Odds and Ends: Comparing Airbus, Boeing 20-year forecasts; A320neo first flight; 787 battery probe fizzles; Mythbusting

Airbus v Boeing forecasts: The Blog by Javier takes its annual look at and comparison of the Airbus and Boeing 20-year forecasts. Airbus issued its new forecast this week; Boeing’s annual update was issued last summer.

Separately, the A320neo with Pratt & Whitney engines made its first flight today. The CFM LEAP neo is supposed to follow by six months. Showing class, Boeing Tweeted a congratulations for a milestone for the industry.

787 battery probe: The US National Transportation Safety Board hasn’t been able to find the root cause of the lithium ion battery failure in the Japan Air Lines and ANA Boeing 787 incidents. Now, the Japanese investigation has also failed to find the root cause of the ANA battery meltdown.

It’s rare but not unknown for investigators to not find root causes of problems, sometimes for years. A Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-400 split rudder hard over during a flight from Anchorage to Tokyo is one example; it took four years to determine the cause. The root cause of Boeing 737 rudder hard-overs, two of which caused fatal accidents, went unsolved for years.

Boarding airplanes: The reality show Mythbusters, an often entertaining look at myths, conventional wisdom, fact and fiction, takes a deep dive into airplane boarding. The article, with an insert to the episode, is here.

The Southwest Airlines style of boarding, with no seat assignments and derisively called cattle-call boarding, is the fastest and the most annoying, according to Mythbusters. Back-to-front is the longest. The Window-Middle-Aisle works best (but for those of us who like the aisle seat, the overhead bins are usually stuffed by then).

14 Comments on “Odds and Ends: Comparing Airbus, Boeing 20-year forecasts; A320neo first flight; 787 battery probe fizzles; Mythbusting

  1. On the Primary market seating spread in the new Airbus Outlook the A350 family seating capacity goes over 400 seats,but the 777X doesn´t. Do you think they did it on purpose to cover their big capacity hole between 350 and 380.Otherwise a fascinating read!

  2. Some may remember, this boarding and single aisle versus twin aisle thing kind of caught my attention for some time some time ago. I looked at the Mythbuster’s episode (couple of month ago) and have to admit that the test is very relevant. In fact, I would consider it fullfils scientific standards.
    The idea of using “time required” and “annoyance” as figures of merit is also very good. Most boarding strategies trade one for the other.
    The only that truly helps is the twin aisle …

  3. The problem, I think, with a Windows/Middle/Aisle boarding pattern is that couples and family members sitting in a row would end up in different boarding groups. It seems like a solution that sounds good in theory and when you test it with random members of the public on a TV show. I admit I have never been boarded that way, so perhaps it’s different in practice.

    • Boarding strategies require airline personal being rather strict with passengers. Demanding passengers to board an aircraft in exactly this and that order will not amuse people, only if they actually accepted that they being treated like cattle (by booking RyanAir).
      If 20% of the people give a s##t and enter when they deem appropriate, the entire systems fails to generate a reliable advantage.

  4. That seems to be a remarkably quiet engine – good news for Bombardier as they try to sell the same engine to two inner-city airfields with very strict noise limits – Toronto and London

  5. Not wishing to state the bleeding obvious, but setting aside the silly unprofessional ill informed bickering each manufacturers senior management trades, engineering has a high degree of respect for the others inventiveness and capability, that’s what engineers do.

  6. re: JTSB investigation, contrary to everyone else’s take Boeing is putting the positive spin on things, god bless them.

    “Japan Transport Safety Board finds probable cause in 2013 battery incident”

  7. Leahy claims that Boeing’s main motivation to stretch the Boeing 777-9X—compared with the Boeing 777-300ER—was to reduce unit costs rather than real market demand for a 400-seater.

    He also argues that the -1000 will have a 15% trip cost advantage over the -9X. “I don’t know that I want to give that up. The added seats will be marginal,” he said, referring to the low fares for which he believes the capacity can be sold. “I think we might be better off staying where we are.”

    Some observers have argued that Airbus would have to build a larger version of the A350 to be able to compete with the largest Boeing twin.



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