Pontifications: NMA, Boeing-Embraer headline Singapore Air Show

By Scott Hamilton

Feb. 12, 2018, © Leeham Co.: The Singapore Air Show last week produced little in the way of new orders from the Big Four airframe OEMs. ATR announced a few deals and Embraer announced a letter of intent for the KC-390 multi-role tanker-transport.

The headline news revolved around the what-ifs: Boeing and the New Midrange Aircraft and Boeing and the link-up with Embraer.

Let’s look at the NMA first.

Boeing, Engines and the NMA

Boeing’s not ready to launch the NMA program, officials acknowledged. The business case hasn’t been closed.

Boeing is still evaluating engines from CFM/GE, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce.

GE says it won’t pursue a geared turbo fan design for the NMA, according to press reports from the air show. PW and RR apparently didn’t make any comment. An engine in the 50,000 lb thrust class is needed, up from 42,000-45,000. This suggest the airplane is already taking on weight and, perhaps, mission-creep.

CFM, the joint venture between GE and France’s Safran, can only go up to 50,000 lbs by the JV agreement. The reporting says this cap would be waived, however.

Boeing officials also said the NMA economic improvement target is 30% over the Boeing 757/767—a figure that LNC has heard previously through its own market intelligence. Now it’s official, more-or-less.

Boeing, the Supply chain and the NMA

The message is coming from the top and it’s being repeated over and over right down the line: the NMA business case rests in part on new production processes that will eventually be applied across the entire Boeing product line.

This is accelerating a transformation that began, albeit with lots of pain and agony, with the 787. The 777X is the next big step, with wing production and upright fuselage automated and robotic processes.

Boeing also began automatic wing production segments for the 737 as it ramps up to 52 airplanes a month this year and 57 next year.

Production Transformation

These are only the start. The supply chain, already under stress from cost-cutting at Airbus and Boeing (as well as Bombardier, Embraer and industrial partners to them), must prepare for this transformation.

The Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance (PNAA) annual conference begins tomorrow in Lynnwood (WA), north of Seattle. Production transformation is a key theme. I’ll be at the conference, reporting throughout the week.

It’s also the theme of the Airfinance Journal-Leeham Co. Southeast Aerospace & Defense Conference June 25-27 in Mobile (AL).


Although the proposed tie-up between Boeing and Embraer wasn’t relevant to the Singapore Air Show per se, with both companies present, questions inevitably came up. The news, however, really came from elsewhere.

It now appears, as widely speculated, that a joint venture (whether it’s legally structured as such) including Embraer commercial and business operations will be created. Media reports suggest the new business will be 80%-90% owned by Boeing, with the rest in Brazil. The company would be based in Chicago, reports indicate.

Embraer’s defense unit will remain in Brazil, with local ownership.

The companies aren’t confirming these reports.

If this scenario plays out, then it’s my view Embraer Commercial Airplanes president and CEO John Slattery should be the president and COO of the new commercial/biz jet company. I assume Boeing will name the CEO and chairman.

I think Slattery probably knows the 100-150 seat market better than Boeing and I think he certainly knows competing with Bombardier better than Boeing.

The feisty Irishman, with the heft of Boeing behind him, would be an extremely formidable competitor to Airbus-Bombardier in this segment.


116 Comments on “Pontifications: NMA, Boeing-Embraer headline Singapore Air Show

  1. This would be a good time to launch a 797/808, akin to 767/757. This could allow a common type rating for the NMA/NSA and allow wonderful operational flexiblities across the lower seat-sized fleet. The same cockpit crew could fly two legs on two distinct airframe models since they would be in the same fleet. The 808 NSA might require thrust ratings comparable to the a320neo.

    • Hello hbi72,

      As long as Boeing has a backlog of 4000 plus 737 orders and is taking more than 500 new orders a year (541 in 2016 and 745 in 2017), I doubt that will have any interest in replacing the 737 with something that will initially be much more expensive to produce and probably sell at a loss for several years instead of being a cash cow like the 737. I believe that a plausible translation of Mr. Hamilton’s statement that “the NMA business case rests in part on new production processes that will eventually be applied across the entire Boeing product line” is: “we don’t dare think of replacing the 737 with a new technology CFRP something that we will need to produce at 50 units a month, until we can demonstrate that the technology we intend to use is de-bugged and can deliver 10 or 20 units of a NMA per month on budget and on time, unlike, for instance, the first few painful years of 787 program.”

        • AP: I concur on the first part.

          I continue to contend that the 787 debacle was a management created failure not a production issue or tech issue.

          Just the scattering of production all over the globe without oversight was a massive failure.

          Included in that was a major logistical failure in managing fasteners with each separate entity focused on its production (and benefits for meeting it) and the whole program suffered from shortages.

          Looking at just the battery debacle that was scattered out to 4 entities, none of which had ever worked together and one that was a business aviation security specialist speaks volumes.

          All driven by Boeing deciding that assembly was where the money was not parts. We now hear a very different story of how can you guys make more money than we do? We want it!

          As Scott has stated, they are trying to automate the whole thing and be uber efficient that way.

          The 787 was only automated to the degree the tech required it (tape laying).

      • “the NMA business case rests in part on new production processes that will eventually be applied across the entire Boeing product line”

        What percent of production cost is in the major structures which would be reduced by a new production system vs engines, control system, avionics etc?

    • Won’t be surprized if Boeing launches an NSA within 2 years from the NMA with the cockpit and operational commonalities you refer to.

      Embraer might play an important part in BAC’s ability to launch an NSA, focus will first be on an A321 size aircraft?

      • Real good question. If the NMA does not match up with the upper end of A321 use?

        They need a C Series now and an A321 competitor or an area above A321 that they own the space in.

        737-8 is fine for now, but no commonality with an NMA or a C Series type.

        • If the NMA is Li-Al fuselage with CFRP wing, 2-4-2 (17.5″ seats), can take LD3’s, not complicated 50KLb engines, 5000Nm range, OEW 75-80T, it could be a bloody nice and useful aircraft.

          • no engine, no wing, no fuselage…

            Funny thing is, you actually describe a A330.

            With a wing for shorter missions and less range.
            A330-200 is 120t.
            How do you think Boeing will get a fuselage same size and material 40t lighter?

          • Differences should be in the center section, wing box, wing, landing gear, materials used.

            Li-Al fuselage (OD ~6″ less than 330), CFRP wing with ~50m span (CAT-D), surface area ~300 Sqm. The A300B4’s OEW was ~88T build with “old” materials.

            Thus a target OEW of 80T is not impossible, higher weight of the new large fanned engines may push it to 80-85T instead of 75-80T?

            With 55Klb engines MTOW ~180-190T?

          • LD3 -> A300/A330 fuselage.

            Who has an engine?

            Airbus should have done most things in A300->A330->A330neo dev.

          • Can’t find the link but Boeing claims they are evaluating 3 different engine designs for the NMA.

  2. A DC-8 Super 73 took around 240 pax 4,500NM. It had 44,000lb thrust on each wing. The original DC-8-63 had 38,000lb thrust on each wing.

    Since a DC-8 that was designed today wouldn’t require anything like the fuel of the original, it’s fair to say that it wouldn’t need 38,000 lb on each wing. I reckon that if it weighted 30 Tonnes less, it would need 10 Tonnes (20,000lb) less thrust in total. So instead of 4 x 19,0000 = 78000lb, it would have 56000lb total thrust. 4 x 14,000lb engines would cover that.

    Of course, a DC-8 designed today wouldn’t have four engines, so it would need 2-off 3 x 14000 = 42000lb engines (one engine failure on the twin would give the same remaining thrust as a single failure on the quad).

    If they’re going for 50000lb thrust powerplants, the aircraft must be quite heavy in comparison to the postulated modern day designed DC-8. So not a single aisle aircraft then?

    I think it will be very hard for a widebody to beat a Boeing 757’s economics by 30%. Particularly as a 42000lb thrust engine is nearer the grasp of the geared fan engines. Engine economics is where there’ll have to be a big difference. All other weight saving technologies can be applied to widebodies and narrowbodies regardless.

    So I reckon narrowbody economics will eat into the market served by a widebody NMA and chase it off the park.

    I’d start the NMA project by asking the question, “If I were designing a DC-8-63 today, what would it look like and how good would it be?”

    • It would look like an A322LR with approx 35k Engines common to the A320neo family with CFRP wings, nacelle and wingbox with Al-Li fuselage if you go for lowest manufacturing price and biggest sales revenue.

      One can always design a new full carbon widebody with geared superfan engines with all CMC hot section and Ti-Al everywere with a spare Engine price topping $20M each.

        • An A322 from a distance might look like a 757-200 with winglets. The wing and systems is from another millenium making it uncompetetive even with new engines.

      • A re-skin/re-wing of the a320 series with the same cross section and same/similar systems (or upgraded if there is sufficient need)… And AB have a NSA/NMA… They have less to do I think. Al-Li skin and crfp wing, and if P&W pull the finger out and sort out their engine (grrrr) it’ll be a winner.

        I wouldn’t follow Boeing down the NMA trail… A smart redo of what they have will address what is needed… Maybe the a330neo upgrade should have gone further, but more can be done here too… Shrink it back to an a300 size and see what can be done with the current wing to shrink it?

        • I agree that a A330 shrink to A300 MTOW with a B777-9X type of transformation with Al-Li fuselage + CRFP wing and new Engines could do it, but those Engines does not exist yet until the 797 Engines becomes available to Airbus. It might be GE that wins the 797 with a fast and low risk development program with GE bidding a GEnX-2B core and a Safran and French goverment paid LP system. That might trigger a reaction from RR for a super advanced Ultrafan for the Airbus MoM response.
          PWA might dust off some retired design engineers and with MTU get the PW1135G certified for an A322 that correctly priced and with a dependable Engine will sell like hot-cakes.

          • RR can not finance another dev ops for a new engine.

            No way. They are on advanced and ultrafan.

            If it fails, the whole company will too.

            I dont see any engine around, nor do I see NMA happening.
            SA engines are 150kn.
            Smalles modern WB engine is Genx or RR1000/RR7000 for B787 and A330neo. They start 280kn thurst.
            NMA might need around 200-220kn, that’s exactly where no modern engine is available.

            Who should develop a engine? P&W maybe, as they lost the widebody market?

            I see too many questions, unclear market size and demand, lack of engine, and also market timing – even if Boeing starts tomorrow, it will be arround 2025.
            How many A321neo and LR will be sold, how many A330 and if Airbus goes for it how many A322?

    • Hello Chris,

      Regarding: “A DC-8 Super 73 took around 240 pax 4,500NM.”

      Typical two class seating capacities for US carriers on the DC8-61 and 62 were 200 to 212 passengers. This is a bit less then the 220 to 270 two class passenger capacity often cited for Boeing’s proposed NMA. I am old enough to remember how many seats United and Delta had on their Super DC-8’s; however, for anyone who doesn’t want to take my word for it, check out the links below. Additionally, back then, there was pretty much no such thing as a lie flat seat on commercial airline flights.



      According to Wikipedia, range for the long fuselage (187.4 foot) DC8-61 and 63 was 3,200 and 4,000 nm respectively, which increased to 3,500 and 4,500 nm for the DC8-71 and DC8-73. This is a bit lower than the 4500 nm to 5000 nm mile range goal often cited for the NMA. For the DC8-62 and DC8-72, which were shorter than the 61/71/63/73 (157.5 instead of 187.4 feet), Wikipedia cites a maximum (i.e. high density single class) passenger capacity of 189, and ranges of 5,200 and 5,300 nm for the DC8-62 and 72, respectively.

      • I take your point, it would be a squeeze. I had a look round a parked up DC-8-63 many years ago and I’d point out that the flight compartment was huge – ten to twelve feet long; room for navigator, radio operator and flight engineer I guess. Also, modern airliners don’t seem to need the long nose of that era. So I reckon todays engineers would get more passengers in the same length of fuselage than Douglas’ engineers could.

        In the interests of objectivity, I did the same math as above using 22000lb thrust engines, which is what the DC-8-73 was equipped with. This delivers an equivalent twin powered by two 51,000lb engines, so it sort of ruins my case that Boeing are necessarily looking at a widebody.

        The deeper point I was hoping to make is that the NMA will be sandwiched between larger widebodies (787-8) and it doesn’t really make sense for Boeing to invade a space they already occupy. On the other hand, it would be difficult to make a 240 seat widebody much shorter. It would run into competition with narrowbodies which are necessarily more structurally efficient. A widebody NMA would be at its least efficient configuration (twice the weight, twice the cross sectional area, more wetted area) competing against narrowbodies at the most structurally efficient. I wonder if narrowbodies couldn’t eat into the NMA’s market far enough that Boeing couldn’t sell very many of them.

        • I think there is a mistake over the 4 x 22,000lb engines being an equivalent to 2 x 51,000 lb engines.
          For the quad, the total thrust ‘really needed’ is that with one engine out so its 3 x 22,000 which is 66,000lb. Now for a twin that power is required for EACH engine as a engine out only leaves one left.

          • I’m assuming that the modern aircraft requires 30 Tonnes less fuel, and therefore ten tonnes (20,000lb) less thrust, than the DC-8-73.
            88000 – 20000 = 68000lb thrust divided by four is 17000lb, three 17000s are 51,000lb.

      • Another thing to take into account in Super DC-8 vs. NMA comparisons is that Boeing might be aiming for NMA takeoff performance more like a 757 than that of a Super DC-8. I grew up near the San Francisco airport and my memory was that the 707’s and DC-8’s of the international airlines used to pass over very low, and climbing very shallow, compared to anything else, and that the when the original short fuselage 727’s, 737’s and DC-9’s came out (designed for short routes and small airports, unlike today ‘s 737’s), the difference between their takeoff acceleration and that of the 707’s and DC-8’s was startling. In those days in the US, the big planes with the long ranges were generally operated only out of the largest airports, there was almost no such thing as international point to point flights. It was also likely that if flying from a small city to a big city for an international flight, you would have to switch from a feeder or domestic carrier (American, Bonanza, Delta, National, Pacific, United, Western, West Coast) for your flight to the big airport, to an international carrier (Pan Am or TWA) for your international flight. I just had the time to check my memory about takeoff performance in the old days by looking at some old editions of Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft . See below.

        From 1970-71 Jane’s. Probably all at sea level and ISA.

        FAA Takeoff Length at MAX TO Weight
        DC-8-50: 10,560 feet
        DC-8-61: 9,980 feet
        DC-8-62: 9,780 feet
        DC-8-63: 11,500 feet

        DC-9-11: 5,300 feet
        DC-9-15: 5,750 feet
        DC-9-30: 6,800 feet

        FAR Takeoff Weight to 35 foot obstacle at Max takeoff weight for “Basic” model.
        737-100: 5,600 feet
        737-200: 7,100 feet.

        Max takeoff weights for basic 737-100 and 737-200 models were 100,500 and 109,000 pounds, respectively, vs. 174,200 pounds for a 737-800.

        From the 1980-90 edition of Jane’s

        Takeoff field length at Max long range take-off weight (250,000 pounds) at sea level and 29 Celsius.

        757-200 Rolls Royce 535E4 Engines: 7,000 feet.
        757-200 PW2037 Engines: 9,160feet
        757-200: Pw2040 Engines: 6,950 feet.

        Engine Thrusts
        535E4: 37,400 pounds
        Pw2037: 38,200 pounds
        PW2040: 40,100 pounds.

        Max range at Max TO Weight with 186 passengers:
        535E4: 3,820 nm
        PW2037 and PW2040: 4,000 nm.

        Both the range and the passenger capacity listed by Jane’s for the 757-200 are short of the 220 to 270 passengers and 4,500 to 5,000 nm often cited as goals for the Boeing NMA. Design goals for the 757 included being a suitable replacement for the medium range and medium take off length 727 at a time when twin engine planes were not used for long overwater flights.

        • Twins have much more power at takeoff than quads ( or triples) for the engine out situation. That allows initial climb to be so much better.

          • AP: We hopped on a Pan Am DC-8 out of Annette Island (AK) in the latter 50s some time. Annette was the collector field for South East Alaska at the time as no runway could take a jet (we were still flying amphibs around from most places other than Juneau)

            No idea how loaded, but it scared the daylights out of me as it racked back and went for 35,000 feet. Maybe cooler, not sure if they took on fuel there but it went up like a fighter.

            Now a DC-6, that is a low climbing aircraft!

          • Hello TransWorld,

            How far were you flying out of Annette Island, how full was the passenger load?

            According to the the 1970-71 Jane’s the only DC-8 with FAA type approval prior to 1960 was the DC-8-10. Below are some performance figures listed for the DC-8-10 and the contemporary 707-120 in the 1970-71 Jane’s.

            Max Take Off Weight
            DC-8-10: 273,000 pounds
            707-120: 257,000 pounds

            Mac Cruising Speed
            DC-8-10: 542 mph
            707-120: 571 mph

            Sea Level Rate of Climb
            DC-8-10: 1,330 fpm
            707-120: 2,400 fpm

            Take Off Run at Max TO Weight
            DC-8-10: FAA Field Length= 9,380 feet
            707-120: CAR TO Run to 35 ft height= 10,550 feet

          • I’m not trying to suggest that there isn’t some sufficiently light weight at which a DC-8-10 or 707-120 could rocket off a runway, but I am not ready to believe that his would happen if the seats were full for a max range flight. Independent of what any spec sheets say there are my memories of watching the Pan Am 707’s taking off from SFO using more runway than anything else (except later on Super DC-8’s and 747-100’s), and passing overhead lower and louder than anything else. Sometimes I wondered if they were going to make it over the San Francisco Bay Hills.

          • I’m sure that a fully loaded 707 or DC-8 will beat a DC-6 or Convair 340 to 20,000 feet; however, the experiment that I claim to have seen repeated thousands of times is that when taking off from SFO with typical passenger loads of the 1960’s, the DC-6’s and Convair 340’s were airborne with their landing gear up when passing by the old observation deck at mid-field by the old control tower, while the 707’s and DC-8’s were well past the observation deck before they lifted off, and passed much lower over the airport fence, often with their gear still in transit.

  3. The 737-8 a 160-180 seat aircraft. The 195-E2 a 110-130 seat aircraft.

    In a combined B-E portfolio, there’s a big gab where it hurts, around 150 seats. Where the CS300 sits.

    Probably they’ll work to see how to fill it.

      • That wasn’t enough time for you to change “gab” to gap.

        What does Airbus have to fill the gap? The A318 and A319 aren’t selling. They keep trying to cram more seats into the A320 and make it a 160 seat..

        • The CS300 and the potential CS500, which could be launched on rather short notice.

          • Marketing has to come first , but of course they can have fuel/range numbers to talk to the airliners about if they have modelled a bigger plane in the computers . Its bound to get a furious counter offer from Boeing if they go head to head. Bombardier/Airbus dont want to be selling a plane they lose money on because Boeing can always undercut

          • There is still a balance between say a notional CS-500 that returns fantastic economics vs a 737-7 that is really heavy.

            Fuel savings is forever regardless of price, lower purchase is one time return.

            As Delta noted, we did not even look at anything Boeing had for the CS100/300 order.

          • It was LH that pushed Bombardier to redo the CS300 so it is a risk that it is pushed to its limits already hence making a CS500 from the CS300 can be a costly excersise

          • Good point, the CS500 will have thrust, wing and tail strike problem areas. Can see it good for 2000-2500Nm range but not beyond?

            The A320 has at its advantage range/MTOW flexibility options and belly revenue.

    • Never even came close and the A380 could not match the 747 floor loading.

      Ergo it was a UPS and FedEx (maybe DHL) only.

      • The proposed A380 freighter would have 3 decks not two like the 747.
        Not sure why the floor loading for the main deck wouldnt be comparable as they switched from composite to higher strength AL alloy floor beams . I could understand why the top deck floor loading would have been less.

        • Two decks and the belly.

          747 only has one deck and the belly.

          Not sure why floor loading is issue, it does get involved with weight out and bulk out.

          FedEx and UPS tend to bulk out before they reach weight.

          An A380 could not carry the floor loads a 747 can per foot and not go overweight.

    • wow, that article is garbage. 747-800? repeatedly calling the A380 the plane of passenger preference? most passengers don’t know the difference between a 737 and an A380. the A380 might be nicer for passengers than a 747, but that isn’t why airlines bought it and stopped buying the 747.

      the A380 replaced the 747 for passenger service on seat mile costs. (and I would argue that the 777-300ER really killed the 747), the A380 is really in a different category has not achieved the broad market penetration of the 747 and really is only used for niche routes by anybody other than the ME3.

      • Er, a lot of passengers do know the difference between the A380 and everything else.

        Emirates couldn’t sell tickets for their 777 service between Manchester and Dubai (the other two flights of the day were A380 and were heavily subscribed). They replaced the 777 with a third A380, suddenly started selling tickets.

        There’s a lot of long haul business travellers who go out of their way to travel A380. I know several who do that.

        Even British Airways, amidst their head long rush to the bottom of the market, acknowledge that passengers love flying on A380 and would be buying more if the price was right.

        People who are travelling a long distance will pay an extra few dollars if they know for sure that they’re getting a little more room and a lot less noise. A380 has successfully differentiated itself from all other aircraft in this regard, and needs very little introduction to the paying passenger. That is a very handy marketing tool.

        787 was supposed to have the same aura, but then the airlines all fitted an extra seat and apparently omitted the heavy and optional sound deadening insulation. A 787 at 8 across with the sound insulation fitted is a very nice aircraft (that’s what Boeing showed off to the journalists in the early days), but hardly any airlines operate them in this configuration.

        Meanwhile 777 has gained a reputation for being crammed and noisy, as airlines have squeezed 10 across.

        What Airbus seems to be good at is designing aircraft that can be profitable without the need to jam the passengers in, and seemingly don’t give airlines the option of doing that. It’s a very good trick. It’s such a delicate balance, just a few inches difference in width really makes a difference. A350 is 6 inches wider than 787, but is fine at 9 across. And is pretty quiet too.

        • Well said, I find the 330’s really good for the family in economy. Suspect the 330NEO’s to be even better.

          p.s. The IFI “boxes” under the aisle and window seats on the 787’s adds to the bad experience.

        • professional travelers do know the differences. folks who fly once or twice a year (the vast majority of the public) mostly do not.

          I was not suggesting that the A380 doesn’t have real advantages in terms of customer experience over the 747, just that customer experience is very near the bottom in an airline’s aircraft buying decision factor list.

          i.e. if capital costs, trip costs, seat mile costs, crew training costs, maintenance costs, depreciation, lease/loan terms, availability dates, dispatch reliability and about a dozen other economic factors are equal or in the noise, then and only then does passenger experience begin to factor in.

          • I Disagree. Both my daughters are certainly not aircraft enthusiasts or frequent flyers, they know less than nothing about planes but they have certainly mentioned the quality of flying in an A380 as opposed anything else.

            This has occurred 4 separate times and encourages them to soak me for flights in A380s rather than B744/B777 as the two most popular alternatives they encounter.

            It is the one aircraft out there where people notice the difference on, space, noise, smoothness of flight etc, it is a special experience, even in economy.

            I am sure most of us are well acquainted with the B777 and it is a mighty fine aircraft but the noise is far higher when compared against any Airbus product I can think of especially the A380.

            I do agree that it has had little impact on buying decisions by airlines up until now. Perhaps Singapore dumping off B787s to scoot (?) to replace with A350s shows things are turning…. probably not!

          • @Sowerbob, similar here. Everyone I know who has flown on an A380 has remarked on how nice an experience it was compared to, say, 10 across 777. If my 75 year old mother, who when asked what sort of plane she flew on would normally answer “a blue one”, or “one of those new ones with only 1 wing”, if she can spot the difference and make bookings specifically to get routings on A380s, then the A380 has an aura beyond the aviation enthusiast.

  4. I have the feeling reporting so far has been slightly Boeingcentric. How can this help Boeing, what does it bring, does it fit etc.

    I think Boeing has to come up with a very good offer for Embraer to make any chance. Embraer isn’t in dire straits, bankrupt, weak. They dominate a the 80-100 seat segment and have hot products with the E2 & KC390.

    Money & pampering individuals doesn’t buy everything, its politics, national interests here too. Better make friends & consider long term Brasilian interests or they might easily look around a bit or simply stay independent. They’re far from desperate, this ain’t BBD.

    • On the other hand, compared to Boeing its chump change.

      No idea if it works or not, I do continue to think its really odd.

      A JV for a notional 120 to 160 Seat aircraft would make sense.

      How soon does Boeing decide they arn’t into business jets?

      How viable is Embaer without the military end?

    • One certainly does sense that Boeing needs Embraer a whole lot more than Embraer needs Boeing.

      The offer from Seattle is going to have to be very attractive indeed. So it’ll need extra careful wording to see where the catch is… The Brazilian government is going to have to think very careful about accepting Boeing’s golden embrace.

      Oh how can it have come to this.


      An edit feature. Luxury!

      • When Boeing refused to replace the 737, they wound up at this point.

        I know I keep asking, but what does Boeing want with business jets?

        They never had any interest in 100 seaters since the 737-100

        Pure desperation?

        And why would Embraer want to be made a tiny part of Boeing?

    • Embraer is getting close to a “Mexican Standoff” where they make great Aircrafts sized up to the ERJ195E2. The next step up in size should ideally be a 737 competitor but they don’t have the muscles to compete with Boeing/Airbus/Comac and the MC-21. To team up with Boeing that has the oldest design structurally and get a good piece of the NSA might be doable especially if Boeing is busy with the bigger 797. This makes it possible to do the 797 and the 7E7 concurrently similar to when they did the 757/767 sharing alot of parts.

  5. I can understand why P&W wouldn’t make any comment. With the problems they are having with the NEO engines at the moment, it would be best for them to keep quiet and hope they get it all together before Boeing comes to the point of deciding on the powerplant(s) for the NMA.
    Not to mention having to fight off the (financial) clout that GE has with Boeing.

    • The PWA problems were normal problems in the 1900’s. The TF-30’s, F-100’s, JT8D’s, JT9D, PW2000, PW4000, even the PW6000 all had their initial problems. Industry is getting spoiled after the CFM56-3 and GE’s CF6-80C2’s that made a bump forward in reliability (not perfect but still a big step forward), RR were not perfect then either initially with the RR Avon, Spey and some RB211’s. Customers expect much more now and production volumes of civil Aircrafts are much higher compounding historical problems popping up again.

      • RR is having serious issues with the Trent 1000 now as well.

        Several NZ shutdowns and a Scoot I believe prior. Fan blade and or corrosion issues per ANA or different, havn’t seen any really good reporting on it yet.

        Regardless P&W is going backwards right now and that is a very disappointing thing.

        Also dangerous ergo the grounding of aircraft which is a solid move.

        • I don’t know for sure (corrections most welcome), but from statements issued by both ANA and RR about the issue there one senses that the fix is straightforward and should prove good in the long run. And I think ANA ordered a whole load more despite the problem; pretty good vote of confidence.

          This kind of thing is unfortunate (and possibly a little careless for not having foreseen it), but so long as it is fixed then all will be good. It might cost RR a large amount to do the whole world fleet all at once, clearly something they were hoping to avoid, but at least that’s a reasonably fixed cost. There *shouldn’t* be any further surprises lurking round the corner.

          In contrast, with P&W’s GTF one does wonder quite when the pain is going to end. It must surely end soon – it’s too good an engine to be abandoned. One does feel sorry for the guys/girls there who are presumably burning a lot of midnight oil at the moment… Odd that the thing you’d think would be giving them grief – the new bit, the gearbox – actually seems to be working very well!

          • I don’t have a good report but ANA had some shutdowns and they replaced engines.

            NZ had two shutdowns and Scoot had another one.

            Its not being talked up but all were in on the inspections and whatever upgrades. NZ is having issues as there are no more spare engines to swap around.

            Its not just a corrosio0n and performance issue, or its new, but its entailed acualy shutdowns vs maintenance needed before X time.

            ANA is going to stick with RR, for whatever reasons they like them.

            But the Trent 100 is now the Trent 100-TEN and its virtually an all new engine.

            That is a huge cost to replace the 1000 that should have stayed on for the whole duration (or many years for NEO)

            Something was essentially wrong with the 1000 architecture it could not be pipped up to fuel burn standards.

            Norwegian is going to retrofit 1000-Ten to its 787-9 but keep the 1000 on the 787-8.

            There is a whole lot going on with RR on that engine and replacement.

            At this point worse than P&W as P&W at least currently is fixing not replacing with a newer design (the Ten borrow a lot from the XWB)

          • It smells a bit like the RB211-524G vs H story where the H was a stretch too far on the 767.
            It might be similar with the T1000 with some fuel saving mods for the 787-9 that got into problems and RR killed those problems with switching production to the T1000-TEN similar to the RB211-524 G/HT, with a Trent core into the RB211-524 solved its core Engine problem.
            The scale is different now with a volume of RR T1000 powered 787-9’s to care for. The A330neo missed the mess with a heatbeat and if RR can deliver enought T7000 it can get very popular if the new wing is as good as it looks.

          • Isn’t the Trent 1000 issue just the ongoing erosion/corrosion mitigation? Fix route primarily being replacement parts and limited by maintenance availability and spare engine availability but, I’d guess, could involve replacement engines for specific customer depending on circumstances. There was a provision mentioned mid 2017 of £30mn or so. If it is supposed to take 3 years to complete and if that was say the first 6 months at a steady state, could imply a £180mn total provision. Up it for cases like Norwegian.

      • The GE90 had issues when it was rolled out for the 777-200. PW were the leader and ahead at that time with ETOPs ‘out of the box’ while GE did not.
        GE also did a ‘new version’ of the GE90 for the 777-300ER( which turned out very well), much like RR are doing for the 350-1000. Yet some see a derivative evidence RR didnt do a great job ?

        • The GE 90-115 was a lot different than the original GE 90s. Bigger fan with fewer and wider blades. Significant changs to the core also.

          Xwb 97 has the same fan as the 84 but the core is upgraded to make more power resulting in more thrust but a lower BPR.

          • If the fan is the same size and the overall core much the same, the BPR is going to be the same as well.

            The revised engine I was thinking of was for the 787, The Trent 1000-10.

            As is common , parts of the RR 1000 are made by its partners
            Kawasaki – Intermediate compressor
            Mitsubishi- Combustor, Low pressure turbine blades
            ITP ( then independent)- LP turbine module

  6. Maybe PW & RR will get together again for an NMA / “A322/23”. The’ve done it before & looking back, both sides might feel the IAE split up might not have been the mother of market strategies.

    GE already started power play last week in SIN, demanding all or nothing. This could get tense, particularly if Boeing considers they might reduce their sole source dependency and improve their price negotiation position a bit.


    • The problem Boeing has here is they want a really efficient engine on their NMA but GE won’t develop a geared engine, P&W is covered in trouble getting their GTF reliability and durability up to a competitive level and RR is not advanced far enough in development with the UltraFan.

      • P&W would be the closest, The GTF seems to be working just fine.

        Its the fiddly bits that oddly are not and that is a head scratcher.

        P&W should be the clear leader here.

        On the other hand if they can clear up the issue which don’t seem that awful hard tech wise, ?

      • Service entry 2027 will allow RR UltraFan and P&W GTF that are mature by then…

  7. Would make much more sense for Boeing (politics aside ) to partner with Sukhoi on the SSJ100 and it’s planed derivative of 75 seats and maybe future one of 120 seats. Russia is a very big market for this kind of airplanes and this in itself could provide trigger a lot of demand and ensure success .

    • Any partnering with Russia wouldnt be with a segment where Embraer is strong now , but possible ( but unlikely) on the 200+ seater the MC-21 where a Brazilian assembled and supported version would be more appealing, especially Africa, Middle East, South America.

      • If Boeing actually take over Embraer me thinks Boeing would not go for that.

        Compete directly with the 787

    • Russia is a small market. Not a very big one.
      And the eco/political fabric under the near-mid term regime will keep it that way for many years to come.

      Even the Italians got out of the SSJ.

  8. The increase in thrust requirement of the NMA is interesting. Can read a few things into that, one is that an (large) NSA to follow the NMA in the not to distant future.

    Keep the NMA engine relatively simple and low cost, also reduce time to EIS, NSA engine probably a new generation of engine that is already under development.

    Airlines most likely wants an “767X”-concept aircraft as NMA?

  9. Is the joint venture going replace BCA or is it going to be in addition to Boeing commercial?

  10. From what Scott is reporting, it sounds like the NMA is morphing more toward a 767 light.

    It will be interesting.

    • Thats what Boeing wants people to think -the NMA is really only a 787 light- as they dont want orders for the 737-10 to disappear.

      When the original 737-900 appeared it was nobbled in passenger capacity ( lack of doors) and range so it wouldnt take orders for the still in production 757.
      Presto, once the 757 line was closed after 9/11, the 737-900ER appeared with extra exit doors.
      Of course now the 737 is booming while the 757 was struggling so Boeing should be offering a NMA that the airlines want, but Boeings cashflow depends on that 737 production rate increasing, not decreasing

  11. 50K engines? Sounds like a large airplane creeping heavier. A 763 and 764 replacement, instead of a 752 to 753 size. Which I think is a mistake.

    • Same thrust as the 767-200… Could make sense for an 8-abreast 2-4-2 cabin all-CFRP plane with the range discussed.

      I really wonder at what price they will be able to offer such a plane. My take was that the prices discussed would rather fit an all-aluminum plane. But then, those times are probably past.

      • Sounds like Boeing is hoping it will be built by robots 24/7. As volumes increase automated production becomes the way forward but it is not that easy as the car industry has experienced on much smaller, cheaper and simpler structures.
        More advanced CFRP parts that require expensive tooling makes you want to make the major parts next to the FAL line avioding the time and risk of shipping expensive parts around.
        Boeing must exceed the size of the A322 and offer similar seat mile costs but better comfort and cargo capacity. When Boeing models its use it will replace the 767 routes and should replace 2ea 737-800 filled to 80% on trunkline routes. Hence it will grow to close to 300pax in single class, many will use it with a few rows of 2-2-2 biz class seating and the rest in Airbus style 2-4-2 seating for quick turn arounds. Like an original A300 but from the 2000’s. Just imagine Ryanair switching 63% of its flights with these 300 seaters.

        • Claes: Unless it morphs, the stated setup was only enough belly for pax luggage. Probably a bit extra for high priority freight but not a major part of it.

          Obviously that could change depending on what comes out of the whole process.

    • That is where the rubber meets the road takes place and not us making the decisions. I would be in a rubber room.

      Boeing is talking to all the airlines and like the Sonic Cruiser and the 777, as they talk it gets refined.

      Its also the art of the possible and Leeham has stated often that the economics don’t work out for the NMA (build cost).

      On the other hand if there is a real market for a 767 light (more a 200 than 300 or 400) then you take it.

      I can see the range of possibility, I don’t have the background details and data Boeing has on production costs and the market.

  12. Another problem is Boeing would need to build out a facility to build these 797’s. Perhaps they will build them in Sao Paulo area??

  13. If a 50K engine, I’ll guess a 48m wing. a 2-3-2 50m fuselage at 4,800nm range with a stretch 56m at 4,200. If they are building two models, one issue is how to find the balance in range to keep the smaller model relevant.

    More seats will help the mantra of matching single aisle economics. 4,200 nm range with 35% to 40% more seats than the A21, or 4,800 nm range with 15% to 20% more seats than the A321. What’s not to love for the airlines?

  14. IMJ, a tie-up between Boeing and Embraer might be countered by a full merger between Airbus and Bombardier’s aerospace division.

    Bombardier’s transportation division could then merge with Siemens/Alstom – i.e. ABS Group; or Alstom-Bombardier-Siemens Group. Such a merger would create a formidable competitor to China’s CNR and CSR which merged into CRRC in 2015.

    Hence, Bombardier aerospace would become Airbus Canada. In order to fully compete with the smaller E-Jet, Airbus Canada could develop an all new 4 abreast regional family of jets.

    The CS-100/-300/500X could then be named the A316-800, A316-900 and A316-1000, respectively.

    E-Jet competitor: A315-800, A315-900 and A315-1000 (i.e. similar fuselage as the E-Jet, CSeries cockpit, FAL in Mirabel etc.)

    The rapidity with which the E-175 and E-Jet family has overtaken the CRJ-700/-900 as the airliner of choice in the 75 – 90 seat regional jet market would seem to indicate that only a new optimised regional jet would fully be able to compete with the E-Jets. In fact, a state-of-the-art, A315 regional jet family would IMJ turn the tables on the competition.

    Therefore, the CRJ would likely be discontinued. Same thing with the Q400. However, a Mirabel-assembled A315-family would more than compensate for the “loss” of the CRJ and the Q400, thereby satisfying the unions in addition to the federal government of Canada and Québec’s government.

  15. It’s stunning to me the the Brazilian gov. would be willing to let 80-90% of Embraer go… to Chicago. Not their usual approach, even for a (speculative) crazy 5-7B$. For a state like Brazil, isuch amount is still not a real treasure.

    Means to me that they must be *scared shi…less* (pardon my english) of Airbus absolutely crushing them in sales campaigns where there are also150-240 pax involved. Airbus can just obliterate EB by giving away the CSxxx ‘free’ in exchange for the single aisle order.

    …and what a silver lining for Boeing…sure they lost BBD (if that was really planned). But without AB taking over BBD, Brazil would never ever let EB go…to Chicago.

    So BA could not lose… anyway they played it. And 3-4B$ is ok right now given the cash flow. Almost pocket change.

    Plus cela change…Das ganze BA Process was nur ein schreklich Witz!

    • Embraer isnt in the same parlous state that Bombardier was with its Cseries.
      So its hard to see what Boeing brings to a possible deal. It sounds to me like a defensive deal to prevent Embraer from moving up to a larger single aisle.
      Remember that Embraer has a lot of major sub assembly suppliers who would love to partner on a new project now the KC390 and E2 are moving out of development.

      • I share TW’s opinion above. EB was very very careful not to challenge AB or BA. Now AB has moved squarely into its turf with arguably a better product. For the reason i outlined, it is very unlikely EB could challenge AB in combined fleet acquisition… Most of EB material customers also buy larger airplanes.

        Once AB got BBD, EB+Brazilian Gov. concluded the game was up. Hence BA can swoop in.

        Again, BA (like AB) employs very good strategists who plot many many moves ahead. Not unlikely the course of action now unfolding was *also* planned for.

  16. And let’s praise Scott for………… the “Click to Edit”
    Hat’s off!

  17. How low rent could BA make the NMA?

    Warmed over B767 — with another 4” of interior width found from within its original exterior dimensions?

    2-4-2 seating at 16.5” width to get the seat mile figures in the right ball park — seemingly 30% better than the B767 Classic.

    30% = 20% from the engine / 10% from lower weight fuselage and a better designed wing?

    Regarding BA pauchling the figures.

    The industry and the press has let them get away with seat mile economics based on 17” approx width seats in economy.

    Will they be allowed to do it again with the NMA or are there standards that cannot be broken?

    Cheap and cheerful — BA will rehash the B767.
    Future proofing / full analysis — “Super Sixty” style SA with a 150” plus width cabin.

    HD saddle / wingbox = NMA for MoM.
    MD saddle / wingbox = A321/322 competitor.

    BA is in a hard spot — needs to lead the market with little support.

    Whatever it does AB can respond with 20/20 hindsight for a lot less investment to generate the holy grail of a cheap / low investment aircraft that can do 5K NM range in all directions.

    • John Lehay predicted that Boeing will hit the cost roof on the 797 development and revert to a 767MAX with the cockpit from the 767-2C and new winglets from Aviation Partners.
      It sounds Boeing will call Electroimpact and a few others and ask for tons of robots making most structures next to the FAL line.
      We will see how sucessful they become and what parts must be pulled off the robots and made by traditional methods.

      • I’m surprised they haven’t called Tesla for advice.

        However if the AB videos on the web are to be believed then Big Aero is still in the Stone Age compared to Big Auto at its high volume best.

        I do appreciate that handling 50T of aluminium is a bit more involved that 500KG of high strength steel but they could have been building VC10’s for all the tech that was involved.

  18. The CS100 will probably go the way of the 737-7 and A319NEO.

    And then Embraer E2 and Bombardier CS are not really competing.

    The bigger CRJ’s are, but that battle seems to have been fought.

    Embraer getting a significant stake in the NSA or the USAF buying
    200 KC390s might help..

    • Agree, the CS100 is actually a niche aircraft, the 320 is the 319’s replacement of today.

      Can see that the 320 eventually gets replaced by an CS500/A320Plus (3m stretch) combination?

      • A 320 plus (320.5) that matches Max 8 capacity might push B to actually launch a NSA. Interesting that A has let B have the only entry at the 738/max8 capacity and is it a strategic decision on their part (A’s) to essentially let B have that part of the market.

        Both the Max 8 and 9 (and even the 10) fit between the 320 and 321. A 321.5 would have been easy; it seems that they intentionally left this space for B.

        • That’s been said often and makes sense, maybe one way to “force” airlines to move to the 321 by not going for an 320+?

          But the 320.5 could be close to a perfect single aisle from AB. Maybe AB has an optimized 320+ in the database to pull the trigger if BAC launch an NSA?

          I think BAC is clever with extending the 737’s life, by the time they launch an NSA the 320 could also be “getting old” and we could have the single aisle situation reversed.

  19. Airbus could get in an interesting situation. They could discuss cooperation with Embraer and promise to focus on CS300/CS500 over time and have ATR work with them on a NG turbo prop.

    Plan B would be put a few billion on the table and invest in CRJ900 and CRJ1000NEO’s for the US market.

    Giving Embraer some choice.

    • Another odd angle for me is the MRJ, conceptually a good aircraft with not the greatest execution.

      If AB takes over the CS program BBD could get involve in the MRJ program that will compete with the smaller of the E2-Jets?

  20. If I was AB I would talk to CFM about an 35-38KLb engine for the 321+/322/323?!

    The NMA most likely CFM powered, so those airlines will deal with one manufacturer if they also want 322’s.

    Sorry P&W but think you got over stretched with engines for the E2’s, MRJ, CS, MC21, 32XNEO’s, and now you dropped the ball?

    • Its the same engine for those plane types. The only differences are the fan sizes are 56 , 73 and 81 in and the MRJ version with 2 instead of 3 compressor stages. This model isnt in production.
      The only real difference is the business jet model the PW800 which does without the gearing and thus has different compressor/turbine details.
      Meanwhile its GE who has quite a lot more differences, other than fan size, between A and B models

  21. According to the following quotes from a Bloomberg article dated today (2-13-18), Delta’s CEO wrote in an internal Delta website that he hopes to be a launch customer for Boeing’s middle of market program. See the link after the quotes for the full article.

    “The airline’s boss, Ed Bastian, said he wants to be one of the first customers for the planemaker’s anticipated mid-market jetliner. The chief executive officer expressed his enthusiasm for the aircraft, dubbed the 797 by analysts, in a recent message posted on Delta’s internal website.”

    “You’re going to see us participate in Boeing’s middle-of-the-market campaign,” Bastian said. “I hope that we’re going to be a launch customer on that program as well.”


      • Out of the US Big 3, Delta also has the biggest 757 fleet. United’s 757 and 767 fleets are second largest. Current Delta 757 and 767 fleet according to Wikipedia.

        757-200: 100 aircraft
        757-300: 16
        767-300: 2
        767-300ER: 57
        767-400ER: 21

        Current United 757 and 767 fleet according to Wikipedia.
        757-200: 56
        757-300: 21
        767-300ER: 35 current plus 3 used on order.
        767-400ER: 16

        • So if Delta won’t buy the NMA / MoM’ster then who will?
          Looking more and more like a local plane for local people.

          Warmed over B767 Max it is then with the snazzy advertising turned up to 11.

          Shareholder friendly and then some.
          Questions outstanding — how much of the airframe economics will come from a CFD perfected new wing design and how much will come from sardine can economics up the back?

          2-3-2 civilisation vs 2-4-2 new dark age?

          Wonder if the market outside of the US will go for it?
          The A321 Neo LR as it stands looks a better bet for US national routes.

          Unless there are plans to annex Canada and Mexico in the next 7 years.

          • Hello Fat Bloke,

            Regarding: “Wonder if the market outside of the US will go for it?

            According to the following quote from the FlightGlobal article at the link after the quote, it would seem that Qantas Group is one non US customer and major A320 family customer who is highly interested in the Boeing NMA.

            “Qantas sees the prospect of Boeing developing its proposed New Mid-market Airplane (NMA) specifically for short/medium-haul routes as “fantastic” and is working with Seattle to help define the design.”

            “We’re really excited about [NMA]. If they do that it, that’s going to be a great aircraft,” Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce told FlightGlobal at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London. “It will be a great transcontinental domestic aircraft.”

            Joyce says that for Qantas to grow high-frequency domestic routes like Brisbane-Sydney, on which it currently has flights every half-hour, it will need a bigger aircraft. “And you don’t want an aircraft designed for longer haul like the 787 as they’re too heavy. So an aircraft that’s particularly designed for domestic [routes] would be fantastic.”


            Regarding: The A321 Neo LR as it stands looks a better bet for US national routes.”

            According to the FlightGlobal article that I referenced above it seems that A320 customer Qantas Group thinks that Boeing’s NMA would be a good Australian domestic aircraft. Would A321 customer Delta be stating that they are interested in being a NMA launch customer if they didn’t think that the NMA would be a better choice than A321’s for some domestic routes?

            Regarding: “2-3-2 civilisation vs 2-4-2 new dark age?”

            In a series of paywall articles on this Blog last year Bjorn Fehrm expounded on his opinion that the Boeing NMA would have 2-3-2 seating in the economy cabin. See the link below.


          • Norwegian Air Shuttle is another non-US airline whose management has expressed interest in Boeing’s NMA. The quote is from the FlightGlobal article at the link after the quote.

            “Norwegian is “very interested” in Boeing’s proposed New Midsize Airplane design, says chief executive Bjorn Kjos.”

            “We’re looking at the new middle-of-the-market aircraft,” he says in an interview ahead of the delivery of the Oslo-based carrier’s first Boeing 737 Max in Seattle on 28 June. “That’s very interesting.”


            Emirates President Tim Clark has also commented favorably on the NMA concept, although he stated at the same time that it might not be a good fit for Emirate’s present business model. The quote is from the FlightGlobal article at the link after the quote.

            “Emirates Airline president Tim Clark is impressed with how Boeing’s proposed New Midsize Airplane (NMA) is challenging long-held airliner design principles but thinks airline leaders may be too risk-adverse to embrace radical ideas.”

            Clark says he was shown the design during the concept stage and liked what he saw: “With its design optimised for low-cost and fast turnarounds with twin-aisles and lower freight volume, I have to say I was pretty impressed, although not perhaps for us.”

            Given the size of the global low-cost airline fleet now, Clark believes the time is right for aircraft designs to be optimised for the sector’s specific needs, rather than being based on configurations that date back to the original jet airliners of the 1950s.

            “I think that really needs to be challenged, given the way things are going. The one-horse-for-all-courses I don’t think really fits now,” he says.

            The A321neo and 737 Max types “are more in the appetite zone for boards and CEOs – not much money, not great risk, etc, and doing the job.”


            Theis quote from the Seattle Times article at the link after the quote suggests that Delta’s and United’s interest in the Boeing NMA may be more for trans-Atlantic routes than it is for domestic US routes.

            “Daniel Pietrzak, managing director of fleet transactions at Delta Air Lines, said it could be an ideal plane for trans-Atlantic routes.”
            And Andrew Levy, executive vice president and chief financial officer at United Airlines, said his company is looking for a plane that can fly from its Newark hub deep into Europe, say to Berlin. He said Boeing’s concept has “a lot of merit.”


            Following is another qoute from United CFO Andrew Levy from the FlightGlobal article at the link after the quote.

            “The A321 does a nice job but it doesn’t quite meet all the needs we have out of Newark, that being said the 757 didn’t either,” says Levy on the A321LR.


        • Thanks AP, was surprized to see that ANA and JAL also had significant 767 fleets.

          Looking at the number of 757’s still around is one reason for AB to look at the A322.

          An option that was mulling in my head is that AB could put a new larger wing (+fuel capacity) on the current 321LR to give it an 4500-5000Nm range with “full” pax and use that same wing on a higher capacity 322 with ~3500Nm range?

    • Launch Customer????

      Did Delta’s used airplane habit go away with Richard Anderson?

      Delta is buying new A321’s, A330’s and A350’s and talking about possibly being a launch customer for the NMA, while Southwest continues to snap up used 737-700’s, and United has been buying used A319’s and 767’s.

      Whatever happened to Richard Anderson’s fascination with 10 million dollar used 777’s?


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