PNAA Day 3: Boeing bought $40bn of stuff from suppliers in 2015

Feb. 11, 2016, © Leeham Co. “We bought more than $40bn worth of stuff from suppliers last year. We delivered 762 airplanes last year and we could not have done that without the suppliers.

  • Feb. 11, 2016: Today is the last of three days of conference meetings organized by PNAAthe Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA), in Lynnwood (WA). We’ve provided live reporting throughout the three days.

“We’re going through a shift…and through a global dogfight,” Kent Fisher, VP-GM of Supplier Management or Boeing, told the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA) conference today.

The supply chain and the company have to work together and collaborate with an exchange of ideas—not ideas coming only from Boeing down to the supply chain.

Suppliers and Boeing have to work together to improve capacity and capability, automation and production rate increases, said Fisher, while maintaining quality.

“We’ve been very successful,” he said, though he said that quality can be improved. He also said cost reductions are necessary and new designs must have value that customers will pay for.

Fisher cited JAMCO, a major supplier in Japan, that increased floor space by 50% and increasing the flow “without missing a beat” in delivering interiors products.

GKN, a European supplier, produces the Advanced winglet on the 737 MAX, was also cited for its quality.

Partnering for Success was launched four years ago. “Frankly, we made a mistake,” Fisher said. But it’s not what the first thought that might come to mind—that the program itself was a mistake—but rather, leaving the impression that there was a finish line.

Fisher said PFS 2.0 is underway to pursue a more-for-less strategy, an “enduring reality, capturing opportunities throughout the life cycle.”

“I want to double down and achieve first-time quality,” Fisher said. If quality is improved by 50% the first time, profits improve by 10%.

In 2012 Boeing implemented only $60m in cost reduction costs. Today it’s $1bn. It took 600 days to implement cost reductions in 2012. Today, it’s closer to 90 days, Fisher said.


93 Comments on “PNAA Day 3: Boeing bought $40bn of stuff from suppliers in 2015

    • Mistake, should have read A321NEO sales.

      Obviously it will not stop them or production in anyway way shorter term, but the long term outlooks gets interesting with operators deciding which product suits their routes.

      While I think its a great offering, parialcy comprated to MAX9, in order to get the range it has to have belley tanks and a lowered pax count.

      All ok if there is not completion, but with competiton then the trade off looks begin.

      It obviously will dominate trans US type routes as it needs no tanks for than, can efficiently carry passengers. Its not a MOM though.

      And no I am not on the bandwagon, I really have no idea how larger and popular the MOM market is, that will only reveal itself over time.

      Airbus can respond with a larger winged A321, it would take new engines.

      MOM has to have new engines, so that’s going to be the other huge implication, what engine type and whose?

      P&W would seem to have the inside track at least on one offering, RR and GE would have to fight it out for the other with GE having an inside edge I would think, but no really current offering in that category.

      They can make one and in the timeline probably succeed, but probably not the GTF and then the trade off of how good it will be.

      • It looks more likely that Boeing will do a stretched MAX with new wings the same they have done with the 777.
        The question is the engine, will the engine be any one of ab neo family? Will it be bigger or smaller?
        Most people say it will be easy for ab to respond with a re-winged a321 and new engine.
        I think that will not serve airbus too well, they have just launched the a321neo-lr which is still to be marketed and generate enough sales.
        So they cannot come up with another product in the next 3 to 4 year to replace the 321neo and the a321neo-lr.
        If airbus does that then that will confirm its status as a copy cat company that take the cue for Boeing and just follows.
        Also it will make the offering of the a321 complicated.
        They will have the original a321neo, the a321neo-lr and a321neo re-winged.
        The best response for airbus will be a new clean sheet design to replace the whole a32x family with eis around 2025.
        Boeing on the other hand is trying to come up with a product to compete with the a321neolr as it has no offering in that category.
        That makes me wonder if ab responds with a a321neo re-winged, will it be a replacement of the a321neo-lr or for a different segment.
        The future is no longer what it used to be. 🙂 🙂

        • The segmentation is clear : A321 + A321LR are for 738/A320 module and range growth whereas the A322 – if/when launched ? – will be for A321/739 growth in range and size plus 757 replacement, ie for true MOM applications. There is no risks of internal product overlapping @ Airbus, on the contrary, there is complementarity and Family dynamics from commonality throughout the Airbus product range.

    • I’m for a ‘keep it simple’ circular cross section. For an elliptical section to come out ahead on costs, there are a lot of rose colored assumptions. Time to stick to basics and use proven advances from the 787, A350, and CSeries.

      • I am for what the Boeing engineers work out as the cost effective and able to be industrialized .

        In short, that’s way beyond what I know.

        I do know that they had the 787 nailed down technology wise. Its worked and very well.

        How cost effective building it with a rolled CFRP fuselage vs an A350 or even an optimized aluminum fuselage I can’t being to say

        Leave that to Bjorn.

    • From the FG story: “But other concepts are reportedly under consideration, including a larger version of the 737 Max.”

      Blergh. It is time, from a passenger comfort perspective, to retire the 707 fuselage. What worked in 1958 and has been re-worked as the 727, 737 and 757, is not adequate for missions 20% longer than a 757.

      Not unless someone dares to fly it in a 2-3 Y+ configuration for 8 or 9 hour sectors. And I just do not see that happening. As AA moves gently towards an internationally competitive Y+, it does leave the 757 as the (even more) poor stepchild in PaxEx terms transatlantic or to thin southern South America destinations.

      • Not that I like the 707/737 fuselage, but how is the seating on a 737 any worse than 10-abreast on the 777.

        Boeing at one time ushered in a new era of comfort with 9-abreast on the 777 and 8-abreast on the 787, but in efforts to improve their airframe’s economics, they have effectively ceded the “comfort” market to Airbus.

        • it’s not, but 10 wide 777 is better than 9 wide 330. Sure hope that never catches on outside of Asian LCCs, however if chasing CASM remains the golden dream……

          • Its widespread now, a 10 abreast 777 and even more would make the change except their 777s are on the last 5-6 years of their life and its not worth the upgrade costs

    • “Boeing executives are now telling employees a launch decision for a new airliner aimed at the “middle of the market” (MOM) could be made by the end of the year.”

      Isn’t that still a bit vague ? pep talk and protective spells 🙂

    • Seems like Boeing got someone upset (maybe some Bigshot stockholder w/ SEC connections?) when they revealed yesterday that they may have to take a write-down if they can’t sell more 747s and 787s:

      THIS…coupled with their latest head-reduction announcement at the all-time Height of Aircraft Delivery and Backlog – makes me believe that Boeing never learns. Seriously…I believe “Disfunctional” has become the Boeing Normal. My Gawd…the people at Airbus are probably shaking their heads in wonder and dismay, and probably saying to themselves “All we got to be from here on out is to be a second-rate company or better and kick back and watch Boeing slowly destroy itself in the meantime”.

      I thought Muilenberg could at least bulkwork the slow erosion that is Boeing’s present and future, but it appears that I gave Muilenberg more credit than he is due. Sure, Muilenberg is not responsible for the 747 and 787 losses – this took the pyrrhic genius of a Mcnerney – but Muilenberg sure could have done better than the last downsizing announcement (especially coming on the heels of other bad news). As a result, I really believe that Muilenberg is destined to be enshrined in the Pantheon of Great Boeing Leaders: Like Phil Conditt, Harry Stonecipher and Jim Mcnerney.

      For 20 years – 20 freakin’ Years – Boeing has had such Great men at the helm and it has most suredly left an indelible mark on the company: on Labor, Engineering and Management. No one escapes a generation of such great men without being negatively affected, or worse – and I think it’s “Worse”. I think it’s gotten so bad that you could even put Jesus at the helm of the Boeing Company and he…would probably become embittered and take to drinking and beating his wife.

      Seriously…Boeing is hellbent on a slow, painful self destruction and nothing can stop them.

      But there is good news! (but I just can’t think of what it is)

      • I think you are leaping to far too quick a judgment.

        If you read Boeing downsizing, they are starting with managers first. It may be time to clean out that cupboard.

        the other part is attrition and it looks like with retirements they will meet that as well. So how much is spinning reality vs the bad news is open guess.

        They did announce the MOM and the rest we have to see what real impact is.

        Its obvious that Muilenberg did not want a SPECA fight when they are going into a new design.

        Managed work reductions is not always a bad thing, if you cut the right areas and that is fully open yet.

        I think you should give him a chance, but then that’s just MNSHO

        • Transworld,

          Thanks for your patient reply to my rant. What you say makes a lot of sense from some perspectives. And…there was a day I might have agreed with you concerning the rationalization of why Boeing management is acting up….but those days have passed. Instead, I have come to believe that what has gripped the management of this company – and gripped them long ago – is Pathological and best understood when viewed accordingly.

          When times are bad – Boeing cuts employees. When times are good – Boeing cuts employees. Boeing rewards employees who perform poorly (e.g., Charleston Bonuses) and punishes those who deliver (threat to move 777 out of Washington State). In short, Boeing Management’s philosophy towards their employees is to “Make them Cower” (The Boeing CEOs paraphrased sentiment and words, not mine). In other words…keep them suffering – and there is no better way to make people suffer than by ruling their lives with cruel whims.

          I believe that for Boeing’s Management, the business of making a great product stopped being a concern a long time ago. Now it seems to be about control. (And the Ginormous Executive Bonuses for…whatever)

          • Jimmy:

            that’s more than fair. I saw in one of the items that Muilenberg cuts will make McNenearney look like a sissy.

            I hate to see it, but I also am not there and staying tuned. I am hoping but those could very well be dashed.

            If he does what McNeneary did in Charleston (cutting the contract workers) ie. same net affect in other areas and has that affect then its a disaster again.

            I continue to hope not but not surprised by much anymore either.

        • In the case of program accounting, when its the 747-8, it has come back to bite Boeing in the you-know-where.

          As the numbers in the ‘block’ have fallen so the writeoffs have to be taken immediately. So far they have added up to $2.6 bill. Expect a lot more over the next few years and if the line is closed there will be another massive hit- it may be ‘cheaper’ to keep the line ticking over at 4-6 per year to avoid all the remaining accumulated losses in the block.

          • On the other hand, 1300 x 787s seems unrealistically low.

            I think they have close to 2000 options, orders and various other possible purchase (not all will come to fruition of course but they will also conti9nue to sell aircraft)

            I think this has to be a see what happens.

          • Isn’t that cloaking losses for a time by incuring more losses?

          • Impossible to make any conclusions here but RA says Boeing need to do 787s at 91 million, now isn’t that about where Airbus is with the A330? So not impossible, but after nearly 400 I suspect it comes down to where they really are in the learning curve, are costs still going down steeply or has it flattened out? Only an insider can really know. I’ve posted before that the problem with program accounting is there is nobody outside of A+B who can judge if the declared accounts are realistic or not.

            What we do know is Boeing have written a lot off for the 748i, but it could be a question of how long ago they knew that would have to happen, and did they act when they knew they had a forward loss or delay anyway.

          • @MartinA Airbus is selling the A330 at $91m or less and it costs a lot less to build them on the amortized line. Boeing needs to build the 787 for no more than $91m, including engines, to recover its deferred production costs and the build process is far, far from mature.

          • Hi Scott, thanks for the clarification, so then the B787 learning curve is still dropping quickly and it is not impossible to reach 91, but nobody knows? They have a big accounting block to play with.

          • @MartinA: can’t respond to learning curve but I think they will enlarge the accounting block.

          • Makes sense as the accounting block does look to be legitimately large.

            Something I believe is lost sight of is with 300+ delivered and 750 currently on order, that looks to be a very very successful program sales wise (monetary wise not so much but nothing to do with the aircraft)

            It will be interesting to see if the ramp up continue to 14 or they hold at 12.

          • So if the accounting block is enlarged how does this place Boeing when program accounting is no longer acceptable under U.S. GAAP? Or will it he amortisation of early cost be pushed to previous year’s results and Boeing gains from an effective write off hence reducing the costs charged in current years

  1. I assume Boeing will only launch a new aircraft if they have little to loose.

    The problem is IMO, that if Boeing launches an aircraft larger than the A321, few Airlines will invest in MAX aircraft. Pushing more customers in Airbus arms. So I guess the MoM will be more of a large NSA.

    Airbus has ammo to create some tough years ahead for Boeing:

    A new aircraft means 2023 EIS earliest. Airbus will have pushed easily a further 1500 A321s into the global marketplace by then. AA will have 300-400.

    • Keesje:

      I think its some and some. Boeing has nothing to loose. So they will need to do it and obviously.

      There is no doubt the A321 (old and new) has sold very well previously and future. MAX9. Boeings issue has been there is no where to go past the MAX9, ergo move to Airbus and then maybe the whole fleet.

      But with MOM, they now have the option assuming its what suits a fleet need. If the fleet need is still 220 pax at 3000 miles then the A321 is probably going to be more efficient.

      Mixed need then it would got to MOM.

      Then Airbus has to decide the investment to compete or try with a MOM, let it ride and make hay while the sun is shinning and the next aircraft will deal with it.

      • MOM is just another marketing term. “Middle Of the Market” can also be termed “No Mans Land” or “Neither Here Nor There” or “Too Big for a Narrow Body, Too Small for a Widebody” if you look at it pessimistically.

        The 757 was not a fantastic seller: it sold because for a long time it was the only narrow body which could do US transcontinental non-stop reliably. Now all new A32x and 737-xxx can do the job, and they are doing the job a lot cheaper. Outside of the US, the 757 is and always has been a very rare bird. So it sold because of performance, not size. The A321 sells now because it can do a lot (including very short distances) at a very low cost. And to be frank, the 737-9/9MAX can do the same, just not as well as the A321.

        But is there a gaping wide crater in Boeing portfolio to fill with a MOM which is magically going to sell thousands: no. The only way a MOM which is targeted at 240+ passengers / 4,000+mi is going to get on the market is do another 787: develop costing a bomb and then spread out the cost over 2000+ frames so on paper it makes a profit. Because when an airline needs to fork out cash, an A321neo or a 737-9MAX are a lot (and I really mean a lot) cheaper. Need a bit more seats, suddenly the A338 and 787-8 are on the market, and they will also be a cheaper.

        The real problem Boeing has is that the 787-8 is too expensive to manufacture. It was supposed to be the MOM aircraft but doesn’t do that job, not due to aircraft performance but the capital costs don’t add up. Why will a brand new design be better?

        Any company which thinks that performance alone will sell their product and a sky high price is justified by the product will get in trouble sooner or later. It seems that Boeing is learning that lesson the hard way but at least they are doing something about that.

        • All pretty fair.

          What we don’t know is what feedback Boeing has on the so called MOM.

          Its not a direct 757 replacement, it may not be a killer markets of 4,000 but it does seem to be a market.

          I am not all in, just think its very interesting and happy to see something all new going again.

          • MOM. Just like the 777X miniVLA tag all these acronyms first sprout from some airliners related blog or other. Couple of weeks later the ball is taken up by Boeing. It is all about tasties and tippy toeing in the water. If these memes flounder they will be left by the wayside. But nonetheless my assumption is that they are Boeing’s children.

          • Agreed. Airbus hi-jacked the term winglets and turned it into the nonsensical shakrlets.

            I have yet to see a shark with a wing let alone two fins out on the ends.

            On the other hand Boeing tail on the 787 does have some resemblance to a sharks fin, but they continue to call it a vertical tail.

            On the other hand, MOM is not a bad placeholder for a conceptual idea. The aircraft itself will be named per the usual and or unusual convention.

            Boeing hung the Dreamliner moniker on the 787. Not sure I want to see that continue.

    • Dispote an A322 Airbus could also go back to its routs and build a real bus. This time based on the A350 barrel with different new small wings. Due to the aimed MOM range a full LD3 capable aircraft would be nice. A350-100? For short trips with 10-abreast seating…

      The 787 is a nice aircraft but was just built against the A330 and kept smaller than the 777. The 787 could have been more without these narrow minded restrictions.

      A 737ULTRA will lose against an A322 or A350MIN.

      • In our Southern States vernacular, that dog don’t hunt.

        A350-800 was a bust, too heavy.

        What makes you think an even smaller one would work small wing or not?

        An A300 would be closer, 310 closer still.

        Gives up a lot ion width for efficiency.

  2. Regardless, its pretty excising, lot of details to follow on the MOM and engines for it.

    I know its a lot better to be part of something interesting and even exciting that to be beat down (A321)

    So a huge boost to morale’s.

    Add into this, where will they build it?

    Also with a logical place to move up the 737 line is now more viable. Eventual shift to the MAX9 as seat size goes up and then to the MOM.

  3. Big consideration is Airbus can wait, analyse, discuss and take lessons learned for a few years. And go slightly better in many areas.

    E.g. if Boeing goes for 180-240 seats 4000NM, Airbus can do a new 150-210 seats 3000NM, 10-20% lighter and 10% lower operating cost. Which one will sell better?

      • IMHO you will never again see a buying spree like for the Dreamliner.
        MOM is marketing and not reality … and handraised by Boeing PR.

        • I guess you will see if they put their money where their MOM is won’t we!

          • Nahh! Your MOM wears ArmyBoots 🙂

            I actually don’t know.
            Airlines will go over Boeings offering with a finetoothed comb. The setups offered as solutions all show some physics unpleasanties ( inducing high cost or high weight or both )

          • What we do know is Boeing will not make an aircraft unless there is a lot of commitment to it.

            Sonic cruiser was a case in point. Lot of interest but no commitment.

            they went back and asked, what would you commit to?

            787 was the answer (and keeping in mind, its good, the management foul ups that cost 15 billion more than it should have is the financial issue not the aircraft itself)

  4. Posted yesterday that I think a widebody MOM is no mans land or we would be seeing more A332 sales, and over 240 PAX narrowbody, well, B753 wasn’t a great success either. I guess a B752 successor might work with new tech engines, but it is 7-9 years away judging by other programs. If successful Airbus could hang new engines on the A320 series, maybe re-wing it as a more capable aircraft if needed, all at a fraction of the cost? Don’t forget NEO is a low cost solution and will be quickly paid for.

    One B737 advantage is its lighter grandfathered airframe, something a MOM wouldn’t be able to take advantage of either, but Boeing is backed into a corner here and has to do something but I don’t see a real MOM market. Far better to concentrate on a 737 sized NSA, using latest ideas to keep the weight down, and maybe use it as a base for a longer range version of the biggest model a la A321 LR.

    • Well at 1000 made, I think the 757 was a success.

      No disagreement that in today’s market it would not have been, but then back then they did not have what is available now.

      I am sure Magellan’s crew would rather have gone around the world in something that had steam turbines.

      What none of us really knows is what kind of interest there is in that segment. Leeham has some idea but its behind pay wall for the most part.

      Interest is not sales, Cargo Lux was very i9nvovled in an A380 freighter but it was never going to be the kind of aircraft with the floor loading they needed.

      • 200 was okay, 300 wasn’t, I wonder what used 300s are worth? That would be a useful thing to know in this discussion.

        • 757-300s all seem to be still in service, apart from a handful, all are with United , Delta and Condor.

    • I agree that any MOM will not be the exciting development many suggest. It would introduce a new fuselage that would probably become the standard for all NB Boeing products going forward at something marginally bigger than the A320 and similar to the Irkut MC21. A one and a half aisle.

      It will have an ultra hig aspect wing with all the gizmos and nice long undercarriage :-). The wing will be CFRP, the body something easier and cheaper to work with and a new engine will be hung off each wing.

      So it will end up being an all new aircraft built on a budget but with scope to be the basis of a new smaller aircraft with smaller wing in the future unless Boeing buy the CSeries to fill that gap.

      The MOM will cost $10bn + to build but will give them a solid competitor to Airbus going forward. It would have to display at least a 15% improvement over the A321 to be competitive, a tall ask IMHO

      • Other than the exciting part (any new aircraft is exciting), engines if nothing else. Lot of subtle improvements.

        Crank wing and get rid of the winglets.

        New generation engine will get you at least 10%, GTF maybe 12% with growth.

        Fuselage: Good question, I am not guessing, they will wrangle that one out. Its going to be a 5000 mile bird if made so that’s a tough one to hash out with the supposed need for narrow body efficiency and conversion to current.

        Right now I am wait and see as there is argument both wide and narrow and while there are hints, only Boeing knows and we may see soon and can then comment on where it goes.

  5. Hmmm it seems to some that if Airbus was building the MOM they would be talking about how they were “boxing” Boeing in but with Boeing doing it they are desperately producing a plane that doesn’t belong anywhere and are just playing into Airbus hands as they sit and wait to strike! Of course Boeing was supposed to be cash starved and could never launch it to begin with (probably an accounting trick).

    Regardless where the truth lies it will be an interesting ride…

    • @Geo

      I don’t think that is fair. Both OEMs have some very strong competitors in key segments, Boeing if effectively ‘boxing in’ the A350 with the 787/777x combo but the A359 is still a strong competitor. Whilst the A321 ‘boxes in’ the MAX but the MAX 8 is a strong competitor.

      The one area where Boeing is vulnerable is with regard to the longevity of the A320/330 with NEO. They are forcing Boeing to compete with aircraft for which costs are fully amortised. This is a tall order and does present a material issue with regard to pricing. This will be massively painful exacerbated by currency movements but Boeing can at least look to the B787 as a successful programme in bringing it back in the game with the most technologically advanced frame on the market. It has suffered the pain but stands to generate gains for many years to come by leveraging on all the technological advances it has built into that programme.

      A MOM investment will be similar, it will force Airbus to react down the line but critically it puts Boeing back in the game with the ‘go to’ solution in NB aircraft if they get it right

  6. After a couple of two pretty bleak, p.r.- disastrous days for Boeing, there’s at least the news that the three Japanese “heavies”–Fuji, Kawasaki, and Mitsubishi–of industry stand ready for major capital commitments and risk sharing in the 757/MOM successor. If I were Boeing executive management, I’d be getting out a major thank you announcement to all three of them, along with booking my Japanese visit/joint consultation talks for March or April of this year! These actions, while a somewhat symbolic beginning, would at least start some much needed BA “damage control”!

    • That might just be an automatic thing for the Japanese companies to do. Japan is traditionally more of a Boeing place than an Airbus place. It takes a brave executive to say that their boss’s “Boeing is right” strategy is actually wrong.

      Here’s a radical idea. Quite a lot of Japanese companies of all sorts seem to be in acquisitive moods at the moment. Might one of the Japanese biggies buy Boeing?

      • Like the foundered sale of harbor infrastruture to some arab nation you’ll never see Boeing in majority influence foreign hands. Only Germany is dumb enough to do that on occasion.

        • Don’t question the power of corporate stupidity! *(or greed)

          On the other hand there would be the chickens in congress squawking and even chickens can be useful at times.

          • Japan generally doesnt have corporate raider culture so a hostile takeover would be out of the question. There doesnt seem to be anything they could bring to a takeover that they dont have with current large structural assemblies. Then there is the US objections !

            What for me would be intriguing is who will partner with Russian Irkut/Yakolev with their MC-21 which is a possible carbon wing MOM plane. geopolitical considerations seem to rule it out for now.
            But if production was shifted to China things would be very very different.

  7. MartinA,

    Reading your comments above I get more convinced what the probably best and most realistic strategy for Boeing would be. They can’t just go big MoM. The 2016-2025 MAX/NEO situation simply doesn’t allow.

    – Design a damn good NB fuselage / cockpit / systems, using best technology /LD3-45 capable etc.

    – Knowing up to 250 seats will have to be covered, but weight has to be kept down for 150 seats, a wide(aisle) single aisle seems most likely. Large cross section -> better structural efficiency going 42 rows..

    – A modular/scalable wing box should be engineered to make sure two wing/engine combinations can be used. One unbeatable configuration for <200 seats200 seats>3500NM.

    These days you can’t do that with one wing/engine combination without becoming uncompetitive.

    • And that’s truly the big question and issue.

      Is the MOM stand alone or is it integrated with a future 737RS strategy?

      Downside to wide aircraft (or large diameter) is the drag penalty.

      That beyond my analytical capability to figure out, but a lot of Boeing engineers are doing just that.

  8. Boeing can make a new 3-3, just like Airbus, Comac, and Irkut. I would say this solution is good for 120′ to 160′ long or so. The 737-7, A319 are too short, the 753 is way too long to work except as very niche aircraft.

    The next node up is the A350, 777, and 747 which provide the best combination of passenger deck to cargo ratio.

    Nobody would recleansheet the A330, why go with 8 instead of 9 across, the 767 is way heavy and cargo heavy for its passenger count, with a 17′-6″ fuselage depth.

    For the possibility of building a clean sheet aircraft between say the MS-21 and the A350, the ballpark options are a circular outside diam fuselage of:
    14′-4″ 2-2-2 at 140′ to 180′
    16′-0″ 2-3-2 at 160′ to 200′
    17′-8″ 2-4-2 at 180′ to 220′

    What’s the best option in the gap between a 160′ 3-3 and a 200′ 3-3-3?

  9. The worse the MAX is doing, the bigger the chances MoM becomes a grown NSA. 7 abreast adds a seat+aisle=60 inch cross section. Not doable for a 170 seater. And you can’t be missing in action around 170 seats.

    • NSA? Leapfrog the A321, or defend the bottom of the market against the new CSeries. Boeing can’t do both with one wing though, so probably they will choose the 40m wing.

    • I think to compete in 2 segments far apart isn´t possible anymore with the same wing- engine combination like it used to be.

      E.g. the A350-800, 787-3, 737-600 are testament to that.

      Embraer went for two wing(box) / engine combinations on the E2, having to compete effectively with both the CS100 and MRJ and CRJ.

      IMO probably this is the direction Boeing should go. A 1.5 aisle (30 inch) 3-3 configuration partly solves long NB issues like (de)boarding and fuselage structural stiffness.

      A 40 row 3-3 fuselage is more efficient then a 35 row 2-3-2 fuselage.

      Operating Empty Weight 757-300 – 60 tonnes
      Operating Empty Weight 767-200 – 80 tonnes

      • What B should build IMHO: a new narrow body (a wider single aisle). Three (maybe four) fuselage lengths, two wings. An A-321 like length one first, then shorter and longer. Big wing only on the longer one, small wing only on the shorter one and either wing on the middle one(s).

        2-2-2 would be great for the pax but too much more weight for no more seats. 2-3-2 is too big; it seems like they need to better compete with the 32x not make a more modern 767.

        The sooner they can do this the better for everybody including shareholders if they (the shareholders) would look out more than just a few years.

        This is just the thoughts of an aircraft enthusiast and maybe it’s too late now to launch a “better 32x” which should (could?) have been launched in 2010/2011 instead of max. Perhaps, now, a longer wait until a bigger technological jump is possible or even launching a new “small” twin aisle “MOM” is the right strategy (though I doubt the latter). But, whatever it is it seems Boeing needs to do something.

        That, of course, is what they pay the top managers and engineering people to decide but it would (will I hope) be great for us enthusiasts to see something new!

  10. Vinay Bhaskara at Airways News seems to have a good take on the matter. One could add, of course, that the low oil price doesn’t improve upon the situation either, nor does the possibility of an A330neo being somewhat better on fuel consumption per seat, than what Mr. Bhaskara is indicating.

    Airbus pressures Boeing with the A330neo; weak Euro

    Part of what is driving Boeing to reduce headcount, particularly on the 787 program, is increased pricing pressure from rival European manufacturer Airbus. The value of the Euro has declined by nearly 20% since the end of 2014, which gives Airbus an advantage in exporting its aircraft around the world. Since Airbus accrues most of its expenses with the Euro, which is weakened right now, but prices and receives payments for its aircraft in US dollars, it is able to lower the dollar list price of its aircraft sharply, pressuring Boeing.

    This problem manifests most clearly with the Boeing 787, where Airbus’ rival A330neo was developed for just $2 billion (versus $28.5 billion and counting) and features a fully paid off production set up. Thanks to these elements and the weak Euro, Airbus is selling the A330neo for as low as $90 million whereas Boeing can’t really afford to go below $120 or $130 million on the 787-9, conferring a huge advantage on the Airbus product. Thus despite the cash operating cost advantages conferred by the 787, the Airbus product is highly competitive on direct operating cost thanks to pricing. And this puts Boeing in a position where it needs to take extraordinary steps beyond the existing planned reduction of 787 costs (which is more about achieving scale on 787 production).

    • Maybe we should leave the fuel figures to him, Bjorn or the tests?

      I know when I am out of my depth.

      I don’t design aircraft either because I don’t have the foggiest idea of what I am doing.

      I do critique them as that is within my analytic capabilities (IMNSO). Of course I could be wrong to.

    • Another aircraft seems to operate well:

      The major problem for KC-46 is the accounting block size. Due to the costs for the F-35 USAF will never be able to afford enough aircraft to require 176 tanker.

  11. Airbus are reporting a better than 15% improvement for the first NEO in service, although over what is an interesting question. It looks like more pressure on Leap-1 though. I think that emphasises my previous comments that Boeing should concentrate on a NSA + 752 replacement rather than a pure MOM

    • Martin A – Keesje

      With all due respect, we are not Boeing. Telling Boeing what we think they should do is like spitting into a Hurricane.

      What Boeing will do is what their market research and direction takes them. They could be wrong (though the 787 seems to prove they had that spot on).

      They have ideas but are not inflexible. Sonic cruiser had a lto of interest but no commitment so they went back to the drawing boards.

      777 went through a lot of iterations before they launched it and you can’t argue its success.

      I am going to wait to see what their proposal is, discuss it on technical grounds. I sure have not a clue nor the responsibility on how it does in sales.

      Its a whole different world when you are on the pointy end of the decision stick

      • Stop ruining our fun, we love trying to design what the next plane should look like.
        The aircraft builders themselves are forever getting it wrong or sometimes just lucking in when the market comes their way. Airliner strategy is incredibly difficult.

  12. Latest Boeing said on the MoM it should 20% more capable then the 757 and A321. Are they correct?

    They used to think Airbus was just catching up with the NEO. After MAX they knew parity was restored on the narrowbodies. Airbus’ 1000 A321NEO forecast was “frankly a bit laughable”

    Now they are changing their minds and it’s hardly unexpected. They’re eating crow but too proud to admit. No, Airbus is undercutting prices. Class act.

    • Keesje: I don’t think they are changing their minds, just publicly admitting the reality they knew was there.

      No they don’t want to admit anything, after all bonuses and promotions to those lucrative positions are at stake.

      Lets see how Airbus reacts when they make their next mistake(s). It happens to everyone. A380 being a case in point.

      Now the word is its 10 years too early, hmmm, I guess their marketers really missed that one?

      In other words lets be fair, Airbus is doing well, good work on their part. Boeing is a work in progress but its cycles, ups and downs, no one has a good ride all the time and good companies don’t go into the dirt completely either. We will see.

  13. Doing a clean-sheet MOM implies this timing :

    ATO —> Programme Launch …….. 18 m
    Launch —> Roll-Out ………………. 5 y
    Roll Out —> First Flight ……………. 6 m
    First Flight —> EIS …………………. 18 m
    EIS —> ramp-up à 10 unités/mois .. 2 y 6 m
    Programme slack (endemic) ……….. 1 y

    Total programme duration : 12 years

    A clean-sheet MOM will be upn’pouring into the market from 2028 … that gives Airbus a lot of leeway for their A321 and Joker A322 !

    • If Boeing is under pressure, it’s engineers challenged and budget is allocated, they can do a brand new NSA/MoM in 6-7 years. The folks who did the 787 / 777X wing are still on site. Langley is most likely full swing.

      • In my ‘calendar’, the time from formal go-ahead (official Programme Launch) till Roll-Out (presentation of FTV nº1) is assumed to take 5 years only – you are saying 6-7 years, I don’t think it will take all that long ?…. the rest is certification, ramp-up, initial programme marketing … these externally controlled phases are +/- incompressible, would Boeing want things to be otherwise or not … for BBD the C Series is heading for a timing of 12+ years TBC (ATO : March 2005), as they are far from reaching mature ramp-up …

        • 787 was projected to take 4 years from offer to EIS. Finally EIS was achieved after 7 years. Another 5 years later the project is still gnawing on its industrialisation bone.
          A350 made all the right stops on the way took rather long but seems to be “swinging”.

          ergo: anything below 7 years is fantasy or the making of another major trip up.

          • I disagree, Boeing has a lot of prep into this one, engineers available e as they are needed off the other programs.

            787 (or A380) are not poster childs for management caused issues not because they could not do it in a rational time frame.

            Will see of course. 737 is doing very good, KC46 is moving, 777X will tell us a lot.

      • I estimate 6-7 years because much fresh technology and knowledge is available and it’s a smaller aircraft. Assuming a high BPR Pratt GTF is an option, that helps too.

        The A380 flew in 4.5 yrs and got EASA/FAA certification in just 6 years. A major accomplishment fot such a Mega project. In hindsight of course.

      • MAX’ing a 753-type stretch to the 737 fuselage is not what I would refer to as a ‘clean-sheet’ design. Quite the opposite. This is the quick, easy and low cost avenue. No moonshot, no nonsense, the ‘pain perdu’ recipe again, doing the best with what’s at hand. New carbon wing, 737 cross, 787 nose (flight deck, systems, EEB …) wider MLG track = longer legs, cabin length = some 40m (similar to 753), higher BPR than A321, 15, maybe 16 with fan diameter apprx. 86″ (improving upon the NEO). But to excite the imagination of the Market, Boeing need to jump into a ‘Jack-in-the-Box’ disruptive APEX-boosting cabin accomodation, focussing on Shuttle service between big citypairs (BCN-MAD or PAR-MAR or JFK-DCA …), on LCC MOM routes (without airfreight) and taking head-on any other A321 type SMR application where airfreight is not tantamount, to restore the competitive situation vs the A32X cabin at APEX-level in the market.

        To crack this nut I see only one solution : H53QR MAX with 1+3+1 generously pitched in E+ and 1+2+1 in Premium !! It implies to leave Legacy MOM applications (combining pax with payfreight) to A321.

        The Motto “Know yourself, be yourself ” must hold and prevail for Boeing’s MOM, tweaking and PIP’ing it from the MAX-8. Yes, such a bird can be fixed and ready in MAX 6 years, easy, Transworld !

        • No one says its will be a 737, it might be but the word was all new.

          The virtual wagon is vaporware.

          • Even for the 737 MAX, a simple re-engining plus some minor tweaks, Boeing hasn’t been able to get the job done in less than 6 years. Go-ahead was decided in August 2011 and 1st flight happened last month, that’s 4 years and six months … EIS seems to be cleared for August 2017, with quasi instant ramp-up to … 42+ units/month —> total programme timeframe = 6 years. So for a clean-sheet MOM (some Fattie 2+3+2 ?) Boeing for sure will need well beyond 7 years, any other speculation is wishful thinking. The two other tweaking avenues (787-3 MAX ? or 767-2C MAX ?) might also be doable in 6 years, but these avenues won’t measure up to A322, the Airbus MOM Joker ! When Boeing MAX’ed the 737, they allowed themselves to be played into a corner, from where it will prove difficult to extract themselves, except at a serious loss of market share to Airbus’ favour over a time period of three years or more that Boeing’ll need to re-adjust !?

          • NEO and MAX timelines have been engine driven.
            ( obviously Boeing had to do a bigger job than Airbus in that available time. Looks like they have done their homework well.)
            Still going by what is visible the “engine”ers could have used some more stretch in time.

  14. 321neoLR and 330neo are what I would call disruptive innovations: They render the anticipated next all-new move of the competitor(s) un-economic by offering something that is cheap to design and build while offering a bit less, say 5%, of what an all-new product could bring in terms of performance.
    Boeing’s problem is that they do not have an existing platform suitable to counter this approach in the lower end of the market. The 737 cannot take large-fan egines while the market has rated the 330 design superior to the 767 ten years ago.

    I think the major threat to Boeing is not the 321neo, it is the 330neo. A 787 right now probably costs ~$50m more to produce. The 330neo is an affordable 787-8/787-3/767 replacement.

    • The A321 is ONE major threat. Its the breadwinner area for both A/B.

      The 767 out competed the A300/310, it was not an A330 competitor (or at the very low end). Could not be made to be one either.

      Still could do some damage with an NEO and winglets. Not on the radar so far but its possible as a one two punch combo.

      • You may remember that the A300 was the first aircraft designed by Airbus and over 500 were sold even after the millennium and not so welcomed by US airlines.

        The follow on aircraft was the A340 with 4 engines for longe ranges flights. The ETOPS granted for the 767 made the A330 possible.

        Did Boeing thought the 767 could finish Airbus and Airbus can’t do anything better?

    • @ Guru Josh, re your proposal that ” … The 737 cannot take large-fan engines … ” : what you are saying is incorrect, because tweaking the 737 to turn it into a 753 MAX assumes to move outwards the MLG articulations under the wing to stilt up the aircraft as much as needed to fit … higher BPR MAX engines with a fan diameter of 86″ or beyond. The MLG wheels will lodge into the same wheel-wells as before, but from further out. Simple and neat ! All you need is an inner wingplug. Gives more fuel capacity, which is OK for better reach …

      • I assume Airbus would love Boeing going this road. Safe for another 15 years. The capacity / engines are not the only 737 weak points.

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