experience you need to reaquire the bigger
      the impact. In my experience highly qualified positions do not lend
      themselves to hire and fire at will and are not freely contractable.

      Aditionally people that see their future workload as a limited resource
      will stretch this out as long as possible.

      • Uwe :Cpuple of points:Wikileaks exposed a judicious amount of political US arm twisting in Boeings favor. This imho will get even more pronounced in the decade to come ( but loose effectiveness on obvious reasons )
        Airbus tends to be able to achieve better aerodynamics with simpler designsolutions. ( See that NASA report I linked to some time ago )
        (Large) Wingtip devices alleviate highly loaded wings with an inefficient lift distribution. The best wingtip device still is more wingspan.
        Please compare Boeing and Airbus production numbers over the decades gone by.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Airbus-boeing_deliverycomparison_2010.png
        While Boeing’s output ( and thus the workforce ) is very dynamic to put it mildly Airbus was able to keep numbers on a steady rise even in times of crisis.
        Boeings core problems today are imho linked to excessively shrinking the workforce following pure capitalistic doctrin.

        Do you believe that the EU countries are not using their diplomatic corp to help Airbus sell airplanes? That is what you imply by bring up the worthless Wikileaks. No the US is not a pure white as wind driven snow, and neither is the EU. So, get off your high and mighty anti-US, anti-Boeing horse. You have never given Boeing a fair shake, and BTW your IMHO is just as worthless as mine is.

        Boeing pioneered (and patentended) wider wingspan for a wingtip device. They are called “raked wingtips” by Boeing, and provide a vast improvement (reduction) in wingtip drag over blended winglets, sharklets, or those almost worthless wingtip fences Airbus uses. Airbus builds only one wing that doesn’t use those cute little wingtip fences, and that wing is hanging on the A-330 and its ugly sister (in sales) the A-340. It has winglets (and they are not blended).

        BTW, Boeing uses the raked wingtips on the B-767-400ER, B-747-8F/I, and P-8A right now. So putting them on other models of the B-737NG, or B-767 (like possibly the KC-46A) is no problem. The B-787-8/-9 use a modified version of raked wingtips.

        As far as efficent wing designs go, that trophy goes back and forth all the time. Airbus got it for the A-380 wing, but now that the B-747 has a new wing, perhaps that has changed? Airbus is finally putting winglets (sharklets) on their 25 year old A-320 wing. But the B-737NG wing was new in the mid to late 1990s.

        jacobin777;
        ” If Boeing were to go via a “B737NEO”…what would the advantages and disadvantages be of Boeing bringing it to the marketplace?

        How would a B737-700NEO, B737-800NEO and B737-900NEO “stack up” against its competitors (especially the A32XNEO)?”

        Since the A-32X-NEO only brings the A-320 series up to parity with the B-737NG (the 15% improvement claimed by the A-320NEO is only against the current A-320), a “B-737NEO” would be light years ahead of the A-320 NEO (at least 10%) in fuel economy.

        Uwe, those 2000 Boeing “rookies” have to start building their experience somewhere. No IAM union T*** automaticly started at Boeing (or LM) with 20 + years experience on day one.

        As far as the chart you pulled off Wikipedia, showing Airbus with slightly more deliveries than Boeing….So what? It is meaningless What would that chart look like had Boeing been able to stick to the original delivery plans of the B-787 or B-747? How would it look had the A-380 been on time?

        Things must be different for “rookies” hired into Airbus/EADS?

        I’ll apoligize to Scott now if I broke any rules.

    • Yeah, and all those newbies were hired to mitigate the damage inflicted by laying off too many veterans in the past years. Too little, too late, not sufficiently qualified.
      McNerney’s compensation is worth about 200 pro engineers and somewhere north of 600 ‘mechanics’ at South Carolina wages.

  7. If Boeing were to go via a “B737NEO”…what would the advantages and disadvantages be of Boeing bringing it to the marketplace?

    How would a B737-700NEO, B737-800NEO and B737-900NEO “stack up” against its competitors (especially the A32XNEO)?

    I do recall Leahy stating that Boeing is most probably going to go via the NEO route so it does have quite a bit of credibility.

    • The B737NEO will not be as attractive as the A320NEO, simply because the B737NEO cannot exceed the performance of the B737NG by the same margin. The B737NEO will have a generally weaker position in the market versus the A320NEO than the B737NG has versus the A320.

      Re-engining still is the more robust option, as it
      > cuts financial risks (2bln versus 10bln)
      > requires cash in 2014-16 time frame, not 2018-2020 (when B737 hardly sell any more)
      > would satisfy 80-90% of all B737 operators (airlines actually don’t like new aircraft)

      Going “new aircraft” might easily see Boeing as we know it exit the market late this decade. Compare MDD, which had similar troubles (old product line). Of course Boeing never dies, it would rather become Boeing-Lockheed or something like that.

      Note: A320 means entire family, A319/320/321.

  8. The most interesting quote was by James Bell: Unit margin is going to get “very negative” in the last two quarters due to the ramp up of 747-8 and 787 deliveries. That means the materialized losses of 20-50 deliveries of these significantly outweigh the cumulative margin of all other 200+ deliveries in 3Q and 4Q. Or what did I miss?

  9. I find John Leahy”s comments reflect the spirit of some of Noel Foregard’s in that he is winding Boeing up a bit. Foregard proved to be better at winding up than at managing while most would agree that Mr. Leahy has proven to be a quite effective and successful salesman. How good he is at getting a rise is still debatable but I find he is no rookie when it comes to that as well.

    Everybody knows the issues Boeing has with redesigning for a new, larger engine on the 737. I see Leahy’s comment/prediction as a bit of a provocation. I see alot of background questions, such as: Can the 737 stay competitive with the Airbus NEO family? If not, will Boeing find it easier (cheaper? more effective? quicker?) to try with a re-engine of the 737 or do they indeed go for a new narrow body? If a new aircraft, what is the timetable and configuration?

    That last question, or more accurately, the answers to it, are the billion dollar items here. I don’t think Boeing has decided yet what they are going to do and they certainly aren’t going to reveal too much until they need to. One can assume that some of these comments are slips, or one could see them as a carefully plotted program of disinformation. I believe the truth lies somewhere in the middle. They did manage to surprise everybody with the Sonic Cruiser/Project Yellowstone/787 razzle dazzle. Are they up for it again?

    My 2 cents is, if they go with a new aircraft, they would plan a 150 to 199 seat family (sweet spot of 175, plus 24 gives 199, minus 25 gives 150). Covers both Southwest and Ryanair and probably a few others in between.

    Question is what to do, if one needs to, above 200 seats?

  10. With fuel going up, is there a market anymore for a 3000nm 150 passenger plane?
    Maybe 2500nm is the optimal target. The next step up, 200 to 250 passengers at 3500nm will need a bigger wing and longer landing gear. With a common fuselage there could be five or six variants.

  11. There are transition issues with the 737 to the new plane, by introducing the new plane at a size bigger than current 737 planes it allows for concurrency.

    I would think also that a new engine and upgrades for the 737-700 would be possible as that engines neeeded thrust is less than what is on the 800 and 900 so the smaller fan diameter is less a constraint.

  12. I need to agree with Uwe here, the wording by Boeing effectively says “we have no clue where to go” (remark: that doesn’t mean I consider the Boeing management generally clueless, it just says that the current situation is difficult).

    The “problem” (or “advantage”) of the B737NG was that Boeing optimized it for the -700 for Southwest. That made the shrink (-700) very attractive, the -800 (which has the mid-sized fuselage but weight-wise can be considered a slight stretch) very attractive and the -900 pretty much unsalable.
    Airbus build the A320 slightly heavier, making the A319 less attractive and the A321 more attractive.

    If Southwest desires a 150-seat aircraft with best cost, Boeing will have difficulties achieving this versus a C-Series CS300. That is true for a re-engined B737NG, but even more so for a new Single Aisle. A new Single Aisle would aim for a generally heavier aircraft (180 seat in single class for the basic model, 200 in dense economy; 150 seats for the shrink and 210 for the stretch, always plus 10-15% for dense economy).
    The new aircraft will be heavier, despite new technology. Boeing still grandfathers from the B737-100. CFRP will only work in the wing, too risky and not attractive enough for the fuselage (especially given the manufacturing costs).

    Boeing management currently is no desirable place. Tough times. Re-engine is “safe option”, new aircraft is extremely risky (effectively bets the shop). Compare MDD late 1980ies.

  13. Schorsch :The B737NEO will not be as attractive as the A320NEO, simply because the B737NEO cannot exceed the performance of the B737NG by the same margin. The B737NEO will have a generally weaker position in the market versus the A320NEO than the B737NG has versus the A320.
    Re-engining still is the more robust option, as it> cuts financial risks (2bln versus 10bln)> requires cash in 2014-16 time frame, not 2018-2020 (when B737 hardly sell any more)> would satisfy 80-90% of all B737 operators (airlines actually don’t like new aircraft)
    Going “new aircraft” might easily see Boeing as we know it exit the market late this decade. Compare MDD, which had similar troubles (old product line). Of course Boeing never dies, it would rather become Boeing-Lockheed or something like that.
    Note: A320 means entire family, A319/320/321.

    Whaaatttt? The A-320 means the A-320, if you are talking about the A-320 ‘family’ (you forgot the A-318, redheaded stepchild of the ‘family’), you write it as the A-32X series or family.

    Do you really believe that a Boeing proposed (should they ever do this) NEO version of the current B-737NG family that offers “only” about 8%-12% better fuel economy over the current versions of the B-737NG will not be marketable because Airbus promises a 15% improvement of the A-32X-NEO over the current A-32X family?

    Don’t forget, the current B-737NG already has a big advantage in fuel ecomomy over the current A-32X series. That is why the Airbus Marketing Department is not comapring the A-320NEO, and family, to the B-737-800, and NG family. They are only comparing the NEO to the current A-32X family and come up with a 15% fuel economy improvement.

    What in the world makes you think the B-737NG will not be selling well in the 2018-2020 time frame? Did a little birdy named John Leahy tell you that? Can you prove your statement? Boeing has projections and goals for those years, and later. Airbus has projections and goals for those years and later. Both companies could be right, or wrong. For all we know today, Airbus could be out of business by then, although that is not likely as France and Germany, who own most of EADS will not let that happen.

    “airlines don’t like new aircraft” WT# are you talking about? Have you seen the sales numbers for the B-787 or A-350? Combined they have sold more than 1300 new airplanes.

    Schorsch :I need to agree with Uwe here, the wording by Boeing effectively says “we have no clue where to go” (remark: that doesn’t mean I consider the Boeing management generally clueless, it just says that the current situation is difficult).
    The “problem” (or “advantage”) of the B737NG was that Boeing optimized it for the -700 for Southwest. That made the shrink (-700) very attractive, the -800 (which has the mid-sized fuselage but weight-wise can be considered a slight stretch) very attractive and the -900 pretty much unsalable.Airbus build the A320 slightly heavier, making the A319 less attractive and the A321 more attractive.
    If Southwest desires a 150-seat aircraft with best cost, Boeing will have difficulties achieving this versus a C-Series CS300. That is true for a re-engined B737NG, but even more so for a new Single Aisle. A new Single Aisle would aim for a generally heavier aircraft (180 seat in single class for the basic model, 200 in dense economy; 150 seats for the shrink and 210 for the stretch, always plus 10-15% for dense economy).The new aircraft will be heavier, despite new technology. Boeing still grandfathers from the B737-100. CFRP will only work in the wing, too risky and not attractive enough for the fuselage (especially given the manufacturing costs).
    Boeing management currently is no desirable place. Tough times. Re-engine is “safe option”, new aircraft is extremely risky (effectively bets the shop). Compare MDD late 1980ies.

    “I need to agree with Uwe here, the wording by Boeing effectively says “we have no clue where to go”

    Well you and Mr. Uwe need to think about that. Boeing is a very successful corp. They do not have government ‘owners’ to answer to, but do have to answer to the share holders. No major company would consider making a decision about what the company builds 5 years from now if they don’t have a clue where to go. Just because Boeing failed to ask for Mr. Uwe’s, or your, opinion does not mean they have no future direction on a new NB and the B-737NG.

    Arm chair company senior managers and airplane designers are sitting at home and not running huge multi-national aircraft manufactuers for one good reason. It is they who are clueless.

    Want to run a huge multi-national company? Try going to General Motors, as Ford Motor Company doesn’t need you, either.

    Yes, you are right, WN had a lot of input into the design of the B-73G. So what? Both OEMs ask for design inputs from their customers. UA was involved in the B-777 design (as was many other airlines) AirTran was involved with the B-717. If the airlines had not complained about the original direction Airbus was going with the original A-350 design (which was a warmed over A-330), that is what they would have tried to sell. The airline customers soundly rejected the A-350 Mk.I, Mk.II, MK.III, Mk.IV, and MK.V. The version Airbus will build is the A-350XWB, Mk.VI (the A-350 is actually narrower than the B-777 it claims to replace).

    Where would the A-380 progream be without design input from EK?

    BTW, WN has already ordered their 150 seaters from Boeing, it actually seats more than 150. WN has ordered the B-737-800. BTW, the reason WN is not considering the CS-300 for its 150+ seat aircraft might be because the CS-300 is a 130 seat aircraft.

    How can the A-321 be more attractive than the B-737-900ER? It is nearly 10,000 heavier than the -900ER (A-321 OEW = 107,000 lbs; B-737-900ER OEW = 98,495 lbs), they carry nearly the same number of seats and have about the same range.

    The B-737-900ER is proving to be a good successful airplane since it was introduced in 2003. The ER has sold about 285 airplanes to date, and delivered about 85 of them. These numbers do not include the B-737-900, which sold an additional 54 airplanes.

    “A new Single Aisle would aim for a generally heavier aircraft (180 seat in single class for the basic model, 200 in dense economy; 150 seats for the shrink and 210 for the stretch, always plus 10-15% for dense economy).The new aircraft will be heavier, despite new technology. Boeing still grandfathers from the B737-100. CFRP will only work in the wing, too risky and not attractive enough for the fuselage (especially given the manufacturing costs). ”

    What do you know about designing and building new airplanes that Boeing doesn’t know? BTW, CFRP will also work on the landing gear doors, and the vertical stabizer. It can also be used in portions of the fuselarge itself, ala the A-350.

    “Boeing management currently is no desirable place. Tough times. Re-engine is “safe option”, new aircraft is extremely risky (effectively bets the shop). ”

    Hmmmm, it seems to me Boeing has been pretty lucky when the “bet the company”. They are 4 for 4 to use a baseball phrase.

    They “bet the company on the B-299, which became the B-17 bomber, and ended up building more than 8,000 of the 12,500 bought. They “bet the company” on the B-450, which became the B-47 jet bomber. Boeing built more than 1,500 of the 2,100 bought. The “bet the company” on the B-367-80, which became the KC-135 (more than 775 of all versions built) and the B-707, selling and building over 1,000 of them. Finally Boeing again “bet the company” on the B-747, which to date has sold more than 1,400 of them, and is still selling and building today.

    Se4ems to me they do make mistakes, but then learn from those mistakes and move on.

    • He, he:

      Winston Churchill, paraphrased:
      Americans make every mistake in the book until they get it right 😉

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