Is there an NMA gap?

By Bjorn Fehrm

March 21, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: The NMA (New Mid-range Aircraft), or, as it’s called more and more, the Boeing 797, is hot. The potential buyers at the recent ISTAT meeting in San Diego urged Boeing to take the decision and get it done.

At the same meeting Airbus responds, “Any NMA gap is covered. Our A321neo and A330-800 is available and and no new aircraft is needed.”

Time to look at who’s right. Is there an NMA gap or not? Is there a difference in how Airbus’ and Boeing’s product lineups cover the market?

Present lineups

When Airbus and Boeing present their present product lines, all seems well. Both cover the market with well-positioned aircraft, be it single-aisle or wide-body, Figure 1. The overlapping coverage in seat capacity is reassuring.

Figure 1. Typical Airbus lineup picture. Source: Airbus.

Boeing now more and more admits there is a gap. This is where it wants to sell the NMA. Could the gap be that the present largest single aisle, 737 MAX 9, stops at 220 seats and the next model, 787-8, starts at 240 seats? Or is the gap that the MAX 9 only flies 3,500nm and the 787 flies north of 7,300nm?

Airbus tells us that the A321LR covers the market up to 240 seats and flies 4,000nm. It says the A330-800 starts at 250 seats and flies as far as you want, more than 7,000nm. So what’s the problem?

Apples and Oranges

The problem is that this is all Apples and Oranges. The single-aisle aircraft are presented with domestic two-class cabins (180 seats for MAX 9 and 194 seats for A321neo) or even high-density cabins (220 seats for the MAX 9 and 240 seats for the A321LR).

At the same time, the wide-bodies are presented with long range two-class cabins, which have business seats taking up to three times the space of the equivalent single-aisle seat. And they weigh four times more. Further, the range presented is not with the presented seat differences. It’s with the typical configurations where the seat counts between narrow-body and wide-body are far apart.

Apples to Apples

If we equip all compared aircraft with the same seat standard, the true seat gaps surface.

The A330-800 and 787-8 hold around 240 seats with our normalized long-range two class configuration. Normalized means: we keep the relationship the same between business class seats and economy seats, around 15% business of all seats.

It also means that all passengers, be it narrow-body or wide-body, can get their second meal before reaching the long-range destination. We have the same number of serving trays per passenger irrespective if you fly an A321LR or 787-8 over the Atlantic. And the same number of passengers per lavatory.

With the same stringent rules giving 240 seats for an A330-800 or 787-8, we can pack 153 passengers in an A321LR, an eye-opening margin from the standard two- class 194 seats, let alone 240. The MAX 9 is no better; it houses a paltry 142 seats.


The high-density configuration is the bragging configuration for single-aisle aircraft. Airbus boasts it can transport 240 people in an A321LR. Yes you can, at 28-inch pitch with slimline seats. And the 240 passengers share three lavatories, Figure 2. This makes 80 passengers per lavatory. Normal is 40.

Figure 2. Airbus A321neo Space Flex cabin holding 240 passengers. Source: Airbus.

If we use the same comfort standard when packing an A330-800 or 787-8, we get north of the 380 passenger exit limit of the A330-800 in the aircraft (the 787-8 exit limit is 420 seats).

At these densities, none of the aircraft flies their advertised range. The A321LR stops at 3,300nm and the 787-8 at 6,000nm.

The NMA gap

There is a real seat capacity gap in the market. In Apples-to-Apples comparisons, it’s around 100 seats. This gap doesn’t change much if we measure with Long-range , Domestic or High-density rules.

As long as we measure consistently across all different aircraft models there is a gap of around 100 seats in the Boeing lineup. And we find roughly the same gap in the Airbus product range, give or take 10 seats.

120 Comments on “Is there an NMA gap?

  1. would be good to see a table of your results by model, seat count and range

  2. I think the A338 is twice as heavy, big, expensive and flies twice the load twice as far as an A321 So there’s some light between the two specifications :).

    As siad, 240 seats for a A321 are unrealistic in terms of medium range requirements. 28 inch isn’t for many hours, you need more galley for food trolleys and the “emergency lavatories” won’t do. Air rage would become a serious risk.

    172 Seats two class/ 4 lav’s is more realistic. And thats probably how w’ll see the LR’s enter TATL. Lower seatcounts will be used if it’s a more profitable mix, e.g 3 class.

    AA has four class A321s because it suits them better for medium haul (transcon) flights.

    Maybe they’s send their NEO over the ocean too.

    • I think the A338 is twice as heavy, big, expensive and flies twice the load twice as far as an A321

      Interesting isn’t it.
      Double the weight and get 4 fold performance. 2*p, 2*r
      Reducing range will not bring the expected advantage.
      …. and the reason why there is this strange gap in everybodies portfolio.

  3. “With the same stringent rules giving 240 seats for an A330-800 or 787-8, we can pack 153 passengers in an A321LR”

    Your rules are for a long haul configuration. The NMA/MOM is supposed to be a medium haul configured aircraft. I will agree that the difference between the A321LR and the A330-800 is about 80 to 100 seats, but starting point is wrong.

    The A321LR (with the new exit configuration from 2019) can take 220 passengers @ 31 pitch with galley and lavatory capacity optimized for medium haul, according to my estimates. In a 2-class layout, with 20 business recliner seats @ 4 abreast, we can have a total of 194 seats (door 2 and door 3 can be deactivated below 196 seats as Airbus got increased exit limit certification last year).

    In a similar medium haul configuration the A330-800/787-8 would have about 310 seats (all Y) and about 280 2-class.

    The importance of ‘correct’ start point is when we talk about how large should the NMA/MOM be.

    Leeham reported last week that Boeing is showing the airlines a two variant 797. The smallest one from 225 seats in an international 3-class configuration and 280 seats for the largest variant (3-class). Today Leeham reports that the A330-800/787-8 is 240 seats aircraft in their normalized long haul 2-class configuration. I recon it takes fewer seats when in a 3-class configuration, maybe around 225 seats?

    In other words Leeham reports that the NMA/MOM should be the same size as the 787-8 and 787-9, only optimized for medium haul?

    I think what is actually needed is a relatively small aircraft able to do a 10 hour flight (scheduled flight time). That is what is missing from both OEMs product catalogs.

    • I tend to agree with you, I think the critical issue is freight or no freight? This is where the NMA has some chance of coming unstuck. As I see it the NMA is looking to redefine the market for MOM away from existing offerings. If it works then Boeing will make a tidy sum as they carve a lucrative niche of orders for a range/capacity mix that suites the big players. The caveats to that however are considerable,

      – the unit cost against a A332/8 or A321/2
      – the range/capacity mix differs market by market
      – the use of ever smaller aircraft on medium haul
      – the differing medium haul roles
      – overfull hubs, low capacity alternatives
      Etc etc

      Much as a B767 replacement (another B783!!!) sounds the way to go I feel that a slightly larger diameter single aisle will prove more successful in the market but at what premium to the A321neo

      • Unit cost is a key factor here. The 788 is too expensive already for the NMA role (A332 is closer) and Boeing is not making much money on it anyway.

        If you take the 788 out of the picture, Boeing’s gap is well north of 100 seats, but it needs a cost-effective airframe to take advantage of that potential market. Airbus’s gap is somewhat smaller, and it has the option of creating an A322 (which would potentially have some disadvantages but would be very cost-effective). Taking enough weight or cost out of the 788 or A338 is a non-starter, I think.

    • I remember getting a presentation of the Airbus A330 500
      Will it reappear as a modified Transatlantic rather than Trans Pacific aircraft for Airbus response to Boeing?

  4. Just talk to the smiling customers who get the toilet seats on the new Boeing 737-200’s!

    No dont, dont talk to them. Compensate them.

  5. The gap is more apparent when speaking of MTOW : between the 97t A321LR and the 242/245t A338, or between the 88t 737-9 and the 228t 788. Still larger for Boeing, especially if we consider the base 787 is more the 254t -9. The middle of the gap (geometric mean) is thus at ~ 150t, or indeed a modern, lighter B767 or A300, 200-250 pax over 4-5000nm
    It needs a new 200-250kN engine, which PW and RR would be glad to develop, and a high AR 200-250m² wing within the 52m ICAO code D span. Current fuselages and systems from the A330 or 787 could be kept to lower development costs and risks. A B787-3 or A330-500 done right.

    • Marc, You and Woody below nailed it. Develop a pair of aircraft B757/767 style both at about 150t with 200sqm wings. Design the 757 size single aisle with a 500nmi+ range equal to the limits of a two person crew. Use the same wing, components and MTOW on a shorter 7 or 8 wide with a range closer to 3000nmi.

      • I’m not sure the same wing could be used for both a single and a twin aisle, the B757/B767 already had different wings and weights.

        • Take half the fuel out of a 767-300er, 187mt less 35mt of fuel,and replace the 283 sqm aluminum wing with a 200 sqm composite wing, lighten up the structure and you approach the 757-300 MTOW of 124mt. The two planes could be nearly identical except for the tube diameter, capacity and range.

          • Aviation engineer and ‘clairyoyant blogger’ Vero Venia back in August 2009 described his ‘dream fleet’ of aircraft capacity which showed a geometric ratio of 1.189

            230 seats,
            274 seats,
            325 seats,
            389 seats and
            460 seats

            and on some afterthought added a 5th step (460 x 1.189)
            546 seats

            I think we all know what planes we can put in these categories

          • The 230 seater (in your examples) is the only “real” NMA/MoM with a future that I can see, resulting mainly from the long term growth of the current single aisle market, airport capacity restrictions and skies getting over crowded?

            Cant see a stretch of today’s singles much beyond 200 seats, the 787’s and 330’s are by far to overweight for that. A 767MAX could be a short term solution but ultimately something new is required at around 230/240 seats?

            An idealistic aircraft will be a 2-2-2 (220-240 seats) with a max range of ~4500Nm, realistically 2-3-2.

          • I still see it as a 757 type. Stretches to 737-10 and A322 NEO will always have suboptimal wings and engines. There is room there to steal that market. Theres no point building an NMA simply to satisfy a niche when, if done right, it coulld take over the upper end if the 737 and A320 market as well as the niche its intended for. Its all about building a plane with advanced materials and at low cost.

            My argument is based on the hypothesis that there is no point in building a 767 type unless it can also steal some of the old 767 and A332 market. The 787 was intended to replace the 767 also and it didn’t work the first time. Its a sign if madness to repeat the same process and expect different results.

          • With all the comments from different angles the NMA questions seems to be less and less resolved in my mind.

            The 280 seat market today’s twin aisles.

            So the gap 180 – 280 (100) seats, 180+50=230, to big for a single aisle and small for 8/9 seat twin aisles.

            Getting to 230 seats is easy, but what ranges. In the long run an NMA family could consist of 200/230/260 seat aircraft, but the size of the market?

            The more I think about it there is maybe not an NMA market but the only requirement a 200 seat single aisle and 260 seat twin aisle for medium range 4000-6000Nm? Next up the scale is the 330 seat 787-10.

  6. Thanks for the analysis!
    The numbers are consistent with shown actual layouts. 310 all-Y for a B787-8 or A330-800 is even rather conservative, 330 to 350 people would easily work, too.

  7. Good to see baselined analysis Bjorn and comments Meg.

    To what extent do you find the different needs of the traditional North American/West European and newer Asian markets directing the likely sweet spot(s)? If a pair of aircraft are developed, 757/767 style, might thee 2 differ in being optimised/driven by the demands of different geographical bases?

  8. Hello Bjorn

    Nice analysis
    And then ? how to fill the gap ? stretched single aisle ? or short widebody ?

  9. Aer Lingus is using 186 seats in 2-class, and TAP is doing 175 in a 2+-class [] on the a321lr – so that’s a real use case/cabin layout for comparison TATL east coast.

    Aer Lingus has 274 [24/250] in it’s a330-200s,TAP = 264 – for true Loooonghaul.

    So it would look like there is a 90 seat differential from actual airlines who are and will operate the airbus options.

    The a330-200/800 obviously carry more weight [being heavier] and if they can’t be filled – more loss – BUT also more cargo -which for EI is profitable OI believe on the TATL.

    Being somewhat frugal… I’d prefer to have smaller aircraft that I know I can fill then larger ones that are a bit more iffy – year round. Air-framers kinda gave in to the airlines in the last decade developing aircraft that fit every niche and need. I think maybe that time has passed, and airlines gotta pick from what BEST fits their ambitions. It takes so long to get new frames out the door [at sufficient rates] that it makes the business case pretty scary.

    Boeing may need to move, but I think Airbus could part-fill their offering with a re-winged + door 2 [boarding] a322.

    • … and JetBlue has 16/143. While the normalization system from Leeham helps in eliminating marketing hypes, I think for the NMA discussion it is only a starting point. And I think that is also the same reason why Boeing has such a difficulty finding the right size/range combination.
      Real world numbers for seats will vary. European LCCs will want the flexibility to rotate the same aircraft on short sectors. JetBlue will be unique because it would be able to use their transcon product on the Atlantic or to South America. Legacy carriers will probably create a subfleet. Cargo will be of interest for some, but not all. So the “is there a gap?” discussion becomes a lot more complex than normalizing a layout. Plus the real issue is: Will the NMA be able to create a (couple of) market(s) of it’s own? This would mostly: Can it be the Hub-Buster the 787 was supposed to be? Much of this will be: Is it small enough to not require feed at least at one end? I think that is one of the biggest problems an NMA faces vs. the single aisle planes.

  10. One needs to understand the impact of 5-12 cycles/day on a widebody. So far none is made to handle it. The initial A300 was thougt of running those routes Paris-London-Frankfurt but the customers soon realized it could not take the beating. Neighter Engines or structures.

  11. The one key metric is the A321LR packed to the gills has a range of 3500 miles. Drop that another 500 miles for fuel reserves and diversion?

    As we have seen with the A350-900LR, sure it makes Singapore-NY, all of 177 passengers. I don’t argue that Singapore does not make it work, but they have to be high paying passengers and how many routes are there for that?. Otherwise its a fuel stop, 777-200 LR and or a fuel stop or……

    So from my looking, the bottom line is the 797 would cover an area that is not served in a seat count and range.

    Per Leeham, they can’t do it at the price needed.

    So to me the key question becomes, is there more upside cost wise that Boeing has or can work with that airlines see a need for and are4 willing to pay?

    Keeping in mind that it would carry 240 passengers not in dense pack around 4500-5000 miles

    767 light, A300 a bit narrower and lighter.

    Back to the 787-10, do you need all that range for all the aircraft in your fleet?

  12. The A330-800 is a special performance aircraft. Whatever the production cost is to make the -900, the extra floor area pays off in value. The gap in seating floor area between the A321 and the A330-300 is 70% difference or so. Plus range, Mtow, engines, wingspan. Mtow starting at the E175 and going up, 40, 70, 100, 240, 255, 280, 310, 350. Looks like there’s room for two more sizes of aircraft, 140t and 190t.

  13. So the upshot of all of this is that Boeing have to do something. we have been discussing this for a good while thanks to Scott highlighting the issue way back. The received wisdom after all of that chat is that we need a new B757 and a new B767(possibly A300/10).

    It just goes to show that Boeing were not that far from the mark back in 1980 ish. Both those programmes sold north of 1,000. the trouble is that Boeing has to make a big decision, either single aisle or twin aisle and not both. Assuming no moonshot (ha) I am reckoning that they are going to conjure up a B767 replacement using whatever they have from the parts bin. Optimised fuselage width (get ready for 16 inch seat widths.. CFRP wing (B787 derived), avionics/ flight deck (B787). the one wholly new thing they will want is an engine.

    Will it win? Well it will certainly force Airbus into their own corner if done right and may tip the balance in terms of Boeing vs Airbus. This of course being a gloriously pyrrhic victory as they all seem to be in the wider scheme of things. BBD and others will still be there chipping away and the overall health of the industry will still be determined by market forces beyond anything within the control of either OEM

    • Even if Boeing scrapes the parts bin there will be alot of new expensive parts in the 797. Engines, nacelle with thrust reverser, landing gears, wing, wingbox APU, ACM, stabilizers, tail. They might want to reuse the 787 nose section up to desired fuselage width and tell Witchia to “cut here”. Just the 2 new propulsion packages will cost $15bn each to develop by the engine and nacelle guys, they want their money back pretty quickly. For a widebody flying alot of narrowbody missions it will not be easy for Boeing to make a profit selling it for under $100M initially when it does a job over time that no other airplane does. But there are maybe 1000 components off the 787 thry can reuse, from ELT to LED landing lights to ARNIC databus and Fly by Wire system. If they pull it off they will sell alot of these for +$200M/ea.

      • I think they idea is to pull from the tech bin, not the parts.

        The 787 electronics yes, not the nose (though the 767 nose does nicely on a 777!) as this one is all the wrong shape.

        As Scott has noted though its a cost thing.

        So the fuselage is likely LiAl, wing has to be composites.

        A few years ago they were saying you could not make a composite wing that held up unless a big boy. The BBD comes along with the C series and blows that up (maybe self serving per Boeing)

        What out of that can translate down aircraft is ?

        Is it 787 type electric, more or is it less?

        Is there a pay off split in more 787 type electric that does not translate down to the smaller types?

        Lot of questions.

        I would think that Boeing has answers of they would not be discussing it this much and those answers (costs) must be within Delta, United and American allowances.

        While I think I can frame the questions fairly well and rule out some aspects, I don’t have the answers.

        It still has me a bit set back tghat the A350 came togetgher the way it did.

        While I know there are those that disagree with me, my take as well as publications at the time was that they were not prepare3d to do a composite fuselage. Airbus made do with what they could build as they had not done the tech background work that Boeing had done.

        Per Bjorn and I have no quails on taking his knowledge that its as light and cost effective as Booing spun fuselage.

        I never bought the BS about replacing whole panels as opposed to spot repairs, but I thought it would be significantly heavier and maybe even more so than an alumianu8n to just say it was composites. That’s where knowing the science and art of it comes in that I never will know.

        Sometimes out of necessity comes something that works as good as the optimum thinking at the time.

        Now what we have to do is see what Boeing comes up with and then we can start to discuss it seriously.

        • Where do you think could be the biggest potential market in 10+ years time be for a 200-250 seat <1000-4000Nm aircraft market be in 10-20 years from now?

          My ques? India, China, Central and Far East Asia?!

          Engines "simple", maybe larger fanned, reliable, low maintenance, 40-45K-Lb LEAP's?

        • @TW

          And that is the rub, we can all guess the route that Airbus would take on a new frame as there is an iterative approach to product development. One model is materially represented in the next in terms of systems but with measured progression from model to model. A simple way to gauge that is to look at the materials mix from model to model as the proportion of CFRP content has risen.

          With Boeing there is not the same iterative approach, that seemed to be lost somewhere after the B757/767 development. The NMA is an opportunity for them to establish a company design philosophy going forward in terms of systems (electric/bleed air), CFRP approach, FBW, using the bits that work from the B787 and discarding those bits that are marginal from a cost/ benefit perspective.

          Does Boeing have an advantage in terms of CFRP design and manufacture? I would be surprised if they do now. In fact the whole autoclave thing may be seen to be the wrong or excessively expensive approach

          • I think that is a mistake in thinking.

            What works for a long range wide body vs a more light weight mid range is possibly two totally different approaches.

            The NMA has to be as low cost to build as possible.

            Then throw in that CFRP is rapidly changing.

            We now have out of auto clave curing, 5 years from now you may be able to do structural parts with that method.

            I think the MC-21 uses some or a lot of that.

            The challenge is to pick the tech that is cost effective and you can do when you begin production.

            I would put this at the same era of going from wooden aircraft bi planes for the most part into the all metal mono plane (don’t hear that often these days do you?)

            Boeings 247 became obsolete very shortly though it was a good aircraft, DC-2 and then 3 just were done better.

            So, yes take the tech that works and is cost effective and if you can spread it across 3 aircraft (787 cockpit on the KC46, 797 and the 737rs) but if that is really costly pull something from the business jet line.

            Interesting balancing act and its going to be one of the most finely decisionsed aircraft in all aspects to make it work.

            Is the cost of making the electronics all in the devleopmen and the hardware itself not that costly?

            The bottom line is it has to be low cost and that may leave out a lot of current equipment because its not.

        • We don’t know for sure that a composite wing is financially justifiable on a small airliner….and Bombardier isn’t talking. All we know for sure is that Mitsubishi says it isn’t (and so that’s why they didn’t do it for the MRJ), and that the Bombardier C-series is a Financial Failure.

          Personally, I am not convinced that the mass use of composites on airliners is financially justified.

          • Jimmy:

            BBD financial issues aside, the wing itself is outstanding and its what’s allowed the C series to not only meet the two planned but looks very possible for a third version.

            It takes a heck of a wing for that.

            Mitsubishi can’t find their cockpit door with both hands and a searchlight.

            BBD has its issues but they have made complete aircraft.

            Mitsubishis is struggling because it does not make complete aircraft.

            What they chose to make is too big to miss scope and not big enough to be a C series.

            Of course they gave up on the wing, they did not have the expertise. A whole lot different building a wing to someone else’s design and specs and then having to do it for yourself.

          • Got no clue about BBD’s financial situation. But if it is are there a chance of Boeing getting involved? Airbus appears to be involved with Embraer.

            Any chance that Boeing going could make the 73″ fanned PW1524/5G fit on a shorter ranged 737MAX7 (CFM1A-79″/1B-69″)” if it has enough fuel consumption advantages?

          • @Anton Boeing and EMB are involved, not Boeing and BBD.

          • Thanks Scott, then I had things mixed-up.

            The C-Serious looks great, don’t want to see it lost to the flying/airline community.

            Was thinking if someone can do the “opposite” of the current LCC’s in Europe with the C300 in 2-2. “Ryanair+” for quick comfortable connections to smaller airports for business and discerning tourists.

          • Thanks Uwe,

            Think these aircraft have great potential, but then either Airbus/Boeing should get “involved” and phase out A319’s/-700’/MAX7’s depends who partners with BBD.

            The C100 is actually an ultra-modern 737-200 which for me was a pioneering route opening workhorse.

    • One way to get them quickly of the plane, give them 16″ seats. But airlinesCFO’s loves that type of seats.

  14. There is a “gap” on paper, 200-250 Seats (two-class), twin aisle, that can fly 4000-5000Nm, against head winds, diversion, 500-800Nm reserves with an air frame of <80T OEW and engines of <50K-Lb thrust.

    The 250 – 300 medium haul market can be serviced with aircraft in the current Airbus/Boeing line-ups (with possibly adjustments if the market requires it?).

    The current A321LR is a 185 seat plane with a safe effective range of not much more than 3o00Nm or so. It could be upgraded to 3500-4000Nm effective range with new wing, 35K-Lb engines, landing gear upgrades , fuel+, for a MTOW of ~105T, A321XR? Don't think its worth trying to push it much further than this in its current form.

    Anything less than 200 seats is then covered by Airbus in the short-medium haul (except the 320Plus!?), The Boeing 737MAX9/10's, no chance, except if they do a B737MAX10+ with new landing gear etc.

    Conclusion? There is a requirement for a "new" fuel efficient 220-240 seat aircraft with a safe ~4500Nm effective range, but how big is the market in reality today?

    Could this however be the 321/737MAX10+ market in 10-15 years and beyond from now?

    The 767-300 the ideal "base" air frame available to Boeing for a low cost/risk development, but only if they also go for a NSA?

    If I was Airbus I would have started with the development of clean sheet all composite ~240 seat (2 class) narrow twin 2-3-2 (185") aircraft with next generation engines (~45K-Lb?). Increase in air traffic and airports congestion will require faster turnarounds and less frequent flights.

    Real effective range ~4500Nm, aircraft aimed at growth in the "upper" single aisle market over the next 10-30 years, can accommodate high density seating layouts of up to ~300 but also have Transatlantic capabilities in standard layout.

    As a "classic MoM" the market around ~2000 units, if seen as the single aisle growth market, 5000+?

  15. sowerbob: “The received wisdom after all of that chat is that we need a new B757 and a new B767(possibly A300/10).”

    There must be a reason why those aircraft disappeared in the first place, and they did so after a relatively short career. They happen to have been replaced by aircraft that are still in production today and are likely to remain for a very long time. That is the reality the NMA is facing. But Boeing has for some time now been living in an another reality, one with which I canot identify any more. It will take a lot more than the NMA to make Boeing great again.

    • First rule of selling airliners. Always have a design in your back pocket that you have no intention of building.
      This is done so that the customers think you have new and fresh ideas. The trouble with this approach is that sometimes they are built for the wrong reasons.
      See 747-8 and A340-500/600

      My take is Boeing is just making noises about a project its not ready to build.

      • That crossed my mind, think Boeing is actually working more seriously on a new single aisle (NSA) behind the scenes? This is the only area where Airbus is outselling them.

        Probably wants Airbus to pick up the bait for an NMA to stall them putting a new wing on the 321, build a 200-210 seat 322XR and MAX8 “eater” 320Plus?

      • “My take is Boeing is just making noises about a project its not ready to build.”

        No, that was the Sonic Cruiser. Although in that case, the had no intention of building that one, even if nobody will admit it.

        • In that scope how do you see the NSA that was “vaporized” by the A320NEO?

          The issue is that Boeing needs a project offer where “nobody went before” to make comparison and evaluation difficult and thus provides some “Deutungshoheit” to Boeing.

          The Dreamliner was offered on a full spectrum flurry of quantum leap technological progress in theory adding up to a plane twice as good as any competitor. ( Thought that contracted to just about the engine improvements while transitioning into reality.)

          (US) Market dynamics seem to foster or even force inefficient transport. To compete you need small grain frequency while general efficiency would call for larger grained offers with less frequency. Grown in a bottle.

          • If Boeing can build a 2-2-2 seat “family” with 180/210/240 seats with good seat mile cost at reasonable price they could be getting there?

          • Embarking/disembarking, quicker service, overhead storage, 4 aisle seats and no middle seat, an E-passengers dream.

            Personally I think a “wide single aisle” (28″ vs 20″) 3-3 with a wider (~20″ vs 18″) middle seat will be a more cost effective option than 2-2-2 aircraft in the 180-220 seat class but will still have significant benefits to passengers.

            That is ~12″ wider than today’s single aisles, an 2-2-2 will be ~20″ wider. An 2-3-2 with 17″ (“787″) seats will be 32” wider, most likely what will happen?

            Not always sure what airlines and manufacturers think/want except $$$$$.

            The 787 at 3-3-3 is an E-passengers nightmare as is the 777-300’s at 3-4-3.

          • The thing is … Airbus could do the “wide aisle” today, with the existing A320 series. Put in 737-width seats, and, presto!, you have a 27″ aisle.

            But no one (not Airbus and not the airlines) is doing this. No one thinks the benefits of the wider aisle are worth losing the seat width.

            So why would it be so on a NMA?

          • Never thought about this one, maybe keep the middle seat at 18″? It will still be a 4″ gain on aisle. Good one!

            Hope someone from A320 LCC companies take note?

          • Most people suggest Boeing is in a worse position than Airbus?

            The 787-9 is selling well, the 787-10 could be the surprize of the pack of the twin aisles in years to come?

            (However, Mr Trump could seriously damage the 777X, but also kill the A380).

            What Boeing customers want today (I think) is a 737MAX10+ with 30-35K-Lb LEAP1A or PW11xx engines, seating around 200/210 and a range off ~3000Nm – not for Transatlantic-.

            Use the new wing and undercarriage on a MAX9+ (ER) with effective range around 4500Nm for Transatlantic (“scrap the MAX9”). Then a 737MAX family will be;

            MAX7 (2500NM)*,
            MAX8 (3500Nm),
            MAX200 (2500Nm),
            MAX9+ER (4500Nm),
            MAX10+ (3000Nm).

            *(A short range, 2500Nm, 150 seat 737MAX7 with ~24K-Lb LEAP 1B’s could make the 320NEO look “silly” on sector costs)?

            This shouldn’t be that difficult/expensive, the 737 deserves a new undercarriage after 50 years?

            Then Boeing can build the NMA, no NSA required for 15 years?!

          • Uneven seat width was also advertised.
            Aisle seats slightly wider. ( though making the middle seat wider would imho alleviate more “human pressure”.

          • Thanks. The more answers the more questions.

            Another idealistic consideration (that is unlikely to fly) is that the “NSA” larger than the 737MAX8’s (160/170 seats) could actually be the twin aisle (2-3-2) “oval-shape” NMA Bjorn illustrated in his post of 23 March 2017.

            This could be the basis for a new type of aircraft family that could potentially have a big market and draw from technology advances.

            It appears that the 220 seat size is the crossover between single and twin aisle efficiencies. Can actually see 3 aircraft sizes with 2 wing sizes;

            1) ~190/200 Seats, smaller and lighter wing as well as 31-35 K-Lb engines to make up for aerodynamic penalties, max range <3500Nm. This could also be the base for a high density variant (such as the MAX200) for LCC. There will be huge advantages in passengers comfort/appeal and also turnaround times for an aircraft that will mostly fly short haul. This could be ~50% (?) of the aircraft's market and justify its own wing, under carriage, etc.

            2A) ~220/230 seats and 2B) ~250/260 seats. These could share the same wing and landing gear as well as sharing a larger fanned engine/s as the 81" PW11xx. Maximum range requirement will most likely not exceed 5000Nm.

            It could also only be, 1) 200 seats and, 2) 250 seats. Variant-1 replacing 757-200's/(MAX10's) and variant-2 replacing 767-300's.

            If this is the NMA/MoM/NSA+/797 I think it has a good future and definitely put Boeing in a very good position. It will require a big investment but could definitely be worth it.

            The 737's could eventually be upgraded with new undercarriage/wing to accommodate GTF type engines.

          • @Frequent, thanks for the link. Supports my hypothesis, not really worth pursuing as an option. (1-3-1 is surely faster, but then you are giving up 17% seating capacity for a given airframe size.)

          • For me an ~200 seat new 2-3-2 aircraft is what Boeing needs as a start, the PW1100G is already there, 35K-38K. (“An C100/300 upsized to 2-3-2”).

            Comac (China’s) C919 will fly soon, and if it goes well will start impacting the single aisle market in 5 years from now? Then there are EMB and BBD start nibbling at the bottom of the SA market.

            Can’t see these companies build a small 200-220 seat twin aisle 2-3-2 soon. Airbus will go A321/322XR and also not build a 2-3-2 in the near future.

            So it will be a unique market/position Boeing captures.

          • @ thysi : the 17 % comes up in first – simplified – analysis … then you dive deeper into the subject and you’ll find that @ EQUIVALENT APEX, account taken of relaxation of Emergency Exits regulations, the NET LOSS of seats comes to in-between 19 and 22 (but that’s OT here …)

          • @ Mopani : whoever goes 2+3+2 = 0.7″ + 42.5″ + 19″ + 62.5″ +19″ + 42.5″ + 0.7″ = trim-to-trim interior cabin width 187″ = the good old 767 : only Boeing has a FAL in order of march producing this type of fuselage today. Airbus are not going to oppose a 767 MAX revival with some clean sheet design, that would be suicidal ! No, clearly they will prefer to PIP and tweak the A321 NEO LR, possible going A322 plus (why not ? it’s cheap to do) they’ll offer to do H21QR and/or H22QR ?

          • At some stage Airbus will have to get something NEW, not “NEO”, between the A350’s and A321/”322″.

            The A330 in real terms is actually a (smartly) updated 70’s A300, don’t get me wrong its is really a nice aircraft, but orders seems to be drying up?

            A jazzed up 767 will make life even more difficult for the A330’s with the 787’s making some major inroads on what was an Airbus market.

            On 23 December 2016 the first A330NEO came out of the paint shop, but where are the engines? In the mean time the 787-10 is scheduled for it’s maiden flight tomorrow?

          • @ Anton : some months back this topic was discussed here c/o LNC and OV-099 resolved the Airbus response with an A322 plus a revival of the A310, re-(carbon)winged, re-engined (NEO) and with a systems update à la A350 … I thought that made good sense. Airbus is certainly not going to sit around fumbling, but as time tic-tacs the MOM gap is getting repleted with A321LR massively, so for what is left to be gleaned (peanuts ?), I wouldn’t bet either might ever go clean sheet for the fuselage = kill a fly with a steam hammer !?

    • @ Normand

      I couldn’t agree with you more. The simple fact is that Boeing appears to have decided to act on this. You could say that there is a hole on the market but there is no reason that Boeing need fall into it (attributed to James McDonnell).

      I get the feeling that the demise of the B757 arose out of the conscious decision to not continue development in favour of the B737. This meant that its build costs were very high and it benefitted from none of the PIPs enjoyed by its competition. Again it was on the wrong side of the FBW divide, something that has haunted most Boeing products for years.

      • The 757 fuselage build moved from Tulsa to Renton and then in last few years to Wichita. That cant have helped
        The intial sub-contracts were
        Avco – Nashville with the centre box and keel beam
        Fairchild-Republic Farmingdale NY , over wing fuselage
        Rockwell- North- American Tulsa, fore and aft constant section fuselages
        Vought Dallas, tailcone and vertical & horizontal tail services
        Boeing only doing the wing and nose section.

  16. I know many have doubts, but I think it is a must. The 757/767 did sell over 2000. Passenger growth is such that many shorthaul routes will need more than a 737/A320 because of airport slot restrictions. Like the 787 it may create its own market by opening up new thin routes. The estimates of 3000-5000 sales I think are right.

    Needs to be good though, carbon fibre with next generation engines and 2-3-2 for quick boarding

  17. How many new thin routes have actually been opened up by the 787? And by that I mean routes that have been opened and stayed opened for more than 2 years.
    I suspect that the 787 is not the great point-to-point aircraft that Boeing marketed it to be. not to say that it hasn’t been a sales success but how many non-hub routes have really been successfully established with this aircraft?

    • Best way of finding out whether point to point is happening is to look at the growth of regional airports. I searched for ‘Manachester Airport 787’. In the first few lines I found American Airlines and Qatar Airlines services to Manchester Airport using 787s

      I do admit that very often it is about upgrading the service to improve frequency, but bit by bit we are seeing the majors fly to more and more longhaul destinations

      With regard to staying open for 2 years or more. The 787 is only 6 years old. It will take time to establish whether point to point is right

      • Philip,
        Doing the googling exercise you suggested is more effort than it is worth, for me at least.

        The 2 year limit was just an arbitrary figure I chose just to try to differentiate between routes that were tried for a year or so and routes that have or will take. I remembered a whole bunch of routes that were announced with great fanfare back about 4 to 5 years ago and then hearing that many of them were quietly discontinued.

        Again, I am not trying to dispute that point-to-point is desired by customers (obviously it would be) nor that it is growing. As the population grows and the number of people that can afford to fly grows, point-to-point destinations will also grow. I do believe that there has been no great point-to-point revolution, yet!

      • “The Manchester to Doha service started in 2003 and is now to be operated by a dual class Airbus A330-200 aircraft.”
        You cant just claim the 787 for a service that been running with an A330.
        They did just start Doha- Edinburgh with the 787, which was its first ME connection. But thats not point to point either, more point to hub as they are offering on ward connections!

  18. I think most of us agree that there is some sort of gap here, notwithstanding the Airbus mantra that they have the gap covered. To a point, they do. To them, they are getting the majority of orders for aircraft that serve this segment, and hence they have no gap.
    Since, Boeing is not getting so many sales in this segment, the see a gap. But her is the crux, the gap is not so big and might not have that much of a demand, unless you fill it correctly. Too cheap and dirty, the customers aren’t interested. Too expensive and you either lose money on every order or the customers don’t want to pay that kind of money for it.

    Philip mentioned that ever increasing airport slot restrictions will require larger capacity short range aircraft. Airbus bet a lot on this slot restrictions scenario in the form of the A380, and while many of us find it to be a great aircraft, the sales up until now have shown that these slot restrictions have not reached such onerous proportions.

    Why is that?
    1: Were/are these slot restrictions overestimated?
    2: Are airports able to expand to meet the increased levels of traffic?
    3: Is the 787 indeed opening up so many new routes that are bypassing the hubs?
    4: ??

    I wonder if Boeing or Airbus are ready to make a bet on this concept that airport slots are such an onerous restriction for airlines.

    • Some interesting points;

      1) Airbus was “to early” with the A380 and overcooked its size for the time,
      2) The LCC’s are often operating from smaller airports taking away significant traffic from the major airports,
      3) If air traffic keeps growing things could look different in 10-20 years?

      I can see that the A330-900 market in 10 years will actually require a 787-10 size aircraft, another “MoM ” question for Airbus as the 350’s are optimized for long haul.

    • Actually having a gap is not a problem until some other offer exists.

      “Why is that?”

      Look at traffic predictions ~~2000 ( business case determination for A380 ) and then look at the contractions after 911 and the GFC. With no other hickups pending reality is lagging projections from that time by 10..15 years.

      On hickups: IMHO Trump now killed the A380 for good.
      ( “Make America Great again .. ” will end in a fine piece of overall destruction. No hiding behind New American Century. this is a much bigger downer.)

  19. Anything in the size of a 767 would be a strategic trap! There is no way you can make a small widebody as efficient as a (long) narrowbody on the lower side (A321/A322) or as a relative short “normal” widebody with 8-abreast size on the upper end.
    If Boeing would really make the 797 a twin-aisles, for 7 abreast (just forget 6), it might certainly be a lovely plane, but it would not sell more than several hundred. Airbus would easily counter that move with an A322 or a lighter version of the A330.
    This is why I believe the 797 will be 8-abreast. The remaining question is whether it will be exactly A330 size (big cargo belly) or maybe a more flat (oval) shape for small containers (A320 sized LD3-45). The second version could indeed be significantly lighter than the A330. If it was made with a (smaller) carbon wing it would at least be going where Airbus can not easily follow. But it would also be a significant investment.
    The question that nobody can answer today is if some Airlines can come up with inovative ideas to generate additional business with such a plane that would warrant a higher price than the larger A330-200/800.
    I frankly don’t think so.
    Were I in the pilot seat at Boeing I would do everything it takes to win back the leading position in the single aisles market instead, and that might be one, two or even three new models.

    • “This is why I believe the 797 will be 8-abreast. The remaining question is whether it will be exactly A330 size.”

      So Boeing will have to make a new airplane to compete with the A330neo because the 787 is incapable to do so? This is beyond ironic! Tell me Gundolf, should the 797 R&D be charged to the 787 programme as a substitute for the 787-3, or should Boeing put it on a separate budget? 😉

        • Something is “wrong” somewhere when comparing the 787-8 and 330-200/800. The 787-8 has ~420 orders, the -800 basically zero. The 787-8 has lots of CFRP’s but weighs nearly the same as the -800.

          Not sure about the purchase prices but guess there is not much difference between the two. So why is the -800 not selling? Boeing’s original 787 marketing, Airbus’s lack thereof or perception? In comparisons (some of the “-800” info still from the -200 as its not yet available);

          787-8 vs 330-“800″
          pax: 242 / 257
          cabin: 3-3-3 / 2-4-2
          seat width: 17″/18”
          length: 57m/59m
          wing area: 361/362
          thrust: 64K / 72K
          OEW: 120T / 122T
          MTOW:228T / 242T
          LD3’s: 27 / 28
          range: 7400Nm / 7500Nm

          So, the A330-800 is not that bad on paper. Wonder if Airbus gives it a new (own) wing, wing box, do weight savings were it can and build something along these lines what the market response to an “A330-8” will be;
          OEW: 115T,
          MTOW: 230T,
          thrust: 67K (will be nice to have GEnx’s as an option),
          range: 6000Nm.

          Not intended to be a NMA, but just a good, “solid” aircraft that will serve airlines and passengers well (without Li batteries). With an A322XR (200-210 seats), maybe Airbus have it covered?

          Boeing said they lost interest in the 787-8, is that part of their NMA/797 marketing strategy and/or that they know the 330-800 (or a variant) will be stiff competition, so they trying to kill that market sector?

          Airbus is also to blame for trying to push airlines from the -800 to the -900, these Airlines could then fall “into the arms” of the 787-9 which has better range than the -900!!!

          • You are right, something is wrong, you should be comparing 787-8 sales with A330-200 sales over the same period – or do the same for the 787-8 vs the A330-800. I don’t know the numbers, but I suspect the contest would be a lot closer!

          • Actually you are right Rodger.

            To get something clear on orders not that easy, but he first 787 deliveries started in 2011, approximate numbers what I could get from then to current on deliveries are;

            787-8: 330,
            330-200: 200.

            Total orders for the 330-200 since launch ~650 and 787-8 around 420.

            Bottom line its 62% to the 787-8 on deliveries since 2011. The 787-8 has 90 outstanding orders and the -200 around 40.

            The concern is that the -800 was launched ~30 months ago and has only 6 standing orders.

          • Look at 788 orders. ( last 10 years, last 30 month.)
            see last updated ~end of 2016.
            Over the last 9 years 788 has continuously lost orders ( -20/a, cancellations, upgrades to 789 caused by delays _and_ changes in market outlook.)

          • Thanks Uwe,

            Is that real market forces or is Boeing engineering “THE GAP” for a planned NMA?

            With 787-8 marketed/forced out by Boeing itself and offering a really so-so Max10 they are crafting a 797 market?

            In making the 787-8 “bad” they effectively creating the same perception of the 330-800, that’s why it doesn’t sell, cunning from Boeing.

            Just want to say to Boeing (and Airlines), the 330-200, from a passengers point of view, is one heck of a plane.

            Airbus should just close their eyes and build a 200/210 seat 322XR with 36K-Lb engines (MTOW ~105T), 160 square metre/(AR~10) wing and easy achievable 4500Nm range, 800Nm reserves, diversions and worst scenario “Easterly winds”, flying Transatlantic Westwards.

            Could see some interesting domino effects here?

      • @Normand Hammel
        What I actually think is that Boeing should admit to have gotten too much wrong with the 787-8 and simply fix it, instead of letting it starve. They should also revive the 787-3. Both projects combined should cost a lot less than a new, smaller plane.
        The money for new planes would go to another project: Winning back leadership in the single-aisle segment. And that would take two planes: One cheap and dirty express version (all aluminum) that is using the existing infrastructure of the 737, (somewhat larger diameter and wings, longer legs, FBW, containerised freight,…) and a second ultra performance (all-CFRP) that would also fly a lot further than the A321LR.

        • Airbus has the opportunity to build a new modern aircraft in the 250-300 seat class (2-4-2) that will compete with 787’s and upper end of an 797.

          Think the Air Malaysia fleet decision the middle of the year could be an interesting barometer. If they go for the 787’s this could make Airbus realizes that they need something new in the A330 size.

          • @Anton
            I just can’t see any flaw in the A330 design, so why waste money on developing the same product again? Its design is so good that it can compete with the much later and much more expensive 787, go figure.
            What is holding back sales of the A330-800 is timing. It will certainly sell well in the comming years.

          • I meant something to fly in 10-15 years from now?

            The major flaw I see is that the 787-8/9’s are outselling the A330’s, the A330-900 should also get range to 7000+Nm (ER variant) for certain airlines that still have to replace 340-300’s and where the -200/800 is to small.

            Wouldn’t mind to see a lighter “330-8” optimized for a max range of around 6000Nm, but saying again, it shouldn’t’ try to be an NMA. Giving it good field performance will give the flexibility to fly into smaller airports with shorter strips.

            Just don’t hope RR makes a hash of the T7000, each engine weighs 1.6T more as well as costing ~US$10M more per engine than the T700’s. Malaysia wants new aircraft in 2019, not sure Airbus will able to deliver the way things are going at the moment. That could swing things to the 787’s?

            Still believe there could be a market for a 330-2/8xx with the NEO’s upgrades and updated CF6-80Ex engines at around 68K-Lb (2-4% fuel saving and/or longer on wing time will be a good start). Certification should be relatively quick?

            This could be an “entry twin aisle” for LCC’s as well as for airlines currently flying 330’s with GE engines (also for freighter?) that want the NEO’s updates but not want to change to T7000’s. Most LLC’s use single aisle aircraft that have engines with a GE connection.

          • Anton,
            it remains to be seen how well the Trent 7000 performs on the -800 and -900, but I expect they will do really well and help building good sales of the A330 whenever as the widebody market picks up again.
            The price of the T7000 should be very similar to the T1000 of the 787, but the A330 itself is much cheaper to build, so with long haul LCCs Airbus should win the vast majority of new sales.

          • Gundolf I really hope so. The 787’s in economy 3-3-3 are, if may say, are “dogs” for anything more than 4 hours, eating is near impossible.

            The 330’s with 2-4-2 are much better in economy. Wish airlines CEO’s and COO’s fly in economy for 12+ hours before they make fleet decisions, Wonder if the Qantas CEO will fly return economy from Sydney to London in his 787-9’s?

            But the money is made with the from seats and decisions made on spreadsheet, and other stuff that I don’t want to go into.

            The next 8 years political impact and its ripples will unfortunately have strong impact on the airline business.

          • The list price of the Trent 7000 for the A330NEO actually seems to be 10% lower than the Trent 1000 of the 787, which is funny as it’s pretty much the same engine, only with bleed air.

          • Thanks Gundolf,

            As I only know CAT/Cummins and Toyota engines, can someone explain to me what are the biggest difference/s between the T1000/7000’s? What does air bleeding do, economy, reliability, temperature, etc.

            ….and, is there a patent on the engine nacelles Boeing are using?

            If Malaysia goes 787-10’s it will give further momentum to it in the middle East. Believe the -10 could be Airbuses biggest concerns in the long run. Why don’t they offer a 6500Nm A350-9 with the XWB79’s and fat trimmed as was the plan with the original 350-800, just apply it to a shorter range -900.

            Singapore flies 350-900’s and then they buy 787-10’s. Cathay Pacific next if Malaysia does it? This could snowball, China, India….

        • “Another project: Winning back leadership in the single-aisle segment. And that would take two planes,”

          What you propose here sounds like a 737/757 replacement, in addition to a 767 replacement. It only shows how skewed Boeing’s product strategy has become over the years. What we see today is the exact opposite of what we witnessed in the 1950’s and 1960’s when Boeing was fast becoming a market leader and was constantly displaying one innovation after another: 707, 727, 737 and 747. All great aircraft.

          Since then Boeing gave us the 757 and 767. Both of them now gone. Then they gave us the 777 to mitigate the impression that some of us were starting to have that Airbus was now ahead technologically speaking. That didn’t work and the 777 was a slow seller for ten years before Boeing found out what was wrong with it.

          But in the meantime the A380 was developed, which put Boeing in complete disarray, and from which they have never recovered. Ever since that they have been acting strangely, like if they had lost their corporate mind. First they came out with the Sonic Cruiser, which was a farce. Then they came out with the Dreamliner, which was a comedy of error. And now the 797, which is an absurdity.

          • I coudn’t agree more, Normand. The 707, 727, 737 and 747 have something in common: They were designed to allow airlines to develop new and profitable business and at the same time made best use of the latest technology. I’d call it calculated risk management.
            Since then that role is filled by Airbus. They successfully introduced supercritical airfoils, composites, FBW, twin widebodies,…
            What is Boeing doing? They are fooling around with moves like setting up headquarter in Chicago! Moving the headquarter of a manufacturing company 2,000 miles away from the factory and the engineering department??? Do they have better golf courses in Chicago than in Seatle?
            Long term market leadership (and thus long term profit) is based on being your customers favourite supplier. Boeing is loosing that position with more and more customers.
            I just can’t see the necessary changes happening at Boeing. If sales of planes decline further they will very soon run into problems a niche plane like the discussed 797 can’t fix.

    • If Boeing makes a 7 abreast aircraft, and get rid of the LD2s, they can make a fuselage 15% smaller and lighter than a 767. At 52m x 52m wing, 52K engines, 5,200nm range, or so.

      I don’t see a rewing for a 8x/9x lite, A330, 787, or A350 with a 52m wing, as even a remote prospect for a long time, if ever. They’re all dogs.

      The A322 with a bigger wing is a given. But 7 abreast at 52m has 7/6 more seats and 2 times more aisle, two different products with some pros and cons. But I think the market is big enough for both.

      But, Airbus can build a 2-3-2 mid-market head to head competitor, and do it slightly better. In that sense, it is imperative that Boeing goes with 20″ seats and aisles. Just like the A350 at 221″ interior width, a 2-3-2 must be 181″ wide minimum.

    • Another off the topic, see the B787-10 first flight scheduled for 31 March. Would have loved it even more if it had 20% more wing.

    • Thanks for the clip Normand, looks like a “fired-up” little machine.

      Then got to the 747-8 clip. There is and there will never be something like that again, fantastic.

      Who killed it? Airline COO’s and Boeing itself. They can sell a lot of planes replacing it.

      Think of an airline with 747-“MAX8’s” feeding hubs for 737MAX8’s, what really more do you actually need. NMA’s, 787’s, 777’s, and who knows what else, NO!!!

      Then flying will be great again.

  20. To back up my comments about Boeing just being smoke and mirrors this time. I was just looking through an old magazine from 1996 and it had news Boeing signed an MoU with a group of Japanese manufactures for developing a new small aircraft ( 90-110 seats), it was called the NSA . !!
    That was all smoke and mirrors too, like I said there are paper planes around all the time.
    Eventually the Japanese came out with the MRJ, but not with Boeing on the development.

  21. Pingback: Could an NMA be made good enough? - Leeham News and Comment

  22. I think I have detected a significant clue if not outright clarity on this from Leeham.

    The subscription for today (23) says 767 replacement.

    767 light maybe, but a 767 size never the less.

    That makes sense in a couple of aspect.

    Leeham says they can’t do a true MOM, at the price needed but they also indicated its on its way.

    So something between a Mom and 767 that meets the replacement needs for the 767 (1000 out there)

    Also better fit for mid range and likely lower costs but not a full low MOM.

    That would work for United, Delta (never thought I would say that) American with the need to replace the 767 but the A330-900 is too big and even if the 800 comes out (I doubt it) its still too big and capable.

    There was a reason the 767 displaced the A300

    My thinking is that the A330 did not displace the 767, it had a market, it was filled (757 all over again) and not much need for more

    New one with much lower build cost and economics and changes the picture and a good replacement market already as well as some new down below the traditional 767 market.

    It makes sense as otherwise upgrades on 767 with current productions assured would be a good offering.

    Also opens up with the new long range LCC types as well as the travel groups.

    • Transworld there are very nice ideas floating around, the NMA surfacing over and over again, mainly a US market and airlines operating 757;s (a real stallion) and 767’s at the moment.

      I probably wear an Airbus cap but if Boeing directors are prepared to put on Jeans and T-shirts, build a 767-200/300MAX (240 seats), 5500Nm. and call it a 767-MAX-Y, not 797, Game On.

      Spend money on a new wing, new cabin and flight deck, could go Al-Li fuselage, keep “plastic’s out of it”, OEW could be around 85T (35T less than a 787-8/330-800). Put a “simple” GEnx 1B54 on the wing.

      A real world aircraft, a twin aisle 737Max8 on steroids. Think markets in China, India will also find favour with this.

      There is NO way Airbus can beat this in the time frame from the top or bottom. The 240 seat size critical, maybe a once-off, but 1500-2000+ of them.

      This guy could be flying in 5 years if Boeing really wants to!

      Then focus on the NSA, 200 seater first.

      • I think the notion of going back and revamping the 767 is off the books.

        While there are good technical reasons for it, too heavy a fuselage, construction methods not optimized etc, there is also a lack of trickle down tech transfer to the 737RS. That i8ncludes build methods.

        Add in the cost of a new wing and new engines on a 767 and its not worth it.

        Again I am not some design tech that can break it down to the details, its just obvious from the direction (on 767) that is not a go.

        If it was a very good medium term gap filler 767 could easily have been done, even a cleanup of existing wing, winglets, new engine would get you a long ways.

        I think its still too heavy a design.

        Much like the A350, a new optimized design that is focusses on low cost build as well as weight, and never having to worry up moving up, can save 10-30 tons maybe off a 767 200.

        With new engines, optimized composite wing and whatever they come up for the fuselage, you may have a winner for not only 767 and 757 replacement , you may created a new market for the lower cost.

        I don’t think I am wrong on this one.

        Per Scott, if the cost can’t be a ream MOM, then maybe there is a slots at the top end that can be and sales may be as good with the 767RS markets as well as other generated.

        I do note that the charter/travel groups bought a fair number of 787s.

        • If you have to cut 30T of the weight it should have an OEW of nearly that of the A321?

          Not sure if the timing is right for a high tech aircraft in a market that has a questionable size. To make a new aircraft worth the effort/money it should also have high tech engines available, these could take 6-8 years at best to be flying?

          If they want to go for a clean sheet design I would rather go for a new single aisle and start with a 180-200 seat size aircraft due to the current 737’s under carriage limitations. This is a big market with “no risk” except the competition.

          P&W got the PW1100 GTF engines running for this aircraft with the required thrust requirements.

          A 767MAX could have been a low risk bridge model like the 737MAXe’s. The US airlines are looking at replacements for the 757’s and 767’s, and that’s about it?

          The 767 (NMA) market is a nice to have market, except if the current 180-200 seat single aisle size grow with time into something sustainable around 220-240 seats. But then the majority will have range requirements of <3000Nm.

          Think there are "jitters" resulting from the emerging LCC's flying Transatlantic. But travelers will start to realize some practicalities like you first have to get to the airports where they fly from/to.

          That a one way ticket in reality is going to cost US$200+ and not 69, you can only eat so many packets of crisps on a 6/7 hour flight while your knees are around your neck, and that weather could result in flight delays and cancellations due to aircraft limitations.

          • Re: “The US airlines are looking at replacements for the 757’s and 767’s, and that’s about it?”

            According to the article at the following link, there is at least one non-US airline, who is not now operating 757’s and 767’s and never has, whose management views Boeing’s 797 project favorably.


            Re: “The 767 (NMA) market is a nice to have market, except if the current 180-200 seat single aisle size grow with time into something sustainable around 220-240 seats. But then the majority will have range requirements of <3000Nm."

            The people who buy airplanes at United, Delta and Emirates have been telling Boeing that their range requirements are in excess of 3000 nm.

            Re: "That a one way ticket in reality is going to cost US$200+ and not 69, you can only eat so many packets of crisps on a 6/7 hour flight while your knees are around your neck, and that weather could result in flight delays and cancellations due to aircraft limitations."

            That is why I often fork over the money for a lie flat seat on long haul flights and try to avoid buying tickets on flights operated with an airplane whose range is marginal for my flight of interest. It is also why I would never pay for a lie flat window seat on a 757 or A321 that might require me to jump over a sleeping aisle seat passenger to get to the restroom mid-flight, if their were alternative flights operated with aircraft that had the aisle access for every lie flat seat, as is generally the case for wide body aircraft including 767's. This is, I believe, why Tim Calrk of Emirates says "Twin aisle is the key" regarding Boeing's NMA.

          • @AP_Robert
            I wonder if Tim Clarke actually signes a sales order when he finds out that the 797 will be significantly more expensive than a A330-800 at equal seat mile cost and only marginally lower trip cost and much lower freight capacity.

          • Personally I think the 330-800 could be a very nice aircraft for passengers and pilots, especially for the part of the world I am coming from. But if airlines don’t buy it, Airbus won’t build it?

            The”goings on” about seat mile cost, sector cost, etc a bit/lots of “hog wash” for passengers. Its a very artificial “ticket prizing market” out there.

            Just a recent example of this from my part of the world on flight realities, costs, etc. These exclude LCC’s and without the Middle East Majors in the mix.

            Airline (A) is flying directly from my capital to theirs (4 500Nm), the only non-stop option for me, ticket prize US$2 100 return in Economy.

            I can get a return ticket with a code sharing airlines flying from my capital (X) to Y (800Nm), then fly with another code sharing airline 3 900Nm to their capital (Z). Then fly with the original airline A to their capital (my planned destination) from Z, another 1 400Nm, a total of 6 100Nm (3 take offs vs 1) for US$770 (Take-offs don’t use fuel and stress engines!!!?)

            These are all reputable sizable airlines operating relatively new fleets of similar types and flight were for the same “week-slot”, on-board service, luggage check-ins, etc… So where does 5% or 10% seat mile/sector costs, CFRP’s, GTF’s, comes into play?

            By the way, for the same destination the prizes between the 3 major Middle East airlines ranged between US$560 – 690. One stop with <6 hour layovers.

            Something is wrong here!

          • @AP Robert, first world problems and not even the vast majority of them.Thanks for subsiding my economy class flights.

      • Cant see how the B767 ‘saw off the A300’ ? The last delivery was in 2007, there being 72 since 2000.
        The A330 was developed as a replacement for the early ‘trunk route’ model tri jets, being fly by wire, 8.5m longer than the A300 and other improvements. the A340 being seen to replace the long range tri-jets.
        The A310 and A300 did very nicely against the B767 and only the ‘improved’ A330 version meant the A300 days were numbered.
        the A310 and B767-200 had limited demand, both selling about 250 or so each.

        As well , there isnt 1000 767s out there waiting to be replaced. The initial 200s went years ago, and only the later 767-300/ERs still going, a lot being replaced by 787 or A330. Those 767s that arent cargo versions would only be around 500 still flying, many of those have their replacements on order with whats currently available

        Doesnt leave much from 767 fleet to buy MOM? Theres around 400 757s still flying passengers and maybe 200 to come from existing 767 operators.

        • Boeing needs a new aircraft around the 200 seat size to basically cover the MAX9/10 and 757 markets. Airbus have the 321 and can trigger an 322XR.

          I think Boeings “predicament” is if it should be an NSA (and)/or MoM.

          At 200 seats you are basically at the SA’s upper limit for passenger comfort and logistics.

          The MoM (2-3-2) at 200 seats will have aerodynamic compromises relative to an SA but have huge passenger benefits and could be stretched to 250+, B767-300 size.

          As you correctly indicated the 767 replacement market is limited and is taken up to some extent by the 787′ and A330’s, although they are heavy aircraft.

          Boeing will have to make choices, a new ~200 seat “oval” shaped 2-3-2 aircraft, which have growth potential, may prove to be the best start in the long run?

          • Sounds like they need a flatter fuselage from the 767 ( the existing one has a deeper than necessary lower hold to fit the LD-2) combined with a slightly revised 757 wing.
            the 767-500 !
            AS for the engine the original GE engine for the 767-200 was the CF6-80A at 46K lbs and fan diameter of 86in.
            For shorter ranges 3000nm +, no need to increase the pressure ratio but could have better fan.
            Another choice would be a LEAP 1A core with a geared fan ( now that GE owns Avio who did the gearbox for P&W)
            Of course , they cant just re-use parts this way, but its a ‘cheap and cheerful approach’

          • For the aircraft to “work” it will require an elliptical cross section fuselage. OEW target for a 200 seater could be in the order of ~60T?

            The wing, use of lighter materials and controlling production costs will be key elements. If these are not possible a wider aisle (28″) NSA with variants seating 180-220 pax is the “only” option.

            This will then still leave the 220-260 seat “NMA-gap”. But then the old question, is that not a natural gap that don’t require filling?

          • Qatar’s potential order for 100 single aisles, if their India venture goes ahead, could be an interesting “landmark”?

          • Elliptical section fuselage isnt going to go anywhere, you still need a cargo hold for baggage for 250 people. I dont know the structural details but it cant be lighter!

          • The design showed by Bjorn indicates that the elliptical 2-3-2 can take LD3-45’s such as those used in the A320’s which will do the trick.

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