Podcast: 10 Minutes About the A321XLR and Why Boeing Can’t Compete

Jan. 26, 2021: © Leeham News: Today’s episode is 10 Minutes About the A321XLR and Why Boeing Can’t Compete. LNA’s Judson Rollins worked for Boeing when the MAX was created. He brings an airline background as well, having worked for Air New Zealand and Continental.

This was recorded Jan. 18. The reference to Air Lease Corp. is to the previous week. Rollins misspoke when saying the MAX entered service before the neo. It was the other way around, of course.

Leeham News and Analysis
Leeham News and Analysis
Podcast: 10 Minutes About the A321XLR and Why Boeing Can't Compete
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132 Comments on “Podcast: 10 Minutes About the A321XLR and Why Boeing Can’t Compete

  1. A magnificent plane.

    Sure, you have the eternal discussion about longhaul comfort on a widebody versus a narrowbody, but that is (in many situations) offset by the convenience of direct flights on thin routes rather than having to go via a hub. And for night flights there isn’t much difference, since most people will just be sleeping in their seats. The extra seat compared to a 737 is really noticeable.
    Aer Lingus is already servicing some thin routes IRL-USA using the LR (as a replacement for very over-aged 757s), and the longer legs of the XLR would open up many other interesting possibilities for them.

    In the post-CoViD world of financially weakened/crippled airlines, it may be the only viable option on many routes.

    • What comfort advantage ? Every passenger in economy sits in a bank of 3 or 4 seats, same for double or single aisle. An extra aisle isnt a ‘comfort advantage and in flights of 5-9 hours the trolleys for meal service arent there for a long period ( just that some passengers wait till they have eaten/ drink to use the toilet, when common sense says you go beforehand when there is likely to be a rush).
      As for narrow seats, the wrongly named ‘queen of the skies’ the 747 with 10 abreast in economy ( up from 9 when it came into service in the 60s and 70s) has had the same narrow seats for over 40 years.

      • A widebody has a higher ceiling and a greater sense of spaciousness in general. The second aisle gives greater mobility options during the flight, and also during boarding/deplaning. It’s less responsive to chop because of its greater mass and dimensions. And the A330 (and 767) have a 2-X-2 seating configuration, whereas the only semi-longrange narrowbody with a 2-seater option is the A220.
        I know that the 10-abreast 747 has the same narrow seats as the 737, but all Airbus aircraft have a wider seat (except for the odd high-density A330 here and there), as does the 9-abreast 777 (not that there are many of those left).
        It’s just a question of preference: I’d prefer to spend 9 hours in an A380 than in an A321. Wouldn’t you?

      • Newer wide bodies have higher pressure and humidity. That will probably have a greater impact than a second aisle you will rarely visit.

        A large long range single aisle should probably have the above plus a bit more internal width than the A320 allowing a wider aisle for easier movement, larger overheads, a spacier feel and perhaps some extra width for the centre seat.

        There is an A320 configuration with 17″ seats and a wider aisle. It was intended to facilitate faster boarding. I wonder if that actually worked as expected.

  2. The days of the big duopoly may be numbered: China is stirring in 2021.
    No competitor yet for the A321, but a nice-looking A320-like offering, and a future headache for the 787/A330. Once the C919 is up and running, an A321 lookalike will be relatively easy. All of this assuming that they can get engines.
    Even if they never delivered a plane outside China and its immediate neighbors, they could still make life tough for AB and BCA (assuming it survives).

    Airliner Watch / Global Times: “COMAC will deliver its first C919 single-aisle jet by the end of the year.”
    https://www.airlinerwatch.com/2021/01/chinas-comac-nears-to-deliver-its.html

    China Daily: “COMAC: Construction of CR929 wide-body aircraft to start this year”
    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202101/26/WS600f708fa31024ad0baa50ed.html

    • Well as a famous debate once said, I knew John Kenned and you are no John Kennedy. Its not even a 737 equal let alone A321.

      Can’t fly into any country that requires a reorganized certification of which China does not have (nor any patch to get it) – it doesn’t even have Chinese approval (though they will slip that under the carpet of course).

      919 is another me too product brought to you by the Communist Government.
      Of course they will force that on Chinese Airlines as they control them as well.
      They will fly some internal routes on a forced equal basis. I am sure Myanmar will ok it.

      929 is delayed again and my prediction is it never will see the light of day. The only reason the Indochinese are dealing with the Russians are the certification Russia has that China does not.

      Both are looking to stab the other in the back. Russia does not have the market and the Chinese want to control the whole program which the Russian hold the trump care on. Pretty funny.

      More to the aircraft business than DuPont (even Boeing has a vastly better handle on things than China).

      • How many C919 China will need to service its domestic market??

        WSJ: Another 500 million Chinese are expected to join the middle classes over the next few years, the country is [Aviation] industry’s biggest growth opportunity. IATA predicts 5% ave. annual growth in passenger journeys in the Asia-Pacific region between 2019 and 2039. Mature Western markets are expected to expand at a 2.2% rate.

        … China has become the second largest source of revenues for … Boeing and Airbus … In November, Boeing downgraded its 20-year global aircraft demand forecast by 2%, but upgraded China’s by 6.3% to 8,600 planes.

        • @ Pedro
          Correct.
          We already saw last week that Indonesia has ordered the COMAC ARJ regional jet, so the process is starting. Other China-leaning countries in the area (Cambodia, Myanmar) will probably follow. China alone has a population 4 times larger than that of the US. Indonesia has 17.000 islands that need interconnection, and 270 million people. Cambodia gets most of its tourism from China. What incentive do these countries have to buy a more expensive 737 with its severely tarnished reputation? Higher fuel costs are offset by a much lower capital outlay for purchase.

          • @Pedro, Bryce

            Exactly so: RCEP will be fully functional

        • If they are smart they make the first version of the C919 in approx 500ea, then switch to a new design pumping another $20bn into the project learning from the first and what their custoimers says, that version should be quicker to certify and after building 500ea of those spend another $20bn to make the final interation with the same crew and certifying staff to produce +1500ea . If they can get competetive engines for them if not then spending 3 x $15bn on 3 new engine designs from ShenYang.

  3. 12 seats extra for the A322 seems to limited. I would expect at least 24 seats.

    • I imagine 2 rows is the optimal trade off for rotation angle and field performance. If they go with a clean sheet wing, I assume that means they could add longer landing gear for better rotation and build a longer stretch. The A320 to A321 stretch of 7m would put an A322 at 52m, and add 42 seats.

      • 737 is limited that way I don’t believe the A321 is.

        Range vs payload over a pretty long route.

    • I think it depends on the new composite wing and maybe a new horizontal tail, hence you could add 3 rows in front of the wing and 1 aft, adding 24 seats. But I think Airbus will work hard to make the A321XLR optimized to handle a full days flying + 2 over night flights and just fly almost 20hrs/day for 5-6 days in a row. That hard operation will enforce higher reliability on most systems with the normal weight and cost reductions after the first improvement (Block update). They also need to work hard on the A220-300 to reduce cost and improve reliability. The A330neo might get its block updates also to reduce cost and mass if they have enough engineers in design/service engineering as the Airbus operational fleet grows and require its growing support staff.

      • “They also need to work hard on the A220-300 to reduce cost and improve reliability.”

        I’m curious to know what you mean by improving reliability in the A220?

        airBaltic is reporting a 99.5% dispatch reliability. Even with the GTF issues the overall numbers are pretty impressive:

        https://www.flightglobal.com/flight-international/what-airbus-has-done-since-taking-on-the-a220/136501.article

        “Airbus has been working to bring up the dispatch reliability, which it says is currently running at about 99%, and has also commenced data studies intended to maximise aircraft availability by increasing maintenance interval times.”

        • Not just Air Baltic. I can remember reading, probably here on Leeham New’s pages, that Swiss’s experience of the A220 family dispatch rate was surprisingly good right from the get go too.

          I guess the thing about a good dispatch rate from the very beginning of a design’s service life is that it’s going to end up being very good indeed. And it must come as something of a relief to the designers when those early figures come in; they’ve not built a lemon.

        • There are some data available on DAL engine and component rpl frequencies. Also airBaltic did lots engine changes but PWA most likely rolls in upgrades on planned and unplanned engine removals.
          Could be interesting to see DAL numbers on MTBF on their A220 vs B717’s.

  4. Related news

    AB stock volatile in early trading : Goldman and UBS still very positive and upbeat about increased transparency and visibility for 2021 produced by recent AB market and production predictions and pronouncements : Goldman target is 139 Euros for a stock trading at approx 85 euros currently, volatility regarded as purely ‘technical’

    https://www.msn.com/fr-fr/finance/other/airbus-les-actions-risquent-de-rechuter-le-conseil-bourse-du-jour/ar-BB1d50Uk

    • That is a very good article!
      The parallel between Boeing and Intel is scary: Intel was once king, and now it’s on a one-way-street down into ignominy. A big slap in the face came during the summer when Apple ditched Intel in favor of ARM. Arrogance, smug over-confidence in one’s reputation, conservatism, bad investment choices — the same vices as in Chicago. McDonalds is better run.

      Continuing the parallel somewhat: Boeing trying to get a slice of the A321 cake using some form of 797 is like Nokia trying to re-enter the cell phone market with the aim of creating a headache for Samsung — it’s pure fantasy. Apart from the fact that Boeing doesn’t have the money for a new program (it’s already insolvent) and also doesn’t have the engineering prowess anymore (737MAX and 787 debacles), what few crumbs will it hope to pick after Airbus has had that market segment to itself for the next five years? By the time Boeing could (finally manage to) have a 797 flying, COMAC could have a more reliable and cheaper alternative on offer.

      • “and also doesn’t have the engineering prowess anymore”

        Is it really so, or were the problems a result of the greed of the leadership? (Could be both, of course.)

        • While Boeing has severe issues, insolvent is not one of them.

          Ademeion is correct, Boeing chose to kill product development for greed. They could get the money if they chose to.

          As noted prior, 13 billion was going to a dividend as the Covd crash was hitting. This was in the face of a minimum at the time of a 8 billion dollar loss that I believe ballooned to 20 Billion.

          It does prove if you are big enough you can’t fail. Truly pathetic but that is the way the system works now

        • @ Ademeion
          Well, despite the debacle with MCAS, Boeing made yet another mess of the recent software upgrade to the 747, 777 and 787…prompting the FAA to issue an AD for various resulting safety issues. Does that sound to you like a company that is capable from an engineering point of view?

      • I think we would do well to study evolution in nature. As soon as a species is a success a parasite will develop to exploit it. The immensely successful Dutch East India company collapsed over night due to the overload of corrupt parasites. Nations, companies all follow this pattern to a degree. In some cases allowing them to collapse is the only way to shed the problems and allow something new in fresh. If Boeing goes under its important that something ‘clean’ be allowed to replace it.

        • Rot sets in and it takes an amazingly long time for the ship to sink.

          Zaire is a case in point, still clanking along.

          Boeing is still 20 years off from a reckoning. Maybe longer.

  5. The A321 xlr at 4,700nm range is near the design range of the 797-6 at 5,000 nm and the 797-7 at 4,500 nm. Previously the only choice above about 3,500 nm, was heavier aircraft. What inroads can lighter and smaller aircraft make up to 5,000 nm? Is the next step that 150t or 200t aircraft, and possibly single aisles, be built for 5,000 to 7,000 nm range?

    • A321 with a new wing and next generation engines will be 5000nm+ without much difficulty:
      * 5% better efficiency on engine
      * 3% on wing, possibly more if they go to a folding wingtip
      * 3% more fuel in the wing

      They are at max weight on the single axel gear so it will be interesting to see how they handle that. They did have an A320 with dual axels for the Indian market which would address both the weight restriction and allow for a longer fuselage without running into possible tail strike issues. But it will take up more space possibly interfering with the new centre fuel tank from the XLR.

      Also interesting is the growth potential of the A220 family. Most of the talk there has been entered on a A220-500. But the A220-100 is still artificially weight limited and in time could become a 4000nm+ aircraft.

      Between those two families Airbus really does have Boeing snookered. Any move Boeing makes Airbus can counter with less risk, probably in half the time and for one third the cost while keeping a high degree of commonality with their existing models.

      On the one side I don’t see any move Boeing can make that will temp an Airbus customer to switch. On the other because AirBus can produce a derivative to counter any new Boeing aircraft and get it done before the new Boeing model is ready and sell it for less than the new model, they will be able to continue to peel away Boeing customers.

      • The A320 undercarriage bay would still allow for dual axle from back when that was an option. The reason was for runway strength as 4 wheels per axle spreads the load, but it means more maintenance with twice as many brakes, tires etc.

        • Ah, thanks I did not know that the dual axel configuration fit into the standard undercarriage bay (I guess I should have guessed, a custom bay for the Indian market alone would have be unlikely). So that gives a straight forward path to higher MTO weights.

          • When you were the underdog as Airbus was way back then, you had to offer more options, the later choice of two or 4 engines on the new A330/340 was another example. But unfortunately the market didn’t really reward ‘options’ like that

  6. Boeing simply does not have the Capex to fund the ~$15 billion needed for a new jet, neither is there the market appetite/need to spend the required amount to cover the costs of development. Airbus can beat them on price simply because it doesn’t have to spend so much to cover sunk costs.

    As orders for the A320Neo are delivered or converted to the A321Neo family and Airbus is able to take full 100% control of the A220 program, they will offer customers the A220-500 as the follow on to the A320Neo, which will heap more pressure on the Max7 & Max8.

    Any attempt by Boeing to launch a new narrowbody will be telegraphed and Airbus will have the opportunity to respond with a cheaper (Capex wise) alternative to counter the move.

    Airbus didn’t back Boeing into a corner – BA did it all to themselves by spending $45 billion of free cash flow on buybacks and dividends, rather then future products. Now, the cupboard is bare

    • Boeing management, decided to suck the lifeblood out of the company in the form of bonuses and stock options. They learned this in MBA school. They should be prosecuted for this an the tragic 737Max catastrophies. But at the end of the day, they’ll probably sell about 4500+ Maxes, and hopefully that will allow a new regime, not this one, to save the company. But they are in trouble…

      • I seems CAPEX, accounting blocks, debt push out, diamond class outlooks and amazing technology & “free” cash flows, history and legends aren’t as blinding as they used to be anymore.

        People see through the perception management. Old school debt, profit and the second best product folio are in the spotlights now.

      • @DoU: BA has $60 debt outstanding as of 9.30.2020
        Its operation is cash draining as of 12.31.2020. And I’m not as optimistic as others that 2021 is the year BA turns the corner.

        Haven’t look at GM, but GM’s business is still generating cash last year.

        Moody’s et al are watching closely if and when downgrade BA’s debt to junk, there isn’t much breathing room. Forget any further debt raises until BA returns to cash generating and able to cover its debt falling due in next two to three years.

          • Don’t forget the $20 bill Boeing has in cash and ‘equivalents’ at the same time. That’s mostly planes built but not delivered.
            Covid has wrecked a lot of large companies balance sheets, some tech businesses are worth more than Boeing but have minicsule cash flow. It’s a crzy system.
            However shortage of money to borrow isn’t a problem no matter the credit rating. Herz was still raising money even after they went bankrupt

          • Rewind 2009 GM bankruptcy:
            May 7, 2009

            “G.M. ended the quarter with $11.6 billion in cash, roughly the level of liquidity it has said it needs to keep operating and paying its bills.”

            GM filed for bankruptcy on 6.1.2009.

      • @DoU

        This is incorrect

        BA can not sell new bonds, nor new shares : recently have floated both ideas, WS says no, demotion to junk bond at which point financial death spiral beings

        Cash flow too negative to support any capex

        BA unlikely to survive without US intervention, predictable only for the Masters of War side, BCA may be a dead baby already

        • No no . $25 billion was snapped up by market last and exceeded their expectations. Some of the debt doesn’t mature till 40 yrs time, hardly a situation for short term cash flow like now ,along with the $20 bill of cash equivalents added to $25 bill new debt, puts Boeing in a position it doesn’t need to be looking over their shoulder for next 5 years.
          {Edited as a violation of Reader Comment rules.}

          • @DoU

            Please moderate your language

            The points stand – BA did the bond market for $25B once – but this is not repeatable

            It is clear that WS would mark their credit down to junk, it is skinny dipping as is

            Negative cash flow prohibits any capex thoughts – as for their assets the prices obtained for these from LUV and O’L are likely very low indeed- asset prices are usually way over exag

            And sold at a loss, as is by all accounts the 787

            When your two main product lines are sold at a loss..with debt of $40B plus, negative cash flow of $5B a quarter, who is going to give you capex of $15

            Plus pension $16B hole in funding

            Figure rather DoD brokered sale of war machine division, and final asset stripping of the rump

  7. https://seekingalpha.com/news/3654460-boeing-q4-2020-earnings-preview

    « Boeing Q4 2020 Earnings Preview

    • Boeing (NYSE:BA) is scheduled to announce Q4 earnings results on Wednesday, January 27th, before market open.

    • The consensus EPS Estimate is -$1.63 (+30.0% Y/Y) and the consensus Revenue Estimate is $15.36B (-14.2% Y/Y).

    • Analysts expect operating margin of -1.6%; and Free cash flow of negative $3.56B.

    • Over the last 2 years, BA has beaten EPS estimates 38% of the time and has beaten revenue estimates 50% of the time.

    • Over the last 3 months, EPS estimates have seen 5 upward revisionsand 8 downward. Revenue estimates have seen 3 upward revisions and 9 downward. »

    • Sounds like one of the 7 Circles of Hell in Dante’s Inferno.
      How could anyone realistically think that the money for a 797 program could somehow be scraped together?
      And seeing as the 787 (and probably also the 737MAX) program will never generate a net profit, what realistic expectation is there that such a 797 could ever recoup the investment?

      • The expectation that the NLT/MOM/NMA could ever recoup its total program cost was considered a folly from 2013 amongst the enlightened Boeing staff, even at highly overestimated market sizes (cited performance for the NMA was also “highly exaggerated” but that’s another matter). Think of it as a project to keep the Product Development organization (BCA PD) humming and generate some headlines for the shareholder to align with the innovative image Boeing commercials tried to project at the time. The joke amongst the product strategy people at Boeing was that NMA actually stood for “Not My Airplane”.

        • But that’s exactly why the MAX came about. Eventually this will dawn on the US government and they will back out of the lunatic tariffs.
          Uncle Sam will not and cannot stand by anymore than the Chinese can.

        • But what this really points out that the Max strategy was not flawed (execution is another matter).

          The strategy was to use cash flow from the Max to fund a NMM aircraft developing a new low cost production system. The NMM may only break even, but the production system would eventually be used on a NSA. That NSA would be type compatible with the NMM could be brought to market with a steep production ramp minimizing any Osbourne effect.

          Imagine the world without the MCAS disaster. In that world this was a rational, even good strategy.

          • Boeing wasted billions in 777x fuselage robot, all part of Black Diamond.

            It doesn’t give me much confidence.

  8. Off-topic, but there is a new & excellent BBC / PBS / Frontline series about the origins of the COVID outbreak.

    First episode (this week) is on the first 54 days before China acknowledged the potential for a pandemic, and the deception/coverup that was involved.

    Second episode (next week) is about the US bungling of their response as the pandemic finally became apparent.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000rqy2

  9. Long ago I started a topic on the A321LR operational weak points:


    1. Range. TATL is being promoted but the 4000NM clean/still air range proved short for the 757 under real conditions. Why would the A321LR do any better?
    2. Longer flights mostly require crew rests for cockpit & cabin crew. Limited options seem available without cutting passenger seat capacity.
    3. Early stage cruise performance: the limited wing area limits early cruise levels, leading to sub optimal fuel consumption
    4. Luggage space. With the 2 ACT’s required for longer flights, available space for luggage / cargo seems low. specially with >200 passengers.
    5. Cruise speed. Mach 0.78 is a kind of low for 4-7 hr flights. hurting utilization. E.g. a 787 is 10% faster.
    6. Cargo: longer flights are dominated by containerized full LD3 / pallets. An A321 can’t take them.
    7. Capacity, with todays sleeper seats & premium economy cabins required for medium flight commonality, capacity seems limited to 150-170 seats, low for 5-7 hr flights.
    8. Limited future growth perspective when buying A321LR’s. No family concept / future growth option.

    Points 1 and 4 seems solved/ limited after the XLR launch. But the others seem still there. So there might still be opportunity for Boeing.

    As A Jones suggests, twin aisle, flat fuselages and all composites kind of concepts killed the business case from day 1. Then, for some reason, Boeing sticked with it, for many years. Surely it stalled product development and surely it helped generate free cash flow / executive bonuses during those years.

    If Boeing goes for a medium aircraft, reference points should be great performance with 180 passengers on 1000 NM flights.

    The 285 seats- 5200NM composite NMA mantra will make heavy, expensive and uncompetitive. I think the XLR’s range and 51t empty weight should be starting points. Airlines want lean, efficient machines, a NB with the costs of a NB.

    I think the new XLR wing, fuel system and 101t MTOW might be starting points for further NEO derivatives. E.g. A322, freighters, A320Plus, MPA. Probably PW will overhaul it’s hot section with higher OPR’s, EGT using CMC for GTF’s mk2.

    • “2 ACT’s required for longer flights”
      Wasnt that the innovation , they used a new method to provide a fuselage fuel tank that had less impact on luggage space?
      ‘He says the aircraft will feature a 12,900 litre rear fuel tank which holds the equivalent of four current additional centre tanks.
      These additional tanks, as featured on the A321LR, each hold 3,121 litres of fuel. Scherer says the rear tank has a weight “equivalent” of a single additional centre tank, and that it takes up the cargo hold space of two.’

      4 tanks fuel volume become the space of 2 and the extra weight of 1.

      Limited future growth ? This is the whole point, its squeezing the lemon till the pips squeak. If you need more clearly its up size to widebody.

      Regarding capacity constraints , have you seen United latest seating on its longer range 767-300ER ?
      99 economy , 22 Premium plus, 46 polaris lie flat
      Thats 167 , which refutes your claim of 150-170 being ‘too low’ even on a bigger 2 aisle plane !!

      • DoU, I think you are mixing LR and XLR. The LR was before the XLR and is basically a beefed up A321NEO. (which has commonality advantages for many operators).

        The XLR doesn’t have a new wing, but an off standrad one with new flaps and supporting structure beefed up for 101t, a beefed up landing gear and further enhancements.

        If you put 46 Polaris seats on a A321, I don’t know how an A321 seat count would end up. An A321 is just way smaller then a 763 and can’t carry close to its cargo, close to a 763ER’s range.

        But.. it ways 39t lighter! That implodes operating and purchasing costs, making it profitable with maybe ~140 seats, also on short flights. (dependent on a string of other variables 😉 ).

        • Same tanks in XL and XLR
          “https://leehamnews.com/2019/06/17/airbus-launches-long-expected-a321xlr-with-alc-order-lessor-also-orders-a220-300/

          The higher gross weight and wing flap changes are for the XLR

          The A321XLR has a maximum take-off weight of 101 metric tons (223,000 lbs). The additional weight required modifications to the A321neo’s landing gear and re-optimized trailing-edge flap configuration to preserve the A321neo’s takeoff performance and thrust requirements.

          The airplane’s advertised range is 4,700nm, some 15% greater than the A321LR. As evidence of the new airplane’s capabilities. Airbus provided sample routes for the XLR like Madrid-Dubai, Shanghai-Sydney, Houston-Santiago, and Dubai-Bali. Scherer said such range would be possible with a two-class configuration with seat count of “around 200.” [A bit generous in their estimates]
          The additional range is offered thanks to a new rear center fuel tank (RCT) on the lower deck. Scherer claimed the XLR’s RCT holds more fuel than four optional Additional Center Tanks (ACTs) while taking the same belly space as two ACTs, which would free up room for baggage and cargo.

          The point is that A321XLR isnt a replacement with the 767, but your claim of the seat count ‘isnt enough’ isnt backed by evidence.
          United has 757-200 with 176 seats inc 16 polaris Flat bed….Let it go

          And yes business travel is ‘slow’ now but planes are bought for 20 years plus service.

          • For how long UAL can continue to fly the route if it drains cash even when economy class is 100% fully occupied??

          • you’ve mixed that up afaics.
            LR gets more MTOW and a 4th ACT.

            XLR gets new improved single slotted flaps. ( away from the double slotted ones of the classic A321)
            gets an integral lightweight tank : weight of 1 space of 2 volume of 3 ACT. There still is an ACT possible in the forward hold.

      • “46 polaris lie flat”

        Business travel won’t return for awhile I heard

      • For max range in the XLR there is one forward auxiliary fuel tank. And yes the integrated new centre fuel tank takes the place of several rear AFT on the LR.

        • I don’t think the XLR has an ACT in the conventional sense. It’s an integrated fuel tank, reducing a lot of weight and structure from ACTs.

          • The XLR has the new RCT only, but it can have an additional ACT forward of the wingbox.

      • “” United latest seating on its longer range 767-300ER ?
        99 economy , 22 Premium plus, 46 polaris lie flat””

        This is a 4-class configuration, introduced before covid.
        Now I guess they wouldn’t introduce a 4-class configuration because of less business pax.
        This heavy business configuration might generate more money and might be the only way to keep the 763 in service. 767 is not fuel efficient.

        The 767 is not a good example because it’s an old plane. Nobody would buy an 170 seat widebody with todays common performance. Boeing couldn’t build the 788 with 95.5t OEW, 248 pax and up to 8000nm which would be very good.

        Keesje’s #7 with 7h flight is not the LR, 7h are 3000nm, not 4000nm.

          • Pedro,

            on the United website the 4-class seat configuration can be seen. The Polaris seats section
            on the 243 seats 787-8 is around 25% of the cabin,
            on the 167 seats 767-300 it’s around 66%.

        • · Air Transat: Out of its base in Montreal, the aircraft has flown to Athens, London, and Copenhagen, among other destinations.
          · Azores Airlines took delivery of its first A321LR in July of 2019 and was operating it on transatlantic routes.
          · SAS: The Scandinavian carrier only recently took delivery of its first A321LR last month. It was initially set to operate a service to Boston.
          · TAP Air Portugal: From Lisbon, the A321LR has flown to Toronto, Washington D.C., and Maceió (Brazil).

    • Cruise speed will be addressed by any new carbon wing/engine combo for the A32x familly. Capacity is a red-herring. If a market is thin, then a lower capacity aircraft is what you want. If the market supports it use a larger aircraft.

      • The Crux is a single aisle is a whole lot cheaper ops than a wide aisle.

        As dissed as the 797 was, it was a good solution if it could have been pulled off.

        In the end Boeing has nothing that will beat the A321. Even an all new unless it is a major game changer (Truss Braced Wing for example) its just a me too. Maybe all new clean is a bit better than an A321 but as we saw with the MAX, you can NEO an old air-frame and in that case equal to a somewhat newer air-frame (not an all new one) .

        Even the A220 is not a huge leap, nice but not huge and its as new as it gets in at least a conventional configuration.

        • The major change will be in production cost and speed, not aircraft speed or performance (unless hydrogen and Truss braced Wing aircraft)

          • Typically bodies cruise at mach 0.78. Wide bodies at 0.85. On short missions this makes no difference. But on a 10 hour flight it is a difference of almost an hour.

            That is coming close to being a selling point for passengers and more importantly on longer missions it means the difference between being able to have one aircraft shuttle back and needing more complex scheduling.

            For example Vancouver – London is about 8.5 hours eastbound and 9.5 westbound for total of 18 hours leaving 6 for turn-around and schedule recovery. If a long range narrow body takes an extra 2 hours in the air the scheduling becomes uncomfortably tight.

            Bottom line, a 5000nm+ narrow body must be able to cruise at those higher mach number otherwise the extra range can’t be utilized.

  10. June 19, 2020
    AFP: Virus already in Italy by December, waste water study finds

    The coronavirus was already present in two large cities in northern Italy in December, over two months before the first case was detected, a national health institute study of waste water has found.

    That suggests the virus appeared in Italy around the same time it was first reported in China.

    Researchers discovered genetic traces of SARS-CoV-2 — as the virus is officially known — in samples of waste water collected in Milan and Turin at the end of last year, and Bologna in January, the ISS institute said in a statement seen by AFP on Friday.

    Nov 15, 2020
    Coronavirus has been circulating in Italy since September last year, researchers say
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/coronavirus-italy-anitbodies-covid-study-b1723243.html

    Coronavirus was present in Italy months before its outbreak is known to have started, according to new research.

    Scientists have found Covid-19 antibodies in blood samples from as early as September last year.

    The findings “may reshape the history of the pandemic”, they said.

    Coronavirus came to Italy almost 6 months before the first official case, new study shows

    https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/11/coronavirus-italy-covid-19-pandemic-europe-date-antibodies-study/

    COVID-19 was circulating in Italy from September 2019, according to a study by the Italian National Cancer Institute.

    Italy’s first official COVID-19 case was detected on February 21st.

    The new study which re-examined samples from a lung cancer screening trial between September 2019 and March 2020, suggests otherwise.

    It showed that of the 959 healthy volunteers enrolled in the trial, 11% had developed coronavirus antibodies well before February.

    A study by the University of Siena also supports this theory.

    Dec 1, 2020
    WSJ: Covid-19 Likely in U.S. in Mid-December 2019, CDC

    Scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found evidence of infection in 106 of 7,389 blood donations collected …

    Dec 9, 2020
    Bloomberg: Covid-19 Was in Italy in Late November 2019, New Report Shows

    The coronavirus was circulating in Italy as soon as the end of November 2019, according to a new report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lending weight to other studies that have suggested an earlier appearance of the disease in Europe.

    Tests showed that a child from the Milan area contracted a severe acute coronavirus respiratory syndrome in early December 2019, about three months before the first Covid-19 cases were identified in the country, the report said. The symptoms were mistaken for a case of measles.

    Analysis was carried out retroactively on samples from patients who subsequently tested negative for measles, including one for a 4-year-old boy, which showed a positive result for Covid, according to the report by researchers at Milan’s Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health.

    The new findings, which confirm other studies, shift the timeline for the beginning of the outbreak to late autumn 2019 from late February, when the first cases on the continent were identified in the northern Italian town of Codogno.

    • @Pedro

      You are right – given the rampant nationalistic bombast on display as to ‘responsibility’ for the breeding of this bug, merely an excuse to draw attention away from their own failings as a nation or a society, we should insist that WHO investigate a potential cover up in Italy, as well of as China, and perhaps a long list of other countries

      Why did Africa Brazil and the UK breed deadly mutants to infect the rest of the world ? These continents/countries must also be investigated, totally isolated and quarantined and pay reparations $100m per life lost for which they are responsible

      • Considering China has put the full clamps on any information, we have no clue how long it was ramping up there.

        They are lying about Western vaccines as well.

        Anything showing up elsewhere is a natural progression of world wide travel.

        Flu nor Covd has ever come out of Europe or the US.

        • @TW

          Exactly: China is lying and guilty as charged – reparations should be demanded by the rest of the world, 2M plus dead at $100m per, bingo all our worries are over, well all our money problems are solved

          Although I am certain that such reparations should also be extracted from those countries which have bred dangerous mutants and sent such into other countries to kill : especially Africa : Africa could pay in gold uranium oil and other mineral products, mines could be confiscated and operated by UN based corporations

          This is indeed biochemical warfare and must be stopped

          • Gerrard, there is no equivalence between the actions of China and the UK or South Africa.

            China played down the significance of the virus and did not acknowledge human-to-human transmission until 54 days after the first diagnosed infection. At that time, they already had many thousands of infections, so had long known the degree of contagion, but did not act truthfully to inform the world.

            Further those actions were a repetition of what they had done in the previous SARS epidemic. Both instances contributed to the viruses becoming established worldwide.

            Further after 15 months, the WHO is still struggling to get access to the origination sites in China, to positively establish the locality and genesis of the virus. That may not even be possible now, if the Chinese have tampered with the evidence.

            In contrast, the UK and South Africa published their results immediately and shared all their information with the world, thus helping others to be prepared. Completely open and transparent. Hugely different from the Chinese response.

            In this I do not blame Chinese scientists or doctors. There is every indication that they tried to get the word out. But the Chinese government opposed and censored them. So that is where the true responsibility lies.

            A travesty is that the WHO policy was to accept the evaluation of the host country, even though many within WHO were skeptical, doubtful and anxious about the Chinese information. Ultimately that touched off the feud between WHO and Trump, who behaved badly but had credible intelligence to the contrary. That contributed to fracturing US support for WHO, but fortunately that has been remedied now.

          • @Rob

            This is not the correct opinion to express

            Of course China is primus inter pares, and extraction of the highest portion of reparations will there be administered

            But the other countries listed failed to exercise responsible preventative protocols and measures – even after these were widely known to be effective and to be practiced as such

            More importantly these ‘rogue’ gvmts permitted, and in some cases ! encouraged ! , travel, including airtravel, on the false grounds that this was ‘safe’ and would not spread the virus

            Many gvmts have behaved responsibly and have closed frontiers banned all travel – the countries listed did not – the result was forseeable and inevitable – many deaths resulting from the mutant strains

            That these countries gvmts allowed mutant strains to develope in the first place was the result of negligence, criminal negligence – this could be defined as a crime against humanity – deliberately to fail to prevent or thereby to allow/condone virus escape into another country is another crime against humanity

            The requisite Jurisdictional Structures, Legislations, as well as Legal and International Procedures are in place, and could rapidly be developed summarily to deal with this situation –

            To prevent further deaths, it is time to operate them, Now

          • @Gerrard Is it too late for Mexicans, Colombians and Peruvians to sue those Spaniards who brought smallpox to the “New World”??

          • @Pedro

            That’s a very good point – thank you for raising this

            ADOS are looking for reparations for events which took place between 180 and what? 400 years ago, the NYT states 1619 – I understand that figures used are in the many $Trillions

            India has signaled it’s intention to demand reparations from the UK for events which commenced in the 1600’s : there are numerous intents to raise the question of deliberate spreading of cholera by the British authorities

            There is no statute of limitations

            I believe eminent legal minds are working on the very matters you mention, and may be drawing up protocols for on behalf of those Caribbean and Latin American countries which suffered such mass biosecurity hazards and indeed genocide

            Be that as it may this pandemic is the perfect time to raise such issues, and put in place or rather substantiate the legal frameworks, both with regard to the current pandemic and with regard to previous
            (Haiti cholera outbreak in 2011 is very contentious)

        • In South Korea and Japan, everyone wear masks. While in America and Europe, countries reopened too soon and many rushed for summer vacation.

          S. Korea 1,378
          Japan 5,298

          U.S. 425k
          U.K. 100k

        • @TW: Smallpox has a higher transmission rate than covid, with a R factor between 3.5 to 6, and also much higher mortality rate.

      • @DoU: How about the report from WSJ avout scientists at CDC found evidence of coronavirus infection in 106 blood donations collected by the American Red Cross between Dec 13 and Jan 17.

        They found antibodies in 39 samples from California, Oregon and Washington state collected between Dec 13 and Dec 16.

        They also found 67 samples with antibodies in Massachusetts, Michigan, Wisconsin or Iowa, and Connecticut or Rhode Island collected between Dec 30 and Jan 17.

        The scientists said they ruled out the possibility that the antibodies they found had developed to fight off other coronavirus … They did that by looking for antibodies specific to the new coronavirus in 90 of the samples.

        They said they found antibodies specific to SARS-CoV-2 in 84 of the samples, or nearly all of them.

        The results add to growing evidence suggesting Covid-19 was present outside China earlier than previously known. Researchers found the virus … in a retrospective analysis of a specimen from a patient who was hospitalized in France on Dec 27, 2019.

        • China has offered that CoVid19 could have been a gift from the US.

          compared to the super efficient medical services in the US China managed short of a miracle in detecting and combating this pandemic.
          What kind of timeline of “nothing to see” morphing into hasty action could be envisioned had the first public infections been noticed in the US?

          • Thank you Uwe for that very relevant final question…you’ve hit the nail right on the head.

          • This is blaming the victim for the wound after the bullet has been fired. There is no doubt that the US and other counties bungled their responses, and bear responsibility for lives lost.

            But for 54 days, the Chines denied there was human-to-human transmission, and reported 200 cases, when there were actually 200,000. To this day, no one believes the Chinese reports of infected or dead. Workers in the hospitals claim they saw far higher numbers, that peaked at 1500 to 2000 deaths per day, which are on the order of what other countries have seen.

            Had any of that been truthfully reported or known, China would have been locked down immediately by the rest of the world, and millions of lives would have been saved. That is the reality. You can repeat the propaganda of the Chinese government as much as you like, it doesn’t change that reality.

          • @ROB
            your “myopicity” is astounding.

            US MoO is to blame someone else for all mishaps.
            Maybe even invent a narrative to make that stick.
            A Rob’s job is to push that narrative .. strongly.:-)

          • The resort to personal attack implies that I am correct, otherwise there would be a rational counter-argument presented.

            Those are the facts. China’s role in allowing the pandemic to become established, is not undone by subsequent botching of the response by other countries. The world will not forget.

          • When a horse swats a fly with his tail, it’s not because the horse considers that the fly “is correct”…it’s because the fly is a persistent nuisance that can’t be reasoned with.

          • @ROB
            it is not an insult but a job description.

            fact is that China had to cope with a brand new virus strain with symptoms emulating some form of heavy pneumonia. After some mis-starts the bureaucracy there seems to have taken the right approach.

            Your narrative (and invention) engulfs this in intentional misdirection by Chinese authorities to the detriment of the US. Premeditated and following a long established path.

            Rob you make me puke. ( and I probably will get axed by the proprietor .. )

          • Uwe, it’s not my invention. Watch the BBC /PBS / Frontline episode I posted. The Chinese absolutely concealed the true nature and extent of the virus, and this was done intentionally by the government. That is a fact.

            The models showed the true extent of the infections were 100 to 1000 times higher. This was substantiated by a sampling of Wuhan residents, which found a 4% rate of infection out of a population of 11 million. That is a fact.

            The deaths are documented by eyewitness testimony, who said that Wuhan hospitals were so swamped, and so short of beds and equipment, that many people were simply turned away, while others died in the hallways. There was nothing the staff could do for them, and there was a shortage of space for the bodies, by February. None of this is documented in official records. You can dispute this if you wish, but those numbers are consistent with what the rest of the world saw, and also consistent with the Chinese government not being truthful.

            Nor is this solely about the US, but about the entire world, who all were deceived, and who all have suffered for it. That is your attempt at deflection, but clearly is not the issue at hand. The next episode of the series is about the US mishandling of the virus, and that will likewise be truthful.

            Your comments here require frequent factual correction, this is just another instance of that. If the corrections make you puke, you might make an effort to be more honest & truthful, and less focused on your personal agenda to denounce all things US.

          • Rob, your comments here require frequent factual correction: there are countless instances of that. Since alternative realities make most people puke, you might make an effort to be more honest & truthful, and less focused on your personal agenda to hopelessly promote all things Boeing.

      • May 5, 2020
        Reuters: France’s early COVID-19 case may hold clues to pandemic’s start

        French researchers led by Yves Cohen, head of resuscitation at the Avicenne and Jean Verdier hospitals, retested samples from 24 patients treated in December and January who had tested negative for flu before COVID-19 developed into a pandemic.

        The results, published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, showed that one patient – a 42-year-old man born in Algeria, who had lived in France for many years and worked as a fishmonger – was infected with COVID-19 “one month before the first reported cases in our country”, they said.

        The World Health Organization said the results were “not surprising”.

        “It’s also possible there are more early cases to be found,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told a U.N. briefing in Geneva. He encouraged other countries to check records for cases in late 2019, saying this would give the world a “new and clearer picture” of the outbreak.

        • Any case after the November 2019 origination in Wuhan may be valid. Cases before that are likely to be false positives, since all the genetic sequencing points to Wuhan in November 2019.

      • Gerrard,

        You are of course being sarcastic about the SA, and UK variants of the virus aren’t you ?

        It’s only because of the exceptional work done by both South Africa, and the UK with regard to sequencing samples of the virus that the new variants were discovered. Most of the heavy lifting in this area has been done by the UK, SA, and Denmark, the rest of the world is sadly very, very far behind.

        A few quotes from Eric Topol:
        The United Kingdom has been a guiding light for the pandemic:
        1. @CovidGenomicsUK sequenced >206,000 #SARSCoV2 genomes, ~50% of all
        2. The large #RECOVERY trials provided pivotal data for dexamethasone, HCQ, convalescent plasma, more
        3. @ICNARC is an exemplary national dashboard

        For the avoidance of doubt, the UK, Brazil, and Africa didn’t “breed deadly mutants”, they have been labelled as such because these variants were discovered by the respective governments.

        It’s quite possible that a) the ‘UK’ variant mutated in a country other than the UK, and was ‘imported’, and b) There are a number of similar variants in other countries that have yet to be discovered due to the lack of sequencing in those countries.

        UK to support rest of the world to find COVID-19 virus variants
        https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-to-support-rest-of-the-world-to-find-covid-19-virus-variants

        The UK gets a number of things wrong, but I have to give them credit where they get things right.

        In countries with greater than 10 million population, the UK currently leads in first dose vaccinations. In all ranked third behind Israel, and the UAE.

        • @JakDak

          Yes I was being sarcastic, I’m glad someone noticed : why stop at war on china

          Reparations is only too fashionable, the level of vindictive contempt for savage animal eating savages and so on directed at the supposed originators of this particular virus is ridiculous and if I did not despise the epithet I’d say are expressions of mutant racism

          The increasing frequency and dangers of zoonotic crossover is a global problem, intimately linked not with so called ‘illegal’ eating habits but with expansion of ind ag both in both home countries – providing a corrupted diet of low nutritional value combined with high health hazard- as well as the export indeed imposition of such in other countries

          In this country there is still a balance between human and animal living ; but this balance is fragile and is now easily upset, ebola outbreaks are increasing in number and scale and sooner rather than later there will an eruption as per 2014/2016 or many times greater yet

          Ease and frequency of travel certainly is a contributing factor – yet refusal to treat the causes, refusal to accept responsibility, and delight in finger pointing and xenophobia, combined with foolish symptom treating in the midst of levels of administrative incompetence only causing worse desperation and further deaths, seldom containing the virus while precipitating mutations.. well there’s a great deal to be sarcastic about

          The very worst is that the subject is not only unavoidable but that everyone avoids discussion of the root and branch, as if mere pretext to add to their ‘like list’ on Facebook

          PS the reparations business is a growth industry : those examples I gave are genuine, I did not list all, Australia is in terminal we stole it convulsions right now perhaps unaware that they may be taken at their word with 99,9% of the pop deported back to wherever they came from

          • Gerrard,

            The entire world needs to work together against COVID. A simple example, if the developed world decides to hoard vaccine doses to vaccinate only their populations, we have a big problem, virus mutation over time in the un-vaccinated world.

            Unless a country isolates itself entirely form the rest of the world, a ‘developed world country’ first approach will not work.

            Essentially it’s World War 3, but we need to have the entire world on one side against the virus on the other side. Sadly for a number of countries, and politicians they don’t appear to have made the connection yet.

            If we want to get air travel back to 2019 levels, the entire world needs to be on the same page.

            There will be plenty of time for a full understanding, and associated blame in the future, what’s needed right now is a practical way to death with the very real, and immediate threat.

            I too think ‘the reparations business is a growth industry’ sadly.

            Bryce, the problem with B.1.1.7 was that once you identify a new variant, you have to wait for data to see what effect it has on the pandemic. This may be one area that will see significant research in years to come, can you model the effects of a mutation in a virus effectively using a computer model ? I suspect that at the moment the answer to that is no, that’s not currently possible. But we certainly should be looking at how that might be possible in the future.

            Again the point is that the variant was only discovered because the UK had chosen to set up a dedicated entity to sequence a large proportion of the virus samples that were gathered. (Only possible because they somehow managed to massively increase the number of PCR tests processed, in March the UK capacity was really awful… testing peak reached so far was 695,000 in one day, mid January compared to around 30,000 a day last April).

            As you say, the data regarding morbidity/mortality of B.1.1.7 is still incomplete as data is required to make sense of the mutation.

            I’m pleased to see that the UK Govt. is to help countries around the world sequence samples of the virus from their territories. This has to be in the interests of the entire world. The first step is to know that you have different variants, the next step will be to accurately predict or explain what effect the variant will have on morbidity/mortality/transmissibility.

            Yes the UK has a small head start over other countries, sadly the EU has lagged significantly behind, I hope that the issues preventing vaccination ramp up in the EU is rapidly solved.

            I’m hoping to see well over 400,000 first vaccinations in the UK today, I hope I am not disappointed.

            We’re going to have to wait for the data on the 12 week shot interval, I’m still hopeful that the Govt. will vaccinate various groups with their 2nd shot at differing intervals within, and up to the 12 weeks as the data from such a strategy will be invaluable for both this pandemic, and future pandemics.

          • @JakDak

            “the problem with B.1.1.7 was that once you identify a new variant, you have to wait for data to see what effect it has on the pandemic.”

            I don’t agree. This was the first variant discovered (at that time) with so many concurrent mutations, including several worrying mutations on the protein spike. It was so exotic that it prompted a rapid study (by Imperial College London et al.) to see how the hell it could have arisen. Without knowing the future implications (if any), the UK could easily have informed the WHO of the find.

            So, if China is to be blamed for withheld information and late action, then the same brush can be used to tar the UK.

          • @JakDak

            There have been previous threads in which Bryce has taken the lead in stating much of what I understand your point above to be

            The problem (virus) is global, and will only reach resolution in a global equilibrium of parallel infection rates, and what appears as most likely, a common generalised resistance to a virus which has adopted strategic mutations towards the provocation of a very much meeker and milder reaction/disease, as per previous coronas

            I understand this to be an understated general opinion in WHO like circles, understated because politically out of of step with the March to Victory War on Virus consensus which has been thought essential to discipline the masses into acceptance of otherwise repulsive military style curfews lockdowns and ‘States of Urgency/Emergency’

            Hence a certain amount of sarcasm directed at fortress countries, JJ from Qantas and so on

            In any case one would prefer to recommend a program of reformation as to the conditions of production of the zoonotic virus rather than inquisitions to determine reparations : the latter is expensive and damaging Victory Parades which maintain military style cohesion and provide for pandemic theatre acts two and three at the expense of reformation of health

            Otherwise the world is merely doing a Boeing, a last minute panicky software fix when is required a clean sheet design and re launch of the industrial base and manufacture before required capex expires

        • @ JakDak
          Whether or not Gerrard was deliberately being sarcastic, his point is very valid. The new UK variant was already on the radar in September, but the UK government only alarmed the world to its existence in December — and then only because they were seeking an explanation for the anomalous epidemiological situation in Kent. That’s a three-month delay. If one chooses to point a finger at the Chinese for the various delays that arose there at the start of the pandemic, then one can just as equally point a finger at the Brits…after all, we must strive to avoid double standards.

          I will certainly give the UK government credit for rapidly releasing data last week regarding the increased morbidity/mortality associated with the UK variant: that was a responsible thing to do, even if the current data isn’t complete.

          I also give full credit to the UK government for introducing mandatory hotel quarantine for passengers arriving from SA and Brazil, so as to prevent “vaccine-busting” variants from entering the UK (as Boris colorfully described them). The BBC was one of the few news channels that accurately reported Monday’s news regarding the modified Moderna vaccine: they correctly reported that antibody titers for the SA variant were 6 times lower than for conventional variants, thus creating the need for a modified vaccine. Moreover, the SA variant totally escapes therapy using monoclonal antibody medicaments — which is a serious blow to the treatment of immunocompromised patients.

          As regards vaccination: the Brits had a head start over many countries, which helps explain the high vaccination numbers. On the downside, extending the interval between shots to 12 weeks is — in the opinion of many experts — pure cowboyism.

          • In fairness over the remark about UK detection of the new variant, the September origin was determined by back-tracing the extensive catalog of sampling accumulated by the UK, as mentioned by JakDak. That tracing became possible after the variant had been analyzed.

            Awareness of the variant occurred in late November, by analyzing the existing database of genetic sequencing to understand the mutations that enhanced transmissivity. That was complete in mid-December and the alarm was raised shortly after.

            This detection and analysis was quite rapid, as JakDak truthfully pointed out. UK did not sit on the information, as I truthfully pointed out.

            Again, no equivalence with China.

          • @Bryce

            Exactly right – while sarcasm may be an issue it is difficult to improve on the laughable reality of the widespread administrative failures

            I understand that the border checks and testing between UK and US as most countries was very slight until very recently

            Testing usually with PCR guaranteed inefficiency

            Like JJ and O’L, an ignorant belief that jab and go is/will be a ‘solution’, although it’s widely thought that O’L does these kinds of PR stunts to make sure he keeps his status as Aviation’s Most Wanted

            JJ is merely a mouthpiece for the Aus Gvmt, merely a mouthpiece for the US – as their miserably backfired campaign against China proved

            Remember all those campaigns to ‘prove’ that flying was ‘safe’?

    • The problem with these studies is that they identify mutations in the coronavirus that are similar to SARS-CoV-2. There are many such mutations, as we know the coronavirus is continually evolving. But the similar mutations did not, and do not, result in the COVID pandemic illness.

      The COVID illness-producing strains that we know now, are highly contagious and therefore could not have been circulating in the earlier periods, as they would have quickly produced pandemic conditions. That did not happen, in any of the localities or timeframes that are proposed.

      Further the circulating COVID strains that were first sequenced in February 2020, were all similar enough that researchers were able to identify a single originating “parent” strain, from which all others evolved. That strain emerged in November – December 2019. This finding has been established and confirmed by geneticists around the world, and is beyond dispute.

      The physical case outbreak that corresponds to that timing is Wuhan, China. There is no other candidate. So that was unquestionably the source.

      Richard Neher from NextStrain.org in February 2020:

      “The first takeaway is that all these sequences are very, very similar, about eight mutations different than the root. That’s eight mutations in a 30,000-base sequence. What this tells us is that the virus came from one source, not too long ago, somewhere between mid-November and early December.”

      “Our research does not suggest that the virus was here that early,” says Lisa Kim of Stanford’s media relations team. Neither does anyone else’s, it appears. “There is zero probability [SARS-CoV-2] was circulating in fall 2019,” tweeted Trevor Bedford, a computational biologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center who has been tracking SARS-CoV-2’s genetic code as it has spread. Allison Black, a genomic epidemiologist working in Bedford’s lab, says this is apparent from researchers’ data.

      “If it had arrived in fall of 2019, and we were all living our lives as normal, we would’ve had the pandemic back in fall of 2019,” she says. There’s no reason why this virus would have spread undetected for months before wreaking the havoc it has.”

      This is basically common sense as well. Scientists publish their work and the media interprets it, not always correctly or rationally.

    • Sloppy science gave these results-likely to be false positives due to they type of anti bodies they are looking at , NOT corona virus itself.
      “a group of researchers analyzed blood samples from people in Italy who were enrolled in a prospective lung cancer screening trial between September 2019 and March 2020. They looked for antibodies specific to the receptor binding domain (RBD) — the dock on the coronavirus’ spike protein that it uses to latch onto and invade human cells. ”

      “…Dr. George Rutherford, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, who was also not a part of the study. The results “have to be confirmed with different antibody tests,” that look for the prevalence of antibodies that target other parts of the coronavirus.

      His previous experience has shown that such antibody tests for the coronavirus’ RBD can create a lot of false positives, Rutherford told Live Science. And because this is “such an unexpected finding,” it should be confirmed with other antibody tests such as those that look for antibodies against another one of the coronavirus’ proteins, an outer coat called a “nucleocapsid,” which is also unique to the novel coronavirus, he said. ”
      https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-circulating-italy-earlier-thought.html

  11. The advantages for Airbus do not even include the fact that the Airbus family has full FBW and alpha protection as well as a the same type rating for classic and NEO. Now any 737 Classic operator will need to invest millions in aircrew training. So if you are going to have to introduce a new type Why not the incredibly verastile A321LR and XLR? The biggest break Boeing got is Covid. Because of Covid Airbus has not been able to press its product advantage against Boeing and the A322 will probably not be launched to deliver the killer blow. On the other hand the A220 upgauge may be brought forward as small plane demand is projected to decline.

    • There is a massive amount of difference in changing types than just cockpits.

      No question Airbus is superior but operators will not just dump one mfg for another over a cockpit and 737 still has a lot of legacy cockpit transference.

      Alaska Airlines just went all in on the MAX and they had a significant view of the A320 and a footstep well up in that direction with A320 options if they wanted to switch.

      Alaska dumped the MDs years back when they figured out it was not the way forward so its not like they would not or did not consider it.

      No, its going to settle in at 60-65% Airbus Single Aisles and Boeing will cling on with their sad offering in the MAX. A lot like RR and the Trent 1000/Ten.

      Boeing mistake was not making the 737NG the last of the line. Once Airbus did the A320NEO it was far too late.

      • May be we can look back ten twenty years later and see if AS has made a strategic blunder, just like BA.

        • BA’s 737 cockpit traced back to 707 of 1950s era.

          AS would pay its due whenever BA (or as soon as AB forces its hands) go ahead for a clean sheet design. Seems no better than BA’s typical WS appleasing effort by kicking the can down the road.

  12. Boeing – seen from Paris

    High praise for the Pierson report, widely reported in the Press

    https://www.capital.fr/entreprises-marches/boeing-737-max-un-nouveau-rapport-vient-relancer-le-debat-1391852

    https://www.lepoint.fr/monde/nouvelle-polemique-sur-la-remise-en-vol-du-boeing-737-max-25-01-2021

    Le Monde reports on widespread EU doubts as to Max re cert, and despite quoting Ky’s belief the plane is safe claim that the general attitude towards re cert is one of ‘wait and see’

    https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/article/2021/01/26/la-reprise-de-l-exploitation-du-boeing-737-max-en-europe-suscite-des-inquietudes_6067634_3234.html

    Ky called before the European Parlaiment to justify his re cert

    https://www.air-journal.fr/2021-01-25-boeing-737-max-leasa-devant-le-parlement-europeen
    https://www.ladepeche.fr/2021/01/24/boeing-737-max-et-si-leurope-lautorisait-de-nouveau-a-voler-apres-ses-deux-crashs-9331276.php

    « Le directeur de l’Agence européenne de la sécurité aérienne (AESA) Patrick Ky doit être auditionné, ce lundi, par la commission Transport et Tourisme du Parlement européen. “Nous voulons avoir la certitude que cet avion revolera en toute sécurité”, explique au Parisien la présidente de la Commission, l’élue EELV Karima Delli. »

    « The Director of AESA Patrick Ky is to be questionned Monday by the Transport and Tourism Committe of the Européan Parliament : Karime Delli from the ‘Green’ party, President of the Committee, explained ‘We wish to be certain that this plane is safe to fly’ »

    • C’est bon!
      After all, Europe doesn’t want patched-up, archaic junk flying around its skies, does it? I love that description by Captain Sullenberger that the MAX “is not up to modern standards”.
      When the EP or EC sinks its teeth into something, it usually is quite thorough — hopefully Mr. Ky is feeling the heat. Rubber stamping is no longer acceptable.
      I wonder if Mr. Ky can indicate if/when EASA inspectors went to the US to conduct a thorough review of the manufacturing/quality shortcomings discussed in the Pierson report? Eh…
      Re-certs can be delayed — after all, it happened time and time again in the US.
      Meanwhile, the MAX is still sitting on the ground in China.

      • Just in: Ky has re-certified the MAX, effectively snubbing the EP.
        He’ll get his ass fried for that.

        • @Bryce

          I think the EU Parliament is trying to bulk up, often claimed as toothless…

          Especially as per the Green agenda?

          I seem to notice more buzz around Airbus green initiatives than around BA? or am I mistaken

          • @ Gerrard
            It seems that there are some areas into which the EP likes to sink its teeth, and other areas that it leaves in relative peace.
            Examples of the former: environment, regulation of big tech.

            The European Commission is consistently active across a much broader spectrum.

      • >“the MAX is not up to modern standards”

        The Max meets current big “S” Standards is safe to operate and will be certified.

        However it is fair to say it is not up to modern small “s” standards. Especially in the areas of control systems, pilot workload management, error reporting systems and others centering on man/machine interface (also makes you wonder if the current “Standards” need an update).

        Boeing admits as much, both implicitly, they have not been putting 737 like systems into new designs for a long time. And explicitly like when David Calhoun said at the time of the NMM cancelation that they would be looking closely at cockpit design. In fact it sounded like he was saying they wanted to become a leader in the amount of automation in cockpits. If true that is a sea-change in Boeing philosophy on cockpits.

        • “also makes you wonder if the current “Standards” need an update”

          Excellent point — absolutely agree.
          I wonder do European railroad authorities still have rule books for certifying rail operators who want to use steam locomotives on public networks? Or have they now assumed that the book is closed on that era?

          It’s like Telex and Telegram…dinosaurs from a bygone era.

          Time for the EP and EC to examine this issue in the EU.

          • IMU steam engines can be run on regular main tracks.
            DB does not like it and requires gobs of paper shuffling. it is thus rare.
            The historic railway people in the region used to offer full circle day outings from Flensburg going with a steam passenger ship over the baltic halfway and returning by steam train to Flensburg.
            Historic steam tends to run on private tracks here in general.
            ( and we never had stokers on diesel engines like in the UK 🙂

  13. This hearing took place on Monday. Patrick Ky testified that the MAX was safe and had been thoroughly reviewed, it has met all the conditions EASA had established for it.

    https://www.aerotime.aero/27051-boeing-737-max-meets-easa-conditions

    There were 38 comments submitted on the EASA AD, including whistleblower submissions, and including Pierson’s previously released remarks. Those were released publicly again on Monday to coincide with the hearing. Ky was asked if EASA had considered them, and replied that they had, along with the other comments.

    Ky said all the comments had been reviewed and no new technical issues were found. So that confirms the FAA analysis of the same remarks.

    He was asked to submit his answers to a list of committee questions in writing. But the recertification is still scheduled for Friday.

    • My undestanding is that EASA introduced post recert “delayed and spread” changes to the MAX.

      Will Boeing comply or try to wave those away like they did with other “promises” ?
      ( IMU EASA had requested actions pertaining the initial MAX cert which were “forgotten”. )

      • Boeing has one year to improve some systems, right.
        Are they able to do that, I doubt that.
        The MAX story isn’t over yet, but EASA is weak and FAA even more.

  14. News from Paris

    737 Max re cert

    https://www.boursorama.com/bourse/actualites/le-boeing-737-max-de-nouveau-autorise-a-voler-en-europe-607559a0012e3654067c089fbd65de46

    Airbus

    AB announces Helos net orders of 268 for 2020, claims 48% market share

    https://www.capital.fr/entreprises-marches/airbus-helicopters-a-enregistre-268-commandes-nettes-en-2020-1391885

    The Prosecutor General’s Office has submitted a request to Appeal Court for a retrail of Airbus and AF in the matter of AF447, after the case was dismissed in Oct 2019

    • Hows the H225/Super Puma doing- took 3 years to find the ‘root cause of the Norway crash.
      Hows the military Tiger helicopter doing?

      • Unfortunately Euros can’t “escape” on pilot error 🙂
        so they had to really search for the cause.
        Same for AF447. Boeing in Airbus place would have sat on its haunches : pilot error basta!
        In general Boeing appears to be disinterested in reals causes of their products crashing.

        • This statement belied by numerous Boeing contributions to crash investigations, which are well documented.

          • Sure,
            proving pilot error if it didn’t come up properly in the investigation.
            Very limited visibility of Boeing in the MH370 disappearance.
            Apparently “push” to “recause” the Polderbaan crash. …
            should I continue?

  15. Why did Sully say that the Max is not up to modern standard? Quite simply if Sully had been flying a Max on that fateful day, it would have been “Tragedy on the Hudson” . Alpha protection saved him and everyone at a time of intense workload. .

    • Well, no, two incidents of engine loss in 737, both emergency landings successful. One on a levee and one in a river.

      No basis for this statement whatsoever.

  16. There is a difference in passenger comfort between the B737MAX and the A320NEO – the Airbus cabin is 7″ wider than the Boeing product. On a 7-8 hour flight the 1″ narrower seat of the Boeing becomes noticeably tight and the aisle congestion in the 737’s J class cabin during dinner service is definitely a negative.

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