Leahy on 737-8ERX and the prospect of an “A322”

March 16, 2015

737-8ERX: John Leahy, chief operating officer-customers at Airbus, not surprisingly doesn’t think much of the concept Boeing is showing airlines, the 737-8ERX.

“Boeing is getting more and more desperate,” Leahy claimed in a telephone interview we had with him last week. “Boeing is talking the ‘sweet spot.’ They only have one airplane. There isn’t that much of a market at the bottom of the market. I know they are playing around with how do they answer the A321LR. Their answer is focusing on range. There’s no place for bags [in the 737-8ERX], you’re a flying fuel tank. We had to play around quite a bit [to put bags in the A321LR]. If that’s the best they can do, they have a serious problem on their hands.”

What Leahy is asserting: the Boeing 737-7 isn’t selling well at the bottom of the 737 family and neither, in his view, the 737-9, leaving the 737-8 as the “sweet spot” and the “heart of the market” Boeing increasingly refers to.

MOM airplane: Boeing is talking more and more about the “Middle of the Market” airplane and Steven Udvar-Hazy, CEO of Air Lease Corp., essentially telegraphed at the ISTAT conference last week that this will be Boeing’s next airplane with an entry-into-service around 2025. This fits with the timeline we’ve been writing about for the last year: a program launch around 2018 and a 2025 EIS.

As we noted in Pontifications Monday, our own analysis concluded that Boeing’s next airplane should be a small, twin-aisle airplane of 225-250 passengers with a range of about 5,000 miles, or the 225/5000 Sector as well call it.

Leahy, predictably, was dismissive of the “Boeing Paper Airplane Co.” concept for 2025. “I’m not concerned at all about it,” he said, citing Boeing’s paper airplane concepts of the 787-3, the747-500 and 600 and the Sonic Cruiser. Also: Leahy is 65 this year and will be retired by 2025. “I’m not at all concerned about what people are saying for 2025,” he told us.

Having said that, Leahy said Airbus is not looking at an “A322,” a stretched, new-wing and bigger engine version of the A321 that would sit more squarely in the 225-250 seat sector, with more range and better performance than the A321LR. He did include the qualifier, “right now.”

US Scope Clause: Mitsubishi has a looming problem for its MRJ90 with the Scope Clause for US airlines. ATW takes a good look at this.

787 production rates: Here it is, people: we wrote a while back that Boeing is preparing to take production rates of the Boeing 787 beyond the 14/mo announced for 2018. Reuters reports that Kawasaki Heavy Industries, a major industrial partner on the 787, expanded its facilities to go beyond 14. Here’s our chart from that post.

Boeing widebody production rates, based on Boeing’s announced numbers and our forecasts. Click on image to enlarge.


69 Comments on “Leahy on 737-8ERX and the prospect of an “A322”

  1. An A322 style Aircraft would be real competition for the B737-800, and it would force Boeing to think about a successor in the very short term.This is one development Airbus is trying to avoid, because they like to sell their Neo-generation planes for the next 10 to 15 years in an almost undisturbed environment.

    • I don’t see how a larger A322 is ‘real competition’ for the 737-8. The A320neo is already that, the A322 (if launched) would be much larger.

      • Oh yeah! I thought an A322 is an A320 version with a fuselage slightly stretched to counter the seat advantage the Boeing model has.A further stretched A321 is too large to compare it to the 737-800!

        • The A321 is a stretched A320, and the A322 is a stretched A321. The 737-8 competes (successfully) with the A320neo and the 737-9 competes (unsuccessfully) with the A321neo. To compare the A322 to the 737-800 makes no sense at all.

          That being said, I have to agree with you when you say “That development [A322] would force Boeing to think about a successor in the very short term. This is one development Airbus wants to avoid…” That is the raison d’être of competition. If Bombardier had not launched the CSeries there would be no A320neo at this time. And if Airbus had not launched the A320neo there would be no 737MAX either.

          Here is an historical example of what happens when there is no competition. Boeing had been pressured by airlines for a very long time when it finally decided to do the 747-400. The reason why it took so long for Boeing to improve the 747-100/200 is that Boeing wanted to preserve cash. And it could afford to do so because Boeing had no competition at the time.

          • Was the NEO an answer to the C-Series or the prospect to win it all at American Airlines?

          • The neo was a response to the CSeries win at Republic Airways. Max was a response to the Airbus win at American. E-Jet E2 was a response to CSeries and the re-engined A320 and 737. The industry really owes Bombardier a big pat on the back for this transformation. What BBD has gotten is a swift kick in the ass.

          • I feel that BBD have forced a re-think by Boeing in the longer term as their B737 is being squeezed into a (large) niche of one product. So the development of a new product is probably seen as necessary. Perhaps the first move is down to them with Airbus developing a product in response. I was focusing on the considerable existing investment in the A320 series that means that if a near optimal product can be developed on the same lines, new wing and MLG etc, then the already amortised costs of production mean a substantial saving is made in the production and logistics process. The unit cost is therefore managed considerably below what Boeing can hope to manage. Having commuted weekly on A321s for a few years in the past I fully agree with the operational issues re single aisle and A322.

          • sowerbob: “So the development of a new product is probably seen as necessary. Perhaps the first move is down to them with Airbus developing a product in response.”

            That’s the way I see it also. But what I have been saying for some time now is that Boeing could have done a preemptive move by launching the NSA immediately after the neo was launched, instead of doing the MAX. That would have instantly put Airbus in the catch-up mode for the rest of the A320 family useful life. The A320 family is simply too good to be abandoned in favour of a brand new design. For Boeing to abandon the 737 is a no-brainer. Yes it still benefits from a grandfather close that gives it an advantage over the A320. But it remains an obsolete product because all its potential has been exploited and it has reached its design limitations.

            That being said, you are right sowerbob when you say that the A320 line would be easier to amortize than a brand new design. And what that means is that Airbus would make more money initially than Boeing. But the latter would dominate over the long term with a new platform that would address both the 737 limitations and the 757 replacement.

          • And look at the mediocre update with the 747-8? The newer Boeing Engineers screwed up it’s flying characteristics so horribly………..Fuel can’t be stored in the aft part of the plane anymore.

            Although those tanks are built-in and exist in current 747-8s…..they can’t be used. When Qantas heard that……they opted for the A380.

            What the market Needs/Wants is a thoroughly revamped (lightweight) Modular Big-Single Isle or something a-tune to a much lighter 767-sized one with Composite Wings and detuned GenX Power.

            But will Boeing do either? Nope. because it’s stuck in its “ole” mentality……….we know what’s good for you…buy what we tell you to buy.

            Would some sales of updated 737s and 787s be cannibalized with totally revamped 1 or 2 Air-frames?

            Surely, but the long-term wants-objectives of all the World’s Carriers would be met…and Boeing would have long-term security in being able to provide for these very important Niche markets for decades to come.

            Until then…Embraer(most likely now) their planners have the brains,engineering, and capital to throw Airbus and Boeing into fits…by giving the market what it wants now and in the Future; when all those trusty 767,757s and earlier A321s are worn-out and need to be replaced with something that fits their wants and is relatively “affordable” in the Commercial Aviation scheme of things

          • Don’t forget the L-1011 debacle in its day. Technically/Engineering….it was a better plane for that era…what it was designed for.
            Three catastrophic flaws?

            1, Rolls Royce only power.


            3. Lockheed chose not to offer a L-1011 Twin Offering variant already Planned and Engineered

            Lockheed Commercial Aviation put all its bet on the RB211 (and only Option)…………..the worst bye far>>> (weight,fuel,thrust output) of all the Jumbo engine options of that era.

            That same engine; evolved as the “Trent” is the least desirable to any Wide-body(Extant) as it fails in fuel consumption,weight, and 24-7/365 thrust output in real World Conditions.

            L-1011 Bribery Scandal sealed it’s Tragic-Flaw beginning and ending

          • Normand Hamel :
            >But what I have been saying for some time now is that Boeing could have done a preemptive
            >move by launching the NSA immediately after the neo was launched, instead of doing the
            Going directly to the NSA was what Boeing tried to do VERY hard, but after all the pressure they got from their customers, to get something out a few years before it was planed to happen, they HAD to launch the MAX

          • It was indeed a tough decision. But I think more than ever that it was a bad call. Did you see the latest figures for the Leap 1B engine fuel consumption? Its missing the target by about 5%. Like the 737 MAX the Leap engine has already reached its full potential and there is little room left for improvement.

  2. The A322 is a Joker in the hands of Leahy. He can at all times pull it out of his sleeve and hit the table with an A322 and immediately he has a winner enabling Airbus to swoop the gamblings on the table. Boeing know this. They don’t want to give Leahy a chance to play down this trumf card. SUH is titling Randy to make him jump into the MOM venture. Randy says 2018 ATO with EIS 2025, but he knows for sure that when Boeing start the initial Customer pre-ATO explorations, Leahy will play out his counter, the trumf A322. So it won’t happen. For Boeing, it’s clean-sheet investment (12 G$, 7-9 years) whereas to Airbus, it’s a mere Family variant development (4-6 G$, 4-5 years). Airbus can at any time cut the grass under the feet of whatever MOM project Boeing may put forward. Shareholder back-scratching prevailing, either OEM stay put and we have a statu-quo, PATIENCE folks !?

    • what makes anyone think the development costs of an A322 with a new wing, engine, MLG (for rotation/engine clearance), extended fuselage and etc would be any less than the B777-9x?

      for the A322 to work, it needs a truly new wing with massively increased fuel capacity, you need a 40K engine, which PW _might_ be able to grow the GTF to as their core is very conservative and has a lot of room to grow, but CFM would have a very hard time. you need longer MLG with 4 wheel trucks. you might face challenges with certification authorities calling this a “derivative” vs a “new” aircraft. (although it is pretty clear with the 737/747/777 that this line is imaginary)

      at the end of the day you are left with a more fuel efficient 737-300 (250?) with all the same long turnaround and D gate inefficiencies

  3. http://forum.flyprat.no/showthread.php?t=103264&page=5

    Artist’s impression of concept A322 HQR variant in ground operations @ MUC airport. Fuselage is stretched 210″ (ten frames) beyond A321. Maximum rotation angle @ Vr is exactly 10.0º vs 11.3º for today’s A321. AKH capability is 13 total, 6 fwd and 7 aft. Dual CLS with circular container handling : roll-in aft cargo door (outgoing cargo) with roll-out fwd cargo door (incoming cargo). In a typical LCC cabin environment, apprx. 230 seats twin aisle five abreast 1+3+1. Turn-around time in 25 minutes full in/full out guaranteed by Groundworthiness Certificate.

    • 5 abreast in a 6 abreast cabin has little to do with efficiency. Who will pay for the seat left out? The remaining passenger +20% ?

      • @ keesje : thanks for asking !

        Why are operators seduced by the twin aisle cabin design for the next MOM feeder ? Simply because long airport turn-arounds are costly princesses to maintain, aircraft by aircraft by aircraft and flight after flight after flight day in day out year long. Take SWA, with 540 units 737 making 6 flights/day before curfew. Now suppose you gain 16.5 minutes per turn-around ? Time saving/24h is 16.5′ x 5 x 540 = 742.5 h, or for the fleet in a year : x 345 = 256,162.5 hours (of lesser ground time, aircraft idle). Take the average SWA feeder fleet trip cost split hourly/cyclic/fuel = 45/20/35. Scott will tell us how much this tallies (X,000 $/hour) for the 738 @ SWA. Per each 1,000 $, 450 $ are time-related costs. In one year, the shorter airport turn-arounds will fetch you a cost-saving of 450 x 256K = 115 M$, times X. If the average trip-time is 140′ (flight-time 100′ + ground time 40′) or 2.3 hours, with the extra available production time for the fleet in one year I can produce another 256,162.5 / 2.3 = 111,375 additional flights, it’s like having 4.33 % more aircraft at your disposal ie 0.0433 x 540 = 23 units 738, at zero extra capital costs and at zero extra time-related costs. For these 111,000+ additional flights, my profits rocket to the sky. Etc, etc …

        In short, what you give away you recover through the back door … there are many, many more arguments in favour of the twin aisle feeder, but we’ll keep the focus here on A322 “classic” (3+3), or l shall be taxed for OT ? …

        • No, additional costs are not zero. A NLT will both cost more capital and more time related costs, due to higher MTOW for example, than NSA of same capacity (within reason, probably somewhere 235-250 pax). And this higher weight –>

          1) more material, which costs more to procure and finish
          2) more fuel due to higher thrust engines needed
          3) more mx due to larger engine
          4) …

          • @ mneja : my comment was intended for keesje, the topic between us being a comparison between an A322 (3+3) vs the SAME aircraft reconfigured TWIN AISLE FIVE ABREAST (1+3+1) = H22QR. The twin aisle version is LIGHTER ! meaning less fuel, less ATC, less maintenance etc etc but also more payfreight, more IFE revenue, more frills etc … plus better range aso … and we shall not forget the effect of Product Differentiation upon ticket yields : given the better APEX attraction of 1+3+1 vs the sardinebox 3+3, Retail Psychologists will cash in better ticket yields for a seat onboard H22QR than for a seat onboard A322 !

        • Frequent traveler, I’m afraid it won’t compensate the lost revenue of taking out 30 seats. While deboarding the aircraft has to get serviced anyway. Deboarded a Dragonair A321 minutes ago & I did’t clock but it did not take long. Waiting for my bag takes long though 😉

          • The passanger pays not only for the ticket but for the total APEX (Airline Passenger Experience). When you yourself are waiting at the checked-in luggage re-delivery bands, you are getting a feel of typical APEX. A feeder pendling trip from AAA to BBB generates an APEX beginning at the airline check-in counter through ATS control through Boarding Gate lounge through boarding line up to actual boarding …. all the way throught the general stand-up as the ‘Fasten Seat-Belt’ sign comes off followed by the walk-out. luggage recovery and fly-bus trip to end destination. The price of the trip covers said total APEX. I maintain that ticket yields for the easy walk-in/walk-out APEX with your rollerbag as carry-on vs the jostle in/struggle out APEX with your rollerbag tied to the lower deck holds in an ombilical string – never mind cabin promiscuity and in-flight service discrimination during the actual flight – will turn into mints & crowns of extra ticket yield in favor of the twin aisle solution vs the single aisle solution ? 199 seats collecting 7 % higher ticket yields and costing 4.5 % less to produce fetch the same aggregate revenue as a 199 x 1.07 /0.955 = 222-seater, and is easier to fill up, for the better pax-appeal !

  4. If we accept the current fuselage diameter of the A320s as an acceptable standard then a series of developments to update the frame over 10 years would take the game away from the other OEMs ie

    1/ New wing, possibly CFRP with more effective sabres
    2/ Al-Li fuselage
    3/ stretch to A322 and for the austere charter market A323 (AKA B757-300)
    4/ Even newer engines
    5/ Skin smoothing technology

    Not sure which order but if planned with eventual outcomes in mind, efficient, cost effective and leading to an unbeatable package if unit cost/ development is kept down

    • If Airbus forgets commonality with present A321 it can improve most parts, especially the composite parts can be made much more clever now. Boeing kind of need to do the “New Light Twin” or the old PPP Aircraft with the Leeham spec. Airbus needs those 40-47k Engines for the A322 with 4500nm range. Without new Engines it is just John Leehay talk. So the A322 will get a brand new wing with the new Engine and a new landing gear that might need to be bigger to make enough ground clearnace for the Engine. Airbus will wait for the Boeing specifications and Engines and then try to beat its seat mile cost maybe suffering range. If Boeing gets GE on board and exclusivity on a new engine Airbus need to scramble RR to fit the RR Advance to it, but RR need to work hard to have all the new features ready in time. Snecma might try to put their open rotor at the max limit of the CFMI agreement and tell Airbus to take it or leave it. The French will take it, the Germans hoping for a MTU assembled PW1145G most likely will bite the dust.

  5. I think that I now understand what’s might be behind the 737-8ERX.

    Can you confirm if Ryanair is the initiator / launch customer of the 737-8ERX?

    • There is no customer. It’s a concept being shown around.

      • CBL: Even if SCOTT tries to wave it out, and that there is no customer yet, it is obvious for any no Airbus admirer that your question is more than pertinent!! Just now, RYAN has ordered a barrel full of B737-8 NG and max, and it would be a slam dunk to order now a 8ERX for the just now decided long distance subsidiary. And if this happens , a lot of other B737 customer will follow, c’est pas vrai, Monsieur (ex-Mr.) LEAHY??

  6. The ERX is nothing more than a higher gross weight version. I think the intention of showing it is to generate some positive news in the otherwise rather dim (for Boeing) segment of larger single aisles.

    Leahy would be stupid if he talked about an A322, which would demand a larger wing and serious investments. Airbus has the largest single aisle, and why deter customers from buying by accidentally introducing an even larger one. Indeed, an A322 would require a new family centered around an A321 with the A320 as smallest aircraft.

    • …….possibly to make it very difficult for Boeing in the medium term. As the market for 100-130 is progressively ceded to BBD the introduction of a larger product takes the MOM ground at relatively low cost making a new offering from Boeing a more and more risky project.

  7. Why is everyone so excited?
    Has a new requirement emerged?
    Boeing dropped the 757 because they could not sell it!
    We are still engrossed in a 757 replacement scenario, which on face value has been ceded to the A320LR!

    • Boeing stopped the 757 Program for the Short-Term gain of big Tax-Charge-off 10 years ago rather than peanuts of trickle orders/deliveries. Just as it will when the Air Force 767 tankers are complete………..and most likely the same with 747-8 after Air Force Ones……..and maybe “late to the party” handful of Freighters.

      Boeing Management, since Mulally days>>> in many ways like Current Qantas management) does not care that it is literally destroying itself……….by selling/writing-off its Assets and short term Business Focus.

      After all………Wall Street influences-dictates Boeing’s decisions…short-term financial gain perspective. Look at the recent financial disaster with the 787 program.

      Boeing does not,and will never have the hand-outs when eventual affects of catastrophic decisions are made; as does Embraer/Airbus-EADS group. When the Commercial Aircraft Division is purposely destroyed…….that will be it. It won’t be able to survive on Large-Order/ small-profit margins to Carriers like RyanAir, SouthWest, UA,AA,etc.

      Near-Future large sales of 777x/787s won’t exist……….as there will be plenty of low-cycle 777s/787s,A330s,A350s satisfying their owners just fine(remember well maintained wide-bodies typically last 25-30 years of Service in the 1st incarnation). And when the time comes for Carriers wanting something new and better……….Embraer,Airbus(possibly Japanese),Chinese….will have it……..while Boeing is still figuring out what new name to call old designs of the 737/777/787 programs

      In case you were unaware,the 757 Program was the cash-cow for Boeing all through the 1980s/1990s(better returns than 737,767,and 747 Programs). It was only until (when 777s orders-deliveries ramped-up );the 777 took the top spot.

      So sit back and watch Boeing do nothing to counter the ER versions of the longer A320 versions. And if it does decide to revamp the 707 based 737 line for another 757 spin-off………..competition will have won the race for future orders and delivery dates in this Sector to.

      • D Mcnamara: “Boeing does not,and will never have the hand-outs when eventual affects of catastrophic decisions are made; as does Embraer/Airbus-EADS group.” “And when the time comes for Carriers wanting something new and better……….Embraer,Airbus(possibly Japanese),Chinese….will have it……..while Boeing is still figuring out what new name to call old designs of the 737/777/787 programs.”

        You have mentioned Embraer and Airbus twice, plus the Japanese and Chinese. But what about Bombardier? Don’t you think it is better positioned than Embraer and the Japanese, and even the Chinese?

        • Bombardier is a poorly managed Company………worse than Boeing. Other than curiosity “pity” sales of the new C-Series……….who wants that plane? No one. Canadian Government realizes jumping in the “plane business” was bad for the Politicians and Re-Elections.

          Japanese,Chinese,Embraear, Airbus…………have the full Support of the Governments to grow or fail in doing so. Boeing thought by eviscerating lockheed/MD it would always have a sizable chunk of the Market…………that’s not the Case in coming years.

          Boeing should offer a Product for every Niche-Market…..instead……..the whole Commercial Aviation division is bet on just a few Products………with Competition(full Support of their Governments) Lurking in the Future…………to take that away to.

          Can one Imagine if India decides to play this game to?

    • Times have changed, and aircraft sizes are creeping up. Planes that occupied the gap (A310, 767-200, 757-300) are coming to the end of their lives.

  8. Boeing will develop a MOM entry that will require an Airbus response. It will be larger than the 321LR and more efficient, likely CFRP wings, perhaps foldable, optimized fuselage, room for growth/engine improvements. Airbus can counter with a 322 (so to speak), but it will require a new CFRP wing and likely optimized fuselage… and it will be a single aisle so tough to get the same capabilities out of it as a clean sheet twin optimized for this range and mission. It will be cheaper than an all new entrant, but still not a bargain. By comparison, the 777-X is roughly a$ 10-12 billion investment in a derivative. A clean sheet MOM is likely $15-20 billion or more. A screwed up clean sheet is $20-25 billion (or more eg 787/380). Time will tell.

  9. Looking at wingspan driving efficiency, just like fan area, the A330neo works partly based on its large span.

    As the E2190 approaches a 36m span at 57tons, and the CS the same at 65 tons, one has to wonder if the 737 and A320 are using a very suboptimal wing trying to lift 80 to 100 tons on a 36m wing?

    The 36m box may only efficiently lift a 70t 150 seat aircraft, beyond that it is a compromise. Are folding wingtips in the future, maybe Airbus will beef up the A321 wing and put on folding tips and stretch it to the A322.

  10. We have seen that Leahy plans to re-certify the Exit Limit for the A321 at 240 pax … the equivalence for an A322 (210″ longer cabin or 210/28 = 7 more rows or another 42 pax in a highest-density LCC cabin context), giving a total 282 pax …

    Now, try to move 282 pax out or in through the single aisle and we’ll find that the A322 will be hampered by a severe “757 syndrome”, for in-flight service as well, due to the 47 rows (pitched 28″, possibly less) …

    To me it appears that for 47 rows, 280+ pax, the single aisle vs twin aisle dilemma must be settled in favour of the latter : opposite an A322, or to challenge the A321LR, Boeing will certainly go for a NLT, not for a super-winged high MTOW clean-sheet NSA design or it will look like the Ugur Ipek Cigar ?

    Aircraft Interiors International – 2015 Design Showcase

    • It seems so unfortunate that Boeing go for it and launch an NSA in 2010/11. The max 9 is so marginal and the max 8, while competitive, is kept alive partly because the airlines need the duopoly to continue or their costs go up. They could have soldiered on with a tweaked and discounted NG which would get customers because of the airlines need for duopoly Maybe they would get only 30% of the market for a while but by 2018/19 they could have a superior product. Probably the engineering/management demands from the 787 mess up and 777x (not launched but inevitable) made it impossible. Too bad!

      • Dan Fuller: “Probably the engineering/management demands from the 787 mess up and 777x (not launched but inevitable) made it impossible.”

        If Boeing had enough money to buy back stock it had enough money to do the NSA. To buy back stock increases shareholder value instantly while investing in new products has the opposite effect. But over the long term the dynamic is reversed. Like for education we call this “investing in the future”. We are seeing the same phenomenon right now in the oil & gas industry where a sudden abondance of resources is driving kids away from college because they know they can make big salaries TODAY. The end result is a lowering of the educational level in areas where oil & gas is abondant. The same short term vision is prevailing at Boeing. The NSA was shelved and now Boeing is stuck with a 737 MAX that has a limited potential (or a potential that has reached its limit). The 777X launch decision was postponed year after year and now Boeing is facing the distinct possibility that the 777 Classic will be terminated before the 777X is delivered.

  11. That first line above should say “…unfortunate that Boeing did not go for it…”

    Now Boeing must launch an new MOM (whether wider single isle or small twin isle) asap (2018-19) to stay competitive or just cede that part of market to the A-321 (ceo/neo/ER) and possible A-322.

    If they think it will cost more than its worth (given their 787 experience, etc.) they just might cede that part of the market on the basis of “no good business case”.

  12. Does anyone know what a new wing, including engine pylon based on the NEO one and new AirIndia like landing gear would cost.

    (AI still flies them http://m.airliners.net/photo/detail/id/2512346 )

    Or could they do 1.5m plugs like they did on the A346..

    My estimation would be E3.5 billion because also the center fuselage box would need to be beefed up.

    • Nobody seems to be talking about the optimal wing size of a Middle of the Market (MOM) aircraft, and how the dimensions of a “MOM-wing” will be critical in order to rightsize a “MOM aircraft”. What we have today is a huge gulph in wing size between single aisles and wide bodies. For example, the 64 m wing span of the A330neo is compatible with ICAO Category E (< 65 m) and the 35.8 m wing span of the A320neo is compatible with ICAO Category C (< 36 m) — and the wing area of the A330-300 is about three times bigger than the A320 wing (e.g. 361.6 m2 vs. 122.6 m2).

      IMO, the logical "sweet spot" for a MOM-wing should be just under 52 m (i.e. ICAO category D). It should have about the same wing area as that of the A310-wing – or slightly larger, but it would be longer and slimmer, but would have a much higher aspect ratio than the A310-wing (e.g. greater-than-12 vs. 8.8 on the A310-wing.)

      IMJ, the A32X fuselage can be stretched slightly beyond 57 m if you put a 220 m2 sized wing on it. NB: A 57 m long A32X fuselage would have about the same fuselage fineness ratio as that of the fuselage of the 757-300.

      Now, if you'd develop an all new, state-of-the-art composite wing for a super-stretched A32x-family derivative, why not put the same wing on an all new, A350-derived MOM family as well?

      A350 derived family: 51.8 m wingspan; wing area somewhere between 220 – 230 m2; three family members with fuselage lengths of 50 m*, 55,7 m and 62 m, and with all three members each having the same MTOW of between 160 -170 metric tonnes.

      A32X derived family: Same wing as the A350 derived family; slightly shorter wing span due to the narrower centre wing box; three family members with fuselage lengths of 47.1 m, 52.5 m and 57.8 m**, and with all three family members each having the same MTOW of between 120 and 130 metric tonnes; smaller. lower thrust engines; shorter MLG etc.

      Hence, the strategy would be to super stretch the current single aisle and put a common wing on it, and an A350 derived short haul platform, while dropping any plans of a "small-twin-aisle" (i.e. 2+3+2). Such an aircraft will, in all likelihood, neither be competitive with a super-stretched narrowbody, nor a larger wide-body (i.e. 3+3+3) that's optimised for short haul — and not the least; significantly lower capital costs required for the common-wing-on-existing-platforms-option,

      * 24 fuselage frames (i.e. each frame 25" wide) shorter than the A350-900

      ** 25 fuselage frames (i.e. each frame 21" wide) longer than the A321.

      • CBL: Even if SCOTT tries to wave it out, and that there is no customer yet, it is obvious for any no Airbus admirer that your question is more than pertinent!! Just now, RYAN has ordered a barrel full of B737-8 NG and max, and it would be a slam dunk to order now a 8ERX for the just now decided long distance subsidiary. And if this happens , a lot of other B737 customer will follow, c’est pas vrai, Monsieur (ex-Mr.) LEAHY??


        Your post is a confirmation that something is very wrong at Airbus

        1) after many years trying to complete a competive A350, now as you say they are thinking to fir it with a new wing, before the first entered commercial service. And to change the battery. and…

        2) The A350-800 was wiped out by the B787-8

        Now Airbus tries to convince some of its friends, as the CEO of Delya and ASIA, that they are able to attain “nearly” B787 performance by fitting essentially tthe B787 engines on a A350 and some minor changes on the wing. Of course, they had not shown much evidence how they would attain such miracle.

        3) The original A350-1000, a enhanced A350-9, was sold as maintenance compatible . It was not, which made Emirates cancel it. The “new one’ is not competitive neither with the B777-10 on the downside nor N777-9 9X on the Upside

        4) The A340: a complete flop and virtually dead

        5) The A400 seem an eternal creartion, susidiazed with Billions by the EU

        Andthe A380 (!) Alsready obsolete when delivered the first, was a good fit initially for only one even if enormous Airline (EMIRATES. Today, it continues so on a few royes as Dubai-London, and TIM CLARK need to put on it new Motors to improve HIS efficiency. Even so, for other airlines and further expansion it is to big and to heavy. The blah blah regarding 200 A380neo to an airline which is also on the verge to be hit by protective protection measures by the competition and if the oil price does not recuperates fro its fall, with in tur would impede to ge granted subsidies by a artificial cheap fuel price is a bad joke!

        I this an acceptable record for world class company on the Widebody sector??

        IN SOMMA. There are only 2 reasons which potct AIRBUS:
        No.1. from the Frech perspective (not the German) it is too big to fail

        no.2: Since LOCKHEED and NORTHROP left the Civil Aircraft secor, BOEING if it fails would stay without competition!

        And is the intent to deviate the chat to a relative secondary. even if still important, issue as the B757 substitute/ which now seems AIR will not convincingly win, if at all will not really win??

        • Is Airbus-EADS screwed-up as you State? Most definitely….but it’s all a Quasi- Capitalistic Marxist Economical Social Experiment…………..Russians tried it for a few decades……………what happened there? It imploded horribly…when the Subsidies could no longer be handed-out.

          Spain, Italy,Greece,Portugal are making the Euro worthless.

          Large Order Ryan Air/SouthWest,Asian Carriers’ 737 sales can’t keep Boeing afloat………as Boeing sells them for very little profit.

          Airbus/Boeing have competition lurking in the background………..and for National Pride and Backing, why not the Brazilians,Japanese,Chinese build a better Airbus or Boeing?.

          Hell, Boeing has given the Japanese 4 decades experience in how to build Wide-Bodies.

          • I find his sort of comment rather unhelpful as it suggests that anything American is the put upon OEM that is keen to foster free trade and suffers from unfair competition and everything European is a subsidised piece of junk.

            I don’t think that is the case. In terms of subsidy Airbus does get launch aid (As Keesje is keen to point out repayable). Boeing however have also benefited massively from subsidy at state level and indirectly through (for example) its Japanese Partners.

            In terms of aircraft both OEMs have better, more competitive offerings and less competitive offerings. We live in an age where there tends to be a ‘winner takes all’ effect associated with minor product advantages.

            I really do not think we have witnessed 6,000+ A320s produced purely down to politics and subsidy and it is crass to suggest so.

            Is Airbus competitive in terms of cost? By all accounts the currency issues (euro +35% against dollar) of the mid 2000s made Airbus management to sit up and take notice, Boeing then responded. As such all that I have read suggests that both OEMs are far more efficient than they were and it would be difficult to suggest a significant advantage to one or other.

            Lets talk about the products frankly without this bias please 🙂

  13. It think it would be very interesting to evaluate a NSA/NLT with 1.5 aisle. Wide enough for passengers & trolleys to pass each other, significantly lighter than a twin aisle, but providing space for a roomy medium haul cabin with the structural stiffness for up to 260 seats and a longhaul premium 2-1-2-, 1-2-1 or 1-1-1 cabin flexibility in front. Eliminating some of the A320 like 3-3 cross section.

    The aisle would have to about 34 inch wide for 2 trolleys to pass each other comfortably.

  14. Excuse me, I read something in the post by:
    Normand Hamel
    March 19, 2015
    Did you see the latest figures for the Leap 1B engine fuel consumption? Its missing the target by about 5%.

    Please, if you could share that information, or an address where to ask for it because it could be quite interesting to have a look at those figures.

      • Mr Tsang doesn’t seem to grasp that it’s not going to be a trivial exercise to recoup a 4-5 percent TSFC shortfall on the Leap-1B engine, as ably explained by aeroturbopower. A 4-5 percent betterment in TSFC is at least a half-a-decade undertaking — and that’s for a whole new engine. A performance improvement program (PIP) for an existing engine — or for a new engine under development — is typically closer to o.25 percent betterment in TSFC per year.

        To be fair, there is no reason to believe that CFM International will not incorporate lessons learnt during the upcoming flight tests to recoup the 2% and 4-5% engine SFC shortfalls on the Leap-1A and -1B, respectively; and CFM has just completed 3,360 engine test cycles across the three engine variants out of 40,000 targeted by the time the Leap-1A enters into service in early 2016. The Leap-1B engine even has not entered into flight test yet, with the first flight on a flying testbed (FTB) currently scheduled to take place in June.

        • Addendum:

          …is typically closer to an average of 0.25 percent betterment in TSFC per year.

  15. Rest assured, Aspire still takes the 737 MAX superiority over the NEO as a starting point, rather then a conclusion.

    Anyone with any engine knowlege would agree BPR dictates sfc for a good part, the rest of the engine being the same, like the Leap A & B or CFM56-5&-7.

    Still Boeing promised the world otherwise a few years ago. Part of the public was happy to believe without asking questions.

    Now the chickens come home to roost. CFM can’t realize the miracles Boeing had to promise to regain marketshare.

    • It’s quite difficult to ascertain when exactly Boeing marketing ends and Aspire Aviation “analysis” begins, and vice versa. Just take the paragraphs quoted below as a case in point. It starts with; “from Boeing’s point of view”; then, Aspire sees to be spending a lot of effort on some sort of an “analysis”, more or less founded on Boeing’s talking points; then, finally, in the last sentence, Aspire quotes Airbus:

      From Boeing’s point of view, the 150-seat A320neo uses broadly the same amount of fuel on a 500nm trip, but because of the 12 or 8% extra seats that the 162-seat 737 MAX 8 carries, this leads to an 8% lower relative fuel burn per seat and largely translates into an 8% lower cash operating cost (COC) per seat and a 1% lower COC on a trip basis.

      However, once the 4-5% engine SFC shortfall has been taken into account, this makes the COC per seat advantage that the 162-seat 737 MAX 8 holds to only 3-4%. On a trip fuel basis, this will also mean the A320neo outperforming the 737 MAX 8 by 4-5%, only to be offset by the 8% extra seats. Should Airbus’s original Space-Flex concept which adds 3 extra seats to the A320neo be factored in, which equates to a 2% seat difference, this COC per seat differential will be further reduced to 1-2%, consistent with Aspire Aviation‘s previous 2% estimate.

      Now that the focus of this analysis is not on the seat count nor the dimension, these nevertheless highlight the sensitivity of the economic comparison between these two aircraft. For example, Airbus’s Space-Flex v2, debuted with Spain’s Vueling Airlines, which maintained the seat width at 18-inch but at the expense of pitches, with those aft of the mid-cabin being reduced to 28 inches from 30 inches, has the potential to add 3 additional seats on top of the original Space-Flex concept.

      Adopting this will put a 156-seat A320neo on par or even marginally better than a 162-seat 737 MAX 8 at 1% on a COC per seat basis, although it could be further asserted that on an apple-to-apple basis at 162-seat, the A320neo has an around 4% COC per seat advantage. Airbus, for its part, claims that the A320neo has an 8% lower block fuel burn per seat and a 12% lower fuel burn per trip than the 737 MAX 8.

      • For an engine an extra inch of fan size well implemented leads to about 0.5% improvement in sfc for that engine. Irrespective if it hangs under a Airbus, Boeing, Comac, Dassault or Embraer.

        That why Airbus doesn’t put a lighter 69 inch Leap under the NEO, and Boeing moves heaven and earth / spends a billion to add tens of inches to the Leap-B fan.

        For understandable reasons Boeing tries to ignore / dismiss this or confuse the bigger public with drag / weight considerations. Do does play a role ? Yes, but BPR still helps much more. Ignore it and you’re in for surprises when CFM publizes the LEAP-A & -B sfc’s later on. Boeing can’t prevent it. Just confuse with irrelevant non information.

  16. Maybe the 700 Unidentified MAX orders are airlines that want the MAX, and want to see some fuel burn numbers / guarantees first.

    700 is not normal.

    • 737 needs a way bigger fan than is promised with the “MAX”; too get the presumed better fuel burn rates(real World usage-conditions). 50 year-old stubby landing gear impedes that higher efficiency.

    • Boeing is stubborn and unwilling to modify the Wing-Box area to allow for longer-legged landing Struts……….necessary for Larger fans…………..and the all important FAA mandate of 18 inch minimum ground clearance; front of engine to ground.

      Then the issue of resale values of NG/MAX versions of the 300,400s,500s,700s,800s,900s plummets with a “better” plane…and GE…………aka CFM won’t be to happy with that……..as demand for replacement parts lowers……….as many (even moderate cycle 737s) are just scrapped…instead of new lifes to upstarts and 3rd World/Developing Nations/Operations

  17. Wingspan extensions usually happen at the wingtips … but if you extend the wings from the wingroots, you’d make room for a stitched MLG … the NLG seems a harder nut to crack ?

  18. We have to consider the development of an A322 in the light of the actual USE ie APPLICATION of such a vector by world’s Operators … and it is not at all a given fact the said use will primarily be for the MOM segment. A320 types are being replaced by A321 types, from frequency saturation pushing for module growth as the natural development. Then again, further market growth point to A322 as the next step, BEFORE taking the drastic move away from your familiar NB gate system over to 767-, 787-, A330-compatible gate systems. It is the design weight specifications that will give the A322 the required flexibility for deployment inclusive to the MOM segment. The INITIAL deployment, though, could focus onto 757/A310/767/A300 replacement, simply due to obsolescence timing for these 1980-1990 types, coming to their respective end-of-lives. But IMHO an A322 vector will spread out PRIMARILY, some time after EIS, on the standard NB short-medium range FEEDER routes. The A322 will therefore come in a set of specially dedicated (lower) certification weights, aiming for feeder deployment. Structural specifications could vary from the A322 feeder to the A322 MOM, for trip cost/CASK optimisation ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *