Odds and Ends: 737 MAX development cost; another range boost for A330

737 MAX: We did this story last week on the development cost of the Boeing 737 MAX.

A330: Airbus is going to boost the range of the A330 to make it more closely match that of the Boeing 777 and 787, according to this story.

Fill ‘er up: Here’s a scary story about a goof in aerial refueling of a Boeing 707-based JSTARS.

Delta eyes US Airways: Delta Air Lines is considering making a bid for US Airways even as US Air considers a bid for American Airlines, which Delta is also doing. US Airways once made a hostile bid for Delta. So what’s going on?

First, we think a US-AA combination would have a much better chance of gaining regulator approval than DL-AA. The latter might work, but at what cost? Regulators would almost certainly demand divestiture of assets for anti-trust reasons.

But a combined AA-US would be much stronger in the US Southeast, where DL has its Atlanta hub and US has a Charlotte hub. US is the weakest of US legacy carriers while AA has a weaker management but inherent strengths that would make a combination more formidable than US alone–particularly with Southwest Airlines taking over AirTran at DL’s Atlanta hub.

While we think there also might be some anti-trust issues with a DL-US combination, they’d certainly be less than DL-AA. We think DL’s talk of a combination with US is defensive and perhaps designed more to block a US-AA deal than it is to have a happy marriage between DL-US.

 

155 Comments on “Odds and Ends: 737 MAX development cost; another range boost for A330

  1. Hello
    So what do you of Airbus making noise around the A330 ?
    And silently releasing “dynamic payload” for all pax version
    While hidding OEW and payload figures
    While putting payload range form “old” 233t versions ?

    http://www.airbus.com/fileadmin/media_gallery/files/tech_data/AC/Airbus-AC_A330_Dec11.pdf

    Considering this airplane seems to be built a least til the end of this decade

    Regards

    http://avia.superforum.fr/t21p240-a330-version-passagers-toute-la-famille#28244

  2. A330-300 on steriods; sharklets, engineering out the A340, adding some lighter materials, increasing payload-range and then if all those enahancements are done send an RFQ for better engines to GE, RR and Pratt(GP). Unlikely that A330-300 enhancements won’t be available for the A330-200, A330F and MRTT.

    I guess GE is still eager to talk. It doesn’t violate any agreements with Boeing (< 80 klbs) and they sure want to make up their GENX investments mamperd by the 4 yrs+ delayed 787 deliveries and being not availabe on the A350.

    Funny thing is i suggested this spec about 9 yrs ago. http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/1295838 Recently I heard Airbus Airbus investiged the GP7000 for the A330 even before that. Things move slowly I guess..

  3. omg, can we add an edit within 15 minutes option to this forum? I see at least 15 errors in my post, was doing other things, ;( poncho is also pretty bad 😉

    Anyway DL merging with AA.. could force UA/Co and US also to look further. I fail to see the advantages.. semi monopoly’s US domestic seem around the corner.

  4. The A330, as excellent as a plane it is is still reaching the end of its line in the next few years-no matter how much non-major modifications are done (such as engines, etc.).

    As the B787 improves, it will make the A330 more “irrelevant” (so-to-speak). Will the A330 get more orders, certainly. It has continually improving (and excellent) economics, commonality as well as the face EADS will be aggressive with pricing, etc.

    Regarding the DL-US/US-AA/DL-AA tie-up-the only one which I really see happening is US-AA.

    • With the possible 777-8/9X, what advantages does the 777 have that the A330 does not? If a CFRP wing on a 777 is cost effective, it’s worth a look on the A330. Boeing’s strategy is going reducing engine thrust from 115K down to 100K. The same can be done with the A330. It doesn’t have to go head to head with the 787-8, they can build a smaller wing, a smaller engine, or shorten the A333, and build a light plane that blocks out the market below the 787-8.

      • @TC-What does the B777 have to do with the article?

        Regardless, the A33X can’t be compared to the B77W-they serve basically different markets. The A33X (especially the latter-built A333s) have done a fine job of finishing off the B77E. What the A333 hasn’t done to the B77E, the A359XWB has.

        Does Airbus want to spend $5-$6 billion (it was about $4-$5 billion back in 2004-2005) to built a derivative? Well, its not as if Airbus doesn’t have their “hands full”. Its also impractical to cover every market space-in fact, its probably better not to.

        Boeing doesn’t have a market answer right for the B77E replacement-which Airbus does.

      • The parallel I was seeing between the 777 and the A330 was the business case of updating an aluminum widebody. The consideration of which, is a paradigm shift from several years ago.

  5. One of the references (Actualité Aéronautique) that Poncho gives us above is very interesting, but it’s in French. The following is a summary of some the key points in the article.

    – The idea of increasing the range of the A330-300 is to provide a response to the current domination of Boeing in the range category covered by the 777 and 787.

    – Airbus wants to be able to offer a replacement for the A340-300.

    – Since the new A330 variant will be able to carry more fuel and will have a bigger MTOW, the aircraft structure will have to be reinforced. To compensate for the associated weight increase they will try to shed some weight in other areas of the aircraft. One possibility they are studying is to get rid of some structural elements that are specific to the A340 but were incorporated to the A330 as well because both shared the same wing/fuselage.

    – Airbus also wants to fill the gap between the A330-300 and the A350.

    • The A330 freighter may well have tested a lot of improvements already.
      ( and came in .5t underweight )
      Compare to the A318 that introduced some very interesting lightweight
      design/manufacture elements that afaicg could await introduction into the
      bigger siblings of the family.

  6. I see the A330-300 upgrade as a cheap way to extend the life of the A330 program for a few years. It’s easier for airlines to commit to a purchase of a dozen A330s now, of which half are the upgraded models, than a handful of A330s followed by a handful of 787s.

    The problem, as the Tribune article alludes to, is that the upgraded A330 doesn’t distinguish itself against the A350-800. And neither matches the 787 in its medium category, once that program is fully implemented. In the long term, Airbus has a gap between the A321 and the A350-900 that the A330-300S and A350-800 won’t quite fill.

    I wonder if Delta and US might share American between them. American has a potential link with International Airlines Group that could be interesting to Delta. Delta would offload some American routes and some of its own Delta routes to US to get round anti-trust restrictions. This would strengthen US Airways but Delta are probably more concerned with United and Star Alliance as competitors.

    • The implication is that Airbus realise that the A350-800 just doesn’t match up against the 787. If the A350-800 was as strong a competitor against the 787 as Airbus intended, they would push the A350-800 instead. The A330 upgrade aims to stop customers defecting to the 787 in the medium term – because the A350-800 is failing to do so.

      • The A330S would “entangle” the 787 sales like the 748 was intended to do. to the A380. Only the 748 came in much
        too late and well under spec.
        Done right and timely the A330S could perform as intended.

  7. Bernstein says that the development cost of the 737 MAX will be twice as high as for the A320neo. I don’t know if it will be twice as high, but it will certainly be higher.

    For obvious reasons Boeing wants to minimize the issues they have to face with the MAX. But all the points made by Bernstein are quite reasonable. They seem to be well informed of the technical challenges that Boeing is facing because the 737 sits low to the ground. This limitation has repercussion on the whole aircraft because it sets a chain reaction; one element affecting another, and so on and so forth.

    Airbus does not have to rework their pylons to the same extent. They still have to get rid of some extra weight but probably not as much as Boeing does. Airbus can push the design as much as they want to but they have to consider the cost/benefits. They have that option because of the performance margin they have.

    Now that Boeing has decided to not raise the MLG they have no choice and must solve some basic technical issues associated with a higher pylon and an elongated NLG. There is no simple solution. Although less elaborate, and therefore less expensive, than a longer MLG, the pylon remains quite a challenge. Maybe less so for the NLG, but they still have to do it. All the structural issues and centre of gravity problems have to be addressed before they can even look at other areas of the aircraft, like redesigning the aft fuselage for example.

    Just to remain competitive with the neo, Boeing has to push the limits as far as is economically reasonable. They have to because the engine selection is a compromise. For the main problem Boeing is facing is not the technical challenges imposed by a short MLG, but the performance limitations that are associated with it.

    • Both Boeing and Airbus will have new pylons. Airbus will have two new pylons, Boeing one. There will be nothing salvageable between the Leap and the CFM-56 struts. The engine weights are significantly different, and the location is slightly different. The GTF has no strut on the A320. Both manufacturers have a serious task ahead of them in this area, but not particularly ‘hard’ per se. They both know what they are doing in this area.

      Airbus has said they would need to do a weight reduction program to compensate for the 440Kg of extra structural weight (not engine) on the NEO. I have no idea what Boeing will have to do. Airbus to my knowledge has not addressed the implementation of new materials, but that does seem to be one way to go. Perhaps Aluminum Lithiums like are being used on the A350 and A380?

      The real task for both OEMs will be to keep their efforts to the minimum needed to do the job. If that is done, neither of these programs will be particularly daunting. If they start to let the engineers go wild, well then all bets are off (on either side).

      • Yes Howard there will be two different pylons on the A320neo versus only one on the 737 MAX. But the level of difficulties is quite different. To begin with the A320 always had two different engines. And Airbus has a free hand whereas Boeing got both of their hands tied together in their back. Airbus does not have to fuss around with the nose gear; they don’t have to address ground clearance problems and they don’t have to solve the complexities of a less than optimized engine positioning.

      • Norm… the struts will be ALL NEW. There will be nothing left over from either the V2500 strut nor the CFM-56 pylons. So going on about “Airbus already has two….” makes no difference. Both OEMs have to develop NEW pylons.

        As for engine selection, I don’t think it’s a matter of any hands being tied behind anyone’s back. You make it out as though Boeing are idiots that didn’t bother to evaluate other engine options, which a simple search for news would indicate is a falsehood. Boeing made a business decision, that keeps some sort of support commonality with going with the LEAP. This is primarily the exact same reasoning behind the Pratt buy out Rolls on the IAE alliance.

        Boeing does have a bigger work statement. This is obvious. It’s also obvious that the price tag will be higher. Whether it’s twice what Airbus will pay, well that remains to be seen. There are many factors involved, one of which I tried to point out is keeping the scope of the changes down. This is key for BOTH OEMs. Or do you disagree with this? If so, why?

  8. The move is long overdue, I was expecting it last year. With the trade studies being done now, i would have thought they will launch it around mid year…
    With the current backlog at ~350, expansion of the production capacity to 11 per month, Airbus is playing the availability card with excellent costs on medium routes and commonality with the current operators. The A330-300 is already an excellent aircraft, something Boeing wanted to take aim at long ago. For me this doesn’t spell the end for the A358 unless a re engine is launched but i do not expect that. The A333 will be the lead aircraft with the rest taking benefit of the structural changes, i guess. The A332 has lost out long terms to the 787-8.
    The A330 family is here to stay for much more than just ‘a few years’.

  9. Its probibly a good thing the fuel tank rupture was on an old B-707 airframe (the E-8C), as the wing held together after a catistrofic failure, due to contract maintenance not following the T.O.

    Another aircraft ‘save’ by a KC-135 Boom Operator

    I just don’t see the advantage of the A-33S (as it is called on a.net). It seems to be a reengined 240 tonne A-333 with blended winglets. It will carry the same number of pax as the B-7810 out to about 6200 nm, compared to the B-7810 going 6900 nm. I don’t see the engine OEMs putting money into the CF-6-80E, PW-4170, or Trent-772. To go to the GEnx-2B67 or Trent-900 means clipping the fan section of both engines. Taking out the A-340 parts is essentially taking out the hard points on the wing. You still have a lenghtened A-306 fuselarge.

    Just where is Airbus going to get the engineers for this program?

    • ‘I just don’t see the advantage of the A-33S’
      You know, you havn’t seriously surprised anyone here.

      ‘It seems to be a reengined 240 tonne A-333 with blended winglets’
      A re engined? Have you read the article?

      ‘It will carry the same number of pax as the B-7810 out to about 6200 nm, compared to the B-7810 going 6900 nm.’
      What about adding ‘… At very competitive operating costs, cost much less and start operations much earlier’?

      ‘Taking out the A-340 parts is essentially taking out the hard points on the wing’
      You clearly have a limited understanding of what ‘commonality’ means between A330 & A340. It goes far beyond your simplistic explanation.

      ‘You still have a lenghtened A-306 fuselarge.’
      Clearly Airbus has done badly out of A300, 310, 330 and 340 with the same fuselage.

  10. Yes, a higher pylon and an elongated NLG are more complicated and thus
    more expensive than just hanging a new engine, as Airbus was able to do
    with the NEO!
    However, that relatively higher cost of re-engining the 737 is irrelevant, be-
    cause the A320NEO is heavier and thus a more expensive aircraft to build,
    which will make the 737MAX extremely competitive with the A320NEO!

    Furthermore, no other solution would have “done the trick” for Boeing, to
    immediately come up with an answer to the fast-selling NEO, other than an
    all new a/p, which may well have caused Boeing to loose the 737 market to
    Airbus for many years, if not forever!
    All that, thanks to very late and welcome, but unexpected offer from
    GE/CFMI, to reduce the fan-dimater of their new engine.

    Without this second and again very late offer from GE/SNECMA to reduce
    the fan-diameter of their new engine, Boeing would have been forced again
    to come out with an all new aircraft, as were planning to do last year, with
    all the above very serious disadvantages that solution would have had, v.v.
    the unexpectedly fast-selling NEO.

    Why Boeing did NOT force GE/CFMI to do so as soon as, or before, the
    NEO started selling like hotcakes, is unforgivable, because they also did so
    exactly 40 years ago and also very late with the CFM-56 engine, to make
    the engine fit underneath the 737 wing at that time already!

    This simple idea of reducing the fan-diameter, salvaged the 737 program
    in 1981 and the airplane did not only became the best-selling commercial
    airplane program ever, the 737MAX has all the makings of extending that
    record for several decades to come, all thanks to a last-minute and simple
    fix to reduce the fan-diameter TWICE in the past 40 years!
    Was somebody at GE/SNECMA and or Boeing asleep TWICE?

    • Still wondering:
      Raising the NLG ist about the most ineffective way of achieving
      engine ground clearance. every inch gained at the engine requires 4++ inches
      of raising the NLG.
      With the engines moving forward as announced the NLG loading should rise significantly.
      ( currently ~10% of airplane mass. This could likely double? )
      That would require a strengthened NLG and a set of larger wheels.
      could this be the “true” reason for reasing the NLG ( actually rasing the nose )?

      • Uwe, the additional lenght of the NLG is directly related to the distance from the NLG to the engines. The longer that distance, the longer the added NLG lenght needs to be. The current B-737-800NG has a distance from the center of the NLG to the engine inlets of 30′ 5″ (the B-737-8MAX distance between these two points should be slightly shorter, but I don’t know by how much), the B-737-900ER is 36′ 7″, and the shorter B-737-700 is 20′ 7″. I got these numbers by subtracting the distance from the nose radome to the NLG (13′ 5″ on all 3 models) from the distance from the nose radome to the engine inlets in section # 2 Boeing 737 airplane characteristics for airport planning.

        http://www.boeing.com/commercial/airports/acaps/737sec2.pdf

        Boeing needs to achieve an 18″ ground cleaence between the engine nacelles and the taxiway/runway/ramp (under dry, no snow conditions, flat ramp with no crown, max ramp weight). The current CFM 56-7B engines of the B-737NG series have 20″ of ground clearance now, with its 61″ fan section. The LEAP-2B engine will have a 68″ fan section, or 7″ larger than the CFM 56-7B, divided by 2 (half the diameter) is 3.5″. Boeing has to raise the engine nacelles a minimum of 1.5″, because there is already a 2″ additional clearance (20″-18″=2″) accounted for. This makes the B-737-9MAX the defining model for the longer NLG. But how much longer is the question, because the new engine will be mounted higher on the wing and more foreward of the wing when compared to the B-737NG’s CFM-56-7B engines.

        Your 4″ increase may well be correct, but we just don’t know that, yet. We have no real numbers on the actual placement of the new engines on the wing, just estimates. But I don’t think we have to extend the NLG more than 4″, certainly not 4++”.

      • The 737 is currently angled nose down, so the -700 engines should have less ground clearance than the -900 engines. If the plane is brought to level, they will all have the same ground clearance in theory.

      • Good Morning, could you two please read my post again. _carefully_ !?

        I argue for the higher nose being a secondary effect.

        COG further forward increases NLG loading significantly.
        ( currently <10% of full weight )
        This will require beefing up : structure, oleo leg, wheels.
        Larger wheels will raise the front. Needing the same clearance
        between wheels and fuselage will require elongation of the oleo leg and induce a further raise. All this requires a larger
        wheel well.

        Getting more clearance at the engines is just a very nice side effect here. ( For the single purpose of increasing engine clearance rasing the front is the most ineffective way )

      • Larger wheels sounds like a possibility as you say. I guess we’ll see what the solution is in 2013.

      • Hi Uwe have you seen the report that AI may sell ther 20005 order for 2012 prices because of technical problems!Do AI know more about the shimmys then boeing is letting on???

        • Youy already posted that in the other thread. I answered. Do you have a link to this AI story?

    • If Airbus continues to make big inroads with the neo among NG customers, it’s highly likely that they will hike up production to previously unseen levels half a decade hence, possibly with a new FAL and sub-assembly facilities in the US, in order to secure more than 60 percent of the NB market share by 2020.

      • There is a big job fair in Witchata soon seeking a/c personel and airbus expanding there office in Witchata and the mayor last week said he’s making the phone calls as Boeing is moving out west/south soon so it between Wichita& Alb
        where the A320 FLA goes if airbus decides to go to the outher side of the pond in the land of the FREE.

    • Yes the smaller diameter CFM56 did salvage the 737 back in 1981. But the A320 did not exist at the time. The only serious competition in those days was the DC-9 and its MD derivatives. There could have been also the Mercure, but Dassault made the strategic error of designing an airplane with a very limited range. It was bigger that the 737 and it had similar JT8D engines. An ironic twist is that Dassault was also offered the CFM56, but they declined because they thought the whole program would be cancelled because nobody had dared to place an order at the time for this new engine designed by a strange consortium called CFMI. But the Mercure was doomed from the start because of its limited range. Although it held an important lesson for Airbus and the soon to come A320.

      The Europeans, including the UK, always had difficulties understanding that if they wanted to brake through the american market they had to have adequate range and capacity. But they could only see the world with a European eye. Everything changed when Airbus hired an American as its top salesman. For that reason John Leahy is arguably one the best acquisition ever made in the entire history of the aerospace industry. And you my dear Rudy are in a better position than most of us to appreciate what I am saying here.

  11. It may not be that big a deal to re-vamp the 330-300.

    The hard points for the 340 outboard engines may offer sufficient weight trade-off to fit winglets without structural “beefing-up”

    Not sure, but if my memory serves, the original wing for the 330/340 was given a kink, not as a winglet, but rather to keep the overall wingspan down, so the kink is possibly quite heavy compared with a composite Sharklet, so it could offer serious performance benefits.

    Definitely a boost and probably without re-engining. RR can almost certainly do a 1-2% PIP on the T700, so it all looks pretty positive and at a low level of investment.

    • Airbus could introduce the bigger MTOW modifications, along with winglets, as an interim solution, and offer a new generation of engines later on in a separate programme.

      • That’s certainly an astute observation. The interim upgrades should help to sustain the backlog for another half decade. Any new engine for the A330 beyond that point would incorporate engine technologies a decade more advanced than those on the 787.

  12. Maybe the 20 yr old A330 will survive the introduction of the new gen 787
    The 20 yr old Boeing 737 did survive the introduction of the Airbus A320, in the late eighties.
    A fourth generation 737 was launched 25 yrs later.

    I think Airbus will offer TRENT1000/GENX based engines on a new A330. They might be waiting for the right moment to do so because they want to know how the market will react. It is done on almost all aircraft as a mid life upgrade.

    If they can choose this decade between selling another 200xA330+200xA358s OR 600xA33Ss + 100xA358s, they choose the latter.

    A new A330-300F, a superior MRTT, a TransPacific A330s. it’s a family investment.

    “Just where is Airbus going to get the engineers for this program?”

    If it’s a sound business case, from Toulouse, Seattle, Wichita, Long Beach, Moscow, Bangalore, Japan, Hamburg, Dallas and other earospace clusters.. Maybe they’ll move FAL elsewhere too..

    Another question; why didn’t Boeing foresee the need for a bigger fan 15 yrs ago, when they did an all new wing for the 737NG? Making the ground clearance just 5-7 inch bigger would have made a huge difference now.. Doesn’t seem exactly visionairy..

    • Why should Airbus offer Trent-1000 based engines and not engines based on the 2 IP turbine engine architecture of the Trent-XWB? Remember, the Trent-1000 and the GEnX are no longer state-of-the-art.

      A RR engine offering for the A330 should be even more advanced than the XWB, and having the core and fan scaled down from the larger XWB engine.

    • Trent1000/GenX:

      IMHO these types belong to a “maimed” engine generation.
      They have been rushed into production and needed major and repeated
      detail improvements. When they reach spec sfc in a year or two they are
      still 3..5% behind the expected improvements curve. ( .5.. 1% per year
      counting from initial EIS : 2008 )

    • ‘Just where are Airbus going to get the engineer’s for this program?
      Easy Boeing is closeing Witchita soon.

      • That Wichita facility is mostly metalworkers not engineers. The main engineering force went with Spirit. What engineers are there in Wichita are modifications people. Don’t automatically assume that there are huge numbers of engineers being abandoned by Boeing, because that happened long ago with the Spirit spin off.

  13. I am surprised Airbus haven’t talked about a re-engining yet for the A330. I am sure Airbus will do whatever it takes to keep the A330 competative, and if it doens’t involve re-engining yet then they will still have an ace up their sleeve for the future. The A350 just doen’t cover the market well enough. The A330 wasn’t optimised as a long range plane so I guess an updated A330 might have an advantage over the B787 on shorter routes, B777 doesn’t have that advantage against the A350, they are both aimed at the same market.

    ps, I see Ethiad just ordered 2 more A332Fs, in this world of secrets, where hard performance data isn’t given away, that will interest cargo operators as it shows they are having a good result from the ones they already have. B777F operators will be watching.

  14. keesje :
    Another question; why didn’t Boeing foresee the need for a bigger fan 15 yrs ago, when they did an all new wing for the 737NG? Making the ground clearance just 5-7 inch bigger would have made a huge difference now.. Doesn’t seem exactly visionairy..

    That is a very interesting proposition. Boeing missed a great opportunity indeed. They could certainly see the limitations already, for they had to square the nacelle to provide adequate ground clearance. The idea must have been contemplated at one time or another and shelved later on to save a bit of money. We have to keep in mind though that the 737 program was almost terminated in the early seventies because they could hardly sell any due to the 1973 Oil Crisis. But still, what a shame!

    Also keesje, you mentioned that the 20 year old 737 survived the introduction of the A320. It could be that the A330 will become the Wide Body equivalent of the 737 for its sound basic design and longevity. Some aircraft designs have more long term potential than others it seems. The 777 would be another great example of that.

    • Martin :I am surprised Airbus haven’t talked about a re-engining yet for the A330. I am sure Airbus will do whatever it takes to keep the A330 competative, and if it doens’t involve re-engining yet then they will still have an ace up their sleeve for the future. The A350 just doen’t cover the market well enough. The A330 wasn’t optimised as a long range plane so I guess an updated A330 might have an advantage over the B787 on shorter routes, B777 doesn’t have that advantage against the A350, they are both aimed at the same market.
      ps, I see Ethiad just ordered 2 more A332Fs, in this world of secrets, where hard performance data isn’t given away, that will interest cargo operators as it shows they are having a good result from the ones they already have. B777F operators will be watching.

      Sure they are. FedEx is kicking itself for loosing out on the A-332F….twice. They had a chance to order it when they ordered the B-777F, and again when they recently ordered the B-767F.

      keesje and Normand, 15 years ago, Boeing, and Airbus were not even sure the B-737NG or A-320 would still be produced. No one designs airplanes for configuerations that MIGHT happen 15-20 years from now. What would you suggest for them to design into the B-737 or A-320 so it will easily accept a major modification, including another reengine in 2027?

      • The problem must have been obvious at the time, and for two reasons:

        1- The engine fan diameter had to be reduced as requested by Boeing themselves.

        2- The nacelle bottom had to be flattened out to provide adequate ground clearance.

        Since Boeing was redesigning the wing anyway, they had the opportunity to address the problem. But because it would be a more fundamental change from the original design, it would also be a more expensive one.

        I am convinced that Boeing considered that option, for it must have been obvious that the original design was inadequate since it could not easily accommodate the new trend of larger fan diameters. My speculation is that they rejected that possibility as too costly when compared to a simple wing modernization.

        Just think how long it took Boeing before they were convinced to introduce the 747-400. They did not want to spend the money, as it was reported to us by Rudy Hillinga. Well, I think the same thing happened with the 737NG.

        KC, we both agree that Airbus has done a few mistakes in the past. Why don’t we agree that Boeing has also done a few of its own. 😉

    • Without (visionary) customer demand/guidance Boeing has problems looking forward.

      Combine this with major customers that are so hidebound they would have stayed with
      the old turbojets if it wouldn’t have been factually impossible.
      No more ergonomic cockpit, no unit load devices, no other future improvements that would require changing ones ways 😉
      IMHO the problem is linked to fixing your ways in times of overflowing resources.
      Then lack of vision leads to adaption via never ending little cuts ( and those last until nothing is left aided by chap 11 mechanics )

      apropos: I think Mr. RedBlue Piepenbrock is wrong in his theories.
      He has it the wrong way round.
      Visionary companies can work on a continuous path towards their vision while those that lack vision have to regularly “step” onto the emanating new path recapitulating in a rush what others had more time to integrate.

  15. KC135TopBoom :
    Uwe, the additional lenght of the NLG is directly related to the distance from the NLG to the engines. The longer that distance, the longer the added NLG lenght needs to be.

    No KC, the additional length of the NLG is not directly related to the distance from the NLG to the engines. This a basic trigonometry problem. That would be true only for the MLG because it is more or less in the same plane as the engine. The NLG plane is very far from the engine one and therefore creates an angle that will provide about a quarter of an inch increment for every inch added to the NLG. That is what Uwe was trying to convey here.

      • From my reply #19

        “The current B-737-800NG has a distance from the center of the NLG to the engine inlets of 30′ 5″ (the B-737-8MAX distance between these two points should be slightly shorter, but I don’t know by how much), the B-737-900ER is 36′ 7″, and the shorter B-737-700 is 20′ 7″. I got these numbers by subtracting the distance from the nose radome to the NLG (13′ 5″ on all 3 models) from the distance from the nose radome to the engine inlets in section # 2 Boeing 737 airplane characteristics for airport planning.

        http://www.boeing.com/commercial/airports/acaps/737sec2.pdf

        Uwe :For the -800 it is ~16m (NLG-MLG) versus ~5m ( EngineCOG-MLG)

        No sir. The distance on the -800 is not 11m (35′ 9″). I gave you the Boeing document where you can find the correct information. The correct distance from the NLG to the engine inlet is 30′ 5″ (9.36m). A meter is about 39″ long.

        • Dear TopBoom,
          The lip of the intake is neither the lowest point nor the CenterOfGravity of the engine.

          737.pdf 2.2.12 scaled drawing
          737-800 take the sideview 17mm on the drawing translates to 5m on the ref scale.
          747.pdf 7.2.5 Landing Gear footprint,
          737-800 : 15.60m to be exact.

  16. Re: Normand Hamel: “And you my dear Rudy, are in a better position than most
    of us to appreciate what I am saying here.”

    Thank you for that compliment Normand and I am sure you are NOT suggesting
    that I was another John Leahy, but I do NOT mind sharing with you what many
    airline and Boeing officials have suggested after I retired from Boeing in 1989,
    i.e. that had Boeing paid more and earlier attention to the repeated warnings I
    uttered about Airbus, while stationed for Boeing in Germany in the ’70s and after
    I did my job from Seattle in the ’80s and recognized the contributions I had made
    to the Boeing sales successes in Europe against Airbus thru the end of the 80s,
    I and Boeing would have done much better, long before Airbus took away our
    leading position in the early part of this century!

    I am, therefore, very proud, but also sad, of the following compliment:
    During a small dinner party in 1986, in the presence of a few Boeing and LH
    top executives like Joe Sutter and Reinhardt Abraham of LH, our ladies and my-
    self, AFTER the A320 had been launched and BEFORE Boeing launched the
    737-400, which LH had really wanted* after having already purchased dozens of
    737-300s, Reinhardt pointed his finger at me while addressing Roger Betaille,
    the Director General of A.I. at that time and said:
    “Roger, if you need a good Salesman, you should consider hiring Rudy Hillinga,
    because if he had had more support and more recognition for his efforts on
    behalve of the Boeing Co. in Europe, he would have been a much bigger head-
    ache for Airbus, than he has already been!”

    *Lh wanted Airbus to develop the A330/340 before doing the A320, because:
    1. They felt that the A320 fly-by-wire technology needed more development first,
    2. They wanted to get rid of their DC1-0-30’s ASAP and felt that Airbus would,
    therefore, do better to build their A330/340 replacement aircraft first and be-
    cause there was no other replacement aircraft under development at that time.

  17. Correction:
    Third line of 2nd para, should read:” Before and after I retired from Boeing in1989,”

  18. Does Boeing really expect the MAX engines to be significantly lighter than the NEO counterpart? ( currently, though smaller in the fan, the CFM57-5 series is slightly heavier in dry weight than the -7 series for the A320 family )

  19. Reply to Uwe # 46:

    Uwe you really need to get a grip on this Boeing-has-no-vision thing, and be honest, (1) that your hatred for everything B requires some kind of professional help, and (2) that it is A which has the vision (or delusion) deficit, not B. Such as A’s “vision” that ignored the obvious superiority and coming of age of long range big twins in favor of the completely failed 4-engined A345/6, thus losing A any role then and in the foreseeable future in the 365-385 seat mkt for planes that will replace the hundreds of 744s in the next decade. Or the “vision” that told A they would sell hundreds of A380s and build 40/month for years to come, ignoring the burgeoning mkt for point/point routes and declining sales af the 744s. Or the “vision” that the A350 should be composite and straddle the 300 pax diving line, instead offering a family which competed head/head with B in the 300-400 seat mkt. Even you, Uwe, have alluded to this with your question, “When did A know that B’s 787 production plan was unworkable?” Your well-taken point is that if A knew this, why did they cave in to Steven U-H and others, and build the A358 as an inadequate competitor for the 788, and the -1000 as an inadequate competitor with the-300ER/777-9X?. Why not stick with their original plan to upgrades 332/3s. This would have shown not only real vision but also guts and courage. MOST IMPORTANTLY, it would have permitted A to use the A350 to correct its A345/6 bungle by positioning the A359 where it is now (a good 343/-722ER replacement) and the -1000 at 385 seats, where it would not only have destroyed B’s -300ER monopoly but been a viable replacement for all those 744s, something A botched with the A346. The result: B is going to make lots of money building the 777-9X for years without A’s selling a single plane in that segment, and there are serious questions about the viability of the A350 as a family, as opposed to a single successful plane, the A359.

    Contrast A’s continued “Forgard Follies” with B’s real, brave visions. The vision and guts to go for big twins, taking the risk re ETOPS rules amendments, while A was in fantasy land with its four engines. Correctly conceiving a two-plane plan to dominate both the 220-300 pax and 300-285 pax segments of the twin asile mkt (787 for the former, 777/777-8/9X for the latter); and conceiving the 788 as a perfect replacement for the 762/3/4 and the A332. Having the guts to create their outsourcing plans that shared unprecedented financial risk with their partners. That is, to try to find a better way of producing a whole new plane than how they built the 777, which had been very expensive. B’s plan failed not because its vision was wrong, but because of their near psychotic failure to run it correctly, and they will pay a very heavy price for that for a long time.

    Finally, THE MOST IMPORTANT VISION A HAS NEVER HAD: That cargo variants of these expensive planes are necessary to make money. B now has not only three new-build freighters (777Fs, 748Fs, & 762/3Fs (and may have a 764F at some point a few years from now)), but also B has approved plans for P2F conversions of these planes (and will shortly the 772s). As Scott noted recently, P2F adds real value to planes, but not to A’s planes because they did not have the “vision” (or as it turned out) the competence to build the A380F, or design conversion plans for the A330/340, asMr. Al-Baker recently pointed out, saying something about “A’s not knowing how to build planes).

    • Christopher, when I get a novelette as reply I can’t have been all wrong.

      To the content (IMHO and all that jazz ):
      The thin(g/k) Airbus did not understand was the market craze over BlackPlastics and AllNew.
      ( understandably, imho as it was in hindsight a daft thing to run after )

      The current A350 does not really target the 787 but encroaches on the 777.
      ( and my fumbling mind tells me that the recent move to swap efficiency for range/payload is not quite right )

      The initial A350 as upgrade to the A330 was completely dropped under the assumption that the A330 could be expected to soldier on in the market.

      4holer versus 2holer is a discussion we’ve had reasonably often and you know my position.

      P2F conversions require a source of cheap frames to convert. There just are not enough frames available from a time where Airbus had a rising but small market share.
      The available frames are still sought after for PAX transport. The number of Airbus frames in the desert is very limited.

      All in all your view is probably as tainted with “USinside” as mine is formed by the Euro environment.

    • Christopher,

      “Such as A’s “vision” that ignored the obvious superiority and coming of age of long range big twins in favor of the completely failed 4-engined A345/6, thus losing A any role then and in the foreseeable future in the 365-385 seat mkt for planes that will replace the hundreds of 744s in the next decade.”

      The 400 A340s replaced many 747s. Airbus “invented” the big twin (A300, A330 before the 767, 777)

      “Or the “vision” that told A they would sell hundreds of A380s and build 40/month for years to come, ignoring the burgeoning mkt for point/point routes and declining sales af the 744s.”

      To the horror of many the A380 is doing OK, gaining orders they should get & proving immensely popular with passengers and airlines. BTW isn’t Boeing investing billions in big quads (-8)?

      “Or the “vision” that the A350 should be composite and straddle the 300 pax diving line, instead offering a family which competed head/head with B in the 300-400 seat mkt. Even you, Uwe, have alluded to this with your question, “When did A know that B’s 787 production plan was unworkable?” Your well-taken point is that if A knew this, why did they cave in to Steven U-H and others, and build the A358 as an inadequate competitor for the 788, and the -1000 as an inadequate competitor with the-300ER/777-9X?. Why not stick with their original plan to upgrades 332/3s. This would have shown not only real vision but also guts and courage.”

      The reality seems A will in the end sell lots of A330s, XWB’s, A350 mk1′..

      “MOST IMPORTANTLY, it would have permitted A to use the A350 to correct its A345/6 bungle by positioning the A359 …the 777-9X for years without A’s selling a single plane in that segment,… a family, as opposed to a single successful plane, the A359.”

      I think the Boeing camp is veriously dimissing but at the same time fighting the A350-1000.

      Leahy is finishing up several big -1000 contracts and you can bed many of the -900s will be converted to -1000s as well, with e.g. SQ, UA and CX. And the “-1000 is a disaster” claims will quickly be forgotten just like similar claims on the A380, A400M and A320 NEO.

      “Finally, THE MOST IMPORTANT VISION A HAS NEVER HAD: That cargo variants of these … 330/340, asMr. Al-Baker recently pointed out, saying something about “A’s not knowing how to build planes).”

      The cargo market was weak, look at the sales of the 777F and 748F .. The 767F deal is generally believed to have a price level /incentive suitable to keep the line open until the tankers start being produced.

  20. Christopher Dye aka CubJ3 :
    Reply to Uwe # 46:
    Finally, THE MOST IMPORTANT VISION A HAS NEVER HAD: That cargo variants of these expensive planes are necessary to make money. B now has not only three new-build freighters (777Fs, 748Fs, & 762/3Fs (and may have a 764F at some point a few years from now)), but also B has approved plans for P2F conversions of these planes (and will shortly the 772s). As Scott noted recently, P2F adds real value to planes, but not to A’s planes because they did not have the “vision” (or as it turned out) the competence to build the A380F, or design conversion plans for the A330/340, asMr. Al-Baker recently pointed out, saying something about “A’s not knowing how to build planes).

    Well, Airbus had a new-built A300F, and there were no apparent issues with converting passenger planes to A300F and A310F. So I very highly doubt there would be any issues converting A330/A340 to freighters. As little as there would be in offering a 777BCF.
    The main reason behind Airbus not offering an A330/A340 conversion and Boeing not offering a 777BCF at this point would be a) this potentially eating into sales of the new-built A332F and 777F and b) the lack of availability of usable A330 and 777 for conversion. (A340s may be more readily available, but once you start converting those, you have little argument in refusing to convert A330 as well.) Also remember that the A330MRTT is converted from (new-built) passenger A330s and available with a full-cargo configuration main deck and cargo door as an option.
    So I really fail to see how the current lack of A330 P2F conversions demonstrates a “lack of vision” and technical planning on Airbus’ part. Seems very much like a commercial decision (like the decision to stop an A320 P2F conversion programme for the time being).

    Don’t forget that the first 767-300BFC didn’t happen until 2008, a full 13 years after the first new-built 767-300F, and also 13 years after the first 767-200 (never offered as a new-built freighter) was P2F-converted.

    • Uwe, the current version, and only viable model of the A-350, the -900, is aimed at the B-777-200/-200ER, but not the B-777-200LR. Airbus has only 374 firm orders for the A-359 (as of Jan. 2012), but it clearly outsells its sister models, the A-358 (118 firm orders) and the A-3510 (down to just 69 firm orders). Total A-350 orders stand at 561 (as of Jan. 2012). As of July 2011, Boeing has delivered 415 B-777-200ERs and another 88 B-777-200s. The B-77E is clearly out selling the A-359, which I expect to be delayed….again, soon. Airbus has tried to market the A-350 with a lie, using the claim it is an “XWB”, when it is actually narrower than the B-777 by some 10″ (B-777 cabin width 19.25′ or 5.87m and the A-350 is 18.4′ or 5.61m). Compared against the B-787-9, the A-350 is slightly wider (about 5″), yet is significantly heavier with a MTOW of 308 tonnes, compared to just 251 tonnes for the same range, payload, and only about 20 more pax. Airbus isn’t even pushing one model of the A-350, the A-359F because they don’t have the engineering resources to work that model.

      afromme, the A-306F will be around for a while, but the converted A-300s and A-310s P2Fs are rapidly retiring. That is why FedEx has ordered the new build B-763Fs.

      There are A-340s sitting in the deserts of the world waiting for someone to pick them up, maybe for a P2F program, but no one has begun such a program. Al Baker threat to take some of his A-330s and convert them to freighters because Airbus won’t do that. But, if Airbus won’t do it he has limited options. He cannot go to IAI to do the work, although they do excellent work (that political Arab/Israeli thing), and I doubt Boeing would be willing to begin an A-330 P2F program for obvious reasons. Airbus did look at an A-320 P2F program, but the market for A-320/B-737 freighters is small, and Boeing or IAI already do that type of work. Boeing also has a new build B-737-700C program available if anyone wants some (the US Navy buys them as C-40As).

      The 28 A-330MRTTs sold are all converted from the pax model, as you said. But they do not have a cargo rated floor, to get that Airbus wants customers to order new build A-330Fs and convert them to tankers. In the USAF KC-X compitition, it was found the Boeing offered B-767-200LRF (KC-46A) could lift the same cargo weight as the Airbus offered A-330-200 (KC-45A).

      Yes, the B-767-300BCF program didn’t start until 2008, but then again no one asked for a program for converting B-767-300ERs. The B-763ER was in high demand then, and still is, but to a lessor amount. Boeing has had various B-707, B-727, B-737, and B-747 conversion programs for years. Today we not only see the B-767 conversions, but its sister the B-757, and older B-737CLASSICs, too.

      Airbus is only offering the new build A-330-200F, and sales for it are painfully slow.

      OTOH, Boeing offers new build B-747-8Fs, B-777-200LRFs, B-767-300ERFs, B-777-200LRFs (no sales yet), and the B-737-700C (no sales yet). So there is a freighter model for everything in the Boeing line-up except the B-787.

      You may have not noticed, but the cargo market has slowed down. I believe it slowed some 12% during 2011.

  21. KC135TopBoom :
    Airbus has tried to market the A-350 with a lie, using the claim it is an “XWB”, when it is actually narrower than the B-777 by some 10″ (B-777 cabin width 19.25′ or 5.87m and the A-350 is 18.4′ or 5.61m). Compared against the B-787-9, the A-350 is slightly wider (about 5″), yet is significantly heavier with a MTOW of 308 tonnes, compared to just 251 tonnes for the same range, payload, and only about 20 more pax.

    There is absolutely no lie there. Your statement is a calumny. The XWB designation simply originated when Airbus decided to make the original A350 fuselage wider in order to position it between the 787 and the 777. The initial design had retained the A300 original cross section, which had until then been carried over to the A310/A330/A340. So the A350 is an Extra Wide Body when compared to the original A350, which was a Wide Body.

    The decision to depart from the A300 legacy fuselage was a bold one, for Airbus had always strictly adhered to the Boeing philosophy with the 707 fuselage. Time will tell if it was a wise decision. I always though it was a great idea to position the A350 between the 787 and 777; the idea being to try and hit two birds with one stone. So far the formula has been quite successful with well over 500 firm orders before first flight. It is not a small accomplishment for an airplane of that size.

    That being said, I have recently become more skeptical about the whole concept and I wonder if Airbus is not trying to do too much with a single airframe. But if it ever turns out to be a total success it will be viewed by history as a visionary decision. For the time being it all rests on what exactly they will do with the various derivatives that are presently in development.

    • The A350 looks like a good solution for a 9 across cabin, and I hope it succeeds. It beats 10 across on the 777, 9 across on the 787, or an 11 across A380, where’s the joy in that?

      • The seating configueration is decided upon by the airlines, not the OEMs. My guess is some A-358/9/10 customers will choose 10 (or more across seating, just as the customers have done to just about every airplane type. Airbus is offering a 445 seat configuered A-359, all Y seats on a 29″ pitch and up to 10 across. I don’t know if any ordered their jets this way, but they can. Boeing offers the B-747-8 up to 555 seats, Airbus offers the A-380-800 up to 853 seats. There are similar cattle car configuerations for every airplanes offered by the OEMs.

    • If Airbus had said it had a unique cross section, there would not be a problem. If they had stayed with the A-300 cross section, it would not be a problem.

      But instead they said;

      “The A350 XWB’s wide fuselage cross-section was designed for an optimum travel experience in all classes of service. Passengers will enjoy more headroom, wider panoramic windows and larger overhead storage space. With a cross-section of 220 inches from armrest to armrest, the jetliner’s cabin provides the widest seats in its category, being five inches larger than its nearest competitor.”

      http://www.airbus.com/aircraftfamilies/passengeraircraft/a350xwbfamily/

      Then there is this in wikipedia (yes, I know it is wiki);

      “Redesign and launch
      As a result of these criticisms, in mid-2006 Airbus undertook a major review of the A350 concept. The proposed new A350 with a wider fuselage cross-section has become more of a competitor to the larger Boeing 777 as well as some models of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The new A350 fuselage allows 10-abreast high-density configuration.[22][23] The A330 and previous iterations of the A350 would only be able to accommodate 8 passengers per row in normal configurations. The 787 can accommodate 8 or 9 passengers per row, while the 777 can accommodate 9 passengers per row, with some airlines using 10-abreast seating. The A350 cabin is 12.7 cm (5.0 in) wider at the eye level of a seated passenger than the competing 787,[24] and 28 cm (11 in) narrower than the Boeing 777, its other competitor.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A350#Redesign_and_launch

  22. So, Airbus plans to add its Sharklets to the new A330. They must be confident indeed that the Sharklet doesn’t infringe on Aviation Partners’ Blended Winglet.

    I wonder if (as with the A320 Neo) the Sharklet will only be available on new aircraft, and not for retrofit. For the Neo, this is reportedly because the cost of modding existing A320s is prohibitive.

    Does having such a proven fuel-saving feature available only on new aircraft reduce the residual values of the existing aircraft?

    • The aviation partner Ip is different and anyway has only been protect trough a US patent (aka valid only in the USA) that will expire in 2014.

      Airbus (and others) have full freedom to operate 😉

      • Uh, no. Otherwise there wouldn’t be the hew and cry about pirated Chinese dvds and other goods if they “are only sold outside the USA”. This is simply not the case. And even if it were, the second one of those planes was bought by or few into the USA, it would be in violation. Additionally, you neglect the Intellectual Property treaties and conventions between Europe and the US.

        Airbus has pretty clearly infringed on API’s IP. They are trying to preemptively strike at it with a lawsuit to limit the damages they will have to pay, it’s a common tactic in law. The inevitable negotiations, if AP takes the bait, will reduce Airbus’ liability, and probably include some reduced rate of licensing; which is what Airbus is actually shooting for. It may well work, as API is a rather small company, but it is a gamble. If API fights, they will probably win, and Airbus will be stuck. The problem is that it’s a long fight, and an expensive one.

    • Further to previous comment, the sharklet will be available on regular A320s (as delivered and retrofit) before being standard on the NEOs

      • That remains to be seen, since that was an API winglet, and given the current row between them an Airbus; one could easily imagine that won’t be happening any time soon.

  23. I still don’t understand how about 5 years later, people don’t understand that the XWB designation isn’t in comparison to the 777, but the old A350 and 787. In relation to the latter, it might just be a meager difference, but it IS still wider.

    • When Airbus made the A350XWB fuselage bigger than the A350Mk1 it was not just to make it more competitive with the 787. The idea was to make it more competitive with both the 787 and the 777 at the same time. Yes it is closer in size to the 787 than it is to the 777, but that does not mean the 777 was not part of the equation.

      They have tried a similar formula before with the A330/A340 and it failed. They wanted to produce two different aircraft using the same wing and fuselage. This time around they want to compete with two different airplanes using a single fuselage. In both cases they tried to hit two birds with one stone. But sometimes the stone can become a boomerang.

      • I wouldn’t want to give judgement on the XWB yet.

        On the other hand the A330/340 family concept is
        definitely not a failure. Remember that Airbus was
        a market entrant at the time. The synergies are immense
        with the A330 growing into its major role and after 20 years Airbus could discontinue the 4engine version with minimal hassle.

    • Because that isn’t how Airbus markets it. They have often said “widest cabin in it’s segment”, which is clearly not true when one considers the A350 competes against the 777. But as with all marketing they show it against the 767 and 787 when it suits them, and against the 777 when it suits them. Wise people recognize this for the marketing spin that it is and don’t get too ruffled about it.

      • Maybe Boeing should market the new 777 as the 777-9XXWB, just to clear up any confusion over which manufacturer really has the widest body in the segment? 🙂

  24. TC :
    The parallel I was seeing between the 777 and the A330 was the business case of updating an aluminum widebody. The consideration of which, is a paradigm shift from several years ago.

    I see your point, but its somewhat irrelevant or at least non-sequitur..:-)

    • Is it irrelevant?
      The Opinion Majority ( crafted after the “Moral Majority” ) was adamant that anything done in Aluminium would fare very badly with advent of the CFRP 787 in the wild.
      Even aluminium airplanes falling out of the sky wasn’t out of the question ! 😉

      I would be very interested in comparing the Composite-Aluminium wing of the A380 to one done in established tech CFRP ( i.e. about A400/A350 level )

      • Uwe, the A-400 wing has a much higher percentage of CFRP than the A-350 does. The A-350 has only a small percentage of CFRP in the wing, it is all in the fuselarge. Now the B-787 has a near 100% CFRP content in the wing as well as a near 90% in the fuselarge.

        BTW, just who is this “opinion majority”, and do they base their opinions on facts or emotions?

      • KC, the A350 wing will have composite spars and one piece wing covers/panels. The ribs, on the other hand, are made out of complex machined aluminium-lithium components.

        http://www.reinforcedplastics.com/view/13522/airbus-a350-xwb-update/

        The A350 has a wing and centre wing box that are more extensively composite (about 80%) than on previous Airbus aircraft and the production arrangements reflect this. With majority production of the wings taking place in the UK, Airbus has expanded its capability at Broughton, North Wales, with a new 46 000 m2 factory dedicated to A350 XWB wing production. Wing design and engineering take place at the Airbus UK site at Filton, Bristol.

  25. Byran :I still don’t understand how about 5 years later, people don’t understand that the XWB designation isn’t in comparison to the 777, but the old A350 and 787. In relation to the latter, it might just be a meager difference, but it IS still wider.

    Airbus isn’t marketing the A-350 against the B-787, B-767, A-350 Mk.I, or the A-330. They are marketing it against the B-777.

    • Should we start a discussion about the adequateness of tagging the 787 a “Dreamliner” ? 😉

      • Sure, then start one on the uselessness of the A-380, and A-400M. How about one on the A-310 and A-340?

        Howabout comparing how many B-787 (815) have sold compared to the A-350 (550), or how many times it took Airbus to get an A-350 the airlines wanted (6), but even then they don’t want the A-3510.

        Uwe, I can understand your hatred for Boeing and anything built in the US (BTW the US still out produces any country in the world by more than 40%), and your support for Airbus and all that comes from the Magical Kindom of the EU. But even you must admit sometimes Airbus has flaws, too.

  26. KC135TopBoom :
    afromme, the A-306F will be around for a while, but the converted A-300s and A-310s P2Fs are rapidly retiring. That is why FedEx has ordered the new build B-763Fs.

    Not sure what this has to do with anything I said – my point was that there is obviously no issue converting A300/A310 to freighters, hence there shouldn’t be any issue converting A330/A340s.
    Regarding fleet sizes (as you brought them up) – sure, the amount of A300/A310 in the skies will decrease, as they are no longer being built, and some older examples are pushing their maximum cycles. Your talk of “rapidly retiring” seems a bit exaggerated, though.

    KC135TopBoom :
    There are A-340s sitting in the deserts of the world waiting for someone to pick them up, maybe for a P2F program, but no one has begun such a program.

    That’s exactly what I said: “The main reason behind Airbus not offering an A330/A340 conversion and Boeing not offering a 777BCF at this point would be a) this potentially eating into sales of the new-built A332F and 777F and b) the lack of availability of usable A330 and 777 for conversion. (A340s may be more readily available, but once you start converting those, you have little argument in refusing to convert A330 as well.)”

    KC135TopBoom :
    The 28 A-330MRTTs sold are all converted from the pax model, as you said. But they do not have a cargo rated floor, to get that Airbus wants customers to order new build A-330Fs and convert them to tankers. In the USAF KC-X compitition, it was found the Boeing offered B-767-200LRF (KC-46A) could lift the same cargo weight as the Airbus offered A-330-200 (KC-45A).

    Not sure I understand you right here, and not sure you understood me, so just to clarify:
    The A330MRTT is based on a converted (new-built) passenger A330-200, and it is available with a cargo main-deck and cargo door as an option, so it’s clearly not an issue to convert a passenger A330 to a freighter. This I mentioned in response to CubJ3, who implied otherwise. Not sure how the KC-X competition is related to this.

    KC135TopBoom :
    Yes, the B-767-300BCF program didn’t start until 2008, but then again no one asked for a program for converting B-767-300ERs. The B-763ER was in high demand then, and still is, but to a lessor amount.

    Never knew something could be “in high demand, but to a lesser amount.”
    Anyway – what you say is pretty much exactly my point – the 763ER was in demand, plus there was a 763F (new-built), so there was not much point in starting the 763BCF programme much sooner than 2008. Same situation today for the A330. Again, I was responding to CubJ3’s post, i.e. trying to illustrate that there is no A330P2F purely due to commercial, not technical, reasons.

    So the only reason for my bringing up Boeing here was to make the point that it’s not unknown for an airframer to hold off on starting a P2F conversion programme for commercial reasons.

    KC135TopBoom :
    Airbus is only offering the new build A-330-200F, and sales for it are painfully slow.

    It’s really hard for you to resist taking stabs at Airbus in every 2nd sentence, isn’t it?
    Incidentally, five years after initial order, the A330-200F order book stands at 62. Five years after the initial order, Boeing had sold 33 767-300Fs.
    Mind you, I don’t think that early sales of either type are/were an indication of the overall sales you should expect.

    • 767 are availabe because the A330 squeezes their place in the pax market.
      757 are available due to inroads from 737 and A320 into their original market.
      747 are available due to inroads from A340 and 777

      In all instances a fuel guzzling type falls out of the pax market then being available
      at a very good price for P2F conversion. P2F conversion “life” by way of cheap and
      easily convertible donor frames.
      Searching on aerostransport.org there is exactly 1 A330 stored and less than 20 A340.
      My guess is the A330 P2F market will kick off when the 787 gets into production numbers
      that exceed growth demand. i.e. when there is actually supply to replace aging A330.
      On the other hand those A330 may then have run out of cycles and hours.
      LH currently retires some 747 with ~120,000 hours “End of Life”. Their A340 in hours aren’t really all that younger.

      Synopsis:
      Boeing is forced into the freighter business because they have lost market share in the pax segment. ( This is obviously one side in a half full half empty debate )

  27. Uwe :
    I wouldn’t want to give judgement on the XWB yet.

    Neither do I. It might become the very best design Airbus ever came up with. We just don’t know yet. I hope they succeed because I am not a Boeing fanatic.

    No one questions the viability of the A330. It still has a great future ahead and it might one day be recognized for its longevity, just like the venerable 737. But I consider the A340 not a great success, if not a failure. And when I compare the rationale behind the decision to build a “two in one” with the rationale of seeking “two with one”, it strikes me as being exceedingly cartesian.

  28. Normand Hamel: “The A340 not a great success, if not a failure”
    The A330 and 340 were designed as “common,” if not identical aircraft, with
    a common wing/fuselage, the only difference being the number of engines.
    This because there was no engine in the making at that time in the late 80s,
    to fly the long-distance flights, like SI-LA nonstop, with 250-300 seats and
    only two engines, which SIA wanted.

    And guess what, the A340 almost killed the 777, when several airlines, inclu-
    ding SIA, started buying the A340 in good numbers and very few if any 777s,
    until the mid 90’s, because range became the big issue!

    It wasn’t until GE (McNerney) under “strong pressure” from Boeing, agreed to
    provide engines with 125k thrust, compared to the maximum 85K available
    until then, before the 777 became the superior airplane in that category!
    However, GE extracted a “price” from Boeing, before agreeing to offer the
    125K engine, by making the GE engine with 125K thrust, the “sole source”
    engine on the 777, which it made the 777 the success it has been ever since!

    • If we split the A340 “family” between the A340-200/300 on one hand and the A340-500/600 on the other, the picture that emerges is quite different. If the 200/300 was a reasonable success, the 500/600 was a commercial failure. But when people think about the A340 they have a tendency to focus exclusively on the earlier incarnation and forget all about the later models. That demonstrates the little impact the 500/600 have made on our psyche. With a record like that we can safely (and sarcastically) conclude that the Ultra Long Range A340 did not go very far after all.

      • Actually the A340-200 was even more of a failure than the 500 or the 600. The bread and butter of the A340 was the 300.

  29. KC135TopBoom :
    BTW, just who is this “opinion majority”, and do they base their opinions on facts or emotions?

    It’s always nice when people can base their opinions on facts. Providing they verify their facts beforehand. When I say this I have no one in particular in mind. 😉

  30. KC135TopBoom :
    Uwe, the A-400 wing has a much higher percentage of CFRP than the A-350 does. The A-350 has only a small percentage of CFRP in the wing, it is all in the fuselarge. Now the B-787 has a near 100% CFRP content in the wing as well as a near 90% in the fuselarge.
    BTW, just who is this “opinion majority”, and do they base their opinions on facts or emotions?

    all 3 types have CFRP wing skins, cocured stringers, CFRP spars and aluminium ribs.
    I would be surprised if the content fractions vary all that much.

    On occasion I would like to see the sources you get your “interesting” informations from.

    • It is indeed a very elegant aircraft. It reminds me of the old DC-8 Super 60 Series. Its too bad it could not attract more customers. We have therefore less opportunity to admire its graceful shape.

  31. OV-099 :
    KC, in terms of the dollar value of manufacturing output/finished goods, China topped the United States as the world’s largest manufacturer for the first time in 2010.
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hs6lMonB70QER8hngleFPHLXwnyA?docId=CNG.9cac656ee218c88029a4490458898142.391

    The primary difference these days is the trade balance:
    The US needs about $2b additional credit per day.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_net_exports
    Looking at that really gives one doubts as to the causes of the “Euro Crisis”.

  32. Reply to Rudy # 75.

    “And guess what, the A340 almost killed the 777, when several airlines, inclu-
    ding SIA, started buying the A340 in good numbers and very few if any 777s,
    until the mid 90′s, because range became the big issue!”

    Rudy, a rare error! Neither plane was available until the mid-90s. As for death, it was the reverse. The 772ER killed the A343. SIA traded in 17 of them to B for -ERs.

    Reply to Uwe #73:

    “747 are available (for P2F) due to inroads from A340 and 777.”

    No doubt true in part. But these “inroads” also illustrate my point that A’s A380 vision was flawed for the same reason. Until the A343, many 774s were sold because of their unique long range even tho they were otherwise too big. A’s “vision” for the A343, a very good one, was that the mkt really wanted increased range, not size. Somehow this valuable insight got lost when Forgard decided for whatever reason to do the A380.

    Reply to Uwe #50:

    “All in all your view is probably as tainted with “USinside” as mine is formed by the Euro environment.”

    Uwe, with all respect, this is not true. I am able to look at the US aerospace industry, particularly B, with a savage eye. I am deeply disgusted and saddened by how the industry conducted itself, and have said so often here, and to the very few of my friends who are willing to listen for more than 30 seconds. From Douglas’ botch of the DC-9, to MD’s disgraceful, fraudulent rip-off mis-mangement of the C-17 that destroyed to company, to MD’s buying B and Stonecipher’s nearly destroying the company and millions of jobs. I didn’t care if A won the tanker contest so long as they created an assembly line in the US to build it because the important strategic goal is to keep the US and EU aerospace industries entangled, to use a word you like. Hopefully, A will put a line Witchita for the A320.

    I just don’t see that same openness in you. On the other hand, just to be consistent with my claimed openness, perhaps you are right. Perhaps A has never had a vision, or any other, problem so there is nothing to be open about.

    • Rudy was involved in _selling_ planes and not in delivery 😉

      To keep this in perspective:
      A340/330 : product launch May 1986
      A340 : EIS in Feb 1993
      A330 : EIS in Jan 1994

      777 : launch order Oct 1990 : EIS May 1995
      the launch customers BOD seems to have had a preference for the A330
      but then the 777 was offered as a “custom fit”
      http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_777#United_als_Erstkunde
      ( use babelfish )

      i.e. the late 80ties early 90ties are the relevant timeframe for Rudy’s narrative.

      as an aside:
      IMHO you interprete as absolutes what i write as a complementing statement
      were a synthesis would be the next step and not a counterattack.
      Nothing is black and white, not even my views.
      ( This may well be the cat and dog thing between Europe and the US : paraphrasing GBS )
      There are other asymmetries in the dicussion culture that I am not going to expound on here.

  33. “Rudy, a rare error! Neither plane was available until the mid-90s. As for death, it was the reverse. The 772ER killed the A343. SIA traded in 17 of them to B for -ERs. ”

    Was that the moment in time Boeing actually bought SQ A340s to convince them the 777 was better? The A340 entered service in 1993. SQ still uses them ULH, despite Boeing trying to convince SQ into buying the 772LR.

    The amount of people still advocating the A380 is a bad idea is shrinking and shrinking every year, until it is a very small, bitter, stuborn, community I guess.

    http://www.emg.rs/en/emplus/130585.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Airbus_A380_orders_and_deliveries#Orders_by_date
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBgjXTq0Vkc

    On the 737 development costs, I wonder why Boeing sends out this woman with the order to tell everyone developing the MAX isn’t more expensive then the NEO.

    The people who need to know, know the truth and the rest thinks it is probably another overoptimistic promise. Almost everyone agrees the MAX is the best Boeing can do at this stage.

    • I love to watch that video. It reminds me of the impact the 747 made when it was first introduced way back then, in what I see today as the golden years of aviation.

      But who said that today’s kids were bored and that nothing impressed them anymore? 😉

  34. Uwe :
    my ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_Majority

    Uwe, I don’t understand why you answer my post by giving me this reference. The “one in particular I (did not) have in mind” is actually your Boeing counterpart, whom I was sarcastically, but amicably, reminding that he should practice what he preaches.

    Even though you occasionally display strong and colourful opinions, I appreciate your regular contribution which often provides hard facts to back up some of the statements. This is quite unusual among those who are fanatically supporting one camp while systematically bashing the other.

    Unfortunately other individuals persist saying things that only reflect their own personal biases and which often have nothing to do with reality whatsoever.

    Regards, Normand

    • Good Morning Normand
      and “Ups”. A missunderstanding, this was not really a counterargument to your post.
      I just wanted to present the ethymology to my “opinion majority” monicer.

      I don’t really feel all that fanatic 😉 But imho some of the carefully cut out fact arrangement and dogmatic statements need a counter viewpoint for balance.

      I’ve never had a knack for being diplomatic independent of language used 😉

      • What I like most about your “counter viewpoint for balance” is that it is always substantiated and well documented. You are strong with numbers and you will sometimes go at great length to support your claims with data.

        But occasionally you also express your strong views on certain cultural issues with a peculiar sense of humour. And like you just did with me, I sometimes fail to catch the irony.

  35. KC135TopBoom :
    Sure, then start one on the uselessness of the A-380, and A-400M. How about one on the A-310 and A-340?
    Howabout comparing how many B-787 (815) have sold compared to the A-350 (550), or how many times it took Airbus to get an A-350 the airlines wanted (6), but even then they don’t want the A-3510.
    Uwe, I can understand your hatred for Boeing and anything built in the US (BTW the US still out produces any country in the world by more than 40%), and your support for Airbus and all that comes from the Magical Kindom of the EU. But even you must admit sometimes Airbus has flaws, too.

    If it’s been marketed against the 787 like you said above, why aren’t you counting the number of 777 sales(since the A350 was on offer) vs. number of A350XWB sales for better effect?

    • At least one of the recent larger 777 orders has been explicitly tagged for delivery before A350-1000 EIS. currently the 777 may well fill a similar role the A330 had/has versus the 787-8.

  36. Spirit airlines has just ordered 75 Airbus A320 45 incuding 45 neos mybe a F.L.A state side soon????

  37. a380 :Yes start with two flight’s canned to Frankfurt so far owing to tec difficultly’s oop’s

    So why not also talk about the 96.3% dispatch rate on the domestic ’87s NH has in service? I suppose it only makes snese to crow about facts that suit your agenda?

    • We should also report the fact that NH is reporting higher load factors on 787 vs non 787 routes. Customers seem to dig it…odd for such a bad dream. If I were an ANA exec, I might be kinda happy about that.

      • Higher load factors due to a new aircraft and novely factor? That’s interesting, as the Boeing crowd has always vehemently opposed the notion of the A380’s ability to attract passengers. Funny how that works.

      • I suppose that right now, one could make that argument if they wanted to. IMHO, It’s the equivalent of proving a negative; there’s not enough time gone by to prove otherwise. But, the one thing that is tough to argue with, is that passengers like it. They are the ones paying the fares…not us. If they voted with their feet and told us how bad the product was we wouldn’t have a problem listening, would we? Are you suggesting that we will see a drop off in 787 load factors once the novelty wears off? I happen to think the opposite. Once pax get a taste of it, I’m doubtful they will pound the pavement in the opposite direction and beg for their 767s back.

      • BucK T :
        But, the one thing that is tough to argue with, is that passengers like it. They are the ones paying the fares…not us. If they voted with their feet and told us how bad the product was we wouldn’t have a problem listening, would we? Are you suggesting that we will see a drop off in 787 load factors once the novelty wears off? I happen to think the opposite. Once pax get a taste of it, I’m doubtful they will pound the pavement in the opposite direction and beg for their 767s back.

        No, I agree with you. I was merely pointing out the hypocrisy in the Boeing camp as all the above applies to the A380 as well. There have been numerous discussions on airliners.net on the subject, with the Boeing crowd essentially claiming the A380’s ability to attract passengers was a bunch of nonsense. I have no doubt the 787 will attract more pax as well, as will the A350.

      • I would hope we can also agree that Hiposcirsy flows both directions. If it were up to me, unbridled fanboy-ism would be a capital offense :-). All I ever try to offer in my very occasional posts is a reminder that for every “gotcha” point offered from one camp, there is an equal and opposite “gotcha” point waiting in the wings. It’s simple physics. I usually watch these comment boards from the sidelines with amusement; it’s like watching two tom-cats fight it out in a paper bag, or a slow speed train wreck that I just can’t avert my eyes from. Every so often I feel compelled to dive in…today being one of those days. What I’d really like to see is competing product in the air settling the debate via pilots, maintenance crews and airline financial statements, as opposed to all of the definitive statements and prognosticating we see on comment boards.

        Back to the topic at hand, I agree that the A350 will also be a passenger magnet, and we already have data to prove the A380 is a hit with flyers. Whether it is a niche player or a fundamental game changing solution remains to be seen this early on.

      • Airbus reports cracks in wings of A380. Shouldn’t be a safety-of-flight thing, but they are going to fix it anyway. Looks like both manufacturers are identifying problems, causes and solutions.

    • The recent cancellations and delays on the Frankfurt flights could easily have dragged the average down to 95%.

  38. Howard :
    You make it out as though Boeing are idiots that didn’t bother to evaluate other engine options, which a simple search for news would indicate is a falsehood.

    I never questioned, here or anywhere else, the engine choice made by Boeing. I always understood that the decision they made was driven by a desire to retain commonality. It makes perfect sense to me. Technically they could have also chosen the GTF, but that would have forced them to redesign the wing completely in order to accommodate an elongated MLG to fit the larger fan under the new wing. A slow moving very large fan being the raison d’être of the GTF technology. When I say that Boeing have both of their hands tied in their back, I am referring to the the 737 ground clearance. Airbus does not have that restriction and that is why I said they have a free hand. I was not talking about politics, I was talking about simple geometry. Well it might be a simple geometry problem for us but it makes the Boeing engineers’s task considerably more complex. Much more so than for the Airbus engineers.

    Howard :
    Boeing does have a bigger work statement. This is obvious. It’s also obvious that the price tag will be higher. Whether it’s twice what Airbus will pay, well that remains to be seen. There are many factors involved, one of which I tried to point out is keeping the scope of the changes down. This is key for BOTH OEMs. Or do you disagree with this? If so, why?

    I totally agree with this. But Airbus has more margin than Boeing, and for two reasons. One being that the 737 engine is less than optimal because of its restricted fan diameter. That forces Boeing to work harder to save weight in case the engine performance does not match the ones offered on the A320neo. The other reason is that because of the geometric restrictions I was talking about earlier Boeing will have to deal with complications that might further penalize them in terms of weight. I am referring here to the structural reinforcements that will be required by the less than optimized engine position and NLG extension. For sure Airbus will have problems of their own to address. For a start they have to find ways to shed some weight. And they have to design two new pylons, but these are straight forward (so to speak). But ultimately they have more margin because the new engines will give them a very good fuel burn (especially the GTF) that will be harder to match on the 737 MAX. In the end what will save the day for Boeing is the extra seats they are able to offer on the 737. That might be where they will regain what will have been lost in other areas.

    • What makes you think that CFM hasn’t worked to optimise the engine for Boeing. No one has said that they are just plain going to take the Airbus LEAP engine and slap that on the 737. In fact the CFM press release says specifically that they WILL optimise the engine for Boeing. Or do you think CFM is lying when they said that? BTW, you can find the claim here (4th paragraph, fist sentence, second clause).
      http://www.cfm56.com/press/news/cfm+international+statement+on+boeing+737+new+engine+family+launch/611

      This optimisation will take care of some of the excess weight that would come from the A320/C919 LEAP engine, but of course the LEAP is going to be heavier than the current CFM-56 on the 737. That will mean wing strengthening, to be sure. This is also true on the A320. This has been admitted by both OEMs.

      I will freely admit I am no fan of the MAX. I think it was a stupid idea, but I don’t think it’s a “bridge too far”. Rather, it’s not that complex; if as I said, they keep the changes to a minimum.

      • CFMI has an excellent track record and Boeing is an extremely important customer for them, possibly even more so than Airbus due to the exclusivity. Therefore I expect them to do everything that is technically possible and economically viable in order to preserve this lucrative relationship. I am sure they will spare no effort to meet their present goal and they will probably succeed. But I expect the neo to have marginally better performances at the beginning, with a widening gap later on as the full potential of the GTF is exploited.

  39. alexpdx :
    Higher load factors due to a new aircraft and novely factor? That’s interesting, as the Boeing crowd has always vehemently opposed the notion of the A380′s ability to attract passengers. Funny how that works.

    It obviously should work for all new types.

    On the third hand seating density is exceptionally low so how do the seatcounts compare between the Dreamliner service and the previously flown frame? 767 or 777 ??
    i.e. Are there actually more bookings than before ?

    Apropos:
    What does ANA do differently ( just how they account it ? ) to get “only” 96% dispatch rate ( nearly equal initally for the 787 and the general ANA fleet ) while elsewhere double and tripple nines are bandied about?

    • Currently NH flies one 788 flight per day on HND-HIJ (the rest are 767 and 772), and two 788 flights on HND-OKJ (the rest are 767). Can’t really tell what they flew last year, or whether frequencies have changed, or whether the 788s are flying at peak hours or not.

  40. Reply to Keejse # 53:

    “Was that the moment in time Boeing actually bought SQ A340s to convince them the 777 was better? The A340 entered service in 1993. SQ still uses them ULH, despite Boeing trying to convince SQ into buying the 772LR.”

    Keesje – Come on! SQ does not use the original 343s any more, and B never bought the 343s. alto they did disposed of them wilth some difficulty. SQ quit on them not because of some tricky B plot but because they were under-powered and did not have the climb rate SQ wanted over the Indian Ocean. SQ replaced them with -200ERs which they are still using and will pass on to their new LCC. They do use their few 345s, but only all-business from Singapore to NYC because the plane never met it’s promised payload range with full 3-class pax.

    As an aside, during this time SQ had a lot of trouble picking the medium wide body they wanted: MD-11 order cancelled in favor of the the A343; A343 cancelled in favor of the 772ER.

  41. Christopher you state ;

    – B never bought the 343s alto they did disposed of them wilth some difficulty (?!)
    – the A345 never met it’s promised payload range with full 3-class pax.
    – SQ quit on (A343) because they were under-powered and did not have the climb rate SQ wanted

    I seems these three statements are made up just to serve a general view but are incorrect. (B bought them in the deal with SQ (who bought iso MD11s), A345 & 343 totally meet their specs).

    BTW I guess there has not been a US press article / blog including Airbus during the last 10 yrs, that doesn’t at least touch how the magnificent 777 beat the A340, regardsless of the topic. It almost seems a kind of obligation. I hope it becomes a tradition like singing the anthem before a match. It’s funny 😉

    That the A340s smaller sister A333 had the 772 for lunch afterwards isn’t part of the story 😉

  42. Here is the patent: http://www.google.com/patents?id=PEgkAAAAEBAJ&printsec=abstract&zoom=4#v=onepage&q&f=false
    Expiry date is September 20, 2014.
    There was no WO patent (PCT, worldwide) and there are no descendant to this one. The US protection will laps soon in the USA. There is no protection already outside USA.
    What Airbus is doing now is challenging the US patent (classic for any patent nearing its end of life) so that it can enter US market before protection ends.

    Now that Airbus has infringed is to be decided by a court of law.

    Howard :
    Uh, no. Otherwise there wouldn’t be the hew and cry about pirated Chinese dvds and other goods if they “are only sold outside the USA”. This is simply not the case. And even if it were, the second one of those planes was bought by or few into the USA, it would be in violation. Additionally, you neglect the Intellectual Property treaties and conventions between Europe and the US.
    Airbus has pretty clearly infringed on API’s IP. They are trying to preemptively strike at it with a lawsuit to limit the damages they will have to pay, it’s a common tactic in law. The inevitable negotiations, if AP takes the bait, will reduce Airbus’ liability, and probably include some reduced rate of licensing; which is what Airbus is actually shooting for. It may well work, as API is a rather small company, but it is a gamble. If API fights, they will probably win, and Airbus will be stuck. The problem is that it’s a long fight, and an expensive one.

  43. Howard :
    That remains to be seen, since that was an API winglet, and given the current row between them an Airbus; one could easily imagine that won’t be happening any time soon.

    Sooner than you think:

    Air New Zealand is the launch customer for the Sharklets, with first delivery set for around the end of 2012, Airbus said.

    “The new Sharklets will enable our Airbus fleet to benefit from lower fuel burn and carbon emissions, both across Air New Zealand’s domestic network and especially on the longer trans-Tasman sectors,” Rob Fyfe, Air New Zealand’s chief executive, said in a news release.

    http://blog.seattlepi.com/aerospace/2009/11/15/airbus-launches-sharklet-wingtip-devices-for-a320/

    • Those are new build, not retrofits. Those sharkets would be the Airbus, API infringing, ones. Not the API retrofit for existing A320s that had been discussed.

  44. Reply to Keesje # 53:

    I did not say A380 would not be popular with the flying public, or that no one would order it. I did say that A’s vision of the mkt for the plane when they gave the go ahead in 12/2000 was deeply flawed, and so far has turned out to be wrong. Their prediction was for 1700-1800 VlA’s for a twenty year period, some of which B would get, so say 1600 for A380. Altho A thoroughly evaluated the mkt to reach these figures, the fact was that there was huge uncertainty arising from the the rapidly growing P2P mkt and the resuling demand increase for 773ER/A346 type plane.

    Originally, the 20 year period was to start in 2000, when A started the project with 50 orders. Later, in 2007, Phillip Lawrence, working for A, predicted 17-1800 VLAs for the next 20 years, thru 2027, some of which B would get. Others, including independent analyst Richard Aboulaftia, estimated the 20 year VLA mkt at 400. A also estimated the VLA cargo mkt at over 400 for that period.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Airbus_A380_orders_and_deliverieshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Airbus_A380_orders_and_deliveries

    Right now, a full 11 years after go ahead, A has 253 firm orders, 90 of which are from EK, 41 options, and 8 commitments. To reach Lawrrences’s estimate of say 1600 planes by 2027, A will have to sell an average of about 83/year for each of the next 16 year.s. (1600-253 = 1347 div/by 16 = 83). This will drop to about 81 planes if the options are exercised. To my knowledge, A has never come close to any fo these numbers. Even if A’s VLA share is reduced to 1000, they would still need to sell about 45-50/year to reach that number by 2027, also an unlikely figure.

    It also true that the A380’s design is deficient in several material ways (no new-build freighter, no P2F of the pax variant, insufficient baggage and no cargo space), but these are not relevant to my point. My point is that A’s vision was wrong because they gave insufficient thought to P2P mkit issues despite huge amounts of evidence and respected opionion to the contrary. They wanted to build the plane for reasons which the evidence indicated would not produce the numbers they needed, so they ignored or did not give fair weight to that information, and proceeded on a questionable premise, much as B proceeded on the unjustified premise that their 787 suppliers would function without supervision.

    • Christopher,
      To make your point re freighters you should enumerate some AC types that had an early on freighter version.

      P2F conversion is a “later/secondary use” thing applied to well used products and
      most types I can think of got a newbuilt freighter version as a mature project if ever.
      ( And I do count the 748F as a rehash of a mature product. Which accidentally seems to have been much more expensive to develope than planned originally. )

    • Christopher, you are mixing numbers, putting them in someones mouth & say they got it wrong. For a startAirbus never planned to build more then 4 A380 a month, 48 a year and Eis was 2007. Do the math. Find the outlooks from 2000-2001, they are still on line. part of the forecast was freighter and Airbus expected Boeing to continue building Vla’s. Some invented the 773ER is a VLA now..

      • That’s because so many airlines are buying the B-77W to replace B-747CLASSICs and A-340-200/-300s. It is also one of the selling points Airbus is using for the A-3510.

        BTW, 5 years into production, Airbus has yet to hit their targeted rate for the A-380 of 48 per year. You are right, EIS was in Oct. 2007 (it was delivered in early October) with one airplane to SQ, they didn’t get their second one until the end of Feb. 2008, nearly 6 months after they took delivery of their first one.

  45. Christopher Dye aka CubJ3 :
    Keesje – Come on! SQ does not use the original 343s any more, and B never bought the 343s. alto they did disposed of them wilth some difficulty.

    This is incorrect. Boeing did buy SIA’s A343’s – actually, two of them were almost directly delivered to Boeing’s yard, via Singapore. This even led to Airbus publicly threatening to withdraw support for any Boeing-owned A340s.
    But it gets better – not only did Boeing buy SIA’s A340s, but they later proposed doing the same thing to China Airlines as well to convince them of the 777.
    Here’s a source for both stories:
    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/boeing-offers-a340-buy-back-in-effort-to-place-777s-with-cal-134940/

    Doesn’t look like they had much issue in placing these planes with airlines, either. According to planespotters.net, most were placed with another operator withing six months, and some went straight from SIA to the next operator (Cathay and Emirates for most of them).

    Christopher Dye aka CubJ3 :
    SQ quit on them not because of some tricky B plot but because they were under-powered and did not have the climb rate SQ wanted over the Indian Ocean.
    The two – SIA not that happy with the airplane and a plot from Boeing to help them buy Boeing’s product instead – aren’t mutually exclusive.

    Christopher Dye aka CubJ3 :
    They do use their few 345s, but only all-business from Singapore to NYC because the plane never met it’s promised payload range with full 3-class pax.

    We’ve all read this on airliners.net, and we’ve also been reading there for about 8 years now that SIA will get rid of them sooner rather than later.
    And yet SIA repeatedly decided against replacing these lone A340-500s with 777-200LRs.
    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/sia-rules-out-a340-replacement-208189/

    Christopher Dye aka CubJ3 :
    As an aside, during this time SQ had a lot of trouble picking the medium wide body they wanted: MD-11 order cancelled in favor of the the A343; A343 cancelled in favor of the 772ER.

    The A343 order wasn’t cancelled – 15 out of 17 got delivered to SIA and were operated by them for a while – only the last two, delivered in 2003, effectively went straight to Boeing’s Aircraft Leasing arm.

    • This is correct. Lufthansa Technik maintained and managed the airplanes. Boeing actually never touched them, other than on paper.

  46. A330 range boost is a waist of money. The A350-800 will still be more economical to 2000 miles.

  47. Keesje # 125 and Afromme # 127:

    It’s possible that B did “buy” the A343s. I do rmember A’s threat not to service ones that went to B. But to say that SIA did not “cancel” the A343 is playing word games to avoid the main point, which is that SIA abandoned the 17 A343s, replacing them with 26 -200ERs as they wsere delivered between from 5/597 to 8/25/03 because at least for SIA the -200ER was better.

    http://www.planespotters.net/Airline/Singapore-Airlines

    40/month was a typo. 4 is correct.

    It is possible that I erred when I said that the A345 did not meet spec. I remember reading that it did not largely because it was overweight, but I have just not had the time to confirm this. You are of course correct that SIA continues to operate its 5 -345s on the two super long routes to the USA very successfully. The main point tho, is that this achievement just illustrates my larger point, that the mkts hunger for P2P service. People will pay a lot to avoid changing planes (particularly in ferocisous hubs like say Atlanta or the psychiatric hospital that is Heathrow). Eg Qantas’ 747ER service to Dallas, and Unitede/Cont HA’s new non-stop from the US East coast to HA, and lots more to come.

    Reply to Uwe # 123:

    My point re Fs was limited to what I understand is an issue unique to the A380F, that the upper deck of the pax was positioned differently from the one on the F. This resulted in unusually high development costs for the the F and makes P2F concersions for the paxes unlikiely. Problem is, I read this year’s ago, but to date have been unable to retrieve the source, so I have asked the blogosphere for yes/no several times, with no response. Pls remember, I mentioned this only to illustrate my point about whether or not the A380 was well conceived, not as a general statement about how new-build and P2F come about. The only aircraft I can think of off hand that were designed from the beginning to have an F variant were the 747 and 777.

  48. Christopher Dye aka CubJ3 :
    Keesje # 125 and Afromme # 127:
    It’s possible that B did “buy” the A343s.

    a) You claimed otherwise: “B never bought the 343s”
    b) It’s not just “possible” that Boeing’s leasing division bought them. They did.

    Christopher Dye aka CubJ3 :
    But to say that SIA did not “cancel” the A343 is playing word games to avoid the main point, which is that SIA abandoned the 17 A343s, replacing them with 26 -200ERs as they wsere delivered between from 5/597 to 8/25/03 because at least for SIA the -200ER was better.

    Sorry, but I’m not the one playing word games here. SIA did *not* cancel the A340-330. They did take delivery of and paid for all 17 of them. Most were actually in service with them for between 1 1/2 and 3 years as well. The only exception were the last two, which first got deferred (to 2003) and eventually delivered pretty much straight to the next operators, China Airlines and Gulf Air, respectively.

    Just to clarify: Nobody disputed that SIA replaced their A343s, and very quickly, too. I also don’t recall anybody claiming that they were incredibly happy with the planes.
    But to claim that they cancelled those planes is simply incorrect in the same way that it was incorrect to claim that Boeing didn’t buy them.

    To get the timeline right, by the way – SIA already ordered 22 777-200ER in December 1995, i.e. a few months before they took first delivery of an A340-300. They ordered 2 more a year after, with first delivery in May 1997. The A340-300 buy-back deal was part of an order for another 9 777-200ER (plus some -300ER), which wasn’t signed until December 1999. At that point, their 772ER order total was 33.
    So contrary to an earlier claim by keesje, I don’t think this deal was designed to convince SIA of the 777-200ER. They had already ordered plenty of them before the buy-back deal, and had been operating them for a couple of years as well. Although Boeing buying back the A343s certainly sweetened the proposition of getting more 777s.
    Researching this I incidentally found an article in the Flight Global archive mentioning that around the same time in 1999, Airbus did something similar with Gulf Air. They were getting A330-200 to replace 767-300ER. However, Airbus insisted they only helped to “remarket” those 767s, and never actually owned them in any way.

    As regards the A340-500, I don’t recall ever reading that it was overweight. I believe the first few A340-600 that Cathay got were, though. Flightglobal had a lengthy article about the less-than-stellar introduction of the A340-500/-600. It focused on the -600, though, which if I remember correctly also suffered most from the initial issues. Probably not surprising as the -500 was first delivered over a year after the -600.
    Here’s the article I’m thinking of:
    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/the-long-hello-197483/
    Certainly makes for interesting reading. SIA is also interviewed about the -500. Nothing too shocking there, though. Their pilots do say they’re more impressed with the -500 than they were with the -300.

  49. This has been the largest no. of “comments” and “deviations” to the original
    subject of one, i.e.
    “Odds and Ends: 737 MAX development cost; another range boost for A330!”

    So, maybe we should tackle a fresh new subject, Scott.
    I.E. What is anybodies prognoses for the future of the 747-8I v.v. the A380?
    Just a suggestion!

  50. I would suggest to rather make 3 seperate posts then 1 covering several topics.

    Other suugestion : a status update on the PW GTF’s. It has been a major game changer in many respects. Maybe give PW a call how things are progressing. Everybody wants to know.

    Then there are e.g. C919, MS21, A389, 787-10, ATR 90 seater, as well as many interesting airlines VS, UA/Co, China Southern, LAN, IAG, the Euro/ US LCCS, Indonesian aviation, etc.

  51. Reply to afromme, #132:

    “But to claim that they cancelled those planes is simply incorrect in the same way that it was incorrect to claim that Boeing didn’t buy them.”

    Fair enough. Originally, I said “traded in,” (my #92) and should have stuck with that. You get the last word.

    Reply to Uwe # `131:

    Thx for the AW reference:

    “Another major design difference is the location of the main deck ceiling, which is being raised 4 in. to 102 in. on the cargo version to better accommodate freight. A converted A380 would not feature the extra space on the main deck.”

    Reply to Rudy #133 & Keesje # 134 re NEW TOPICS TO DISAGREE ON AT LENGTH:

    I suggest exploration of future use of composites vs new metals now that A and B know a lot more about the difficulties and expense of the former resulting from their 787/350 programs, and Alcoa and other metal mfrs are pushing new metals in place of CFRP. Eg. see http://www.airinsight.com, “Al-Li An Alternative to CFRP”. 1/25/12, by Addison Schonland. Both OEMs will have chose what materials they use for the A330NEO/PIP & and 777/777-8/9XPIP, which I think will be built in large numbers.

  52. How about another, potentially very disconcerting subject, i.e. the lack of any
    news from either Boeing or any of the supposedly “committed” airlines to the
    737NEO for 1000 +units since last Autumn, who were ready to confirm their
    commitments this year ASA the Spec. had been finalized at the end of 2011
    for AA!

    We are now in February and the silence is becoming more and more worry-
    some, also because of the “whispers” that the thrust of the reduced-fan-dia-
    meter GENEX engine may not be adequate for the 737MAX after all, especial-
    ly for the heavier models, like the -800/900!

    Does anybody have any info on the above?

  53. I think its unlikely the LEAP won’t be powerfull enough. sfc is another question. Some are now trying to downplay the significance of BPR, including Boeing. I think that is opportunistic.

    In the past CFM has stated about half of the efficiency improvement of the Leap over the CFM56-5 was because of BPR. And I do not expect miracles from core improvement over the A320s Leap core. CFM will put any possible enhancement in that engine, because they are competing directly with it with the promising GTF.

    Pushing the Leap for higher sfc’s means higher temperatures and pressures. Having a negative impact on maintenace costs and time on wing..

  54. Keesje,
    I hope you are right, by suggesting that there is NO serious problem with the
    LEAP engine, big enough to prevent it from being THE engine for the MAX, in
    spite of the aery silence from Boeing and or any of the “committed” airlines,
    now into February!
    And excuse my ignorance,what on earth is BPR?

    • CFM had to “up the ante” on the carnot/thermal efficiency side for the LEAP already to be competitive on the NEO (+2..3%?). See the early GTF gains.

      If they can’t get to acceptable sfc via propulsive efficiency ( i.e. stuck with lower BPR ) they will have to shovel on the coals on the carnot side and/or reduce losses. Unfortunately the GTF already has a much lower blade count than the LEAP as currently designed.
      IMHO Airbus reservations over achievable performance gains for the MAX LEAP are realistic.

      Riskwise I would order these new engines from lowest : GTF via NEO LEAP to highest : MAX LEAP. ( name says it all ;-? )

  55. Reply to Keesje, Rudy, and Use, #s 139 -142.

    Take a look at this piece which reports that GE, Spirit, and B have agreed on just about everything related to the LEAP X to be used on the MAX. If this were just B talking, I would discount the claim substantially, but neither GE nor Spirit has anything near B’s reputation for routine mendacity, so I am inclined to take them at their respective words, at least provisionally. According to them, things look very good.

    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/ge-boeing-and-spirit-complete-leap-1b-installation-studies-367903/

  56. Cubj3,Keesje :
    Thank you for doing away with my concerns about the adequacy of the LEAPX
    engine on the MAX, which were also very much relieved by the following report:

    Quote
    Boeing says 737 Max to meet or exceed A320neo range.
    By: JON OSTROWER SEATTLE 08:15 8 Feb 2012 Source:
    Boeing will match or exceed the range of the Airbus A320neo with its 737
    Max family, as the company seeks to firm the configuration of its re-engined
    narrowbody.

    The airframer expects the CFM International Leap-1B-powered 737 Max
    to be “as good or better on range” than the A320neo family, said Boeing
    Commercial Airplanes vice president of marketing, Randy Tinseth.

    Airbus identifies the range of today’s sharklet-equipped A319, A320 and
    A321 as 6,850km (3,700nm), 6,150km (3,300nm) and 5,590km (3,200nm),
    respectively, and expects to add an additional 500nm with the addition of
    its Pratt & Whitney PW1100G and Leap-1A engines.

    “We’re going to make some minor structural enhancements to the 737
    Max, so we can have a slightly higher maximum takeoff weights so we
    can slightly increase the range of the airplane as well,” said Tinseth at
    the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance conference in suburban Seattle.

    Tinseth declined to say what its target ranges or weights were for the
    Max family, but each variant would top its next generation 737 predecessor.
    The 737-700’s design range is 6,200km (3,445nm), -800’s is 5,700km
    (3,085nm) and -900ER’s is 6,000km (3,235nm), respectively.

    A higher maximum takeoff weight would allow the 737 Max to carry more
    fuel and payload, while offsetting the increased structural weight that comes
    with the larger 175cm (68.75in) Leap-1B engine fan.

    Boeing has slowly detailed the changes it will make to the 737 Max to
    achieve a 12% improvement in fuel burn over today’s Next Generation 737.

    Tinseth’s presentation identifies local strengthening of the empennage,
    fuselage, along with systems revisions, wing strengthening, a modified fuel
    system, longer nose landing gear and strengthened main landing as key
    changes to the 737 Max, along with the new pylon and nacelle needed for
    the larger Leap-1B engine.

    Other changes include flight deck revisions and aft fuselage aerodynamic
    improvements.

    Tinseth said there would be a 12% improvement in Leap-1B specific fuel
    consumption when combined with the 1% drag improvement on the aft
    fuselage, and paired with the 2% increase in drag and weight as a result
    of the structural modifications.

    All told, Boeing claimed the re-engined 162-seat 737-8 will hold a 17% fuel
    burn advantage over today’s 150-seat A320 and a five percentage point
    fuel burn advantage over the A320neo. Further, the 737 Max would have
    an 11 percentage points lower fuel burn than today’s 737-800 on 1,100km
    (600nm) sectors, said Tinseth, who claimed today’s narrowbody is 6%
    better than today’s A320.

    GE Aviation CEO David Joyce said 6 February the engine-maker, Boeing
    and Spirit AeroSystems had completed their engine installation studies,
    calling the configuration “nailed down”.

    The final configuration of the 737 Max will be frozen in 2013.
    Unquote

  57. Looks like we’re going to get P2F-converted A330s sooner than some of us (myself included) thought:
    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/singapore-a330p2f-to-become-a-reality-with-help-from-st-aerospace-368286/
    According to the agreement, ST Aerospace (Singapore) will help with the development, while EADS EFW (Germany) will do the actual conversion.
    First to be converted will be the A330-300P2F, with a planned EIS of 2016, followed by the A330-200P2F about a year later.
    The EFW Dresden facility is expected to be capable of converting 15 – 16 A330s a year.

    By the sounds of it, authority to offer already exists, but the partners declined to name any prime target airlines.

    From the Flight Global article:

    “We see a market for 400 new-build aircraft and 900 conversions over the next 20 years,” said Airbus president and chief executive Tom Enders. “We forecast that almost all the demand for cargo aircraft comes in this mid-size category.”
    The airframer’s chief operating officer for customers, John Leahy, dismissed suggestions that the introduction of the P2F will hurt the prospects for the new-build freighter.

    “I don’t see that as an issue, I think it’s complementary,” he said. “With the A300-600F, the conversion helped us with new-build sales.”

    Although the P2F version will have the same large forward cargo door as the A330-200F, it will tackle the A330’s nose-down angle on the ground in a different way, said Sperl.

    The deal will also see EFW become the European centre for ST Aerospace’s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services.

  58. leehamnet :
    A333F was sought by FDX.

    I guess the conversion programme for A333P2F at this point makes a new-built A333F much less likely to happen any time soon. Possibly closer towards the end of the programme when the passenger version is no longer selling at all, similar to how it happened with the A306.

  59. KC135TopBoom :
    It seems QR’s Al Baker’s voice was heard in Europe after all. I am surprised that the A-333P2F conversion would be first. I would have thought the A-332P2F conversion would have more sales potential than the longer A-333P2F.

    Wasn’t Qatar looking for A332P2F?
    http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/qatar-chief-issues-a330-freighter-warning-to-airbus-365493/

    Al Baker said he primarily wanted a conversion option for the carrier’s A330-200s

    Airbus is now planning to start with A333 conversions before A332, though, so at least by the looks of that, Qatar isn’t their primary target.

    • Package freighters (i.e. box carriers) like FedEx and DHL would be interested, like Scott said. I don’t know how interested FedEx is anymore since they have ordered new build B-767-300ERFs. FedEx did express interest in new build B-767-400ERFs, too.

      There are planty of box carriers in the world, but very few bulk carriers. The only ones in production as new builds are the B-747-8F and the new orders for the An-124.

  60. KC135TopBoom :
    Package freighters (i.e. box carriers) like FedEx and DHL would be interested, like Scott said.

    I agree – I was just referring to your comment about Airbus having heard Qatar’s call.

    KC135TopBoom :
    I don’t know how interested FedEx is anymore since they have ordered new build B-767-300ERFs. FedEx did express interest in new build B-767-400ERFs, too.

    I read that a while ago as well – haven’t heard anything since, though. At the same time, there was also talk of a freighter-conversion programme for 777s I believe. Personally, I think we’ll see 777P2F conversions rather than new-built 767-400ERFs.
    With regard to FedEx and the A33xP2F – they just decided against new-built A330-200Fs. Then again, the A333P2F may work for them size-wise as a partial replacement for MD-10s/MD-11s or alternative to new-built 777Fs.

    By 2016, there should be a few more A330s available for conversion, but whether numbers will be enough for the likes of UPS and FedEx – who seem to like getting relatively large subfleets of a given type and have lately tended to get a good few new-built freighters – remains to be seen.
    Personally, I’d expect the first A330P2F conversion to happen for a smaller cargo operator, or the cargo arm of a regular airline (not Qatar 😉 ).

    KC135TopBoom :
    There are planty of box carriers in the world, but very few bulk carriers. The only ones in production as new builds are the B-747-8F and the new orders for the An-124.

    Depends on how large you want to go – you can certainly fit items into a 777F that are slightly larger than your average box. 😉 If you need front-loading capabilities, 747 and An-124 are your only bet for the foreseeable future, of course.

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