Feb. 4, 2019, © Leeham News: There is more to Emirates Airline’s renewed its interest in the Airbus A350 and the potential swap-out of Airbus A380 orders than meets the eye.
The Airfinance Journal Dublin conference is worth attending for the program, but the real news is often generated on the sidelines. This is where I picked up noise about the Emirates interest in swapping the A350 for the A380.
The renewed interest, and growing disaffection with the A380 (over the engine issues) was part of it.
But Emirates’ interest in the A350 stems more from a realization the Boeing 787-10 won’t do the job the airline wants, according to the sideline conversation at the conference.
The long and the short of it is, the 787’s engines are too small for the very hot environment centered in Dubai.
As the 787 weight grew during development, the engines were pushed higher in thrust to keep takeoff performance in check. You stretch engines in thrust by injecting more fuel, called throttle push. As a result, they run hotter and the margins for hot takeoffs reduce.
The 787 engines need major modifications to improve the 787-10 takeoff performance in Dubai should it not be good enough.
The somewhat larger A350-1000 has 97,000 lbf thrust engines. The A350-900, which is slightly smaller than the 787-10, has 84,200 lbf thrust engines.
LNA analyzed the Emirates order for the 787-10 at the time. See the articles here and here.
It’s worth noting that Emirates’ order for the 787-10 still has not been posted on Boeing’s website, 15 months after the deal was announced.
There are conflicting reports whether Emirates is pursuing an A380 swap for the A330neo or the A350. In Dublin, I was told the swap is for the A350.
Airbus is reducing the production rate for the A330neo from six to 4.5/mo to 3/5mo, according to market sources. The 4/5/mo rate is good through only the middle of this year when it goes down to 3.5/mo. This does not preclude an EK switch to the A330neo, since the 787-10 deliveries don’t start until the 2020s. The A330neo rate could easily come back up, or EK would fill in production A330neo slots during the same period.
The A350 rate, now at 10/mo, is going up to 13/mo. This could give EK early slots. as could some cancellations.
The A380 delivery positions are scattered throughout the 2020 decade.
Boeing was right when it decided in 2000, when the A380 program was launched, to pursue airplanes that fragment the market.
Then, the 777-200ER was the leading market fragmentation airplane. The Boeing 767-300ER and the A330-200 also were in service by this time.
In short order, the 777-300ER followed (2004), the 787 was launched (December 2003), the A350 was launched (2004 and re-launched in 2006), the A330ceo’s range was dramatically extended, the 777X was launched (2013) and the A330neo program was launched (2014).
The 737 MAX and A321neos, with trans-Atlantic range, followed to further fragment the market.
The fundamentals for the A380 changed between 2000 and 2011 with the development of all these market-fragmenting airplanes. (This is also why I think Boeing is going to find tougher sledding for the 777-9 than it counted on.)
Emirates originally selected the Engine Alliance GP7200 for its A380 fleet.
When it came to a re-order of 20+17 in 2017, EK said it would switch to the Rolls-Royce Trent 900.
Engine Alliance didn’t want to undertake the Performance Improvements EK wanted, according to observers at the time.
Since then, the behind-the-scenes talk is that EK president Tim Clark hasn’t been happy with RR’s plans, or actions, to improve the T900.
Clark also has been an advocate to upgrade the A380 with new engines. Airbus has a plan, but won’t do so without sufficient orders.
EK’s interest alone is insufficient.
LNA concluded more than a year ago that the A380 without a neo package is doomed.
The Boeing 747 upgraded its engines from the original Pratt & Whitney JT9Ds to PW 4000s, RR RB211 and GE CF6s in the -200/300/400 models. The 747-8 installed GEnx engines from the 787 program.
The Boeing 777-9 has the same seat-mile costs as the larger A380 and better trip costs. Even Airbus’ own A350-1000 has better economics.
Just as the time finally came to end the 787-8 passenger program (though, technically, it still can be ordered), the time has come for Airbus to end the A380.
Its resources should be put to better use. Its day has passed.
Thanks Scott. With EK potentially cancelling the 787-10’s and trimming their A380 fleet growth was wondering if EK will increase its 77X orders?
Also, with the A380’s days counted will AB more seriously look at an A350-1000Plus (~400 seats), engines most likely the key question.
Ah, didn’t you really mean BA’s 747-8I? And, please, hasn’t BA done enough with the 777-9 tailored for these EK crybabies?
One persons cry baby is anothers big business.
You just have to suck it up. Same in our world when managers tell us to do stupid things.
Again a great pontification; however, When EK made the decision for the 787-10, they were aware of the engine performance. Is the potential switch to the A350-900 not mainly driven by the desire to find an offset for the presumed shortening of the A380 order run ? With additional 777‘s BA may gain as well… in essence potentially a great play of win-win with engines not being the main factor…
Its all in play. TK rides again.
It’s far more about the 787 wing than engines. The 787 wing is too small for MTOW of 251 tonnes. Yes, GE’S GENX engine is too small, take-off thrust 78-79,000lb, but maximum continuous thrust is 68,600lb. RR Trent TEN, take-off thrust 79-81,000Ib, but maximum continuous thrust 72,600lb. The maximum continous thrust difference is big, very big. The RR Trent TEN isn’t far off the Trent XWB especially with maximum continuous thrust. The RR Trent TEN is a bigger engine than GE’s GENX.Q
So it’s really about the wing. It is too small for the 787-10 at MTOW of 251 tonnes and is infact maginal for the 787-9 at MTOW of 251 tonnes. Both would be able to fly further with a bigger and more efficient wing.
When Boeing launched the 777X, they said the A350 didn’t have the wing or the engine. Emirates and the other Middle East airlines believed them. Not many others did. But the numbers are in. Both versions of the A350 have the engine and the wing.
I’m sure Airbus is talking to Emirates about what they are going to do for Qantas in the 2023 timeframe. My own view is that Airbus want another 5% out of the A350 without the need for a NEO. Then comes the NEO. All airlines will benefit, as is the case with current improvements.
Oops! Made a mistake. The MTOW of the 787-9/10 is 254 tonnes not 251 tonnes (A330neo). But I do believe that the 787 wing was designed for the 787-8 (MTOW 228 tonnes) not the larger models.
Won’t be surprised if BA offers EK say 50 x B787-9’s for the 40 B787-10’s, direct equivalent based on list prices would be ~46.
“I do believe that the 787 wing was designed for the 787-8 (MTOW 228 tonnes) not the larger models.”
Not really. Basic design of the 788 & 789, including wing geometry+span, was conceived in parallel and planned to be shared fm as early as b4 787 program launch. Also, MTOW for 789 has always been planned to be higher than 788 fm day1 and it is reflected in some variations in the wing+fuselage structural designs but not really wingspan. In short, today’s 789 wing geometry is NOT an after-thought fm the 788 but in fact already optimized for the 789 early on during initial 787 development.
Boeing did originally planned 789 to hv a slightly wider wingspan than 788 purely thru slightly larger wingtips(a slightly diff wing tip design). However, that design plan was eventually dropped circa 2010 because:
1. Boeing wanted to further improve production commonality.
2. 788 flight test data collected by that time for simulation shown little gain in net efficiency if 789 adopt that slightly larger wingtip design.
As for the 78J, Mike Bair, Boeing’s ex-GM for the 787 program, effectively said as early as 2006 when 78J was still a concept long b4 launch that its design would be a simple stretch of the 789 with no change in wingspan/wing design aiming to basically trade range performance(also takeoff performance by definition) for a longer fuselage/cabin. Boeing never planned the 78J product to hv similar aero lift performance as the 789.
You really want us to believe that a major airlines listens to Boeing propaganda when making their aircraft choices?
That is just plane (sp intended) silly
I don’t want you to believe anything. In the end it is up to the customers. My view is that Boeing are blowing a lot of smoke. The numbers are coming in: The day of judgement is coming. Boeing know that!
No what you said was that Emirates believe Boeing and made their decisions based on that.
While Emirates decisions seem to have more with rolling dice on a table, they own the dice and the table.
Their engineers know numbers and how this all works.
Boeing will win a lot and loose some.
Nothing new there.
Boeing has a bit of a hole up in the A350-900 area.
Airbus has a huge hole in the 787/A330 area.
Boeing has the top locked up (if there is a future there)
Boeing has a big hole in the A321 area.
Boeing certainly is not crashing anytime soon.
Transworld, to add:
You keeping telling me to believe everthing Boeing says, so why shouldn’t Emirates believe Boeing!
The serious point is that Emirates jumped ship before the performance of the A350 became known. One dxplanation is the believed Boeing’s trashing, particularly the trashing of the A350-1000.
Boeing still try and trash the A350 and A330neo, but Airbus can now produce hard numbers and therefore guarantes. All now about ramp-up. If Airbus can make them they will sell them.
I then come to Emirates. For one reason or other Emirates have serious egg on their face. I think now they are getting down to business, but Tim Clarke will have to swallow his pride along with his boss.
at one time (2005) planned MTOW was suppose d to be 216t(-8) / 226t (-9). the remainder to 250+ t was reserved for capability expansion. These reserves were sucked long before the type had its initial EIS.
I do like the Wikipedia revision history feature very much. easy to look back and exposes “1984 style enemy action”
The evidence strongly suggests that at a MTOW of 254 tonnes the 787 is out of it’s comfort zone. The RR Trent TEN does have the power, GE’s GENX is more restricted as evidenced by it’s maximum continuous thrust.
A very big indicator is the reduction of range between the 787-9 and the 787-10, 7635nm to 6430nm. Let’s say the reduction is 1200nm. That is a very big number which cannot be explained by skin drag because of the extra length of the fuselage. The A350 didn’t suffer in the same manner
Note increasing the length of the fuselage very often reduces drag because the pressure wave degrades more evenly and therefore less aggressively, causing less turbulence. But drag is a very complex beast.
The A350 didn’t suffer in the same manner because in addition to lengthening the aircraft Airbus bumped up its MTOW, gave it more powerful engines, and gave it more wing area.
The 787-10 is a straight simple stretch of the 789. If the A350-1000 was a straight simple stretch of the -900 it too would lose a lot of range. Boeing is not targeting the same market as the A350-900 with the 787-10, it is intended to be an excellent medium haul/regional flyer (similar to the A330-300) with minimal investment costs from Boeing. The A350 is intended to be a long haul beast designed to compete and replace 777s.
There is zero evidence to suggest 254t is out of the 787’s comfort zone other than your clear lack of knowledge about the 787 and the A350 and differences between them and their various variants.
It doesn’t need much effort to put the same fuel in an A350-900 and an A350-1000 and come up with an answer.
Yes the engine is bigger but that’s a disadvanage and not an advantage. Bigger engines tend to use more fuel.
Yes the wing is bigger, but that adds to my argument not yours. In other words, Airbus acknowledged the need to increase the wing area to maintain performance.
I’ve always accepted there can’t be an apples to apples comparison because Airbus did what Boeing didn’t. Airbus did it right, Boeing did it on the cheap. We are now beginning to know the results.
Please address your own clear lack of knowledge of aerospace engineering before addressing the knowledge of others.
The proper comparison would be against A332 vs A333 ( or their NEO variants ). A332 is a later simple shrink of the A333 where the 7810 is a simple stretch of the 789.
You don’t seem to understand what market Boeing is targeting with the 787-10. Like I said it is not the same as the A350-900.
You are saying the aircraft is “out of its comfort zone” at its MTOW because you are trying to fit it into missions and expectations that the plane is not intended for.
The weak point in the 787 design right now is the MLG, not the wing as you have been asserting. That is what is preventing Boeing from upping MTOW which would allow the aircraft to perform better on longer rotes.
“The evidence strongly suggests that at a MTOW of 254 tonnes the 787 is out of it’s comfort zone.”
That’s is your take which I acknowledge but do not agree.
On the contrary, QF sending 789 PER->LHR westbound everyday on a 17h25m block time mission(7,829nm which obviously exceeds your stated Boeing nominal figure of 7,635nm….due to the usual diff of manufacturer nominal config vs actual airline config) and UA sending 789 SFO->SIN westbound upto twice daily on a 17h20m block time mission (7,339nm) are also evidence which strongly suggests that @ MTOW of 254t, the 789 is NOT out of your so-called comfort zone.
“…reduction of range between the 787-9 and the 787-10, 7635nm to 6430nm. Let’s say the reduction is 1200nm.”
Going fm 338 to 339:
Gained 11.7% seat count, lost 11.7% range, all Airbus nominal config figures.
Going fm 789 to 78J:
Gained 13.8% seat count, lost 15.8% range, all Boeing nominal config figures.
Half generation ago when Boeing did a ‘simple shrink’ on a widebody, 77L gained 16% range but lost 17.5% seat count relative to 77W.
Superficially, re-sizing fuselage length impact 787 more than 330Neo in terms of range……until we go into the nitty gritty details such as what is the nominal config being used in each case. It is here we’ll discover that the 339 is the only type of these 4 without its optional below deck crew rest module system(typically consume the space of LD3 x4) in defining its manufacturer config and therefore total nominal OEW. In contrast, crew rest module system(and its weight), sitting @ the crown/attic of the fuselage, is standard on all 787 variants and accounted for in total nominal OEW.
“That is a very big number which cannot be explained by skin drag because of the extra length of the fuselage”
Obviously not the only factor. I’d argue extra fuselage weight is the #1 driving factor for the diff in range 789 vs 78J…..mainly in terms of the maximum fuel that’s allowed to be carried while staying within the same MTOW as the 789.
“A350 didn’t suffer in the same manner”
Of course not and this should be obvious to U if U truly understand the tech diff between 35K vs 359. Aside fm a vast array of design differences in structure, engine core design(This is what caused Tim Clark to cancel his original EK order for 359+35K if U recall the related history), landing gears, wing trailing edge/total wing area, etc., 35K’s MTOW is about 12.9% higher than 359ULR(let alone other lower 359 weight variants).
In a nutshell, relative to 78J vs 789, 35K is NOT a “simple stretch” of the 359 at all. It’s a diff derivative design strategy aiming for a diff product outcome/customer needs 789->78J vs 359->35K and we obviously can’t say 1 strategy has been superior to the other in the mkt when today:
35K=170 firm order
78J=169 firm order
The range reduced stretched version fly at an average weight nearer MTOW than the longer range sibbling.
If the swap out costs relative to other sets more range than capacity gained this should be an indication that the wing gets less efficient nearer to MTOW.
I don’t disagree with the Perth/London run except it is running lite. My numbers suggest no more than 240 tonnes on take-off.
I might add the Singapore/New York run is also lite, very, very lite. With that number of passengers (~170), an A350-900 with full fuel load could do another 3-4 hours. Hence Qantas Project Sunrise!
We will see!
RR might go for max Technical available thrust on the RR T1000-TEN as indicated by its present rotating parts Life limits.
A bit similar to the situation on the A330 with higher thrust T700 vs CF6-80E1.
On the contrary, QF sending 789 PER->LHR westbound everyday … ”
You see a fleet composition artifact.
Hammer (789) in hand every problem is a nail 🙂
Good point about the wing, the 787 was originally marketed (designed?) to have 2-4-2 seating, now its 9 abreast. So an 787-9 as far as you got realistically can go without running into limitations. The extra ~4m of fuselage’s drag must put strain on the engines, especially at hot (and/or) high airports
With the RR Trent 10 I don’t see where the engine becomes the problem. Remember the 787-10 was to be configured with 290 seats, so it wasn’t pushing the MTOW anyway, unless they were trying to get extra range, which I don’t think was the case.
This rubbish about Airbus offering the A350 with 10 row seating and the bulk-head pushed back was just Tim Clarke throwing a tantrum because Airbus/RR wouldn’t NEO the A380. Infact the deal for the 787-10 was just a tantrum from start to finish. As you suggest, the 787-9 is a better fit but at reduced tack-off weight.
To me it’s about Qantas’ Project Sunrise. Airbus engineers have said they can do London/Sydney. If they can, the 777X will be born dead. Let’s see what they come up with!
If they can do London to Sydney with a 350-1000 and a decent number of passengers the 777-8 has a challenge. Then also an A350-1000Plus with around 400 pax and range of ~7500Nm is plausible, interesting times for the VLA’s.
The B778 will be much havier. How should that work out?
I’m pretty sure the A35k won’t be able to do this route, it’s rather another version of the A359 ULR.
They share the same wing, how should the longer and havier A35k fly further with the same wing?
The 787’s wing isn’t “too small.” The 787’s wing area is similar to that of the A343- which went all the way up to 276.5t. EK’s requirements are the exception rather than the rule. The A350’s larger wing is better for their hot air field requirements but that doesn’t make the 787’s wing too small in general.
Not every new jet needs to be able to fly 8000nm from 4000m runways at 40C +.
I thought the context of this discussion was EK. In that context the wing is too small or at least marginal
Not if they are running 8 hour missions Duke noted.
That allows full pax and full cargo in the belly.
With regard MTOW, I was surprised at the increase in MTOW of the A330neo from 242 to 251 tonnes. The new winglets on the A330neo are not just reducing drag they are increasing lift.
The winglets are making a lot of difference not just to the A350 but to the A330neo. Expect the A220 series and the A320 series to be given the same treatment.
Game on, despite the view of some that Airbus is subject to some kind of paralysis, but not LNA view.
MTOW is controlled by structural strength and engine thrust, not wing lift (the great pyramid will fly if you give it enough structural reinforcement and a big enough engine)
the wing needed to be strengthened to take the new wing tips, there was probably some remaining structural margin in both the wing and the MLG, and the new engines provided the surplus thrust to raise the MTOW (which engine weight increases eat half of)
Anything can be made to fly if you have money to burn. So no. It is all about wing lift, unless you want to go out of business.
I would contend that the pyramid would be following a ballistic trajectory, so wouldn’t really be flying…
The f-117 was pretty much a flying pyramid!
If Airbus wants another 5+ percent out of the A350 — for Qantas’ project sunrise — without having to NEO the aircraft, they could consider doing a slight re-design to the wing in order to significantly increase lift over drag.
For example, on the current wing, the ailerons are mounted with more distance to the outer rear spars than what’s the case on the A330/A330neo.
Please do look at the following two images:
By re-orienting the outer rear spars with slighly more (trailing sweep) from the area of the kink in the aft spars (i.e. between the flaps and the ailerons), and by increasing wing area and sweep of the 2nd (outer aileron), the outer wing box and ailerons could be redesigned in such a way that it would appear more similar to the outer wing box and tapered ailerons on the A330/A330neo. The outer wing box could thus be extended out towards 65/2 metres in semi-span.
Alternatively, the outer wing box could get a similar treatment as to what Boeing did with the wing on the 77W/77L/77F; an outer wing box extension leading to a wider tip than the original wing tip on the 77A/77E/773
Please do look at the “kink” on the trailing edge of the outer wingbox on a 777F in this link: https://twitter.com/miami_rick/status/692945483623448577
Hence, this wider outer section of the wing would facilitate two 777X-sized downward folding wingtips — extending effective wingspan to at least 72m (i.e. slightly larger wingspan than the 777X) .Such an undertaking would increase the wing aspect ratio of the A350-1000 by upwards of 20 percent.
Now, one should note that the aspect ratio of the A350-1000 wing is lower than the aspect ratio of the A350-900 wing — due to the trailing edge extensions on the former which increase the wing area by some 4 percent, while the span remains unchanged (i.e. leading to a poorer wing aspect ratio and higher induced drag).
A wing aspect ratio increase of some 20 percent would decrease induced drag by a similar amount. Of course, the modified wing would be heavier than the current A350 wing, but it would lead to a decrease in fuel consumption by at least 5 percent on the 316 metric tonnes MTOW A350-1000 version — something that would be extremely valuable on an A350-1000ULR (i.e. project Sunrise).
A decrease in induced drag in the order of 20 percent would also facilitate a significant increase in MTOW (i.e 330+ metric tonnes) and a decrease in the maximum take-off thrust requirements. Hence, a 9-frame (5.72 m / 225-inch) stretch of the A350-1000 — having a MTOW of around 330 metric tonnes — would only require about 97,000 lbs of thrust (x2) at take-off; or about the same take-off thrust as that of the current 308 metric tonnes MTOW version of the A350-1000; which means, of course, that such an aircraft (i.e. A350-2000) would be able to use the existing Trent XWB-97 engine unmodified.
A 79m long A350-2000, stretched by 225 inches, would have a slightly larger cabin (by area) than the 777-9 cabin. Since the slightly wider cabin of the 777X offers little, or no advantage in the premium classes — with respect to how many seats that can be installed — a two, three or four class A350-2000 would have a larger carrying capacity than the 777-9. It would also have a significantly lower Operating Weight Empty (OWE) than the 777-9. With a MTOW of 330 metric tonnes and taking-off and cruising with the two existing Trent XWB-97 engines, both the block fuel burn and fuel burn per seat would be significantly lower than those of the 777-9.
A neo version coming along in the late 2020s would just make an A350-2000 even more attractive.
Phew, I think you have Airbus into about 100 billion in modified aircraft
Well just a bit of a new wing for a few aircraft to suit Qantas?
She no ah work that way
No, the modified wing would obviously become the new build standard for all A350s. Is that so difficult to comprehend?
So far I have seen I don’t know how many proposals.
None of them work. All have to be paid for.
You can change a feature on a car without too much of an issue, you can put all new sheetmetal on top of a frames.
Any mod to an aircraft has a serious cost.
Airbus can’t afford to build an all new wing for the A350 even if your concept was viable.
Ergo, that dog don’t hunt.
It is all out there. The A350 is the first generation of a morphing wing. That means that as long as the they don’t touch the centre wing box there is a lot they can change to the aerodynamics of the wing. The change can be a static change or a dynamic change. A dynamic change means the wing changes shape during flight, the latter being the usual definition of a morphing wing.
We are going to see changes as Airbus understand what they can do. The 2018 version of the A350 retwisted the wing, but there is a lot more to come.
I’m very interested in this, but it is early days. Let’s see what they do for Qantas
Cool pictures. I agree that folding wingtips on the A350 wing, and/or a stretch are in the cards. But I see it as a 40 year program with at least one re-engine, so the folding wing / stretch may wait 15 years when the new engine EIS happens.
The A350-1000 wing is a modified A350-900 wing so it might gets its own brand new fully optimized wing one day and the regular A350-1000 get it as well.
I told people on airliners.net that the 787/A350 contest for Emirates was Airbus’ to lose, because the A350 had the goods they did, and the 787 didn’t have the thrust or lift that Emirates wanted/needed, especially if they were clamoring for more performance out of the 777X.
And the 787 beat it. Yep. Airbus blew it.
And I was called out for being an Airbus basher.
And look what we have here…..Emirates wants more performance. And the 787 is in danger of being yanked for……an A350.
I do very understand the market. Emirates declared upto 8 hour sectors with 290 passengers. Now they are saying the 787-10 can’t even achieve that!
So you tell me why they are having second thoughts.
I’m sure the 787-10 can beat the A350-900 in a minority of sectors. But there is no flexibility. For example cargo. Can they add cargo: No?
This is the issue that pervades the NMA. Flexibility. Yes the NMA can beat anything provided the sector is right. But the sector must be right.
Emirates became the launch customer for the RR Trent-500 powered A340-600HGW when it ordered 18 at the 2003 Paris Air Show; but later cancelled the order.
Emirates placed firm orders for 70 RR Trent-XWB powered A350s and took options on 50 more at the 2007 Dubai Air Show; but cancelled the order in 2014.
Then there were all the shenanigans on the part of Emirates at the 2017 Dubai Air show. In short, TC and Emirates has lost significant clout with both Airbus and RR with all the tricks they’ve been playing.
Now, Airbus and Rolls Royce would perhaps consider putting the Trent-7000 on an upgraded A380plus if Emirates would additionally order, say, one hundred RR powered Airbus twins (i.e. 50 A330-900s and 50 A350-1000). Then, Airbus would very likely decide to lower the threshold of number of firm orders required from Emirates for the launch of a near term A380neo (i.e. A380plus + Trent 7000) to, say, 50 frames.
Ending the A380 program means to disrupt the entire supply chain and be never able to build it again. The decision is not reversibel.
Ending the B787 is a not really an irreversibel decision.
The A380 doesn’t cost much at the moment.
Even Boeing did not officially stop the B747 program despite complete lack of sales. They desperately try to keep it on the market.
Can see some airlines coming out of the woodwork an order A380’s (not in big numbers) when they realize it could be the end of the road for the 380. IAG, LH, Qatar, etc. comes to mind.
EK will have ~70 A380’s that’s 5 years or newer (if this order is cancelled) and have A380 gates for themselves in a couple of years. By all accounts passengers are happy with the A380.
But, AB also can keep on making a loss on the A380, if its close to brake even its fine, can see requirement for an A380-900″NEO” in 10 years from now.
“Can see some airlines coming out of the woodwork an order A380’s (not in big numbers) when they realize it could be the end of the road for the 380.”I see just the opposite, buying a plane that is going out of production is not a wise move. Support and parts will dwindle quickly as Airbus will focus attention on current and new models.
Support and parts are not an issue, we fly B-52s just fine.
At issue is they can’t even place used A380s (one).
MA can’t sell theirs (ps, not a good idea to be moved to that airline for the Haj work – its a camel eat camel gig)
There is no market no matter how cheap (BA aside and how low does it have to go?)
747 at rate 1/2 has a few years if no more F orders come in.
Boeing is very experienced in running low rate production lines, Airbus is not.
B52 is military and price is no object, not the same for airliners and as the number of A380 frames drop, so will parts and support. Without EK, the A380 would have been dropped years ago and it looks like the end is near.
Flogging a dead horse (a380) when the hangars and staff could be used to increase production on a tighter product line (220/320/330/350) that really addresses the entire ‘desired’ market seems wise. ‘IF’ a stretch of the a350 is needed… The airframe certainty seems to have the ability to do that, and can be further ‘neo’d’ when the ultrafan comes knocking stream.
EK ordering the a350 is a ‘way in/way back’ so I see the positives on this.. An a330neo order would be great too… It’s certainly a capable and popular frame with the right passenger numbers and flexibility for EKs 1-12 hr flights, with plenty of cargo space.
It’ll be interesting to see where the ball drops.
This is a NOW order, not 15 years from now
Pure speculation, but wonder if EK is looking at the 330-800 for long thin routes. It has the 2-4-2 (18″) layout in economy that is suitable to for long routes, EK could in theory open new routes with an A338 that they are not currently serving?
Think AB will take a punch on the nose if they could sell say 50 A338’s.
They need to be ready to take a punch on the nose—now that they can’t use bribery going forward! LOL
Hopefully things will change for the better at AB, inherently a good company, even if it means burying the A380.
With AB’s executive management being corrupt to the core and tippy- top, it’s hard to call it an inherently good company! (See Enders’ AB/Austria fighter deal, and AB’s International Dept.) LOL
Is the A350 rate going up to 13/month or is this too much Guinness in Dublin. Clearly, I’m not talking about LNA, but others. A lot of the conversation in Dublin appears to be wrong. The most obvious is Boeing’s NMA launch decision.
I think it would be right to increase the A350 rate to 13/month. I also see a mild increase in the A330neo to 7/month, now the numbers are in. The A330neo is more than a match for the 787-8/9 and will sell to airlines that cannot afford the A350; the A350 will remain expensive as it is and will remain the most efficient airplane around.
@Philip: Our view for some time has been Airbus has to increase the rate on the A350 or it cedes market share to the 787. The backlog is sold out into the 2020s, except for the occasional slot. Boeing going to 14/mo on the 787 opens up near-in slots.
Trying to push the A350 to open up slots then throttle it back is a bad move. Airbus has done well with maintaining rational rates. A350 sales don’t justify that move long term.
Boeing is going to have to throttle back the 787 in a few years.
I still think rate 8 is more historically accurate. But when you sell like hot cakes it has an interesting dynamic.
Boeing looses sale to the A321 big time. Its a balance.
you’re missing the point: when they do have to cut rate on the 787 they can fire more union guys in Washington by cutting the rate at Everett and keeping Charleston at 7 (or even consolidating production at Charleston and eliminating Everett).
Granted that is another point but not missing it.
It might make sense to do that and consolidate 787 in one location and make the 797 in Everett.
Given the increasingly wacky, socialist Seattle/Washington state political environment, BA should get cracking on moving all its 87 production to Charleston, NMA production to Embraer Brazil/Florida, and still hold the 737RS/NSA production “hostage” for maximum goodies from the union and state. (And, if they don’t play ball, the last Seattle BA employee can turn out the lights, and move over to Amazon or Uber, or into retirement. LOL)
Boeing increasing the rate on 787-9’s means getting sunk Money back quicker unless discounts start to creep up. The number of +1 million inhabitant cities that can support wide body flying is increaseing pretty quickly (512 ea in 2016) and it becomes a huge number of direct flight combinations for along range aircraft like the 787-9.
@Scott. I’ts my view too. The issue for Airbus is ramp up. They need to do 70-80/month narrowbody, including the A220, and 20/month widebody. Until they do that they will cede market share to Boeing.
Airbus will sell them if they csn produce them. Not good for Boeing!
The A220 is working to 14 a month so that is only 66 A320 series which is in the cards (72 acualy I believe) .
Scott, with all due respect, from MSN 325 through 480, there are 46 unassigned A350 production “slots,” according to https://sites.google.com/site/a350xwbproduction/production-list
To be sure, Airbus is not rigorous about producing in strict MSN order. But this looks like more than an “occasional” open slot.
@NCPx: I think these are from an order cancelled last year.
OK, but unless they move units forward to fill these (46/155 = 30%) or get completely new commitments to fill these, they will struggle to get to Rate 10 (deliveries) on a sustained basis (6-12 continuous months) by year-end 2019. Even then they will have ~5+ years in the backlog.
You noted that Boeing have accelerated their delivery rate to produce nearer-term slots for new orders. They will very likely be at Rate 13.5 over full-year 2019 and at Rate 14 throughout 2020. The annual delivery gap will be ~50/year for several years.
It appears the ‘fizzy orders’ from the ME3 continue to unravel. The emperor’s new clothes appears to be made of something quite insubstantial. Have you noticed the relative silence of AAB and TC in recent months? And as for Etihad…
So we are now being told that the additional ‘pulled out of thin air’ A380 orders are evaporating and the balancing B781 orders are voided for precisely the reasons they were marginal a couple of years ago.
Will this breath of fresh air realism be seen in other orders?
Was there not a strange comment from EK regarding their — then — recent announcement about their B787 / 10 order regarding some changes to the A350 that AB had just publicized?
EK — Big fanfare regarding the B787 / 10 order with lots of analysis from commentators to explain the decision.
AB — Announce changes to the A350 to increase the number of seats including some new engineering to re-profile the rear pressure bulkhead.
EK — Buyers remorse regarding comments along the lines of if we had known that then we might not have made the decision we did.
Also is this just another piece of evidence to prove that the B787 might be a good aircraft but it is not the wonder plane that it is often portrayed?
We have the Batch 1 “800’s” that are not full pedigree.
We have the “1000’s” that seem to have been designed by the B757 / 300 design team.
All based on crush-a-pleb economics up the back.
Fair play to BA that they seem to have sold shed loads of them but the industry seems to have bought the sizzle and not the sausage.
However if they are cheap then who is going to blame them?
Over this side of the pond, at least, it’s “Don’t sell the steak. Sell the sizzle.” God bless Elmer Wheeler, 1920s great American, and consummate salesman! (See YouTube under “Sell the Sizzle, Elmer Wheeler”.
T7000 onto A380 does not really work as the fan size is smaller 112″ vs 116″, thrust is a bit off 72k vs 77k, its empty mass is a bit higher 14209lb vs 13770lb (wiki #), so making a 116″ fan and a revised LPT of the T7000 to fit the A380 nacelle is not really a winner.
The Trent XWB is way too Heavy for the A380 so EK have to wait for the A350neo Engine with 118″ fan and nacelle that would fit the A380neo as well, just like the 747-400 and 767-300 shared powerplants with dataplate and thrust programming plug differences.
Been reading comments about an A350NEO, will it be an Ultra-fan or variant of the XWB?
If the same engine could be used on an A350NEO and A380NEO it could be interesting. In the mean time the T7000 looks like the closest option for an A380NEO.
The problem is how do you get from today (2019) to when that ultra fan A380neo or whatever is ready in ~2025 at the earliest. RR/Airbus is not going to agree to a T7000 re-engine just to replace it with yet another engine in a few years.
Imho, only part of this current A380 order trouble is because of EK dissatisfaction with the engines. I suspect EK feels like they may have over ordered on new A380s with potential storm clouds on the horizon. It is not the mid 2000s anymore- none of the ME3 are growing like gangbusters anymore although Emirates is the most stable of them. Emirates needs to start getting nimbler on the lower end rather than focusing on just 779/A380. They might be deciding to keep what they have longer rather than replace with new A380s.
I think the RR Advance is easier to fit a revised nacelle/pylon and you are limited in fan diameter anyway so the Ultrafan cannot really be at its best on the A350neo/A380neo as it would like an even bigger fan/nacelle. We will see if the Airbus wind tunnel test with pneumatic driven scale Ultrafan, Advance with ALPS fan data leaks out. I suspect the ultrafan might be a tad better but much more complicated and Airbus and customers would be more comfortable with the RR “GE9X copy”. Airbus should put 2 test Engines fully instrumented onto a flight test A380 pos 2,3 and fly down to DBX for EK demo flights and let Tim Clark take the left seat and read the Cruise performance numbers.
The advance is now the core for the Ultra and there will be no advance engine.
RR can’t begin to afford to NEO already CEO aircraft that has a current or new engine.
Once is enough on the 787 and even that did not get them much efficiency gain and carried over the inherent blade crack.
Engines have had major changes to existing versions since the start of the jet age- they needed to change to turbo fan versions very quickly. GE made big changes to it’s CF6 which was just in service for the C5 Galaxy when they wanted it on the 747. Again with The GE90 on the 777, a different version was done for the follow on 777-300ER.
If anything advanced computer modelling is enabling better engine designs for different models to be rolled out quicker..what happened 25 yrs ago doesn’t cut it anymore .Who wants to wait 10 years to put additive manufactured turbine blades into a production airliner, now that GE is moving that way
No. Advance is a complete engine in it’s own right. The first example is Pearl 15. It’s an Advance 2 engine which will have Advance 3 technology installed over time (e.g. a blisk fan, an upgraded compressor, a lean burn combustor, etc.).
RR will not bet their future on a gearbox.
EA lists the thrust of the GP2700 from 70,000 to 81,500 lb, while Wikipedia states that the GP7270 is rated at 74,735 lbf (with a higher thrust Version available for the freighter).
So the gap is not that big. It might not be enough for QF out of LAX, but that would be nothing Emirates would worry about, even though they chose the same high powered Trent 900.
More interesting is the rumor about re-engining the existing fleet, which would spread the investment. STC stated he would love a retrofit option of the winglet. If that in fact could be done together both technically and commercially, the reduced drag and fuel savings will most likely offset the reduced thrust.
Forget Wiki and compare the engines (i.e. apples to apples) using official EASA and OEM data. The 7000 engine is, in fact, suitable for use on the curent A388 and the proposed A388plus.
First, the Trent 900 has a 4* wider fan (diameter) than the Trent 7000, but a 9″ wider nacelle (i.e. 3.88m vs 3.65m) — 2-12-0, page 14 (Aircraft Characterictics A380)*** ; and 2-12-0, page 20 (Aircraft Characteristics A330)***.
As nacelle and pylon drag accounts for about 10 percent of overall aircraft drag, substituting four Trent 7000s for four Trent 900s would reduce the overall aircraft drag by about 0.5 percent. Hence, it would be foolish no to use the Trent 7000 and its smaller nacelle.
2nd, the dry engine weight for the Trent 900 is 6246 kg — not including fluids and nacelle EBU. The dry engine weight for the Trent-7000 is 6445 kg — including nacelle EBU items certified as part of the engine, but not including fluids. Thus, it’s important to compare — apple-to-apple — the engine weights properly.
It appears, therefore, as if the Trent 7000 engine is lighter than the Trent 900 engine. Also, the smaller nacelle on the Trent 7000 is lighter than the Trent 900 nacelle. Keep in mind that the weight of the nacelle + pylon is typically about equal in weight to the dry engine weight. A re-engined A388 using four Trent 7000 engines + four nacelles + four new pylons that would be designed for lower overall engine and nacelle weights should reduce overall weight by at least one metric tonne; or about 0.25 percent lower fuel burn.
As for thrust, please do keep in mind that the Trent 7000 engine is essentially a bleed version of the bleedless Trent 1000 TEN engine.
In the following table, you can see that the Trent 1000-Q3/-R3 engines match, or exceeds the net take-off thust and net continous thrust of that of the latest certified Trent 900 engine (i.e. the Trent 972E-84 engine). Therefore, it appears as if the Trent-7000 engine has plenty of growth potential and would therefore be more than suitable for an A388neo. Hence, the four Trent 7000s on a re-engined A388neo (i.e. A388plus + Trent 7000) would not have to run as hot as the Trent-1000-Q3/-R3 engines on the 787-10, while maintaining margins on hot take-offs.
Thrust—————Take-off (net)—–Max continous (net)
Trent-972E-84*——-76,752 lbf———-71,850 lbf
Trent-1000-Q3**—–78,129 lbf———-71,818 lbf
Trent-1000-R3**—–81,028 lbf———-73,409 lbf
Trent-7000-72C**—-72,519 lbf———-65,830 lbf
*Trent 900 (page 8):
**Trent 1000/7000 (page 14):
Now, the higher aspect ratio and lower induced drag of the wing on an A380plus — i.e. induced drag reduction similar percentage-wise as that of the induced drag reduction of the 777x wing over the 77W wing — would lead to a lower maximum take off-thrust requirements for similar MTOWs as the current 388.
Assuming that the wing enhancements of an A380plus would account for a 4+ percent reduction in fuel consumption; that the Trent 7000 engine would lead to a further 6+ percent reduction in fuel consumption; and that the lower nacelle drag — in addition to the reduction in the overall engine, nacelle and pylon weights — would account for another 1+ percent reduction in fuel consumption, we’d be looking at the same overall percentage-wide reduction in fuel consumption as that of the A330neo over that of the A330ceo; or about a 12 percent lower trip fuel burn.
Correction: In the last paragraph; should read “percentage-wise” and not “percentage-wide” 😉
I still think the T7000 is not the optimal Engine for the A380neo as when you increasse its fan diameter , contianment case and fan case to 118″ or 120″ the mass comes up. You might get a benefit in mass and induced drag from hanging the T7000 nacelle onto the A380 but the T900 might be optimally placed on its wings so it might not be a big improvement (not like when the 777-200 went from the PW4077 optimal position to when the GE90-115B found its sweet spot onto the 777-300ER wing,)
The Advance will have carbon fan and containment case that will reduce mass quite a bit and might allow a 2″ fan diameter increase within the same Nacelle envelop as the T900. You seldom go for a smaller fan when you reengine an Aircraft as you normally would like to squeeze in a 1-2″ bigger fan into the same nacelle profile especially at these larger diameter fans as its swept area increase and bypass ratio climbs up a few notches.
Still the wind tunnel data with powered scale fans will give the answers we speculate around.
The bypass ratio and overall pressure ratio is 8.5:1 and 39:1 for the Trent-972E-84 engine, and 10:1 and 50:1 for the Trent 7000 engine. The trend in the turbofan engine business is constant improvement in propulsive efficiency, mostly through increases in fan diameter and bypass ratio, as well as shrinking cores and improvements in thermal efficiency. Thus, the Trent 7000 engine is significantly more efficient than the Trent 900 engine, despite its smaller, but more efficient core.
It’s important to note, however, the reason why the RR Trent 900 and the EA GP7270 engines were designed using relatively large fans, was because Airbus wanted the fan rotation speed at a slower rate than most high-bypass engines of the era (i.e. year 2000), in order to significantly reduce engine noise — a quite important goal given that Airbus wanted the A380 to meet the most stringent noise rules — QC2 (departures) and QC0.5 (arrivals) — at any international airport; namely London Heathrow airport.
Clearly, the Trent 7000 engine architecture is more than optimal for the A380-800. It may be marginal, though, for a stretched A380-900, why is probably the reason why Airbus has been reluctant to go ahead with an A380neo using Trent 7000 engines.
Now, engine location is influenced by many considerations including the interference between the nacelle and the wing which increases drag. Consequently, nacelles must be sufficiently forward and low to avoid drag increases. The closer to the wing the nacelle is, the harder the engine integration becomes. The gulley height is the minimum gap distance between the lower surface of the wing and the nacelle. For the propulsion group drag, the nacelle is the largest aerodynamic surface with the greates wetted area. As such, its profile drag is the greatest contributor to the the total drag.
As I indicated in the last paragraph, interference drag is caused by the mutual influence of the flow around neighboring components. The closer two components are, the greater the interference drag. An increase in fan diameter will lead to an increase in nacelle diameter and, therefore, greater interference drag between the engines/pylons and wing.
The Trent-7000 engines can either be mounted on the A380 wing with the same gulley height of that of the Trent 900 engines, or slightly lower while maintaining the same ground clearance as the current engines.
Hence, mounting four smaller Trent 7000 engines on the A380/A380plus wing is going to be a much simpler undertaking than a re-engining undertaking using engines with larger fan and nacelle diameters than that of the Trent 900 engine.
BTW, here’s an interesting 1991 article from Flight International on the challenges of integrating the engines with the wing on the A340:
That’s interesting. I had heard that because of the need to be both twin and quad, the A330 engines were located closer to fuselage( but not a lot closer) than optimal for a twin.
Too bad the T7000 were not test flown on the A380 as some numbers would have came out.
Still the A380 is an aluminum/glare structure with some major carbon parts so even with new Engines, folding winglets it is not the latest structures. What can be done for a resonable amount? Al-Li fuselage, increased amount of CFRP, new CRFP wing with folding winglets and a small stretch to reach 80.00m length. (A 777-9 makeover) You will get SYD-LHR with this design but you need +500-600 pax to make Money and 300-400 orders with poor cargo capacity. So when the 777-9 gets too small it is time to order.
Thanks for the info..good to see some referenced material to support your views..
I’ve long thought the low aspect ratio of the A380 as being a hurdle for further development …but the engineering seems straight forward according to your analysis.
Maybe financial issues predominate now, and could be one that’s in the background..residual guarantees. Would they come into play for Airbus if an improved version was put into production ‘ too soon’
Does too soon mean before they cut the programme? This is illustrative of the muddled thinking of the A380 from the beginning. If they had bitten the bullet and done the NEO as suggested 7000/ folding wingtips they would have a CASM star and the only issue would be overall size
«The long and the short of it is, the 787’s engines are too small for the very hot environment centered in Dubai.»
That’s not really convincing. Etihad has in Abu Dhabi exactly the same climate as Dubai – just 120km southwest of Dubai. And Etihad has already 5 B787-10 in the fleet and 25 more on order. That would mean Etihad is to stupid to understand the capabilities of the B787-10, because mostly Etihad and Emirates serve the same markets and routes.
I think the Emirates growth story has come to an end. The Emirates business model is still working and Emirates could still grow, but the Emirate Dubai (who owns Emirates) is once again in financial trouble and can’t give Emirates the needed infrastructure.
DXB has just 2 runways too close to each other to operate independently. That’s the main capacity limit in DXB. DXB has about 410000 flight movements per year, which translates to 47 flight movements per hour on average. There is not much capacity for more movements with basically 1.5 runways. Of course they know the problem in Dubai and so the original plan was, to have the new mega airport DWC completely ready in 2017. But Dubai was not able to finance it, so it was delayed till 2025. Now it’s again delayed, because Dubai is still not able to finance the 30-50 billion USD for the DWC project. In the meantime another plan was, that flyDubai should completely move in the already existing low cost terminal at DWC to give Emirates slots at DXB. But this plan was also scrapped. Now Emirates closely cooperates with flyDubai. flyDubai has the small planes (B737-800) to service smaller market where Emirates can not fly economically with it’s very large B777-300 and A380.
@Guido: market sources say Etihad wants out of its remaining 787-10 order, too.
With due respect Scott, I think Etihad wants out of everything still sitting on their order backlog these days…..
I heared sources Etihad wants out of the B777x and cancel some A350s,
consolidating on B787 and A350.
The issue is the price of the B78T is really low as Boeing did apply some discounts of the B777x order on the B78T.
Ethihad has 40 A359 and 22 A35K on order, also 20 B789 and 25 B78T and 25 B777x.
A lot of new aircrafts for a struggeling airline with high debt and finance cost, also a lot of seats to fill.
At the risk of oversimplifying, the straight wing design allows for lower stall speeds (and therefore shorter runway lengths). Highly swept wings allow for faster cruise speeds (with longer takeoff and landing distances than straight wings).
Sweepback at 1/4-chord on the 787 wing is 32,2 degrees and on the A330 wing; 30,0 degrees. The 787 wing-area is about the same as the wing area of the A330neo (i.e. 370 m2). However, the wing span on the A330neo is 3.9m greater than that of the 787, while the former (A330neo) has a taller landing gear (i.e. by about 30-50 cm).
Hence, with lower wing sweepback, higher aspect ratio wing and lower induced drag — in addition to a higher fuselage ground clearance — it’s not surprisning that the the A330-900neo requires lower takeoff speeds, less runway and significantly “cooler” engines compared to the 787-10 when taking off at similar MTOWs.
787 wing is not small. It is rated for up to 290 tow. The landing gear do not have anymore margins for tow increase. The GE genx is more efficient than the Trent.
Then we will see a 787-10 with the same range as the A350-900, remembering that the RR Trent 1000 TEN is not far away from the Trent XWB in both take-off and continuous thrust. At the moment it’s about 1900nm less. 25 tonnes of additional fuel should do it. 254+25 = 279, well within 290 tonnes.
Don’t think so.
787 was not originally designed for 8 a Rest. Boeing from the get go said 8 abreast for extra luxury or 9 for everyday usage. Google 787 launch 2003.
Absolute rubbish… considering how successful the 787 has already proven itself in hot dessert conditions..I guess Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and even Abu Dhabi, have totally different climes than Dubai..
And several already or will be operating the -10 variant.!!
Hmm, “hot dessert climates”. Guess I’ll be loosing (but not losing) my belt, after the main course. LOL
Hot fudge sundae, hmmmmmmm!
GE has said it has a response for the power needs.
They also have come out with a PIP III (though I don’t think they are calling it that) on the GenX.
With Clark you have to figure this is just another power play (pun intended)
I have noted all along that RR claims and Clarks take on the Trent 900 were not to be believed as well as blade troubles on existing.
777-9 is not a market fragments. Its use is where the 747 and A380 were, maybe not a good one but there is a segment there.
Orders say the market is 787-3 to A350-900 with the 1000 a stretch (grin) – maximum flexibility in those areas.
The 787-8 cont8inues to garner orders, I would not blow taps for it yet. Bring it up to full 787-9 build and its viable.
Be interesting to see which lasts longer, 747 (F only) or A380 (pax only).
A350-900 is better on long haul routes while 787-10 is better on short-medium haul routes.
It can be that Emirates changed their plans from expanding on the shorter thin routes to the longer ones. It makes sense as there are delays in expanding DWC and DXB is slot constrained. Adding the longer thin routes will require less slots per airplane.
Yes. Emirates has been on record saying the 787-10 was a “great 8 hour plane”
‘Emirates President Tim Clark said this week: “The Boeing 787-10 aircraft is the best choice for Emirates, it’s a good eight-hour aircraft.”
An eight-hour mission has a flying distance of 3,800nm.’
Thats well below the nominal max range of 787-10 (6,400nm)
Thats a lot less fuel to go 8 hrs which would reduce the takeoff weight for that route.
Cant see how they suddenly need the 787-10 to go up to 12 hours that leads to the engine being too small.
Duke: We agree! The World Shook.
I don’t think it’s plausible to use the same engine on the A380 and the A350. The trust difference is far too large and an A350 engine is currently almost twice as heavy as the a380 engine.
Engines for 787 and NMA would be nearest in terms of trust.
It remains to be seen how much better a NMA engine can really be. The business case is already shaky, so it would be plausible for Boeing to choose a low-risk derivative of proven engine technology instead of a next gen moonshot.
I still may be the only chance for an A380NEO. Reeingine the 787 may be out too far in the future. Unless Airbus forces Boings hand with an A330 successor, that is. But then they would have to reeingine the A350 too, to compete with the 787-1000MAX/NEO. I’m not sure those three projects (A330-successor, early A350 re-engine plus A380 re-engine) would be the best return on invest or even possible to do in parallel.
Boing NMA 220 kN
GEnx-1B-54 6.126 kg 255 kN (Boing 787-3)
Trent 900 4.835 kg 267 kN trust (A380)
Trent 7000 6,445 kg, 324.0 kN thrust (A330)
Trent XWB 7,277 kg 375 kN thrust (A350)
The 787 has a re-engine already. Its called the Trent 10.
Not much of an improvement.
The dry engine weight for the Trent 900 is 6246 kg — not including fluids and nacelle EBU. The dry engine weight for the Trent-7000 is 6445 kg; including nacelle EBU items certified as part of the engine, but not including fluids. The dry engine weight for the Trent XWB-84 is 7277 kg; not including fluids, nacelle and aircraft interface parts.
As I pouinted out up-thread, it’s important to compare — apple-to-apple — the engine weights properly.
Hence, it appears as if the dry engine weight of the Trent XWB-84 engine is about 17 percent higher than the dry engine weight of the Trent 900 — no almost “twice as heavy”.
End of the day I won’t be surprised if EK goes for 787-9’s with GEnx engines, they are nor RR fans so big problem for AB. All indications are that the 350’s are doing well at Qatar, maybe a factor EK is considering.
Also don’t think the Alliance are interested in making improvements to the GP7200, because every 2 A380’s sold is 3 less 777-9’s and a lost to the GE9X.
Don’t want to be pessimistic from an AB perspective but maybe flyDubai could order some A321XLR’s (with LEAP’s) as a consolation? Think they will be able to do 3500-4000Nm with 200 pax from Dubai.
This is exactly what I predicted. EK will eventually gravitate back toward the A350. It is simply the lightest, longest range twin engine plane with lots of room to improve on i.e . A350-1000 ULR etc. As explained, the fragmentation of the market that hurt the A380 will also hurt the 777x.
EK should dump the 777-8 and 787-10 and replace them with A350-1000 , A350-900, and A330 ne0. They should maintain the A380 and the 777-9 orders .
As I indicated up-thread, if Emirates were to order, say, 50 A330-900s and 50 A350-1000s, I’d not be surprised if Airbus would decide to go ahead and launch an A380neo with, say, 50 firm orders from Emirates (i.e. including 30-40 order conversions from the current backlog of 53 firm orders).
The A380neo would comprise the A380plus enhancements in addition to the aircraft being re-engined with Trent 7000 engines.
Those sort of numbers are extraordinary even in EK terms. Do you really think they are still in the growth, total world domination mode? Surely slots constraints, the drying up of the piggy bank etc will drastically effect the level of orders placed and the likelihood of current orders being taken up.
50 A330-900s instead of 40 787-10s.
50 A350-1000s instead of 35 777-8s and 15 777-9s.
Thus, EK would let the MOU for 40 787-10s lapse and cancel 50 of the 150 777x aircraft on firm order with Boeing.
EK is running out of room at DBX, getting bigger A380-900neo’s at the gates will solve some of that problem and the move to DWC can be pushed to the right. If also the range increase by 1-2hrs flight time thanks to new Engines and new carbon wings it would make it more useful. Airbus might offer a trade in your old A380-800’s for new A380-900neos program?
Can we expect EK is going to do something with their 777X order ? Heard a rumor about the climb performance for X is going to be pretty bad due to reduction in engine thrust didn’t compensated with sufficient wingload. Always wonder whether the plane can live up to EK’s expectation in their environment.
Lets see, Boeing did not understand one of their biggest markets and made the 777X to ossified to handle it?
What we know right now is Emirates can’t make up its mind.
Could it be some Emirates officials are just ‘mirroring’ the last big OEM presentation that was made to them and its getting to a wider circle?
Its good to remember this in Scotts comment
‘This is where I picked up “noise” about the Emirates interest in swapping the A350 for the A380.”
Its just noise so far , not a statement by the CEO to indicate Emirates has made any ‘change of mind’
I just figured the A380 deposits have to go somewhere, and that is either A350 or A330?
Its just ‘contract negotiations’ . In some cultures the contract isnt final until the last item is delivered.
havent we been here before , 787-10, A340-600. Even before the first A380 had been delivered – ‘they were reviewing their options’
At the time of the 787-10 , ‘Clarke said it was great 8 hr plane’, now it may not be much good as a 10-12 hr plane ( its max range)
Only Feb 2018 last year Emirates did an MOU and then followed with a contract for 20 more 380s with 16 options. This was on top of the Dec 2015 order for 50 when they switched to RR from Engine Alliance.
And it should be noted this is the first time in history wide bodies had huge order backlogs.
So the 777X is reverting to the high end norm where the 747 reigned supreme for so long.
Maybe a 777-200/300 replacement is a good idea?
And TK plays his fiddle.
More than one take on the story
Bloomberg news. They are a virtual PR agency for GE, read it with a pinch of salt
I always read everything with at least a shaker of salt.
Some of course demand whole barrels of it!
There is no upside for BA to this news. Either EK take the A350, then once the 359 is in they’ll go on to take the 350-1000 for use in roles the 778 was meant for, it seems capable enough, otherwise they take the 330NEO, an aircraft BA has given away millions in margin trying to kill as it is said to damage the NMA business case, I don’t quite understand why but I assume it is because Asian operators want more freight than BA can give them.
Killing the 380 would probably be the start of an A350-2000 program aimed at the 779, Leeham once opinioned that the 2k wasn’t worth doing without a new engine, but as any new program won’t eis until 2025… Ultrafan by then? RIP 779 after less time in production than the A380.
all this talk of A350NEOs is just insane, the aircraft has only been in service for 2 years. how long between A320 and the NEO? 1984-2016 32 years. 744 and 748? ~30 years. 777 and 777-X? 30 years (well 15 for the -300ER and another 15 for the X), 737 and Max? 20+
the first plane of the current gen of medium twins to get a NEO will be the 787, and the 787-10ER will do for that frame what the 777-300ER did for the 777…
The non realists get excited about all the possibles and forget it all has to be paid for.
Ask OV-099 about his two engine A380!
Well that and they don’t understand structures and design (I don’t say I do either but I know you can’t do two engine to an A380)
“first plane of the current gen of medium twins to get a NEO will be the 787, and the 787-10ER will do for that frame what the 777-300ER did for the 777…”
Thats not what happened with the 777-300ER. That was a 50 tonne increase in MTOW over the earlier -300 version, with just a 7 tonne increase in empty weight, indicating it was a lot more fuel and payload . It seems clear that the 787-8/9 are at max available fuel volume now.
Cant see Boeing doing a new wing for the 787-10ER for extra fuel volume when they would have a perfectly good long range high capacity plane coming up, the 777-8X.
The 777-300ER was seen as a replacement for the earlier 747s in service, but airlines were concerned about fuel prices seem to replace all 747s early models or not. Boeing wont let that issue catch them twice.
the wing of the 787-9/10 is rated for 290T, MTOW today is 254, that leaves 36T on the table for aux fuel tanks, structural enhancements to the MLG and any weight increases a new engine would impose. so figure 25-30T of that would go to fuel.
the -10 has the most surplus belly space of the 787 family so an aux tank would not significantly impact cargo (especially since they already limit belly cargo for range/pax)
this would give the -10ER range equivalent to the current -9 (and a similar -9ER would likely be able to circumnavigate the globe in 1 stop)
What is the any-airport to any-airport range? Which aircraft will be the first to able to do it with a norma 3 class cabin configuration.
And most interesting when if ever will single aisle jets have that capability .
it can not exceed 10,820 nmi (1/2 earth circumference), throw in winds and reserves and you probably need a book range of 11,500
This is a reply to OV-099. The 777x is not slightly wider than A350. It is 11 inches wider outside dia and 15 wider inside dia. Only Airbus fanboys say that. The airlines are aware of the physical dimensions.
In my opinion the thinner 777X fuselage will has a noise issue. The thinner fuselage needs a better thermal insulation. These kind of thinner insulation is stiffer and a worse sound insulation.
“In my opinion the thinner 777X fuselage will has a noise issue..”
Your opinion has betrayed your level of understanding re how Boeing gained 4″ of cabin width fm the existing 777 fuselage diameter:
It’s not really fm thinner 777X fuselage skin nor cabin wall panels….that won’t work anyway. It’s from craving 2″ on each side of those vertical/upright fuselage structural supporting frames which surround the circumference of the fuselage @ fixed fuselage length intervals. Of course, such resizing of frame depth hv little to no impact re cabin interior noise level.
Thanks FLX, those kind of details are new to me.
A380 is reputed very quiet, how does the A350 stack up between the two?
The existing 777 fuselage has undergone various improvements over the years including changing the cabin wall insulation
“Other reductions will come from a shift to a lower weight, less dense form of cabin insulation and adoption of a lower density hydraulic fluid.”
“Boeing is also developing noise-damping modifications to reduce cabin sound by up to 2.5 db..”
Its interesting to see how a new plane like the 787 led directly to changes on the production line 777
That has continued as new features for the 777X were incorporated early in production 777’s
Hello Transworld, flown on A350’s three times now and found it very quiet. Can’t say more or less than that or the other. Not looking for trouble with the 787 fan club but its quieter than either the 788 and 789 for me. Maybe its perception because I wear an AB cap?
You can get decibel meters for smartphones for free (and they are surprisingly accurate +\- 1 db to professional meters in reviews I read).
It would be cool if airnuts like evrybody here would use these and post results so we could get an objective comparison so any preconceptions we might have (and we all have them to a degree) don’t factor in.
“…flown on A350’s three times now and found it very quiet.”
It is very quiet by my personal flying experience on this type e.g. relative to older gen families such as 330CEO and 777 Classics.
“Not looking for trouble with the 787 fan club..”
For the record, I declare I’m neither a member of the 787 fan club nor the 350 fan club. However, U are likely inviting trouble with personal subjective comments which claim 1 is superior to the other….
“…but its quieter than either the 788 and 789 for me. Maybe its perception because I wear an AB cap?”
It surely is due to your perception stemming fm your personal bias toward X vs Y overall as I honestly can’t detect any real diff in cabin noise level 787 family vs 350 family.
This is splitting hair but according to Wikipedia the cabin widths for the A350 is 221″ and that for the 77X is 234″, thus 13″ difference.
“..cabin widths for the A350 is 221″ and that for the 77X is 234″, thus 13″ difference”
And cabin width for the 787 is exactly 216″ thus 5″ difference vs 350 so what do all these data tell us? That Airbus and Airbus worshippers consistently claim Y seat width in 9abreast config on 350(allegedly @ 18″) is 1″ wider than 787(allegedly @ 17″) is still mathematically possible?
Actually, cabin width for 77X is 235″ per official regulatory/cert docs published by Boeing and submitted to FAA/EASA…..
Besides, even wiki did not stated 234″ as U claimed. It only stated ‘19.6 ft (5.96 m)’.
As said this is splitting hair. Just from personal flying experience the 350’s cabin “feels” much roomier that the 787 as what the numbers suggest.
Along similar lines, an 737 feels for me not that much narrower than an A320 as the numbers would suggest.
“Just from personal flying experience the 350’s cabin “feels” much roomier that the 787 as what the numbers suggest.”
So we are now down to treating personal subject impression as equal to fact now to present your argument….I see.
Just from personal flying experience the 350’s cabin “feels” equally roomy as the 787 which in my case confirms what the numbers suggest…..and that’s my personal subject impression to counter yours.
Yes, internal cabin width is 221″ for the A350 and 235″ for the 777X. However, there’s half an inch in distance between the outer armrests and the sidewalls, so 3-3-3 on the A350 is equal to 220″ and 3-4-3 on the 777X is equal to 234″.
Page 16 in the following document ((59.6″ x 2) + 78.8″ + (18″ x 2) = 234″):
Per this document (page 27) from Boeing; 3-3-3 on the 787 is equal to (59,6″ x 3) + (18″ x 2) = 214.8″:
So, in an apples-to-apples, like-for-like comparison (i.e. 18″-wide aisles and 2″-wide armrests), the seat bottom widths on a 9 abreast A350 appears to be 0.58″ wider than the 17.2″ wide seat bottom widths on 9 abreast 787s and 10 abreast 777Xs.
However, as @MHalblaub repeatedly has pointed out; for increased seat bottom widths, you’ve got to triple the seat width in order to get the additional effective space for the center seat on a 3-3-3 configuration — even a 0.5 inch increase in width per seat make a difference; it’s 1.5 inch for the middle seat.
Finally, passengers sitting in the two centre seats in the middle quad block of seats on the 777X in a 3-4-3 configuration will have noticeable less space than passengers sitting in the middle seats on the A350, as the left-centred passenger can’t easily lean to the right and the right-centred passenger can’t easily lean to the left. In a 3-3-3 configuration, passengers sitting in aisle and window seats can either lean towards an aisle or a window, thus increasing the perceived personal space for passengers sitting in the centre seat.
“the seat bottom widths on a 9 abreast A350 appears to be 0.58″ wider than the 17.2″ wide seat bottom widths on 9 abreast 787s….you’ve got to triple the seat width in order to get the additional effective space for the center seat on a 3-3-3 configuration — even a 0.5 inch increase in width per seat make a difference; it’s 1.5 inch for the middle seat….”
I see. It is the rationale to justify claiming 1″ diff in seat width 787 vs 350 whereas the mathematical reality is 0.58″ diff given everything else in terms of cabin width space consumption(e.g. armrest to cabin wall, aisle width, armrest width, seat bottom width, etc.) is equal such as in an “apples-to-apples” objective comparison…..
My apology for failing to detect/appreciate that 0.58″ wider Y seat width 350 vs 787 which is narrower than the width of my index finger but apparently means the diff night vs day for folks like Anton…..
In an apples-to-apples, like-for-like comparison (i.e. 18″-wide aisles and 2″-wide armrests), the seat bottom widths on an 8 abreast A330 appears to be 1.05″ wider than the 17.2″ wide seat bottom widths on 9 abreast 787s and 10 abreast 777Xs.
Source: Page 90/634 — 2-5-0 (page 2):
A) 8 abreast with 19″- wide aisles, 2″ – wide armrests and seat bottom widths of 18″ — as per the configuration in Aircraft Characteristics for the A330: 19″- wide aisles; 2″- wide armrests; 18″-wide seats: (42″ x 2) + (82″) + (19″ x 2) = 204″
B) 8 abreast with 18″- wide aisles, 2″ – wide armrests and seat bottom widths of 18.25″: (42.5″ x 2) + (83″) + (18″ x 2) = 204″
Yes, 14″ wider cabin, not 15″. 😉
Now, I wrote; the slightly wider cabin of the 777X offers little, or no advantage in the premium classes — with respect to how many seats that can be installed.
The point here is that in premium heavy aircraft configurations, up to half the cabin length (or more) is occupied by first, business and/or premium economy seats (and galleys and lavatories). Thus, only in the part of the cabin that is set aside for regular economy class seats will the slightly wider 777X cabin make a difference (i.e. 3-4-3 vs 3-3-3). In short, therefore, up to 2/3 the length of the wider 777-9 — from the nose to the tail cone — represents essentially “wasted space” and increased wetted area over that of the narrower A350 fuselage.
Since the middle seat in business class seems to be more a thing of the past, that 14-inch wider 777X cabin won’t make a difference in a 1-1, 1-1-1 or 1-2-1 configuration in first class; in a 1-2-1 Qatar Qsuite configuration; in staggered 1-2-1 business class configurations; in conventional 2-2-2 business class configurations; or in a 2-4-2 premium economy configuration.
In the 14-inch wider 777X cabin, however, airlines will be able to position angled flat seats in business class at a slightly greater angle than what they can do in the A350 cabin, thus marginally increasing the effective use of the cabin space.
I don’t believe its the size of the 787 engines, but the thrust (if that is what this is really all about which I doubt)
Granted I am a mechanical weenie but ……………….
On similar but different topic. Flydubai have 70 x MAX9’s and 50 x MAX10’s on order. Not sure what length routes they are planned to be operated on but thrust might become an issue with these on warm days flying out of Dubai?
“I am a mechanical weenie.” I’m gonna steal that line for…I don’t know what, but something. LOL
MO: Runway with it. You should see my Poem on Humpty Trump! (sorry just a teaser, Scott would kill me)
What’s the best estimate on the A380 program lifetime production, 265 to 270 units?
270, 269, 268, 267, 266 , 265, 264, 263 and falling
This happens a fair bit. Wonder if there should be a warning – “You have one engine with warnings and one working perfectly, are you sure you want to shut-down the good one Ok/Cancel”
Like the computer, do you really really mean it?
Thanks, saw that, not ideal.
OMG what a goat fk on the part of the crew! The Cpt pressed on with the flight despite being “well below” V1. I mean seriously? I dorember when a BA 747 lost an engine just after leaving LA and then pressed on to London on three engines.
So much for the “culture of safety”!
Going back to the Indian Airbus obviously didn’t idiot proff it enough and they should be charged with attempted mansllaughter!
Just a thought/question for the technical gurus. Assuming an A380NEO with new winglets and T7000’s will bring say 10% improvement in fuel burn.
This will require less fuel and hence weight for missions operated by EK from Dubai, combined with improved take off performance from the wing and other aero updates the T7000 could potentially have enough thrust?
The issue between A350 and B787 is basically the seating.
Everybody is putting 9 seats in the 87, and this makes the plane just more efficent as it’s the same amount of people with less drag, smaller airframe.
The issue with the B78T is just the hot condition. It’s questionable how much payload it can get out of the hot gulf. Etihad did order 30 B78T. We’ll see how they perform.
I still think the B78T might be a good option.
Just assume a worst case, say the B78T can do 6000nmi in real, and just 4000nmi out of Dubai. This would cover all Europe, all Africa exept some very west and very south places, Jakarta, Hong Kong, Beijing and everything up north.
Most of the places should be served already, but the B78t should deliver additonal frequencies at awesome trip costs compared to the bigger planes emirates has.
Of course it can’t fly to America, still it is a stretch and the economics on this missions should be great.
Is the tide starting to change when it comes to passenger comfort. Link to UAL’s updates on “really old” aircraft.
Of topic but this type of flexibility is where the NMA could have the edge over an 321XLR for example.
Yes, each seat has a specific value to the airline. It is not 6 seats versus 7 seats, it is 2 middle and 2 aisle seats versus 1 middle and 4 aisle seats. Premium price advantage, twin aisle, customer loyalty advantage, twin aisle.
Airbus will talk up the A321+++, right until they switch plans and build their own new light twin aisle, then come back to the A321+ a decade later, just like they did with the A330NEO.
You don’t know your seat while booking, and it’s not you pay less because you take a middle seat.
The A380 did see more bookings as statttet by Emirates, but still customers don’t ccare if they sit in rather comfy configs (A330,A340, A350, A380, B767, B747) or in the cramped configs (B787. B777 in 10, A330 in 9).
I actually do take a look before booking if I fly Economy, but it seems like the airlines don’t experience a major difference.
In the end this leads to a very clear idea: The more seats you get in, the more efficent and the more economic is your jet.
It’s somehow what Boeing got right with B777 (9,5 seats in eco) and b787 (8,5 seats in exo) vs. Airbus with A330 (8 in eco) and A350 (9 in eco).
I am not one of those that can afford to be choosy (I also no longer have to fly international long flights)
So I take what I get with the POSH (Port Outbound Starboard Home bound) that way I get to see South Eastern AK panhandle if its not socked in!
But if you are in advance far enough you can select your seat.
And then there is the last time where I could not get the window seat and the person who did pulled down the shade and went to sleep (hmmm, something to lean against?)
” they switch plans and build their own new light twin aisle”
Everyone is saying the potential numbers arent there, except Boeing , who cant close the business case -‘because the suppliers are telling them the numbers arent there’. Boeing just adjusting their forecasts to fit the plan- which they have done before- doesnt make it true.
And why wouldnt Airbus come in with a ‘better’ A321 +. Because the single aisles saw off the ‘big wing’ 757 and 767-200 in the nineties is why.
Its not the suppliers who are telling Boeing the numbers are not there. They just say if you order X it cost you Y. If you order X+100, then its Y – 100.
The experts are telling Boeing its not there (and maybe its not)
But it seems to me that between the 757 and the 767 that had a market of over 2000, there is an opportunity there if you can build it for the right price.
Clearly there are not enough commitments there yet or they would go for it.
But the 787 went through that iteration and the 777 was the same. Lots of refining to find the spot that works.
This may or may not fly, but I like its being looked at. It opens up avenues and advances.
And when a 50 year old air-frame is still competitive, its like the Foker Tri Plane was still fighting competitively in WWII.
747 launched withg 25 orders? Sparked a revolution in air travel over single aisles.
“Everyone is saying the potential numbers arent there, except Boeing..”
Clearly not everyone as U sweepingly claim:
“who cant close the business case”
Very true…@ least not yet.
“‘suppliers are telling them the numbers arent there’.”
Again very true. However, such initial responses fm key suppliers pre-launch are not uncommon in this industry even for programs which ended up being launched. E.g. both GE and RR were initially concerned about projected build volume(i.e. “the numbers”) of the 330Neo program before engine supplier(s) selection and launch.
“Boeing just adjusting their forecasts to fit the plan- which they have done before”
Reminds me of another hugely expensive VLA program in which the Toulouse team did the same re “adjusting their forecasts”….
May be hard for U to believe but Airbus is no diff than Boeing in terms of mkt sales forecasting tactics.
“doesnt make it true.”
Agree and we’re seeing the end outcome re 380 sales forecast vs actual sales reality.
“And why wouldnt Airbus come in with a ‘better’ A321 +.”
They would if mkt dynamics are there. They are just waiting for Boeing to decide whether to make the 1st move with NMA/797 if U hv been following recent comments fm Airbus. Makes perfect econ sense in terms of RoI fm a new product: If no 797, no need to throw $ into a ‘better’ A321 + beyond today’s 321LR.
“Because the single aisles saw off the ‘big wing’ 757 and 767-200 in the nineties is why.”
By the same token, single aisles did the same thing to Airbus own 310(also 306R to a limited extent) as well starting in the 90s.
See Qantas officially cancels its outstanding order for A380’s. Will it decide to loose its deposit or order something else from Airbus? Project Sunrise comes to mind.
Or could the A330-800 comes into play as a niche aircraft for long thin routes that could fit the Aussie geography.
“Will it decide to loose its deposit”
U would be surprised how small, in the grand scheme of things, the total deposit on those cancelled 380 x8 actually is in deals like this. I believe total deposit for them is probably less than the list price for 1 ATR72 or Q400 if the 380 deal cancelled by the insolvent Skymark a few yrs ago was a guide….
“..or order something else from Airbus? Project Sunrise comes to mind.”
Possible but QF Group can also add more 320Neo family to its existing 320Neo x110 backlog for its 4 JetStar brands across Asia-Pcf too. These brands combined already operate 320Ceo family x119 today and all 4 hv plans to grow in total fleet size especially for the franchise in Vietnam and Japan.
In addition to their current backlog for 320Neo family, I see JetStar fleets can easily add e.g. another 321Neo/LR x 20~25 in exchange for QF cancelling 380 x8.
Thanks FLX, I have no clue what the scale of these deposits are. Thought it was something like 25% or so, if it is so small why do OEM’s really bother with deposits except covering legal costs of contracts, etc.?
It deponent on who you are and where you are int he Q.
To get orders, like offering extremely low loss leading prices, A or B can also offer low (or even no) deposit options.
Prime the pump, blue chip airlines getting the best because supposedly they are going to stick with it.
There are no rules in the game, just practices. Hong Kong likely paid a lot. ANA not so much.
So it goes
FedEx just dumped their A380F before they legally could before the agreement. Not a word out of Airbus (UPS waited until the first promised delivery expired so maybe paid more?)
As this was before FedEx headed to an all Boeing fleet, they had A300/310 parts etc to negotiation with.
Add in a law suit if needed where you can prove they were not going to deliver and ….. it just gets settled behind the scenes.
I don’t think I have seen at least publicly a penalty paid yet (Air Asia has kicked orders down the runway so often its amusing)
Qantas order of A380 was known to be lost long ago, its just now official.
That is why it is a steady erosion. AF giving up some, Qantas not taking, MA not able to get rid of 6 current air frames that would be normally desirable, Emirate now etc.
Don’t see QF wanting more A320NEOs, Jetstar Asian expansion stuck in a regulatory quagmire. Indications are that economy pax are avoiding Perth-London 787 flights, so A350 might find its way in. QF also has/are buying into regional and FiFo ops using F70/F100 and 717s, so A220 might be in their future plans.
Reuters say AB are going to end the A380, possibly 14th Feb. Looks like AB’s new management are starting to call the shots and want the books cleaned out. They are getting rid of what they can’t deliver, with no suitable engine the A380 no longer exists anyway.
A caution for BA here, no optimal engine=no long term NMA. Plans to bump up NB engines remind me of the A343, suboptimal.
Hey Airbus/RR here’s a crazy thought:
How about putting TrentXWB engines on the A380, a kind of half way NEO. TSFC is quite a bit better on the XWB vs the 900. Fan is a little bigger, and it’s heavier but quite a bit more fuel efficient.
Then EK can have A350 to do the mission that it wanted the B78T to do, and have engine commonality with the new order A380s.
Perhaps even re-engine some of the existing A380 fleet.
Problem solved ?
Anything other than a GTF that gives you a major leap is a waste of an NEO.
You can’t just slap engines on the Pylons. Its a whole design and beef up and forces study as well as certification.
You also want to tweak the wing to get the most out of the new setup.
And you are doing this on an aircraft that has no future?
Writing is on the wall. The Original SA Dr. Peters 5 were iffy in that they were old original build and not desirable. One is with an iffy op and the others are going to be torn down.
MA 6 were not. Latest build and they could not sell them.
AF is giving back A380s as well. Those were more recent builds as well.
A 350xwb. is not 18 in seats at 2 in armrest. Airbus is using 1.5 in armrest to get to 18. when the A 350xwb was launch it was advertise as 17.5 back in 2006 . go back and check the record OV-99.
With 1.5″-wide armrests and 18″-wide aisles, the seat bottom width on the A350 is: (220″ – (1.5″ x 12) – (18″ x 2))/9 = 18.44″
If we reduce aisle width to 17″ on the A350 — the same standard as on the current 777-300ER at 10 abreast (i.e. 17″-inch wide seats (17″ x 10) and 2″-wide armrests (2″ x 13)) — the seat bottom width is 18″ when the armrest width is 2″: (220″ – (2″ x 12) – (17″ x 2))/9 = 18″
In fact, the A350 was designed with one inch wider seats — in a 9 abreast configuration — than the current 777-300ER at 10 abreast.