Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh was clear: he wants changes to the 737 MAX to be kept to a minimum.
This will keep the R&D cost down–a figure Corporate CFO James Bell said on the 2Q earnings call would be 10%-15% that of an entirely new airplane ($10bn-$12bn, depending on who’s figuring; it is unclear how much of the R&D is paid by CFM).
But there is pressure to add range to the 737-MAX 9 (henceforth we’ll be referring to individual models of the MAX series as the -7, -8 and -9 and the family as a whole as just MAX). The 737-9 falls short of a true 757 replacement in range.
The 757-200W (winglet) version is a very versatile airplane with a range in excess of 4,000 miles. But this represents only about 10% of the mission requirements and neither Airbus nor Boeing generally like to spend the time, effort and money to squeeze out that extra 10% for very few operators.
Yet there are some who are asking for this.
Aspire Aviation has a long piece about the 737-9, touching on expanding mission requirements, some of the anticipated changes to the airframe and related issues.
In addition to these considerations, the more Boeing changes the MAX, the greater the likelihood a full recertification of the airplane will be required by the FAA, adding perhaps a year and $1bn to the development cost. Boeing already wants to bring forward the announced 2017 EIS to 2016, to close the gap with the Airbus A320neo family. Adding complexity won’t accomplish this.
These kinds of design decisions are supposed to be made this month. It will be interesting to see what comes out of the process.
Odds and Ends
- Aviation Week has this interesting tidbit about the decision to re-engine the Boeing 737-200A with the CFM56 to become the 737-300/400/500. A little bit of deja vu today.
- The Euro is in turmoil again and this is causing angst for EADS and Airbus. Flight Global has this story on the EADS side. For Airbus, every 10 cents the dollar
strengthens weakens against the Euro costs Airbus $1bn in profits. (Costs are predominately in Euros, sales in dollars.) Thus, this once again argues for Airbus to open an A320neo assembly line in the US. Update, Sept. 6: Readers are correct; we got this backwards, which makes the general point of this item off-kilter vis-a-vis the Flight Global story. But the Euro turmoil still is causing angst for EADS so the link is interesting nonetheless.
- This post by IAM 751 (Boeing-Puget Sound) explains in part why they are pressing the NLRB complaint against Boeing.
- On September 3, we passed 500,000 reader visits for 2011, the first time we have done so within one year. It took us 23 months to pass 500,000 visits for the first time and 13 months to pass it the second time. We should hit 1.5m visits by the end of this month, making it nine months to reach our third 500,000. (This blog first went public in late February 2008, hence the different timelines). Thanks to all of you.
- The Seattle Times has an interesting look at the labor situation vis-a-vis Boeing and the IAM–and how Spirit Aerosystems, once a Boeing plant, approached relations with IAM.
- Boeing will deliver the first two 747-8Fs to Cargolux Sept. 19 and 21. We had intended to be present (when the dates hadn’t been set) but we’ll be in Europe at an international conference. Rats.
- But we will be around for the first delivery of the 787 on Sept. 25-26.
- AeroTurboPower has an analysis of the 787 operations vs other aircraft with similar configurations, with the conclusion the 787 will have great economics.
The A321 currently has a MTOW (Max Take-Off Weight) of 93t.
The OEW stands at approximately 46t (public sources give lower values, but 46t are closer to reality).
The layout airline like US Airways are asking for are 180-190 passengers. That yields a payload of roughly. Using robust assumptions of passenger weight, the payload can be estimated at 20t.
I assume an OEW increase for the NEO of 2t, yielding 48t OEW. MTOW remains unchanged at 93t. That yields Zero Fuel Weight of 68t and consequently an available weight for fuel of 25t.
These 25t are still above the 23t maximum fuel volume the A321 has (and only if it is ordered with additional body tanks – called ACT (Auxiliary Fuel Tanks) in Airbus language).
Assuming that 4t remain at landing (19t trip fuel), the average flying gross weight is (68+4+19/2) = ~82t.
For that weight the current A321 needs roughly 1.6t per ENG & hr, means the trip fuel suffices for close to 6hr flight time. That equals roughly 2700nm. Given that NEO is 15% more efficient, this range increases to 3200nm.
The interesting quantity from this little example: the A321 (and I guess the B737-900ER, too) is actually fuel volume limited.
US Airways wants to fly PHX-HNL, which is 2540nm great circle. PHX is probably a bit hot, so take-off limitations might eat into available MTOW.
All numbers above can be taken from or least verified by ACAP data.
Interestingly enough, Flightglobal is carried a piece about US looking at the A321neo and its capability.
“Airbus data indicates that the A321neo, with 188 seats, will be capable of a range of 3,720nm (6,890km). The airframer has specifically aimed the A321neo at the replacement market for the 757-200, more than 900 of which were delivered.”
“ACT (Auxiliary Fuel Tanks) in Airbus language”
ACT stands for Additional Centre Tank, I think.
Scott, if the dollar strenghtens against the Euro, profits at Airbus will climb as they get more Euros for their dollars from their customers. A stronger dollar is good for european aviation companies (as long as the global economy is at work).
Yes, the financial Mongols with tacit approval from the US to protect the role of the US dollar hacking away at the Euro are actually further dampening US exports and thus local growth.
Nice tidbit : media are now focusing on chinese banks having handed out too much easy credit. ( what they forget is that china is sitting on vast amounts of complementing cash. )
To add to this : the FlightGlobal article is all about who owns/will own/should own the “German” part of EADS.
Additionally: the prophesied imminent death of the Euro doesn’t
find reflection in the exchange rates.
To close: The ongoing _devaluation_ of the dollar is an umpleasant reality for Airbus.
The exchange rate of E to $ has been around $1.40 to E1 for the past several months, =/- $0.05 (USD). It was one of the factors in the KC-46A beating the KC-30A in the tanker compitition several months ago. In the past 3-4 years the USD to Euro exchange rate has fluxuated from about $1.10/E1 to as much as $1.58/E1, which is not very good for either currency, as these large fluxuations are dangerous. In the US, we can blame alot of this on the FED and the policies of the US Government for the past 32 months.
The current exchange rate this morning (0800 CDT or GMT – 6 hours) is $1 equils E0.709799 or E1 equils $1.40885. Neither Boeing, nor EADS have any influence on these exchange rates, as both companies, combined, still do not have that much of an influence on the total global economy.
I agree. I think Scott got a bit mixed up.
On another note about early deliveries and increased rates of production. I read a piece by Mary Kirby about a logjam in seating deliveries, due in large part to the Kioto situation, as well as galleys. Even if companies could expand, many are wary of investing such large amounts of capital on an increase of output that might not be consistently utilized.
Does this not limit both Airbus’ and Boeing’s grand plans of 60 narrow bodies a month, not to mention pushing EIS ahead by 2 to 3 years, as is the scenario published by Boeing for the Max series of aircraft?
IMHO Airbus could garner that support from the seating industry. Their production numbers are less “dynamic”
than forex Boeing’s output.
imho the 787 competitiveness piece has some problems
with comparing across “species boundaries”.
The more concise approach would have been doing the
premiumclass percentage data set ( as done for the 787 )
for the other types too, one curve for each type. ( and it wouldn’t have been much more effort either )
The Dollar-Euro exchange rate currently is comparing rotten apples with foul pears.
.. comparing rotten apples with foul pears
Meanwhile, Pratt CEO warns Boeing on the Max.
On same topic:
I am wondering if this is just bluster or is he giving Boeing a subltle warning that things won’t be so rosy for them, vis-a-vis negotiations with P&W, if they finally do decide that the GTF is a significantly better platform than the LEAP-X.
His comments remind me of those by Rolls Royce last year, although P&W has a hand in the NB game, unlike RR at this point. Could it be that the engines of choice in 10 years will be those that P&W and RR have to offer? How much more can be squeezed out of the LEAP-X and GTF variants?
We can all discuss it in 2020.
I warned last week on the inevitable war of words between Boeing (MAX) and Pratt (GTF, NEO). I only expected Boeing related parties to start it, not Pratt.
IMO the choice Boeing made with the MAX includes a business plan for the NSA, that has some extra time but no more then say 4-5 yrs. That is a result of the conservative options choosen for the MAX.
IMO the succes of the MAX will in no small part be determined by how fast Airbus is able to ramp up NEO production..
Agreed re NSA bus plan. But for that to keep 737MAX customers, and to get new ones, B must tell the customers when they will get the NSA. I don’t think they have done that yet.
The rumours that GTF has left a few percentage points on the back burner as far as fuel burn is concerned in my opinion is the unspoken message or threat in what PW have said.
After the early burst of GTF successes on neo, GE were forced into a corner and reacted with serious performance improvements that they now have to fulfil, and of course they took away a big chunk of business from PW.
It may well be that GTF could seriously spoil GE’s day, and at the same time make life a little more difficult for MAX, if PW choose to do so..
PW and GE took different approaches on their NB offerings.
A combination of technologies is possible and would further enhance efficiency.
RR has it’s 3 spool technology that leans towards GTF (optimizing cold & hot RPMs) and can introduce new hot section technology too. I wonder where they’ll stand in say 5 yrs..
Until that time RR could co-produce GTF’s boosting Pratts ability to take a decisive lead in the NB / large regional segments.
I would not bet too much on RR co-producing PW engines…
Pratt is already farming out large portions of the GTF. The compressor section is built entirely by a 3rd party in Germany, and not one which is particularly known for producing world-beating compressors. I have no doubt Pratt would be willing to play with RR – they would gain a lot in the area of compressors; a place where Pratt has a particularly dismal track record. The question is whether RR has enough confidence in their own technology to ignore an opportunity to gain insight to Pratt’s GTF technology, as well as a slice of that pie. Interesting scenario… we’ll soon know if RR has the confidence in their Advance2 core and the cajones to go it alone. Much will depend on the real-world performance of the GTF, which remains largely a mystery.
“4rd party unknown”
You mean MTU aero engines?
They really aren’t the unknown party you think. Center of excellence connected to al lthe “well known” entities in the field. ( and a major player in engine MX )
Most german backstage players in technology are not as
vocal as their US counterparts. Nonetheless they tend to be
Yep, PW are farming out part of the PW1000 engine, which is why they are not at liberty to farm it out to RR. The engine program is partly sold to these partners (I suggest you study the term RSP), and not PW’s to do what they want with anymore.
They can of course sell part of their remaining share, but that would diminish their future returns. And if they believe they have a winner they will be reluctant to do so.
But, keep in mind, that the remaining share that PW still owns, might not be the part(s) RR necessairly wants. And if they did get a share, the previously sold shares will still be held by the respective partners and they will continue to make the associated parts.
Btw, you are wrong about the compressore, a 5 second googling told me MTU makes the fwd part of the HPC, not the entire one. They do make the LPT though.
Recommended reading: http://www.purepowerengine.com/partners.html
I would say MTU are pretty good at compressors, they did save PW’s behind in the PW6000 debacle (even if the delay killed the program). They might not be no. 1, but I would say they are good enough. GE like to think they are in the front seat, but I suspect that is due to how they bookkeep their losses, but they are very very good nonetheless. RR definitely have some really good engineers in the field, but (having worked with a few of them) I would not say they are ahead of the rest. The Trent 3-spool lay-out might lead you to think RR’s compressor tech is better, but it is really a result of the IP shaft speed than actual compressore technology. I would rate GE and RR about par, with PW and MTU right after. I have no insight in Snecmas know-how, so can’t compare them.
If I may venture a guess: the HPT is where LEAP is ahead. GE have a very strong tradition in hot section materials, usually ahead of PW and RR (as far as I know). The LEAP might therefore be able to run hotter, but they still need a truck-load of stages in the back end and will have a higher spinning fan (with less BPR and diameter) relative the PW1000.
If Pratt wants to build up market share quickly, there isn’t that much choice. They had a fight but also a running big succesfull JV. No use having an iddle, proven factory / supply chain / service organization when in dire need of capasity. It could be a win-win. Both know.
I would bet more on MTU, Volvo Aero, or one of the Japanese heavies (forgot which one is a partner on the PW1000 program). At least two of these companies have MRO ops as well.
Jon Ostrower (last February): Rolls-Royce shares its thoughts, shows its cards on future engines.
Keesje, the RR Advance2 core which is based on the E3E core that apparently has been running in Germany for the last three years, could be adaptable to a RR developed geared turbofan, which BTW, I believe RR is secretely developing. Hence I would not rule out RR coming aboard the neo platform around 2019/2020 with a RR GTF. Times change, and in all likelihood, there won’t be any Airbus/Boeing new single-aisle coming online until the late 2020s, or early in the following decade, thus the open rotor will have to wait. Despite what RR has earlier indicated, I believe there’s a business case for a RR powered GTF neo. RR’s shareholding part of the IAE programme only accounts for around 13 to 14 percent of RR business. Therefore, it’s not that great of a loss for RR that by the end of this decade the IAE consortium will be significantly reduced in scope (i.e IAE will not be producing any new engines after that time; valuable aftermarket business will obviously continue for a long time). It seems to me that joining Pratt on their GTF platform would not be the best course of action for RR when they could catch a significantly greater single-aisle market share with a state-of-the-art GTF product of their own. If RR would be coming aboard the neo programme, and there is seemingly no sole source agreements precluding them from being “allowed” on, IMO it would be a bad day for both the MAX and GE/Snecma.
OV-99 Do you think airlines want to go back to three engine choices? I don’t. It think they are looking for the least expensive engine that does the job delivered as quickly as possible. RR’s combining with PW to build pw’s gtf does that. Perhaps such a combo might result in improvments to the gtf based on RR tech.
Why would PW want to share? They have the engine they (and many others) believe is the hot new tech for NBs. And they already have RSPs signed up for about 40% of the engine (I am not certain on the 40% figure so do not quote me here…), and any piece of the pie for RR would have to come from PWs remaining 60% share.
So there is really no incentive at all for PW to court RR. If they need additional build capability see my post above for some ideas.
Besides, the PW1000 family has other members as well and the supply chain will be stretched already if the C-series starts to sell well (because regardless of if RR or anyone else will also assemble engines, there needs to be parts to assemble, and here there will be bottlenecks).
Regarding Pratt CEO warning Boeing on the Max, David Hess might be influenced by the Airbus monthly review of August 2011 orders:
“Airbus booked orders for 234 aircraft in August, bringing its backlog to another record level, while further confirming the A320neo (New Engine Option) jetliner’s success and welcoming additional customers to the A320 and A350 XWB families.
The new business in August boosted Airbus’ overall total net orders to 11,075, which includes nearly 8,000 A320 and A320neo Family aircraft. Its combined backlog grew to 4,233 aircraft as of 31 August – the highest ever for Airbus – representing seven years of full production at current output rates.
Included in the month’s bookings were CIT’s firm order for 50 A320neo aircraft, Lufthansa’s purchase of 30 A320neo Family jetliners, and the finalisation of Cebu Pacific’s acquisition for 30 A321neo aircraft. Garuda Indonesia’s completion of its order for 25 A320 Family aircraft and the booking by THAI for five A320s also underscored the continued value of current versions in Airbus’ single-aisle product line.
In addition to THAI becoming one of four new customers for the existing A320 Family, this airline also joined the list of carriers ordering A350 XWBs with its acquisition of four A350-900s – underscoring as well the upsizing trend to larger versions of Airbus’ next-generation widebody jetliner family.
With the bookings in August, Airbus’ net orders for the first eight months of 2011 reached 1,015 aircraft.”
P&W can hardly lose market share as currently they have … zero (in single aisle market). A 100:0 victory versus GE was unlikely in the first place. It looks like they secure more than 50% of the A320 market, I would assume that P&W finally gets up to 75% of that market.
A new turbofan powered single aisle only makes sense if
– a completely new engine technology is available that requires fully new designed aircraft (pronounce: open rotor)
– a leap in material technology allows a weight reduction of in the vicinity of 10% of OEW (which equals ~4t, at a structural base weight of ~22-24t [airframe excluding engine, systems, furnishing and operators items])
– airlines demand wider fuselage and/or different capacity, or vastly more range
– laminar flow technology is available.
For a 5% in structural weight reduction (roughly 2t on an A320/B738) I wouldn’t dust off the drawing board, because the gain in direct operating cost is minimal. Current single aisle studies focus on an even wider fuselage (wider than A320), but I doubt airlines truly ask for this option. Many … sorry … Most North American operators are happy with the good ol’ B707 cross section, despite the serious increase in mean hip width of their customers over the last … errhh … 50 years.
Bad thing for new aircraft: the benchmark just moved forward, New Short Range has now beat re-engined aircraft by 20% DOC to impress the board. Tough call.
They may chose to create a less sophisticated hot section an improve the engines by block improvements over its production history. Also the more robust approach. We still talk about untested engines, so a serious amount of f##k-up is still ahead. Remember how great the B787-engines performed at the original first flight date (8-7-07 if someone remembers). Or the perfect track record of the A380 Trent 900.
How much at odds are building a higher thrust engine for a long range MAX 9, and getting optimal efficiency for a lower thrust MAX 8 on the same engine platform?
By my understanding and with the constraints on the 737 ( max or not ) the
highest thrust engine will be the most compromised one.
As I indicated, I believe RR does have a back-up plan. However, there’s little, or no point for RR just emulating Pratt’s GTF. The goal would be to surpass it with a geared turbofan with a two stage counter-rotating shrouded propfan. In this further derivative of the geared turbofan concept, two counter-rotating fan rotors are arranged one behind the other. This arrangement boosts the propulsive efficiency of the engine, with the fan diameter remaining unchanged, and permits bypass ratios as high as 20 to 25 to be achieved (NB: A320NEO GTF Bypass Ratio: 12:1).
As the A320 sits around 25 inches higher than the 737 (when measured from the tarmac to the bottom of the fuselage) and the engines are positioned a further 36 inches out (when measured from the centre-radius of the fuselage and engine respectively), I do believe that the A320 could cater for a fan radius of upwards of 90 inches. One should keep in mind that on a counter-rotating shrouded propfan there would be few, if any engine accessories on the fan casing as they would rather be integrated with the core. On the 737’s CFM-56 engines the engine accessories were re-located from beneath the engine to the sides thus providing for the “flattened” look.
So, IMO if RR was to offer Airbus a geared turbofan with a two stage counter-rotating shrouded propfan incorporating a core based on some of the concepts of the Advance2 core, with an EIS set for the early 2020s, I’m sure that Airbus would be more than happy to oblige.
RR might face the same dilemma as Boeing 2 months ago.
Something superior on paper but unwilling to shut for 5 yrs after 2015..
Not a big deal when the IAE business accounts for just 13 to 14 percent of RRs turnover. I’d guess that the 737 accounts for more than that at Boeing. 😉
BTW OV-099, a CROR seems of limited use under a wing like the A320 has.
Most likely it needs a new airframe design..
I’m not talking about counter-rotating open rotors, but rather ducted ones. 😉
Reply to 099 #10. PW is likely right that B can’t wait 15 years to do a new plane if they are not offering the GTF on the MAX. One possibility is that the MAX is still a transition plane between the 737NG and the NSA, made necessary because B couldn’t figure out how to produce a composite NSA in large enough numbers for delivery in 2019-2020, so they had to juice up the NG more to get mkt share. This ignores the conventional wisdom that B decided not to do the NSA in large part because it would drain resources from the 787 production ramp up and the development of the 7810. I can’t believe those programs are in good enough shape for B to take even a minor risk to their having those resources.
There is more lacking than just being unable to ramp up production for a Boeing new NB. Imho the technological window opens much later than Boeing tries to present it.
Now trying to tag the MAX as a transitional design isn’t really valid either. Just like the NEO it gets a new engine only without significant changes to the remaining product.
Both leverage the existing advances in tech as applyable for conventional NB aircraft.
The high sales numbers for NB craft would at least support having more choice for engines than for less voluminous market segments.
Earlier Airbus was rather outspoken about preferring an offer for a more efficient engine via the IAE consortium. Unfortunately (?) the IAE partners couldn’t find common ground for that.
“Imho the technological window opens much later than Boeing tries to present it.”
Uwe. This is the big question, is it not. When indeed will this window open, if it has not already, and how “rubber banded ” will it be, to use your phrase. B must have made significant advances in addition to engines in the NSA/NB to get the large improvements in performance that CM described in his posts elsewhere on this blog. In any case, it seems that reasonable people can differ over when the widow opens and what is/will be available when it does.
I am not an engineer. I would be interested from someone more knowledgeable than I to know what are all these new, non-engine technologies, and when will they be available.
Well, it is not a single window actually more like three or four:
New Materials: CFRP, Al-Li, other exotics
Manufacturing: cocured structure, larger building blocks, more prestuffing
( imho barrel sections are a cul de sac though).
Aerodynamics: More laminar flow, drag reduction, morphing structure and aerosurfaces.
Engine tech: improvements to current type engines and/or unconventional arrangements.
airframes: improvements to current types and/or unconventional arrangements.
Airbus is not very talkative on those subjects while Boeing is doing “breathless girl talk”
of things to come.
Looking at research projects in Europe and the US and their results will be much more
I suspect there are bigger production problems than producing at high numbers. If they can produce profitable at low numbers then they can always keep same profitability with parallel lines. Like the current 737 and 787.
I also think it is important to have a production system that can be scaled down and still remain profitable. Current projections may point towards higher numbers but I expect that at some points during the MAX’s production life there will be slowdowns. I would feel better if they can be profitable at a rate below 20 per month. Between 10 and 15 even more so.
The P&W CEO is reported to have stated that the 737MAX will be underpowered with
the reduced-fan-size LEAP-X engine and that Boeing will, therefore, be forced to
build an all new aircraft, to effectively compete with the A320NEO.
Wishful thinking or ignorance? Both!
He ignored the fact that:
1. The 737 is appr. 110 LBS lighter per seat, compared to it’s comparably sized A320
2. The reason why Airbus was forced to install the full-sized higher-thrust CFM-56-5
engine on the A320 when it was launched in the mid ’80s, halve a decade after
Boeing was able to install the smaller fan- sized CFM-56-3 on the 737-300, which
became the base for the all-record breaking 737 family of aircraft today, competing
very effectively withe A320 family of aircraft!
just to put some life in your 110lp per seat:
110lb * 100pax ~= 11,000lb ~= 5.0t
110lb * 150pax ~= 16,500lb ~= 7.5t
110lb * 190pax ~= 20,900lb ~= 9.5t
Todays A320 are said to be about on par with their counterpart weightwise.
The higher thrust rating stems from changed certification specs
( mostly one engine out performance ) for the A320 series
versus the 737NG grandfathered from the ancient 737-100 baseline.
Actual technological superiority has never been the selling point
Three engine choices:
– Good for airlines (three engine choices better than a duopoly)
– OK with Airbus (i.e A330-200/300).
– Used to be OK with Boeing (i.e. 747-400, 767-300ER, 777-200ER).
– Not OK with GE. (wants exclusivity; seems to dislike competition). 😉
As for RR joining PW, you shouldn’t forget that they both are involved in litigation with each other….
However, it’s important to keep in mind that for Pratt and GE/Snecma the dice have been cast. When Rolls is through with the major developments on the Trent-XWB engine, they should have sufficient engineering capacity to develop an engine for the neo that would be considerably more advanced than the current offerings. I’m sure Airbus customers wouldn’t mind an additional engine option if the newest one would better the GTF by 5-6 percent and the Leap-X by 6-8 percent in specific fuel consumption (SFC).
It is my understanding they have put the legal problems behind them.
Falcon is correct.
Thanks. I missed it, I was on holiday at the time… 😉
Where in the heck are you guys getting these numbers?
If you compare 737-800 with A320, no matter what weights are you looking at (from OEW to MTOW) and seat configurations (1 class high density to 2 class typical), you won’t get more than approx. 50lbs per seat. Average difference is about 30lbs. in favor of 737-800.
That’s very far from often quoted 110lbs.
“on the A320 when it was launched in the mid ’80s, halve a decade after
Boeing was able to install the smaller fan- sized CFM-56-3 on the 737-300”
Boeing saw the A320 coming (launched with bigger fans in 1981) and fitted the CFM under the 737 wings. The CFM56 engine was launched on the 707-700 in 1978.
UWE and DVUS,
Yes, I know that later certification requirements hurt the A320 when it was
launched in 1986, compared to the “grandfathering” applied to the 737,
which Boeing hopes to apply to the MAX again and one of the main reasons
Boeing decided against any structural changes/improvements for that a/p,
which maintained it’s share of the market v.v.the A320 very well, as we know.
Therefore, in addition to the changed certification requirements versus the
the 737-100 baseline, are the facts that each A320 model does have a weight
disadvantage of aprox. 110l lbs/seat v.v. it’s equivalent 737 model, because:
1. It’s wider cabin,
2. A higher and thus heavier cargo hold and
3. Much larger/heavier cockpit windows, all requiring the higher thrust and
heavier CFM-56-5 engine with it’s larger fan-diameter, which in turn
required a much taller and heavier landing gear! Go figure!
Sorry, but your figure is plain wrong. The largest difference is approx 60lbs per seat between 900 and 321.
Not sure your figure is correct either. The -900ER is not as weight efficient as you are claiming. Using reasonable pax counts and real OEWs, the weight differences are:
A319 is 33-lb (5%) heavier than the 737-700 per seat. I used 126 seats in each aircraft.
A320 is 51-lb (8%) heavier than the 737-800 per seat. I used 150 and 162 seats, respectively.
A321 is 35-lb (4%) heavier than the 737-900ER per seat. I used 192 and 180 seats, respectively.
The cert difference raised by UWE is a red herring often claimed by Airbus, but it’s not real; the 737NG meets the same engine-out climb criteria as the A32X.
Also, the OEW delta does not play a direct role in driving engine thrust. Installed thrust is a product of required performance and actual takeoff weights. Here’s an MTOW comparison between the two types:
A319 has 11,950-lbs higher MTOW than the 737-700 (or +7%)
A320 has 4,450-lbs lower MTOW than the 737-800 (or -3%)
A321 has 8,500-lbs higher MTOW than the 737-900ER (or +4%)
MTOW is a much more consistent driver of installed thrust than OEW. However, this only accounts in part for the higher installed thrust on the A32X. The other major factor is differences in the wing between the two types. When outfitted with winglets, the 737 has a much larger and more efficient wing than the A320. When Airbus adds sharklets (depending on how much span Airbus is able to add), the wing advantage of the 737 will mostly, if not entirely disappear. It is true that sharklets will add almost 1000-lbs to OEW, but the weight gain will be massively offset by the lift of an overall larger and more efficient wing for the A32X.
“The cert difference raised by UWE is a red herring often claimed by Airbus, but it’s not real; the 737NG meets the same engine-out climb criteria as the A32X.”
That fish is so gilded that Boeing doesn’t want to loose it 😉
So I don’t think it is a “red herring” at all. Boeing poh pohing it
speaks out for the existence too imho.
The Certification differences are quite real and do seem to make a difference.
( Is there any concise information around on the actual differences?
One only finds bits and pieces all around. higher thrust, higher g loads for crashing, .. )
Absolutely. You’ll find the cert basis in the TCDS, including which amendment level was used for certification of each change on the 737NG.
A319 has 11,950-lbs higher MTOW than the 737-700 (or +7%)
Empty weight (wiki) A319:40,600kg, 737-700:38,147 kg
I think the A319 carries more (pay) load, flies further, needs shorter runways, has better cargo capability and a spacier, quieter cabin.
It seems the current foreseen -7 MAX will not catch up with the NEO. Contrary.
The A-32X series also has a higher max landing weight, which means it is more expensive to land at airports that charge a landing fee based on MLW.
Uwe, the higher crash survivability “G” forces on the A-32X series does not garuntee any more survivability, or non-survivability, over the B-737 series. Just because any airplane is certified to a 20 G crash does not ensure survivability. Most Fighter Pilots are trained to withstand 10-12 Gs. Unfortunately, most passengers cannot survive half that instantanious (1 second) G Force, or about 6 Gs, and none can survive a sustained 6Gs (lasting more than 2-3 seconds or more). Except for accidents like CFIT, the G Forces are sustained. Remember, each accident is unique as well as dynamic.
“The other major factor is differences in the wing between the two types. When outfitted with winglets, the 737 has a much larger and more efficient wing than the A320. When Airbus adds sharklets (depending on how much span Airbus is able to add), the wing advantage of the 737 will mostly, if not entirely disappear. It is true that sharklets will add almost 1000-lbs to OEW, but the weight gain will be massively offset by the lift of an overall larger and more efficient wing for the A32X.”
You are forgetting the B-737NG has a more efficent and modern wing profile than the A-32X series does. Also the Sharklets weight about 400 kg (880 lbs) each, not including the additional weight needed to strenghten the wing and wing box to be to be able to accept the sharklets. So, that is at least 1100 kg (2200 lbs) per airplane. Yes, that weight gain will be offset by the reduction in drag for the A-32X. But will the sharklets be enough of an improvement in wing efficency to offset the efficency already enjoyed by the blended winglet equipped B-737NGs? That won’t be proven until there are sufficent numbers of sharklet equipped A-32Xs to be compared to the numbers the B-737Ws have been turning in for years now.
keesje, as you know the A-320 was formerly launched on 2 March 1984 after the British Government finally agreed to a 250 Million Pound “launch aid” to the program. Yes, the concept of a NB airliner had been around, as a study program, since the 1977 JET program at British Aerospace that later tansferred to Airbus SAS in 1980 and became known as the SA-1, SA-2, and SA-3 (A-319, A-320, and A-321). Later in 1981 the program was formerly named the A-320 program. The FF of the A-320 did not happen until 22 Feb. 1987, and it was certified by the EASA (then known as the JAA) about a year later on 26 Feb. 1988.
Developement of what became the B-737-300 began in 1979, a year before the A-320 program really got going as the SA airplanes. The B-733 program was launched at the 1980 Farnborough Air Show with orders from WN and US. The FF was on 24 Feb. 1984 (about a week before the A-320 progam launch) and FAA certification was on 14 Nov. 1984. The B-737-400, which was the direct competitor to the A-320 (the B-737-300 was more of a competitor to the A-319) launched in 1985, FF on 19 Feb. 1988 ( just a few days before the A-320 was certified), and certified in late August 1988.
“keesje, as you know…”
I think it would have been easier to provide a Wiki link to the above text, for both 320 and 737 developments…
“So, that is at least 1100 kg (2200 lbs) per airplane”
Is that right? Where did you get that figure?
-More cargo volume
Airbus truly would have a remarkable product if it were all true. Here is reality:
The A319 has 0.3 cubic meters (essentially zero) more cargo volume than the 737-700. That’s without an aux fuel tank. In the no-aux tank configuration, the A319 has around 300nm range disadvantage to the 737-700 when both aircraft are operated at full pax & bags. That grows to about 500nm range disadvantage at max structural payload. With the aux fuel tank installed, the A319 has a ~100nm range advantage over the 737-700 at full pax, but loses a large portion of its cargo volume, operates with reduced revenue payload, and has worse takeoff performance than the 737-700. So you don’t get to have your cake and eat it too.
As for the cabin width issue, I will grant you the A319 cabin is around 3-5 inches wider, depending on where you measure. Unfortunately for Airbus, this “feature” added weight & drag to the airplane, hurting its economics, yet no operator in the world has been able to get a premium for A32X seats because they are 0.5″ wider than on a 737. Because of the way this industry buys aircraft, OEM’s are actually selling value to the airlines, not wings, and wires. If an airline cannot attach a value to a feature, whatever advantage the OEM thought that feature had, the feature does not factor into the transaction. This has clearly been the case for the A320’s wider cabin. Overall, the wider cabin turned out to be a very poor decision for Airbus as it added op-cost which cannot be recovered with higher revenue – a negative sum “feature” for the airlines.
As far as spacier cabin goes, I don’t think you can really claim a noticable difference until you break an inch per seat. An 18″ seat is a step change over a 17″ seat. The 380, 777, and 767 are worth bragging about. Sure the 707 was 1″ wider than a DC-8. If they went 6″ wider, they would have had a legitimate claim to fame.
How many A319 sales this year? I don’t see any listed for Frontier? Boeing has booked exactly 5 737-700 sales this year, wow. Will American, Delta, or United commit to any A319s or 700s? The CSeries, Embraer’s future products, the A320, and the 738 are tough competition to consider.
As the A333 gains sales, four similar size planes with better capability are now defunct, the 777-200 A, ER, LR, and the 345.
KC135TopBoom, just a few links for you :
As i understand : Zero weight increase for the reinforcements and the sharkets itself on the A320 family sharklets
For the 737-700 :
The only change due to the installation
was an increase in the operational empty weight (OEW) of the aircraft with the
additional weight of 344 lb and a slight shift aft of the center of gravity.
To be fair this reads like the _reinforcement_ of wing structure
comes at no penalty. ( does that include fixes for higher weight
engines already? )
The winglets themselves will introduce a weight penalty against
the much lighter standard fences.
Yes, that’s what i was thinking
The Sharklets measure 2.4 metres in height, with their 200-kg. installed total weight offset by weight savings being introduced throughout the A320 Family airframe.
Did i catch it ?
Figures are correct. I took the configurations, weights at MTOW and seat density most favorable to 900ER to demonstrate that even in extreme cases, the difference is far less than 110lbs.
If A320 would be that much heavier over NG as some claim, it would be a pretty rare bird to see.
Gotcha. Even your comparison must have given very favorable seat counts for the -900ER. I’m not sure you would ever see an airline competing the 737-900ER against the A321 with such a disproportionate advantage to the Boeing product – but I understand now the point you were making with the slanted comparison.
Yes, it certainly was bad math for whoever came up with 110-lbs per seat 737-800 advantage over the A320. That much OEW delta would have killed the A320 in its cradle.
Each A320 model has:
A wider cabin, a taller landing gear, a heavier engine, later and more stringent
certification requirements and all the other smaller additional weights, compared
to its comparable 737model, which is X lbs. lighter!
One does not have to be a rocket scientist, to accept the fact that all the above
differences add up to a big weight disadvantage for the A320 family of aircraft,
which Airbus was forced to compensated for, with the heavier, but more fuel
efficient CFM56-5 engine!
Each 737MAX model, will continue to have the same advantages over its comp.
A320NEO model! I rest my case!
One point concerning cargo. The Airbus uses containers while the poor guy who loads the Boeing breaks his back.
Indeed. Containers are a hard thing to figure out for the A320. Most operators don’t use them. In fact, Airbus now offers the same sliding carpet system as Boeing for loading loose bags. I think one major reason the containers are not super popular is because the containers don’t efficiently interline with other aircraft. Also, you lose a considerable amount of cargo volume from the containers and the space around them. Another reason is containerized cargo adds to your infrastructure requirements everywhere the airplane flies, which is expensive. Containers are certainly not a decicive advantage for every operation, but where the are, the containers are an advantage the 737 cannot offer.
CFM said 47% of the Leap sfc gain over the CFM56 is because of BPR.
Say the common core of the Leap is 20 inch.
For the MAX, the by pass opening would be 0.5 * pi * (68^2 -20^2) ~6630
For the NEO, the by pass opening would be 0.5 * pi * (78^2 -20^2) ~8920
That’s about a 25% difference in BPR. CFM says BPR accounts for about 47% of sfc improvement.
I think the weight & drag difference between the two engines will be there but unimpressive, 1%?
Of course there is more to it. E.g. the flattened 737 inlets aren’t ideal aerodynamically, otherwise all aircraft would have them.
Still I’ll keep a conservative sfc difference for both LEAP engines of about 10% because of the fan sizes/BPR, until someone gives a credible quantitative explanation it aint so..
A wise engineer once told me:
“Complex, difficult to understand problems have simple, easy to understand, wrong answers”
A few decades in this business have proven his words correct and simplistic analysis like the above to be not much use.
The problem with a linear correlation of TSFC to fan diameter is that’s not how engines work. At smaller diameters, every inch gained has a large effect on TSFC. However, that rapidly peters out as the fan grows and the engine reaches it’s optimal BPR. Beyond that point, TSFC actually begins to get worse but only gradually at first. There can be good reason for growing a fan beyond the optimal point; continuing to grow the fan can have a dramatic effect on fan pressure ratio and engine noise. And that’s just things to consider for an engine on a test stand. When you integrate an engine into an airframe, understanding fuel efficiency gets even more difficult.
Until we can have a discussion that includes core differences, fan pressure ratios, lapse rates, sizing points for the two different airframes, aero-propulsion integration differences, installed thrust levels for each airframe, the thrust bucket for each engine, etc, etc, there’s not much use trying to extrapolate the efficiency of either engine from the data that is currently available to the public.
CM, of course we can do estimations. They are exact but good enough.
However some don’t want to know the outcomes so hide behind unknowns.
Introducing 100 new variables, blurring the picture while the writing is on the wall.
When Being says the MAX will do better then NEO, many folks suddenly aren’t so critical anymore & assume it’s about right. Happily ignoring physics because we can’t know all at this stage.
keesje, we don’t know the physics of either the MAX or the NEO yet. So your statement is only half right. We can have estimations, but neither the MAX nor NEO actually have fully defined engines at this point in time. I agree the picture (of both the MAX and the NEO) is blurred right now, but there is no ‘writing on the wall’ yet, and won’t be for a while. The NEO has been aviable now for nearly a year and has some 1029 firm orders. That is outstanding, and clearly is the fastest selling derivitive airplane to date. The MAX has been aviable now for just over a month and a half (yes, I know it wasn’t approved for offers until late August) and has accumulated some 496 orders, of nearly half of the order book of the NEO. That is also outstanding. It makes the MAX clearly the fastest selling derivitive airplane, to date, for Boeing.
Right now, we only have the PR departments of Boeing, Airbus, CFMI/GE, and P&W to rely on for information. There is very little technickel data out there for either the MAX or NEO, because neither airplane design has been frozen, yet. Nor do we know, yet, how the LEAP-1A, LEAP-1B, or PW-1000W will perform. We also don’t know if these new engines will run into developement problems like the RR Trent-1000 did, or suffer a catostrofic in-service failure like the RR Trent-900 did. I would say those possibilities are higher for P&W than for GE/CFMI. That is because the GTF is a totally new design and the LEAP is really a derivitive engine from the CFM-56, GE-90, and GEnx engines. I could be wrong as being a derivitive does not garuntee anything.
So, for now the jury is still out on the MAX and NEO because of their new engines, not the airframes. Maybe it is best for the Boeing crowd and Airbus crowd to each retire to our respective corners (a boxing term) and await more official and independent information of both before we resume beating the pulp out of each other?
I guess it all depends on who you mean by “we”. I evaluate competing aircraft for a living; the “we” I work with and particularly those who employ me are unwilling to accept flimsy analysis, particularly when it contradicts the OEM.
Despite what you may believe, both Airbus and Boeing do a reasonably good job projecting and putting actual performance in their brochure data. And when you think about it, why wouldn’t they? To do otherwise would be a disaster for them, because eventually these aircraft will enter service and show their true colors.
You are claiming Boeing is perpetrating a massive fraud on the industry. You claim the LEAP-1B cannot offer the fuel savings Boeing has advertised because it has a 8″-12″ smaller fan than the -1A engine. You claim the aero tweaks are smokescreen, throwing new “variables” into the equation for the sole purpose of hiding the real performance of the MAX. It’s an outlandish accusation, and one which would mark behavior unprecedented in Boeing’s history. For you to make such a claim requires far better evidence than you have provided to date.
I’ve explained why fan size does not have the 1:1 correlation with airplane block fuel you are imagining. You are only opening the curtain on your own ignorance when you claim the engine factors I have brought up are “hiding behind unknowns”. They are real variables between competing engines with different fans, any of which can have enormous influence on the efficiency of the resulting airplane. You can’t even tell me if the -1A engine was optimized for noise, fuel efficiency, or a compromise somewhere in the middle to get the best of both. Do you honestly believe your analysis is “good enough”? Good enough for what?
If you want to be a cheerleader, be a cheerleader. If you are biased toward a competing product, I can understand why you hope the MAX won’t live up to its claims – just say it that way; don’t play favorites then claim it’s others who are ignoring physics.
“You are claiming Boeing is perpetrating a massive fraud on the industry. You claim the LEAP-1B cannot offer the fuel savings Boeing has advertised because it has a 8″-12″ smaller fan than the -1A engine”
I think it is prohibited to claim some made claims if he did not.
“It’s an outlandish accusation, and one which would mark behavior unprecedented in Boeing’s history”
I won’t go into the reliability of Boeing claims, predictions and promises of the last 5 yrs. An objective analyst can’t ignore however.
“I would say those possibilities are higher for P&W than for GE/CFMI.”
Strange, why is that? PW & Airbus flew GTFs last year under their test aircraft. The new core has been tested for some time. The Leap is just paper at this stage. Pls explain.
I know predictions are based on calculations are quiet good these days. (Saw CSD versus tunnel data). So can be predictions based on rules of thumbs analysing aircraft evoluation and trends. E.g. I predicted the NEO performance, engines, sfc, maintenance and costs quiet accurately.
The thing is I did it in 2006. Others wait until it flies (2015) to be sure. Both are ok.
I’m aware of who MTU is and they have done in the past. My point is they are not particularly known for producing compressors – it’s not their specialty. They’ve done far more in the turbine sections of the engines they are a part of. By contrast, there are several companies in the world who specialize in compressors.
Compressors are a chronic weakness for Pratt and I find it strange they did not partner with an established world-class manufacturer of compressors for their new engine.
The MTU compressor may be great; I have no reason to believe it won’t. However, in choosing MTU, Pratt didn’t give me an reason to believe it will be great. It just seems strange Pratt did not select a partner who would leave no question marks about the performance of the GTF compressor.
GTF has been a cooperation all along and my (educated?) guess is that
it is much more interwoven than just a “farmed out compressor”.
changing topic slightly to “brochure”:
It is not really brochure snippets or factual data that is discussed here.
All the contentious bits are soundbites from management.( afaics predominantly
Boeing management) that seem a bit over the top ( or based an extremely
Completely agree with you on the level of integration between Pratt and all suppliers; I am certain it is not something MTU has been asked to design in a vacuum.
We’re also in agreement on the data that’s available publicly today on the NEO and MAX; it’s not much to hang your hat on if you ask me. It’s certainly not enough to make an assesment of the relative performance between the two.
By “brochure” performance, I am talking about nominal/spec performance for the product. That’s not typically something either OEM puts into the public domain in anything other than generalities. What Keesje may not realize is that when Boeing or Airbus talk to an operator, spec performance is not really what’s on the table; even when spec performance is shown and has been tailored to an airlines rules. There is a tolerance between guaranteed performance and spec performance. It’s guaranteed performance that is being purchased by the airline. For totally new ventures with many uncertainties (787, A350), there is a huge difference between spec and guaranteed performance. The airlines understand and generally accept this – they are the ones pushing the OEM’s to take on greater technical risk. That is how the 787 can miss spec performance, but still meet guaranteed mission performance to the airlines. It creates a lot of turmoil among the public, but far less with the airlines, since they signed a contract for something less (and sometimes far less) than spec performance.
levels of gray all around.
No contention, lets go and have a beer 😉
The interesting thing is : the soundbites are not outright lies.
They tend to be factual but on completely different premises from
those insinuated. Compare to Bush43 commending the racehorse guy
from FEMA for a “job well done”. He may well have done a great job.
The question is “what was that job” ? raze NewOrleans ;-?
You are probably right in that MTU have done more turbines than compressors, but they are not beginners in compressors either:
And I would say that compressors are definitely a MTU speciality… number of LPT’s nonwithstanding, being good at one does not preclude the other.
I did venture some thoughts above (before I saw this post), I do not repeat them here, read them above if you wish.
PW used to have a weakness in compressors, but it may be that the faster LPC now gives them some relief (similar to RR’s IPC). Be aware that compressor technology (or the lack of it) can be overcome by different engine architectures. Judging a companys compressor tech without keeping that in mind gives a slightly skewed comparison imho.
It should be obvious to many that Big B has no plans for future new single aisle and that the MAX is just their effort to try and stay in the game. Big B management has a plan, but at this point it is any ones guest as to what it may be. I do hear from sources within the contract aerospace workers that they are leaving the tanker effort due to lack of OT and other problems that only matter to contractors. I still think Big B management is trying to get a handle on the union anyway they can and if the administration in Washington (DC) changes, management has some big changes in the work just waiting for a better climate to execute. On the other side of the pond the BusBoys are moving forward and are well aware that Big B is not the only player when it comes to single aisles. At least they have concepts and are looking very hard at new technologies for near future applications.
Jay, do you know that the NSA is not dead? I would call that a future plan for the NB aircraft.
I didn’t say it was dead, I said they “don’t have a plan”. Big B said at this time they don’t know how to build a NSA out of composites. They may want to build one by 2020 time frame but at this time they don’t have a plan. My guess would be that the 787 didn’t turn out as they expected. Designing in the computer and actually executing the plans is not always the same. I would tend to believe that Big B is looking at what processes make better sense for manufacturing with composite technologies, of course I could be wrong.
Perhaps I misunderstood you Jay. If I did I apoligise. But it seems to me Boeing has a good handle on how to build a composet airplane. I believe they have assembled some 40+ B-787s. I agree most of those airframes have to be reworked, but that is mostly due to design changes and subcontractors not doing their work correctly.
Boeing is taking the barrel section approach to building B-787 body sections, and pre-stuffing them. The autoclaves used in this process for the B-787 will work on the smaller NSA. The question is does Boeing have enough of them, or can they contract for enough of them to build two different airplanes at the same time.
Airbus is taking a different approach by building composet sections in panels, much like more traditional airplane building. That means Airbus can use much smaller autoclaves than Boeing can. But they have to heat up more composet panels per autoclave secession than Boeing does to achieve the same build rate.
I don’t think the NSA is dead. Boeing didn’t do a more radical 737 upgrade. The exparation date of this MAX spec gives the NSA development team a few extra yrs..
For one of the few times, I agree with keesje.
Why should a(ny) NSA project be dead?
It just won’t be kicked off before 2020+.
For either Airbus or Boeing. The change is Boeing ceeding
that they can’t meaningfully start as early as they tried to
make people believe.
Its, not Uwe. I was replying to Jay who said;
“It should be obvious to many that Big B has no plans for future new single aisle and that the MAX is just their effort to try and stay in the game.”
Boeing still has plans for the NSA, or whatever they will call it in the future. I think you are right about the EIS date not being before 2020 now, and possibly later, like maybe around 2022.
Wow, I just realized I agreed with both keesje and Uwe in the same day. Or is it they agree with me? LOL
By my estimation, Boeing had a plan for three families, but the Y2 ended up being Y2.5. That left them with the need for four families. Now they have the MAX, a new double aisle between MTOW of 200K and 500K, the 787, and the 747-8. Airbus and Embraer have the same opportunity to build in that range.
Don’t forget the new B-777, too. I agree Airbus is in the game, but it will be at least 10-15 years before Embraer gets into the WB, twin aisle, twin engine game with a MTOW greater than 300,000 lbs. That is unless they co-develope something with either Boeing or Airbus.
IMHO it is open what Boeing ( or Airbus ) will bring to the fore as a replacement
for the current narrow bodies ( or any newly defined expanded market segment ).
Yes, I forgot the new 777 burrito supreme. No CFRP fuse on the NB and now a WB where the big gains are at? So much for ‘game changer’, looks like the early death of aluminum to CFRP was greatly exaggerated.
If the 777 can be re-engined for a good return on investment, a 764ERF is being taken seriously, then the case for a re-engined 333 can’t be too far off.
If the B-777 is reengined and improved, why would anyone need the reengined A-330-200/-300?
How do you know the NSA will not have CFRP?
I think FedEx is taking a serious look at the B-767-400ERF. If they weren’t they would have ordered the B-767-300ERF or A-330-200F by now.
BTW TC, Airbus did try to make a case already for a re-engined A-332/3. It was called the A-350-Mk-I.
“If the B-777 is reengined and improved, why would anyone need the reengined A-330-200/-300?”
For the same reason the A330 is currently so popular ?
“How do you know the NSA will not have CFRP?”
It will have. I am certain.
But you won’t see CFRP one piece barrels for a new design from Boeing ever again.
Old unblended winglets vs. raked wingtips? That’s an easy one, 767-4FX.
I haven’t seen anyone noticing but Fedex uses LD3 containers maindeck and lowerdeck deck on the 77F, MD10, MD11, A300 and A310. 275 Widebodies at this point.
Those containers fit in the A330F, they do not fit in 767s.
I also haven’t seen any reporter, saying the A330F has a “disappointing 57 orders”, that Airbus itself put the A330F on the backburner because of an unexpected surge in A330 passenger orders a few yrs ago.
Why do not the 777, the 787 or the 747-8 have them if they are more efficient? Would be a no-brainer. Cheap too.
I seriously doubt you would ever want the distorted fan inlet profile you get with a flatt bottom. Can you live with it? Sure. Is it your preferred design. No.
If you still claim so, please provide a reference to a published scientific paper showing the benefit (ASME TurboExpo, ISABE, etc). No Boeing PR please.
It is indeed Boeing PR. The statement comes from Joe Sutter.
Apparently what was revealed to the engineers in the wind tunnel is that it reduced drag considerably.
My understanding is that it would not be as efficient for taking air inside the engine. But on the other hand it’s possible that the reduced drag would improve aerodynamic efficiency of the airplane itself.
“When the Boeing engineers designed the 737-300 they discovered that the flat bottom was aerodynamically more efficient than the round one.”
Even the most obvious compromises are sold top the outside world as best solutions.