Flightblogger on 737RE, Aeroturbopower on A320 v 737-800

Two very interesting posts came up today.

The first is from Aeroturbopower, a blog that concentrates on engines and engine-related stuff. In today’s post, Aeroturbopower has a very interesting analysis on fuel burn on the Airbus A320 vs the Boeing 737-800. The results may surprise you, given the very effective messaging campaign by Boeing and the equally poor messaging campaign by Airbus.

The second posting, by Fightblogger, confirms what we wrote about a week ago: that Boeing and CFM are close to choosing the 66 inch fan for the 737RE. Flightblogger has more detail than we did and provides a good overview of what the 737RE will likely be.

34 Comments on “Flightblogger on 737RE, Aeroturbopower on A320 v 737-800

  1. Had Boeing not so screwed up the B787 (and B748) program, they could have at the very least had a better B737RE for offer. While this might not prevent “en masse” movement from current B737 operators, I dont’ see how the B737RE will be able to offer better economics over the A32X NEO. Unless delivery slots, price etc. aren’t favorable, I don’t see why a carrier would choose the B737RE over the A32XNEO…(if Airbus hits hits numbers).

    Yet another “McBoeing” screw-up.

    • jacobin777, how do you assume Airbus will hit its target numbers with the A-32X-NEO, but Boeing won’t with the B-737-7/-8/-9?

      • @KC – I’m not saying Boeing wont’…what I am saying is that unless Airbus doesn’t hit its numbers, there really isn’t a way for the B737RE to be more efficient than the A32XNEO.

  2. Well, by the sound of some of the comments we’ve seen so far, it looks like some of the people writing the comments are so into it that sometimes irrational thoughts come out of their keyboards. For once, both the A320NEO and the (if offered) B737 will (supposedly) come into service in about 5 years. That’s five years, is not like you can just have them next month. For a new plane this would be more like the minimum required time, but both Boeing and Airbus have ample time to get these two planes build good (although I believe that both of them would have more changes than what the manufacturers are letting know) Nobody had screwed up yet. Wait till the plane is in used, then we can see how well they delivered on their promised. Actually, none of the two have done that well lately.

    • @Tom:

      My comments were directed more towards the “McBoeing” management/BOD and the “comparison numbers” for both the A32XNEO and B737RE.

    • I think that you are spot on. Let’s wait and see the list of “surprise” changes both manufacturers will be offering to be competitive down the line. They will be no longer competing between themselves at that point, as the nb market will start getting new (and most probably cheaper) players. They will obviously compete in manufacturing expertise and industrial throughput in an industry that is supply limited and with ridiculous capex to setup production lines.
      It is crystal clear… that they will try to compete as well as possible on specifications, but with minimal capex!

  3. Not so jacobin,
    An all new 737, which I also favored originally because it would have produced
    a much better a/p compared to the A329NEO, turned out to be an absolute
    impossibility for Boeing, because:
    1. The huge development cost involved,
    2. The 787 and 748 financial burdens,
    3. The much greater development time,
    4. The unexpected, even for Airbus, huge demand for the A320NEO’s and
    5. The expected continuing rise in the cost of fuel,
    have all made the 737RE the only realistic option available to Boeing,
    other than seeding the whole market to Airbus, unneccesarily!

    This market is huge and even with others like Bombadier with their C-series
    coming on the market, the large number of 737 operators will select the
    737RE for commonality reasons and also because Airbus will simply NOT be
    able to cope with the demand, especially for deliveries before 2020!

    • @Rudy:

      I don’t in theory disagree with you comments. My comments was more geared to the screw-ups and how this relates to the old “McBoeing” management/BOD.

      As I mentioned above, I do not see how the B737RE will be a strong competitor to the A32XNEO.

      I’m not saying that it won’t sell well (I’ve mentioned many times that it will), as it certainly will but I don’t see it “beating” (so-to-speak) the A32XNEO.

      My point is this is just a long string of “disasters” by the current management/BOD.

  4. Surely a recipe for defection by some major fleet operators if the aeroturbopwer analysis is correct.
    Loyalty etc. cannot be a factor to airline shareholders, particularly if competition is able to undercut an existing fare structure and erode market share.

  5. I agree, but the evidence thus far is all one way, In some respects I wish it would become a more equal playing field, I & many others hope to see Boeing respond in its historical characteristic & innovative manner.

  6. The 787-800 is lighter than the A320 despite its larger wings.
    It also has at least one more row of six seats than the A320.
    On per seat basis the 737-800 is more interesting. That is why the 737-800 retains it value better.

    • @Vero:

      IIRC, Airbus will be able to add 3 more seats to the A320 due to some cabin refurbishing. I think the order book for the A32XNEO speaks volumes.

      I guess when Boeing officially announces the B737RE and has some “head-to-head” battles against the A32XNEO will one really know. That being said, I’m not as sanguine regarding the B737RE as I was say maybe 3-4 weeks ago.

      • Jacobin,
        I have the feeling that the 737NG re-engined is somekind of an empty threat launched by Boeing because I just can’t see any reason why they launch a “simply” re-engined 737NG with such a small modification SIX long years before its EIS. It does not amke much sense. It they launch it this year for an EIS in 2017, then the launch is way too premature.
        Why would they launch the re-engining so prematurely when they still have 2,200 units of 737NG to deliver? It really does not make much sense.

        The funny thing is that the highly hypothetical re-egnined 737NG will be just enough to restore 737-800’s COC per seat advantage it enjoys.

        Airbus and Boeing will have premature and cannibal babies in their portfolio.
        Perhaps Boeing will be able to offer a retrofitability for 737NG airframe produced in 2015 onward. The retrofitability will allow better market value retention of the aircraft.

      • VV, the engine availability is probably the reason for both Airbus and Boeing LEAP EIS. The LEAP is a little later than the PW1000G, and the Airbus LEAP version is planned before the Boeing version I believe.

  7. @Vero:

    While I do think Boeing do have a B737RE planned, I’m questioning the efficiency against its competitors.

    Both Boeing and Airbus are going to increasing production to >50 frames/month..for Boeing, that’s only a few years of backlog.

    I’m not so sure if Boeing will be able to offer “retrofitability”…will Airbus be able to? If so, then it puts more pressure on Boeing to do something about it.

    Maybe Boeing will be able to make some mods. to the B737RE before EIS which will improve its current theoretical improvement over the B737NG.

  8. The article says:

    “Operational Empty Weight (OEW) is
    – 90,027lbf for the A320-200 and
    – 91,300lbf for the B737-800

    Yes, contrary to what many people think, the A320-200 – meanwhile – is lighter than the B737-800; although that may be different from operator to operator and on a per-seat basis the B737-800 should be lighter anyway.”

    Shocker?

  9. Hi,
    I think that they have to wait until the engine is ready around 2016 and they have to launch it NOW if they don’t want to keep loosing sales against the A320NEO for the next x years.

    Cheers
    JD

    • jd :
      Hi,
      I think that they have to wait until the engine is ready around 2016 and they have to launch it NOW if they don’t want to keep loosing sales against the A320NEO for the next x years.
      Cheers
      JD

      jd,
      So what are they going to do between 2015 and 2017? stop the 737NG Classic production? They need to sell the 737NG/CFM56 for 2015-2017 anyway.

  10. Vero Venia :
    I just can’t see any reason why they launch a “simply” re-engined 737NG with such a small modification SIX long years before its EIS. It does not amke much sense.

    No need to search for any technical/marketing/strategical “good reason”. Call it panic. They simply had no choice left, being exposed to such a commercial pressure. Losing the total AA deal to Airbus would also mean losing face and send a dangerous signal to the market. The airlines were simply not wanting to wait 9+ years for a brand new 797. And they were not buying the idea of a 737NG still able to be competitive in the mid-term. Both Boeing & Airbus, and their respective supplier base, desperately need the cashflow offered by these single aisle best-sellers. They simply cannot afford to lose massive market share for 10 years, before EIS of a new – & potentially superior – bird. Leahy’s strategy was clever, he used that perfectly.

  11. I doubt you’ll find any A320 on this world achieving 90klbs OEW.
    Airbus’ ACAPs keep a safety distance to reality when it comes to empty masses.

  12. mneja :
    VV, the engine availability is probably the reason for both Airbus and Boeing LEAP EIS. The LEAP is a little later than the PW1000G, and the Airbus LEAP version is planned before the Boeing version I believe.

    They haven’t launched the 737NG reengined. If they do launch it this year, then it is too premature. If the engine is only available in 2017 then they can formally launch the bloody reengining in 2015. It would not change the situation in any way.

  13. Schorsch :
    I doubt you’ll find any A320 on this world achieving 90klbs OEW.
    Airbus’ ACAPs keep a safety distance to reality when it comes to empty masses.

    I do not know how the A320 can be lighter than the 737-800.

  14. Nope, from the reference given by Leeham:
    Operational Empty Weight (OEW) is
    90,027lbf for the A320-200 and
    91,300lbf for the B737-800
    Yes, contrary to what many people think, the A320-200 – meanwhile – is lighter than the B737-800; although that may be different from operator to operator and on a per-seat basis the B737-800 should be lighter anyway.

    Vero Venia :
    The 787-800 is lighter than the A320 despite its larger wings.
    It also has at least one more row of six seats than the A320.
    On per seat basis the 737-800 is more interesting. That is why the 737-800 retains it value better.

  15. From all this efficiency back and forth, one cannot really tell now which is better for which airline under what circumstances and financing. The core fact is A’s strategy in the narrow body mkt is working: Do the neo for as long as they can to push the expenses of a new plane out as far as possible to an EIS of 2030 or later, build a production system that will reduce B’s mkt share and defeat the C Series by producing 60/mo by 2016 (720/yr) and thus soak up the mkt, and most of all design the neo to take advantage of the 737’s weaknesses so that B has only a Hobson’s Choice. That is: 1. To do the simple RE which may/may not equal the neo and is therefore likely to lose substantial mkt share. 2. Build a more heavilly modified 737 that will be obviously better than the neo. B has said for months that there was no business case for this, and there is a real question whether they could execute on time given the persistent 787 mess. Also, B’s BoD would likely not authorize such a project because the 787 mess, and frankly because B’s senior management has understandably lost confidence in themselves and are running scared. 3. Do minimalist 737RE as a bridge to the NSA, just to keep current customers in line, until the NSA arrives in 2019-2020.

    The last choice was a great strategy, which Leahy feared. So, he wanted to force B into the first strategy. That is why he pushed for quick A decision to do the neo as a simple re-engining at a time when oil prices seemed to be going up inexorabley and he could panic the airlines into competing with one another for “scarce” delivery slots. What he got was a feeding frenzy beyond his wildest dreams, which is gradually pushing B out of any significant share of the mkt from 2016-20130 UNLESS B does the NSA. That is why I would not be surprised by a joint B/SWA announcement that B will do the minimalist RE with the NSA to follow between 2023-4, maybe earlier, but I’m not anticipating it either because I don’t think any rational airline would think B could do it on time, etc.

    There may be another valid consideration at work here for B. They may not care about loss of narrow body mkt share so long as they retain a some decent position in the mkt because the on-coming competition from almost everywhere will make the margins tough. They may feel that their high(er) margin future lies with the big twin aisles where A will be their only competition for years and they have very good products and mkt positions. Maybe they will be content to wait until the end of the next decade to get back into to the narrow body mkt when tech and mkt uncertainties may be less.

  16. Although Boeing probably didn’t have much choice, there is (another) significant disadvantage. This choice will force Boeing to move first on their replacement aircraft, giving Airbus the opportunity to be the smart follower 2 yrs later with anoptimized design with more mature technology from A & B’s common supply chain (e.g. engines).

  17. keesje :The article says:
    “Operational Empty Weight (OEW) is- 90,027lbf for the A320-200 and- 91,300lbf for the B737-800
    Yes, contrary to what many people think, the A320-200 – meanwhile – is lighter than the B737-800; although that may be different from operator to operator and on a per-seat basis the B737-800 should be lighter anyway.”
    Shocker?

    That information is from Aeroturbopower, not from Scott. Scott only linked to the post. It seems no one has ever come up with those numbers before, not even Airbus.

    Did you notice how aeroturbopower picked out a non-winglet B-738 for his comparison to the A-320-200? In theroy, he is right, but in reality he lives on a distant planet. Ask B6 or US why their A-320-200s cannot fly non-stop TRANSCON US in the winter (westbound) without a scheduled refueling stop in PHX, while those AA and DL B-738 TRANSCON US fly overhead non-stop to their California destinations? B6, AA, and DL depart from the same eastcoast airports of BOS and JFK, while Us departs from PHL.

    Vero Venia :

    Schorsch :I doubt you’ll find any A320 on this world achieving 90klbs OEW.Airbus’ ACAPs keep a safety distance to reality when it comes to empty masses.

    I do not know how the A320 can be lighter than the 737-800.

    It can’t be. Keesje has been saying for years how the A-320 is certified to a “higher safety standard” than the B-737 is, thus that alone accounts for the heavier OEW of the A-32X series over the lighter OEW of the B-737NG. Now he wants it both ways, saying one day the A-320 is heavier, yet saying the next day the A-320 is lighter than the B-738.

    The official numbers from Airbus and Boeing regarding the OEW of:
    A-320-200 = 94,000 lbs (42,600 kg)
    B-737-800W = 91,108 lbs (41,413 kg)

    These are the numbers we use, not some made up number based on one airline for the A-320 and another one for the B-738.

    keesje :Although Boeing probably didn’t have much choice, there is (another) significant disadvantage. This choice will force Boeing to move first on their replacement aircraft, giving Airbus the opportunity to be the smart follower 2 yrs later with anoptimized design with more mature technology from A & B’s common supply chain (e.g. engines).

    Keesje, Airbus has said many times they cannot some up with a new NB design before 2025. Boeing has pushed their NSA back from 2019 to about 2021.

    • “Keesje, Airbus has said many times they cannot some up with a new NB design before 2025. Boeing has pushed their NSA back from 2019 to about 2021.”

      Airbus said “it does not make sense (business,performance) to come up with a new NB craft before … .
      ( Not that I think Airbus can do NB designs on fourtnight cycles 😉

      Boeing has fortified this position by saying that they could not fabricate their
      all so performant new NB design, i.e. they have big dreams in a box but nothing
      connecting this to reality.
      Only difference visible to me is Airbus comes out straight on this
      while Boeing tries to do a Microsoft “new products just around the corner” on it.

      When will the general aeroaffine public start to gammacorrect the commercial bulletins
      ( especially the ones from Boeing for color correctness ).

      reformulating the host quip: Boeing has (re)saturated the the public domain with
      quite a bunch of bunch of bull every time they expouse another set of competitive
      “facts”.
      IMHO no need for Airbus to match this, the airlines did have their bitter learning pill already 😉

  18. “Keesje, Airbus has said many times they cannot some up with a new NB design before 2025. ”

    Haven’t seen it anywhere. I saw quotes in which they say it is a bad idea for various reasons (immature new engine technology)

    I didn’t say anything on the weights. Just quoted it. Will have a look.

  19. KC135TopBoom :

    A-320-200 = 94,000 lbs (42,600 kg)

    These are the numbers we use, not some made up number based on one airline for the

    Depends on configuration and engines OEW varies from 87,629 to 91,154. Sharklets add approx. 500 lbs extra.

    The number you quote is outdated and from wikipedia, not manufacturer.

    • Fmph!
      Airbus never ever does PIPs on their product line. You can’t be right, Sir 😉

  20. Mermoz :

    Vero Venia :
    I just can’t see any reason why they launch a “simply” re-engined 737NG with such a small modification SIX long years before its EIS. It does not amke much sense.

    No need to search for any technical/marketing/strategical “good reason”. Call it panic. They simply had no choice left, being exposed to such a commercial pressure. Losing the total AA deal to Airbus would also mean losing face and send a dangerous signal to the market. The airlines were simply not wanting to wait 9+ years for a brand new 797. And they were not buying the idea of a 737NG still able to be competitive in the mid-term. Both Boeing & Airbus, and their respective supplier base, desperately need the cashflow offered by these single aisle best-sellers. They simply cannot afford to lose massive market share for 10 years, before EIS of a new – & potentially superior – bird. Leahy’s strategy was clever, he used that perfectly.

    So how do you qualify Airbus move? They launched the A320neo SIX long years before the EIS. Is that PANIC also? Airbus has formally launched the A320neo way too early. If Boeing does launch the 737NG reengined this year for an EIS in 2016, it would also be way too early.

    Why the hell do they panic? There is not any reason to do so. The backlog for the 737 is well beyond 2,000 units and the A320 Classic backlog is also above 2,000.

    Airbus is now stuck with the A320neo for a long time. Boeing still has to make the formal launch of the 737NG reengined.

    • It’s really not as complicated as everybody says it is. It is very difficult to sell something that has not really been launched. Launching lends some credence and gives at least a sense of security. How many peopel believe that Boeing is out of the woods by “selling” a few re-engined 737’s to AA? Just how secure is that order (i.e. I beleive that part of the order still has a lot of negotiating ahead of it and Boeing still needs to come up with some hard performance numbers before it becomes a firm contract)?

      Airbus launched now in order to allow Airbus to offer something to compete against Bombardier. Common opinion was that Airbus had more to lose from Bombardier than Boeing did. Could also be that Airbus would take potential upcoming competition more seriously than Boeing would (or has in the past). They have to finish the A350-900 6 then -800 before doing the A320 NEOs, which are sandwiched between the A350-800 & the -1000 in the planning timeline (something that is not without some considerable risk when one looks at the last 8 years of company performance). Optimistic or not, they have effectively communicated the fact that they have seriously considered their resources situation and have planned their scheduling with much thought and not off the cuff.

      Neither coimpany has a secret plan in the background here. Launch now in order to sell the things, EIS when it is realistically available, due to engine development times and internal resources of the OEMs.

      By the way, I believe the term OEM is a rather antiquated one in these days of massive and, in my opinion, ineffective, outsourcing. Just how much can they have saved when everything is so late and they have to pay penalties?

      Airbus had shot itself in the foot (actually somewhere more critical is more appropriate, as they really had put themselves in a hole) with the A380, but Boeing reciprocated, and thereby gave Airbus the kiss of life, with the 787 outsourcing debacle. Airbus claims to have learned their lessons both from the A380 and the 787 but seem to insist on outsourcing to an extremely large degree on the A350 while Boeing’s solution, according to Mike Bair, is for each company to build an assembly site near wherever Boeing locates their final assembly line.

      I even wonder if either company could even design and build an aircraft on their own anymore, assuming they decided to stop selling the farm?!

  21. KC135TopBoom :

    keesje :The article says:“Operational Empty Weight (OEW) is- 90,027lbf for the A320-200 and- 91,300lbf for the B737-800Yes, contrary to what many people think, the A320-200 – meanwhile – is lighter than the B737-800; although that may be different from operator to operator and on a per-seat basis the B737-800 should be lighter anyway.”Shocker?

    That information is from Aeroturbopower, not from Scott. Scott only linked to the post. It seems no one has ever come up with those numbers before, not even Airbus.
    Did you notice how aeroturbopower picked out a non-winglet B-738 for his comparison to the A-320-200? In theroy, he is right, but in reality he lives on a distant planet. Ask B6 or US why their A-320-200s cannot fly non-stop TRANSCON US in the winter (westbound) without a scheduled refueling stop in PHX, while those AA and DL B-738 TRANSCON US fly overhead non-stop to their California destinations? B6, AA, and DL depart from the same eastcoast airports of BOS and JFK, while Us departs from PHL.

    Vero Venia :

    Schorsch :I doubt you’ll find any A320 on this world achieving 90klbs OEW.Airbus’ ACAPs keep a safety distance to reality when it comes to empty masses.

    I do not know how the A320 can be lighter than the 737-800.

    It can’t be. Keesje has been saying for years how the A-320 is certified to a “higher safety standard” than the B-737 is, thus that alone accounts for the heavier OEW of the A-32X series over the lighter OEW of the B-737NG. Now he wants it both ways, saying one day the A-320 is heavier, yet saying the next day the A-320 is lighter than the B-738.
    The official numbers from Airbus and Boeing regarding the OEW of:A-320-200 = 94,000 lbs (42,600 kg)B-737-800W = 91,108 lbs (41,413 kg)
    These are the numbers we use, not some made up number based on one airline for the A-320 and another one for the B-738.

    keesje :Although Boeing probably didn’t have much choice, there is (another) significant disadvantage. This choice will force Boeing to move first on their replacement aircraft, giving Airbus the opportunity to be the smart follower 2 yrs later with anoptimized design with more mature technology from A & B’s common supply chain (e.g. engines).

    Keesje, Airbus has said many times they cannot some up with a new NB design before 2025. Boeing has pushed their NSA back from 2019 to about 2021.

    Well, the number is from Airbus and I provided the link. As I wrote, OEW varies from airline to airline and there is no absolute clear definition as to what is included in the OEW, so that can vary between A and B.
    Also, jetblue operates the engines downrated in thrust, so they have a lower initial operating altitude on long flights. They trade fuel burn vs. maintenance costs here…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.