Odds and Ends: 787-9 progress but Qatar blast Boeing; EADS; Airbus

Boeing 787-9 progress: Aviation Week has this article detailing progress in the 787-9 program.

Qatar blasts Boeing: In what should come as absolutely no surprise, Qatar’s vocal CEO took his displeasure with Boeing public, blasting the company for late deliveries of the 787-8. Qatar’s first 787 was supposed to be handed over in August but has not for undisclosed reasons. Flight Global has this interview with Al-Baker, which dates from about a year ago.

Boosting the take-off: Airbus is looking at assist for take-offs to allow for shorter runways. This is not a new concept. This Google images page show lots of variations in Jet Assisted Take Off, many dating to piston days. We remember seeing a photo elsewhere of a Braniff Airways DC-4 or DC-6 using JATO for La Paz, Bolivia’s, high altitude airport but couldn’t fine one on Google.

EADS-BAE merger trouble: Government interference could tank the merger, Reuters reports.

21 Comments on “Odds and Ends: 787-9 progress but Qatar blast Boeing; EADS; Airbus

  1. Boeing is very positive on the 787-8 and 787-9, says all issues are firmly understood and under control and is optimistic performance might be better then expected. So nothing has really changed over the last 5 yrs. Being more optimistic then realistic has become a second nature, Still I hope the -8 and -9 will smooth out and deliveries will rise to restore balance in the industry.

    • What about winch launch and vomit bags?

      Maglev is not an option for me. The system would occupy the runway. A slide with wheels powered by electric motors with an energy supply like on high speed trains would be sufficient. Power output of one high speed train power car is about 5,000 kW.
      Required energy to accelerate an A320 is about 0.5 x 70.000 kg x (80 m/s)² =224,000 kJ.
      5,000 kW applied over 50 seconds are about 250,000 kJ.

      And why not use a winch to accelerate the aircraft after the runway with earth bound energy?

  2. Fashion houses like to parade outlandish couture that never actually gets worn. Car manufacturers show concept cars at car shows, of which very few see the light of day. Airbus seems to have decided that OEMs should also get under the lime-light with far-fetched ideas.

    Who knows, maybe this kind of thing has its place. I guess they are at least trying to look beyond today’s system, for big efficiency gains. I imagine there’s also an element of ‘inspire the engineers of tomorrow’ at work here too.

    • Airbus seems to be very much into ‘inspire the engineers of tomorrow’.

      As a student (late 80ties) I did an intern stint at VW Forschung.
      Concept cars tend to test the fancy of the next customer generation.
      Additionally technical gimmicks are introduced and showcased that may find their way into mainstream products.
      Textile uphostery got a fast path treatment while forex electric powersteering and assisted/automatic parking took much longer.
      Some ideas are never seen again. ( Or still aren’t ripe yet )

  3. I think real catapult launches will never become reality for the bigger public. Quickly getting the aircraft up to speed (100 kts?) might be feasible. Slowing them down quickly without using the engines might be another technical challenge.

    As Uwe said many ideas never see introduction. I’ve also seen an idea from an old engineer dissapear in a drawer for a decade, being dismissed for some reason, until a novice bypasser (temporary grounded cabin attendant) finds them, unware of all constrains, issues, unauthorized sends it to guys he never met at a university and kick starts a far reaching innovation..

    • I have to agree keesje, I really don’t think catapulting jetliners into the sky will ever happen. I am sure there are many technical hurdles which would make it already very difficult, but I would think that the biggest obstacles will be in global system change.

      Either every airport, diversion airport, ETOPS diversion airport on any route has the technology, or the aircraft will need to fly with a ‘backup’ system for takeoff & landing – eg, landing gear.

      So rather than saving landing gear weight, aircraft will in practice be penalised with an additional system. A penalisation that even optimistically might last 20 years, whilst existing airport infrastructure is upgraded.

      That’s 20 years of negative cash flow from addition fuel burn before any cost savings kick in from weight reduction (removed landing gear), which I assume is supposed to be the key benefit for the airline.

      As they say in English, ‘Pigs might fly’!

    • I was going to say it is most liekely just a ploy until I read the article. If he doesn’t want to talk about it, it could well be serious.

    • Hmm, the A330 talk is interesting, but how are Airbus going to get him slots next year. Then again AAB does blow a lot of hot air, probably negotiation tactics as usual. He’d probably have said the same during the 747-8F troubles if Airbus had a viable competitor.

      • Hehe,
        thats why I wrote fanning the coales 😉

        On the other hand 3..4 frames could well be doable in 2013.
        Airbus has a fine hand in reordering deliveries in times of market upheaval so that the production rate does not dip much.
        But he is looking for the -300 and not the -200 version afaics?

        popcorn and some guiness please!

    • If Al-Baker is going to blow smoke, he should at least make it plausible smoke. No one can possibly believe that negotiations which are at best just starting now could possibly get them delivery slots next year on a line that is sold out until 2015. Nor does it make sense to purchase new planes to make up a capacity gap that will last only a couple of years. If they desperately need the capacity, Qatar will find some A330s up for a short-term lease.

  4. Interesting that the 787-9 MTOW went up 8000 pounds (back in 2010 or so).

  5. FF :Also if you can get up to speed quicker you will have a longer runway to comply with engine out conditions. So you can take more weight or use a less powerful engine and save fuel.

    I may be wrong about this, but I would think that the additional payload possibility only applies if you have a Takeoff Weight limitation due to airfield constraints. If so, then the system would be useful for hot/high operations or short runways. But an alternative could be to make a better airfield, or to use a different aircraft.

    • IMU primary focus is a reduced airport (noise, real estate) footprint
      and better efficiency. Using a jet engine at low speeds for acceleration is rather inefficient
      and noisy. Airport environmental impact is a big topic( see forex FRA )

        • If one assumes that cruise thrust is ~1/5th of max my guess is takeoff and the first climb segment in dense atmosphere is good for an hour flying at cruise levels?
          ( think about (new) continuous descent approaches at near idle and compare to the ascent phase.)

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