Hazy expects 797 decision middle next year

Steven Udvar-Hazy, Executive Chairman, Air Lease Corp. Photo via Google images.

Sept. 13, 2018, (c) Airfinance Journal: Air Lease’s executive chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy says that Boeing could make a decision on whether or not launch the 797 model mid-year 2019.

If so, the timing could coincide with the Paris Air Show.

“In the NMA market, whether Boeing will launch the 797 is a ‘multi-billion dollars question’, he says, adding that right now the US manufacturer is assessing the engine availability.

“There are two potential engines applications. They are all derivative engines,” he says at the UK Aviation Club Lunch on 13 September.

“We all know the problems that Airbus and Boeing have been going through with the new engines on the Max and the Neo as well as the 787s,” he adds.

And for him Boeing is very ‘cautious’ on a decision. “They are trying to understand what is the real market demand for this aircraft and all indications points out to a decision sometimes in the middle of next year,” he says.

Boeing chairman, president, chief executive officer & director, Dennis Muilenburg, said Boeing is making a good progress on the business case.

“A key for us is whether we can close the business case and make it economically viable. That’s the work that we’re doing right now. We’re making good progress on that and encouraging progress, but we’ll make the decision at the right time,” he said at the at the Morgan Stanley conference on 12 September.

“We’re protecting a 2025 entry into the service date for our customers, so we’re doing risk reduction work in parallel to protect the schedule,” he adds.

“There’s an opportunity there that provide a value proposition for our customers in between our current narrow-body and wide-body fleets. We do think the market is there. Our assessment is showing us it’s about 4,000 to 5,000 aircraft, great customer discussions there on what will create value,” he said.

Still working on business case

“A key for us is whether we can close the business case and make it economically viable. That’s the work that we’re doing right now. We’re making good progress on that and encouraging progress, but we’ll make the decision at the right time. We’re protecting a 2025 entry into the service date for our customers, so we’re doing risk reduction work in parallel to protect the schedule. And I expect this as a launch decision that we’ll get to next year, and that will put us in good position if we decide to proceed with the program.

Services from Boeing Global Services, the after-market division, is an increasingly important part of the equation.

“It’s a big part of how we’re looking at that future airplane. Not only are we looking at the net present value of the airplane itself and our traditional business case analysis, but also, with the investments we’re making in services and verticals, how does that create life-cycle value that could be factored into the business case,” Muilenburg said. “And it’s a different way of looking at a future system. So, again, we’re going to continue to do our work. We’ll be very disciplined. We’ll make a good business-based decision and one that creates value for customers.”

The market expects Boeing’s board to grant Authority to Offer the airplane for sale, perhaps in the first quarter, but this timing has been slipping.

Additional reporting by Leeham News.

103 Comments on “Hazy expects 797 decision middle next year

  1. With two (or three) models of the 767 still in production, they have to know that there is a very strong market for this size of plane.

    • They are a bunch of engineering geeks. They are not entrepreneurs like Hazy in any sense. They like to study everything to death and avoid decisions that have any potential for a negative impact on their careers. It is that simple.

      • Engineering geeks can’t sweep the numbers under the carpet the way that accountants can. And wouldn’t even if they could.

      • Hazy plays the game as a buyer, seller,lessor. His risks are day to day and only affect money. Boeing management have to make a decision that will impact on the strategy of commercial business for probably the next 30+ years. No comparison, it is worrying you can’t see the difference

        • These are typical Boeing fan-boy comments.

          Boeing dithered on “long term strategy” as Leahy and Airbus ran away with the market.

          Then Mcnerney made an overnight decision because engineering types failed him. Then Boeing procrastinated even longer as the A321 ran away with the market.

          It is worrying you don’t understand the marketplace does not allow every decision to be studied for 10 years. Don’t be naive, Boeing could learn a lot from Hazy and Leahy.

          • I think you will find that getting any program off the ground takes a number of years to happen, that was certainly the case for A380, CSeries, sonic cruiser/B787, A350 mk1/2. So just about all recent programs have needed a few years to square the circle before investment is forthcoming. I could go back further into history but I can’t be bothered. The NMA is taking even longer as the commercial rationale is difficult, low or no return, lots of risk.

            Throwing away $ 10bn+++ is very easy, generating return on that is a bit harder. The program must work on a technical, developmental, production, commercial and safe level, one element missing and that money goes bye bye.

            I don’t think Leahy woke up one morning and said ‘let’s build the A320’, in fact that had a lot of its base design in a HS study years prior. I reckon Hazy himself would readily admit that his skills do no lie in manufacture.

      • Hello Melvin.

        Regarding: “Shortest career since that pope who got poisoned.”

        If the Pope you are thinking of is Clement II, then Clement II actually lasted longer as Pope than Mr. Schulz did at Airbus.

        Mr. Schulz at Airbus: January 2018 to September 2018.
        Clement II as Pope: 12-25-1046 to 10-9-1047.

        See excerpts below from the Clement II Wikipedia page.

        “Pope Clement II (Latin: Clemens II; born Suidger von Morsleben; died 9 October 1047), was Pope from 25 December 1046 until his death in 1047. He was the first in a series of reform-minded popes from Germany.”

        “Clement accompanied the Emperor in a triumphal progress through southern Italy and placed Benevento under an interdict for refusing to open its gates to them. Proceeding with Henry to Germany, he canonized Wiborada, a nun of St. Gall, martyred by the Hungarians in 925. On his way back to Rome, he died near Pesaro on 9 October 1047.[3] His corpse was transferred back to Bamberg, which he had loved dearly, and interred in the western choir of the Bamberg Cathedral. His is the only tomb of a Pope north of the Alps.[2]

        A toxicologic examination of his remains in the mid-20th century confirmed centuries-old rumors that the Pope had been poisoned with lead sugar.[4] It is not clear, however, whether he was murdered or whether the lead sugar was used as medicine.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Clement_II

        • Pope John Paul I served as Pope of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City from 26 August 1978 to his sudden death 33 days later.

      • I think the pope with the shortest career was John Paul I who served from 26 August 1978 to his sudden death 33 days later.

        But we digress…

        • Apparently a lot of these guys keel over when they are told about Revelation and the final days . . . but I digress

    • Turmoil: a bit of an exaggeration. One guy leaves, get´s replaced a more competent one

        • Scott: I disagree its not one of the long line

          Its departure of a new Hire and a critical one at that. Only on the job a year.

          Something obviously is seriously rotten and smells about this one, we don’t know yet what it was.

          All we have is he is linked to corruption through RR and if that was part of it or not is an open question.

    • It will be interesting to see if Scherer will succeed in selling A380s and A330-800s.

  2. So, a lot of pre work being done even if the program is not officially launched , interesting.

    • Thats just a round- a- bout way of saying. The ‘price we have to charge for the plane the airlines want’ means that its un- sellable.
      Now its up to Boeings ‘financial engineers’ to do their work and check their calculations so the numbers come up to the price that Boeing knows it will sell like hot cakes- just as they did with the 787. ( remember that was deals to die for at the beginning)
      But this time they know the production cost savings wont be anything like they thought they could be for the 787 so they have to come up with some Wall St gobbley-gook to justify having a deferred production cost run over say 3000 or more planes. But the biggest problem is most of maintenance cost is engines and they allready sell below production cost for fly by the hour deals. Doesnt leave much left for Boeing to play in that space.

      • Boeing can cerify it at a large span of MTOW and charge dearly for each increase starting with 3-4 hrs range and get close to $150M/ea for the Max’ed out trans Atlantic version. It will be interesting to see how many airliners buys it for single class 300 pax flights short range (and maybe 2 rows of business class) and charter flights.

        • Yes … but the trouble with this concept is that the low-end versions would not be profitable (given that the manufacturing costs would vary much less than the selling price), and if that’s what customers end up ordering, it drops the entire program into a large pool of red ink.

          • You are right, more of less the same BOM, but Boeing can charge for a new dataplate and once they have it in operations Airlines will upgrade and buy new ones for full price. It is another way of buying market share. The 767-200 was cheaper than the 767-200ER, then 767-300 came along and they could charge even more for the 767-300ER, same story with 777 and 787. So yes, you sell at a loss initially, but each “child” is more and more capable and expensive. In this case the 797-2 might be a short production run until the 797-3 and its -3ER verison comes along and the cheaper version is not sold anymore.
            Boeing was a bit slow on the 787 where the -8 should have gotten a price closer to the -9 and been out of volume production 200-300 line numbers earlier.

      • I think the pope with the shortest career was John Paul I who served from 26 August 1978 to his sudden death 33 days later.

        But we digress…

        • With the deferred production lot of 1500 means they still have a ways to go before they break even?
          That’s not salesmanship, as without it’s other Cash cow planes the 737 and the 777 Boeing would shut up shop.

          • 1,500 is when they zero out the deferred balance, not when they break even.

        • If you have the choice to fly from A-B (6+ hours/economy) on an B787 or A350/A330(NEO) which will it be?

          • Duke:

            Well you can spin things anyway you want, the production debacle has nothing to do with how good it is.

            So while you can make a valid case that production was as fouled up as the A380 cost wise, the A380 is not selling and the 787 is.

            So they hit the market spot on and will sell well North of 2000 (maybe 3000 in the end)

            If you are going to screw something up, its good its a succesfu8ll product you can recover from vs an unsuccessful one like the A380 or the Trent 1000 you don’t

          • Im not trying to spin a 1500 and likely to increase deferred production lot. It speaks for itself. But its clearly going to sell like hot cakes if Boeing leaves money on the wing. Bombardier made a rookie mistake and thought a brand newplane will sell on its merits…
            Clearly Boeing has learnt that the financial engineering is just as important if not more than the design and production engineering, hence my prognosis that the new 797 will have a deferred production lot of say 3000 planes. Im sure it too will be a fine plane and too will be promoted as flying more direct connections and avoiding hubs, just as Dougas said for its DC8 in late 1960s.

          • A new single aisle is going to have what kind of numbers?

            5-10 K?

        • Yeah, for a price to not make this profitable for Boeing….

          we’ll see if that strategy will work out again.

      • Always interested in engine failures.

        This one as a derivative of the Trent 1000 is possibly more interesting.

    • I would say for sure.

      RR has nothing in that area and it would take a long time to come up with one let alone with tyheir isuses (and firing a whole bunch of people)

      CFM and PW both have options based on existing and I believe P&W has actually done a design for a larger engine and the GTF is scales up.

      In addition, next pip of GTF is doing to have a ju8mp in fuel efficiency now they know how it works in real world service. Minimum 3% more likely 5%.

      • Two ex-GE guys still on the Boeing Board of Directors (yes, even after the GE stock price imploded). Look for a lot of lip service about an engine competition and then a decision. I will leave the math to you.

      • If the 757 history repeats itself GE might get out and let RR and PWA beat it out. This time with 2 different low SFC geared fan engines that will take some time to certify and get reliable.

  3. And in a quiet comment day, this is interesting as Copra feels the 737-9 will be more popular than the -8.

    While its not an A321 competitor as touted originally by Boeing, it does add a bit in the incremental area and that has merit.

    AK has also ordered it.

    So it may be a low cost adder niche, or it may supplant the -8 as time goes by6 and people realize its benefits for what it is not what it was sold as.

    • Below are some comments by Copa (not Copra) Airlines Chief Executive Pedro Heilbron concerning different 737 MAX versions reported in the 9-12-18 Flight Global article at the link after the comments. I don’t think that I have seen Copa listed as a 737-9 customer in most internet lists of 737 MAX orders; however, according to the article, Copa has had one delivered and has 12 more on order.

      “Copa will add five 737 Max 9s this year, and another eight in 2019. Besides San Francisco, Copa will deploy the aircraft on its other longer-haul routes, such as Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Santiago and Montevideo.

      While the airline holds orders for three variants of the 737 Max – the Max 8, 9 and 10 – Copa is particularly fond of the Max 9, despite the fact that the variant is unlikely to open up new cities for Copa’s network. “We like the combination of range performance and capacity. We think it’s the perfect combination and we will not be surprised if in the future it becomes more popular than the Max 8,” Heilbron says.

      With the airline not receiving its first Max 8 until 2020, Heilbron says Copa could choose to convert its order for some Max 8s to Max 9s. In 2019, half of Copa’s eight 737 Max 9 deliveries will be growth aircraft, while the remaining four will replace its older 737NGs.”

      https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/interview-pedro-heilbron-chief-executive-copa-air-451418/

      • The 737-9 is more capable than the -8 because the -9 MTOW increases significantly more than the difference in OEW. So higher useful load that can be used either to increase range og carry quite a few more pax on short distances than the -8.

    • If BA could apply 737-10 modifications to an 737-9ER it could actually be a very useful aircraft, especially if CFM could squeeze 1-2Klb more thrust out of the engines.

  4. Assuming the NMA gets the green light mid-2019 I can’t see an EIS before 2027? After recent engine blues new engines will probably/hopefully be tested more extensively.

    Delays with the launch of the NMA has put AB in a position to potentially offer an competing aircraft with ultrafans into production by 2030?

  5. Was wondering what percentage of the postulated 4000-5000 aircraft market Boeing uses in their business case they will get, 50%, 100% ?

  6. Even Steven doesn’t know what Boeing is gonna do.

    He re-hashes some existing knowns.

  7. Hopefully the waiting will soon be over.

    BA need to jump one way or the other — they must be trying work out how their other models will be affected?

    Derivative engines points to a LD / Wimpy kid style TA at best or a possibly a game changing MC-21 style platform with Super Sixty aspirations.

    Wimpy kid TA / Cabin width:
    8AB = 196″ is my guess for crush-a-pleb ergonomics up the back.
    7AB = 180″ or less

    Suddenly 150″ for 6 wide does not seem that bad for business economics.
    Interesting to find out what 55 / 60T OEW will provide if this platform is used?

    Fuselage — At least 49.5 M.
    Payload — 220 passengers / US 2 class cabin out to 5K NM nominal range?

  8. Interesting to hear that the engines would appear to be derivatives of existing units — risk management or critical path issues with a new design?

    Anyway where BA blazes a trail AB can sit back and watch knowing that they will be able to access the power-plants for their own response.

    A321 XLR — parts bin special looking to sweat out another 500 NMs of range.
    A320 NG Wing — after 30 years it must be time for a change.
    A320 NG Fuselage tidy up — needs another 2 rows to keep the Max 8 in check.
    A322 Growth Play — 60T OEW would be the real deal but they will probably wimp out a few tons below.

    Huge potential without the need for a brand new platform or architecture.
    Development over design as Porsche would argue.

    • Well that is always the question.

      Being a diesel guy I have seen that play out over the years.

      A log of modern diesels are the same basic block and crank of yesteryear with exotic pistons, new heads, injection system that were never even dreamed of (using high pressure engine oil to actuate and injector).

      And at least if you are not in Europe, you can make them run as clean as gasoline engines. Pretty funny that, Queeen of Green and they have more loopholes in their regs than a pieces of Swiss Cheese.

      Airbus clearly can play the development card.

      What is an unknown known is what Boeing has up its sleeve and if they can pull a tech rabbit out of the hat with Sugar High or Low etc and come up with a game changer?

      That is clearly why a MOM slot is appealing is that there is nothing there and if its viable, you don’t have to be a huge aedy8amic advantage, just the best available and Airbus would have nothing to touch it (unless they did the same thing)

      If Boeing came out with an all modernized but conventional 737 (composite fuselage and wing and the best engine) Airbus could match it with a new wing and the same engines. They boxed themselves in and it going to cost them to get out.

      And its going to be 10 billion to do so and you will have to project out to 4000 aircraft with the accounting system before payback. No more cash cow.

      • Diesel you say …
        What experince do you have?
        1990’s on highway trucks in the 90’s?

        • Nope, I got up to 2007!

          I know you are dismissive of engines, but they are the most technically advanced devices known to man.

          Sensors and gobs of electronics, programing out the wazooo and all works in a extremely adverse environment.

          But then office workers really don’t understand this stuff.

          • Pleeeeese. Most technically advanced devices known to man. Diesels are agricultural compared to any modern jet engine. Those big clunkers in huge container ships take the cake for size and weight ( 4 story building) and slow speed ( 100rpm).

          • Office worker — that is fighting talk where I come from …

            Try mechanical engineer who has done a bit of bean counting.
            Bean counting as a financial controller for a number of powertrain projects including diesel emissions.

            So that is common rail, variable vane turbines and cDPFs.

            Regarding the playing of games with emmision testing — the mother of all the chicanery was the great 1990’s US HD / on highway carfuffle that involved quite a number of companies in the US market taking the time to cook their emission levels.

            VW at least had the excuse of more stringent levels to meet.

          • Third attempt at a reply.

            Office worker — that is fighting talk where I come from …
            Try mechanical engineer who has done a bit of bean counting.
            Bean counting as a financial controller for a number of powertrain projects including diesel emissions.

            So that is common rail, variable vane turbines and cDPFs.

            Regarding the playing of games with emission testing — the mother of all the chicanery was the great 1990’s US HD / on highway kerfuffle that involved quite a number of companies in the US market taking the time to cook their emission levels.

            VW at least had the excuse of more stringent levels to meet.

          • FBOT:

            If you have that background then you should know better than your comments.

            I find that most amusing that the big hullabluh was the US Engine Mfgs (emissions related)

            But we find that the EU regs are so slack that its perfectly legal to violate them hugely in the real world (and not just VW) as long as they pass the static test.

            VW just took it to the logical level that we just cheat in the US and its all good.

            The US on the other hand does have stringent standards based on past cheating and that is being tightened yet once again looking for the latest level of cheating.

            Interesting hypocrisy when the EU group touts itself as green and then has holes you can drive a dispel powered tanker through.

    • A hypothetical A321XLR with 4500Nm range (100T MTOW) sounds interesting, but with how many pax, 180? What will the range be flying Transatlantic East-West?

      I might be wrong but could the NMA’s seat capacity/range and hence MTOW be “boxed” based on engine/s that CFM/GE and possibly PW can have ready in time (45-50 Klb?)

      If the NMA does what a single aisle cant do, 240 pax (2 class layout) with 4500-5000Nm range it could be good for many medium haul routes. But how good will it be against an “A322” with 220 pax (2nd access door in front of wing) for missions of <3500Nm?

  9. Whats the odds that BA will launch an NMA next year, more than 50% or less than 50%?

      • Personally I think BA is playing for time keeping airlines on the line not to commit to the likes of an 321XLR or 322, not sure if they have have real intent of building a twin aisle NMA.

        CFM possibly working on a high bypass ratio 35-40Klb LEAP for a large out of the autoclave single aisle, then 2025/26 could still be in play?

      • I fear for Boeing that you are correct. What was the McDac (?) comment when told there was a hole in the market?

  10. Above 50% for sure.
    Aside from the exact $$ return, the system has to keep the design team whole. The ‘87 is past. Now for the new. It’s been 15y. That’s a tech cycle.

    They are busy testing Prod engineering. That’s what needed.

    Can be recycled for a single aisle. A switcheroo they did from the sonicvaporware.

    Engine though is key. That’s where the neos came from. After them, the laws of physics are what they are. Can do 10-15% improvements every 15y engine-wise. That’s. 30y cycle.

    So BA is being careful. But their engineering team is working. And despite all the pundits’ opinion that team has not been fully hollowed out (spare me the Embraer ‘key’ contribution – it’s capacity, nothing really more)

  11. B737MAX launched August 2011, first delivery March 2017, that’s ~5.5 years. B777X launched 2012, planned EIS 2020, 8 years.

    (A350″MK2″ 8 years from launch to EIS).

    NMA possible launch mid-2019, EIS in X years?

    • Prior to the advent of advanced computer aided design systems, when calculations were done on slide rules instead of high speed computers, and engineering drawings were done on paper by armies of draftsmen instead of on the screens and keyboards of CAD systems, development times were much faster. Perhaps Boeing could cut development time for the 797 in half by ordering some slide rules and bringing back from the dead some of its World War II, 1950’s, or 1960’s employees.

      “The USAAF was very pleased with the refined Model 450 design, and in April 1946, the service ordered two prototypes, to be designated “XB-47″.
      Assembly began in June 1947. The first XB-47 was rolled out on 12 September 1947, a few days before the USAAF became a separate service, the U.S. Air Force, on 18 September 1947. The XB-47 prototype flew its first flight on 17 December 1947…”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_B-47_Stratojet

      “The two series of 727 are the initial 100 (originally only two figures as in −30), which was launched in 1960 and entered service in February 1964, and the 727-200 series, which was launched in 1965 and entered service in December 1967.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_727

      “Lufthansa became the launch customer on February 19, 1965, with an order for 21 aircraft, worth $67 million in 1965, after the airline received assurances from Boeing that the 737 project would not be canceled. Consultation with Lufthansa over the previous winter resulted in an increase in capacity to 100 seats.”

      “Lufthansa received its first aircraft on December 28, 1967. On February 10, 1968, Lufthansa became the first non-American airline to launch a new Boeing aircraft. Lufthansa was the only significant customer to purchase the 737-100. Only 30 aircraft were produced.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_737

      Bringing back some of Lockheed’s World War II employees from the dead might speed things up even more.

      “The Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star was the first jet fighter used operationally by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Designed and built by Lockheed in 1943 and delivered just 143 days from the start of the design process, production models were flying, and two pre-production models did see very limited service in Italy just before the end of World War II. Designed with straight wings, the type saw extensive combat in Korea with the United States Air Force (USAF) as the F-80.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_P-80_Shooting_Star

      • Launch to first service times for the original 737 and later re-designs. Why have these times increased over time? Why do re-designs take longer than the original design, with the latest re-design taking almost twice as long as the original design did? Dates are from the Wikipedia pages for each 737 type.

        737-100
        Launch: 2-19-1965
        First Service: 2-10-1968
        Launch to First Service: 3 years

        737-300
        Launch: 3-1981
        First Service: 12-1984
        Launch to First Service: 3 years 9 months

        737-700
        Launch: 11-1993
        First Service: 12-1997
        Launch to First Service: 4 years 1 month

        737-8
        Launch: 8-30-2011
        First Service: 5-22-2017
        Launch to First Service: 5 years 9 months

        • Thanks AP, could it be computers, company boards and greed slowing down things? Most cell phones have possibly more computing power they had when putting a man on the moon?

          Companies are now run by guys in yellow ties and not blue overalls.

      • Time from launch to first service in the bad old days before high speed computer aided design systems allegedly made design faster and more efficient – continued. Dates are from the Wikipedia 757 and 767 pages.

        767-200
        Launch: 7-14-1978
        First Service: 9-8-1982
        Launch to First Service: 4 years 2 months

        757-200
        Launch: 8-31-1978
        First Service: 1-1-1983
        Launch to First Service: 4 years 4 months

        • When you consider they created the P-51 in 90 days, you have to reconsider it all.

          For all the tools, you can’t replace knowledge. And it has gotten more complicated, back in those days they did create dogs in short order.

          Now they know how to crated the perfect aircraft (as perfect as it gets) without a prototype.

          Computers or not, that takes more and more time.

          You also have to design the logistics and supply train (hard lessons for Boeing there on the 787) that matches the tech and it does not happen by itself.

          RR is learning hard lessons on the Trent 1000.

          Its still not a slam dunk.

      • Continuation of the continuation.

        777-200
        Launch: 10-14-1990
        First Service: 6-7-1995
        Launch to First Service: 4 years 8 months

      • The launch dates that I have been listing above are the date of the launch order or orders according to Wikipedia.

      • Continuation of the continuation of the continuation. Dates per Wikipedia 747 page.

        747-100
        Launch Order: 4-1966
        First Service: 1-15-1970
        Launch to First Service: 3 years 9 months.

        Why do present day 737 new engine and/or wing upgrades take years longer from launch order to entry into service than the original 737 or 747 designs did?

        • @AP: Simplistically, much more sophisticated and technologically advanced engines, far greater performance tracking, tougher emissions, demands for greater fuel economy. 737 also had challenge of “fit” under a low-slung wing.

          Wings: Not really all that new on 737 (other than winglets, a few FBW control surfaces), so not sure what you refer to here.

          • Hello Scott,

            I’m no expert, but I find it hard to believe that all the things you list should take two years longer (in the case of the MAX) than taking the original 747 from launch order to in service aircraft, including building a giant new factory for the 747 in a city where Boeing had not previously had a factory. Were the high bypass engines on the 747 a less radical development in engine design than the engines on the MAX?

            I was thinking of the NG when I included “and/or new wing” in my remarks.

            Closer to my field of expertise, I know that the older and larger computer companies get, the longer the product development times seem to get. The start ups that put the older companies out to pasture are often able to design superior products faster.

            Douglas Aircraft, the hot and fast design shop of the DC-3 era (leapfrogged the innovative Boeing 247 with the even more innovative DC-2 and DC-3), struggled in the 1950’s to catch-up with Boeing’s 707 and never did, with what consequences for Douglas? Did the Douglas of the 1950’s have a more detailed and painstaking design process, which somehow yielded a slower aircraft, or did the Douglas of the of the 1950’s just have a worse case of bureau-sclerosis (hardening and obstruction of corporate arteries) than the Boeing of the 1950’s?

          • @AP: The DC-8 had less wing weep than the 707, resulting in the lower cruise speed.

            The wing testing of the DC-2 consisted of a steam roller driving over the wing, compared with today’s structural testing.

            The 747-100’s PW engine was a nightmare when it first entered service–you may remember the inaugural flight resulted in planes being swapped out because the engines overheated before the first airplane even got off the ground.

            About the only thing the 747-100 and the 747-8 have in common is the shape of the fuselage.

            I get your point about the time between launch and EIS then and now. The 737 MAX program was launched in July 2011 and the EIS was last year–a long time for a “derivative” and longer than what it used to be for new airplanes. But today’s airplanes are more sophisticated and complicated, the engines are higher technology, better safety has been built in, advance materials are being used and so on. Engines drive airplane development. If there wasn’t an insistence of 25%-30% more economic efficiency for the NMA, it could have been launched last year or the year before. The airframe only accounts for 5% or so–the rest comes from the engines.

  12. Are their not to much pressure on engine manufacturers to give the 10-20% jumps in fuel consumption reduction for each new generation aircraft? Seems aircraft manufacturers only focus is to reduce production costs and increase profits

    As far as I can see TAP has not received their first 339’s, no photo yet of the 330-800 with engines. WOW and Azul 339 photos without engines only.Launched mid-2014, are their problems with the T7000’s that nobody tells?

    Hopefully someone is already working on an engine for an NSA/FSA for EIS in 10-15 years from now?

    • Regarding: “Are their not to much pressure on engine manufacturers to give the 10-20% jumps in fuel consumption reduction for each new generation aircraft?”

      According to the following excerpt from the Wikipedia article on the 747, the engines on the 747-100, which went into service 3 years and 9 months after Pan Am’s launch order, during which time a new factory was completed in order to build it, had engines which provided double the power of earlier engine on a third less fuel.

      “One of the principal technologies that enabled an aircraft as large as the 747 to be drawn up was the high-bypass turbofan engine.[34] The engine technology was thought to be capable of delivering double the power of the earlier turbojets while consuming a third less fuel. General Electric had pioneered the concept but was committed to developing the engine for the C-5 Galaxy and did not enter the commercial market until later.[35][36] Pratt & Whitney was also working on the same principle and, by late 1966, Boeing, Pan Am and Pratt & Whitney agreed to develop a new engine, designated the JT9D to power the 747.”

      Note that agreement to develop a new engines was reached in “late 1966” and the engine was ready to go into service on Pan Am’s first 747 passenger flight on 1-22-70.

      “The 747 entered service on January 22, 1970, on Pan Am’s New York–London route;[66] the flight had been planned for the evening of January 21, but engine overheating made the original aircraft unusable. Finding a substitute delayed the flight by more than six hours to the following day when Clipper Victor was used.”

      Correction – Kind of, sort of, almost ready to go into service, like Pratt’s current day GTF.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_747

      • The JT9 was intially competing with the GE TF39 for the Galaxy order so did receive development funding during the same period. Your reference to JT9D engine problems for first flight was an indication of the much worse problems to soon occur. At some stages there were 30 planes parked at Everett without engines. Things never change.

      • Thanks AP. Was wondering how much Government money/subsidies were involved in the “earlier days” that reduced risk and fast tracked decision making as well as implementation?

        Nowadays its “largely” commercial and the risks much higher for the OEM’s

      • I think the dominant engines of the 60s -80s from GE all had militairy roots, CF34, CFM56, CF6, JT9, JT8. And RR was heavily government supported too in the seventies. So it was basically society paying and taking risks for new engine technology.

  13. Will AB wait for BA to launch the NMA before they launch the A321XLR for example.

    Was wondering if AB launch an A321XLR say this year how it will effect the NMA decision and/or specs?

    Next year is Paris and Dubai air shows, could be interesting.

  14. I think the A321 XLR will be launched ASAP — July next year at the latest.

    Low rent, low investment parts bin special working to the current 97T MTOW.

    Only complication is the current two missing rows on the A320 which gives the Max8 some market leverage.

    If they extend the A320 I think they will extend the A321 for product complexity reasons.

    1.6M of fuselage = 800kg of weight?
    More composites into the tail unit to compensate?

  15. From the sounds of Air Currents it was a rejection of an outsider within Airbus for Shulz demize.

  16. From what I gather, when talking about the first flight and development delays on planes, the A220 (CSeries) was mostly held up because of the flight control software. Production, that’s a different story. Now with the B787, that was too many problems associated with outsourcing, or in other words MBA management over Engineering. Then early on production was a new technology problem with the lighter weight batteries.

    • Sam: It really was not a new technology problem, it was a management decision to give the contract to Thales, who gave parts of it to Secura Plane (charger), a Japanese mfgt for the monitor board (likely Boeing appeasement of the Japan market ) and Yuasa (also an appeasement in my opinion)

      SAFT is the world leader in batteries, yes they are French and they are simply the best. They also build the entire system.

      While there were other aspects (a nail thorugh the case to test the blowdown ) the real ugly truthy was that Yuasa was passing 90%+ of their batteries when 60% is industry norm.

      Those batteries require a close to clean room assembly and they were being assembled in a filthy environment .

      The battery forms were being pounded into shape by hammer (zero quality control)

      The tech they choose was the most volatile there was. There were not established testing standards and Boeing was allowed to conduct their own.

      The RTC established those standards after the mess, each battery is done in a clean environment the way it should be and they go through multiple tests to ensure they meet quality standards.

      • Interesting. I wasn’t aware of all the specifics on the B787 battery problems. And this does shed light on the carte blanche decision to sprint to out-sourcing without looking down the road.

  17. At some point the elastic will snap regarding the volumes now being planned for the A320 family.

    Trad build against huge — in the context of civil aero — volumes.
    At some point a new build strategy will need to come into play.

    AB = Network solution / Multiple plants around the world.
    BA = Focused solution / single body plant + single assembly plant.

    No matter as the volume increases then the cost decreases.
    Meaning that the economics of SA operation improves.
    More power to the A321 XLR proposal.

  18. Two extra players in the SA dash for volume.

    AB — A220 family which has potential to hit 160 standard seats / 185 at crush loading.

    Even at 140 / 160 seats it is making its mark against the smallest SA models.

    BA — The B797 MoM’ster which will need to be built in a significant volume to pay back its investment.

    20 units a month from either would make a dent in the future plans of AB and BA

    • Assuming Boeing has it correct, then it opens new markets not the few 757 routes that exist.

      Airbus might be impacted a bit, but the A320XCL is not a true NMA either.

  19. Still unsure if that will ever work out.

    So we have A321neo – LR and Max10 from the bottom,
    B788 and A330neo from top, with A332 still beeing a valid option.
    How much market does this leave?
    And how much will a clean sheet MOM be better than a B788 used for a midrange 8h mission?

    Then it’s the engine: Depending on wing, MOM might need a engine right between the existing SA engines with 150kn, and the modern WB engines with 300kn.

    The pricepoint is now said to be 75 Mio. $ per unit. With 10bn. $ dev. cost, how will that ever work out if the market is expected to be 3000-4000 units?
    Will Boeing archieve 100% of the market?

    Also, imo Airbus has an easy counter – build a new wing, use the same engine and glue it under A322 and A338. You will have somewhat a new A300 and A310 then.

    I still do not see it happen but it would be intresting to see.

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