Naming games

March 31, 2017 (c) Leeham Co.: With the likelihood appearing greater and great Boeing will launch a new, middle of the market sector airplane, what’s the name

Is “A360” a name for the next Airbus aircraft? Or would it be the butt of jokes? Rendering via Google images.

going to be?

Steven Udvar-Hazy, chairman of Air Lease Corp, already calls it the 797. We agree, though until this is a done deal, we’re calling it the 7M7 while in development.

If Airbus responds with a stretched A321neo–anything but a certain prospect–the working title among the press has long been A322. Airbus officials have occasionally called it the A321 Plus-Plus, a name that will hardly roll off the tongue.

If Airbus were to respond with a new twin-aisle, either smaller than the A330-200/800 (which aren’t selling these days) or about the same size, what would this be called? Skipping to A400 doesn’t work: the name is taken by the A400M, which in any event is a snake-bitten name.

Then, what will the replacements for the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 be called.

It’s already assumed “797” is the name of the widely expected Boeing middle of the market airplane. Rendering via Google images.

For Boeing, the “797” runs out the string of 7 Series choices. For Airbus, folklore says it rejected the name “A360” because of the jokes that would be made about the airplane flying in circles if an issue required a return from its takeoff point. According to the same folklore, “A370” was rejected because the “7” harks to Boeing’s 7 Series.

So: just for fun, let’s have some naming contests.

Assuming “797” is assigned to the Boeing 7M7 project and a replacement for the 737 is the next airplane, what is it named?

Assuming Airbus responds to the Boeing 7M7 with a stretched A321neo, what is it named?

If Airbus launches a new twin-aisle aircraft to compete with the 7M7, smaller than the A330-200/800, what is it named?

When Airbus launches a replacement for the A320, what should it be named?

53 Comments on “Naming games

  1. Boeing knows 8 is a Chinese lucky number. Most likely it would go that way.

    • Yes, but I note it has been the number of death in the 21st century!!

      B787-8, disaster
      B787-9/10, whote program will never break even, but these two are less disasterous.
      B777-8, never make money but Boeing are commited or the ME3 would never have ordered the B777-X

      A380-8, need I say more
      A350-8, DOA
      A330-8, really setting the world on fire, isn´t it?
      A318, I nearly forgot this is a 21st century aricraft.

      MAX8 is a re-engined 20th century aricraft without a real name change, so doesn´t count in this century.

      If I was Boeing and Airbus I would never put the number 8 in another aircraft ever, there is a reason COMAC chose the name 919!!!!

      • “B787-8, disaster
        B787-9/10, whote program will never break even, but these two are less disasterous.”

        Actually the entire 787 programme is a bit of a disaster, and there happens to be an 8 between two 7s.

        I could add to this that the Triple Seven as a programme is about to run out of luck.

        As to the 7M7, it should be called the Boeing 911. It would be a fitting name for this impending catastrophe…

        Just joking! 🙂

    • Eight is a lucky number in Confucian cultures in general. Toyota was founded by the Toyoda family. In Japanese writing, Toyoda is made with thirteen brush strokes while Toyota is made with eight brush strokes, the company was originally the Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, Ltd, but when the automobile company was created and spun off it was named Toyota Motor Co. since eight strokes was considered lucky. The current President of Toyota Motors is Akio Toyoda.

      • 8 Was not overly lucky in the early days for the 787-8. The 747-8 have also problems of its own and there are not a scramble by airlines to order the 777-8?

        The Airbus A380 and A330-800 have problems of their own while the A350-800 was canned.

        The MAX8 is doing very well on the other hand while the MAX7 is on shaky ground?!

  2. For a NSA Boeing I think 7337 could be fitting. But sure there may be many Admin issues.

  3. I think Boeing is gone a try torture à little more that poor 737 frame buy stretching it. It would the B737- 8Super Dooper MAX.

  4. Why A322 (or A321 plus-plus) could not be called simply A328 or A329?
    A330: A338 and A339
    A380: A388 and (maybe…) A389

    • A325 – slightly warmed-over A320neo
      A326 – A325 plus a few extra rows (“A320.5”) – 200 two-class seats at non-squeezy pitch (MAX8/200 killer)
      A327 – A321neo with new wing, higher gross weight, true trans-Atlantic range
      A328 – A327 stretch, 250 two-class seats

      • I like A325 🙂
        However, the A320 replacement concept was named A30x and A305 wasn’t it?

  5. As said elsewhere before from this end : Boeing do not have people at decision-level with guts and tight belts anymore, so it’s going to be either 757 MAX or 767 MAX for MOM and/or 737 MAX 10 … nothing new to expect from that end. From Airbus, the retaliation would be A322 (hopefully in the H22QR guise ?) plus possibly A310 NEO or a shortened A330, let’s dub it A331 for A330-100 ie the OV-099 solution, including the lighter new carbon wing + wingbox and A350 nose + systems, to keep things within beancounter limits ? Now, Boeing could opt for a moonshot MOM for dramatic spin or romance, I’d go with SUH and propose 797, and I add ‘Good Luck with your 797’ Boeing !!

  6. If its going to be a 767 fuselage with a 757 wing, my choice is 767-5
    If they start from scratch with a new plane , we can call it LATE

  7. You all are having way too much fun. ‘Must be happy hour on a Friday…
    808 is too close to A380, but it would work well with Asian cultures (8 is a happy number) Don’t touch # 4 (pronunciation in Chinese is way too close to the word for “death.”), so I guess 797 and A 370.

  8. While I consider a 322 highly possible, Airbus might first present “the perfect 200 seater” 320 1/2, which becomes 320.5 in short 325 which might make a prolonged 321 likely a 326.

  9. The name for the A320 replacement is not A500 but CS500. 😉

    • wasn’t the “2” there to indicate twice the regular speed 😕

        • Was that actually the first time American “Oneupmanship” went pearshaped and the final recourse was spoiling the soup for the competiition?

          • Maybe Airbus and Boeing should build a MoM/NMA together using the Russian PD-18R GTF engines?

  10. On the day two new commercial aircraft flew for the first time, this is the topic of discussion ?

    I would think the first flight of the first commercial (true) Boeing aircraft outside of Seattle would have been a story worth writing.

    • 2.5 ( or thereabouts )

      The An-132D too had its first flight yesterday.
      All three are sub versions or upgrades to existing designs.

      • They make it easy for names, the An-32 with a new engine(PW150) and higher payload becomes the An-132

    • Don’t think the A319/20/21 NEO’s can be called new aircraft. Without new engines what would have the improvements be?

      Boeing put in a much better effort with the MAX8. The MAX9/10’s however the opposite!

      • That was not voluntary.

        Boeing had to do so much more to tide over the engine shortfalls (lack of propulsive efficiency gains from a larger fan)
        and some other potential detail improvements here and there ( like winglets ) had long been leveraged to still achieve a comparable overall efficiency gain.
        Airbus currently can still turn “design potential” cheaper and with less effort into performance gains than Boeing can.
        At some time in the future Airbus too will run into diminishing returns in this field. .. but not yet.

        • At some stage an “old” design runs into a wall, that where Boeing is with the MAX10 (and 747’s)?

          The A32X’s have age on their side, guess Airbus will only start pulling a few bunnies out of the hat when a Boeing NSA is in the works.

          The A330 (A300) is starting to move down the 737 path?

        • Uwe you seem to be closer to technical things.

          Wonder if it will be worth for Boeing to consider a “high performance” version of the 787-9(“P”) using the 787-10’s 76K-Lb engines?

          This will be very useful for airlines operating out off “Hot-and/or-High” airports and a further blow to the already “fragile” A330-900.

          • From RR The full 787(-8,-9,-10) model range gets the T1000TEN. Thrust variants are “spec plugged”.
            Same for the A330. –> T7000 full thrust range of the base engine (again: T1000TEN ) should be available there too. ( if so desired.)
            Now is the 787 take off performance wheel speed limited or runway length limited? ( looks like tire speed, brake energy limits apply. Not enough wing.) An Albatros Airlines A340 could flap its way along a 20k’ runway for liftoff if need be.

          • Thanks, I had a suspicion about the wing as the MTOW of the 787-9 and -10 appears to be the same. Never thought of wheel speed limitations.

  11. I’d like to see a return to using names rather than numbers. The 747 aside (with its distinctiveness and the glamour associated with it) I think numbering is too sterile and getting more so. Plus I don’t see more than a tiny % of passengers caring which variant they are sat in. So put some emotion and glamour/style/aspiration back in, as Boeing has nudged toward with Sonic Cruiser and Dreamliner.

    For the 7M7 I’d simply go with a new _______liner name.

    For Airbus, they could start a similar range of names with common element, or simply something fresh each time. I’d go with the latter.

    For both, get the public involved in suggesting and choosing names. Cheap, easy, effective publicity.

    • “For both, get the public involved in suggesting and choosing names. Cheap, easy, effective publicity.”

      Was the “Dreamliner” moniker actually chosen by “real” public acclaim or by a stuffed ballot?
      For how the program ran the tag was a bit oversized … and thus leveraged for derision.

      • I’ve no idea with the Dreamliner. But I fail to see how that has any relevance to how a future public invlvement should be run. Any competent PR op can design the feedback to be compliant with any legislation, open, honest and able to avoid Boaty McBoatface type issues.

        The timing of the naming of the 787 was poor. Given the historical overrun on aircraft development a sensible PR op would have waited until things were looking AOK before getting the public involved. Until then run the programme on its internal codename/number.

  12. Do a Windows 10 on it… And just update using hidden codes (for non fanboys)… Like a321-300… A322-300… A330-700 (smaller a330 if ever).

    Gotta say I’m far more interested in the a322 and what airbus do (hopefully. New wing that can be back fit to the 321/320… And call them ‘Plus’ for their new ranges).

    Not sure boeing will ever make the MOM profitable as they have sooooo much to do.

    • The A330-700 is in development…. The Beluga XL is listed as A330-700XL as it’s a A330-200F with a -300 “Aft Wing Plug”…. As -400 (stretch) and -500 (shrink) where stillborn projects, the next would be either -600 or -1000…

      • Personally I would love to see a 320 (Plus/320.5/325) with new wing. The new wing will have a span of >36m and move it from Cat-C to D. I don’t know how much impact that will have on the aircraft’s application due to airport restrictions.

        I can recall reading somewhere about an Airbus patent for a folding wing tip. Could that be the for the A32X ?

        • Either that or for the A380+ or A380neo to stay under 80m? They are currently just shy of 79m. Any Sharklet, Swallowshark, or what ever they call it, would bring them to, say, 85m? Or they use their patented downwards bended Winglets: Looks stupid and is less efficient than “normal” ones, but keeps stretch limited.

          • Just wondering how many more orders Airbus must loose to the Boeing MAX8 before they realize they should have had the A320Plus?!

            For many airlines the A320 is to small and the A321 to much. They want a single aircraft solution for single aisle, then they go for the MAX8.

            Its clear Airbus is trying to push clients to the A321NEO, but next thing they pushed them over the cliff to the NMA, and the MAX8 being their single aisle.

            Know the 320NEO’s order book is “full” but they could have taken 500+(?) orders from the MAX8(9) with an “A320+”?

    • 808 Sounds if you are 8 minutes late for work?

      Think 797 should be “reserved” for the 737 replacement (NSA).

      If there is a new MoM/NMA focused at the 767 size, maybe “868”?

      With my kids getting involved here they say a “trip 8” (888) will will be “cool” for a new 747.

  13. How about the “Boeing Costalot”. Rolls off the tongue nicely, and accurately reflects the product.

  14. How about calling it the A232 for the economy cross section most liked by travellers!

    • I mean for the Airbus competitor, if they decide to try a new small twin-aisle.

  15. How about 700,701,702,703,704,705,706,708,709,710,711,etc.No 707,717,etc. Or start with the 8’s. 808,818,828,838,848,858,868,878,888,etc. Enough there for many decades.

    • Steve I actually like the 70X idea. When you think Boeing yo think “7”.

  16. Airbus suggested A350-2000 for a larger XWB. 800, 900, 1000… 2000? By this standard, I would not expect too much logic in naming decisions.

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