Southern state coalition bid likely for Boeing NMA assembly site

June 27, 2018, © Leeham News: A coalition of four Southern US states that joined to win the US Air Force tanker contact site location for Mobile (AL) will likely link up again to bid for the assembly line of the prospective Boeing New Midmarket Aircraft, officials of three of the states said yesterday.

The Aerospace Alliance includes Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

An official of an economic development commission for Charleston (SC) said Charleston will also likely throw its hat into the ring.

The comments were made at the Leeham Co./Airfinance Journal Southeast Aerospace & Defence Conference yesterday in Mobile. The conference continues today.

Why would we not?

Washington State already launched its campaign to win the assembly line for the Boeing wide-body plant in Everett.

Leeham News and Comment asked representative of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi who appeared on a panel at the SADC event whether the Aerospace Alliance would reconvene to bid in competition for the NMA assembly line.

“Why would we not?” asked Becky Thompson, Global Recruitment Bureau manager of the Mississippi Development Authority, in response.

Shawn Welcome, senior director of Business Development for the Louisiana Economic Development department, and Bill Sisson, president of the Mobile Chamber of Commerce, agreed.

Becky Ford, director of Global Business Development for the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, which is not part of the Aerospace Alliance, said Charleston and South Carolina would likely bid for the NMA assembly site.

Washington’s study

The panelists waved away results of a study commissioned by Choose Washington NMA that concluded Washington is the No. 1 choice nationwide for the best place to locate the assembly site for the NMA.

The study, by the consulting firm The Teal Group, ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Key states likely to be competitive for the assembly site were ranked as follows:

  • #3: North Carolina
  • #4: Kansas
  • #10: Alabama
  • #18: Florida
  • #22: South Carolina
  • #45: Louisiana
  • #47: Mississippi

Time didn’t allow the panel to be quizzed about the rankings. But Thompson, the Mississippi representative, said earlier that state officials recognize there are some competitions they won’t win and it’s in the state’s interests to combine with neighboring Alabama and Louisiana to bid for business that will benefit the state and its residents.

Geography places Mississippi between the two states, with residents often within an hour’s drive of key economic centers of the neighboring states.

Mobile likewise is situated within a short distance of Florida’s Panhandle, able to tap workers who live just across the state line in the Sunshine State.

Workforce, Workforce, Workforce

Thompson said that a key to attracting companies to the Aerospace Alliance states is “workforce, workforce, workforce.”

Workforce will be a key consideration for Boeing, which faces retirements of more than 5,000 each from its engineering/technicians and touch-labor work groups in the next 5-10 years.

The Teal Group study considered workforce as one of its state ranking metrics but failed to focus in the executive analysis the importance Washington State needs to place on workforce training and its importance to Boeing.


71 Comments on “Southern state coalition bid likely for Boeing NMA assembly site

  1. The NMA could find many profitable scenarios and be in production for a long time if built combining the best of new technology airplanes such as the CSeries, the A350 and of course the B787 and whatever newly designed equipment that makes it to market. It would of course replace the B767, but it could also replace narrow bodies on crowded domestic routes and midsize wide-bodies on new or secondary markets. In addition, UPS and FEDEX might at some point want this efficient platform. Boeing almost has to build it.

    • The A350 did not do anything new tech wise. Its merely a frame and skin version of an aluminum structure (with an aluminum nose)

      They went with bleed air systems. Pretty old tech as much as I love pneumatics.

      • Composite barrel construction will be shown to be a dead end. Panels , which are more suited for ‘out of autoclave’, are a more efficient structure, and the big advances in automated final assembly of fuselage sections will see to that.

        • Stay tuned!

          Where you save on costs you spend on fasteners.

          Be interesting to see how it develops.

          Airbus went that way because that was all they could do.

          It was a happy outcome for them it worked as well as spun.

          • And Boeing didnt have an issue with fasteners with the 787 ?
            From memory the panels for the A350 fuselage are quite long, in the range of 16-18m.

          • Stay tuned indeed. But the composite barrel fuselage idea is extremely expensive to tool up for, and is a cost you have to repeat should you want to build a fatter fuselage or increase your production rate.

            Where as Airbus’s way requires zero or very little investment to switch to a different, bigger design or increase production rate. Commercially speaking this allows Airbus to be more agile (in both time and money) than Boeing.

            I think we’ve already seen the result. Why isn’t the 777x composite? As a result, 777x is tens if tons heavier than the Mk of A350 that competes with it, and that’s veeery difficult to justify in the market place.

            I’m also convinced that this is why the NMA is delayed, and why 737 is still Aluminium. To do either in carbon fibre is another moonshot programme for Boeing (big start up costs), but they risk being DOA in the marketplace if they’re Aluminium. Whereas a CF anything is easy for Airbus now that they’ve mastered the basic technique.

          • Duke:

            The Sun at Miday is hot. Want to guess how hot on June 22 at the South Pole? How about the Desert in North Africa? Say about the bottom of the Qatar Depression?

            Boeing fastener issues was a shortage of them because of a royal screw up in the program. The fasteners themselves are not an issue.

            A spun requires fewer fasteners. A frame and skin needs more (given Airbus saw that coming and had the time due to the many version of the A350 to get ready for it …..) not an issue.

            The world of mechanics and systems and equipment (aeronautics included ) is called a trade off for a reason. The most efficient generators are hydrogen cooled.

            Not remotely a viable solution for an aircraft is it?

            Airbus laughed at Boeing and the 787. While Boeing screwed up the program royally management wise, its now sold (1500?) and going North.

            Airbus was not ready to go all composite, Boeing was.

            Boeing chose one method. Airbus could not do that and went with another method (and please note the infamous Leahy comment was, we can replace a panel and they WILL NOT – which is ludicrous, both systems will use a patch – even on massive damage ala the Ethiopian 787.)

            While I was totally skeptical about the A350 system until Bjorn weight in. I have often done things in my work desperation that turned out to work well. This was on for Airbus, good for them and all that.

            So right now we have what is called a sub set of data. One mfg went Spun and one mfg Went Frame and Panels.

            We won’t begin to see a trend until the next one is done and that may well be based on what the mfg found to work and has experience with.

            So yes you have costs on the spun, you also have costs on the frame and panel. How that plays out over time is unknown.

            The field is advancing and Russia is using out of auto clave cures on the wing.

            Boeing and Airbus will each take a look at the process and determine what is most cost effective going ahead.

            We don’t know what that will be until aircraft are made.

            Boeing is much closer to a launch than Airbus.

          • Clearly there is some misunderstandings of what all composite fuselages are built of. As can be seen from the portion of composite used in both A350 and B787 which is roughly the same their fuselages have far more in common than is assumed. There is no internal aluminium frame in the A350 as it has the same mostly composite longitudinal stringers and radial frames/ bulkheads ( some are titanium) as a 787. All that is essentially different between both planes is the thin shell in one is built as a complete ring section and the other has its fuselage sections as built up from 4 long panels- two for the sides and one each for the crown and belly.
            The internal structural supports in both cases are after after the shell is built. Both planes have rear fuselage cone built as a composite barrel and the A350 has Aluminium cockpit window frame area with the lower cockpit area composite. Both planes have fuselages built up as 3 main sections with smaller nose and tail/empennage sections

          • Correction: The A350 centre fuselage section has 6 panels instead of 4 to account for wing joint.
            Also the 787 fuselage is 4 main sections not 3 like the A350

          • Duke:

            You are incorrect on the structure.

            The 787 spun fuselage is its own integral piece, there are no real frames (there are flanges at each fuselage connection)

            The floor on a 787 does serve as a cross beam structure (at some point we get to find out how much if they ever make a freighter out of it and how much more beef up would be needed)

            The A350 duplicates an aluminum frame and skin structure with composite ribs and frames with a composite skin laid over the top.

            So yes they are two totally different takes.

            My assumption was that the spun would be significantly less weighty than the frame.

            Bjorn has made clear they are very equal and that is good enough for me (it explains the excellent A350 performance/weight vs the 777-8.

            Standard frames require more touch labor as they have to be drilled and riveted in place. Spun less so (and lends to automation I believe)

            So again, there is a trade off in costs of the spun fuselage and its mandrel and the auto clave (currently required) vs less tooling cost but more labor involved in building the frame parts as well as installing.

            Going forward Russia is doing out of auto clave on the MC-21.

            I have been unable to find anything that tells us what the fuselage is, though it seems to be a standard frame system (likely with more exotic aluminum panels but that is a guess)

          • No No. The A350 and 787 are both semi monoque fuselages. That means the skins are stiffened internally. The only differences are the skins are either made in panels or complete barrel.
            Once the skins are complete the internal carbon fibre stiffeners are added with the longitudinal stringers added by robots and the whole lot co cured in autoclave. having a barrel or fuselage panel makes no difference. Once cured of course the inside circumference ribs are added, those too being composite these can be co bonded using adhesives ( adhesives have been around aluminium planes for a long time)
            Any picture of the 787 fuselage barrel ‘in black’ will show the stiffeners as Ive described.
            Once the separate side panels on A350 fuselage are joined by robot drilling they are really the same the same as 787 fuselages which can be transported around the world.
            There is no aluminium frame for the A350 fuselage panels to attach to. Other structural features using composites could fill pages.
            I was just reading the other day about the robots that attached the A350 longitudinal fuselage stiffeners have 6 degrees of freedom .
            So many advances in process techniques for both 787 and 787

  2. On the subject of Boeing’s NMA, but not of where it will be built, the CNBC article at the link below reports that according to “The Air Current” magazine, the due date for a Boeing RFP for NMA engines is today (6-27-18), and that the RFP calls for an engine capable of providing 45,000 pounds thrust with a fuel efficiency at least 25% better than the engines that were used on the 757. According to Wikipedia 757’s could be ordered with engines of 36,600 to 43,500 pounds thrust, the 767 has been offered with engines of 48,000 to 61,500 pounds of thrust, and the 787 is offered with engines of 64,000 to 76,000 pounds of thrust.

    • According to Wikipedia, the engine thrust range that has or is being offered on the A330 (ceo or neo) is 64,500 to 72,000 pounds, which is similar to the thrust range offered for the 787, and much greater than the engine thrust range which has been used for 757’s and 767’s.

      • Getting 25% more than a 757 is low hanging fruit I would think.

        Be interesting to see how much better than a 767 that would be.

        P&W has repeatedly said that the GTF will scale up to the 45k area.

        It might need new architecture gear box to go into the 65K+ range.

        • Hello TransWorld,

          Regarding: “Getting 25% more than a 757 is low hanging fruit I would think. Be interesting to see how much better than a 767 that would be.”

          See the outside the paywall summary bullet point below from the last part of Bjorn’s Fehrm’s paywall series from last year “Could an NMA be Made Good Enough?”, which was posted on this blog by Mr. Fehrm on 4-27-17. Note that the bullet point mentions “modern engines”, not “next generation” engines.

          ◾Careful design of the fuselage, paired with a modern wing and engines, would produce an NMA with “dual aisle comfort and single aisle economics.”

          • Dual aisle comfort is a myth. Seats are much the same whether dual or single aisle, paying for an upgrade brings comfort , nothing else.
            The word you mean to use is ‘accessibility’ for dual aisles

          • Regarding : “Be interesting to see how much better than a 767 that would be”

            Below are two more outside the paywall bullet points from a paywall article by Mr. Fehrm on the NMA, this time from “Boeing’s NMA Decision Entering Final Stretch” which was posted on 3-15-18. Not that as was also the case in the bullet point that I included in a previous post, these bullet points mention “modern engines”, not “next generation” engines.

            ◾The 797 is best compared with the 767. Cabin dimensions are close to the 767-200 for the 797-6X and to the 767-300 for the 797-7X.
            ◾The use of a more efficient cross-section, Carbon Fibre design, higher aspect ratio wing and modern engines makes the 797 a lighter and more efficient aircraft than the 767.

          • If Boeing is looking at 757 engines as a baseline?

            Shades of a much better setup than a 757-300 than a 767-200 seems to me.

            Just an opinion though.

        • More Regarding: “Be interesting to see how much better than a 767 that would be.”

          The quote below is from a 6-27-18 FlightGlobal article at the link after the quote.

          “The NMA family will seat 220-270 passengers with a range of roughly 5,000nm (9,260km) when it enters service, which Boeing forecasts by 2025. The airframer aims to achieve trip costs roughly 40% better than current generation widebodies, like the 767.”

          • But the RFA talks about 757.

            ITs really a melding of 757-200/300 and 767-200 pax wise.

            But the efficiency target looks to be the 757 and that makes sense.

            This is a single aisle competitor not a wide body.

            A 737-10 or an A321NEO probably exceeds 767 costs by 30% easily.

    • At 45K thrust, I’m guessing the size of the airplane will be a 45m span and 50m long.
      I’m hoping for 2-2-2. For the NMA-6x of 228 passengers quoted in the article, that is exactly 38 rows. 5 rows longer than the A321, more cargo, and more range should be enough of a step up to differentiate it in capability from the A321.
      Who can deliver a reliable engine in seven years?

      • Hello Ted,

        It has been widely reported that the 797 will be 2-3-2 abreast (see link below), and that is what Bjorn assumed in his “Can an NMA be Made Good Enough” series.

        Regarding: “Who can deliver a reliable engine in seven years?”

        Any of the major engine manufacturers should be able to do this, if all that is required is a current state of the art 45,000 pound thrust engine, not a next generation 45,000 thrust engine.

        • Ted:

          It is also widely reported that Cargo is not a consideration (though there is some push back from Asia) for that aircraft..

          Its not intended as a Wide Body longer range , its target is shorter range 757 territory efficiently.

          Single aisle while they have some excess capacity its not a major target for the design.

    • At 45K lbs thrust the MoM’ster will be the wimpiest TA known to man.

      All pointing to a 70T OEW / 140T MTOW combo that looks limited in the extreme. BA seem to be driven by a desire to keep well away from known AB data points — however that then puts them right in the cross hairs of a “Super Sixty” sized member of the A32X platform using the same engines as the B797 to greater effect.

      Consequently very interesting if a bit dull.
      Next step is the cabin layout — will BA come out with another big switcheroo?

      Sell it to the public as 7 wide up the back while hinting to the airlines that 16.8” / 17.2” is good enough for the plebs so eight is great.

      Exotic fuselage CSA?
      196” cabin width?
      LD2 cargo space?
      45T fuel capacity?

      Engines look a bit weak.
      Hot and high numbers will need some work.

      However it will be the first of an extended family.
      The 90T OEW product space looks inviting.
      Consequently they will grow it.
      As they always do.

      • LD3-45s, not LD2
        probably aiming for 60-65T OEW 120-130T MTOW
        I wouldn’t bet against folding wingtips to fit C gates (or at least a reduced MTOW C gate compatible 3200 nm version with lighter wingbox structure, deactivated center tank and lighter MLG)

        even if they present it at 18″ seats with 20″ aisles at 2-3-2 there isn’t enough space to go to 8 17″ seats and still have legal aisle widths.

        • B797 then will be the wimpiest TA in existence.

          I still think they will size it for 8 wide at 17” for the plebs up the back.

          65T OEW — that really would be a stretch target if it has enough floor space for 240/250 standard sized seats.

          Not expecting DC8 levels of durability at that sort of weight.

          • A321NEO is <50T OEW and can fit 240 in a ryanair config.

            OEW of 767-200 is 80T and the 797-6 is targeted to be between A321 and 767-2oo in size

            split the difference in weight and size and you end up @ 65T OEW. take into account modern materials and design, 65T is a reasonable target

          • Struggling to work on the seating numbers that have been put forward.

            The LR version seems to be sized to match the B767 – 200 with the possibility that they will sweat the assets up the back with 8 wide @ 17”.

            However the engines and the BA corporate dynamic point to a wimpy TA so as to max out the delta with any A321++ AB might have up their sleeve.

            Wimpy TA runs up against A32X SA economics and 60/70/80 units per month production rates that will be in play at the time of MoM’ster Job 1.

            Stick 2 x 45K Lbs thrust engines onto a A32X platform “Super Sixty” style aircraft and what do you get in comparison to the B797 family?

            Range — more or less?
            Floorspace — more or less?
            Price / running costs — more or less?

            My money would be on the SA.
            However I am a just an interested bystander from Big Auto.

          • same # seats as 767-200, but at “modern” 29″ pitch instead of human friendly 34″ which was the standard when the 767 came out.

            you are the only person I have seen anywhere suggesting they are going to go 8 wide (and given the content of your posts, it is clear you have an agenda)

            the likely configuration is ~158-160″ interior width at the armrests, 166-168″ outside max fuse width, or 12″ wider than an A320. overall fuselage height ought to be similar to, or smaller than the A320 making frontal area nearly a wash, with increased fuselage lift to help make up for any excess.

          • B767 = 186” wide cabin / Wiki level analysis.

            I would struggle to see how BA would want to reduce it by anymore than 6” if they wanted to thrift the cabin width.

            Given the development narrative in the public domain all the scuttlebut points to some sort of non standard oval — wider than it is deep.

            Big on top / sculpted down below.

            The B767 is 7 wide — any flex will be to 8 rather than 6.
            As noted the cargo will be at SA levels of capacity with the possibility that LD2’s might sit under an 8 wide cabin.

            One issue is the Trad BA development cycle where higher weight versions come later.

            If higher weight comes later then the space will be needed to load on the extra payload — LD2s rather than SA type units.

            B797 Gen1 = Big but wimpy TA hoping to stop the A321 from running away with the market that the B757 had but the B737 cannot deal with.

            65/70T OEW + 130/135T MTOW.

            B797 Gen2 = Same CSA but more beef to handle more weight and a stretch.

            80/85T OEW + 160/170T MTOW for 6K NM nominal range.

          • Regarding 797 Fuselage Width: The outside the paywall teaser for Bjorn Fehrm’s 3-18-15 paywall post titled; “Redefining the 757 Replacement: Requirement for the 225/5000 Sector, Part 6”, has a diagram that shows the dimensions Bjorn used in his analysis for an elliptical fuselage, 7 abreast in economy NMA/MOM.

            Outside width = 194 inches.
            Width between outside edges of outermost armrests = 182 inches.
            Outside height = 176 inches.


            In the outside the paywall introduction to part 4 of the same series, posted on 3-8-15, Mr. Fehrm stated the following conclusion from his analysis.

            “We could see that a single aisle aircraft started to have trouble with weight at around 220 passengers using our normalized seating rule set. This would with normal OEM seating rules be around 230-240 passengers. At the same time the dual aisle aircraft becomes stronger the more seats one assumes. The reason is their thicker fuselage, Figure 1, lends itself better to aircraft which passes 50 meters/160 feet in length.”

            Lengths according to Wikipedia / Most Common Passenger Capacity in Domestic Configuration (no lie flat seats) Currently Used by Delta , If Any / Number Built or Ordered

            Listed in order of increasing length.

            A321 ceo: 146 feet 0 inches / 192 seats / 1,798 0rdered as of 12-17.
            757-200: 155 feet 3 inches / 199 seats / 913 built.
            767-200: 159 ft 2 in / Retired / 767-200: 128, 767-200ER: 121.
            160 FT = Approximate SA / TA Efficiency Crossover per Bjorn
            757-300: 178 feet7 inches / 234 seats / 55 built
            767-300: 180 ft 3 in / 261 seats / 767-300: 104, 767-300 ER: 583
            DC-8-61 and 63: 187.4 ft / retired / DC-8-61: 88, DC-8-63: 107

            If Airbus is going the loooong single aisle route ala 757-300 and DC-8-61/63, they need to be hoping that the resulting aircraft will sell a whole lot better than the 757-300 and D-8-61/63 did. Given a choice between DC-61/63’s and DC-10/L-1011’s customers brought a lot more DC-10’s (446 built) and L-1011’s (249 built) than they did DC-8 61/63’s (195 built).

          • Here is the ‘length /passenger capacity / number built’ table from my post above with Delta passenger capacities circa 1987 added, per the vintage seat maps at the links below, for aircraft that Delta has retired. Around 1987, the most common seating capacity for Delta domestic 757-200’s was probably about 180 seats, the 180 to 199 seat conversions were only finished a year or two ago.

            Lengths according to Wikipedia / Most Common Passenger Capacity in Domestic Configuration (no lie flat seats) Currently (unless otherwise noted) Used by Delta / Number Built or Ordered

            Listed in order of increasing length.

            A321 ceo: 146 ft 0 in / 192 seats / 1,798 ordered as of 12-17.
            757-200: 155 ft 3 in / 199 seats currently , circa 1987 180 seats / 913 built.
            767-200: 159 ft 2 in / 204 seats circa 1987 / 767-200: 128 built, 767-200ER: 121 built.
            160 FT = Approximate SA / TA Efficiency Crossover per Bjorn
            757-300: 178 ft7 in / 234 seats / 55 built
            767-300: 180 ft 3 in / 261 seats / 767-300: 104 built, 767-300 ER: 583 built, 767-300F: 199 ordered.
            DC-8-61 and 63: 187.4 ft / 212 seats circa 1987 / DC-8-61: 88 built, DC-8-63: 107 built.



          • Hello bilbo,

            Regarding: “Overall fuselage height ought to be similar to, or smaller than the A320 making frontal area nearly a wash, with increased fuselage lift to help make up for any excess”.

            The drag and weight of a three dimensional object depend on length, width and height, not just on width and height (i.e. cross sectional area). For a three dimensional streamlined shell structure with a predominately air filled interior, weight and drag will be increasing functions of the surface area of the shell structure. More surface area means more drag and more weight. To match the drag and weight per passenger of two passenger aircraft designs, one should thus match the surface area per passenger, which for a given seating pitch is proportional to passengers per unit perimeter. For an NMA, the parameter that must be matched to achieve comparable weight and drag to a A321 or A321X is thus not cross sectional area, but rather perimeter per passenger. Since a 7 abreast aircraft has 7/6 = 1.17 or 17 percent more passengers per row than a 6 abreast aircraft, a 7 abreast aircraft that has 17 percent greater perimeter than a 6 abreast aircraft can be expected to have similar weight and drag per passenger, as long as neither aircraft is greatly stubbier or more slender than optimal for streamlining, structural stiffness, and tail surface effectiveness.

            If it was not the case that drag and weight depend on length as well as on width and height, then 747’s and A380’s would be really, really long with only 4 or 6 passengers abreast.

            See the free bullet points below from Bjorn Fehrm’s 4-6-17 post titled : “Could an NMA be made good enough , Part 3? for Mr. Ferhrm’s conclusions from his application of the above basic principles to the particular case of the type of fuselage Boeing is proposing to use for their NMA.

            ◾It’s possible to design a dual aisle fuselage with the same perimeter per seat abreast as a single aisle fuselage.
            ◾This will make the central, cylindrical, section have competitive weight and drag characteristics.
            ◾The larger diameter of the dual aisle fuselage will increase the size of the tapered front and rear sections however.
            ◾It’s still possible for an NMA fuselage to be as weight-efficient as a single aisle fuselage, measured per transported passenger.”


          • In my post above the following sentence:

            “To match the drag and weight per passenger of two passenger aircraft designs, one should thus match the surface area per passenger, which for a given seating pitch is proportional to passengers per unit perimeter.”

            should have instead read as follows.

            To match the drag and weight per passenger of two passenger aircraft designs, one should thus match the surface area per passenger, which for a given seating pitch is proportional to perimeter length per passenger.

          • Couple of points to add to the mix.

            TA aircraft are less efficient lengthwise as a wider fuselage needs a longer transition element. That is the pointy bits at the front and the rear.

            Cabin length — A321 vs B767 / usable percentage of aircraft length?

            I think AB wins.

            DC10 was a 200T / 250T MTOW aircraft.
            The Super Sixty was 150T plus some growth.

            Not quite a fair fight.

            Wimpy TA — what cabin width would allow the big switcheroo?

            7 wide for the launch publicity shots plus a nod and a wink to the stuff-a-pleb merchants who are red in tooth and claw?

            My money is on 192” for the full 16.8” experience.

            Super Sixty version of the A32X platform / architecture / component set for 10hour flight facilities, B door loading and enough floor space for 300 standard seats = 61.5M fuselage length.

            OK then 62.5M is less of a challenge but it is very close. Standard seat = 32” x 18”.

            300 standard seats = 220 seats / 4 Class layout generating 330+ standard revenue units.

            138” cabin width made in to 58M length.
            146” cabin width should take it to 60M plus.

            Big wing, bigger wingbox means stronger central fuselage section from the off. Plus more modern materials, better tech and more mature engineering.

            Then there would be the wing angle where even bigger strides have been made.

            At 75T OEW / 155T+ MTOW the Super Duper A360 beats the Gen1 Mom’ster out the park.

            The design slope would be towards more range from the 50T fuel capacity beyond 5K NM nominal range.

            It has engine issues — for now — if they go TE.
            Their joker would be a QE layout with existing units.

          • In my post above about the correct parameter for matching the weight and drag of two different aircraft designs, I focused on the drag of the fuselage without specifically mentioning that I was doing so. Other aircraft components, such as wings, will obviously also have drag and weight that must be considered.

            For those who are not theoretical mathematicians or physicists, below are some concrete examples of the correct parameter for comparing, at an approximate level, the weight and drag efficiency of different fuselage designs, i.e. perimeter per passenger, calculated for each of the four fuselage designs that Bjorn included in an illustration in the free summary 0f his 3-18-15 paywall article: “Redefining the 757 replacement: Requirement for the 225/5000 Sector, Part 6”, and also for a Boeing 767.

            Listed from lowest value (highest efficiency) to highest value (worst efficiency). Efficiency will also be subject to the fuselage not becoming to stubby or too slender for near optimal streamlining, structural stiffness, and control surface effectiveness.

            MOM7-200: 194 x 176 inch ellipse, 7 abreast.
            Perimeter = 581.5 inches.
            Perimeter per Passenger = 83.1 inches.

            A321LR: 165 x 155.5 inches near circular, 6 abreast.
            Perimeter = 500.3 inches.
            Perimeter per Passenger = 83.4 inches.

            NSA6-200: 163.4 inch circle, 6 abreast.
            Perimeter = 513.3 inches.
            Perimeter per Passenger = 85.5 inches.

            NLT7-200: 194 inch circle, 7 abreast.
            Perimeter = 609.5 inches
            Perimeter per Passenger = 87.1 inches

            Boeing 767: 198 x 213 inch near-circle, 7 abreast.
            Perimeter = 645.6 inches.
            Perimeter per Passenger = 92.2 inches.

            Significant points:
            I) The perimeter per passenger of the MOM7-200 and A321LR are within o.4%.
            II) The perimeter per passenger of the 767 is 11.1 % greater than that of the MOM7-200 and A321LR.

            I calculated the perimeter of circles and near circles according to Pi x diameter, for the elliptical MOM7-200 I assumed that the cross section was close enough to a true ellipse for the ellipse perimeter calculation tool at the link below to give an acceptable answer.


          • Some of this is hair splitting gone mad.
            Some of it is detail that needs to be included.

            B737 vs A320 = 4-5% delta in fuselage wetted area per passenger.

            Still no winner on the efficiency front so it is important but it is not critical.

            I am still standing behind a cabin width of 192” to allow the big switcheroo and make any A300 Mk4 response need to work harder to match it at lower capabilities.

            192” internal = 205” external.

            If your model accepts 8 wide then the fuselage perimeter figure will be pretty competitive for what it’s worth.

          • I just realized that in a post above where I listed perimeter per passenger values that I had calculated for several fuselage cross sections that had been shown in a diagram in a March 2015 post by Bjorn Fehrm, one of the dimensions that I listed for the A321LR fuselage was wrong. According to the diagram in Mr. Fehrm’s post, the outside dimensions of the A321LR fuselage are 155.5 inches wide by 163 inches tall, not 155.5 inches wide by 165 inches as I listed above. I did use the correct dimensions in my calculation above. Approximating the perimeter of the A321LR fuselage to be the perimeter of a circle with diameter equal to the average of its fuselage height and width, gives the following.

            Perimeter = Pi x (155.5 + 163) inches / 2
            Perimeter = 500.3 inches
            Perimeter/Passenger = 500.3 in/6 = 83.4 in

  3. So its the same thing where states in the US fight each other and help Boeing in the race to the bottom.

    Might as well throw Mexico, China and India into the works.

    I mean its so competitive you can do endless stock buy back even when your stock is (over 280?) not to mention buying up everything in the country related to aviation.

    Far past time for legislation that stops this insanity.

    At some point we pay Boeing NOT to make aircraft in the US because we can’t afford them.

    • Wasn’t Brazil (Embraer) also suggested as a possible assembly area too?

      It’s a globally competitive market, so yes, states will have to compete with each other and the rest of the world with cost a major factor in aerospace profits.

      One way to protect the worker is to limit/close the market access. This is partly why you see the recent emphasis on trade barriers and/or tariffs, and its effects on U.S. politics and international relations.

      Although not mentioned in this specific article, geographic diversity is also a benefit to Boeing given the hurricane and tornadoes that roll through the South.

      • And the massive subduction earthquake that is overdue (?) for the Oregon/Washington coast. I would, personally, like to see Boeing stay a mostly West coast operation with unionized workers (who proactively cooperate in design/production efficiency improvements), but there are doubtless many good reasons to geographically diversify.

        • Yep, WS is on the verge. They can be bad (acualy those are the worst quakes). On the other hand Washington does not have exposure to the worst affects of those which is Tsunami.

          South Carolina is in Hurricane patch, and those are getting worse.

          Mid US has Tornadoes (and lets not forget the New Madrid Fault) – took out a portion of the Spirit Plant in Kansas.

          So you put NMA in Texas and get Harvey or Rita again?

          And you loose 767, 747, 737 and half your 787 at best (worst there is stuff made in Washington that is used in both places)

          I get a laugh out of phrases like that. Big one is now food security. They throw that around in AK a lot.

          Energy security as well. Cut off our boats and we are zero security in anything in about 4 days.

          Climate is getting worse, all those nasty weather events are getting worse.

          • It’s like any diversification, there are individual risks everywhere, the trick is not to have all your eggs in one proverbial basket. From that respect Airbus is better suited with multiple lines. I would see this as a major factor against Washington. Surely any new site would also be brought up to do narrowbodies too for risk reduction if nothing else. The big debate is that it loses efficiency having multiple sites.

          • Don’t forget the volcanoes in WA as well! I’ts a very interesting place geologically.

          • Funny about Airbus.

            Toulouse and Germany are nice and stable from the environmental issue (heat in Toulouse)

            Politically? With the Euro about as unstable as it gets.

            And as I said, you have to look at the entire supply chain and see where the bottlenecks are.

            Engines? One factory and where is it.

            All the stuff that goes into those engines and where are they.

            Same with A/C, hydraulics, generators, avionics.

            It only take one wrong item missing and the whole thing comes to a screeching halt.

            I remember the hard drive crisis, Thailand flooded and there went a huge part of the mfg capacity.

  4. More 797/NMA news. The quote below is from the 6-27-18 Investor’s Business Daily article at the link after the quote.

    “At the National Press Club in Washington D.C., Wednesday, Delta Air Lines (DAL) CEO Ed Bastian reaffirmed earlier statements that Delta wants to be a launch customer if Boeing goes ahead with the new plane to replace aging 767s and 757s that are set to retire in the next decade.

    “We have had discussion about being a potential launch customer but it would be premature to make any comment along those lines,” he said. “But we think Boeing is interested is getting a feel of the market.”

    Bastian wouldn’t go into specifics about what the carrier wants from a “797” but he said he wants range and capacity at a low price point for customers.

    “Don’t want an overload. Sometimes you build an aircraft with too much capability and too much range and that’s when it becomes more expensive and you’re suboptimal.”

    • Pretty funny Boeing gets stiffed by Delta who becomes their biggest public fan (pun) of the 797.

      It seems like single aisle have reached the limit or a bit much.

      Ergo Embraer and BBD (soon to be Airbus C or something) creep in at the bottom.

      It will be interesting.,

      It looks like RR has taken themselves out of the game with the 2025 date. GE and PW can develop engines in the time frame needed

      • What can they develop — delta to their existing tech?
        What thrust figures or thrust ranges can they deliver?

        All looks a bit point in time to me — good for the 2025 “today” not so good for the 2030 “reality”.

        RR have a lot of product space to play with.

        Current travails might help long term as they are mixing things up in a very staid environment.

        50K lbs thrust is a great place to be with a lot of new tech.
        At some point design will trump development.

        GE has played a blinder to keep the 2 spool in the game for so long. They are at a disadvantage regarding making the jump as they have an existing business to throw away.

        Mom’ster in 2025 will still be hope.
        Mom’ster In 2030 will have company and volume.

        RR needs to be ready to hitch a ride in volume at this time.

        • Well that’s one take.

          Another is that RR is in a massive screw up with their vaunted 3 spool design.

          RR has nothing on P&W right now, they don’t have real world experience on a GTF in service.

          They have not seen and made the trade offs in design choices.

          They have a totally failed engine (Trent 1000) they have two engines that are derived from the Trent 1000 (and just discovered flaws in the 1000 they did not know about) and they have problems with the blades on the Trent 900.

          Boeing wants a 45k engine design and they want it now. They want it off an established tech base.

          Pie in the sky vs the real world. Real world always wins.

          • RR and their 3 spool play.

            They got fat and happy aka lazy — the base physics was enough or so they thought.

            Jag thought the same with their D7a platform — alu body or at least a 85% alu body was the trick they were going to use to make the XE lighter than a 3 Series.

            Didn’t happen because they got lazy with the rest of the car and the weight piled on with every other part.

            GE has worked very hard to keep their constrained offering at the front of the grid.

            RR got a shock at the results and had to cut corners to keep up and now it is payback — perspiration has trumped inspiration.

            However as noted by others GE has a few skeletons rattling about in its cupboard threatening to get out.

            So enjoy it while you can.

            I think the BA hype machine is now in play.
            They can do negative as well as positive.

          • Me, I don’t like snoot. In my field Caterpilar has done that.

            Lot of engine MFgs like Perkins, Beford (UK GM) JCB – Daimler – Wetsilla – Detutz – and host of others make equaly good diesle engines.

            Cat snoot just means you need special cat tools to work on their special stuff, its not better and sometimes worse. Older cats smoked like an F4 Phaotom engine.

            Older Detroits and Cummins were clean as a while (if setup right)

            Agreed it will be interesting to watch GE. The jet engine division is strong but the breakup takes away some strong pieces (rail and medical) and leaves weak players like renewable. They loose the GE CI engines with loss of Rail and Natural gas use is a natural for those.

  5. Are there any numbers out there that quantify the savings to be had building an aircraft below the Manson / Nixon line in comparison to the social democratic North West.

    Will the south always be non union?
    Any numbers on the composition of the existing SC blue collar workforce?

    What is the major sport on the shop Floor?

    Stock car racing or basketball?
    WWE or MMA?

    To think that the NW could have been Canadian if the fur trapper establishment had not engaged in farming 10 years earlier?

    • Ahhh well, I guess political ignorance goes both ways.

      Large US cities are liberal bastions, the country side is red neck.

      The maps love to show how red neck the US is, but the reality is it shows size not population.

      The South is moving to larger cities. Alabama just elected a democratic Senator (unusual circumstances but Alabama has that same mix of large cities and country)

      Probably the only exception to large city vs country is Salt Lake, and it is at heart and soul (no pun) Mormon country who are not far removed from multiple wives, a lot more in common with the Southern Country cousins.

      There is a demographic shift going on, but as history tells us, these things go in fits and starts not a steady line.

      That explains our current unfit El Presidente’.

  6. Delta bloke just shows how insular US business has become.
    The days of new planes being designed to suit the US market have gone.

    He is probably in the market for a better quality DC10.

    • Regarding: “Delta bloke just shows how insular US business has become.
      The days of new planes being designed to suit the US market have gone.”

      Meanwhile in Australia ……

      “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.”

      • Too many cooks spoil the broth.

        A321 has enough floorspace for 210 standard sized seats — 32” pitch at 18” wide.

        50T OEW for 210 standard seats.

        With the A322 sitting in the CAD for 240 standard seats at less than 55T OEW.

        Mom’ster seems to have the floor space for at a guess 260 or 290 if they go slimline at 70T+ OEW.

        Brand new platform, brand new architecture, brand new everything for not much of anything.

        However BA does hype.

        They have managed to flog 400 plus of the B787 Crufts Edition.
        Biggest dog in the sky since the Trident.

        If they can do that then they can flog the world’s wimpiest TA to the great unwashed in large numbers. Cue all the puff pieces telling us that TA is the future and SA is dead for anything bigger than a commuter turboprop.

        They will be selling the sizzle not the sausage.

        • FBT:

          Nothing will make you happy until Boeing unless Boeing cancels the 797.

          I would suggest basing your arguments on facts and not emotional leanings.

          Leave the spin to the politicians.

          • The A300 was a pretty big target but BA missed it by a mile with the B767.

            Looks as if history is about to repeat itself with the B797.

            45K lb thrust engines points to an TA solution that the market does not seem to need. The market needs LD out to 5K NM nominal range but TA?

            However BA can do hype like no other so it should be some fight.

            Who can generate the most utility with 90K lbs of thrust?
            One angle in all of this would be BA offering a single sourcing deal if the engine is not made available to others for a number of years?

            Would that change the competitive environment?

          • Hello Fat Bloke,

            Regarding: “The A300 was a pretty big target but BA missed it by a mile with the B767.”

            In what way do you consider the 767 to have missed the A300 by a mile?

            In terms of sales success as measured by number of aircraft sold, it would seem to me that the 767 was far more successful than the A300, since the number of 767’s that have been ordered is more than twice the number of A300’s that were ever built.

            The following sales and order figures are from the Wikipedia pages for the A300 and 767.

            A300: 561 built, production ended in 2007.

            B767: 1,113 built and 1,211 ordered as of 5-31-18, still in production.

          • A300 = political animal one step more sophisticated / developed than Concorde.

            B767 = BA blank sheet of paper for a TA twin engine into an almost open goal with tech, layout and sales capability all behind it and what happened?

            Three attempts — three big MTOW variants — and it ends up playing second fiddle to a B707 tech twin and an Mk2 A300 LR/HD platform.

            Given the advantages that BA had at their disposal the B767 has not been an unqualified success.

            Seemed as if BA went all trendy vicar — getting hip with the TA kids — with a half hearted effort that ticked boxes rather than taking the TA product space seriously.

            My thoughts are that the B797 is infected with the same level of product planning and marketplace engagement.

            New SA — with MC21 cabin dimensions — would be a much better use of a new 45K lb thrust engine.

            All the major SA aisle markets — apart from the US — are growing the size of the planes involved. The SA product space would appear to the segmenting into two different strands maturing in 2028.

            LD units @ 140 – 190 seats — C Series and some growth
            MD units @ 180 – 280 seats — A320+ / A321++.

            The B797 would not appear to be set up for this fight apart from on the margins.

    • Regarding: “Delta bloke just shows how insular US business has become.
      The days of new planes being designed to suit the US market have gone.”

      Meanwhile in Panama …….

      “Copa Airlines is considering Boeing’s planned New Mid-market Airplane (NMA), which it says could potentially provide additional capacity on its longest routes, chief executive Pedro Heilbron tells FlightGlobal.

      The Panamanian carrier’s interest in the NMA is significant, given that it has steadfastly stuck to a narrowbody fleet all this while. However, Heilbron says a more cost-efficient widebody could convince Copa to change its mind.

      “The existing widebodies make no sense,” he tells FlightGlobal ahead of the US Chamber of Commerce aviation summit in Washington DC.

      “But the NMA might make sense for Copa, if it gives us more capacity and range in what we hope will be a much less expensive and easier to operate aircraft compared to the 787 or A330.”

      • Yep, but the doubters remain, and FBOT is not going to be convinced.

        Me, I say wait until we see, I think Boeing is going for it, but I don’t say I know they will.

        They also have to make a cost effective case for it, but they also have a lot of base to work from (both theirs, Airbus and MC-21).

        Keep in mind Delta was the real reason they got the A330NEO, no one would count on Air Asia, but Delta is solid. For their purposes the Airbus products have suited them and quite well obviously (more so now that Airbus owns the C series, grin)

        But if Boeing offers what Airbus does not, then I believe they will go with and for it and as a launch customer they get a great deal.

        Note that they are going with the PW GTF for their A321s.

      • Puff piece to boost a customer’s ego.

        However the gap remains …

        50T OEW to 125T OEW.
        High volume SA to lard bucket TA.

        The gap will be filled …

        Just a case that the world’s wimpiest TA might not be the optimum solution.

        One angle that has not been looked at in detail:

        Mom’ster — Diary of a wimpy TA.
        This might be a good book if it tells the full story.

        Job 1 — attack the A321.
        Job 2 — fill part of the OEW gap.

  7. Don’t rule out a possible site in India. Boeing is struggling to get enough titanium to support their desired build rate. Best way of securing more would be to partner with a country that is a major producer, ideally one that isn’t entering direct competetorship with the 737 or NMA programs to ensure favorable and stable allocation.

    Russia is out, China is out, Japan and Canada are out. Hindustan is becoming a major player in the aerospace industry already having acquired major Boeing Part Suppliers.

    Don’t rule out the possibility of an assembly plant in India as Boeing looks to further reduce costs and increase their share of the world’s titanium allocation.

  8. The more info comes about the B797 the more the figures point to an 8 wide arrangement up the back.

    Taking the shorter LR version as a data point:

    7 wide = 34/35M long cabin.
    8 wide = 31/32M long cabin.

    Useful saving.

    • Unfortunate what you forget is that the wider the cabin the worse the fuselage aerodynamics.

      Once you have 7 wide, then the length is not an issue as its going to be short anyway.

      Its the wing that drives things and with the right design you can fold that (trade off on weight and complexity and cost though)

      Really have to weight and see don’t we?

      • Inter web chatter is very loud when it comes to fuselage aero drag — shape factor / csa vs skin friction / wetted area.

        Not sure the exact split but the debates cab get heated.
        Consequently trade offs abound.

        For the record I take the view that long(er) and thin(ner) should win but the wetted area crew do push their views pretty hard.

        • Hello Fat Bloke,

          If you do not agree with Bjorn Fehrm’s analysis that a fuselage length and passenger capacity 160 feet/220 passengers is the fuselage length and passenger capacity at which single aisle and twin aisle designs are similarly efficient, and beyond which twin aisle designs become more efficient, where do your think this transition point is? Which part of the Mr. Fehrm’s analysis in the articles that I have provided links to in posts above, do you believe to be incorrect? Do you predict that Airbus will be stretching the A320 to produce new really, really, long replacements for the A330, A350, and A380, since single aisle designs are always more efficient than twin aisle designs?

          • Of course passenger capacity depends on class mix, seating pitches and widths used in each class, and number and type of restrooms and galleys installed. The seating capacity of 220 that I mention above for a 160 foot long fuselage, is what Bjorn Fehrm cited for this fuselage length based on Leeham’s standard two class cabin rules.

            As a reality check and sanity check, here are some seating capacities actually used by US Major’s, according to the Wikipedia pages of the airlines cited, on their 146 foot long A321’s, 155 foot 3 inch long 757-200’s, and 178 foot 7 inch long 757-300’s.

            A321 premium configuration with lie flat seats in highest class.
            American: 102 total seats.

            A321 non-premium domestic.
            American: 181 to 190 total seats.
            Delta: 192 total seats.

            757-200 premium configuration with lie flat seats in highest class.
            American: 176 total seats.
            Delta: 168 total seats.
            United: 142 or 169 total seats.

            757-200 non premium domestic.
            American: 188 total seats.
            Delta: 193 or 199 total seats.

            757-300 non premium domestic.
            Delta: 234 total seats.
            United: 213 total seats.

          • TA vs SA — Interesting debate.

            My data point is what arrangement offers the most utility for 75T OEW / total of 100K lbs thrust.

            Utility being floor area, range and running costs.
            My view is that the SA wins with the following numbers:

            Enough floorspace for 300 standard — 18” wide x 32” pitch — seats with enough facilities for a 10/12 hour flight.

            Fuselage length would be 60M plus possibly 62M.

            That would transform itself into a real world aircraft with 220 seats over 4 or 5 classes out to a 5K NM real world range.

            If the SA wins at 75T OEW it should win at 65 or 70T OEW.

            Obviously the big missing data point is the B797 MoM’ster.

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