Odds and Ends: Quote of the Day; A380 vs 777X; 757NG; CSeries

Quote of the Day: We have our favorite in this story. We presume our Readers won’t have any trouble figuring this out. And the prospect of announcing the Airbus A330neo at the ILA Berlin Air Show is clearly off the table.

A380 vs 777X: Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier said the A380 will have to be updated in order to be able to compete with the Boeing 777X, confirming our analysis in February that the 777X will give the giant aircraft a run for its economic money.

Boeing 757NG: Delta Air Lines’ CEO Richard Anderson thinks Boeing should make a 757NG. Failure to do so could open the door for Bombardier and Embraer to move up into this space, he says. Interesting idea from Seeking Alpha, with an annoying requirement for free registration to complete reading the article.

CSeries: From the sidelines at Pratt & Whitney: FTV 4 said to be airborne; BBD won’t send a CSeries to the Farnborough Air Show.

53 Comments on “Odds and Ends: Quote of the Day; A380 vs 777X; 757NG; CSeries

  1. RA’s quote really isn’t realistic. Before BBD or Embraer can move up to build a 757 sized aircraft, Boeing/Airbus should be ready to launch a 757 replacement in the next wave of NB replacement families.

    • Fully agree.
      A 757NG is not going to happen. If Boeing were still manufacturing 757s, I’d see a 757NG as a possibility. But they’re not and haven’t been for the last decade. Rebuilding an assembly line and investing in a 757NG (new engines, possibly new wings) requires a lot of time and money – just to build basically a one-trick pony that already has huge overlaps with A321neo and 737-9. All that with an EIS at least four years after NEO/MAX and a very limited market niche that’s going to be taken up by the A320/737 successors anyway.

      As for BBD or Embraer – there’s a huge gap between E-Jets/C300 and the 757. I don’t see BBD or Embraer in any rush to bridge it. Embraer will be busy enough getting E2 developed and built, while BBD will be keen on making money with the CSeries as it exists today, plus maybe (!) another stretch. I really can’t see a stretch to 757 dimensions happening, though. Both would have to develop a new 757-size plane from scratch.

      As for the article itself, it has some factual errors, to be honest, so I’m not sure how serious to take it.
      “When Boeing’s B 787 became a huge commercial success, Airbus started the XWB-program, which was later to be called the A 350” – A minor issue, but the XWB naming worked exactly the other way round.
      “When an exclusive Boeing customer like Delta (Delta had no Airbus in their fleet before the merger with Northwest)” – DL ordered a good bunch of A330s and A321s back in September 2013.
      “Yes, [the 747-8 and A380] are very prestigious airplanes, but they are simply too big and too expensive to generate an overwhelming demand among the airline industry. Airplanes like the 757 do.” – Except it stopped selling over a decade ago.

      He also completely ignores the A321neo, as well as the increased range the A321ceo (which he calls “nothing more than a stretched A 320”) has got over the last few years.

      Finally: “From this future day on Boeing will have a hard time to persuade these airlines that their own 757NG-program will not only be realized in no time but also be even more efficient that the one of manufacturer X. Realizing such a program could cost the company $5 – 8 billion.”
      And that latter figure is exactly why the premise of the article – that BBD or Embraer might step into the 757 gap – is in my view completely unfounded.

  2. “”Europe is the only part of world that doesn’t look at its currency from the point of view of support to its export industry,” he said, noting the Japanese yen had been sharply devalued because of action from policymakers.”

    Maybe. But within the Eurozone (I assume what he means by ‘Europe’) the dominant export economy, Germany, by being tethered to weaker economies has benefitted from an exchange rate lower than would have otherwise been the case (either through a retained DM or a northern core Ecu). Not sure re France & Spain. My guess though is that, at least pre-crisis, this meant that Airbus mfg in DE and FR had a more favourable exchange rate than would otherwise have been the case.

    • Exactamento… Before the Euro, german goods had become unaffordable. Now, thanks to weak currencies in the euro dough, Germany’s export market has been revived.

  3. I think fuel consumption and costs per seat are importnat if aircraft have similar seatcounts at similar seat specifications / class distributions. For the 777X and A380 this is not the case. It’s that second floor.

    • I disagree. Airlines adapt their networks to the available aircraft. While I agree, that the one will not completely ruin the business case of the other. Compare B777-300ER versus A340-600, where this actually happened.

      • The A346 and 773 have similar capacity.

        The aircraft requirements are a function of network requirements, which are a function of market requirements. Not the other way around.

        The A380 has 50% more seat capacity then a 777X. Replacing an A380 with a 777X would mean cutting capacity / market share or increasing frequencies.

        Dreaming about leaving the low yield economy class passengers behind is for rookies. The market doesn’t work like that, everyone targets the high yields / needs the masses.

        Anyway it strikes as twisted to assume the 777X is a VLA competing with the A380, but that same time believe it is a class apart from the much smaller (3 rows shorter) A350-1000 & Airbus HAS to respond…

        IMO the 777X has a huge weight problem & Boeing is following a Management By Denial strategy again..

        • I think Airbus already have responded. Note the lack of CONFIRMED 777-X orders. I guess an A350-1100 is being proposed to potential 777-X customers and they are busy evaluating if they want it.

        • For the CEO of Airbus to publicly say that the 777x is forcing their hand to modify the A380 kinda shows that despite the weight increase, Toulouse has homework work to do. The most important factor you are neglecting is the twin vs quad factor. You lose capacity with the 777x but you gain in maintenance costs, quicker turnaround time, a proven airplane, commonality with other 777 operators globally.

          The weight of the 777-9x may or may not be 190 tons but this is a plane that is still being developed as we speak. The A351 clearly has the weight advantage vs the 777x but does the A380 have the same advantage vs the 777x. I’m almost positive that carriers who are struggling to fill the A380 would’ve given the 777x a second look had they been involved in the same RFP. For carriers who have low density layouts its obvious.

        • Well, the “problem” with the 777-9X is that it needs an engine (GE9X) that’s some 5 percent more efficient than the one on the A350-1000 in order to match it in fuel burn per seat. What happens if a dash-1000neo would get an engine that’s 5 percent more efficient than the GE9X, a decade hence?

          “For the CEO of Airbus to publicly say that the 777x is forcing their hand to modify the A380 kinda shows that despite the weight increase, Toulouse has homework work to do. The most important factor you are neglecting is the twin vs quad factor. You lose capacity with the 777x but you gain in maintenance costs, quicker turnaround time, a proven airplane, commonality with other 777 operators globally.”

          Well, to get there, Boeing, apparently, has to spend some $10 billion on the 777X programme, while Airbus should be able to get away with something in the order of a a $1 billion programme expenditure for an A380neo.

          Meanwhile, the A380 remains a ‘customer magnet’ for Emirates.


          Only in the alternate universe of an A-basher, however, may it look like that the 777X will replace the A380: 😉

          StratAero @StratAero

          Airbus faces A380 headwinds when @Emirates inducts @BoeingAirplanes #777X as #A380s will be jettisoned http://is.gd/pxaMQR

        • Not sure I quite believe Airbus when they are in subsidy attack mode, but Clark will force their hand anyway.

  4. If the referred “757NG” is intended respective to 757 Classic (ie w/RB211 or PW2040) what 737NG became respective to 737 Classic then the “NG” project denominator employed by Seeking Alpha suggests a 1993-style interior upgrade with an engine change (to something in the CEO-style of CFM56-7B ?), or alternatively a simple cabin refurbish, to something in the style of the 2010 Sky Interior ?

    Others have referred – earlier and elsewhere – to the “757 MAX”, which seems a more appropriate/timely (fashionable ?) 757 revamp product rebranding ?

    I’m fully convinced Boeing can do better than “757NG” … If not, better stay put !

  5. I guess he meant generally a new large capacity single aisle with transcon range, not a reworked actual B757. As we learned the tooling has been demolished, and starting new is probably better value for money than “just” adapting wing and engine of the B757 and re-starting production.

  6. I think Boeing does not have to make a decision on the B-757NG, or a B-757 replacement yet. That ball is actually still in the Airbus side of the court. Airbus currently has the A-350-900/-900R/-900F/-1000 and the 3 model A-320NEO family in development. They are being pressured to make a launch decision on the A-330NEO, A-330R, and A-380NEO, as well as the A-350-1100. They also still have a lot of engineers tied up in the A-400M continuing development. Airbus has yet to decide on an A-380-900, and, according to Airbus the A-380F is still on the “back burner” (I doubt it will ever get built).
    Boeing, OTOH is developing the B-787-10, two models of the B-777X, the 3 model family of the B-737MAX, and of course the KC-46/B-767-2C.
    So, Boeing has up to 7 airplane programs vs. up to 13 programs for Airbus (counting the A-389).
    I did not count the B-787-9 as it is almost complete on its certification, and is just a few months shy of its first delivery to NZ. I did count the A-350-900 as it still has at least 6 more months of flight testing before its first delivery to QR late this year or early next year.
    So, Boeing has, or will have shortly engineers available to work on the next project after Airbus formerly launch the A-330NEO/R and A-380NEO/Improved. Then would be the time for Boeing to announce a program for the B-757NG/RS/Y-1. Development of this B-757/NG/RS/Y-1 would be a big step up in the B-737 final replacement airliner, which is also the Y-1 project.

    • Airbus currently has the A-350-900/-900R/-900F/-1000 and the 3 model A-320NEO family in development.

      There’s no major active development on the -900R and F (while A330neo is contemplated and A330F isn’t selling well, this wouldn’t make any sense, either), and development on the A320neo is winding down, with EIS next year.

      They are being pressured to make a launch decision on the A-330NEO, A-330R, and A-380NEO

      A330neo is expected to be launched this year, A330R has already been launched (and is chiefly an exercise of de-rating MTOW and engine power) – but the A380neo isn’t going to be launched before 2016/17 for a ~2020/21 EIS, to coincide with the 777X EIS.
      The A389 you mention has been pretty much ruled out by Airbus at least for the next decade, and the A380F isn’t going to happen either while the freighter market is as weak as it is. The A400M is still a drain on cash, but no longer such a drain on engineering resources, as the first examples have been delivered now.

      So in short – you’re very liberally adding variants to your count of Airbus development projects that aren’t active development concerns and aren’t going to be for a while, if ever.
      Counting all variants, and including the A330neo for the sake of the argument, Airbus is currently working on A319neo, A320neo, A321neo, A330-200neo, A330-300neo, A350-900, A350-1000. That’s seven variants across three aircraft families.
      In just three years’ time, 2017, this will be down to just two variants (the two A330neos) of a single aircraft family, leaving plenty of space to start an A380neo and/or A350-1100. Adding those, you’re still only looking at four Airbus development programmes in 2017 (across three aircraft families), with the A350-1100 probably being the most challenging.

      Now, compare this to Boeing: 737-7, -8, -9, KC-46, 787-10, 777-8, 777-9. Seven, across four aircraft families. Not all that dissimilar to Airbus’ workload at all – and the 777X has much more development (read: resource requirements) ahead of it than any other Airbus or Boeing programme launched so far, including the A330neo.
      In 2017, there’ll still be the 737-7 and -9 to deliver, as well as the 777-8 and -9. I.e. four development programmes across two families. Again, not all that dissimilar to Airbus’ workload in 2017.

      Then would be the time for Boeing to announce a program for the B-757NG/RS/Y-1. Development of this B-757/NG/RS/Y-1 would be a big step up in the B-737 final replacement airliner, which is also the Y-1 project.

      See above – I think you vastly overestimate Boeing’s resource availability; I can’t see either of the two OEMs launching such an all-new small (well, upsized, actually) plane before the mid-2020s. I can certainly not see either of them launching an all-new plane right-sized just for the 757 in ~2018 (limited to that bracket in order to not prematurely end the MAX/NEO), just to have to go and do a major revisit/reengine/revamp of that plane again 7 years later as a 737/A320 successor is announced which should form a family with the hypothetical 757-sized plane launched in ~2018.

      So with regard to a “757NG”, the closest I can see happening in the near future (~5 years from now) would be a 737-10 or A322. Given the NEO’s two-year headstart compared to the MAX’s EIS, Airbus probably has more of a window of opportunity there than Boeing. Although in the end I doubt these two years would be an all-decisive factor, to be honest.

    • As long as you think it is reasonable to add the A380F, A380-900, A350-1100 and lot, you might as well add the 787F, 777-8XF, 777-8X derate, 777-10X and so on. In fact, the 787F and 777-8F are far more more likely to see daylight than those Airbus types.

      The inclusion of the A350-900 is distorted as well. EASA has stated that it is on track for certification by Summer end, which is also a “few months away” and is close to completion.

      • Nobody has ever mentioned a “B-787F”, “B-777-8 derated”, or “B-777-10”. There is a lot of talk about a B-777-8F replacing the B-777-200LRF, but Boeing is not working on the B-777-8F but right now.

        • Airbus too is not working on a A380F, A380-900, A350-1100, A350-900R “right now” as far as I know…there’s just been a lot of “talk” but no plan or timeline. The 777-8XF, derated 777-8X (Scott called it 777-8 “lite” I think), 777-10X (“Never say never – never rule out a possible [‘777-10X’] – Randy Tinseth) and KC-777 have been talked of in several places about as much as those Airbus types. And…


          “At some point in the far distant future the -9 is the freighter platform,” Bair said. “It’s the longest-range version and because of that it ends up being the highest-density freighter that we could make.”

  7. Regarding the Quote of the DAy- here in the great Northwest, we have a cable provider known as Frontier. They have an add using a Buffalo named Frank. The tag line is ‘ you can’t get BS from a Buffalo ‘… So perhaps a slight addition would be in order add … but you WILL get BS from ……. ( insert appropriate word of your choice here ) 🙂

  8. The issue is not whether A or B can/should just build a solitary “757” model but how that model will be integrated (from design onward) to a new narrow body range. The airlines (and somewhat the engine makers) not the manufacturers themselves, are who led to the current A320/737 re-engine programs, and given the gestational status (and later 10-20 years of production) for each it makes no sense to either to launch their replacement families this year.

    The big winner in the narrow body race will probably be whoever gets the luxury of jumping in second, with a full family (modeled to deftly beat the competitors respective options), and 3-5 years of advances on engines, not the one who gets the privilege of launching a “true” 757 successor early.

    • The 757-replacement debate is somehow boring. The A321NEO with a 35k engine will have a better thrust to weight ratio then any 757. Range might be a little bit short but a layover is always possible. Not convenient but remember seat width and pitch. Maybe the next generation of engines will close the range gap. If an airlines wants more range they should buy some cheap A330-200R before the NEO is ready. If the A330 is to big and the A321 is to short just cancel the route then the last 757 is gone.

      • Agree.

        The RR UltraFan and the next generation GTF from PW should have at least a 10 percent lower TSFC than the PW1100G-JM engine on the A321neo, which would mean that an A321ngneo should have more range than the 757-200.

  9. The A321 has 2000 firm orders now, slightly less then the combined 737-900/900ER/-9, 757-200/-300, 767-200/ER sales of the last 35 years.

    I am under the impression Boeing underestimated the situation and has lost the 200+ seats <4000NM segment, believing their own incomplete market projections and product comparisons.


  10. OV-099—>> Well, to get there, Boeing, apparently, has to spend some $10 billion on the 777X programme, while Airbus should be able to get away with something in the order of a a $1 billion programme expenditure for an A380neo.

    Meanwhile, the A380 remains a ‘customer magnet’ for Emirates.

    Can you share sources for the $10 billion??? Here’s the thing. You have the A380 being threatened by the 777x program and forcing it to evolve with better engines and so on. Now if I had to chose on which program I had to chose to upgrade I don’t think it’d be the A380. Why would you throw more money to a program that’s barely making you any??? A mere billion dollars sounds ambitious but we don’t even know the scope of what Airbus wants to do with it. Now the 777 basically prints money so yes I’d upgrade it but not the A380.

    It’s good that Tim Clark and EK’s customers prefer to fly the A380 but in short that’s all there is. If you told me that 15 other carriers said what EK is saying and buying them in EK’s numbers then I’d be happy but such isn’t the case. Could the A380 survive on EK’S coat tails yeah but for how long.

    Not trying to bash Airbus or seem as though but they have a bunch of decisions to make.

    • http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2022401328_boeing777xrfpxml.html

      “Now the 777 basically prints money so yes I’d upgrade it but not the A380.”

      Well, it won’t be doing that when the 777X enters into service. Perhaps some time after 2025 — that is if the 777X can manage to stay ahead of the competition; something that I seriously doubt.

      $1 billion is nothing in the grand scheme of things, and Rolls Royce would pay for much of the upgrade for an A380neo anyway. If the new engine would have the same 116-inch fan as that of the current Trent-900 engine, Airbus could conceivably use the current nacelle as well, further reducing costs. The fact of the matter is that the 777X is going to be a massive investment for Boeing, while both an A380neo and an A330neo will be relatively cheap undertakings.

      So, let’s say Emirates orders another 150 A380neos and another 150 units are sold to existing and new customers. That would keep the production going to 2030 at an annual output of 30 airframes. If you look at the projected growth at the new Dubai World Central Airport (i.e. goal of 200 million passengers per year), then there’s no question that EK will be in need of a huge number of A380s — having the onboard facilities and onboard comforts that will help to attract the large traffic flows that EK wants to be going through Dubai.

      • The thing about 777X vs. A380 is a political one. Airbus knows it would take about 10 to complain against the Boeing’s “fractional” tax breaks at WTO. Airbus therefore is trying to get the same. Airbus can’t argue much with the nearly finished A350 so they use the iconic A380 and the need to NEO it cheaply through tax breaks…

        • Well, I’m of the opinion that companies should pay their fair share of taxes. Specifically targeted tax exemptions and other preferences leads to a wide variety of tax credits that distorts markets, leads to inefficient tax collection, and levies uneven burdens across industries. AFAIK, the WTO allows for tax breaks if they are across the board and if they are not specific and not aimed at one company or group of companies. Boeing, apparently, is saying that the latest tax exemptions in Washington State are meant for the whole aerospace industry in the state. However, that seems to me to be a violation of WTO rules since the same tax exemptions are seemingly not granted across the board to all industries in Washingthon State.

  11. The A350-1000 is the competitor to the 777x. The latter is 30t heavier and unlike the graphics and powerpoints suggest, not around the corner: 2020 earliest. Like the 787 in 2002. Maybe Airbus will do a A350-1100, the -1000 wing, engines and landing gear have already been dimensioned for it.

    Mainwhile the largest 777-300ER customers; EK, BA, JAL, CX, UA, AF have ordered A350-1000s. SQ, LH and AF are close to converting to -1000s. The 777X basically prints sales brochures sofar.

    The pressure is on Chicago to regain some of the large operators. The A380, well, its >50% larger. Ignore that and you’re in for a surprises. It’s and not or.

    • Lol Incorrect. Wasn’t the A351 supposed to be the nail in the 77W’s coffin but now you’re saying its the competitor to the 777x. You gotta pick a side and stay there buddy. I love when you speculate for everything like the hypothetical A350-1100 with new wings, engines and landing gear. I guess you think NH and CX are still thinking of buying the A380 too.

      • “Wasn’t the A351 supposed to be the nail in the 77W’s coffin but now you’re saying its the competitor to the 777x.”

        I don’t see what’s wrong with that statement. If it weren’t for the A351, there was no need for Boeing to do a 777X that has an EIS less than 3 years after the former.

        • Correct. You can look at it from 2 angles. The A351 caused the 777x to come to life or the 77W was already in the process of being updated. I lean towards the A351.

        • You can look at it from 2 angles. The A351 caused the 777x to come to life or the 77W was already in the process of being updated.

          Not really. It’s clearly a case of “The A351 caused the 777x to come to life”.
          Boeing kept dismissing the A351 for ages – and then launched the 777X anyway, as even Boeing’s slides showed an advantage for the A351 over the 77W.

          Mind you, there’s nothing wrong with that – that’s how competition is supposed to work, I believe.

      • The 777 operators voted their wallets. No one ordered 777-300ERs for delivery after the A350-1000 comes on line. Early delivery played a major role in 777 sales. Sales stalled anyway and the backlog is dropping. A 2-3 year hole is surfacing for 777 production. (AF and LH publicly say they have options to convert to -1000s).


        About the suggestion the A350-1000 not being a 777x competitor, but the 777x being a threath for the A380, well, everyone may have his opinions.

        Btw a larger wing, landing gear and engines for the 350-1000 (and option heavier, -1100 variants) has been in decided years ago and will fly in 2 years.

        • The 777-300ER is 11 years old and will be closer to 15 years old by the time the -1000 is first flight. I would hope that the -1000 has better metrics! A putative -1100 would be closer to 2 decades more modern than the 777-300ER…
          All aircraft have an evolutionary path and the 777-9x is the logical next step for the 777. It has a solid business case (airlines are buying it in significant numbers, and yes, I know the contracts haven’t been formalized, but they likely will and represent airlines around the world, not just the mideast 3) and achievable technological imporvements that are relatively lower risk.

          To effectively counter it, Airbus will have to design and build the 1000 and 1100 variant and also increase the 350 production base massively in order to produce enough to compete with the numbers that Boeing is going to produce. If the 350 line is constrained to 14 a month (and the 380 can only do 2.5 a month limited by demand), then where are you going to produce the numbers needed to compete with a 787/777 output of 22/month or more (14-16 + 8-10)?

          I personally think the jury is still out on the 380 in terms of its business case. Technically its a fine plane and after the usual teething is doing well. Clearly the improvements are feasible from an engineering standpoint. I am not sure if the business case warrants a massive makeover or an increase in size to a 900 variant. Its problem is that it is too big right now to be flexible when traffic drops on a seasonal basis or due to local or regional economics. And what happens when Emirates starts turning the 380’s over and old frames hit the market? Will that impact the market for other airlines to take new frames? A reengine? Maybe, in fact probably since it will need it to compete with the 777-9x metrics. But even then it is a low volume likely lower profit margin aircraft since there is limited demand for it.

        • Mike, much of the A320 production facilities were originally designed to cater to a much lower output than what’s the case today. For example, Premium Aerotech which builds the forward and aft fuselage sections for all Airbus aircraft will have to invest in new facilities as the monthly rate is further increased. Hence, increasing A350 production to 20, or more per month is definitely doable. In fact, it’s more profitable to produce 20 units of one wide body type per month than it is to produce 10 per month (x 2) on two independent production lines that have no commonality among them.

        • Sales have slowed but I wouldn’t say they have stalled. Today BR just ordered 6 more 77W’s and 5 787-10’s. To date the 77W has 19 orders this year, not counting today’s announcement while the last A351 order was JL 7 months ago. AF and LH having options is great but deciding to use them is entirely different. It’s all a numbers game and they might or might not exercise the options. If you can tell if they are from where you are sitting then kudos. But if not, let’s not speculate and play what if’s because it’s pointless.

          Source(s) for the A350-1100 variant options?

        • Certainly increasing 350 production is doable and I would suggest preferable rather than a short term 330neo fix. An optimized 350-800 and an optimized 1100 would cover 275-400 seats well (800, 900, 1000,1100) and would give anything Boeing is planning a run for its money.

        • Well, an A330neo is not going to be a very expensive undertaking. Also, I do believe Airbus will optimise a slightly larger A350-800 having a range of up to 9000 nm. (i.e. 7 frame shrink instead of a 10 frame shrink). However, the long term solution would be to replace the A330neo after 2025 with a new family of aircraft (i.e. A350-400X, A350-500X and A350-600X) based on the A350, but having a smaller A330-sized wing and optimised for shorter range than the current A350 models. By the end of the next decade Airbus could thus be churning out up to 30 A350 medium and long range aircraft per month.

    • Keesje, have you seen this:

      Page 14

      Airliners of the future could once again mount a third engine in the tail, according to the latest engineering study from the German inter-disciplinary think-tank Bauhaus Luftfahrt. But the fuselage fan is not so much for propulsion as to reduce drag by ingesting the boundary layer flow.

      Perhaps your third, tail-mounted engine will finally be realised? 🙂

      • ” Perhaps your third, tail-mounted engine will finally be realised?’

        You mean like a Lockheed 1011, Douglas MD-10/11 or gasp a 727 configuration?

        Suddenly its 1960 !!!

        • Please do read the article in the link provided. It’s nothing like that.

          “We like to twist the proven three-engine technology of the 60s and 70s into a more intelligent 21st century integration of the third engine into the fuselage,” says Dr. Askin T. Isikveren, Head of Visionary Aircraft Concepts at Bauhaus Luftfahrt. A smaller, third engine would deliver only 25% of the total thrust, but it would mainly improve the airflow around the aircraft and thus significantly reduce drag.

          The Bauhaus Luftfahrt team envisages a 10% percent fuel savings on top of all other improvements through 2035, which will be in the range of 30%, according to Isikveren. But the aircraft will also perform significantly better, and the podded engines beneath the wings could be reduced in size, further reducing drag, he says.

        • I had read the article- my point was the use of a third engine and under wing engines OR three aft engines — BTW- seems to me a major problem with rain and ice ingestion plus the hazard of fuel lines and tail strike would need very careful design and analysis and mitigation.

        • For a 10 percent reduction in fuel consumption, this is IMO something that’s worth looking at. As for the engine installation, I can’t see why this configuration would be any more problematic with respect to rain and ice ingestion than what was the case with the DC-9 and the 727. The engine would be located in the same area as the APU on current aircraft while the fan would be installed significantly further forward. A tail strike would most likely damage the air inlet but not the engine itself.

        • ” I can’t see why this configuration would be any more problematic with respect to rain and ice ingestion than what was the case with the DC-9 and the 727″”

          the 727 DC10/11 and Lockheed 1011 center mounted tail engine inlets were most probably ‘ above” any fuselage boundry airflow, thus avoiding for the most part water or ice ingestion. DC-9 had no center mounted engine.

        • Did you noticed that through a moving fan you can’t fix the empennage to the rest of the fuselage. According to the sketch this is the duty of the engine strut.

        • Don, if you’d look carefully at the model you’d notice that there’s an S-duct air inlet embedded in the top of the nacelle similar to how it was done on the 727 and L1011. In fact, the “oversized” fan will deliver far more air to the compressor than is required and the excess airflow is used to re-energise the boundary layer. Hence, it’s really only the fan that would be exposed to water and ice ingestion.

        • mhalblaub; yes, I did notice that. I cannot see, though, why you couldn’t attach the torsion box to the highly loaded frames in the empennage forward of the moving fan. That would seem to be a much better and safer solution.

  12. The A321 has 2000 firm orders, and so does the 737 Max though none have been delivered, and A’s program vs. program delta has shrunk to 650 from 800 at the time of the 737 Max launch.


    As with the 757NG discussion, it’s not a model to model comparison that matters, or just one NB model, it’s family vs. family. The 757’s lack of a “supporting cast” of family members is largely the reason it was canned in the first place.

    RE: R&D, both mfg are forecasting around 4-5% annual traffic growth, but both profess to have no new models forthcoming over the next 5-7 years (only derivatives). It’s implausible that A won’t move counter the 777x somehow.

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