Pontifications: Why the 787-8 is no longer favored by Boeing

Hamilton KING5_2

By Scott Hamilton

March 21, 2016, © Leeham Co: My Pontifications for the last two weeks examined how the Airbus and Boeing messaging continues to do battle for the product line ups. Boeing continues to denigrate the Airbus widebody line and Airbus fighting back, using Boeing’s own tactics alleging a product gap.

Boeing claims then A330neo is “dead on arrival” and the Airbus widebody strategy is “a mess.” Neither claim holds up under scrutiny. Certainly there is some weakness in the Airbus line: the A330-200 sales slowed to a trickle and the A330neo, especially the -800, has yet to truly advance. The A380 struggles and the A350-1000 is slow—but after the initial, unique splurge of the 777X, sales of this airplane have been anemic, too.

Airbus points out the sales of the 787-8 have dried up. So have sales of the 777-300ER, in sharp contrast to the unexpectedly strong sales for the A330ceo—enough so that Airbus is taking the production rate back up, to 7/mo, from the previously announced reduction to 6/mo.

Here’s why the 787-8 has become a dying sub-type.

Ranking 787 popularity

The 787-9 is clearly the go-to airplane. Sales of the 787-10 haven’t been a barn-burner, but the company counts on the airplane to contribute to profits. One can look to the 767 Family for an analogy.

The 767-200/ER was the launch for the program.

It was eclipsed by the 767-300/ER, which became the mainstay of this popular family.

The 767-400 was a sales dud, a further stretch of the -300/ER. Great for seat mile costs, but sub-par field and operational performance.

787-8 Orders 2014-2016

Click on image to enlarge.

The 787-8, with a little more than 400 sales, is hampered by the legacy of the production and design woes. Models through line #101 are sub-par, with weight, design and production issues. From line 102, the lessons learned and design changes combine to produce a good airplane. But these very design changes make the 787-8 different from the 787-9 and 787-10 when it comes to production, according to people familiar with the production system.

Boeing officials have been pretty up-front that they prefer selling the more profitable, higher margin -9/10 than the low-margin (and some believe still unprofitable) -8.

An analyst on the year-end earnings call put his finger on the issue when he asked Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg why Boeing hasn’t adopted separate block accounting for the 787-8 and the 787-9/10 to separate out the presumed money-losing -8 from the widely accepted premise that the -9/10 are the money-makers. Muilenburg didn’t give a detailed answer, responding in generalities that Boeing had looked at the idea and concluded the total program accounting was the way to go.

All 787 Orders 2004-2016

Click on image to enlarge.

According to our Market Intelligence, there are enough differences between the production of the -8 and that of the -9/10 that Boeing essentially is building two different airplanes. The -9/10 are about 90% common, but—depending on who’s doing the talking—the -8 may only be about 40% common to the -9.

Whatever the actual numbers are for commonality and per-sub-type costs and profits, the fact is Boeing doesn’t want to sell the -8. Using the Ascend data base, the last time I looked last year, there were no deliveries scheduled for the -8 after 2020. According to one insider, who has since left the company, Boeing expected at best to build one -8 per month from 2020 to fulfill the need for a route-development airplane.

The A330neo

As for the A330neo, for which sales were few and far between last year, Airbus officials were focused on selling the CEO to fill the production gap. This year the focus is on the NEO. Conclusions can be drawn as this year draws to a close.

I firmly believe the A330-800 will be a niche airplane, for long-thin routes, just as the A330-200 became. “LR” airplanes—like the 777-200LR, and before it the 747SP, the Douglas DC-8-62 and after it the 777-8—don’t have and won’t have a great number of sales. The bread-and-butter A330neo will clearly be the A330-900. John Leahy, chief operating officer of customers for Airbus, said at ISTAT to watch the Farnborough Air Show for a likely announcement on increased MTOW and range for the -900. He wouldn’t specify the potential range improvement, but I’m betting it will match the 787-10; by Boeing’s numbers, the -900 is only 165nm short of the -10’s range.

When you consider that the -900 can be purchased for tens of millions of dollars less than Boeing wants for the -10 (the common figure cited is $140m for the -10, and $100m for the -900), the -900 is a highly competitive airplane. In fact, Airbus sold more A330-900s (176) than Boeing has sold 787-10s (162) despite a later start by a couple of years.

(I will note that the -10 carries 60 more passengers than the -900, but since Boeing chooses to compare the two airplanes for range, a comparison I think is nonetheless bogus, I’ll follow Boeing’s lead for the sales comparison.)

We’ll see just how well the NEO does this year. But I don’t expect a large number of sales for the -800. It’s the “LR” niche for Airbus.


85 Comments on “Pontifications: Why the 787-8 is no longer favored by Boeing

  1. A quite startling lack of commonality! Is that more a reflection of evolution of the product from the early overweight examples or a conscious design choice? I have posted before that I believe a thread or pontification on the in service efficiency/ reliability would be very interesting comparative to existing in service products. It is interesting how little headlines the b787 and I am assuming no news is good news

  2. Hello Scott
    Can we say that 787-9/-10 is 787 Mark II, where 787-8 is 787 Mark I
    Due to structural differences (gear bay area notably) 787-8 can’t be built to the Mark II standard, is that it ?

    A330-200/800 can still be used for tankers, other military derivatives (AEW) and freighter (don’t laugh :D)

    Best regards

    • So 787-8 sales have dried up and the A330-800 has a grand total of 10 sales. Looks like there is a giant hole between the A321 and 737-900 on the lower end and the A330-900, 787-9 on the upper end for both A & B.

      What to fill it with, a 767 is the only thing that exists in that range. How about a new aircraft Boeing or Airbus (not likely given the costs), or an A322 stretch (a major product if you want it to have any range) or even more expensive if you want a 737-1000 in that range. A 767 update given the cost of the alternatives, might be the only reasonable way to partially fill the hole in the next decade or decade and half.

      • Updating the 767 would be the next major strategic mistake Boeing could make. They would waste lots of money and time on another model that could easily killed by a “real” new contender in that market.
        From all the strategic mistakes that Boeing has done in the past decades one thing can be learned: Real success can not be had cheap!
        I agree that no optimal plane is available between the A321 and the 787-9, but how to fill it?
        The higher strength of CFRP allows to build a useful longer body, so a single-isle MOM would have to go for that. With a smaller twin-isle you could stick to Al-Li for significant lower production cost. Both planes would have to have CFRP wings and a GTF engine.
        So some serious investment to make and far reaching decisions. Between A and B, who will be making what? If you look at the product portfolio, maybe for Airbus they will need a A330neo replacement at some point, so maybe they will go that way. For Boeing it is obvious that they have to do something about the larger twins anyway, so maybe they will start such a 757 and 737-9/10 replacement (and serious A321 competitor). The question for Boeing would be if they shall come up with a 787-8 Mark II before of after that.
        One of the key questions (besides finance and engineering) would be the availability of the right engines, I am sure.

      • A310 : has in contrast to the 767 the perfect cross section 🙂

        A MOM needs to have at least equivalent cost to the next larger regular twin aisle airframe.
        The 767 at the time lost out due to being uncompetitive to the A330.
        There aren’t enough PIPs available to pimp the 767 ( or any other new twin aisle airframe of that fuselage arrangement to compete with the established types.

        The gap is there for a reason. And that reason is not “because Airbus is too dump” or “Boeing didin’t stoop enough yet”.

      • I don’t know why they are talking about 767 or 787 when the best airplane mother of all mothers is the 747-8 it’s iconic born before it’s time reliable and everyone copied from Boeing first the 707 then the 747 with all do respect I give airbus an a for coming out with superb planes my vagorite a340-600 I think it’s one of airbus co.best plane ever made not only smart but good looking plane when I fly over seas I make sure I fly a 4 ingine plane they can say what they want I think a 4 Ingine plane like the 747-8 is the safest plane in the world

  3. So an A330neo sells for 40m less than a 787 while the latter has to recover 30m of deferred production cost per airplane? Ouch!!!

  4. Boeing is on quote that 85% of 787-9 parts are changed compared to 787-8 – in form, function, or assembly.

    • I agree it must be 85% at least – 40% makes ZERO sense, when you consider the fuselage is the same, just a different number of sections, the wings AND the engines are the same, the flight deck is the same, I could go on and on. Where did this author get 40% anyway? Sounds like an uneducated off-the-cuff comment.

      • @Term Limits

        Sounds like an uneducated off-the-cuff comment.

        Given @Term’s background in restaurant franchise development, I’m not sure this remark is grounded in any more than an off-the-cuff comment.

  5. I think… Airbus should developed a 330-900 Stretch (50-60 more seats), a true 777-300 (not ER) replacement…

  6. I sketched a A333NEO stretch some time ago (8 yrs). It seems it might be feasible if it e.g. frees up A350-1000/-8000 slots. We have yet to see how important commonality will be for the operators of the 1000, partly aging, A330s flying around today.


    It seems logical to me that if Boeing delivered the current batch of 787-8s, they will take a look at a new 787-8 NG, that is 90% common to the then latest 787-9/10 standard. Maybe stretch it 2 m/rows in the process to enhance market attractiveness / set it apart from a MoM / the A332NEO.

    • Boeing most likely intially priced the 787-8 too low to kill off the A330 hoping for a steep Learning curve and cost reduction. As they have 2 sites it is not so easy to drive cost reductions and Boeing buy alot from “partners” to fixed prizes. Boeing prized the 787-9 more correctly and most likely later “corrected” the 787-8 price to stop the bleeding and now most operators think the 787-9 is the best option before the 787-10 becomes available. Boeing must keep the lines humming but at the same time get cost reductions in. Airbus is most likely in for the same ride racking up losses for the first 200-400 planes. Still they benefit from Boeings struggle and can copycat alot of solutions.

  7. Using what limited public (free) sources I can find it seems the 330-900 seems not only competative with the 787-10 but also the 350-900.

    Looking at the numbers (from wiki) it seems to be very competative with all three aircraft…

    287 (3-class), 7,750 nmi range

    330 (2-class), 6,430 nmi range

    325 (typical), 7,750 nmi range

    2016 list prices (from companies websites)

    330-900… 287.7 million
    350-900… 308.1 million
    787-10x… 275 million

    Of course these are list prices but is Airbus really discounting about two thirds off the list for the 330-900?

    Of course Leeham has more accurate numbers via their resources but it seems, at least casually, that the 330-900 is quite a killer.

    • My understanding is that list prices can’t be compared directly because the price for Boeing is without any interiors and Airbus includes the standard one (or at least part of it)

    • I think I have discovered a typo for the 33-900 NEO in your comparison (assuming you got your numbers from Wikipedia):

      287 (3-class), 6,550 nmi (not 7,750 nmi) range

      330 (2-class), 6,430 nmi range

      325 (typical), 7,750 nmi range

      Additionally the 787-9
      290 (2-class), 7,635 nmi range

      Thus there is the 350-900 & 787-9 both with above 7,635 nmi range, but with the 350-900 carrying a few more pax. Then there is the A330-900 NEO and 787-10 with somewhat similar ranges but with the 787-10 carrying quite a few more pax.

      But I don’t see the A350-900 and A330-900 being comparible when neither range (corrected?) nor pax count nor cost are at all the same.

      • You are right Aero Ninja, thanks for the catch.
        While they are not identical aircraft the the 330-900 is close enough that it most likely will siphon off some buys for the 350-900 who might not need quite the capacity or range and would have had the (much cheaper) choice without the 330-900.

        • But the point I am trying to make is that the 787-10, having the same pax count as the A350-900 but the same range as the A330-900, is more likely to suffer than the A350-900.
          Since the A350-900 has a significantly higher capacity AND range than the A330-900, I don’t see the A350-900 losing many orders to the A330-900 that you do. No matter how one wishes to look at it, the 787-10 and A330-900 are significantly more similar than the A350-900 and A330-900 and as such, these two (A330-900 and 787-10) will come into competition much more often than the two Airbus aircraft with one another.

          • Well I never wrote that they were equally vulnerable I was just making the point that it likely will siphon some sales from the 350-900.
            For instance since the year the 330-900neo was launched it has acquired 176 orders, the 350-1000 has 28 orders but twelve of those were cancelled by TAP Portugal for 14 330-900neos. The 787-10 has had 8 orders during that with no cancellations for airlines switching to the 330neo-900.
            No there is no way of knowing if any 787-10s (or 350-900a) were lost to the 330-900neo but there is direct evidence that one sizable 350-900 was.
            In the end it comes down to the size of the market (greater range, fewer passengers, lower cost, higher operating cost compared to the 787-10) will be taken by the 330-900neo. None of this will change the fact that the 330-900neo has and most likely will continue to take orders from the 350-900.

  8. I wonder whether it would make sense to shrink the -9 back to -8 size with a common MTW. Such an aircraft would have ultra-long range capability or be able to do long range routes with full cargo. It would benefit from the improvements made in the -9 and reduced production cost due to parts commonality.

    • The extra seats is how the planes are priced. Boeing would lose out on the extra revenue , so that wont be on offer. Its in Boeings financial interest to sell the more expensive plane.

      • Some effort being made in congress to mandate minimum seating space.

        It may not come soon but it will come.

        • Does the single congressman pushing this have 250 co-sponsors ? If not it wont happen, the airlines have crafty lobbyists to make sure things like this with only limited support- ie money- go away.

          Passengers have been squeezed since the 737 crammed in six abreast compared to the more spacious 5 across DC-9. Hasnt affected a travel boom much, as all ways more space is available- for a price.

          • I suppose it is a question of which kind of space. Are we talking pitch, width or both?
            If it is pitch, it might have a very slight chance of passing. If it concerns legislating minimum seat width, I don’t see it happening as it would negatively affect potential Boeing sales (vis a vis 737, 777 and 787).
            That is, assuming any such legislation would mandate something more than what is the minimum at present. If they use the minimum as their base for the future, then neither OEM would be affected going forward. At least, I don’t think so.

          • Safety considerations – as do ergonomics for the population of Flight Attendants – speak in favor of suppressing quintuples or triples installed against a wall-panel, to the overall effect that no more should any seat in an aircraft cabin be more than one seat away from the safety of an aisle for quick egress, the immediate boon to the Flight Attendant being no more stress and MSD (musculo-skeletal disorders) as all seats are within easy reach, with better ergonomics and improved face-to-face inflight service empathy to the passenger. I expect Lobbying efforts in this direction to prosper quickly, as improved cabin Safety and curing professional ails are obvious legitimate motives.

  9. Maybe the A330-800 could be favored as a LCC widebody? Most LCC does not currently do long haul, and most does not use widebodies. If Airbus would offer an OEM configured and optimized frame for LCC, including interiors etc., I think that the A330-800 at 9-abrest could be a very competitive offering. The range would also drop with more payload and therefore less fuel onboard, so this aircraft would in that configuration not be a LR-frame like the 787-8/777-200LR etc.

    When the A330-800 is compared with the 787-8 it is always 8-abreat against 9-abrest seating. In a LCC configuration, the A330-800 could very well have 9-abrest seating. The A330-800 could take around 360 to maybe 380 seats in a realistic 1-class LCC configuration. The -900 would not be as suitable for this type of configuration as it would become rather large and would not be able to do long haul with payload of that size.

    Maybe the 787-8 and A330-800 does not share the same destiny after all?

    • I flew an a330-200 DUB-MCO in 9-abreast on Monarch (charter airline). It was perfectly fine, although 8 abreast is obviously nicer.

      I’m with you totally that, as LCCs go long-haul and copy Norwegians lead, the a330 will suit those routes/capital investments in a premium econ/comfort econ/basic econ offering… Door 1-2… 2-3… 3-4 etc.

      As always… Love the a330… So long nay it sell. Benefits from being a well supported aircraft too… So when things go wrong… They’re easier to sort and fix.

      • So an A330 at 9 abreast is fine at a 16.4 inch seat, but the world comes to an end and people shout “no way in hell I’m flying” in a 10 abreast 777 or 9 abreast 787?

        • Expectations on an LCC vs. BA/AF etc. with cramped seating etc. are different. Buying a cheap ticket for a knowingly cramped/tight seat is okay. Buying a not so cheap (and often expensive) ticket for a similarly cramped seat on a non-LCC is kinda infuriating.

          • coach is coach. it is awful no matter what airline or airplane you are on, and in my experience generally less awful on LCCs than Legacies (at least in the US where Legacy airlines are unimaginably horrible)

            but it is a race to the bottom. eventually all coach will be ryanair/spirit airlines level of horrible, but really there isn’t that much further to go for most airlines from where they are today.

    • I’ve never flown a 9 abreast A330 or A340. because they are hard to find. I know another charter TUI / Thomas Cook moved from 9 to 8 abreast recently.

      I see often people mentioning 9 abreast A330 or 10 abreast A350 to “justify” 10 abreast 777 or 9 abreast 787.

      The reality hardly any airline operates it while the Boeing 787 and 777 are moving 9 and 10 abreast all / mostly, doesn’t really matter. “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story” It’s all about perception these days.

      • Cebu and AirAsiaX use the current 330 in 9-abreast… LCC fares to move folks around. It works… If you feel you’re getting a good deal. Customer knows… Isn’t deceived by bigger brands that pretty much offer a similarly cramped product on 777 for example.

  10. As GEO states, the A330-900 and A350-900 have overlap for a number of missions / customers.

    The A330 still has reserves in payload/range / MTOW, stemming from its A340-300 roots. Airbus even has center gears on the shelve 🙂 It’s “overwinged”.


    The A333NEO is hardly “competing” with the A350-900, because they are “fighting” for the same bottom line / Leahy. He can tweak discounts / conditions to steer airlines to A330NEO or A350, depending on what fits his interest best over time.

    He can e.g. offer a big A330 operator (China Eastern, AA, Cathay, Turkish) a proposal they can’t refuse if that’s best for Airbus longer term WB strategy. If only to force Boeing to go rock bottom on 787’s.


  11. Agree there is a difference between getting really cheap fare on LCC and paying high fare for lousy seating on a full service carrier. I have found the best layouts to be the 767 (2-3-2) and the A330 (2-4-2) At all costs avoid the 10 abreast 777, but I believe the vast majority of 777s are now being sold in this configuration.Long live the 767!

  12. I am pretty shocked that if the 787-8 is even only 50% common

    All the weight saving retrofits should pass back into the 787-8.

    Early models would be the most non complaint, latter ones though.

    They are giving up the laminar tails.

    Certainly take Scott at his word, he has the best sources. Still a shock. It should be the same 80% or better that the -10 is to the -9

  13. This is another reason why a 767 MAX, (Genx -2b engines, aero tweaks), as the MOM solution, might actually work. The MOM is no longer between the 321 and the 788/332, but between the 321 and the 789/333neo. Their OEW is getting close to 100,000lbs heavier than a 762 or 3.

    There is no way that a 767 MAX couldn’t undercut the 333neo by at least the same margin that the 333neo will undercut the 789.

    Under 3000nm, the 321neo would have a marginal CASM advantage, but over that, it starts shedding payload, and the 767 would take over. Even below 3000nm, it still has an advantage that it can carry at least 30% more passengers in similar configurations.

    • Modeling this would be interesting as well as where break points are for fuel costs.

      New wing as well and you can really go to town? Cost vs return.

      How much weight could you cut if you went composite tail?

      Is it competitive for the next 20 years?

      • I would forget about a new wing. That alone would add another billion or so to the price tag. Any efficiency gains would be offset by the cost.

        On the other hand, I’m sure there are plenty of add on aero tweaks that could make the old bird slick enough; split scimitars, hybrid laminar flow, new wing root fairings, etc.

        If they take that billion or more in savings and take it off the purchase price, that increases the price advantage of the plane plus drastically reduces time to market.

        The big advantage Boeing has with the 767 as MOM, is that it is already in service, and almost everything needed for the upgrade is already in production and certified.

        They could undercut the 330neo/788 by at least the price of a new 321neo. There’s no way they couldn’t beat the bigger planes on trip costs…not having that extra 90-100,000lbs to lug around every flight, and they’ll beat the 321neo on flights over 3000nm.

        Like I said below 3000nm, the advantage of the 767max would be being able to take more people per flight. The 321neo has better casm hauling 220 people, (or 240 circus clowns), 3000nm….but how does it do at 240-300…at any range?

        Since the engines are of the latest generation, the 767max would remain competitive as long as the current crop of airliners will.

        • Not to mention like the A330 (or more so) its tooling is all paid for!

        • Yes that would be really smart. Or would it? Just assume Boeing would really make that decision, bind themselves to just another half-new cheap solution again…
          Couple months later we will see Leahy present the A360 (A330-successor) with CFRP wings, Al-Li body and geared engines, to be delivered maybe only 3-4 years after the 767 zombie.
          Then what?

    • Joe mentions the A321 would have marginally lower CASM then a 767 NEO, I think it would be significant. Tripcost of the A321 are very sharp, it weighs so much less and is in mass production.

      However the observation a 767 could carry at least 30% more passengers is relevant. Capacity is mostly more important for an airline than marginal cost. Airbus could grow the A321 in payload-range, but not that much.


      • That’s the thing about the 767max as perfect for the MOM. It is almost exactly in the middle between the 321neo and 332neo/788, in every benchmark; size, weight, range, trip costs and price.

      • The 767-Max has to be 8-abreast to work well. However by lowering the main deck and givin up LD2 capacity this would work fine. In such a configuration I could see it be a considerably sucess.

        • A 767MOM at 8 abreast has to compete against an A330R at 9 abreast with LD3 capability.

          What should make a 767 MOM today give a advantage over the aircraft that forced Boeing to build the 787?

          Boeing could build a 787 MOM – the deferred 787-3.

          I can tell you from personal experience 8 abreast o a 767 is hell after one hour. It is quite a difference to slice the space for anadditional seat fom just 7 instead of 8 seats.

          • That’s why I said they have to lower the main deck. The 767-fuse is unique with a comperatively high main deck:


            This was done for LD2 capability which never really was exepted. By lowering the main deck and cutting out a few inches from the inner walls of the 767 you could get 8-abreast at about 10-abreast 77W compfort level, and only slightly below 787 at 9-abreast.

            You will only have LD3/45 for cargo, but that’s not a problem IMO.

            The 767Max can work, but only as 8-abreast IMO.

          • It seems lowering the deck on the, by then, 40 yr old 767 creates as much problems as it solves. On top of that, Boeing seems past the stage they could ignore the NEO/MAX situation and focus on a dedicated MoM design.

            A -competitive- 180 seat <1500NM capable design must be part of the deal by now. Not a cheap shrink nobody that doesn't sell. And it must be able to handle the lower part of the MoM gap, besting a (potential) A322 in terms of payload, range, cargo and handling.

            I think a twin aisle 2-3-2 MoM will have a hard time beating a A321 in it's payload range territory. A long, wider narrow body might be the best compromise.

            For short and long flights, 2 wing configurations should be considered. The time of compromised one fits all's are behind us.



            It could combine single aisle efficiency with improved aisle pass by and fuselage stiffness (CRFP)/ stretch flexibility.

            The MS21 cross section comes closest. Irkut is planning a 150ft MS-21-400 "MoM-ski". Maybe Bjorn can extrapolate some numbers?

          • @dare100em

            As you can see from the drawing of the cross-section in your link, the 767 has a double-bubble geometry where the upper lobe is tied together to the lower lobe by the fuselage floor. Thus lowering the floor is a non-starter.

          • The 767 in its present form is not really competetive with a A321LR on maintenance cost per pax as you can fly a A321 around 15000 cycles before dropping itsEngines. The CF6 or GEnX is not made that way as they are long range Engines. But if the 767MAX lost up to 10 tons empty weight a better wing with switch of Alloys and have a lower MTOW just for 4500nm range. Then the GEnX-2B Engines could last a good time on wing, the stress on landing gears and nacelles get reduced and you are in the A321LR cost per seat/mile with much better comfort and turn times in addition a durable freighter. For hot and high you can let the GEnX’s rev up to give you desired thrust. The A330ceo is fatter with older Engines and the A330neo much heavier. Otherwise Boeing has to order a 6″ wider 737 fuselage compared to the A321 (1″ wider per seat) from Wichita that can go by train to Renton. Then fit a new wingbox, wings, Engines, landing gears, APU and tail for $15 bn development and 2025 delivery.

          • OV99:

            About as much of a non started as double decking an A350!

            Don’t poke holes in the guys dreams man.

          • @ TransWorld/OV-099

            There was talk about lowering the main deck of the 767 and cutting a few inch of the some time ago and it was not my idea nor a “dream” of a guy a A-net.

            The 767 main-for hasn’t to be lowered by half a meter, the connection with the “double-bubble” hasn’t to be altered either (the last few inches near the sidewalls could by “higher”. Even without lowering the main deck by just cutting 2-3″ from the sidewalls would be “enough” to make it compfortable enough for trips up to 8 hours with today standarts. There are existing 767 flying with 8-abreast, it’s not a vodoo-thing from myself!

            And regarding “dreams”, a 767-Max is one of the cheapest possible awnsers to the MOM considering the tanker project and existing line. Anythings else including a 737 “Mad-max” is much more effort.

            An A350 with two decks is insane, but thanks for attacking…

          • taking a page from Keesej and posting concept pics..

            it’s time for a radical rethink.

            for a MOM a “horizontal double bubble” with bubble diameter based on A320 dimensions results in a 20 row twin aisle 200 seat aircraft (really short) with side by side LD3-45 and lift generating fuselage. excellent turn times due to the really short fuse and twin aisles, low frontal area (compared to any single tube design)


          • The guys who design a horizontal double bubble that is lighter than a circular 8 abreast gets the Nobel price for structural design.

          • @dare100em

            With all due respect, I cant’t see how it’s an “attack” to point out that “lowering the floor” — as you indicated in the post above — is a non-starter on a double-bubble fuselage.

            BTW, verbally aggressive messages involving attempts of ridicule is a typical trait of the troll with the ex-airline nickname.

            Now, re-profiling floor beams and/or frames is not the same as “lowering of the floor” – at least in my opinion. It would be a relatively straight-forward undertaking to lower floor beams in a circular fuselage, though, such as the the 222-inch diameter A300/A330 fuselage and the 244-inch diameter 777 fuselage.


            An A350 with two decks is insane, but thanks for attacking…

            Then, perhaps you could elaborate on how an A350-1000 derived aircraft — with a 40 seat delta on the 777-9 — would fit into the ground infrastructure of most airports if it’s stretched by more than 10 metres over the A350-1000, and having a significantly larger wheelbase.

          • @Keesje (sorry for the misspelling earlier)

            weight would be comparable because overall fuselage length would be 20% shorter for a given seating capacity vs an 8 wide tube, drag would be reduced due to less frontal area (about 10% less) and beneficial lift from the fuselage would be greatly increased, resulting in an overall improvement in L/D.

            going the double bubble route is also more structurally efficient than a wide (or high) oval and has the bonus attribute of providing significant volume outside the pressure vessel (in the “dip” where the two bubbles meet) for mounting all sorts of systems traditionally installed in drag inducing blisters and gear fairings in ways that would not only reduce drag, but improve lift.

          • further, the concept I shared, with canard layout and rearset overwing engines allows for very short and therefore light landing gear without restricting takeoff angle. this reduces weight further.

            also, the canard/rearset overwing engine layout is geared towards midship boarding, further reducing turn time over a traditional single or twin aisle design.

            imagine it, a 200 seat aircraft where you are never more than 10 rows from the primary boarding door and effectively 4 aisles feeding off of it. combined with the LD3-45 compatibility this would be a turn time dream for LCCs.

          • Reducing the diameter of the lower fuselage lobe to encompass not anymore LD2 x 2 but only AKH – deemed sufficient and a more familiar ULD on the market – would be a weight-saver for a 767MAX revival, for possible application as a MOM platform ?

    • Much as I would like the B767 to be the basis of MOM I don’t see it. All I am seeing is more are more of MOM territory going SA. The MOM market is being driven from below with more and more 4 hour++ flights becoming SA.

      if Airbus want to do it they can have an A322 for relatively little cash depending on what they decide to do. They could however do nothing given their A321LR is the best of what is currently available. Why invest in a niche, even a quite sizeable niche if you already will gain the vast majority of sales anyway.

      Boeing has a strategic dilemma and it is clear this is not getting easier over time. I wonder if there is someone sifting through the local dump trying to see whether the discarded jigs for the B757 are still useable.

  14. I will say I continue to find it ironic (maybe ludicrous is better word) that in one case Boeing compares the 737-900/9 to the A321/NEO when it is really not (just the closest thing they have)

    Then flip it around and compare their larger 787-10 to the smaller A330 (range per Scott) but I would expect economics as well (even if you don’t have those extra passengers need).

    Kind of like you start out with a spec for a row boat and wind up with an ocean liner, with me waving his arms saying, but, but , but I only need to get across the bay with one person!

    Werid stuff indeed (and inconsistent)

    Also of note, the 787-10 sales are slow as well.

    I think its market reality of what’s available when as well as slow downturn in orders in general not to mention a lot of cheap used A330s and 767s coming into the market. .

    • I don’t find it ironic at all. In fact, as a spokesperson for Boeing, he is merely doing his job. If I had a sales person that did anything less than sell my products as the best thing since the first coming of Christ, he’d be fired.

      • Whooa Nelly!

        We are discussion the message not the messenger.

        • Sorry, man. It wasn’t intended as a shot, merely as an explanation. He’s a salesman. If he says the sky is blue, I’d get my eyes checked.

          He’s just doing his job. If pushing his company’s different products means completely contradicting himself, he, (like any good salesman), will do it without a single qualm.

          Caveat emptor,

          • Not an issue, but again, its not RT we are talking about, its the statements that he is fed from Boeing and the implications that are being discussed.

            If they believe that stuff then they are deluded. As propaganda when everyone laughs at what you are putting out its self inflicted wounds.

            There has to be some plausibility to what you put out to take at all seriously.

            I always thought the original Randy did a much better job, maybe he had the authority to tell them they were being silly.

    • Which of these four aircraft that compete with each other is depend on intended use. Are the carrier looking for a particular size or an aircraft that can do long haul without significant restrictions pax/cargo? Hot and high performance required? Cargo capability at max pax load? Ultra long haul or medium-long haul?

      A350-900 vs. 787-9
      Same range/performance, different pax capability.

      A350-900 vs. 787-10
      Different range/performance, similar pax capability.

      A330-900 vs. 787-9
      Different range/performance, similar pax capability.

      A330-900 vs. 787-10
      Same range/performance, different pax capability.

      Using an aircraft that is capable of doing long to ultra-long missions, will carry a significant penalty when used for short to medium range missions.

      And comparing the larger models:

      777-8 vs. A350-900 ULR
      Same range/performance, different pax capability.

      777-8 vs A350-1000
      Different range/performance, similar pax capability.

      777-9 vs. A350-1000
      Same range/performance, different pax capability.

      777-9 vs. A350-1100 (may be launched at Farnborough)
      Different range/performance, similar pax capability.

      • And I say again on these comment threads… It’s not the size… It’s what you [they] do with it. Different strokes for different folks. Airlines match each aircraft to the routes and pax they fly. No good having a hog when you need a scooter, or a bus when you need a van.

        Nice post 🙂

        • Actually that is not true.

          They take an average. If you need a long haul, they will also use it on some short hauls.

          Emirates at one time was running an A380 to NZ from Oz as it sat in Oz overnight and they put it to use.

          Obvioulsy if you can narrow it down and have a good match.

          But we see 737/A320 that can fly transconainal running 500-700 mile stage lengths as well. Oringaly it was subm 2000 mile (mayb e even 1500)

          Same with the fuel users, you don’t just change the whole fleet in a year, you do it over time moving the fuel users to the most efficiency you get them on, but they can fill in for AOG if needed.

          Again its all a balancing act and seldom do you have the perfect match for a route.

          Lufthansa claims they do , but they never picked up 777s which would have been a better choice than the A340s. The so called Horses for Courses thing.

          • Emirates runs 3 A380s a day to NZ (+ a 777). It wasnt an overnight thing but used down time during the day to leave Australia in evening.
            They were helped by NZ giving 5th freedom rights between the two countries, which many other airlines take advantage of.

    • From Leeeham news 2012…

      “The new outbreak of ad wars between Airbus and Boeing is viewed largely with eye-rolling and disdain that two world-class companies are behaving like two year olds.
      Nobody, but nobody we talked with believes the public numbers advanced by either Airbus or Boeing.”

      Nothing ever changes.

  15. I think the real issue for boeing is the a350. Yes airbus will sell about 400-500 a330neo. But the a350 is proving to be something special. The a350-900 was 3 tonne overweight but still met its specification. Within a year of going into service the a350 -900ULR and a350 -900HGW are announced together with the Trent XWB EP. This is unprecedented for these announcements usually come a significant number of years after entering service.

    My guess is that it is the a350 -1000. Two years before service entry they have guaranteed the specification – again unprecedented

    Reading between the lines, they have taken the weight out and have done a number of other improvements using the a350 -1000 design process as the vehicle improvements. The a350 -8000 appears to be straight forward. My guess is that it will match the 777X -9 in passenger numbers and range but with 30 tonnes of less weight and therefore a very big difference in fuel burn.

    The three versions will take on both the 787 and 777X. Very interesting times

    • I agree. I think airbus’ ability and willingness to continuously optimize it’s air-frames beyond their spec’s bodes well for the company in the long-run.

      The a350 [whatever model] today will a much more capable machine as the years tick by. The original a330-300 is nearly twice as capable in terms of range as the original aircraft – tht’s just amazing considering it’s pretty much the same frame and wings combo.

    • The 737-9 is hampered by rotation angle and small fans. Seems like the A350-8000 will be a similar scenario.

      • Yes, Airwise I think wrote it up and it had its issues. Not a clam dunk, will see if I can find it.

      • How many A350-1000+ will fly from a regional airport with a short runway?

      • With a comparable interior and IFE and all that other jazz
        that is mandatory today?

  16. This is a reply to Phillip. Airbus fan boys are not rational sometimes. There is no way A350 series can take on two model successfully. The A350-1000 will be the most successful. People compare it to 777W but it is ten percent smaller in real estate. It is marginally shorter by 2 feet and the cabin is 11 inches narrower. Airlines are going to configure it for 270- 320 seats. 777W are configured for 300 to 360. Do not go with both OEM configurations. Go with what airlines did in the real world. You will find the extreme 400 plus seater.

    • I am not a fanboy of anything but you are guilty of exactly the opposite when you downgrade the configuration of a typical A351. Current configuration of the A359 is hovering around 300 and as such we would expect the A351 to be of the order of 340-350. Note also some of the current configurations on the A359 are Business Heavy.

      The B777 will carry more as I feel the real estate argument is too true and they will become more intensely specced going forward

      • “The B777 will carry more ..”

        777X _must_ carry more. Otherwise the seat mile cost thing does not work as advertised.

  17. Running a company that builds aircrafts is not something that requires taktical, but strategical skills. Every decision that is made today has consequences that reach far into the future. And of course you have to have a very clear picture of your competitors, its particular strength and weaknesses, just as you have to look out for available technologies and your customers.
    Even a short-term-profit-oriented management at Boeing understood that there is nothing to gain by trying to resurrect the 767. Everything! speaks against it. Which does not mean that a similarly sized aircraft might be a good solution.
    Carbon fiber allows to make a longer single isle plane efficient, and by increasing the diameter a bit you not only get long-range compatible 3+3 seating but also a somewhat wider isle for faster boarding and catering. Any similar sized twin-isle will have no chance against such a plane in efficiency.
    This means an entirely new plane, and the question really is if the Boeing management now has the guts to aim for exactly that “moon-shot”. You remember that term was used not too long ago to discredit those people at Boeing that were no so short sighted and probably dared speaking up against the oh-so-wise pocket fillers.

  18. This is a reply to Daveo. I’m retired but I’m an aeronautical engineer.

    Airbus are offering gaurantees befor entry to service. This is unprecedented. This means thay are not offering the usual airy fairy stuff. If Airbus are wrong it will cost them billions in compensation.

    Initial reaction by the airlines to the a350 is also unprecendented. This didn’t happen with he 787

    I’m reading between the lines, but as I said times are i nterestngw

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