Airbus Innovation Days: synopsis of a lot of stuff

We’ve been at the Airbus Innovation Days in Toulouse, with about 200 others from around the globe. Here are some highlights:

A380 wing rib issues: As reported previously in various media, Tom Williams, EVP-programs, outlined the issues with the wing rib cracks. A new metal alloy was used, intended to save weight, that cracked in operations despite fatigue testing failing to discover the issue on a test airplane. Williams attributed the failure to detect the cracks to inadequate instrumentation on the test plane. The new alloy saved about 300kg. There are 60 L-brackets out of 4,000 that require inspection and only 20 are affected. The issue does not affect flight safety and the ribs can be replaced either during a C Check or during a nose-to-tail maintenance check. The “Type 2” cracks, the most serious of two types found, have to be replaced by 1,300 cycles.

A350-800/1000 sales: Boeing has been aggressively casting doubts on these two sub-types, pointing out that there have been no sales since 2008. John Leahy, COO Customers, said there haven’t been sales because he doesn’t have any delivery slots available until the end of the decade. He’s been switching some customers from the 800 to the 900, which is more profitable to Airbus. Where did he get the slots? He won’t say but in a press gaggle after his presentation, he acknowledged to an Indian journalist that Kingfisher Airlines—an A350, A320 and A380 customer—deferred all its deliveries to relieve the need for pre-delivery payments. We asked Leahy if he was re-selling the Kingfisher slots and he demurred, saying that was “confidential.”

(We note that Boeing had a long dry spell in sales of the 787 during the depths of the problems with the airplane and the backlog stretching to late this decade.)

Leahy also said Boeing’s claims that he, Leahy, doesn’t know what the -1000 “is” are false.

A320 v 737: If the war of words over the A350 wasn’t enough, Leahy—and to a lesser extent, Williams, whose focus was principally the A380—repeated the Airbus messaging begun last November at the Credit Suisse conference in New York that fan size does matter and the 737 MAX comes up short. Airbus figures the MAX at best (pre-dating the recent Boeing changes) will gain 8% over the 737NG. We asked Leahy later about the move by Boeing to take the CFM LEAP-1B fan size to 69.4 inches and to add the “Boeing Advanced Technology Winglets” (BATW) to the MAX. Boeing now claims the MAX will be a 13% improvement over the NG. Leahy, who compared the BATW with the MD-11 winglets, said Boeing will get only about one-half percent improvement from this. The 69.4 inch fan still falls short, he said.

Williams, a former engine engineer, said the hotter temperatures and ceramics technology required of the LEAP-1B, will present maintenance challenges.

Wait on that weight: Boeing for years emphasizes that the 737 is a lighter airplane than the A320. Are the tables about to turn? Airbus thinks the redesigned MAX will be 700kg heavier than the A320neo. We shall see.

A330 v Boeing: Boeing is again calling the 787 the A330 killer. Not surprisingly, Leahy disagrees. Further increases in weight are contemplated for the A330-300 to give it more range. The A330-300 has lower ownership costs compared with the 787-9 equaling $113,000 per month, according to the Airbus calculation. The A330-200 and the early, heavy-weight 787-8 have about the same range, Leahy says.

United Airlines order: Airbus loses this order to Boeing over price, says Leahy. Boeing is making up for the economic deficiencies of MAX to NEO by dropping the price dramatically, he says.

Airbus v Boeing, Wide-Bodies: Here’s an interesting concept that came out of the Airbus Innovation Days during dinner. Airbus and Boeing compete head-to-head, brutally so, in the single-aisle market. This market is huge. The twin-aisle market, on the other hand, while hardly insignificant, is more limited but the financial risks are higher. Going forward, suggests on Airbus executive, it might make more sense for the two behemoths to have complimentary twin-aisle aircraft instead of competing head-to-head. For example, Boeing has a monopoly for the new technology aircraft in the 210-250 seat market, filled by the 787-8. Airbus has a larger A350-800,stepping up to the -900 and then the -1000. Boeing is talking about a 407-seat 777-9X, which would have no competition.

It’s an interesting theory which, of course, is far off into the future if at all. Boeing has the 787-9 in development to compete against the A350-900, which in turn competes head-to-head against the 777-200. The 1000 competes against the 777-300ER. We were intrigued by the suggestion—and promptly dismiss it as impractical.

Airbus and Mobile (AL): Perk up, down there—we think Airbus could decide by year-end whether to establish a production site in Mobile. The company is studying it and some key officials think it make long-term strategic sense. The challenge is whether the business case exists now to go forward. With the news out of the Innovation Days that bumping up the A320 production rate beyond 42/mo is off the table for the time being, it would seem the business case isn’t there. But over the next generation (in human terms, not airplane terms), and the always-present foreign exchange issue, establishing a US-dollar-based assembly line has a lot of appeal. Airbus also has a sense of wanting to work with those who strongly supported the effort to provide the US Air Force with the A330-based tanker.

A330neo: Forget about it. Not any time in the foreseeable future.

Saving $9bn: The A320neo program costs Airbus only $1bn (the engine makers pick up the rest). This saves $9bn to apply to a New Small Airplane development.

Boeing Won’t Abandon MAX for NSA: Christian Scherer, EVP Strategy and Future Programs, does not believe Boeing will abandon the 737 MAX in favor of a New Small Airplane despite the challenges Boeing has in redesigning the airplane.

Stop going for the jugular: Scherer, without naming names but the parties were obvious, urged both sides of the Atlantic to stop going for the jugular and come up with common ground on regulations. Failure to do so enables other manufacturers to laugh all the way to the bank.

Commercially, we’re relatively serene:  Scherer says new airplanes like the MS-21, C919, etc., don’t bring anything new to the table, so “commercially, we’re relatively serene.” Everyone has an Airbus or Boeing so these new airplanes won’t be successful outside of Russia, China.

105 Comments on “Airbus Innovation Days: synopsis of a lot of stuff

  1. Interesting point about fatigue testing not showing problems you don’t look for. Reminiscent of the deHavilland Comet, but fortunately without the catastrophic consequences

    • I’m wondering how it will turn out with the 787.

      The 380 brought a lot of innovations in terms of alloys used, wing flex, usage of composite. It stood quite conservative in term of where to put those material innovations compared to the 787, and yet there has been some conseqences due to failing to identify those innovations as a behaving differently than the good-old materials.

      Now the question goes with the 787. With having virtually everything “new” in term of material used and techniques used throughout the plane, I wonder if there won’t be a lot of similar fatigue issues misdetected in the middle term. Thanks to the various maintenance checks, they should probably not go undetected, but they might come out at a very high cost for both the airlines & boeing. Not to mention that the detetection methods will vastly differ with the 787 compared to the “good old tech” used in every other plane.

      • Bob,

        It was the “good old tech” that failed in this case “aluminium”.

  2. If you consider the top notch A-Li alloy as beeing a “good old tech” aluminium, then yes. But the problem is indeed a new technology beeing a bit assumed as behaving like a regular old tech alloy.

    When they talk about a new alloy beeing used, the issue is with the “new” mechanical properties of this new alloy, not about the behavior of a regular Al used previously.

    • If I’m not mistaking, The 7449 alloy was developed for A340-500/600 wings. So, not all together a new material.

      As far as the 787 having potential problems because of new materials (Composite materials)? Of course its possible… But, it won’t be limited to the 787. The A350, C-Series and 777X will also use these same materials, as well as other new projects.

      • Sure, but from what I understand, the purpose of the 7449 alloy on the 345/346 was greatly different (to be used in wing pannels and not ribs with structural items). The same goes for the composite components (and other major items such as the full electric systems) used in the 787: Sure composite is used throughout the other planes, but not for the same purpose (structure and fatigue-wise).
        (Based on the info collected at keytometals: http://www.keytometals.com/page.aspx?ID=CheckArticle&site=ktn&NM=227 )

  3. The more things change the more they are the same. Remember the “new” 7178 high zinc alloy Boeing used for the MLG attach fittings on the 727-200’s to save a pound or two.

    They almost immediately started failing due to stress cossosion, and Boeing had insufficient new alloy replacement castings. 727’s were stacking up on the ground like cordwood, airlines were screaming.

    In MIA Pan Am threatened Boeing that they were going to paint “property of TWA” on one of the removed castings, take it up and throw it out over the runway.

    As for new composite construction fatigue issues akin to the old aluminum skin and stringer designs, I doubt it. The basic physical properties of composites used today are too diferent.

    Composites no doubt will have their own new structural challenges; internal damage detection, quick in-field high strength repairs, maintenance of electrical bonding across joints, and brand new crash-worthiness characteristics.

    I expect more problems maturing all the new electrical systems in the 787 than with the present composites.

    That said, we are still at the bottom of the learning curve with major composite construction. A couple of years ago we went through Boeing’s big composite manufacturing center. The most striking thing was the progress made from the 777 empennage construction to the 787 parts.

    • Fred, what is the source of this story? Pan Am’s 1st 727-221 was not until line number 1764, which was very late in the program. Probably in the early 80’s. [The last 727 was line number 1832, a 200F for Fedex delivered in 1984].

      The first 727-200’s were built in 1967, for Northeast and National, line numbers in the mid-400’s

  4. In MIA Pan Am threatened Boeing that they were going to paint “property of TWA” on one of the removed castings, take it up and throw it out over the runway.

    Thats funny Fred! 😉

  5. A380 cracks: s___ happens. At least there was no disaster. Altho it is a blow to prestige and profitability

    A350-800,100 sales: I think everyone is waiting to see what the delays are going to be and the performance of the 900. No need to rush since it looks like 2017-19 before any deliveries in quantity can be made. Had to have hurt to have the 777-300ER rack up so many sales in the interim.

    a320vs737: I would guess they are going to be close again. With design freeze still a year away, B can still add a few tweaks and adjustments. Even if the 737 gains some weight, it still carries significantly more passengers than the 320. After all is said and done, I think there will be parity. As to UAL, if B can accept a lower margin (or perhaps the same margin with a possibly lower production price since it is increasing production rates) then A will have to follow in order to compete. It’s all tit for tat…

    a330neo: Surprised they aren’t considering it as it looks like the Airbus lineup is going to be thin from 2014-17… 320 500. It would seem a natural to try and extend the 330 lifespan with a minimal NEO effort? They are flush with cash…is it due to lack of engineering resources due to the 350?

    What do you think Mr. Hamilton?

    • “Altho it is a blow to prestige and profitability”

      For sure.
      But put it in perspective: Cost is in the order of what Boeing dumps into _each_ early Dreamliner just for fixing the errors/changes required for a deliverable item.

  6. So, Airbus is ‘saving’ some $9B to go towards their version of the NSA? Then why don’t they start it now using the GTF engine that they are so gung-ho about (on the A-320NEO) that engine as opposed to the Leap-1A engine?

    I have never bought off on Airbus ‘only investing’ $1B in the NEO program and CFMI and P&W picking up most of the remaining development charges. If that is true, then the majority of the sales profits from the NEO would go to the engine OEMs and not to Airbus.

    On the A-380 wing rib feet crack issue, is Tom Williams actually saying the A-380 wings were not properly tested? The A-380 original wing test failed when the wing broke at something like 147%, well below the required 150%. It is not ‘just’ 3% below specs, it is not meeting the requirement established by both the EASA and the FAA. Airbus solved the weak wing problem with a design change and then the EASA allowed them to do a computer generated wing break test instead of building a new actual wing and testing it (flexing) until it broke. The wing break tests are suppose to test all major wing components, internal and external to the limit. Mr. Williams also says that only about 60 rib feet have to be inspected, yet only 20 are effected? What kind of BS is that? If 20, 60, or 4000 feet need to be inspected, then 20,60, or 4000 feet are effected. With BS sprewed like that its no wonder Mr. Al Baker is so upset with Airbus over the A-380.

    This defect, and it is a defect, would have gone unnoticed if it had not been for the QF A-380 engine explosion back in 2010 until the first A-380 (an SQ bird) went through its first heavy maintenance check. The the defect was first announced, Airbus tried to minimumize the PR effect this would have for the troubled A-380 program. I can understand them doing that. But with all the cat calls from the Airbus Cheerleader Squads around the world about Boeing not being fully honest about the B-787 developement and flight testing problems (including the electrical fire on ZA-002 in Texas), they seem unusually quite over this problem.

    Now I agree with Christian Scherer saying both Boeing and Airbus need to stop going for the jugular. That will not only benefit both companies, but their cooperation in common areas of interests, too (like airport developement, bio-fuels, airline safety issues, etc.). Also Mr. Scherer is only partially correct concerning the Boeing NSA and the MAX. Yes, Boeing has now gone ‘beyond the point of no return’ in the developement and committment to the B-737MAX program. But it has also not taken the NSA off the table, and they won’t do that. The MAX represents the Boeing of now (from here to the end of the dacade), just as the A-320NEO does for Airbus. But the NSA represents the future of Boeing, and without future vision, no company will survive for very long.

    • “So, Airbus is ‘saving’ some $9B to go towards their version of the NSA? Then why don’t they start it now using the GTF engine that they are so gung-ho about (on the A-320NEO) that engine as opposed to the Leap-1A engine?”

      What ARE you talking about? GTF EIKS October 2015 on neo, LEAP-1A EIS well into 2016.

      “I have never bought off on Airbus ‘only investing’ $1B in the NEO program and CFMI and P&W picking up most of the remaining development charges. If that is true, then the majority of the sales profits from the NEO would go to the engine OEMs and not to Airbus.”

      You clearly don’t have an understanding of how these things work. Engine makers will often enoug give (AS IN FREE) engines to the customer in return for MRO and spare parts contacts.

      “a330neo: Surprised they aren’t considering it as it looks like the Airbus lineup is going to be thin from 2014-17… 320 500. It would seem a natural to try and extend the 330 lifespan with a minimal NEO effort? They are flush with cash…is it due to lack of engineering resources due to the 350?”

      The A330 is selling extremely well. Why fix what ain’t broke? Even Hazy says an A330neo isn’t needed yet and he’s pretty sharp, wouldn’t you agree?

    • on the wing testing – the “failed” test you refer to was the static test, which has nothing to do with fatigue.
      The basis of current aircraft certification is “analysis supported by test” i.e. the test is required only to show your analysis numbers aren’t nonsense. I was not involved with the A380 program, but as I understand it, the airbus engineers actually predicted the wing failure at the correct load level – since the test failed (both failure mode and behavior up to failure) as predicted, the analysis is shown to be solid.
      and of course a repair is required since the aircraft must be able to sustain ultimate load without failure. Since you showed by test your analysis is correct, you can show by analysis your repair will work.
      Please do report the A380 is also FAA certified – they also accepted the airbus wing-fix. The way I read your text now might suggest you insinuate some back-room politics in Euroland.

      I’m sure no one is saying the wing was not properly tested. What I personally will say is that it is impossible to test everything – which is I think close to the intent of Mr. Williams. It’s not just impractical (or too expensive), due the shear number of details and measurements required to attempt to test it all. When working with dissimilar materials often a conservative assumption or simplification for the one part is nonconservative for the other.
      Usually, a review of all calculated margins is used to identify critical areas – these areas are then monitored and tracked – both in the tests and in operation.

      on your difficulty with the inspection vs affected issue: I think it means some 60 locations were identified to be susceptible to the same defect, but after inspecting all these locations in all the flying fleet, the defect was found in only 20 of those locations.

      And to speak in support of you on the 787. I believe Boeing is doing all it can to make sure the 787 will be safe. No serious aircraft manufacturer will ever make a choice that will reduce the safety of the pax – except for the decision to build flying machines in the first place.
      But like airbus on the 380 now, Boeing will find they have overlooked or missed some issues. All aircraft that ever flew were capable of being improved (yes, I’m sure even your venerable kc135 had quite a few modifications on its original type certificate). Luckily for me, since I’m in the business of continually improving those wonderful kerosene kestrels.

      • I never suggested there was some “back room deal” on the A-380 certification process, and yes, the airplane is also certified by the FAA.

        Actaully the KC-135 is not an FAA certified airplane, and never has been. Yes, the KC-135 has had many modifications since it was first built in 1955,

  7. “What ARE you talking about?”
    You are not the only one wondering.

    “You clearly don’t have an understanding of how these things work…”
    Scott is it possible to remind us how much GE paid for the 77W development?

    “The A330 is selling extremely well. Why fix what ain’t broke?”
    Rest assured Airbus does have the ‘neo’ on those charts…

  8. leehamnet (Scott)?

    I’m almost sure everyone on this site knows the answer to my question, except me? But, I just want to make sure? Can I assume that leehamnet and Scott are always the same person answering/replying on this forum? Or, are there others that contribute officially for leehamnews?

    Thanks,

  9. Since Airbus has made it a priority to win the yearly orders race, that statistic has become much less meaningful. For the last decade or more, Airbus has “won” almost every one of those races while losing almost every one of the financial races (profits and revenue)! The other race Airbus easily wins every time is the braggadocio race; they win that one hands down! 🙂 But if you want to see how the “market” rates the two; just take a look at their market caps.

    • “The market” doesn’t rate the two companies’ commercial aircraft operations individually. Boeing, for example, makes about 50% of its revenues in the highly profitable defence sector. On the flipside, EADS’ defence revenues are much smaller, and likely much less profitable as well.

    • braggadocio

      You might be a bit culturally trapped there, imho.
      Airbus afaics lacks proficiency ( but also interest ) in producing carefully crafted spin
      like Boeing does.

    • The old feel good story that Airbus sells at a loss and Boeing is a successful, commercial enterprise. Nice hit & run, avoiding more painful realities. Recent WTO, Im-Ex, KC-X, 787 billions and a honest look at the company could help you out. Issue is, most really don’t want to know..

    • Replying to comment made to my post:
      I was referring to a comparison of commercial aircraft revenues and profits while imprecisely comparing Boeing to Airbus. The Aircraft division numbers are not as easy to get but they are reported. Boeing Commercial Aircraft has done much better than EADS / Airbus division has and is the primary reason “the market” values Boeing so much higher than EADS; as of recent times (budget cuts), Defense has been a drag on Boeing’s market cap.

      EADS defense revenues, as a percentage of their total revenues, are quite comparable to Boeing’s; as a matter of fact, EADS is very similar to Boeing in their makeup of “businesses” (Defense, Aerospace, etc). For some time now, Defense has actually been a drag on Boeing’s revenues and profits. I remember a few years ago, EADS complaining that the Airbus division was dragging their profits down. But, with projects like the A400M, EADS Defense business probably isn’t very profitable either, now! 🙂

      By the way, I think highly of both companies aircraft divisions; they produce amazingly complex aircraft that, nevertheless, are amazingly safe. Both have very sophisticated processes for finding and correcting any problems (hopefully, that will continue). But they do operate in very different governmental environments and I’m don’t claim to know which is “better”.

  10. leehamnet :
    Yeah, well, with multiple personalities, don’t be so sure……..

    Heh, it is N+1:
    The “We” of leehamnet plus the “I” of Scott 😉

  11. Hello Scot,

    Thanks for the fast reporting and very interesting
    Should we (I ? 😉 wait for more analysis ?

  12. I’m a bit surprised that no one has commented on Leahy’s prediction that the neo will grab 60 percent and the MAX the remaining 40 percent of the NB market. 60 percent market share for the neo is a number that I’ve previously predicted myself, with the difference being that I’ve predicted that the C919, MS-21 and the C-series will together grab 10 percent of the NB market and with the MAX at only 30 percent NB market share.

    • Maybe nobody is surprised 😉
      And the potentially “surpriseable” have been ordered to hack away at the 350XWB
      and it takes a minute to redirect them. Watch them turn in lockstep (after the weekend?)..

  13. OV-099 :
    I’m a bit surprised that no one has commented on Leahy’s prediction that the neo will grab 60 percent and the MAX the remaining 40 percent of the NB market. 60 percent market share for the neo is a number that I’ve previously predicted myself, with the difference being that I’ve predicted that the C919, MS-21 and the C-series will together
    grab 10 percent of the NB market and with the MAX at only 30 percent NB market share.

    Well, the problem with that is that if a company (in this case Boeing) does not want to be a 30% market share (note that Leahy once talked about not wanting to be in that position either), all the company has to do is flood the market with better pricing. I’m pretty sure that Both Airbus and Boeing will do the same when they feel that the other is getting to far ahead in the count.

    • Fuel bill savings of 737-8 max of over a 737-8 is about 800,000 a year at current fuel prices. When you buy a plane for 20 years that is 16 million (+/- 12% more effective). Your new plane is around 35 million USD. So you see how much you would need to discount. Even 3% more effective is 200,000 a year. On the 20 year life time of your plane thats 4 million more than the competition.

      This of course is not the full picture. Just an illustration that at current fuel prices discounting the frame can not really compensate. What it means is that if your competitor is limited to building 60% of market demand they can claim most of that extra 4 million as margin on every plane they sell. And in a market where a plane is 30-40 million 10% extra margin is killing.

      PS. the number of 800,000 comes out 85million /100 from http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/story/2012-04-15/Boeing-737-makeover-to-add-fuel-efficiency/54299470/1

      • And forgot to add an example where discounting can’t save a program. See the A340-500/600 versus late models 777

    • Flooding the market may work in the soft drinks business, but not in a low volume, high value and high capital cost business. Airbus has made quite a big inroad with the neo among current 737NG customers. Boeing needs to reverse that trend. With some current Boeing customers not looking too impressed with the MAX (i.e. Udvar Hazy: “MAX not a long term solution” ; and Michael O’Leary describing the MAX as a “dog’s dinner of a design” having been drawn “on the back of a fag packet as a response to the neo”), pricing may just not be enough to convince current A320 operators to change to an inferior product. You can’t just choose not to be player with only a 30 percent market share if what you’ve got to offer is plainly not good enough. To play, Boeing may need to sell the Max with little or no profit. That’s not sustainable for Boeing in the long run.

      • “(i.e. Udvar Hazy: “MAX not a long term solution” ; and Michael O’Leary describing the MAX as a “dog’s dinner of a design” having been drawn “on the back of a fag packet as a response to the neo”), ”

        Boeing has never said the MAX is a long term solution.

        I seem to recall Udvar Hazy sating something along those lines about a year ago about the NEO, too.

        No body cares about Michael O’Leary’s opinions. Airbus has refused to sell airplanes to him.

        Who says the MAX is inferior to the A-320CEO? Not Airbus, or Boeing.

        Boeing has a lot more than “30% of the market” in the NB airplane market.

      • No body cares about Michael O’Leary’s opinions. Airbus has refused to sell airplanes to him.

        You obviously don’t care since you seemingly have got nothing to lose. The situation might be slightly different for Boeing. Any customer in the NB and WB market ready to buy a [edited obscenity] of airplanes will, of course, always be “listened to” by the OEMs, however obnoxious that customer might be. When you look at the rumoured pricing for the MAX, the purchase price O’Leary paid for his fleet of 738s doesn’t look that bad after all, does it? The fact of the matter is that if O’Leary goes to another OEM, it will be yet another customer lost for Boeing.

        Boeing has never said the MAX is a long term solution. I seem to recall Udvar Hazy sating something along those lines about a year ago about the NEO, too.

        http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/737-max-not-a-long-term-solution-udvar-hazy-369728/

        Air Lease Corp chief executive Steven Udvar-Hazy, a vocal advocate for Boeing’s now-shelved New Small Airplane concept, says the airframer’s strategy to develop the CFM International Leap-1B-powered 737 Max is intended as a bridge to a clean sheet design arriving in the middle of the next decade and “not a long-term solution”.

        So, what this looks like, is that Boeing is going to have to pay significantly more than Airbus in order to upgrade their narrowbody platform, for a production life extension of just 7-8 years while seemingly losing ever more market share. Well, that doesn’t look all that promising, does it?

        As for Udvar Hazy and the neo, I seem to remember that two years ago, as a lessor, Mr. Hazy was less than enthusiastic about it. However, by the time last year’s Paris Air Show was over, he’d already jumped on the bandwagon.

        Who says the MAX is inferior to the A-320CEO? Not Airbus, or Boeing.

        A320ceo?

        A320neo vs. MAX: It doesn’t look all that promising for the MAX, but it’s still to soon to call. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if “Sleepless in Seattle” is already bringing on a different meaning….. 😉

        Boeing has a lot more than “30% of the market” in the NB airplane market.

        Of course they do – for now. However, the issue is how the launch of the A320neo could have big ramifications for the mid term NB market share for Boeing.

  14. Here’s another article mentioning possible issues with the A358 from AW.

    http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.aspx?id=/article-xml/AW_05_28_2012_p40-461572.xml

    Quote:

    “The -800’s wane is compounded by concerns among potential customers about its performance and per-seat costs. In analyzing future fleet requirements, one airline executive found the -800’s per-seat costs were no better than the Boeing 767’s, let alone the A330-300’s.”

    So, it may not just be a question of “if it ain’t broke”. As Scott suggested above.

    “The A330 is selling extremely well. Why fix what ain’t broke? Even Hazy says an A330neo isn’t needed yet and he’s pretty sharp, wouldn’t you agree??

    And then there is this in the news…

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-05-25/airbus-may-sell-new-a330-to-boost-range-or-passengers-carr

    Quote:

    “Chief Operating Officer John Leahy said.

    Improving performance of its only widebody plane would help Airbus extend the life of the airliner and fend off challenges by Boeing Co. (BA) (BA), which is weighing plans to extend its new wide- body 787 series with another version, the 787-10. For airlines, boosting the maximum takeoff weight to 240 tons from 235 to allow for more fuel or passengers would allow for higher revenue from more seats or new destinations.

    “We’ve been getting a lot of requests from airlines about the 240-ton version,””

    This is starting to sound like the A358 will not be built at all. Which would also explain the effort to move all the existing A358 customers to the -900. I guess we will be hearing more on this subject in the coming months??

  15. j22 :
    And forgot to add an example where discounting can’t save a program. See the A340-500/600 versus late models 777

    Did the Boeing (and GE) pricing on these “displacement” operations ever become public?
    The early as well as the later ones. My niggling little mind still has this feeling that Boeing followed Leahy closely into rebates to achieve these sales but giving them pricing power later in a perceived “best of breed” monopoly.

  16. Apropos, anything on aerodynamic research?
    I’ve seen it mentioned that Airbus plans to go for an outer wing (hybrid) laminar flow evaluation.

  17. “Observer,
    That’s an interesting article.
    Many people have doubts about the -800 and -1000. http://wp.me/siMZI-a350xwb

    I have doubts about the A350-800. For the siad costs per seat reasons. The same reasons that killed the A340 and 777-200 versions. Little doubts about the A350-1000 though, and Boeing neither, physics don’t lie and they are scrambling to find answers.

    For Boeing profitability, take a look at the last 8 yrs, sales, investments, costs, discounts, compensations and defense programs and ask yourself if miracles are possible. I don’t think so. Leave it it to accountancy creativety to boost results and PR to create excitement.. Common sense isn’t even desirable and comes afterwards..

    • You are Joking… Right???

      Quote: “For Boeing profitability, take a look at the last 8 yrs, sales, investments, costs, discounts, compensations and defense programs and ask yourself if miracles are possible. I don’t think so. Leave it it to accountancy creativety to boost results and PR to create excitement.. Common sense isn’t even desirable and comes afterwards..”

      2004 – 2011 Earning results (Not Revenue)…

      Boeing = $22,035 Billion /8 = $2,754 Billion per year Avg. EPS Avg. = $3.67
      EADS = $5,075 Billion /8 = $634.37 Million per year Avg. EPS Avg. = $0.73

      I don’t know where you are getting your financial data from?? But, I took mine from the Companies annual reports!

      • there you have it: EPS. The reason everyone wants to be exicited by Boeing. Skipping realities in an eyewink to avoid damaging SHV. The reason Boeing gets away with incorrect / incomplete forecasts and representations. Nobody wants to have stock value lowering or being held responsible for that. Don’t look back.. An alliance where reality is appreciated only if it “helps”. If Eads has a few billions cost rise e.g. a400m, hell breaks loose, people are removed. Not like US defense programs wants profitability of programs is guaranteed.

        • Ahh keesje, we are not talking about Lockheed/Martin and the F-35, or EADS and the A-400M, we are talking about Boeing. Boeing has made a profit in each of the last 8 years, check with the FEC if you like. Also, Boeing has 4 major defense programs currently going, C-17, F/A-18E/F, F-15, and the KC-46, and several lesser defense programs. Each and everyone of those programs is within budget and on schedule.

      • “But, I took mine from the Companies annual reports!”

        Did you also notice about $15b in unrecoupable ( i.e. future loss ) inventory just for the Dreamliner alone?

        • Those are not losses yet.

          What about the write-offs on the A-400 program, and the 25% increase in unit flyaway costs for it, coupled with a 25% reduction in the original specs (low level flying, TFR, air refueling tanker, and now with the EASA restricted certificate a 15% loss in payload capability)?

          What about the E500M Euro loss for the A-380 rib feet cracks? What about the overall loss position of the entire A-380 program, the break even point being somewhere around airplane #450? Or how about the losses they have connected to the A-358 and A-3510?

          Yes, Uwe, you can highlight Boeing’s future losses on the B-787 program, but those do not translate into losses for the company for those future years. Also remember bringing up the future financial condition of Boeing and/or EADS is a double edged sword, it cuts both ways.

  18. I think Boeing should have done a simple reengine on the 737 and gone all out on the NSA, if the numbers are correct the 737 will make Boeing lose market in the NBs. With an All new plane in the plans customers might be more interested to saty customers to Boeing.

    And while at it make plans for a true 757 replacement with the NSA.

    • The 757 is about existing airplanes having found a ( new ) slot (TATL) because they have been pushed out of the slot they were designed for and not the other way round.
      Airlines that don’t have 757 seem to not miss them much. ergo : no dedicated demand.

      Enabling the lighter NB craft to expand into that area is nice to have but does not create demand for a dedicated design. Otherwise a 757 reengine in lieu of stopping production would have made some sense and found customers at the time. but ~9t excess weight is about unfixable.

      • Well if the NSA is designed a bit upward in size from the current 737 that spanned 600-900 models, it would be easier to do a larger wing for one model, say one above the current 900 or share the larger wing with the 900 replacemnet but put smaller tanks on the 900 model. The current A321 only lacks the larger wing and more thrust to do the long and thin routes, hot and high.

        I cant get passed the gap in OEW when A330 and 767 is eoled, from under 50t to 112t 788. There seems to be a albeit small but realistic segment here, TATL shuttle where every drop of fuel counts. I dont know if you could do a 50-60t NB with 240 seats and 4500nm range? Next step up would then be 112t 260 seats 788. Maybe if the A350-800 never makes it the 330 lives on?

        We dont know how jetfuel will develope in cost 5 years from now, but looking at the past years its a bit worrying to me at least, I do believe in Peak oil though.

        If nothing is done then maybe frequency will have to go down, to fill larger planes. However the current flying public likes frequency, they even accept a TATL trip in a NB 757.

        Maybe I am a bit pessimistic about this, maybe some unknown technology will save us..

  19. There is an enormous market for aircraft up to 220 seats up to 3000NM.

    There is an enormous market for aircraft up from 270 220 seats up from 5000nm.

    Inbetween there is an large natural gab where no aircraft is required just because.

    Nope. Leisure markets, high demand city pairs, transcon, intra Asia, a few TATL, natural growth for 200 seaters.. replacing 321, 739, A300, A310, 767, and large numbers of missused A330s and 787s, increasing frequencies. 2000-3000 Aircraft in the next 20 yrs? Taking a bite out of current Airbus and Boeing NB and twin aisles forecasts. 7 Abreast economy, 6 abreast premium class seems the most likely configuration.

    • Your A322 was a nice idea, there is the problem with engines, no current engine in the 35-40K thrust class. Maybe a larger GTF version could make sence. Boeing is toying with the idea to use the 739-Max as a 757 replacement, I have a hard time seeing how. The 739 is just a step too far on that frame to be a good 757 replacement.

      2-3-2 in dense short haul and premium 3-3 for the longer routes of the 757-200 class trips? Somewhere between ordinary and private air travel? A large business jet sort of idea.

      Do you think Airbus has any plans to do this? More thrust, fuel and lift is needed. Capacity and range between the largest NBs and smallest WBs. The 757 struggles some flights in the winter, a tad more range maybe would be good to have? How many frames would lure A or B to do this, above 500? Maybe the future NBs could have this from the start, a tad wider than the A320 to sqeeze 2-3-2 for shorter flights, say max 4 hours. I often fly in the 737 about 4 hours and I survive fine, sore knees for a while after but that is not the seat width.

  20. KC135TopBoom :
    Or how about the losses they have connected to the A-358 and A-3510?

    LImted understanding on your side TB.
    We are not talking about losses per se but about the gigantic bowwave of future lossses masked as inventory or under similar tags that differentiate representative US public reports from those in any other bookkeeping domain.

    • Ahhh, but some of those B-787s are already flying and being prepared for delivery, some have already been delivered to JL and NH, and at least one of AI’s B-787 is in flight testing/training. The “inventory” of B-787s is dewindling, my friend, and will, sometime in the near future, convert from “inventory” to delivered. While I agree, most, if not all of those airplanes were sold with huge discounts, they will generate some revenue for Boeing once delivered. Through the end of April 2012, (for the current calender year), Boeing has delivered 8 B-787-8s, 4 to NH and 4 to JL. That makes at least 10 B-787-8s in service now, when you include the two to NH in 2011.

      • Uwe, you are still avoiding the current and future losses for Airbus. Why is that?

  21. The quality of the comments on this site is getting worse. Well, I am not improving the situation either.

  22. It seems EADS / Airbus revenues and profits always look really good – ah, sometime in the future, for sure! Oh, and never mind past official financial data; it’s all just a fabrication. All those people who put their money where their mouth is, aka the market, know nothing.

    • Garry Reinhardt :
      It seems EADS / Airbus revenues and profits always look really good – ah, sometime in the future, for sure! Oh, and never mind past official financial data; it’s all just a fabrication. All those people who put their money where their mouth is, aka the market, know nothing.

      “The market” doesn’t know anything more than you and I do. If anything, investors tend to move as lemmings whether on good news or bad news.

      I’m not going to get into dissecting financial statements, but I think Uwe’s point is that Boeing has a $15B (?) unrealized loss with that 787 inventory. This will hit future earnings sooner or later. I believe the A400M and A380 writedowns (for example) have already been recorded in the Airbus financials.

      And, no, I don’t work for Airbus, either (I see you are ex-Boeing).

      • thysi, I don’t know about you, but the “market”, a large portion of which is made up of large instructional investors, definitely knows more than I do about Boeing’s “worth” (I was just a computer grunt at Boeing). Since you believe “that Boeing has a 787 $15B unrealized loss”, you must believe that Boeing’s required financial disclosures have been falsified, i.e. that Boeing cooked the books. By the way, debating this issue while saying “I’m not going to get into dissecting financial statements” makes me wonder why you would think you have any credibility on the subject? You “assume” that Airbus’s A400M and A380 “costs” have already been written off and that Boeing’s 787’s haven’t. Being a Boeing 401K investor, I’m painfully aware of the 787 and 747-8 costs showing up on Boeings financials.

        A while back, a commenter, referring to a complex analysis done by an obviously very intelligent “technical” Airbus expert, said, “This fellow’s analysis says it’ll be 2046 before Boeing breaks even on the 787: http://theblogbyjavier.wordpress.com/2011/10/28/will-boeing-”. The Airbus Analyst, himself commented that “This basic concept of finance theory is rarely covered by the press”; it was pretty obvious to me why that is, after reading his complex analysis and the ridiculous comment by someone who obviously didn’t come close to understanding the analysis! So I asked the analyst, “So, my simple question is, “is Boeing profit, going forward, being decreased or increased by each 787 delivered? And if it’s negative now, when will it reach zero (leaving out the previously paid for expenses)?” In short, he said that would probably happen sometime between 2014 and 2016 (I think – his response still wasn’t exactly “layman-ish” – I can relate because, as a computer technician, I had the same problem trying to put complex computer issues into layman’s terms). And that much of the costs had already been paid for.

  23. These comments are getting crazier by the moment around here. The reported profits and losses that are published in these companies annual reports are a matter of public record. And they are subject to the GAAP principles in both the EU & USA. Any fabrication or misrepresentation would be illegal, and could be challenged in court by any individual or business entity that owns stock or has otherwise been adversely effected by said activities.

    Because both Companies have public floats, It does not matter that the company is located in another country then where you reside or purchased said shares. If there is illegal activity, The corporate officers can be held accountable in courts in either country.

    I realize that it uncomfortable for some to acknowledge that one company is more profitable then the other. But, that does not alter the facts, and no matter how many times one states his opinion to the contrary… or provides unsubstantiated numbers or some other form of “smoke and mirrors” in order to pursue ones personal agenda? It will change nothing… If you think this is unfair, I would encourage you to take legal action against that company.

    Perhaps, the questions that should be asked, is how or why the these numbers became so? But, I suspect the answers would be equally distasteful for some. Most often, the simplest answer is likely the right one… without resorting to conspiracy theories to make yourself feel better.

    That will be pretty much my last words on the subject. You’re free to fight among yourselves.

    • GAAP is US only. GAAP allows a very positive outlook on assets and is lenient on booking potential losses early. The rest of the world forces a bookkeeping wise much more conservative approach. Not being an accountant my hearsay is that differences go from 5% to 15%
      ( i.e. from forex 2% losses to 3% profits ).

    • Any (present/future) research information shown off at Innovation Day ?

      • Concept airplanes were not shown.

        Charles Champion, heading engineering and the last presentation, introduced his presentation by specifically saying he had no slides nor would he talk about the future concepts in order to keep them secret.

  24. I was at london stansted last week and heard that the Atlas 747/8f was grounded over night as it could not retrack the flaps as a few parts where bent it now flys with a engineer on board to fix it 24/7.

  25. “The A330 is selling extremely well. Why fix what ain’t broke? Even Hazy says an A330neo isn’t needed yet and he’s pretty sharp, wouldn’t you agree??”

    That doesn’t work. Boeing tried it on the 767 and 777-200ER. If you start thinking about a solution at the moment aircraft type stops rolling of the FAL, you are creating a gab of 5-7 yrs.. That’s why Boeing is looking at the 777-8/9 and 787-10. And airbus no doubt at the A330 NEO, whatever their official standpoint at this moment.

    There are quick wins for the time being (HUD, EFB, Sharkelets, A350 style cabin,engineering out the A340, MTOW/range increases).

    At some point market forces /potential will push a A330 NEO through. Until that moment it’s in Airbus interest to avoid the topic (backlog, sales, fleet value (SUH..))

    If GE / Fedex / Mobile propose to assemble 150 GENX powered A333Fs in the US, the foreseeable future could change in weeks..

    http://knowledgerush.com/wiki_image/b/b6/Fedex.a300-600.750pix.jpg

    • keesje, even Airbus isn’t looking to NEO the A-330. They want to do a PIP. An A-330NEO would hurt the A-358, and Airbus knows that. The maket rejected an A-330NEO in the form or the A-350 Mk.I already. FedEx is not looking for an A-333F, either. They have B-767-300ERFs and B-777-200LRFs on order and that eliminates any need for an version of the A-330F. GE also turned down an Airbus offer to put the GEnx-1B engine on the A-330. As far as Mobile, AL is concerned, Airbus is now thinking of an A-320/NEO FAL there. Also there is nothing stopping Airbus installing a HUD, sharklets, etc. on the A-330 as a PIP now. As far as engineering a MTOW out to what the A-340s have Airbus would need 90,000 lb thrust engines, not 72,000 lb GEnxs. The only P&W, GE, or RR engines in that class would require a B-737MAX style modification to install the engines with enough ground clearance. These are the engines from the B-777 family.

      • TB, Boeing in recent times told us they were fully committed to the 787-3, the 747-8 would not be stretched, re-engining the 737 was a bad idea, the 787 is on track and the 773ER would hold on against the A350-1000. Airbus told us similar things. If we only listen to what they say without looking ourselves, live will remain full of surprises. It’s always “no” until it is “yes”.

        Fedex has 200 A300/310/DC aircraft for which no replacements have been ordered yet. (UPS 80)

        Airbus is engineering the A340 out of the A330 as we speak.
        http://airinsight.com/2012/01/30/airbus-to-enhance-a330-capabilities/

        “GE also turned down an Airbus offer to put the GEnx-1B engine on the A-330. ”
        I’m afraid it was the other way around. And then they put all thier carts on the Dreamliner.
        http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/farnborough-genx-offered-for-future-a330s-208087/

        Airbus turned down the GENX for the A350 too.
        http://www.aero-news.net/index.cfm?do=main.textpost&id=191ded2c-3425-4c2f-987a-c4a4d0adfced

        However both parties have an interest to enhance cooperation for the twin aisles. Airbus is happy with RR and Boeing with GE, but all parties realize it is better not to put all your money on one horse.. GE scheduled to deliver more then 1000 GENX engines for the 787 and 7478 during the last 4 yrs. But did it really hurt them? could be the question looking back. Well yes of course, deeply, but there was no way back.

        If you think the future of the A330 is settled this decade, more surprises will be on your way.. Andrea Rothman smells it too..

        http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-05-25/airbus-may-sell-new-a330-to-boost-range-or-passengers-carried

      • I think GE would love to sell more GEnx engines, to repay what became an expensive program, they still have issues to fix, not done yet. The 2b model is a good engine, it arrived too late to be on the C5, it sure had been a good fit. Maybe if Antonov wants to reengine the An124 in the future? It is sort of their new CF6, that was a very successful engine family.

      • As far as engineering a MTOW out to what the A-340s have Airbus would need 90,000 lb thrust engines, not 72,000 lb GEnxs. The only P&W, GE, or RR engines in that class would require a B-737MAX style modification to install the engines with enough ground clearance. These are the engines from the B-777 family.

        KC, the A330 has a significantly taller nose and main landing gear than the nose and main landing gear on the 787. In fact, the floor of the A330-200F sits only some 17cm lower than the A350-900. It’s not too outrageous to claim, therefore, that the A330 could, in principle, be able to be re-engined with a derated TXWB engine with a 118 inch fan.

        It looks like the 787 would have greater difficulty in accomodating an engine with a greater engine size… 😉

        Sources:

        1) A330-200, 2-3-0, Page 3
        Ground Clearances:FIGURE-2-3-0-991-003-A01

        2) A330-200F, 2-3-0, Page 5
        Ground Clearances: FIGURE-2-3-0-991-006-A01

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

        A350-900, 2-3-0, Page 2
        Ground Clearances: FIGURE-2-3-0-991-001-A01
        http://www.airbus.com/fileadmin/media_gallery/files/tech_data/AC/Airbus-AC-A350-July11.pdf

        787-8, Page 9
        2.3 GROUND CLEARANCES
        ftp://www.tc.faa.gov/NAPTF/AAS-100/Boeing%20airplane%20data/7878.pdf

        =>

        GROUND CLEARANCES (at OWE, or “static”)
        From Tarmac to Doors 1 and 3.

        ——————-Door 1—–Door 3—

        A330-200——4.63m*—–5.36m*–

        A330-200F—-4.98m**——N/A—–

        A350-900——5.15m***—5.32m***

        787-8———–4.32m——-4.67m—

        * CG 27.9%
        ** CG 18%
        *** FWD CG (20%)

      • kjeeske – do you realize that the 787 has both GE and RR engine options? In fact ANA the launch customer uses RR engines. Also the 777 originally had PW, RR, and GE engine options. When the -300ER needed 100K+ lb thrust engines only GE had a design that could be grown that much. The problem is that engine development cost so much that it is hard to split the sales and recoup the investment.

        • “When the -300ER needed 100K+ lb thrust engines only GE had a design that could be grown that much.”
          That happens to not be “true history”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolls-Royce_Trent#Trent_8104

          The product selection seems to have been done on GE paying for the ride.

          Posters here tend to be regularly careless about actual causality.

          Here GE probably had a comparable or below par product initially. GE90-115 had ( still has afaik ) significantly higher noise and polutant levels.

      • Ewe – I stand corrected, and thanks for getting the facts straight -RR had a technical contender. The reference does show that it was a business consideration. However, I don’t see any long term engine/airframe alignment. 787 uses both, 747 is too small a market for two engine manufacturer’s and Boeing states that they are opening up the 777x’s to all engine makers.

        BTW – I love RR engines – RB211 was the most advanced engine of it’s time and outlasted it’s rivals; unfortunately being at the cutting edge of technology often means financial risk.

        • The RR RB-211 engine was produced from 1971 to 2003.

          The GE CF-6 engine was produced from 1971 (1966 if you include the TF-39 the engine the CF-6 was developed from) and is still in production today (offered on the B-767 and A-330).

  26. Garry Reinhardt :
    Since you believe “that Boeing has a 787 $15B unrealized loss”, you must believe that Boeing’s required financial disclosures have been falsified, i.e. that Boeing cooked the books.

    An unrealized loss (or profit) doesn’t mean that a company’s books have been “cooked.” It simply means that it hasn’t hit the books (i.e. been realized) yet.

    • Well, in my understanding the books are “legally” cooked so to speak because GAAP rules allow it while in most other accounting domains you have to book losses early and profits late.
      An early LN 787 seems to go into inventory as accumulated cost, a multiple of the sales price ( and reworking something multiple times can further increase bookvalue. The step down comes on delivery : you gain the final payment ~$50m? and book the value ($400m) as loss.

      I would not be allowed to do that here. if cost overtakes a realistic/minimum sale value that is immediate loss. Below that the book value is cost. Profits are realised on sale.

  27. “Boeing is again calling the 787 the A330 killer.”

    Hmm, with 572 out of 1189 sales since the introduction of the 787 and starting with 1994, the sales number for each consecutive year being a record for the A330, I would bet that Airbus wishes Boeing had killed the A340 in a similar manner.

    I must admit that I am not 100% convinced that an A330NEO will never happen. Even if Airbus, at this point in time, have no plans for such an animal.

  28. Andrea in the Bloomberg link says: “A three-year delay in 787 production has boosted demand for the A330, with the plane winning 758 orders alone since the 787 first went on offer.”

    That seems shockingly close to the 787 backlog (including cancellations). I think the main difference with 737NEO project is that the A330s have lots of upgrade potential and roles (Regional, long haul, Cargo, Tanker). And nearly 10 roll off the FAL each month.

    No doubt concerns about the A350-800 play a role and there certainly is overlap. But:
    – the A350-800 is a (very) long haul machine vs the A330 also used for medium haul
    – no doubt Airbus prefers selling 750 A330s over selling 250 A358s this decade..
    – “deferring” the A350-800 leaves open engineering manpower for more profitable projects..

    That said, new engines, either GENX or Trents, would add 700NM to the range. With 400NM from current planned improvements / 240 MTOW that adds 2 hours to its range, making it feasible for flights to/ from Asia from the Western countries, entering new markets, specially the A330-300..

  29. I would like to know more about something a few of you have alluded to.
    Why do both AB and BA go after more and more range. There are very many 6-8 hour flights where a widebody with 200-220 seats in 2 classes would be great if optimised just for those sector lengths. in that sense the original 767, the later 757’s, the A300/310 have had no natural NG sucessors. The A330’s are too big, the 787 too much range. I have not seen the data but believe that more than 50% of widebody flights dont exceed 8 hours. . Anyt thoughts out there ?

  30. I read an article in http://airsoc.com/articles/view/id/4f43cb55c6f8fa8a36000005/boeing-versus-airbus?ev=10&evp=tl regarding Boeing and Airbus. Both of them are major names in the industry but regarding design and innovation Airbus for me is working wonders regarding composite materials, engine efficiency and max payload which in return is good for business. Airbus also scored great regarding safety against Boeing. Again it’s only my own opinion with some facts others might think the other way.

    • I respectfully disagree on both of those issues. BTW the airframe OEMs can ask for more efficent engines from the engine OEMs, but the airframers themselves do design the engines.

    • Alexander – did you read the article you referenced? ” I wouldn’t let my family fly an A380″ it says in the article. A330 crash in the Atlantic because of frozen pitot tubes and the side stick implicated in the other pilots not recognizing the first officer was stalling the plane. A300 with its composite tail snapping off? I’m not sure how you formulated your opinion on safety but I’m curious.

  31. toyuths :
    Fred, what is the source of this story? Pan Am’s 1st 727-221 was not until line number 1764, which was very late in the program. Probably in the early 80′s. [The last 727 was line number 1832, a 200F for Fedex delivered in 1984].
    The first 727-200′s were built in 1967, for Northeast and National, line numbers in the mid-400′s

    It was about 1968 when this happened, right after I rejoined Pan Am from a short vacation in Vietnam.
    So it had to have been a B727-100, one of the IGS aircraft, not a -200.
    Sorry about that; it was a long time ago.

  32. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/25/uk-airbus-a-idUSLNE84O00J20120525

    Tom Enders – CEO of Airbus comes clean here on admitting the problem:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/25/uk-airbus-a-idUSLNE84O00J20120525

    The problem he mentions is the different expansion rates of CFRP and Aluminum which is about 6x the thermal expansion rate of CFRP. This induces thermal fatigue that would only show up by analysis; it’s hard to heat and cool an airplane during the fatigue testing.

    So how will the 787 do? Well, the 787 uses far more CFRP and far less Aluminum, so you have fewer places where the two materials interface. Also, the 787 uses far more titanium in the structure (15% vs. 5% for the A350) and titanium’s lower thermal expansion rate is much closer to CFRP.
    So how will the 787 do? Well, the 787 uses far more CFRP and far less Aluminum, so you have fewer places where dissimilar materials meet. Also, the 787 uses far more titanium in the structure (15% vs. 5% for the A350) and titanium’s lower thermal expansion rate is much closer to CFRP. I would be more worried about the A350 with it’s aluminum cab.

  33. Fedex has 200 A300/310/DC aircraft for which no replacements have been ordered yet. (UPS 80)
    Sorry Kjeese – you’re too late, Boeing filled that order:
    http://www.aircargoworld.com/Air-Cargo…/fedex-orders-767…/154091

    As to the A330 selling so well – it’s simple – you can get one in the near future. If you want a 787 you have to wait something like 8 years to get one. Why is the A350 selling so poorly? One can argue the same point that the 777 is outselling the A350 right now, and there is a plan in place to upgrade it to complete with the A350 when it goes into production.

    Why do you constantly go back to the A330? Because it was the last decent plane that Airbus built? Sounds like you are living in the glory days of past…

    • Fedex bought 27 767-300F to replace a bunch of ~40 year old MD-10s.
      To paraphrase: facts, a difficult concept 😉

      • What fact(s) are you disputing? I assumed that Kjeese when he said “DC” meant DC-10/MD-10’s and “no replacements ordered” . The’ve replaced the oldest (and largest) with 767’s not A3xx’s. So at a minimum some replacements have been ordered.

  34. “John Leahy, COO Customers, said there haven’t been sales (of the A350) because he doesn’t have any delivery slots available until the end of the decade.”

    Does this mean that A will deliver no more A350-1000s by 2020 than the forty or so currently on order? It would be very interesting to know Leahy’s estimate of the 350’s max production rate at the end of 2019, and how it will be split between the three variants. If A cannot produce enough to get solidly into the 350-400 seat mkt and B can because they will have a dedicated 777X production line producing 8 or perhaps even 12 month, it won’t really matter how the -1000 compares to the -300ER or the 777-8X.

    • Ballparkfigures: A linear ramp to 10/per month in
      2020 is about 490 frames.
      2019 is about 555 frames.
      2018 is about 610 frames.
      2017 is about 660 frames.

    • Christopher, the likelihood of the 777-8X/9X being produced at rates of 8-12 per month is virtually nill. Without real competition since EIS, the 777W/77F (77L presumed dead 😉 ) are only now going to be produced at a rate of 8.3 per month (until 2016/2017 ?). I can’t see Boeing taking more than 50 percent of the A350-1000/777-8X/777-9X market, and that’s a “best case scenario” for Boeing IMO since not all airlines are likely going to put 10 seats abreast in economy class. Hence, a realistic 777 production rate post 777-9X EIS would be a maximum of 4-5 per month. The big question here, of course, is how high a production rate Airbus could reach on the A350. 15 per month, at the start of the next deade, is not an unrealisic assumption IMO.

      • OV-099, the A-3510 is already a dog, no one wants it, and no one has ordered it since 2008. In fact it has lost 13 orders since it reached a high of 75. The B-777-8X/-9X has generated a lot of interest, QR (a former A-3510 customer) and EK (who still has 20 A-3510s on order) are very interested. The B-777X is a perfect replacement for the B-77E/L/W as well as a very good replacement for the B-744. The A-3510 has been rerjected for at least 4 years now, and the ‘improvements’ to the A-3510 Airbus announced at the PAS last year only seemed to make the situation even worse.

        The B-77L was always just a niche airplane to compete directly with the A-345, which it killed. There were only 34 A-340-500/-500IGWs ever delivered. The B-77L has 54 dselivered airplane, 3 still to be delivered (total 57), and is still offered. No version of the A-340 is offered today.

        Not every airline puts 10 across seating on their B-777s, but some do, and those airlines are likely to do the same on their A-350s.

        You may not see Boeing be able to increase B-777 production rates beyond 8.3/month, but Boeing has not said anything about it, they could increase it to 12/month if they wanted to by 2017. I might add the current production rate for the A-3510 is 0, and it will stay at that level until at least 2017, assuming the airplane is not delayed, again. For Airbus to get to a total A-350 production rate of 15/month by 2020, they will have to climb a very steep learning curve. BTW, Airbus has yet to get to its production rate for the A-380, and it has been in production since 2006.

        As far as your “best case scenario” prediction of the B-77X”only taking 50% of the market with the A-3510 taking the other 50%, there is strong evidence your prediction is way off base, in fact it is not even in the ball park.

        I still fail to see the excitement the Airbus cheerleaders have for the A-3510, when it is the worst seller of the A-350 family. I am sorry for not sharing that level of excitement for the B-77X family, as the airplane is far from a frozen design, nor is it even launched, yet. But, I am confident Boeing will build the airplane the airlines really want.

    • 27 not 12, and they specifically said they are replacing DC10’s. Also 22 777F’s on order, along with 757 conversions. If the plan was to replace them with A330’s, why would you buy 767’s and have a mixed fleet later on, especially when the market for cargo is down right now? Freighters don’t run high hours which is why they can use them for 40 years and the A300’s probably have lots of life left in them; besides you can always order more 767’s later. The fact that Fed Ex cancelled as the launch customer for the A380F isn’t exactly a vote of confidence. Also UPS has 27 767’s on order. Both operate A300’s now, so it seems like neither one of them were impressed by them.

      Sorry, but I don’t see AB as a serious player in the freight business – they don’t seem to have a serious contender in any part of the market – narrowbody, mid-size, or large freighters.

      • Most of FedEx’s A-300B2F/B4Fs and just about all of their A-310Fs are sitting in the desert, collecting sand upon their wings. Many will only leave the desert as ingots to be turned into Bud Light cans. Most of the A-300Fs still flying for FedEx are the newer A-300-600RFs or converted -600Rs. GT62 is right, Airbus is not serious about new build freighters, they have sold only about 65 A-330Fs in 5 years, and cancelled the A-380F. But the cancelling of the A-380F also signed the end of the A-300-600F production.

        UPS was able to convert their last 38 new build A-306RFs into 10 A-380Fs, and when that program got cancelled, the A-306F UPS order died with it. It was then that UPS ordered 8 new build B-747-400Fs, and a little later 29 B-767-300ERFs

        Airbus’s next new freighter version is suppose to be the A-350-900F, but like the A-359R, it hasn’t left the drawing boards, and no engineers are working on it. Airbus had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the A-330P2F project, and the A-320P2F program never got any traction.

        Even the A-330MRTT Tanker is sold primarily as a pax airplane, and no one has ordered it as a freighter. In the USAF KC-X compitition, Airbus never offered the A-332F as the base airplane, they offered the pax version of the A-332. Boeing offered a full cargo freighter, and won.

        Boeing offers 5 different new build frighter/combi models, the B-737-700C, B-767-2C, B-767-300ERF, B-777-200LRF, and the B-747-8F. Boeing also has the converted freighter business doing more than 50% of the converted frighter business with the B-757-200BCF, B-767-300BCF, and B-747-400BCF. I am not even counting Boeing freighters/combis that are out of production.

        More than 50% of all civilian cargo shipped by air tavels on a B-747F/CF/BCF around the world.

        Airbus is just not interested with the freighter maket, much to the joy of Boeing.

        • UPS and FedEx together operate 13 B747 but also a fleet of 164 MD11/DC10.

          The difference between A330 and B767 as a freighter is one digit “LD3” to “LD2”. To be interchangeable with other aircraft like 777 or 747 LD3 is better sized.

          FedEx and UPS were offered the 767-300F at what price ever to keep the 767 production line working until sufficient work for KC-46 tanker will arrive.

          The A330 MRTT tanker was ordered with airline pax seating due to the fact that the cargo bay isn’t occupied by additional fuel tanks. As you should know the A330 offered for KC-X competition did meet the RFP and that included main deck cargo capability. The KC-45 was able to carry 32 military 463L master pallets against just 19 for KC-46. An A330 MRTT without main deck cargo capability can still move 8 463L pallets or 25 LD3. According to my knowledge all costumers until today ordered airline seating. France and India will for sure also order several aircraft with airline seating for government use but maybe also several freighters. It is still a mystery to me why the UK didn’t ordered several cargo versions.

          Boeing did finally win the KC-X contest due to the “references flight profiles” used to calculate fuel burn over the complete life time. These profiles did include on average more than 7 touch & go maneuvers. According to this metric the lighter less capable aircraft did win because it might burn less fuel. An A330-200F-NEO might change this for KC-Y.

          The price tag for the F-35 may emerge the KC-Y competition obsolete.

  35. KC135TopBoom :
    The RR RB-211 engine was produced from 1971 to 2003.
    The GE CF-6 engine was produced from 1971 (1966 if you include the TF-39 the engine the CF-6 was developed from) and is still in production today (offered on the B-767 and A-330).

    RB 211 continues in the Trent line of engines. CF-6 has lost marketshare on the A330 and the 767 lost market share to the A330 ( together with that wonderfull CF-6 engine ).

    What did you want to tell us here?

    • The CF-6 continues on in the GEnx line of engines.

      The RB-211 is no Trent.

      The CF-6 is no GEnx.

      • “Rolls-Royce Trent is the name given to a family of high bypass turbofan aircraft engines manufactured by Rolls-Royce plc. All are developments of the RB211 with thrust ratings of 53,000 to 95,000 pounds-force (240 to 420 kN).” This is an exert from Wikipedia.

  36. KC135TopBoom :
    Most of FedEx’s A-300B2F/B4Fs and just about all of their A-310Fs are sitting in the desert, collecting sand upon their wings.

    Would you produce that information under oath TB?

    Fedex Airbus fleet (via Airfleets.net:):
    72 A300 : 71 active, 1 written
    70 A310: 42 active, 1 written of 27 stored

  37. RE: “Boeing Won’t Abandon MAX for NSA:” Christian Scherer, EVP Strategy and
    Future Programs, does not believe Boeing will abandon the 737 MAX in favor of a
    New Small Airplane despite the challenges Boeing has in redesigning the airplane.

    Just by the EVP Strategy and Future Programs mentioning, “I DO NOT BELIEVE
    Boeing will abandon the 737 MAX in favor of a New Small Airplane, is an alarming
    sign of the continuing battle Boeing has, with the MAX engine ground clearance
    problem!
    Boeing has been forced to increase the fan diameter to 70 inches and extend the
    NLG by 8 inches, to provide the necessary engine ground clearance, but wether
    those changes will provide sufficient operating-cost advantages of the MAX over
    the NEO, is still an open question.
    If not and with the NEO being sold out thru 2020, it may very well be wiser for Boeing
    to drop the MAX and develop the NA, which will bring the following major advantages:
    1. Saving billions on what is known to be an interim a/p program with minimal profits,
    the way they are giving them away, to prevent the NEO from running away with
    this market, does NOT seem to be a smart decision!
    2. The NA will get immediate attention and will stop, if not reverse, the NEO run on
    this market beyond 2020, which the MAX is unlikely to do, unless they continue
    to give them away below cost, as they have been.
    3. The NA, will also match the NEO advantage of being able to offer both the LEAPX
    and the P&W GFE, as well as having the advantage of having the NA in service
    only one or two years after the MAX, but at the same time the NEO will again
    have delivery positions available, but NOT before!

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