Airbus working on new Sharklets for A350

By Bjorn Fehrm

October 25, 2017, © Leeham Co: Airbus is working on further extending the range of the A350-900 and -1000. The company is quietly testing an extended Sharklet, which will extend the aircraft’s wingspan.

An A350-900 test aircraft is flying since last week with the larger Sharklet, Figure 1. Jujug Spotting in Toulouse caught the test and we have the right to show the pictures.

Figure 1. A350-900 test aircraft flying with larger Sharklets. Source: Jujug Spotting.

A350 range

Airbus has extended the range of the A350 in several steps. The first was certifying with a higher Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) than announced in 2014. Instead of a maximum of 268t, the aircraft was certified with 275t. This increased the range from 7.750nm to close to 8,000nm.

Later the MTOW extended to 280t, when the longer range A350-900ULR was announced. The range of the standard A350-900 was now 8,100nm. The A350-900URL version extends the fuel capacity in addition, from 141,000l to 165,000l, so flights up to 9,700nm can be made (though with reduced seat numbers).

Airbus is also planning to increase the MTOW of the A350-1000 from the planned 308t. As we wrote in June the plan is to certify up to 316t for the aircraft.

Additional range

Now an additional range extender is tested. The A350-900 in Figure 1 is equipped with higher Sharklets. The difference can be seen when comparing to the photo in Figure 2 of the present A350-1000 prototype, equipped with standard A350 Sharklets.

Figure 2. A350-1000 test aircraft with the present Sharklet. Source: Jujug Spotting.

The new Sharklet is higher and less swept backward than standard. The effect is to increase the aircraft’s effective wingspan (the wingspan the air sees). Increased wingspan means lower induced drag, which benefits both cruise and take-off drag.

The added wingspan can probably be introduced without changes to the A350 wing. The wing structure proved stronger than planned when ultimate load test was made on the wing.

Our performance model says the larger Sharklets will increase the A350-900 range by ~100nm and the A350-1000 range by ~140nm, when introduced. Alternatively, the fuel consumption over a mission of 5,000nm will reduce by ~1.4% for the A350-900 and ~1.6% for the A350-1000.

119 Comments on “Airbus working on new Sharklets for A350

  1. Hello Bjorn

    Nice choice of photos … :d
    Where these new winglets part of the 1% aero clean-up annonce along the 1% TXWB PIP for the A350 due in 2020 ?
    Or is it on top the previous 2% announced for 2020 ?

    Best regards

    • Hi Poncho,

      I don’t know. I will check with Airbus, but it might stone-wall the existence of these new winglets (like they changed the ACAP when someone pushed out the 316t to early).

        • We have got a response from Airbus:

          – We can confirm that as part of our continuous improvement philosophy, we are undertaking some tests to study a modified wing tip design. This remains a development study at this time and it is too early to report any findings. Everyday testing is a normal part of evaluations.

          – EIS feedback, new developments, R&T are all sources for further improvement, even though not all ideas are adopted commercially.

          My comments: So anyone’s guess what PIPs will be going forward. If the evolution of the A330 is any guide, there will be improvements all the time.

    • I think the answer is no. Somewhere I read that the revised wing twist for the A350-1000 caused a revised wing twist for the A350-900. But it is still to be introduced on the A350-900 along with all the other aerodynamic improvements and other material (weight) improvements.

      I think it will all come together when the Trent XWB EP arrives in 2019 for the changes will need a fair amount of re-certification. I’ve been predicting an overall range increase of 300-400nm for the A350-900 and perhaps more to bring it to 8400-8500nm and more.

      The A350-1000 appears to be performing very, very well. Expect the 316 tonne version to match the 8700nm range of the 777-8 but with 38 tonnes less weight (316 v 354 tonnes). But RR may need to bump the engine to 100K for hot and high conditions

      • @philip:
        “A350-1000 appears to be performing very, very well. Expect the 316 tonne version to match the 8700nm range of the 777-8…”
        2 major problems with this expectation:
        1) Airbus’ current range spec for 35K @ 316t MTOW is 7,950nm. modeling for adoption of new, larger wingtip adds 140nm. Optimistically, I estimate 35K will then hv 8,100nm range. The gap between my estimate and your expected 8,700nm is 7.4%. 7.4% is a huge step change in range even if it’ll be enabled by some further OEW savings(e.g. 1~1.5t given that the prototype is already very close to specs and therefore pretty optimized in airframe weight?) plus the upcoming Trent XWB EP in 2019(Historically, squeezing fuel burn improvements fm an existing engine platform yield an avg of about 0.5% per yr).

        I just don’t buy such magnitude of range improvements in such a short time span.

        2) As U may already know, U can’t do a direct comparison of range just by reading off brochure specs of Airbus vs Boeing. Load config definition for Airbus range spec is very diff fm Boeing’s. frequently mentioned this in their stories and sometimes explained why in details such as their diff assumptions re J seat design/weight, payload weight per pax+bag, etc.

        In a nutshell, 35K @ a hypothetical 8,700nm brochure range generally return less real world payload/range capability as the 778 @ 8,700nm brochure range.

        • To address your points

          The 7950nm brochure range is for the original 308 tonne/156000 litre A350-1000. The new 316 tonne version allows the fuel to be increased to the maximum of 165000 litres of fuel, another 7 tonnes. Another 7 tonnes would add about 500 nm miles to the range. So 8450 nm. And so on.

          With regard to the brochure ranges. I assume the ranges stated by Boeing and Airbus are without reserves. As an easy rule of thumb I add 10% to the distance for the purpose of adding reserves. So London/Sydney is 9200nm distance. Add 10%. That becomes 10100nm. So the A350-900ULR is still 400nm short at 9700nm. The 777-8 is 1400 nm at 8700 nm.

          The 10% rule of thumb is simplistic. If the North Atlantic slip stream is having a bad day it isn’t enough!

          To suggest Boeing are more honest than Airbus. Well you know my views on that

          • Question for the Aussies out there.

            Why not develop a Hub at Darwin from where you can fly direct to any destination in Europe (Darwin to London ~7500Nm). It could also be fed from destinations outside of Aus such as the Fijian islands, NZ, PNG, etc.

            The current trip is ~3km, looks like if there are ample space to lengthen it to 4km?

          • @philip:
            “The 7950nm brochure range is for the original 308 tonne…Another 7 tonnes would add about 500 nm miles to the range. So 8450 nm.”
            Thx for clarifying the various range vs MTOW figures. I was too lazy to look up and made the mistake of relying on wiki data…a dumb move.

            8t increase in MTOW returning 7t extra fuel to cruise about 500nm longer totally make sense based on what I hv read previously about Trans-Pcf mission fuel planning by pilots – 35K @ 316t MTOW with larger wingtips will indeed hv about 8,450nm nominal range per Airbus definition.

            “I assume the ranges stated by Boeing and Airbus are without reserves”
            Based on the mission rules they’ve published which I hv seen over the past 15yrs for defining nominal ranges, both always accounted for emergency fuel reserves. In fact, also accounted for a little bit of the typical headwind on westbound direction….this is why when looking @ their published range charts over a globe fm a selected airport, the shape of the aircraft range coverage area fm the center(i.e. originating airport) is never perfectly circular because some areas experience more headwinds than others.

            “As an easy rule of thumb I add 10% to the distance for the purpose of adding reserves….10% rule of thumb is simplistic.”
            Me too(interesting coincidence…may be we do think alike technically) for the past 15yrs but in reverse – subtract 10% fm the nominal ranges published by Airbus or Boeing to estimate real world performance of a type – and for a diff purpose. Since Airbus & Boeing figures already took care of reserves, I do it to assume the worst headwinds(Assumption used by Airbus & Boeing online brochures are far more optimistic than actual airline mission planners) and enroute traffic detour(e.g. actual airway assigned for a route not being a perfectly straight line on the globe) mirroring as close as possible how real operators plan such yr-round longhaul missions to minimize/eliminate unscheduled tech/refuel stop.

            “If the North Atlantic slip stream is having a bad day it isn’t enough!”
            Agreed. Same thing over the N.Pacific tracks during winter with especially challenging headwind on westbound for the zone right below Alaska which I estimate aircraft performance more often.

            “To suggest Boeing are more honest than Airbus.”
            I don’t know who is more honest nor do i care I just look @ mission pax load definition of Airbus vs Boeing shared & explained in details, for example, by a few yrs ago. For the 1st time after decades, both Boeing & Airbus changed their definitions which used to be very close to each other but outdated re current op realities. In a nutshell, their new config assumptions re widebodies became closer to op realities but the gap between them widened significantly such as Boeing is now assuming higher load per pax+bag than Airbus(I can’t recall by how much exactly but I do recall diff is double digit % in kg) and Boeing assumed flatbed+direct aisle in every J seat….see page 2-11 here:

            While Airbus also assumed flatbed but no direct aisle access(i.e. 2-2-2 config..lighter J seat weight per pax) for every J:

            At the same time, Boeing’s new definition use denser configs(i.e. higher payload+OEW) than before. As a result, nominal range published for Boeing widebodies dropped significantly across the board before vs after the new definition was implemented. 2 examples:
            Before change: A 14,600km bird @ 365seats(9 abreast in Y) and exactly the spec target 35K was aiming since launch in 2007.
            After change: A 13,650km bird @ 395seats(2-class, 10 abreast in Y).

            Before change: A 14,800~15,400km bird @ 280seats(3class, no flatbed+seat pitch 61″ in F and 39″ in J)
            After change: A 14,140km bird @ 290seats(J in 85″ pitch +Y in 32″)

            My view/pre-conceived notion towards Airbus or Boeing is irrelevant to the fact that Boeing now use more stringent load assumptions than Airbus to calculate nominal range.

        • To further address brochure figures. Singapore to LA, distance 7623 nm. United are starting a 787 service, but with 245 passengers as opposed to 290. Even then United admitted on windy days a number of seats will be left empty, how many is unknown. Equally we don’t know what constitutes a windy day. So the brochure number of 7635nm for the 787-9 does not include reserves

          Equally, Singapore airlines have said they will wait for the 280 tonne A350 before they start Singapore to LA. It will be interesting whether it is full passenger load, remember that Singapore airlines A350s have a relatively low passenger load

          • FLX as you noted I am not fully read on all aspects but “my” local airline use range as the distance that can be covered accounting for wind but exclusive of an 1 hour reserve and 400Nm diversion.

            With one of the main airports at 1700m above sea level and temperatures often above 35C make it brochure ranges and actual range to be vastly different.

          • @philip:
            “To further address brochure figures. Singapore to LA, distance 7623 nm. United are starting a 787 service, but with 245 passengers as opposed to 290.”
            Although the above example re UA is ok to est how change in seat count influence actual range capability of a type, it’s less ideal/precise than the example I’ve chosen specifically to est 778 payload/range for SYD-LHR under the same QF longhaul config & mission rules.

            PER->LHR by QF 789 will begin in less than 5mths. These are the details:
            Sector distance=7,829nm
            789 nominal range=7,635nm
            789 nominal seatcount=290seats(J+Y per
            789 est. real world range(after 10% reduction rule)=6,872nm
            =>So QF gained @ least 14% range over Boeing nominal by playing with seat count.
            QF 789 cabin config/density=J(All flatbed with direct aisle access)+PY+Y across 236seats
            =>So QF lost 18.6% seatcount fm nominal to gain 14% range over the est. real world range of 789.

            778 nominal range=8,700nm
            778 nominal seatcount=365(J+Y as per
            778 est. real world range(after 10% reduction rule)=7,830nm
            QF 778 cabin config/density assumption=Same as 789 but with 297seats across…..a load close enough to what QF wanted all along fm SYD-LHR/JFK missions.
            =>So QF similarly lost 18.6% seatcount fm nominal as in the case of their 789.
            =>So assuming the reduced seatcount also allow QF to gain 14% range over the est. real world range of 778, a QF config 778 will yield about 8,926nm.

            Conclusion: 778 range performance in current specs is less than 280nm(equivalent to a bit over 0.5hr cruise or around 4t fuel per yr model shared with me earlier) fm QF specific requirements.

            This is why I believe 778 in current form is not far fm what QF want.

            Perhaps starting with the real SQ’s 359 @ 275t MTOW in 253seats config already deployed on daily SFO-SIN for over a yr now, may be U can try similarly crude methodology to est how much range a 359ULR will hv in a hypothetical 250seats QF config instead of the SQ/Airbus nominal of 160~170seats.

            “Singapore airlines have said they will wait for the 280 tonne A350 before they start Singapore to LA.”
            More precisely for that route(and SIN-NYC), SQ hv said they are waiting for delivery of a 280t MTOW version in 2018 but NOT for a 359 in their 253seats config nor similar normal density(Available only fm 2019 anyway and I recall PR will be the 1st operator for that variant) but for a 359ULR planned with 160~170seats. Highest MTOW planned for both ULR and non-ULR is the same 280t. SQ also said publicly that their existing 359 @ 275t MTOW with 253seats is not capable to reliably do LAX->SIN nonstop yr-round….main reason they wait for 359ULR and give UA a temp monopoly.

            “It will be interesting whether it is full passenger load..”
            I strongly believe SQ hv no need to block any seat anytime on their 359ULRs for LAX/NYC->SIN. In fact, same story re their current 359 op for SFO->SIN.

          • @Anton:
            “…airports at 1700m above sea level and temperatures often above 35C…”
            And therefore not applicable to SYD, LHR nor JFK and thus irrelevant to a discussion about how 778 or 359ULR fit into QF’s plan for such extremely long sectors unprecedented in longhaul op history.

            “…brochure ranges and actual range to be vastly different.”
            A fact which I knew about fm as early as 2004 shortly after the program launch of 787 and 350Mk1(i.e. non-XWB).

            A few yrs later after lots of reading/info searching, I hv also learnt that actual range also vary vastly across operators even for the same type @ the same payload, rwy altitude +temperature. Since around 2012, I hv already moved on to learn more about how “different” thx partly to great analysis by

          • Obviously off topic but found that the 340-600 outperforms its brochure range and the 330-300 under performs from hot and high.

            Must acknowledge that they sometimes need to throttle back (340-600) for 60-90 minutes to ~380 knots to make NY when strong head winds.

          • @FLX

            The Singapore A350-900ULR with 170 seats is for 19+hr sectors. The example used was Singapore to New York, 8293nm, 19+hrs with winds, 400nm north of perth to london

            The current A350-900 can do 16hr sectors with full load, the one to be introduced in 2019 probably 17hr sectors with full load.

            Singapore to LA will be full load

            Be careful about apples and oranges. The Singapore A350-900URL will have 68 lie flat businness class seats and 94 premium economy seats to do Singapore to New York. The Qantas 787-9 will have 48 sit up business class seats, 24 premium economy and 164 economy seats to do Perth to London

            In other words, the 787-9 cabin is a very light cabin per PAX, the A350-900ULR a very heavy cabin per PAX

  2. The A350 is struggling to compete, so looking for improvements wherever they may be found seems reasonable and prudent.

    • @IHSV:
      “The A350 is struggling to compete, so looking for improvements..”
      Its current struggle in the mktplace has little or nothing to do with why Airbus is developing these performance/efficiency related improvements. The mkt has never perceived the 350, even its most basic variant, as lacking in performance/efficiency.

      It has far more to do with the lack of near-term delivery slots to sell which in turn is due to a slower than originally planned production ramp-up

      • I’m not sure I understand what you’re trying to say.

        IMJ, the A350 is not “struggling” in the market — far from it.

        As for production output and near-term delivery slots, there’s currently a glut in the widebody market. The A350 production output should reach 13 per month at a time when airlines will likely resume ordering widebodies in higher number.

        • OV-099:
          “..there’s currently a glut in the widebody market.”
          Depending on whom in the widebody mkt U are referring to. Certainly no glut in the mkt for SQ, JL, MH and TK which hv indicated intention this yr to order or firmed commitments on more 787s. Even pure Airbus operator HX has indicated their interest last wk to order 787:

          Most of these announcements came around the time when Boeing announced 787 production rate increase fm 12 to 14 starting 2019. IMJ which is based on what’s happening in widebody mkt lately, if there is a glut, it’s easing at least.

          “A350 production output should reach 13 per month”
          I hv zero doubt it eventually will as planned by Airbus but the bigger question impacting near-terms sales prospect is how long it will take to get there given that:
          1. Current rate is only about 6 per mth=
          That’s a much steeper or longer ramp up to 13 per mth than 787 going fm 12 to 14 per mth less than 2yrs fm now.
          2. 35K is new to the line and will slow down the overall 350 rate for a while=
          This is not unique to the 350 at all as the overall 787 delivery rate was also slowed significantly when it was integrating 78J production early this yr. However unlike 350, overall 787 rate still never went below 9~10 per mth this yr despite the new 78J.
          3. Current 350 order backlog is huge
          Actually larger than even the 787’s today. Will take a long time to clear @ least the front end of that backlog to open up some 350 production slots to sell. Until 2022 or after and given the big diff in production rate 350 vs 787 before that time, I think it’s fair to say the 787 program has far more vacant slots to sell than the 350 program.

          “at a time when airlines will likely resume ordering widebodies in higher number.”
          But as we’ve observed in recent mths, that time seems to hv started already with a slew of order intentions fm widebody customers for more 787.

        • @FLX

          Key point from your link:

          An airline source familiar with the matter described the reference to Boeing as deliberate.

          “Hong Kong Airlines is definitely not going to have an all-Airbus fleet in the future,” the source said.

          Most airlines like competition to drive pricing down. Sole-sourcing is obviously not in the best interest of airlines unless they order aircraft in bulk. I’m not surprised, therefore, that Hong Kong Airlines would want to order some Boeings.

          As for A350 production, you seem to have misunderstood how this works. Just recently*, Airbus confirmed that they are sticking to the target to increase A350 production to 10 per month by the end of 2018. That does not translate into 10 deliveries per month by the end of 2018. What this means is that by the end of 2018 the suppliers will be delivering assemblies to the production lines at a rate of 10 per month. There’s obviously going to be a time lag before the A350 FAL will be turning out A359s/A35Ks at a rate of 10 per month (i.e. 2nd half of 2019).

          I see no reason why Airbus wouldn’t be able to reach an output of 140 A350s per year by 2020/2021 (13 per month) — making your argument/points moot.


          • OV-099:
            “I see no reason why Airbus wouldn’t be able to…making your argument/points moot.”
            My argument is moot because of the way U see it?

            Wow, U surely know how to shut down opposite arguments….

            “…reach an output of 140 A350s per year by 2020/2021”
            Which is 1 yr diff between what I was predicting earlier here:
            “Until 2022 or after…”
            With due respect, are U splitting hairs here?

            Fine, 350 program will hv similar vacant slot availability as 787 program fm 2021…..if this can make U a happier, 350 loving/787 hating person somehow.

          • @FLX

            What a pathetic accusation. Anybody who’s hating an airplane got to have some serious personal problems.

            Being critical of Boeing’s corporate strategic planning and their industrial organisation and innovation — or lack thereof — does not mean that one is “hating” their products. Perhaps that’s too difficult a concept for you to grasp.

            As for your argument being moot; it had more to do with you seemingly manufacturing a phony “crisis” where the A350 somehow is “struggling to compete”.

            I can’t see any reason, though, why you got yourself all worked up about it.

    • “A350 struggling to compete”??

      No way. The A350 is just starting. With the A3509-000, you have an aircraft now that flies farther and with more passengers that the 787-9 as well as farther and with much better economics than the many 777-200ER’s that will have to be replaced. With the -1000 we have an aircraft that flies further and more economically than the 777-9 and whose range is slowly encroaching upon the 777-8. By the time these improvements are incorporated, the A350 will surpass the 777x family in almost every parameter, especially if we assume that airlines will gravitate toward the smaller planes.

      I predict that United will jump on this and start new non-stop routes from Houston to Mumbai and Houston to Manila.

  3. Sounds like the A350 is soon going to be more efficient than the 787…and capable of doing what Qantas requires to start nonstop flights to LHR.

    • As is the way of things the PIPs for the A350 will be countered by similar PIPs on the B787. Looking at the wingtip rakes on the B787 I have always been curious as to why They do not ‘upturn’ in the manner of almost all other contemporary aircraft. This seems to be the standard response to gaining effective aspect ratio whilst remaining within gate restrictions.

      • The B787 was never gate limited, as most Airbus aircraft are. With around 60m span it fits easily into the ICAO Code E gate limit of 52m to 65m. No need to use ‘upturn’ on the wingtips and waste some lift there.

      • @Sowerbob:
        “As is the way of things the PIPs for the A350 will be countered by similar PIPs on the B787.”
        Agreed. Some folks seem to forget that development & implementation of engine PiPs are not exclusive to 1 airplane type. This is especially true when 1 propulsion vendor is onboard both 350 AND 787 programs in which so many key techs on engines are shared(e.g. Trent XWB vs Trent 1000TEN).

        Both 350 and 787 are moving targets for each other to aim and we’ll be back to square one over the long run in terms of their advantages relative to each other.

        What I find interesting about this larger wingtip for 350 is its design strategy actually mirrors what Boeing had originally designed for the 789 wingtip that was supposed to be larger than the 788 wingtip and the current 789 wingtip(Now shared across all 3 family members) for the same goal….more long-range aero efficiency than the smaller version can deliver. The 787 outboard wing basic structure already accounted for this larger version wingtip because when Boeing canceled that larger wingtip for 789, the wing structural design was already frozen long ago.
        It was never adopted for 789 most likely due to supply chain+assembly simplification(the relentless drive for more productivity fm 787 assembly lines) and its design blueprint probably still sitting somewhere on a shelf in Everett or Korea(All 787 wingtips are built by KoreanAir Aerospace division).

        “…wingtip rakes on the B787 I have always been curious as to why They do not ‘upturn’ in the manner of almost all other contemporary aircraft.”
        The answer is in 787’s wingspan specs. Essentially because unlike 350 & 330Neo family for example, wingspan of 787 family is relatively far away fm ICAO Cat E gate width limit….no tech benefit for its wingtip to go up at all. In fact, the chopped-off wingspan for the now defunct 783 was actually ICAO Cat D.

        “…seems to be the standard response to gaining effective aspect ratio whilst remaining within gate restrictions.”
        But if wingspan is not limited by gate width such as 787, U would rather hv more horizontal than vertical in your wingtip design because it contributes to both lift AND drag reduction. In contrast, upturn wingtip design addresses drag but does nothing for lift.

        • Thanks guys, I had sort of guessed the answer but thanks for the clarification. I was aware of the 3 variant chop to effectively fit into B767 gates but was unsure as to the ‘standard’ B787 wing. So many of the designs are ‘gate or box limited’ that it seems relatively rare for a clean sheet design to not be.

        • @FLX

          ‘Both 350 and 787 are moving targets for each other to aim and we’ll be back to square one over the long run in terms of their advantages relative to each other’

          We always get excited by the incremental improvement of a new type being launched. What seems to be forgotten is the difference in payload, range and efficiency that can be gained from the developments in the early years of a programme’s production. I remember that BA (airline) took the A380 only after a significant update and appear to be placing themselves in line for a mature A350 (msn330). You also end up with a more homogenous fleet

        • ” 789 wingtip ” – Aren’t al variants have the same wing and differ only on the length of their body?
          Thanks, David

      • Google “Boeing raked wingtips”, then select first entry “Aviation Stack Exchange” to get the answer to your question.

        • Basically raked wingtips for long range aircraft work better but you have t9o know how to die sign a wing that takes advantage of them.

          Unless you have an all new wing (787/747) then it will not work and you go with winglets.

          Split winglets are now working their way into the system on the 737s, probably see them on 767s as well.

          Airbus is simply way behind Boeing in this area and is following what Boeing did before.

          797 may have split winglets as its a shorter range aircraft, will be interesting to see.

          • In a post earlier this year by Scott re; naming of future models their was an image of the “797” with Scimitars.

            If Boeing wants to give AB a rodeo ride they must launch an all new 757 size NSA, then AB’s anticipated 321/321+/322 milk cow will suddenly look shaky.

          • @TransWorld

            “Airbus is simply way behind Boeing in this area and is following what Boeing did before.”

            There you go again — and predictably, no analysis to show for it

            You seem to have missed the point that Airbus and Boeing design and optimise their wings differently. One big difference between Airbus and Boeing wings — since Airbus developed the A320 — is with the trailing edge high lift devices in the low speed flight regime; the Airbus uninterrupted trailing edge flaps generates more lift and less drag than the separated inner / outer flaps and flaperons on a Boeing wing. Interestingly, the wings on the C919, MC-21 and CSeries are all designed using Airbus-type uninterrupted trailing edge flaps.

            Now, putting a wing tip device on a wing changes the pressure distribution of the wing outwards. In order to regain an optimal total pressure distribution, slight adjustments are typically required to the surface topography of Airbus wings, while this does not seem to be the case with Boeing wings. Does that mean that Boeing wings are better? No, it means that puting winglets on Airbus wings requires more work and analysis than what’s seemingly the case with putting winglet on Boeing wings.

          • @Transworld

            Winglets of all kinds have been around for decades, at least since I went to UNI to do aeronautical engineering 40 years ago.

            The issue was making them. Aluminium didn’t have the properties. If made of aluminium, the one seen on the A350 photo would start waving about and break off.

            Carbon does have the properties. But something that thin, that long and with those kind of forces shows Airbus are advancing carbon everyday.

            By the way Sharklets and Simitars have different behaviour. A long, long story that perhaps LNC can explain in an article sometime. The short answer is a sharklet is also a fence a simitar isn’t. Which is the best. Dunno, after my time.

    • @Christoph:
      “Sounds like the A350 is soon going to be more efficient than the 787”
      I think it already is in current production form without the upcoming larger sharklets or engine PiPs….@ least in terms of fuel burn per seat. Otherwise, few econ justifications exist to acquire the larger 359 instead of the smaller, fewer seats to sell(i.e. less risky) 789 with similar range capability.

      “…capable of doing what Qantas requires to start nonstop flights to LHR”
      The biggest issue re 359ULR for QF is not really about lack of range performance in which the larger sharklet design seems to be addressing per the story here reported by After all, Airbus brochure already billed the 359ULR as a 9,700nm bird and SYD->LHR sector is below 9,200nm. Accounting for headwind on westbound, 359ULR’s range performance is not far fm required for SYD->LHR.

      Instead, the major issue appears to be the lack of payload fm 359ULR @ such range because its config carries far less pax+bags(e.g. config for SQ’s 359ULR) than the std 359 config while QF hv repeatedly stated they prefer a config with about 300seats(i.e. the std 359 config) for SYD-LHR/JFK. That’s why the 778 is also in the running for this potential QF deal mainly because it has weight(i.e. MTOW) limit margin to add fuel load and therefore range if reducing payload(including weight fm inflight service supplies) of its std config of 350 pax+bags to a QF config with only 300seats….

      • As the Quantas CEO stated, the 777X can do London to Syndey but not with passengers. Expect the 777-8 MTOW to be increased for fuel capacity has gone up from 182K litres to 197K litres. Even then, I still don’t think the 777-8 will do 300 PAX London to Syndey.

        The A350-900ULR in my book still needs another 300nm of additional range to do London to Syndey. Specifically 9700nm must become 10000nm.That assumes 200 PAX, 60% of standard payload. Even then it’s marginal. But they are very close!

        • @philip:
          “As the Quantas CEO stated, the 777X can do London to Syndey but not with passengers.”
          Never heard of this before despite I look up QF Group news out of interest once a wk for the past 2yrs(less frequently before that). Can U pls kindly provide a link?

          If true, I find such statement interesting but lack logic given that:
          1) Over a decade ago, BA did almost exactly that on London-SYD(or CBR…can’t remember exactly) for a gov’t charter carrying VIP officials but it was with a 772ER. So 77X has LESS payload/range performance than 772ER?

          2) 12yrs ago, a 77L prototype without pax but with a testing instrument load(May be equivalent weight to @ least 10pax+bags?) has flown 11,600nm+ nonstop….far longer than SYD-LHR:

          So a 778 has LESS payload/range performance than 77L?

          “The A350-900ULR in my book still needs another 300nm of additional range to do London to Syndey. Specifically 9700nm must become 10000nm. That assumes 200 PAX..”
          Unfortunately, Airbus spec range for 359ULR @ 9,700nm is in a config with far less than 200seats….see news about 359ULR seat count planned by SQ.

          “they are very close!”
          359ULR is very close in range required but not payload/seat count required!

          • I always took the view that the Qantas CEO was exaggerating.

            I think the 777-8 will do London to Syndey with no more than 150 PAX. The reason is that it need to swap at least 20 tonnes of PAX for fuel. Approximately 3 hours of flying time

            The SQ layout is 170 PAX, but a lot of business class seats

          • Maybe the solution is to obvious?!. (Apologies going to use metrics as I got fuel burning numbers for that).

            A380-800/550 pax/”paper” range ~15 000Km. Fuel burn rate 13.8 kg/km, Melbourne/Sydney to LHR 17 000Km.

            Fuel burning improvements with the 380 “plus” winglets and say T7000 (for example) engines should not be less than 7%, that’s a new range of 16000km. With a new fuel burn rate of ~12.8kg/km you need an additional ~13T of fuel to get to 17 000km.

            Bump 150pax (for fuel) and you still have 400pax that can fly non-stop 17000km. Other weight saving could make up for the +6T of the new engines.

            …and for such a long flight loads of seat and entertainment space. Ok FLX, I haven’t had my pills yet today, but you can even fit in a slide for the kids (made of CFRP’s).

            Suddenly an 777-8 XLR with 150-200 seats looks like a bleak option.

            Also, Sydney to NY is “only” 16000Km, and you don’t have to be scared of water, you’ve got 4 (NEW) engines! A380+++. Eventually that oversized wing can earn its money.

          • @anton

            You haven’t taken your pills today. But you are right. The A380 has got more chance of doing the London to Sydney run. Perhaps that may be its future, but with 300 passengers not 500 passengers and new engines

  4. Thanks Bjorn. This is encouraging, the 787-9 seems to have the edge on the 359 on <4000Nm sectors. Reducing take off drag and lower fuel consumption could also benefit that less fuel need to carried.

    Hope EK (and others) are having a hard and good look at the 35K.

    Any idea if this aircraft could be at Dubai next month?

    • But the wingtips reduce induced drag, which ist proportional to the aircraft weight. At short sectors the weight of the aircraft is lower, therefore this improvments pays of more on the large sectors.

  5. “The wing structure proved stronger than planned when ultimate load test was made on the wing.” this phrase seems familiar with regards to the A380 wing.
    Did Airbus made the same mistake again with the A350 wing by ‘over building’ it, hence negating any aerodynamic gains due due to heavier (and stronger) than required?

  6. If someone in the know can help me out, I am often thinking along the lines of reducing thrust with a lower MTOW variant.

    These potential fuel savings in development for the could result in less fuel required for a sector and hence lower required MTOW for such a sectors.

    Not many sectors flown are more 6500Nm therefore many airlines don’t need “Ultra Range”. What is (if there are) the fuel burning reduction of the engines itself in following examples compared to that of the current XWB84’s and 97’s?

    A35K/MTOW 300T/90KLb thrust engine,
    A359/MTOW 265T/79 KLb.

    Both these will still have very useful effective/”real” ranges (6500-7000Nm?).

    • An advantage of new high aspect ratio wings is that they can carry more fuel. In other words new high aspect ratio wings are not being sized specifically to carry fuel, they are being sized for efficiency. A good example is the 777X. It now as a fuel capacity of 197K versus 182K. That is just the result of sizing the wing for efficiency.

      How does the above answer your question. Don’t assume a wing will be significantly smaller if an airplane was limited to 4000-6500nm sectors.

      I’ll be interested to see the NMA wing. My bet is big and thin and able to carry an aweful lot of fuel if Boeing want it to!

    • @Anton:
      “I am often thinking along the lines of reducing thrust with a lower MTOW variant. These potential fuel savings…”
      The fundamental flaw in yr thinking is that “reducing thrust” does NOT equal to any “potential fuel savings”.

      If U look @ widebody history(which I bet U don’t) how Airbus/Boeing sell/deliver the same variant but with lower/lowest thrust rating and MTOW than 1 with the highest thrust/MTOW rating, U would know the tech solution is almost always with ‘de-tuned’ engines(search info & learn about thrust lever plug) and software tweaks to lower the MTOW. In such solution, the physical weight of the engine and airframe do not change at all and as a result, no change in fuel efficiency. It’s simply an artificial thrust+MTOW reduction on paper to allow operators to access lower landing/airport/nav fees in exchange by giving up lift/range capabilities. NH & JL domestic hv been buying that kinda of de-rated widebodies for decades and lately, China is joining that game with 333Ceo. Basically, read more about why/how the 772 fleet delivered to SQ was actually built as 772ER std to understand why.

      If U are talking about heavily revising/scaling existing engine hardwares to achieve lower thrust + engine weight, that’s not “reducing thrust” fm existing engine. That’s basically redesigning/redeveloping/re-certifying an almost new engine that just happens to be speced with a lower thrust requirements….a totally diff magnitude of investment.

      “Both these will still have very useful effective/”real” ranges (6500-7000Nm?).”
      And totally torpedoed the biz case for 339Neo….great idea indeed – classic sales cannibalization and customers will be stuck with no choice but to buy the 350 airframe platform+weight supporting structures that were designed/scaled primarily for ULH ops+load level even if they only need a widebody for short-medium haul loads.

      • So a de-rated engine is not using less fuel, the less thrust is coming just from a software entry number, using the same fuel? So the 787-8’s 64KLB Trent engines is burning the same fuel per hour as the 78J’s 76KLb engines?

        Just to lower airport fees? Now you’ve got me!

        • @Anton:
          “So a de-rated engine is not using less fuel…”
          Oh my gosh. U hv no idea about the really basic stuff such as the full tech meaning behind those thrust rating numbers other than X being able to generate more output than Y…..especially shocking for someone so eager to propose how to design more fuel efficient birds fm existing long-range platforms for shorter ranges. I thought U knew how thrust level is actually applied across any commercial flight cycle regardless of airplane type.

          Those thrust rating numbers are the max thrusts/outputs available fm a given engine design. Max thrust is generally set @ max takeoff output required @ MTOW(i.e. the lower the MTOW, the lower the max thrust setting needed). However, max thrust is actually needed(per cert requirements) only for emergency such as TOGA, 1 engine out scenario on a twin, etc. Thrust level near but lower than max thrust(i.e. take-off thrust level) is needed for takeoff @ MTOW and especially in ‘hot & high’ rwys. However @ equal payload+fuel load(i.e. identical mission range+load), almost no diff in take-off thrust level required between a higher thrust rated engine and a lower thrust version of the same engine. In any case, normal takeoff even @ MTOW never last more than 1~1.5mins. After a normal takeoff, pilots(or computer/FADEC system) throttle back to climb thrust level much further away fm max thrust which last may be just 10-15mins on the latest, ‘climb rate-crazy’ widebody types such as 787 or 350. When initial cruise altitude is reached, they set cruise thrust level @ may be just 33~50% of max thrust(depending on payload) which may last hrs before going to near idle thrust level for descend/landing. All these mean that @ equal payload+fuel load, diff thrust ratings for the same basic engine on the same basic airframe type(i.e. any diff in MTOW is only on paper but not really a physically lighter/heavier airframe) mean little or no diff in fuel burn rate in all phases of a flight cycle.

          Max horsepower for the engine on yr new car is 200ps set @ 6,000rpm redline on the assembly line. Now in exchange for a purchase discount as well as a lower insurance rate for low horsepower cars, U ask yr car dealer to artificially modify yr engine reducing the redline to 4,000rpm along with an obvious drop in max horsepower. Naturally, U find no diff in fuel economy b4 and after modification if U mostly use only 3,000rpm or lower….

          “..the less thrust is coming just from a software entry number”
          As mentioned, pls google/search about ‘thrust plug’ to learn more.

          “…the 787-8’s 64KLB Trent engines is burning the same fuel per hour as the 78J’s 76KLb engines?”
          No I don’t expect they will because it’s apple vs orange comparison unlike yr hypothetical “A35K/MTOW 300T” vs the real 35K @ 316t MTOW.

          At equal payload+fuel load during cruise @ the same altitude, a 788 with 64k lbs thrust T1000 will hv same fuel burn as a 788 with 69k lbs thrust T1000(Highest certified for 788).

          As for 78J, 1st of all, it exclusively use T1000TEN which is not exactly the same engine as T1000 even @ the hardware level(i.e. some key parts not interchangeable between the 2). Obviously fuel burn rate will be diff fm T1000 and I’m unaware of any T1000TEN certified @ 64k lbs. Most importantly, 78J airframe naturally has a far higher OEW than 788 and also very diff MTOWs. Even if the exact same engine + thrust rating are used, I don’t expect 78J hv same fuel burn as 788 for the same reason I don’t expect any 35K will hv same fuel burn as any 359.

          • Thanks, I am a Mining and Geophyisc’s expert trying to find out more about other things.

            All I am trying to say is that an A350K with lower MTOW and less range with a lower thrust engine (~90KLb) that hopefully burns LESS fuel than the current XWB97 could find good use for may routes and airlines.

            The options are to many to list but look how many high density routes are in reach from the Middle-East, Europe and North America with an aircraft with an “effective” range of ~6500Nm.

        • @Anton:
          “Just to lower airport fees? Now you’ve got me!”
          It’s a tiny component of the total op cost per day per airframe if U incur such fees only 1~2 times per day such as in longhaul deployment.

          It’s a far more substantial component in total op cost per day per airframe if U incur such fees upto 4~5x per day such as how NH domestic deploy 788/789.

          • See Bjorn just posted that SIA increasing order for 787-10’s

            My “goings-on” is that I see potential for a 350K size aircraft optimized for shorter ranges (~6500Nm?).

            The 777-8 to heavy, 777-9 to big, 787-10 to small and could have airfield limitations at MTOW. Thing the 35K is well suited to exploit this market.

  7. @Bjorn – just a minor English as a second language critique (that I see most Scandinavian and Germanic language natives use)

    when you say “reduce with ~1.4%” the correct English idiom would be “reduce by ~1.4%”

    apologies for being an OCD internet jerk commenter….

  8. “QF hv repeatedly stated they prefer a config with about 300seats(i.e. the std 359 config) for SYD-LHR/JFK”.

    Not true. In his latest comments the Qantas CEO said the airline needed an aircraft that could carry a full payload non-stop on these routes. What would “full payload” be on a Qantas A359ULR? Presumably somewhere around 250 seats if they go for the same density as their new 789s. With the new winglets to help find that little bit of extra payload-range they need for Sydney-London…

    • Aren’t AB trying to get to the “magic” range with an 35K-ULR with 300 seats?

      • @Anton:
        “Aren’t AB trying to get to the “magic” range with an 35K-ULR with 300 seats?”
        Either only in yr mind or another baseless claim fm U….

        If a “35K-ULR with 300seats” and @ least 9,200nm range performance is affordable development and anywhere near launch for Airbus, Boeing would be abandoning 778 development right now or a 779ULR with same range performance as 35K-ULR would also be affordable development for Boeing.

        • At least I have ideas.

          While talking about that and the 767Revive a current topic. What about in flight refueling, sure someone must have thought about that.

          A KC46 refueling a 35K over Moscow if you go the straight line route, epic.

          • I don’ think we will ever see that.

            You then have two aircraft and danger to passengers and the support system to make it all work would be far more costly than to just land and fuel.

          • Just working on FLX, safety the big issue.

            If you snazy however you could have flights coming in from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane etc in tandem.

            Flights beyond 16 hours are however mostly about bragging rights, there are alternatives. Also not sure if these are however significant in the bigger picture?

          • There have been British studies on this concept of taking off light with massive Engine derate and then fill up with air refueling approx 100T of JET-A, then continue climb to Cruise altitude and fly non-stop.
            Not really civil certifiable today and AirTanker probably will charge quite a bit per gallon of fuel delivered at altitude. This procedure was needed for the SR-71 and might be common for any hypersonic military Aircraft in the future.

        • @anton

          Don’t be naughty. The KC-46 tanker is a good deal. It’s %10 cheaper than the A330 MRTT for half the capability. But then its still over budget. Thanks uncle sam.

        • @FLX

          A 779ULR would require a significant increase in MTOW (i.e. currently 352 metric tonnes) — and an expensive re-design of the 779 MLG wheel well. The 77W/779 concentrates a greater load on each individual wheel than any other wide-body. A 779ULR would IMJ require two eight-wheel MLG bogies instead of the the two six-wheel MLG bogies that’s on the 77W/779.

          Interestingly, Boeing has a patent from 2001 for a very large aircraft landing gear using a single mounted eight wheel bogie on dual shock struts:

          Incorporating such an eight wheel bogie MLG into a 779ULR would essentially require a modification similar in scope to how Airbus increased the size of the A350-1000 MLG wheel well by one fuselage frame over that of the MLG wheel well of the A350-900.

          • If the quest for Sydney to LHR can’t be achieved Sydney to Munich non-stop should be achievable?

    • @nova:
      “Not true. In his latest comments the Qantas CEO said…”
      It’s not true for U because U missed or ignored earlier QF statements in media re the same subject over the past 2yrs and only focused on “his latest comments” in 1 event.

      “What would “full payload” be on a Qantas A359ULR? Presumably somewhere around 250 seats…”
      Clearly, U are expecting a 359ULR with yr hypothetical 250seats config can still somehow fly 9,700nm range. If that’s true, no way SQ would be planning only 150~160seats for that aircraft they’ve ordered(Nope forget it, it’s not about SQ has a unique/magical/gold-plated sales capability that they prefer no Y seats on SIN-LAX route by 359ULR as UA will carry lots of Y on that route by 789). In fact, all 359 customers would hv ordered/converted to 359ULR @ least for all deliveries scheduled fm 2018 upon EIS for 359ULR and the std 359 would be history in the mkt….

      A 359ULR that can deliver 9,700nm range on brochure is spec by Airbus with far less than 200seats.

      • The spin-offs are great form R&D to get to the magic range.

        But personally I think its not the greatest idea from Qantas.

        If you get a “Halfway” refuel stop like Hong Kong or Hainan that’s not far of a normal theoretical route you can do Sydney to London with even an 330-300CEO with full pax with one stop.

        You loose say 2 hours but you carry a lot of fuel that’s burning fuel, lots of stock, two crews, etc. With a good stop over you can freshen-up the cabin, restock, change crews and if you really get it right (and add 30mins) you can have a lounge where pax stretch legs, have a snack, use bathrooms etc (and a smoke room, will pay big for that). Its any case better to refuel with no pax on board.

        One route that I once often did was 15-16 hours depending on weather/winds. Generally found 10-12 hours are fine but after that the novelty wears off, and that was in the front.

        If Qantas sees a big market for such non-stops get 789’s of 359’s, gas it up, equip it with 100-150 seats, flat beds in the front and only E+ (2-3-2) at the back for those that can’t afford losing 2-3 hours and want to pay big.

  9. @Jefford:
    “..wing structure proved stronger than planned….phrase seems familiar with regards to the A380 wing….Did Airbus made the same mistake..”
    It was not a “mistake” on 380-800 but a carefully calculated design specs to cater for the higher MTOW requirements in the near future for:
    1. 380F
    2. 380-800R (i.e. far higher fuel load+longer range than today’s 388)
    3. 380-900 (i.e. a stretched 380-800 with performance equal to today’s 388)

    The entire family based off the same basic wing structure and the resulting structural weights.

    It became a “mistake” later when none of the above became production reality and on current 380 program trajectory, probably never will.

    “…same mistake again with the A350 wing by ‘over building’ it…”
    Was not, is not and will not be the “same mistake again’ simply because 350 will not be a single variant family like the 388 is. The 350 family will hv @ least 2 main MTOW limits across 3 main variants in service before 2019:
    359 @ 280t MTOW with 300+ seats
    359ULR @ 280t MTOW with may be 170~180seats
    35K @ 316t MTOW with 360+ seats

    All variants based off the same basic wing structure that U considered as “heavier (and stronger) than required”……

    To a lesser extent, some may consider the 787 wing common across the family is “heavier (and stronger) than required” for 788 duties…..probably why it is selling so slow since 789 debut and partly why Boeing is thinking about a 797 with a lighter wing….

    • 787-8 is selling slow for two reason.

      1. Its never been integrated into the commonalty of the -9 and -10. Its an orphan with only about 30 to 40% commonality.

      2. It was a loss leader, Boeing sold them cheap (dumping) . To get the full value out of it they would cost a lot more.

      Its got a limited market compared to the -9 and -10 (at least supposedly)

      If it becomes a mina line seller instead of winding down then Boeing will have to address bringing it into common with the other two. More bucks.

      • Where has the disparity in commonality come from?

        Why then not do a 787-9 shrink with much more commonality like from the MAX8 to MAX7?

        Will most likely carry weight penalties but production line upsides that could be spread over the entire 787 range.

      • “1. Its never been integrated into the commonalty of the -9 and -10. Its an orphan with only about 30 to 40% commonality.”

        What is the basis for this statement, and what do you mean exactly by commonality? Are you talking individual parts or assemblies? Are you including all of the systems or just structural parts? Are you counting a part as different if it has any changes at all, or do the changes have to be significant enough as to not be usable on the other models? Or, are you only counting parts as different if they require significant changes in the assembly process?

        I’ve seen statements like this before on this blog and in the comments section and I’m not sure the people stating them really know what they are talking about. Never really detailed, only ever general. I would be very interested to know what the real commonality is between the -8 and the other models, and why.

        There have been cases of -9 improvements making it back to the -8 (I’m thinking of the windscreen frame), which is one of the reasons the production standard wasn’t reached until LN-66.

      • Trsnslated, the 787-8 is crap. The market speaks. It wasn’t 20% better than the 767. So revive the 767!

        • “It wasn’t 20% better than the 767.”

          Not according to ANA or JAL.

          • Mike: Leeham has studied this closely and that is their take. I am accepting their information. I found it shocking as well, but while they can be mistaken on assessment, they don’t lie on details.

            Frankly a 767 with the latest rev engines (current ones but up pipped) and winglets, it does make you wonder)

            And the notes are ANA and JAL are getting rid of their older 767s, not the new ones (and the 787 gap fillers Boeing sold them at a bargain)

          • @Transworld:
            “Leeham has studied this closely and that is their take.”
            Leeham’s ‘take’ on 788 is it is “carp”? That’s truly news for me as they hv never used such term in any airplane assessment….

            “I am accepting their information.”
            Me too as usual. However, it doesn’t mean we should reject NH’s.

            “they can be mistaken on assessment”
            Unlikely a mistake but more likely due to diff op/config assumptions used in assessment as usual. e.g. NH’s domestic 2-class config 788 carries 335 seats…24% higher seat count than their domestic 763/ER. leehamnews most likely use longhaul config exclusively with far less diff in seatcount 788 vs 763ER directly impacting fuel burn per seat gain.

            However, I still would not discount NH’s 788 data because:
            a) Their longhaul configured birds hv seat count as low as 169…way lower than any other 788 operators and lower than even most 763ER operators.
            b) NH domestic never deployed 788 on sectors beyond 3h25m…..clearly a shorthaul theatre where 788, by design, delivers the least fuel burn advantage over 763/ER.

            “ANA and JAL are getting rid of their older 767s, not the new ones”
            Correct. All ancient 763s(Deployed purely for domestic) and older 763ER will be gone 1st.

        • @philip:
          “Trsnslated, the 787-8 is crap.”
          If it is crap, it’s a very successful crap for Boeing given that 426 frames hv been sold and still being ordered as late as this yr by blue chip carriers BA and JL…..may be blue chip carrier CEOs can’t tell what is a crappy airplane even though the bird has been generating in-service op data to assess it for 6yrs.

          On the other, I still wouldn’t call 338 is crap despite net sales being 1.4% of the 788….regardless of whether the market has spoken about it or not.

          “It wasn’t 20% better than the 767.”
          U are right it wasn’t.

          It’s actually about 21% more fuel efficient than 763ER according to NH, the largest 788 operator(i.e. tons of op data accumulated fm early on instead of preconceived notion by non-operator individual who is biased against 787). Enjoy:

          • That story also says Boeing was introducing major weight reductions as there was a shortfall in the expected 20% fuel reduction expected.

            “Boeing, ….. is in the midst of introducing weight reductions and other enhancements to compensate for what was expected to be a relatively significant shortfall in the planned 20% improvement over the 767.”

            ANA’s early planes were particularly low passenger configuration – 158 seats, so would get good fuel burn numbers. Thats the sinker

          • @dukeofurl:
            “ANA’s early planes were particularly low passenger configuration – 158 seats,”
            U forgot that before the story was published in Jun2012, @ least 4 frames delivered were in 198seats or 222seats regional configs and NH received a total of only 7 frames before Jun2012.

            “ would get good fuel burn numbers. Thats the sinker..”
            That would actually get worse fuel burn per seat than a more typical 788 cabin density……regardless of whatever the sinker is.

          • The measure wasnt fuel per passenger but overall fuel consumption on the long range flight, Narita- Frankfurt.

          • NH has 4-5 configurations of 787-8 that range from a 148 pax Business Class long haul to a 332 pax domestic configurations. So you pick the config you want to make your argument with…

          • @dukeofurl:
            “The measure wasnt fuel per passenger but overall fuel consumption on the long range flight”
            U’ve got to be joking.

            1st of all, 788 can achieve 20~21% lower trip fuel burn over 763ER? That would’ve meant far higher than that % range in terms of fuel burn per seat. That’s phenomenal(even unheard of in commercial aviation history for a new type replacing an older type) & technically unrealistic.

            2ndly prior to Jun2012, NH accumulated most 787 fuel burn data before Jun2012 from domestic(some regional int’l ops too for a while such as HND-PEK) as they deployed 788 on just 1 longhaul/intercon route. They were waiting for later built/better optimized birds for NH longhaul such as NRT-SEA/SJC:

            “Narita- Frankfurt.”
            NH’s 788 hv never flown that route. It was HND-FRA(also started the 2nd HND-FRA frequency @ the same time for NH) where NH deployed 787 on longhaul for the 1st time back in Jan12:

            It remained as NH’s only 788 intercon route until Oct2012 when 788 was deployed on NRT-SEA.

          • @gt62:
            “NH has 4-5 configurations of 787-8..”
            Actually had upto 6 @ various times but now down to a more manageable 3.

            “…range from a 148 pax Business Class long haul to a 332 pax domestic configurations”
            Not exactly correct as per the followings by various diff 787 era @ NH.

            Era 1: Roughly prior to mid-2012
            Reg int’l=222seats….only for the 1st pair of 788 deliveries in a special 787 liveries.

            Era 2: Roughly fm late 2012 until NH went to 9abreast in Y for all int’l 787s
            Domestic=No change
            Reg int’l=198seats…..a minor variation of the 1st pair’s config with simply more J and less Y.
            Longhaul=No change

            Current era: Fm NH went to 9abreast in Y for all int’l 787s till now
            Domestic=No change
            Reg int’l=240
            Longhaul=169….also added PY.

            “So you pick the config you want to make your argument with…”
            If any argument is based on the NH 788 op result released in Jun2012 as I indicated earlier, only the 3 configs listed in Era 1 are logical.

          • Until someone wants a 8000Nm aircraft with 250 seats in a comfortable 2-4-2 layout in Economy.

            If it survive its birth it could outsell the 339?

          • @Anton:
            “Until someone wants a 8000Nm aircraft with 250 seats in a comfortable 2-4-2 layout in Economy.”
            Which should still be considered dead by the same definition(defined as sales I’m guessing) used by someone to define a 7,355nm aircraft with 242seats in the perhaps hell-like 3-3-3 layout in Y which is not only “until someone wants” but hv actually been sold 426 copies(and still selling this yr) as “dead”.

            Feel free to “Live with it” or not….

    • The A380 wing broke at 1.47 maximum design force. The requirement is 1.50, which means Airbus had to reinforce it. So they didn’t overcook the A380.

      • Overcook for the A380-800 but I guess the test was set up for a weight of A380-900 or A380F.

  10. On the A320 and A350, the wing tip looks like a shark fin. For the tip on A330neo and this new one on the A350, for visual accuracy they need to rebrand it the pectoral flipperlet

      • Well if we would get away from the PR/BS of what Airbus has decided to call a winglet, then we don’t have to sort through the swimmy and wingy things on the planet to figure out what to call it.

  11. It looks like Airbus could get its 4 metre semi-stretch (A350-1100) with decent range and payload using just incremental changes to engine and wing.

  12. With longer hours of flight does this shorten the life of the jet in the long run ???…just wondering..

  13. I am very encouraged by the advantages made with/for the 35K. It looks like it could beat both 777X’es on sector costs, 777-8 on seat mile cost and be a big challenge for the 777-9 on seat mile cost.

    Can’t see application for many 350K/777X air frames with ranges beyond 8000Nm?

    B777-300ER replacements will gain momentum in around 7 years from now, can see a significant proportion of those going to the 350K?

    • @keesje:
      “With normal cargo loads and SIN daytime temperatures the 787-10 will fly up to 4000NM destinations.”
      Not that I disagree, may I know how U arrive @ this range figure?…..particularly when not even a clue about 78J cabin config/density/seatcount @ SQ has been leaked to the media. On the other hand, leaked yesterday that SQ’s new regional J on 78J will feature flatbed in 1-2-1 layout plus PY….a very space consuming cabin set-up meaning total actual seatcout(and therefore payload) on SQ’s birds will be substantially lower than Boeing nominal for 78J @ 330.

      In any case, 4,000nm is a bit lower than what i expected(I predict about 5,000nm on a hot day @ full belly cargo) fm SQ’s 78J. However, 4,000nm fm SIN is still more than sufficient to cover the longest SQ routes flown by 333, 772 or 773(yes, this bird is not equal to 77W) today.

      “The A350 is used on LAX and JFK.”
      More precisely, the 359ULR is used by SQ on nonstop LAX/JFK(may be *A hub EWR instead like SQ did last time).

      Other 359 configs planned for SQ fleet do not hv such ULR capability but obviously can do 1-stop LAX/JFK-SIN.

        • @Anton:
          “The 78J is effectively a 330 seat MoM?”
          As usual, U are either joking or totally unaware of Boeing definition for MoM type/class airplane….

          • The 797-MoM is projected to be 230-270 seats, ~5000Nm.

            There is not just one MoM, the CS300 (130 seats) and 78J (330) seats can most likely be regarded as Middle of THEIR own Markets aircraft?!

          • When rumors started of the 767Revive I was wondering if Boeing is not going to launch the larger of an NSA.

            On second thoughts they may launch the smaller (~230 seat) “797” with the 767R a bridge model for a larger/longer 797. Availability of the ~40-45Klb engines determine launch timing?

            The small twin aisle advantages over an 321+ will be that its new, range and pax handling.

        • Keesje – buy a subscription and read the SIA artcle. Your number is way off.

  14. Wonder if Turkish airlines are looking at the 350-1000, maybe what they need to have the edge on the EK?

  15. The AA wide-body decision is also going to be interesting, United dumped the 35K’s, the 77W in the Big 3’s fleets are not ideal for current 35K sales. But end of the day the 777-9’s could be to big and and the 77W’s trailing behind on economics. Time will tell.

  16. I understand modifying a winglet that is 30 years old like the A320, but the A350 is a clean sheet design that only first flew four years ago. Why weren’t the wings and winglets better optimized from the start?

    • Because you live and learn, and progress never stops. Anyway, that at least seems to be the Airbus philosophy, they tend to never stop their existing models, sometimes with astonishing results. With constant (small) improvements they turned a slightly dull first edition A330 into a serious 787 contender.
      So why should they not do it with the A350?

    • It’s big, long and thin and the aerodynamic forces are huge. That is hard to build. Airbus is pushing the boundary of carbon with this.

      But that is the future. Big, long and thin wings. They are more efficient, but need ever more advanced carbon to build

  17. Why don’t airbus use split wing tips(anymore)? I don’t believe that they are not capable.
    Why isn’t there a high density, lower range A350, similar to the 787/10 but a bit bigger? They seem to have the necessary kit of bits.

    • @Grubbie:
      “Why isn’t there a high density…”
      Probably because they are not delivered yet such as AirAsiaX, Air Caraïbes, etc.

      As long as seat count remains within exit limit(440 for any 350), I’m sure U already know any 350 customers hv full freedom to choose whatever density they desire….

      “…lower range A350, similar to the 787/10 but a bit bigger?”
      Probably because:
      1. There was but unlike U, the mkt overall didn’t like it enough.
      It was the 35K ‘Mk1’ which did existed upon 350 program launch and in development right until 2011 powered by the exact same Trent XWB as the 359(a la 789 vs 78J). EK loved it but most potential customers were lukewarm so Airbus abandoned it in 2011 and instead started to develop the current 35K which is visually 99.9% identical to the Mk1 but with a specs that goes the opposite direction of what U described along with a partially diff Trent XWB than 359. As a result, 35K lost EK but gained UA, CX and JL as customers.

      2. Airbus saw what happened to 773 sales as soon as 77W development was launched in 2000 only 2yrs after 773 EIS.
      Even if 35K Mk1 development continued/restarted, almost all potential customers would hv still selected the current 35K instead. By avoiding anything similar to 35K Mk1, Airbus is smart in avoiding the same mistake Boeing made re 773 vs 77W.

      “They seem to have the necessary kit of bits.”
      Which is not really important when the mkt already helped Airbus to rule out such a product 6yrs ago.

  18. In my eyes the 350K is a near perfect aircraft in capacity and range connecting Japan/Korea/Taiwan/China with Europe and the North Americas?

  19. From figures that I have seen it appears that after 6000Nm aircraft are burning a lot of fuel to carry fuel (also supplies and second crews?).

    If the oil price goes North of say $70 will we see the return of the hub principle fed by larger aircraft and less of the direct linking of city pairs?

  20. To round up my thoughts on this.

    Door frame and doors from metal to carbon;window frames from metal to carbon; lithium batteries; fairing clean up; 80% component change between A350-900 and A350-1000 wing; wing re-twist for both the A350-900 and A350-1000; mtow increases; engine ep. Now new winglets. Lots and lots of changes we know about. Makes you wonder what we don’t know – for example retrofit of A350-1000 wing components into A350-900 wing.

    If I took a guess: The 280 tonne version to be introduced in 2019 will be >5% more efficient than the first airplane delivered to Qatar.

    Incremental development appears to work!

  21. Was wondering if an 350-800 but for ultra long range is back on the drawing board?

    Don’t know what the difference in OEW of 358 and 359 will be but looks like around 10T less for the 358?

    If the MTOW is maintained at ~280T and the 10T could be used for fuel it will allow for an additional 90 minutes in the air. This should get mighty close to do Sydney-LHR non-stop with 250pax?

  22. Wen does it no longer look like a “sharklet”?

    (Out in Puget Sound, Boeing could call its upswept wing tips “orcafins” for the Killer Whales there. 😉

    First developed there? I was told that test pilot Tom Wright had the GII test bed roll 70 degrees on him.

    Alas, I understand Tom is gone, crashed ferrying a small aircraft with another experienced pilot.)

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