Boeing held an investors’ conference today that began at zero dark thirty PDT, so we weren’t up to listen to the webcast. The PDF presentations are here.
According to news reports, McNerney said interest in the forthcoming 787-10 and 777X is high. We expect both models to be launched this year, with the 787-10 coming at the Paris Air Show and the 777X later in the year (perhaps at the Dubai Air Show, with Emirates Airlines a launch customer?).
Reports also quote McNerney as saying Boeing’s airplanes are better than Airbus’ (what else will he say?). He said the 777-9X and the 787 bracket the Airbus twin aisles (true) and the 9X won’t have any competition from Airbus (also true).
McNerney claims Boeing has a five year lead on Airbus in working with composites, which is a bit of a stretch: 25% of the A380 by weight (which is more than the 787) is composite (the aft end of the airplane) and Airbus has been using composites on airplanes since the A300. But he is correct that the 787 had a long lead over Airbus for a composite fuselage. Unfortunately much of this lead has been squandered due to poor execution.
The 3:13 hr/min replay is available here; you have to register first.
Re the five year lead claim. It depends on how one counts the parts and size and model and . . ..
for example – BA built Navy A6(D/E?) wings in the late 80’s-early 90’s of composites.
The main structures of the B2 wing, spars, and body in the late 80’s
Tail feathers of 777, etc
Parts of F-18 in the 70’s-80’s-90’s, etc
Boeing was indeed ahead of Airbus about five years with the Dreamliner. But the accumulated delays have subtracted some four years to its lead. So today Boeing is only ahead by a year or two.
Boeing tried to get ahead “leapfrog” of Airbus in a rather narrow spearhead move.
Had it worked the way it was presented to the public they could have had a chance to “be ahead”.
But that presentation was never something that could have been effected in the projected timeframe. The Roll Out was very much in taste of the project character.
I would say the competition for the 9X is the A350-1000. The planes aren’t identical but airlines will be weighing the advantage of each. With as much justification you can say Boeing doesn’t have an exact competitor for the A350-1000 in terms of payload, range and fuel efficiency.
McNerney has been claiming a lot of different things over the years. For example, 2 weeks after the 787 “roll-out”, he claimed that Boeing had “contingency plans” if 787 first flight moved beyond September into October of that year; yet the 787 didn’t get into the air for another 2.4 years. So, why should anyone take any credence from what this man is saying now?
In fact, Boeing was saying as much at the Paris air show, according to Aviation International News’ on-site daily (June 20, 2007): ‘…On the eve of the show here in Paris, Boeing Commercial Airplanes president Scott Carson reportedly estimated “mid-September” as a prospective date for first flight, a timing not challenged here yesterday by 787 program general manager and vice-president Mike Bair.
Bair confirmed the current window to Aviation International News, saying, “We look like we’ll end up somewhere in there.” Asked how much later than, say, September 15 the aircraft could fly without endangering the [May 2008] delivery schedule, Bair said, “We’ve got plans about what to do if we go past that.” He said that four weeks from “the end of August” did not constitute a “finite period.”
…Boeing executives have been careful to say “the 787 will fly when it’s ready to fly,” and last week marketing vice president Randy Tinseth said in London that Boeing had “until the end of September, and then we have to start looking at the flight-test window” to see where time could be gained.
… Bair conceded here yesterday that there were problem areas Boeing is addressing to stay on time, as it has successfully done in earlier stages. “We’re where we need to be, although there are pockets where we’re behind.” ‘
You are exactly right. Most people though, especially the morons on wall street, don’t follow the history that closely and so do not appreciate how laughable McNerney’s comments are (in my humble opinion).
The Boeing 757 didn’t have (direct) competition from Airbus. The 747-8 doesn’t have any competition from Airbus either (the A380 is bigger).
Competition comes from smaller or bigger (except maybe in single aisles) or from Boeing itself (the 777X will be the 747 killer).
The McNerney claim about the Boeing so-called advance in composites is funny : why is Boeing going to launch such a long metal tube (the 777X, EIS in 2020+) if a fuselage in composites is an advantage ?
Because Jim McNerney has got no idea what he’s talking about.
I usually don’t agree with you OV-0999 but you might be correct here.
The bottom line is the A351XWB is highly competitive. As slots have opened up, sales have started to pick up. If Airbus hits its numbers, it will be an excellent selling plane. The B779X will do well but I don’t think the B778X will do too well. This means Boeing doesn’t really have a “true” B77W capacity (350-seat range) replacement. While Boeing will “bracket” Airbus with the B787-10X and B779X, the “bracket” will be fairly large-large enough for Airbus to sell a lot of planes.
Well, this time around I don’t disagree either with what you are saying. 🙂
BSA slides are interesting -strategic intent is to “sustain narrow body “position and “expand wide body leadership” ;the first one is an acknowledgement that they are not the leaders,which is good ; the second one is more important for Boeing-that should be how to retain the wide body leadership ; I am not sure, with 350 series, B could expand , the challenge is to fend off 350-1000 esp and sustain leadership market position; to achieve that , they need 787-10 to have more range (today it is limited to 6 800-7 000nm);and 777-8X has to be much more competitive that what it is today ; I am not sure, it is that good vs 350-900. Boeing has to address this , esp the weight disadvantage vs 350. May be Al Li alloy will make some improvement in the fuselage reducing weight penalty.
Again, are these people for real?
Ok, so they plan to “expand wide-body leadership”. Of course, if they actually believe that they are in a march to “put Airbus out of business in the twin-aisle space”, then at least, one can understand where they are coming from.
Back in the real world, the 747-8I is seemingly on life-support while quite a few Boeing longtime wide-body customers seems to be jumping ship. Hence, “expanding wide-body leadership” seems IMO to be “optimistic”, to say the least.
ah, yes… it’s just hopeless for Boeing. Those Boeing people they should all just quit and commit suicide, how can they ever hope to compete against your glorious Airbus. All HAIL Airbus, Emperor of the World. You fanbo… er cheerleaders are so pathetic.
No, of course it’s not “hopeless” for Boeing. It’s just that the good people at Boeing IMO are working in an organization run by a disconnected management with seemingly no idea about the state of the business, the attitudes of their customers and the competition.
Howard, do you have anything meaningful to contribute or do you just copy/paste your rants? In case you missed it, the starter to the whole debate are Boeing’s claims:
– Their WB range completely brackets Airbus’
– Their products are better
– They have a years of leadership in the composites field, seemingly unassailable
… poor Airbus, they might as well shut the shop.
UK: No personal attacks. See Reader Comment rules.
Far from being a personal attack, it is a question to the content of reply #11.
Scott, how come you seem to be very hard on everyone within an inch of a personal attack (and rightly so!), but almost never warn off Howard?
I’ve exchanged emails in the past with Howard (as I have with others).
Because it is more advantageous to have a composite wing than a composite fuselage. Of course at that size a composite fuselage would probably also be beneficial, but a lot more costly. It would no longer be a 777 though but a 797, or whatever Boeing would want to call it.
If Boeing would make the 777X fuselage out of Al-Li I think it would have a very competitive aircraft. And a metallic fuselage is easier to protect against lightning strikes.
I would imagine that Airbus has a pretty good track record on composite wings with the A400M
I think this is pre Paris PR battle. Anything Airbus now says can been seen as defensive & Boeing being in the driver seat.
Which they aren’t at this moment. CX, QR and BA bought into the A350-1000 and some other big 777 operators could soon (JAL, ANA, AF, SQ, UA). Specially BA hurts deeply.
Ray Conner, who heads the company’s commercial airplane division, said he had not given up on possible sales of the 777X mini-jumbo plane to British Airways, despite the airline’s $6 billion order for 18 of Airbus’ new A350-1000 jets in April.
“That game’s not over yet,” Conner told analysts at a Boeing investor conference. “Our intention is to win it.”
Conner said British Airways had shown continued “very, very big interest” in the 777X, given the large number of 747s it currently operates.
IMO in BA configuration the 777-9X only would offer 2-3 rows extra on top of their A350-1000s. With the A380 offering a leap in comfort, capability, exposure and efficiency at LHR. Not an easy task for Conners team.
Meanwhile Boeing still has to launch a 777X after many years, for EIS 2020-21.. long after the A350s. So they are selling promises at this stage while the A350 might fly overhead.
They are very good when it comes to PR, no doubt.
I am afraid we are witnessing the beginning of the end for Airbus…
Yes, Airbus is apparently “boxed in” — whatever that’s supposed to mean.
Perhaps the term “to be boxed in” is something you learn in a Boeing online education course…..
“He said the 777-9X and the 787 bracket the Airbus twin aisles”
Was there ever an advantage in that? It all boils down to how many you can push out of the door. The A330 was “bracketed” by the 767 and 777 and yet, it has done remarkably well. You could also argue that the A330 was responsible for starving off the order book for the largest 767 variant and the smallest 777.
“McNerney claims Boeing has a five year lead on Airbus in working with composites”
Reminds me of an aerosmith song…
Pertinent question. The answer is Mitsubishi and its Japanese partners. If Boeing had launched the NSA in response to the neo, instead of the MAX, it would have given the opportunity to Boeing to develop its own in-house expertise and manufacturing capabilities in composite wings. But today Boeing is facing the daunting task of having to start from scratch to design and build a composite wing for the big 777X.
To initiate a composite wing manufacturing capability with a smaller aircraft like the NSA would have made the task considerably easier for Boeing on the 777X. And less risky.
Boeing did the design of the composites, based on decades long knowledge gathered in research programs, e.g. the NASA programs, defense and space programs. Patents were handed over to Boeing. The infrastructure is in the supply, e.g MHI, Spirit etc. but could production lines could set up elsewhere in time.
keesje, when you say that Boeing did the design of the composites I think you mean the design of the composite fuselage. Because nowadays the design is outsourced along with the manufacturing. Be it the wings (MHI) or the empennage (Alenia) for the Dreamliner.
If Boeing had done the wing design, why then were the Japanese blamed for the early brake-up of the wing? Apparently the MHI engineers had not mastered all the intricacies of using the Finite Element Analysis software. Anyway, that would concern only the design, not the manufacturing.
Five years ago Bombardier spent over a billion dollars to set-up a facility in Belfast with the sole purpose of manufacturing the CSeries wings. I can imagine how much it would cost Boeing today to do the same for the 777X.
Arguably, it will have taken Boeing two development development programmes (787, 777X) and an 8 -aircraft family to counter the 3-aircraft A350 programme. If that is a success, it is probably a pyrrhic victory!
Considering the A350 is Airbus’ response to the 787, I think you have it rather backwards. Never the less, All HAIL Airbus. Carry on.
Should have had my glasses on when I typed earlier – of course I meant a 5- aircraft family for Boeing (787-8/9/10, 777-8/9). I don’t think I’m a particular fan of A but equally I don’t swallow the nonsense spouted by Boeing execs. My belief is that market shares will probably hover around the 60-40 mark, B:A, which is not dissimilar to where it is now, give or take a few points, and that’s how it should be. Free trade is about competition, but some people on here seem to think that one side or the other has a god-given right to dominate the market. That isn’t healthy for anyone.
The A350 was indeed Airbus’s response to the 787. But they designed it with a larger fuselage than the A330 (and the 787) in order to economically challenge the 777’s dominance as well. Boeing’s intention of producing the 777X earlier than was originally anticipated is a proof of the Airbus concept.
At the time I thought Airbus was quite bold in it’s decision to try to hit two birds (787/777) with one stone (A350). But I also thought the proposition to be quite risky. Time will tell if Airbus was right; but so far everything indicates that they might have made the right move.
Airbus could have achieved similar results with two different fuselage diameters, but it would have been more than double the price.
I think you have it double-backwards because the 787 was really Boeing’s response to the A330 and what it did to 767 sales.
And are you seriously saying that the 787-10 and 777-8X/-9X are not responses from Boeing to regain share in markets the three A350 models – particularly the -900 and -1000 – were taking hold of?
Mind you, both OEMs are playing catch-up with each other or a continuing basis (the A330 was partly a response to the success the 767 had versus the A300). That’s the nature of this duopoly, and doesn’t need much pointing out (or so I thought).
Given the discussion here, though, which is not about saying that Boeing is about to fail, but on looking at McNerney’s statements which to many here are painting a picture of Boeing’s position that isn’t quite in tune with reality (a treatment Airbus also regularly gets here and elsewhere), I do think that your repeated sarcastic “All Hail Airbus” response is not only inappropriate, but also somewhat childish.
Airbus’ complement to the 767 was the A310 still from a “market benjamin” position.
A340/330 family leveraged the A320 advances for Widebodies and enabled Airbus further growth in the WB market ( after entering the NB market sucessfully.)
I see the 777 as a reactive product from Boeing.
* 767 nose ( 767/757 ala Airbus common cockpit )
+ a wider fuselage ( one up the 222″ Airbus arrangement )
+ FBW ( works for Airbus … )
+ more ETOPS from pushing the FAA
The other option, is for Boeing to build a clean sheet CFRP 10 abreast aircraft at 220′, 240′, and 260′. The 220′ model would obsolete the A350-1000, and the larger models would be icing on the cake. But, I guess the 777x is cheaper and quicker.
Hmm, this smells like wishful thinking on your part. The cross-section of the 777 is 244 inches. I’m just curious, but how could a 220-inch diameter fuselage, or even one with a diameter of 240 inches, “obsolete” the A350-1000? Certainly, a 260-inch diameter barrel could comfortably seat passengers at 10 across, but why stop at 260 inches? A 266-inch diameter barrel should have an internal diameter of about 254 inches at armrest level. That’ll give you 11 across with the same seat bottom width (17,2″), armrest width (2″) and aisle width (18″), as that of the 777X at 10 across and the 787 at 9 across.
I’m thinking a circular 256 inches, just like the 747. Primary length at 240 feet, a 260 feet simple stretch, and a 220 feet London to Sydney model.
Yes, my mistake. 🙂 You were talking about overall length in feet.
However, my question still stands. How would the 67m (220 ft) long model “obsolete” the A350-1000?
As for cross-section, 256″ is 10″ too small IMO. Again, a cross-section of 266″ should have an internal diameter of 254 inches at armrest level. In addition to having 11 across capability at 777X and 787 comfort levels at respectively 10 and 9 across in economy, 254″ will give you 10 across with a seat bottom width of 18,5″ (x10), armrests width of 2″ (x14) and aisle width of 20,5″ (x2).
It would be interesting to see how the 777-9X would fare against a conceptual A360X-twin-family, having an internal diameter of 254 inches at armrest level, and configured with a 747-style one-and-a-half-deck and an A380-style nose section.
While the A351XWB and B77X competition is not as “clear-cut”, I do believe the B787-10X will be a phenomenal plane and sell extremely well.
Just like the A321/A321NEO will be able to perform 90%-95% of the B752 missions at a much better cost, I believe the B787-10X will be able to perform most of the B77E missions and all of the A333 missions at a much better cost.
I expect to see a lot of B787-10X sales in the next few years.
As with any manufacturer, Boeing has to talk up their products. It’s just that when it comes to PR, Boeing has no equals… The story of the MAX is the perfect example…
They spent most of 2010 and the best part of 2011 telling everybody there is no interest in a re-engined 737, no business case to do so and with the CEO eventually saying “We’re gonna do a new airplane that will go beyond the capability of what the [A320]NEO can do.”
(which he said during the earnings call, as it happens!)
… 5 months later they launched a re engined 737.
The 787-10 has been on their powerpoint presentations for about 5 years now, which they had claimed, will put the final nail in the coffin of the A330-300. Alas, 9 years after the launch of the 787 family, Airbus is pushing the A330s at 10/month….
For both 781 and 779, I will believe it when they finally launch the products and get those orders firmed.
I always thought Albaugh was alone trumpeting the NSA. I guess McNerney must have been told to change his mind by the Board. And I can only suppose that Albaugh offered a bit more resistance than he. Maybe too much so.
You can say “I’ll believe it when I see it” but practically every analysis I’ve read supports this fact. Yes, Airbus will be cranking out a number of A330’s, but that will eventually end. Airbus has touted the A351XWB for years as well yet Boeing has still been selling B77W’s in droves-this will eventually end as well. Both of their “playbooks” isn’t to vastly different when it comes to selling planes nearing the end of their model lifetimes.
The first iteration of the A350 was when? 2004? That will be 10-12 years since first announcement to final product so Boeing giving a 5-year span for the B781 to now isn’t too big of a deal.
Not really a fair comparison. You’re comparing the time-span between the launch of A350 Mk. I (later scrapped) and the first flight of the completely redesigned A350XWB with the timespan between Boeing’s first announcement of the impending launch of the derivative 787-10 and its actual launch (assuming it really does happen in Paris). First flight of the 787-10 is then still at least two years away.
As a reminder: Boeing said they were almost ready to launch the 787-10 as far back as 2005 (http://atwonline.com/aircraft-amp-engines/boeing-seems-ready-heed-call-787-10 – thanks to keesje for digging that one up previously), i.e. eight (8) years ago. I’m sure it’s going to sell well, but because of Boeing’s hesitations on it (partly caused by the fact they had to sort of the 787 base model development/production) it’s going to be second to the party, just like the 737MAX was.
The composition of the backlog of Boeing looks as more valuable than that of Airbus: 57% of the backlog consists of widebody airplanes.
Next opportunity for narrowbody by Airbus, 180 ~ 220 seats? They could start with it right after the A350 program
….but that stat is probably skewed by the fact that Airbus have sold 800-100 more NEOs to Boeing’s Maxs (and bear in mind also that a significant proportion of these are A321NEO, which presumably have better profit margins). Just trying to maintain a balanced view before anyone makes any accusations of favoritism!
5 years. Hmmm. Well I suppose one way to look at it is that by the end of the year (2013) they hope to have production at 10/m on the 787. Airbus projects ramp-up to 10/m will be by the end of 2018.
His statement may mean something like that as I would presume they are working to optimize the plane and processes continuously. I would expect the 2018 787s to be better than the 2013 jets. Similarly, I’d expect the 350-9s to be improved (they have already announced three tranche upgrades) but it must be a difficult process for both to launch, produce, improve, and increase rate while reducing costs- all at the same time! Boeing does seem to be farther down the path and has reduced a lot of the risk with the 787-8. The 787-9? Who knows for sure if there are going to be hiccups…every plane seems to have some in recent memory. The 350 is just in the middle of things. I am sure Airbus will breath easier once it is test flighted, in production, and in service without major issues. No one in either company is making a victory lap. Marketers market. That’s their job.
Airlines will vote with their feet. They will likely choose the jets that fit them best. In these tight financial times, it would be suicide to not get every advantage they can. If you buy something up front that doesn’t fit your business plan you’ll suffer for the next 10-25 years…
“Marketers market. That’s their job.”
Very true. I distrust equally marketing statements from both Boeing and Airbus. Like you said, the Airlines will cast their votes by what they buy, and the airlines have the real numbers to back up their multi-billion dollar layouts.
As far as I’ve read, Qatar’s 787-8, LN-103, is down to the contractual weight spec, so the product is definitely improving. Now, if Boeing could just hurry up and get the PIP2’s on the production frames, they could probably stop having to pay performance penalties.
Weight-wise, the 787-9 will be fine, and the GE versions will have the PIP2. I don’t know when RR will have the latest block improvement certified, but hopefully it will be in time for early 787-9 deliveries next year. I’m not sure what the other significant changes are but I’m sure there will be other issues.
Unit cost-wise, the program seems to be on track now. Upping the production rate will be important in digging out of the “Berkeley Pit” that the program got into.
I recently was at Boeing and ZA004 was in the flight test hanger being disassembled, but the new rolls engines where there. I was there the end of April and the production stap said manufactured 4/2012.
Thanks for the info, I appreciate it! Along with the weight reduction, getting the engines down to contract SFC is a huge deal.
“Berkeley Pit” hat to look that up 😉
( There also is a Jules Verne size hole in South Afrika )
The 787-8 never recuperated the sales losses.
All making up happens on the -9.
see: http://www.pdxlight.com/787.htm : “net orders”
this may be due to “Mk1” effects but I would also guess
that the A321 — B787-8 gap is a buyers gap.
The locals used to (and may still) joke that Butte, Montana is the butt of the world, and has the hole to prove it. Siberia has several of these mines as well, although the Berkeley Pit contains a vexing witch’s brew of dissolved toxic materials, which makes it stand out above the rest, in my opinion.
You can’t really say that the 787-8 never recuperated the losses. Boeing is not done selling them yet, and the consensus estimates say between 1100 and 1600 units need to be sold to break even. You may doubt that they will sell any more, but the later built aircraft are much better machines than the terrible teens, and airlines could be interested if they could get them in a reasonable time.
Another benefit of increased production is that the program will break even sooner, due to the double whammy of building planes faster and the decreased total cost of money.
Mike, read the fine print 😉
My observation was that the 787<b<-8 did not recoup sales losses ( yet???).
the losses have been about recouped by conversions and new sales of the 787--9. ( 787 sales as a whole are currently just short of the early 2008 peak )
My tentative conclusion was that this is due to Mk1 effects and or a buyers gap of future interests in the A321 to 787-8 ( A330-300 has overtaken the at one time dominant A330-200 also ) capacity range. (another guess: the 757 is used because airlines have it and not because it is desirable airframe size)
Question: what kind of airframe would create interest in that segment.?
Uwe, I’m trying to say that the entire 787 program, including the -9’s that are currently ordered, has not come close to breaking even yet. About 1100 to 1600 frames (-8 or -9) need to be sold. Obviously, Boeing can charge customers more for -9’s but more sales of either type is needed.
Increasing production will hopefully help to increase sales of these versions because the upcoming -10 (which is almost a separate program financially speaking) will be stealing less production slots.
I doubt that the -8 is done, like you seem to intone, but I don’t know enough about the market to make any definitive statements. In my opinion, many of the cancellations were due to doubt cast onto the program by early production problems and the ridiculous schedule overruns.
To make a big circular cross section efficient without lots of dead space, you would need to get creative, moving floors, making choices.
Boeing may boost the superiority of the yet unlaunched, undefined 787-10 and 777X from 2020, the most important goal is getting the 787-9 out in good numbers, ending the absense from 300 seat long haul market.
787-9 wings just arrived at Everett (yesterday, I think) and the first cockpit was recently powered up. Section 41 will probably arrive in Everett tonight. Nothing so far says the -9 cannot start final assembly on the 30th. We’ll see.
Keesje, I’m of the opinion that a 747-style one-and-a-half-deck configuration is the optimal configuration for aircraft sized in between the A350-1000/777-300ER and an A380-900 stretch aircraft (i.e. A380-800 too short). Just because the 747 is no longer competitive, doesn’t mean the one-and-a-half-deck configuration is obsolete. Only the aft part of such an aircraft will have an over-sized loft. Part of that “dead space” can be used for crew rest and galley cart storage.
Agree, but I’m afraid we are moving a little off topic here, back to the future..
keesje – you are so right.
” the most important goal is getting the 787-9 out in good numbers”
The “better” airplane needs a three hour electronics warm up?
Cold airplane start up performance should improve with the newer, better airplane, not get far, far worse.
Do not discount the distinct possibility that power-up performance will get much better once the bugs get worked out.
I do believe it is more a matter of absolute necessity.
From the article I got the impression Boeing believes this is jus the way the 787 needs to be operated.
Could be me but I heard them saying; “This is the way the future works – deal with it.”
That is why it has become urgent to launch the 777X if Boeing wants to retain its dominant position. But frankly I always thought Boeing had more time than it actually has. That is because I did not take the A350-1000 threat as seriously as I should have. And I can only hope that Boeing is not making the same mistake!
There is a very interesting discussion here, but I think that VLA’s market is small and shrinking.
For the sake of discussion let’s try these assumptions:
1. A big twin with better freight, equal range competes with a big quad, equal range, 25% more passengers, say for rough numbers 400 and 500 seats.
2. Cost of twin is say 85% of the quad.
3. The operating costs of the twin will be less, but let’s say it’s only 5%.
4. The analysis then depends on the risk of flying the twin versus flying the quad AND the likelihood of filling the quad versus the twin.
If a route can guarantee 80% of 500 ie 400 seats of appropriate mix, then the big quad can make shed loads of money. However the twin also will do well because it is at 100% of load. Likely the amount of profit is less since the mix may be less profitable.
If a route fluctuates down to 60%, then likely the quad will lose money. The twin will likely still make a small amount of money. If there is a twin at a better time and you will take that, and not wait for the quad then you get the frequency versus quad experience argument.
The analysis will have to account for these dips and cycles. On the other hand, no one loses money when you don’t have enough capacity. You lose it when there is overcapacity that you fly at a loss…
I would guess that is why the big twins are going/are selling so well and the quads are muddling along…
If either manufacturer can create a monster twin in the future, they’ll have a dominant aircraft. What would a 500 seat twin look like that say sacrificed range to 6000 nm but had the requisite lift? That is still a long distance… Just thinking out loud.
The Ecoliner twin is a trijet. Towards the end of the clip you can see the APU is rather large, up to 35klbs large. A 500 seat twin, taking off from a not so long, hot Asian runway, at MTOW, eating a swan just after V1 needs 150-160klbs engines. They don’t exist and I haven’t seen any RR/GE studies. An A380 as is can easily seat 600-650 at Boeing “typical” cabin configurations.
Anybody consider the fact that Airbus’ next step is to create a family of twins that are larger than the 777? Something like that could possibly come out after these new 777 iterations have been committed to by Boeing.
If so, then who would be bracketed?
Should have written, “…..the possibility that Airbus’ next step…”
Obviously a larger fuse diameter has it’s drawbacks but who knows what they are planning? Not to mention the powerplant technology advances that would be coming out in the next 5 to 10 years.
Airbus next steps? I guess they are hardly thinking about it at this moment. A350 is the first priority and the NEO. After that probably incremental improvements for some time. Maybe A322 NEO, A330NEO, A380NEO, A400 stretch. Let Boeing first decide what to do about the NB market if the MAX remains a moderately attractive proposition.
The gab between the A321NEO and A350-900 is very large in every aspect. The 757, 767, 787-8, A300, A310 and A330-200 are in it.
I agree with Keesje that after the A350 is done, Airbus is probably going to focus on the gap between the A321 NEO and the A350-900. That’s also the gap that I think they should address IMHO, and I agree with Keesje as well that a 777X-style A330-revamp (aka A350 Mk I 😉 ) or A330NEO and A322NEO (i.e. upsized A321NEO) could be effective ways of addressing that gap.
The secret to bigger twins than the 777-9X is to employ a Contra-Rotating Turbo Fan (CRTF). A CRTF will boost the propulsive efficiency of a turbofan engine, while the fan diameter can remain unchanged. Bypass ratios as high as 20 to 25 should be possible.
For example, a twin with a MTOW of some 450 metric tonnes (i.e. 777-300ER MTOW ≈ 350 metric tonnes), wingspan just short of 80m and wing-area around 700m2 (wingloading between that of the A350-900 and the 777-9X), would only need to have 2 engines rated at about 130,000 lb of thrust. Hence, one can imagine a future A380-800 derivative, of about the same length and capability, having only two engines.
And here I thought that McNerney and his cohorts have kept reiterating how it is all hopeless for Airbus and that they should just do the smart thing and roll over and die.
Forgive me Howard for not seeing the light.
He said that while Boeing is able to develop the 777-9X as a derivative of an existing model, Airbus has no airframe that size — except for the totally uneconomical, four-engined A340 — and so would have to develop an all-new airplane to compete.
“It’ll take another 5, 6 or 7 years before they can respond to this airplane,” said McNerney. “We’re way ahead of them and it’s going to be fun.”
So fun in 2020-2027? Someone better inform Jim the A340 is out of production, the A330 keeps eating his 764/772/787 market and the A350-1000 was selected by BA, CX, QR while AF/KL, JAL, ANA, SQ and UA too are talking to the wrong people. Guest / staff at his Paris challet might leave for the balcony to see the XWB.
And maybe Jim didn’t notice that the A350-900 XWB will fly before the 787-9 with which it competes, despite Airbus own failings.
Still, this ´boxed-in’ idea has me intrigued. Usually execs are all busy telling everybody their products are x% more efficient etc. On the 777X atleast, they aren’t saying that at all. Its all about being bigger.
Reading between the lines, sounds to me like they absolutely need the extra seats of the 9X to reach parity on CASK with the -1000. The reason for the -8X may turn out to be just to offer a variant in the family with better takeoff performance and range than an underpowered 9X (same as 737-8 and -9 strategy). Certainly nobody seems to think the -8X’s economics will be competitive on a stand alone basis.
Airbus doesn’t “have an airframe that can compete” with the 777X, the upgraded version of Boeing’s biggest twin-engine plane, Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney said at an investor conference today. “They don’t have the appetite to do a ground-up airplane, and they’d have to do a ground-up airplane.”
Don’t believe Boeing is responding to a ground-up airplane. It’s Airbus that has to defend itself against the 2020 777X. If you can’t convince them, confuse them..
Note that McNearney is now beating the cost drum – fewer grunts, etc. Historically, the ‘ first’ airplane costs 13 to 15 times the 100 th due to learning curves, etc. At least thats the way it used to be. But with increased automation, composites and fewer holes and ‘ rivets”, MY guess is that curve is much different. MY estimate would be instead of labor being 10 to 15 percent of cost, its more like half that now say 8 percent. Shipping costs are probably higher, and material costs including processing are higher- guess about 60 percent or so.
So it becomes somewhat of a puzzle as to how and where major reductions in costs after the first 100 will come about. I doubt that labor costs can get much lower as a percentage. Material costs may drop a few percent- shipping costs a few percent. Seems to be a long way from what McNearney now wants to claim- beating up on vendors IMO is counter productive- If a few get hammered too much- then they will simply drop out. Keep in mind that it is the small- medium vendors who put up money,built the facilities, and get the profits from cutting their own costs. I doubt that a bigger whip will make the horses pullilng the freight work harder or faster. BA now stands to be a captive of its vendors. JIm should try using honey instead of vinegar !!
OH and adding facilites in Hurricane or Tornado alley may be more riskier also
On the first part, I have neither questioned that the 7810 will be launched (enough claiming ‘a lot of interest’, just launch the damn thing) nor its market appeal. I am sure it will sell. How it will fair against the A359 remains to be seen. A359 is soon to be in flight test, baseline model (rather than a double stretch) and probably available sooner. The market will judge.
On the second part… Everything will *eventually* end and so will the A330 production but for now (by that I mean at least to the end of the decade) Airbus will milk that programme for as long as they can, bringing in pure profit from a programme that has long paid for itself. I do not deny that the 330 will eventually go the way 767 has but it will occur much, much later than some predict or secretly hope.
The first iteration of the A350 and the XWB version, launched in 2006, are two different aircraft. If the XWB EISs next year that’ll be an 8 year phase. For the rest, I don’t follow your point.
I generally do not understand what they mean by ‘bracket’. They claim Airbus cannot compete against the 777-9, well one could say that Boeing cannot directly compete against the A3510 either. B748 cannot compete against the A380. Other than putting a nice spin on things there no meaning behind his statements. As I said they are masters when it comes to handling the media, Airbus certainly could learn a thing or two.
Why would they need to do that? How would it help their sales? The media and the general public couldn’t care less about who’s got a better product line up and they’re certainly not going to sway the decisions of the airlines.
I said they ‘could’, not that they ‘should’ 🙂
I enjoyed the quote from McNerney saying Boeing airplanes are better than Airbus. Reminds me of the old Tarzan movies: “Me Tarzan, You Jane”.
Interesting article in AV week re 787 issues. seems the Boeing mensas must not have run many tests for relatively short flights or rapid turnaround times. ( major paraphrase follows ) IF APU is not carefully shut down with inlet doors closed, residual heat buildup can warp the apu turbine shaft such that one to two hours must pass before restart ! If Doors are held open with battery power, it takes perhaps 15 to 30 minutes before battery is depleted.
Not in av week per se the following seems to be also in some news accounts
To make matters worse, there are now issues with LONG power up times.
Yep faster & cheaper – all electric- and still trying to figure out or correct basic issues which should have been addressed long ago.
but we have a large cash flow- buy back stock and increase dividends which help executives bottom line.
tests- data ? we dont need no stinking tests or data – our power point rangers told us so !