Boeing will proceed with NMA. Or FSA. Take a poll

By Scott Hamilton

Feb. 6, 2020, © Leeham News: Boeing will decide to proceed with the launch of the New Midmarket Aircraft (NMA).

Or it won’t and instead launch a single-aisle replacement for the 737 MAX that essentially reinvents the long-gone 757.

These are the two popular options discussed yesterday at the annual conference of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance in Lynnwood (WA).

Aerospace analyst Ken Herbert of Canaccord Genuity believes Boeing will launch the NMA.

Analyst Rob Epstein of Bank of America Merrill Lynch believes Boeing will go with the Future Small Airplane (FSA), a fresh design that is similar in size to the 757-200 and 757-300.

Consultants Kevin Michaels of Aerodynamic Advisory and Michel Merluzeau of AIR voted for the NMA. Consultant Richard Aboulafia of The Teal Group voted for the FSA.

Boeing CEO action

The debate over the long-running deliberation of Boeing whether to launch the NMA ratcheted up when Boeing CEO David Calhoun announced Jan. 29 that he suspended the study on the NMA and launched a review of the airplane and its target market.

LNA heard long ago that Calhoun, at the time the lead director of the Board of Directors, did not favor the NMA.

Epstein wrote several research notes outlining the virtue of the NMA. After the PNAA panel vote, he told LNA he thinks Boeing will pursue the FSA because he doesn’t believe Calhoun supports the NMA.

Merluzeau has long been a proponent of NMA and believes, despite the turmoil over the MAX, that Boeing will proceed with the twin aisle program.

Aboulafia doesn’t believe Boeing can develop a twin aisle airplane with single aisle operating costs. (LNA’s Aircraft Performance Model and engineering analysis concludes Boeing can.)

Take a poll

What do you think?

Below are two polls. Vote to tell us what you think Boeing should do and what Boeing will do.



68 Comments on “Boeing will proceed with NMA. Or FSA. Take a poll

  1. Launch a FSA/NMA hybrid. Between the13′ fuselage of the FSA and 16′ fuselage of the NMA is a hybrid at 170″
    Richard Aboulafia talked about a mid range 5K nm future single aisle. But what about a 3K nm range aircraft? An aircraft the same size(45m) as the 737-10, but with better field performance, not as a replacement but as a higher priced compliment. And a 5m/5 row/30 seat stretch of that aircraft for higher domestic capacity. What can they do with 100t MTOW and a clean sheet?

    • That thought had also crossed my mind. I believe the problem would be that it leaves too much in the lower segment uncovered by newer Boeing products. Airbus has the advantage in having the A200 series to fill up the lower range, but what would the maximum realistic pax count be for that?

      • Yes, a 170″ fuselage would be too wide to compete in the 150 to 200 seat segment. Boeing would have to design another fuselage for this segment, say 132″ for 3-2 or 152″ for 3-3. Assuming that no Ld-3-45 container was required. What is the best future design for loading bags?

        The other design option which I assume most people are thinking of is to replace the 737-600 to 757-300 with one fuselage with LD-3-45 containers. So similar to the A320 or MC-21 with a average outside dimension of 160″.

    • Airbus is about ready to announce the A220-500….and will be cert in less that 2 years….this is effectively the new FSA on the block.

      BA needs to do some serious work to counter the A220-500 and the A321XLR.

      For the next decade, its not looking good for BA clean sheets.

      • Boeing needs to see if it can bring forward its Transonic Truss-Braced Wing Aircraft a few years for a 2028 entry to service.. Nothing less than a revolutionary shift can take market back from the A320 A220 juggernaut. Airbus seems to have the option of putting a plastic wing on the A320 series and No doubt will receive thrust and fuel burn improvements on the engines.

        • Not that easy and maybe it requires new FAA/EASA rules that is not well defined yet. So Boeing should hurry up working on the specs and testing together with the FAA/NASA on Technologies like slim long wing flutter FBW supression and slender and flexible carbon wings laminar flow ( a bit like Airbus BLADE program) to get them to issue the regulations to certify against. A revolutionary new narrowbody like this deserves a new Engine like an UHB turbofan or UDF. It takes some $bn’s to develop that to a certifiable standard and someone needs to pay for a pretty high risk development program. Is was easier in the “good old Days” when the USAF would jump on any new promising Technology that could later be commercialised.

          • I understand the complexity now. Rolls Royce is currently building Test Bed 80 for ultra fan development (25,000 to 100,000 lb thrust). Possibly around 2018 it will enter service and probably 2016 Airbus will be preselling it on a mature airframe likely on A350 neo and either the current A320 or a version with an composite wing. Boeing needs to be ready with an airframe that can accept these large geared turbofans, the MAX can’t.

    • Foe NMA I was thinking more of a derivative of 787 to fill the gap as that segment does not warrant a whole new design. Shorten and lighten the 787 put Pratt GTF and you got a good size airplane sitting above a321XLR and below a330neo with good economic and it wont tske as long or as much money as an all new design. In parallel work on FSA with there models starting with 200 seat as the main design and one smaller at 175 and one bigger at 225.

      • sorry, but the 787-7 was already tried and does not work…aircraft is far too heavy and cannot be reduced any further.

  2. I would not trust investment bankers to have an informed view on this topic…

    I think asking your readers is a better strategy, by far.

    The performance model might show a TA can have similar economics as a SA, but is under specific circumstances. The floor area of the second aisle does nothing to carry passengers, it is mostly dead weight. How would a SA with wider aisle for quicker boarding fare in the comparison?

  3. it comes down to a few unknowns: How good is the NMA engine, How easy, fast and cheaply with much less assembly workers can the NMA be built in volumes, how good and cheap will the carbon wing Airbus A322neo be with existing engines boosted to 35k, what will the respective operational economics be? Historically has a widebody been much more expensive to operate in a mix of short and intermediate range operation. The 757 had some drawbacks back then, unique engines that got very expensive to operate, an old fuselage and wing design, the -300 was no hit with long time to board and exit pax, no containers. So how can Boeing aviod getting into the same situation this time on a NSA?

    • I think engines is the key word here. Is there any existing engine/platform suitable for ca 45 klbf? I mean like CF6-80C2 —> 80E1. Cannot think of any. All new springs to mind, meaning longish dev time even if FSA is made with new but mature/high TRL tech. 7 years…

      • I agree it is a key issue, you don’t want to produce an orphan engine with just one application and even worse divide its market with a competitor. If Boeing designs an aircraft needing 37-40k (just like the 757) then PWA and CFMI could make versions of their engines with a 2-4″ bigger fans and upflowed core engines or RR comes back with an Ultrafan for 40k and up.
        Most likely will Boeing select a proven engine and a brand new super efficinent engine to give customers options. The odds are GE/CFMI vs. RR again and BA launching the version with the RR engine. So RR maybe could share its core engine with the A350neo bigger Ultrafan and GFMI/PWA could keep maybe 63% of their A320neo engines if selected (1/3 orphan..)

        • If Boeing does the NMA, which I believe they ultimately will, it will be single source engine deal. And that engine will not be Rolls-Royce. If FSA is the next airplane, PW and CFMI will each be underwing. Given the continuing debacle of the Trent 1000, it will be a very long time until RR finds a new Boeing application.

      • Rolls Royce Trent 500 and older RB211-522/534 models fall in the 45-56Klbf range. A derate Trent 500 with an update Advance 2 core I believe would be fairly ease for Rolls to build at minimal cost.

        • The problem with using existing widebody Engines on Aircrafts that do a good part of its operations in 2-5hr jumps (like US domestic 767 operations) is that they are not designed for it, they normally TGT redline around 3000cycles if not removed for other causes before that. So you need an engine running cooler with pretty high core Engine flow hence a widebody Intercontinental aircraft core engine in the 55-65k class is pretty optimal for a 37-40k engine doing these operations and can stay on wing for +12000 cycles (RB211-535). Hence my thinking that parts of the A350neo RR Ultrafan core Engine could be used in the design of the “baby Ultrafan”, maybe removing 1-3ea IPC front stages to get the right 40k Engine core airflow.

          • I think an NMA needs a little more thrust than 34-40 klbf. Pls consider that the A320neo uses an engine that tops out at 33 klbf (PW1133G) and I expect an NMA to need a tad more, say 45-50 klbf, due to its higher MZFW/MTOW. It could possibly do with less if shorter range is decided upon.

            Regarding using older engines as starting point (Trent 500 or RB211-534) I think that is a definite no-go for several reasons (emissions, efficiency, length, part count).

            Designing a high-cycle engine for a TA is no mean feat, and it will turn out heavier than comparable TA long-haul engines for the reasons outlined by Claes above. This needs to be considered when discussing engine choices, and since there has not been a medium sized aircraft development for a considerable number of years now, there is no modern engine available. Unless, like Claes mentions, one starts with a substantially larger engine and remove a few staged from the low pressure spool to the high pressure spool (case study in reverse: GE90-94B core becoming the GE90-115B core). However, modern large cores (Trent1700, GEnx, etc.) might be too old for a development starting today. Hence, plain paper start, hence 7 years dev time.

          • Yes, the GE90-94 HPC got rid of the last HPC stage to increase the core engine flow for the more powerful GE90-115. If you remove the first compressor stages off the compressor it will flow less air and that might suit a 40k engine HPC taken from a 70k engine better. GE has done this trick before going from the CF6-6 to the CF6-50 where the HPC lost 2 stages. RR addded stages in front of the RR Avon the 0 stage and 00 stage to increase the compressor airflow and thrust. That is a more difficult and dangerous route as a smaller hub to fit longer compressor blades easy can take you into troubles even if you reblade and exisitng compressor with just slightly longer blades to increase massflow, that is why blisks are so popular at the HPC fist stages as you don’t have a blade attachment and can fit longer blades and thus increase airflow for a given diameter. You loose most of the damping you get in a blade to disk attachment but if you calculate it right you cash in the increased massflow.

        • What kind of culture is the background to finding progress solely in re-purposing elements of the past.

          “Frankenstein”ing parts from old designs in the expectation of creating something highly efficient, brand new. The spear point of leveraging technology.

  4. I firmly believe that Boeing will introduce the NMA which will be a derivative of the 767 even if the business case isn’t very strong.

    The reasons are simple. Boeing needs the KC-46 line to stay open as long as possible to milk every order they possibly can so they need commercial production to help smooth out the order book and maximize revenue. Those military programs are expensive redesigns (especially the KC-46), but very lucrative in the long term.

    This is the same reason why the FSA wasn’t launch (and won’t be launched in the next 7 years) and we ended up with the 737MAX instead: Boeing is in the middle of building a bunch of P-8s and a new narrow body program won’t mix well with that program.

    Finally, this is also the reason behind the A330neo even though it is similar in size/capabilities to the A350. Airbus is looking to extend the life of that aircraft to sell every A330MRTT they can even if it means a few less A350 orders.

    • The P-8 is a companion to the 737 production, and is built in the same factories. The fuselage is the same as the commercial version but with some changes that are able to be incorporated as a ‘pull aside’ to keep the standard production flow going. At Renton the wing assembly is based on the old -900 and they use the old vertical wing jig that has been replaced for the Max with a newer more automated system. The P-8 assembly happens off to one side of the main Renton building and the different fit out happens after flying to Boeing Field.
      The P-8 is nearing last orders and wont remain in production for long, but the Max production slowdown for the next year or two may allow an extra years P-8 orders to happen if demand is there.

      • I think there are 100 or so more P-8 sales available over he next 10 years (~60-70 unfunded P-8s plus foreign sales) and Boeing needs to keep the 737 around to coax fickle military orders. I expect a dozen or so wedgetail orders and perhaps many more if the 737 can be made a suitable substitute for the E-3. There are lots of old P-3s out there to be replaced, but your point is taken.

        In the near future, there are also 100 or so more sales for 737 and/or 767 sized aircraft to replace command, control, communications, electronic surveillance, warning, and reconnaissance aircraft as 707-based aircraft (and similar) are retired. Biz Jets may replace some of those aircraft but I foresee a configurable multi-mission platform based on the P-8 that assumes most of the EC-135, RC-135, EP-3, E-6, WC-135, EC-130, and even USCG HH-130 missions. That platform will control drones that perform the rest of the mission specific tasks. E-3, E-4, and a few other types need replaced too.

  5. “LNA’s Aircraft Performance Model and engineering analysis concludes Boeing can”

    Was this against the existing product lines ( A and B )
    versus a same tech NB design.

  6. McBoeing will continue to fiddle while Rome burns.

    I am very concerned that McBoeing is now in the same death spiral the McD-D was in when they bought Boeing with Boeings own money.

    McD-D’s history of not spending on new development and building derivative after derivative of outdated designs eventually killed them as a commercial aircraft manufacturer and only their cost+ defense contracts kept them alive.

    McB is now in the same place, but in addition their defense contracts are either over/winding down (C-17, F-15, F-18, P-8), in deep trouble (KC-46, CH-47, GBSD) or enormous cost risks (KC-46 again, T-7, MQ-25)

    really worried that Boeing will end up being GE/HBC’d to death.

  7. I don’t think any of the 3 options for should are really spot on. Assuming Boeing/Embraer goes ahead I’d like to see the talked about new turboprop be launched very near term and be the new processes ‘testbed’ (plus some from T-7) that NMA would have been. Would also iron out merger issues so that the next launch, FSA (or whatever it is called then), goes well.

    • How about a turboprop NMA? That would at least be a new take on it… sure, slower cruise speed, but for 2-5 hrs, does it really matter in the total trip time door–>door? SFC benefits nicely, but can the noise be canceled out sufficiently (must admit I am not up to date on the latest in this area).

      • A 12 blade turboprop and the geared UDF designs might merge to be very similar. These Engines can be designed to touch M0.8 cruising speeds and stay below latest noice regulations, but it might require some new FAA/EASA regulations and the risk is that its development program get x2 in cost and time (i.e. $24b instead of $12bn) you need USAF/NASA Money to prove the design in dedicated test rigs first before opening up the massive Project budget under a cheif project engineer (time, money&cert) and a chief design engineer (design, analysis, validation) and the rest of the Project departments.

  8. I voted but I honestly don’t know what they should do. If I were the CEO, I would listen to the engine guys and the sales guys. I would guess most the posters here directly or indirectly are shareholders in this company, or their occupations are tied to aerospace. Boeing needs to stay relevant. That being said the replacement aircraft for a 757-200/3oo makes sense. But a 767 replacement could be very, very important if the hub and spoke system is going to be reduced with more point-to-point long distant flights. I would think it would be a good idea to crunch the numbers (for one to three years,) and then do something – for @#$% sakes! Keep the MBAs out of the room! Listen to the engineers and marketing! And the smart customers – like Delta.

  9. If Boeing can develop a twin aisle airplane with single aisle operating costs, imagine what they could do by putting that technology into a single aisle design?

    • Thats the secret to the project , reuse a lot of the structures like nose and empennage. The wing and wing box is compatible between versions and built in same factory. The sub sytems are common across the two versions including FBW and the same cockpit for both.
      The fuselage barrel will clearly be the main difference, but with a common lower lobe and different upper lobe made from metal fibre laminate panels.
      The double aisle comes first as it is lower volume and can prove the system and the single aisle follows on but at a higher production rate. The larger production of the common sections and systems set the prices from suppliers.

    • One could infer from your comment that Airbus would be incapable of the same sort of achievements.

      I believe that both companies have a similar potential for technological development.

  10. I believe that the future is long flights on single aisle aircraft. Therefore, I believe that the NMA was a stunt for the FSA development. And Boeing Brasil Commercial will play a big role on this. Maybe not defining the concept, but making it happen as a product.

  11. Work on developing an FSA family covering 160-250 seats with first model being the 250 seat version to cover NMA markets and go after the A321XLR. Everything below that is covered by Embraer’s family of E2 jets. I’ve wondered for quite sometime why Boeing didn’t simply develop a so called stripped down B787 something akin to the B787-3, a version they originally offered to cover Japan domestic markets and medium haul Asia markets. Seems to me the non-recurring development cost would be minimal and there should be plenty of assembly line capacity between Everett and Charleston to add this version to the production line.

    • No such thing as a stripped down 787, the -3 version merely did without the wing tip extensions.
      A carbon fibre fuselage and wing are expensive to make and the selling price reflects the design assumption of a long range along with a engine to match. The Japanese requirement is unique with such large widebodies for short flights with large passenger counts. ( They used to use 747SR and 777s for the role for their duopoly internal airlines)
      Widebodies should be used more often in other countries high density but short routes, but they use the much more suitable A330 for that role.
      This why Airbus has kept the A330 in production with a Neo version, it can almost compete with 787 on longer routes and beats them hands down on shorter ones.
      The other problem is marketing , if Boeing offers a cheaper stripped down plane it might cut into orders for existing planes. A good idea of that in practice was when the 737-900 was first offered , it didnt sell well because its range was limted because the 757 was still in production but as soon as that plane stopped production after the 911 shock, the 737-900ER was offered which went to be a better seller.
      The 787-10 has a limited range compared its its cousins because Boeing wants that space for the 777-8X

      • I’m not sure where you get your data.

        The 787-3 would have carried 290–330 passengers in two-class over 2,500–3,050 nmi range, limited by a 364,000 lb MTOW. It kept the -8 length but its 51.7 m wingspan would have fit in ICAO Aerodrome Reference Code D. It was designed to operate on Boeing 757-300/Boeing 767-200 sized regional routes from airports with restricted gate spacing. Seems an awful lot like an NMA except they could tweak the range up a bit. VERY low non-recurring cost and practically ZERO additional production facility investment. Do the math vs. a brand new airplane development and new production facility cost for the NMA. I’m willing to bet with Boeing’s recent history of massive cost overruns in developing new airplanes and even derivatives that offering a stripped down B787-8 sized airplane would compete favorably economically vs. an all new twin aisle NMA.

        Total orders for B737-900ER’s has been a mere 505 units, this is just 7.5% of total B737NG orders. I would hardly call that a “success”.

        B787-10 has so called “limited range” because it has same wing and fuel capacity of the B787-9. Makes no sense to spend a lot of money giving the -10 added range for a smaller niche of the B787 market. Time will tell if Boeing ever actually builds the B777-8, I’m willing to bet they won’t unless they have a lot of orders and that’s along way from happening.

        • The weight differences would be almost all from less fuel and the range to match The 787-8 is currently 228 T with up to 101 T of that fuel The OEW of both types would almost the same , say 120T.
          The reduced max range is say 41% , so a rough comparison is 40T of fuel, that gives 120 +40 = 160T . It would be less than that, say 30T due to much lower weight which allows 150T empty plus fuel plus about 15T for passengers and baggage.

          ANA currently has 335 seats in its domestic 787. Thats more weight in seats and baggage than average but only 12 premium seats.
          What other ‘stripped out features’ are you talking about , a different wing tip isnt going to be much. and the reduced gate size is a good feature to have.

          • I think the 787-3 could be much more expensive to manufacture and own than a A321XLR. Can Boeing redo it to reduce cost/empty mass, put an optimized wing shape on it and design it for robotic build and squeeze the suppliers a few more turns they might have a chance. No easy task. The RR T1000’s might like being derated alot, still both Engines are expensive and heavy compared to a LEAP-1A.

        • The time of the 787-10 will come as new Engines 12-15% better SFC will make wonders for it. Both the A350-1000 and 787-10 would really benefit from a new Engine generation, who will be first RR Ultrafan or GEnY?

  12. Launch FSA right after they spent over 10 billions on 737MAX? I don’t think so.

    • Provide an alternative that does not show “Hobson’s Choice” properties.
      A MAX after RTS is not a better plane in efficiency terms. ( Just the hidden defects have been partly removed, partly tided over.)
      Boeing is missing out on ~2 years of deliveries when things have settled in 2023/4.
      They will have had outlay comparable to scrapping that missing production output.
      The customer base is by all expectations less than amused.

      They need a design that is at least “current” to today’s tech levels in the NB range. A persistent need for the last 20 years.
      Where they squeeze the money for the job is irrelevant.

      Maybe Trump will produce a major war to aid the MIC and thus Boeing. Politically a lot will be tried to entangle foreign competitors. Massive innovative powers will be sunk to that purpose. More than for a new frame.

      • To me it looks like Boeing has missed the boat.

        It’s quite normal that companies make mistakes, and most times you can repair the damage. Sometimes they make big mistakes that will cost dearly and loose market share and reputation and it takes a long time to recover. But then there is also a class of fatal mistakes that can bring the whole company down.

        Initially I thought the MAX disaster is the the second category, but already last summer I concluded Boeing might end up in chapter 11. But after what we have learned over the past months about the company culture there is no doubt left and I’m absolutely sure that Boeing will go bankrupt soon.

        So essential it makes no more sense to talk future planes from Boeing. They first need to be reborn.

  13. Perhaps Boeing can do the NMA with single aisle operating costs – but will they do it in time and on budget and quickly enough to be relevant and good enough to not crash twice before 400 planes are delivered?

    And then do they sell enough planes at high enough prices to make it worthwhile…what are the odds that it all comes together successfully? 3 years and 20 billions off target for 787, 777-x is already a year or more late, 747-8i was late and over budget, Max was not overly quick and poorly designed…

    They should do a clean sheet replacement of 757-200 and 757-300 with extra wide aisle of up to 5000nm range.

  14. IMO

    Should do -NMA – 767 update- carbon wings, option raked or winglets, carbon body-

    Will do – anything but NMA as above.

  15. 1. Boeing has to recover MAX investments > MAX will soldier on for the next decade after the intensive scrutiny that maximizes its safety, with better economics than 320NEO within the MAX pass/range envelope

    2. Boeing has a weak product line in the 767/321xlr area > possible 767X if there are FedEx/UPS interest, and USAF interest on a KC-46B follow on

    3. No new tech is available in the new Boeing FSA area that will substantially be more attractive than the 320NEO within the next 5 years

    4. New Boeing FSA for post 2030 replacement of the 737 can be their Transonic Truss-Braced Wing design, maybe with a ducted open rotor engine.

    5. NMA in 2020 is the way to go for Boeing for a 757/767 replacement, with a shrink later to cover also the MAX10 area.

    Rene G. Abad
    AirPino PH

    • “”MAX will soldier on for the next decade after the intensive scrutiny that maximizes its safety, with better economics than 320NEO within the MAX pass/range envelope””

      There is no maximized safety. MCAS still goes with one AoA vane, true or false. Only if the 2nd AoA vane is 5.5 deg different MCAS goes off.

      I would like to see a true economic comparison when the MAX flies again. Makes me wonder why there are nearly zero new MAX orders.

      • Airlines are waiting for recertification before deciding. A lot depends on the modifications that will be required.

        Total Boeing/Airbus aircraft orders dropped by almost 50% in 2019 so there will be a backlog and probably some further waiting to see how things develop. This doesn’t mean the MAX or Boeing will get all those orders, just that the decisions are deferred.

  16. Call me old fashioned, but NMA vs FSA is the wrong question.

    AB have a product roadmap thay can show customers. It includes common flight deck across the family as an example.

    BA show customers a dart board.

    Until there is a vision to sell to customers and an executable plan talk of how many seats or aisles is premature.

    Plan beats dart board everytime.

  17. Timing is not mentioned in the above article.However all published articles unswervingly state that 2025 is the latest date for 767/757 replacements.This automatically rules out any clean sheet engine.

    So either they accept the short term loss of market share and truly go for a clean sheet or re-engine the 767 which some papers have suggested they are considering at present.Or both?
    Whilst hardly exciting if the key (American) airlines are happy with the performance/price this 767 MAX offers there is no reason that they cannot embark on a clean sheet aircraft at the same time.

  18. FSA with open rotor would make sense if you can really lower consumption/CO2 emission by 25-30%, otherwise they will continue with the 737(MAX), which once flying again is – lets not forget – still the biggest and most reliable cash-cow.

    NMA: Boeing could not make the business case. Appetite for 787-3 and 330 Regional was limited, as no airline is interested to carry around the bigger diameter of a half-widebody on short haul. Same counts for a 767MAXFrankenstein.
    At the same time, the second sibling of the family optimised for long haul comes under pressure from 321xlr.
    On top of that: If now due to lower demand and 330 competition the timeline for overall rentability of the 787 programme gets extended even further, those who claim a new family is too much risk, will get even more updraft.

  19. “Future Small Airplane (FSA), a fresh design that is similar in size to the 757-200 and 757-300.”

    That not FSA, more an NMA. We are stretching definitions 😀

    So far FSA = 737 replacement, NMA = 757-767 replacement.

    If you beef up an FSA into 270 seat – 5000 NM territory, it has no chance against A321 derivatives flooding the market. Too heavy/expensive.

    If Boeing doesn’t a super lean, light 150-180 seater for up to 4 hour flights, things could get really ugly there for Boeing.

    Don’t hope Airbus will sit on their hands meanwhile. They never did.

  20. NMA lives to its namesake “mirage of the market” and remains a paper study.
    FSA is launched with a metal fuselage and composite wing.

    • I think you are right KeepingItReal, only that Boeing will go bankrupt in the process, just like RR during development of the RB211. But I hope, just like RR, Boeing will come out of it in better shape than before.

    • My thoughts exactly. Basically an A220 concept with Boeing cockpit and 6 abreast.

  21. “If Boeing doesn’t (do) a super lean, light 150-180 seater for up to 4 hour flights, things could get really ugly there for Boeing.”

    In all honesty Keejse isnt that absolutely exactly what the new 737MAX already is?
    And isn’t that their problem.They do have this fantastic aircraft.That is cheap,light and lean.It even has an additional advantage of being able to seat the magic 200 pax which the 320neo can’t.So why replace it?
    It ( in the 2-5 hour scenario) is every bit as good as the 319/320 Neo’s.In actual fact on a 4 hour mission the new MAX10 is most likely ‘good enough’against the A321 (-10seats)

    Nah the problem is the Airbus aircraft can and has morphed into a 757 class of aircraft and the 737 simply can’t.Furthermore it is well understood it can be further stretched to a 250 seater which starts to impinge on the 767 replacement market.The 737 can only dream of such feats!
    Hence the need for something that can do 4,750nm+ and carry 200-250 pax.That part frankly is easy it’s the price tag ( versus the A321xlr/322) that has proved impossible.

    • “If Boeing doesn’t (do) a super lean, light 150-180 seater for up to 4 hour flights, things could get really ugly there for Boeing.”
      In all honesty Keejse isnt that absolutely exactly what the new 737MAX already is?
      And isn’t that their problem.They do have this fantastic aircraft.That is cheap,light and lean.It even has an additional advantage of being able to seat the magic 200 pax which the 320neo can’t.So why replace it?
      It ( in the 2-5 hour scenario) is every bit as good as the 319/320 Neo’s.In actual fact on a 4 hour mission the new MAX10 is most likely ‘good enough’against the A321 (-10seats)”

      I think it’s time Boeing skips the propaganda & looks itself in the eyes.

      No, the 737MAX is not a fantastic aircraft. It’s build around real old technology and meets decades old requirements that would not pass today.

      It’s got a weak safety track record, won’t be the safest aircraft ever, it is noisy inside, offers less space / comfort in the cabin as well as cockpit. It offers no choice but a compromised engine (BPR, sfc) . It can’t carry containers or pallets and forces airlines and handlers into labor intensive sub-par working conditions while (un)loading. Let alone serious cargo items.

      If Boeing would do “something that can do 4,750nm+ and carry 200-250 pax” now, they will implode in the 737NG replacement market. While Airbus already took most of the 200+ segment you mention. Include the visible cracks in the MAX backlog & Boeing really doesn’t have much of a choice.

      No fantastic new opportunities. Damage control.

      • Thank you for your reply Keejse.
        However it was Boeing’s customers who demanded the MAX and when created bought it in the many multiples of thousands.Is it as good as the A320 family? Imho no.Is it ‘good enough’ to satisfy their customers? Well they have spoken with their wallets!
        But yes Boeing cannot put this decision ( replacing a ’60’s heritage aircraft) off for ever.
        I do agree with the poster who would preferentially place the 757 size in the NSA sector.After all that is what the A321neo LR/XLR are.Furthermore looking at the sales of the 319neo and max7 I think they can be dropped into the new smaller category with aircraft such as the A220.
        The poll is interesting imho.It appears to v strongly suggest that Boeing’s next move will indeed be a replacement NSA but that replacement will not be announced for at least a year.Both seem about right.

      • Yes, the first step is to realize you have a problem. After that sinks in you need to decide how to fix it and the resources available. I have seen companies where the first step is a few years at management levels after everbody else understand it is real, the “sinking in” around one year and the execution a few years for problems much smaller than Boeing’s.
        Boeings problems is that the 737 used to make wonders for the bottom line and now it might be close to over, a new risky Project that eats Money for 10 years in development and launch customers and warranty cost for another 10 years before the flood of profits starts Rolling in. All of those in charge has been replaced by then maybe with

  22. I think they roll out the NMA with an oval fuselage. They use this as cover to do most of the development for the 737 replacement. They will reuse the cockpit, wing, tail, and such in the 737 replacement. This will let them sell the MAX longer but shorten the development time. They can the roll out a 737 replacement with a simple round fuselage before the end of the decade.

  23. My view is so long as Boeing remains in the hands of this board and management, it will treat it as a cash cow and not invest in a new aircraft. The finance people have run amok, and I speak as a finance person and former CFO. If Calhoun and the rest of the board are defenestrated, then Boeing’s future is far more bright, and new investment more likely to happen. So long as these guys remain in charge, they’ll just milk the company and in 20 years or so the US will no longer be a serious player in commercial aircraft manufacturing.

  24. @keesje: “So far FSA = 737 replacement, NMA = 757-767 replacement.”

    FSA = narrowbody (737/757)

    NMA = twin-aisle (767)

    That might not be the way it has been sold so far but in my opinion that’s the way it should be.

  25. The NMA as discussed was never a realistic plane.
    Ovid fuselage, something between a Widebody and SA, no sutiable engine, 2-3-2 seating as the B767 which would require a 2nd aisle just for +1 seat compared to a SA.
    Range up par with the B767-300ER and cost about 75 Mio. $ a plane.
    Sorry, but that’s a jack of all trades.

    I guess Boeing is pushing a new SA plane, with a new fuselage and above the Max 10 / A321neo.
    2 versions, the smaller for about 220-240 pax in 2 class, and the bigger for 250-260 pax in 2 class.
    That new to develop fuselage would be later used to replace the Max on a smaller plane with a different wing.

    I guess they need the Max flying again first, then they can launch a new SA plane.

  26. According to an article on China Aviation News several years ago, they said that the NMA = FSA. Kind of. On the surface, the model will look like the 757/ 767 – basically a 6 Economy or 7 Premium Economy abreas. However, it will be based on the double bubble of the Embraer planes, except the upper bubble will be slightly wider. Something about MC21., talking about a supercritical wing and a fatter fuselage, about how it would perform better in slow speed.

    These aircraft will be pushed to Asia’s LCC which will inadvertently need to start replacing 320s. Essentially, the Boeing NMA/FSA will be the 787 to the LCC’s A330neo which will be their long range plane of choice.

    I do not believe the A321 is as good as it’s being said. Peach now says they can’t do full payload SIN-NRT or KIX-SIN. This does not bode well fro XLR. I think, like ANA mentioned, the 321LR snd XLR will give airlines more opportunity for product differentiation on domestic routes.

    A possible Airbus A230 based on A321neo baseline.

    • SIN-NRT and SIN-KIX are both less than 3000nm.
      The 97t MTOW A321neo can do this with full payload.

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