Beginning in 2007 and for the next six years, it was trials and tribulations for The Boeing Co.
The 787 program was years late, billions of dollars over budget and the first commercial airliner produced by Boeing that was grounded.
The Queen of the Skies, the 747, has largely become morbid-bound in its latest iteration, which was also years late and well over budget.
The KC-767 International Tanker program became an embarrassment, also years late, over budget and beset by design issues. This program in disarray was weighed by the USAF as a risk factor that played a role in selecting the Northrop/EADS KC-330 in the first round of competition to recapitalize the KC-135 fleet.
In a huge embarrassment, Airbus skunked Boeing over the entire single-aisle re-engine vs new replacement issue, swept in an won a big order from American Airlines and forced Boeing into a highly awkward co-press conference to launch the MAX at American in which former BCA CEO Jim Albaugh looked like he had just swallowed four or five lemons.
It continued: The A320neo is far outselling the 737 MAX and Airbus has co-opted a number of previously exclusively Boeing customers.
Readers know we’ve been pretty hard on Boeing throughout many of these issues, and we’re inherently skeptical. So when we now conclude that Boeing at long, long last is back on track and picking up speed, we’re not simply sniffing kerosene.
Following the return to service of the 787, Boeing is on the cusp of launching the 787-10 (probably at the Paris Air Show) and the extreme-makeover 777X, also this year (we think at the Dubai Air Show with a huge Emirates Airlines order).
The 787-10 will be a very popular sub-type, and while it won’t have the 8,200nm-8,500nm range of the shorter models, it will have enough range to do 90% of the missions of its largest siblings and well within the range of most airline requirements.
The 777-8X will, we believe, not be as competitive as the A350-1000 based on the market intelligence we’ve picked up so far; we’re waiting for Boeing to reveal detail (likely at the Paris Air Show). But the -9X will be in a class by itself. Setting aside the snarky comments of Boeing CEO Jim McNerney ragging Airbus for not having the “appetite” to create a ground-up competitor to the 777-9X (itself hardly a “ground up” design), his point is otherwise spot-on: Airbus doesn’t have a competing airplane.
The MAX still trails the NEO by a wide margin and we aren’t convinced that it will catch up to parity, and it will be a markedly different airplane than the NG, but it’s reasonable enough to keep Boeing competitive in the single-aisle market.
As close to Boeing as we are, by proximity and by knowledge, we believe Boeing is “back.” Airbus took great advantage of the years of disarray. The rivalry between the two is now going to be more on an even footing.
Good to see that both companies are getting their act together, that should definitely spice up innovation in the industry!
A quick question for the readers of this blog with deeper knowledge of both airplane programs: Boeing is doing a double stretch of the 787 (787-10). Or should it be seen as a stretch of the 787-9? How likely is it that Airbus can due a double stretch of the a350 (a350-1100).
Any news on the A350 first power-up?
Happened today (Sunday). We’ll have a piece tomorrow.
One thing that makes, ‘who’s beating whom’ in the narrow body race moot, is that until one backlog dries, up, it makes no difference at all; they’re both producing 40ish per month, and will be until at least the end of the decade…and delivery is when they get their cash.
More orders are coming in all the time for both so they’ll be essentially neck and neck for the next decade. Currently, what Airbus has is about a one year backlog in orders…stretching until the next decade.
By the time one maker is actually ahead in deliveries, they’ll both be more than ready for their next models to take over.
Frankly, they’re both making hay while they can since this will be the last decade where they get free reign over this market.
Hmmm- beating up the vendors and dispersing even more of the engineering talents and experience combined with major exodus of boomers due to retirements, while hosing the newbies AND using the same mantra- team that made such a mess of the 7 late 7 does NOT IMHO portend for a good future for MAX and 87 follow ons. anyone want to take bets on meeting schedule, quality, and cost goals ?
It may work for variations of post it notes, and great short term effects via Jack welch methods but probably not for aerospace issues.
A long ago study published by MIT press ” made in america ” is worth finding and reading.
As is “Head to head ” by Thurow which explains the long term futility of outsourcing
But what the hey- by the time the Boeing brand is entirely gone – the current crop of GE leftovers will be enjoying their platinum parachutes with extra caviar on their cheesecake .
I think the 777-9X is just a 2 economy class rows stretch over the A350-1000 for airlines like BA, CX, SQ, JAL, ANA. But heavier and more expensive to operate. Ignore it and repeating Boeing stating it seats 407 and is a class apart, doesn’t change any market reality.
Please show us the MATH Keesje , The 9X will be 2.7m longer then the 300ER. If we use a new slimline seats like Qatar… You can easily increase the seat count of the 300ER PLUS the additional 2.7m for the 9X = (3 rows x 10 = 30 seats)… So 50 total seems very likely!
But lets hear your side…
Is that something only Boeing can do? Why not Airbus as well?
Everyairline can use slim seats. Plus you need some extra galley, lavatory and crew space for those extra passengers. 2 rows seems realistic.
Everything else equal, the difference is 2.7m in length. Forget seat type, etc. Slimline seats can be installed on new 773’s, existing 773’s during refurb, or any Airbus model, new and old, for that matter (I flew a 737Classic with slimline seats only last month…).
And seat counts need to be compared using equivalent seat sizes, so B and A seat standard counts cannot be compared out of the box.
The Queen of the Skies, the 747 and The KC-767 International Tanker” were
both disasters from the start! The first being “decades old engineering” and a
futile attempt to fight/block the A380.
The KC-767 NOT being International at all, was selected for purely US Protect-
ioinst reasons and thus in violation of all US International agreements of “Fair
In great contrast, the KC-330 Tanker/Transport, was THE elected T/T by ALL
US Allies, as the most efficient and viable T/T for many decades to come!
Uhh Rudy ? Perhaps you meant a variation of the 747 ie; -400 re the A380 ? From wiki
In the summer of 1988, a group of Airbus engineers led by Jean Roeder began work in secret on the development of an ultra-high-capacity airliner (UHCA), both to complete its own range of products and to break the dominance that Boeing had enjoyed in this market segment since the early 1970s with its 747. McDonnell Douglas unsuccessfully offered its smaller, double-deck MD-12 concept for sale. Roeder was given approval for further evaluations of the UHCA after a formal presentation to the President and CEO in June 1990. The megaproject was announced at the 1990 Farnborough Air Show, with the stated goal of 15% lower operating costs than the 747-400. Airbus organised four teams of designers, one from each of its partners (Aérospatiale, Deutsche Aerospace AG, British Aerospace, CASA) to propose new technologies for its future aircraft designs. The designs would be presented in 1992 and the most competitive designs would be used.
The 747 in particular was expected to become obsolete after 400 were sold, but it exceeded its critics’ expectations with production passing the 1,000 mark in 1993. By September 2012, 1,448 aircraft had been built, with 81 of the 747-8 variants remaining on order.
The 747-400, the most common passenger version in service, is among the fastest airliners in service with a high-subsonic cruise speed of Mach 0.85–0.855 (up to 570 mph or 920 km/h). It has an intercontinental range of 7,260 nautical miles (8,350 mi or 13,450 km). The 747-400 passenger version can accommodate 416 passengers in a typical three-class layout, 524 passengers in a typical two-class layout, or 660 passengers in a high density one-class configuration. The newest version of the aircraft, the 747-8, is in production and received certification in 2011. Deliveries of the 747-8F freighter version to launch customer Cargolux began in October 2011; deliveries of the 747-8I passenger version to Lufthansa began in May 2012. The 747 is to be replaced by the Boeing Y3 (part of the Boeing Yellowstone Project) in the future.
Still grinding that axe I see. The A330 tanker has been a disaster. The boom STILL doesn’t work, when it’s not completely falling off the airplane. Australia got their tankers years late, but nobody ever mentions that, and their tankers still aren’t able to, you know, tank gas. The Brits have Airwanker, but that’s been such an unmitigated disaster that it was that broken down busted, 767 that you despise that had to tank gas for the Brits when they bombed Libya. Airwankers can’t even go in combat zones, because Airbus forgot to put on armor or defensive systems. Yea… it’s all doom and gloom for the 767 tanker. Oh, by the way, it wasn’t “protectionism” it was PRICE that got the 767 selected. I know you Airbus lovers all want to cry and whine about it, but Boeing bid a lower price. More than 2% lower than Airbus, and that’s all it took. The terms of the competition were quite clear. All Airbus had to do was bid lower… they didn’t, so boo hoo for Airbus.
For the record, the Boeing tanker bid was 10% lower than EADS.
2% comment was a reference to the rules of the RFP. If bids were with in + or – 1% there was a secondary analysis. If not, low bid was the winner. Boeing won on price, pure an simple with 10% lower.
Why the need to be vulgar in the terms you use to describe the aircraft? If you have a valid point surely it is better to let the point make itself.
Anyway, some corrections.
1) The choice of defensive systems was taken by the UK MoD, not Airbus. So if you want to have a go at anyone, it is the UK MoD. Which definitely does deserve a going at. Airbus has done absolutely nothing wrong AFAIK.
2) There is a difference in ownership between pre-existing UK tankers and the A330s. Pre-existing tankers were owned by the RAF, whereas the A330s are a Private Finance Initiative (ie someone else owns them and provides the service to the RAF). This can complicate the addition of systems. Existing RAF aircraft were updated (just as I’m sure US aircraft were) once operations in Iraq/Afghanistan began, but the A330s would have presumably required additional contractual negotiations.
3) The reason for using an Italian 767 tanker was that there is a problem with the new design of drogue on the A330 which (AFAIK) will be reverted to the previous, fully operatinal, design as used on pre-existing tankers.
So 1) nothing to do with Airbus, 2) nothing to do with Airbus, and 3) drogue may, or may not, have something to do with Airbus.
Question to Scott. Why is Howard allowed to get away with language like this?
Turn it around.
If you don’t have a valid point you have to hide that by being vulgar
and showing a general lack of style.
Howard doesn’t even present the amusing aspects that TB provided on occasion.
Yes, Woody, you are right, nothing is EVER Airbus’ fault. How silly of me. All Hail Airbus, Emperor of Toulouse… NO the WORLD. Now let us all bask in their glorious Perfections, all decisions are perfect, there can be no cause for doubt when Airbus says so, it is SO!
Bottom line, Airwanker couldn’t support the fight, so the UK had to ask the Italians to support their missions with that horrible, busted, crappy 767 that all Airbus Fanbo… cheerleaders despise. It must be a dastardly Boeing plot to make Airbus look bad. Those evil guys.
The 777X might become a good aircraft, it seems to me Boeing again waited a bit to long again. Even loyal, long term Boeing customers have to cover their medium term (5 year) network requirements.
ANA specified 8 abreast on their long haul 787s. 10 Abreast at a 777 is probably unacceptable for ANA long haul.
At that point the 777X CASM drops ~7% (assuming 300 seats, 80F/C).
keesje et al – ten-abreast in a 777 has got to be one of the bait-and-switch ripoffs of all time
Ten-abreast economy has been the 747’s standard since the late 70’s. It is 3-4-3. The outboard triples are 59.5 inches; the center quads are 81.5 inches. The aisles are 19.5 inches wide. The outboard triples are 59.5 inches; the center quads are 81.5 inches. The aisles are 19.5 inches wide
Boeing introduced the 777 with 9-abreast as the e/c standard. First at 2-5-2 but now 3-3-3. The triples are 63.5 inches, 4 inches wider than the 747; aisles are equivalent at 19.3 inches. Then airlines like Air France and KLM decided their 737-300ER’s needed higher-density long-range seating, so it was back to 3-4-3 ten-abreast. However, the aisles and center quads are worse than the 747: 59-inch outboard triples but 17-inch aisles and 78-inch quads.
I don’t have the details, but Boeing has hinted the 777X may be a bit wider inside due to thinner sidewalls. Until then (2018??) , anyone buying an economy seat on a 777 should first check the seating arrangement on seatguru.com or seatexpert.com.
oops – please excuse the 2nd paragraph. Another Murphy’s law: the last typos are always found after clicking on “send”
Irony cubed re sales and breakeven issues for 787 – 😛
The Boeing site gives a rundown of Mr Delaney including graduating from Hofstra in Aerospace Engineering
…. Even as a youngster, Michael added, “I’ve always loved airplanes and wanted to design them.” He chose Hofstra’s engineering program in part because “I wanted to work at Grumman on Long Island, and a lot of Hofstra faculty were involved with Grumman. My first job after graduation was at Grumman as an aerodynamics engineer – until the end of 1988, when I joined McDonnell Douglas.” Michael moved into commercial aircraft flight testing at McDonnell Douglas, which ultimately became Boeing…. from an Hofstra site
Looking up notable alumni
Bernie Madoff, ’60 (B.S.), Wall Street investor convicted of multiple felonies related to the largest Ponzi scheme in history
Oh, Come on, Don. What possible relevance does Madoff have to this?
More for chuckles – but the game called program accounting- and using current cash flow to buy back shares and from sales to eventually pay off costs and reach breakeven ( sales/delivery receipts equal or exceed production costs ) does have some similarities. 😛
A bit of negative PR for the 747-8i this morning, I’m afraid.
A big twin order for replacing A340s/744s is likely after the Paris Air Show.
Nice spin, but as if this isn’t bad news for the A380 program as well. The vast majority of B744 replacements aren’t by A380’s, but rather B77W’s and now to make matters worse, the A350-10 and soon-to-be B77X.
Hey Keesje- maybe you should edit the comment you made prior that airlines would not buy the 777-9 or the -8X because the A350-1000 was so much better. I think Boeing will take a kill of its own for something else in its fleet over giving it to the competition. If LH buys a new fleet of Boeing a/c consisting of 787s and 777Xs in Paris, I think you and many others will have more interesting comments. Once the LH orders, the AF/KL orders, and the EK orders come through you will see how badly Boeing missed on both programs. Hey did you notice where John said increasing the current year’s forecast to 800 was premature? He might know something that’s making him concerned? Let’s see this thing plays out before we kill either company’s offering.
You seem to be able to already be taking pleasure in “killing” Airbus’ offerings though? So it’s a bit hypocritical that you’re accusing someone else of doing the same. According to you, the A350-900 will die a premature death, all those airlines you’ve listed will order the 777X and the A350-800 is already dead, so what does Airbus have left? Seems like they shouldn’t even try, seeing as according to you, the best aircraft in the family(the -900) is already doomed to failure.
“Hey Keesje- maybe you should edit the comment you made prior that airlines would not buy the 777-9 or the -8X because the A350-1000 was so much better.”
Perhaps you can find a qoute from me? 😉 Don’t put words in anyones mouth & attack them on it.
Put 9 abreast in the A350 and proposed 777X and run the numbers. There a strong assumption airlines will do 10 abreast and the wing & engine will be great. Based on.. ? Not BA, CX, ANA or SQ anyway.
Wowww. That is some bittersweet news, for Boeing at least.
As for Airbus, I’m pretty sure John Leahy will have a field day with this.
Keesje, I wonder if Franz’s interest in the -9X changes your views?
From the article it seems Lufthansa is mostly interested in the 787-10, as a plane that concentrates on economy rather than range. If they buy it, they will top up with a few 777-9Xs for when they need the payload and range, although it’s not clear why they wouldn’t consider mixing Airbus and Boeing models.
This seems to back up my pet theory that Airbus next focus after the A350 and A320 NEOs should be super economical versions of the A358 and A359, that can compete against the 787-9 and 787-10.
I think the 787-10 could be a very good option for a European carrier like LH. The 787 will most likely be matured after the -8 and -9. A a lot of people live with 4000NM from e.g. FRA.
Was it too late of an answer? I seem to see Me Leahy saying a few things about the -800 but he is far more concerned about the selling of the -1000s now because customers now want bigger a/c? Does that mean that maybe the -900 is too small and now he has to offer the -1000 because the 777X has really impacted sales? I will say it again, the -900 will be limited just as the -200ER was limited. A more cost effective -1000 will provide airlines with greater flexiability than a right sized -900. As a result it will end up being hard for Airbus to justify doing the -800 when everyone begins moving to the -1000. If true, Boeing will have the 250-320 seat world all to itself, and fewer and fewer customers will buy the -900. Not because it’s not a great a/c but because going down past it will not happen.
-The A350-900 will be limited just as the 777-200ER was limited. I doubt it. For its size and range, the A350-900 will be unbeatable. The A350 is optimized on the 9900 model. The -1000 is slightly sub-optimal but you obviously get the benefit of the greater capacity. It’s like the A321 versus the A320. The latter sold a lot more, even if the A321 is coming into its own now – see subsequent Leeham article.
Keesje – Why are you quoting a 4000NM range? The -10X has a range of 7100 miles, well above an A330-300, and close to a A330-200. This pretty much covers all city pairs in the northern hemisphere.
gt62. Ever seen a payload range diagram?
If you taking OEM typical still air, passengers only ranges for real you’re off by a good percentage.
From the AvWk article keesje linked to, “Because of pressure mainly by the fast growing Gulf carriers, both Airbus and Boeing are being pushed to design aircraft with more range capabilities and engine power than needed by most other operators. European airlines therefore have to deal with overdesigned aircraft that carry additional unneeded weight, Franz argued.”
Sounds like somebody else who wants, at the very least, an A330 NEO, if not a clean sheet design.
It seems like keeping the 747-8 is not a long term goal. Wonder how much they paid for them in the first place and how much they will be able to get for them, and from whom.
The B787’s and A359s would work just as well here as well. The A330NEO will not be offered IMHO.
As I understand it, that is Mr. Franz’s issue, the 787’s and A350 series all have too much range, and hence, too much weight, leading to too high costs.
I wonder how the price/cost numbers work out for replacing A330-300s being used on transatlantic routes with modern 787’s & A350s?
Put the A330NEO on the shelf please!!! The day for a redo of the A330 is past. No patter what slight improvements the A330 offers, the size of the 787 fleet will overtake it. Over the next 10 years the 787 will have significant improvements that will make the A330 look and operate old. Airbus has to do something with the A350 family to address the lower volume requirements. Leahy says customers are pushing for larger now, but all Eurpoean and US customers will want smaller for their revenue routes. Those companies will not be able to compete against the ME airlines on heavy trunk routes and they will use their goverments to control access to high revenue routes. Keep watching and you will see legacy airlines moving more into code sharing and strong activity to reduce access to select non code sharing clients.
Might it be possible for Airbus to do an A335, something more like an A310’d version of the A330, rather than a simple NEO? Significantly reduce the wing area, put on lower power engines and optimise it for shorter routes so that it doesn’t go head-to-head with 787s that are capable of going further. Seems to me that the upsizing of the A350 with the 1000 might have provided the room for this, with the A350 working best for ‘newer’ markets in Asia, often hot and/or high, while the A335 could be a European/North American market specific design.
Funny you should mention that. Our market intelligence suggests Airbus is thinking about that.
“Keesje, I wonder if Franz’s interest in the -9X changes your views?”
If I was Franz I would talk to Boeing. They seem to have about 300 unsold 777-300ER slots from late 2016 until ~2021. E.g. 30-40 Customized, low risk, fully matured 777-300ERs/200RLFs from a Very willing Boeing to replace the A340s/M11s.
All from 2016 for a suitable price. The kind of deal you would expect from Delta/Northwest.
I keep incessantly saying this, but the B787-10X is going to be a phenomenal plane and take a lot of orders and will be replacing a lot of B77Es, A332’s and especially the A333. While I’ve been stating for years the A359WXB will be phenomenal plane, the A358XWB won’t be as competitive and Airbus really doesn’t have an answer to that particular market segment/range.
Yes, Airbus will be able to sell the -1000XWB to “established” Boeing customers, but when “established” A333 operators such as LH and CX start ordering the B787-10X in large numbers, we’ll see how big the news will be (probably not as “big” as say NH and/or JL buing the -1000XWB).
Hmm, did you just crack the code for Airbus’ product strategy?
The A350-fuselage-body (i.e. from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail cone) is IMO the direct replacement for the 40 year old A300-fuselage-body.
Airbus developed and built four different wings for the A300, A310, A330-300/A340-300 and A340-500/-600. I expect to see a similar development for the A350-fuselage-body.
For example, an A360-XWB-series (NB: previously suggested idea of an A360 XXWB would become the A370 XXWB instead), could be equipped with two differently sized wings: The larger one (i.e. A360-900X), optimised for an aircraft having the same body length as that of the A350-800, and with a maximum range of “only” 7000nm. The engine should at least have the same engine technology as that of the RR RB3025 proposal for the 777X, MTOW should not be more than 200 metric tonnes. Both a stretched version (same body length as that of the A350-900), and the shrunken one should have the same MTOW as that of the baseline. The smaller-sized wing could be optimized for a model that could be as much as 10.2m shorter than the A360-900X. MTOW could be around 150 metric tonnes and maximum range of between 6500nm and 7000nm. The two stretch models should have about the same MTOW and lower range.
A350-800 XWB: 59.545m (i.e. fuselage body shrunk by 9 frames)*
A350-900 XWB: 65.26m (i.e baseline model)
A350-1000 XWB: 72.245m (i.e. fuselage body stretched by 11 frames)
A360-200 XWB: 49.385m (i.e. baseline model)
A360-300 XWB: 54.465m (i.e. 8 frame stretch)
A360-400 XWB: 59.545m (i.e. 16 frame stretch over that of the base model)
A360-800 XWB: 54.465m (i.e fuselage body shrunk by 8 frames)
A360-900 XWB: 59.465m (i.e. baseline model)
A360-1000 XWB: 65.26m (i.e. fuselage body stretched by 9 frames)
*One frame is equal to 25 inches, or 0.635m
A310 body length = 45.89m
DC-10 body length = 51.97m
A300-600 body length = 52.845m
787-8 body length = 55.91M
Woody (Scott sorry for repeating myself) I made a sketch some time ago. I think the A330 fuselage is a better platform to create a light medium aircraft then the big expensive A350, Re: 787-3. Additionaly it has an existing supply chain and assembly line..
Surely this contravenes some sort of rule on this blog? It’s getting a bit much now.
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