Finally, Boeing moves in the right direction

By Scott Hamilton

Feb. 3, 2021, © Leeham News: At long last, Boeing seems to be moving in the right direction on its next new airplane.

Aviation Week reported this week Boeing appears to be developing a third member of the New Midmarket Airplane (NMA), dubbed the NMA-5X. The NMA-5X is sized directly across from the Airbus A321neo family. It’s the third member of the NMA family that was missing throughout Boeing’s struggles to form a business model for the NMA.

A three-member NMA Lite family is needed for Boeing. Clockwise, they are the NMA-5, the NMA-6 and the NMA-7. Source: Leeham News.

The current concept is also what Boeing wanted to do in 2011 when Airbus forced its hand with the huge American Airlines order for the A319/321ceo/neo. Boeing launched the 737 MAX instead.

“NMA Lite”

In August, LNA suggested an “NMA Lite” is Boeing’s next opportunity. In June, LNA wrote, “A new airplane is needed to replace the 737-9/10, which is outsold by the A321neo by an embarrassing three or four to one margin, depending on the measuring point. There is the Middle of the Market gap above the 737-9/10 that still needs filling. So, a new airplane family from 189 seats (the 737-9) to 250 seats (767-300ER) and a 4,000a-4,500nm range is needed. In other words, an ‘NMA Lite.’”

Boeing’s NMA-Middle of the Market concept was complementary to the Airbus A321neo family, rather than competitive. Source: Leeham News.

In Boeing’s NMA concept, the NMA-6 and NMA-7 were above the A321, not competitive with it. The nominal configurations were 225, 270 and 200 seats respectively.

The three-member NMA family directly takes on the A321neo and fills the gap above. There remains some overlap with the 787-8. The -8’s range of 7,300nm far exceeds the NMA-7. But an LNA analysis several years ago concluded there were only 35% of the -8 routes that were more than 5,000nm. The lighter NMA-7 is more economical than the heavier -8.


266 Comments on “Finally, Boeing moves in the right direction

      • Assuming thats the only market for the 200-240 seater aircraft market. there is more need for these kinds of jets. Boeing is trying to get that aircraft exactly right. Its not just to replace 757s. The mid market aircraft will grow SIGNIFICANTLY, think APAC as well. Transatlantic from secondary european cities to secondary american cities. This is market fragmentation we are seeing.

        Which is why large jets like the 777X and a350-1000 will become less relevant.

        • > Assuming thats the only market for the 200-240 seater aircraft market. there is more need for these kinds of jets. Boeing is trying to get that aircraft exactly right.

          Is *that* what they’ve been doing? Many of us have been wondering.. maybe they’ll commission yet another
          clean-sheet study™. No rush

          Meanwhile, Airbus says their A321XLR will
          enter passenger service in 2023.

          • Well, clearly seeing as they’ve come with another variant. The 6X and 7X are not currently the sweet spot.

            The 5X would probably be the proper mid-market long haul aircraft. It would probably outdo the 321XLR on the top end of the range category on economics.

            It will also be slightly larger than the 321XLR and probably be slightly light

            I am also not sure how new certification will affect the XLR. I think airbus said EIS is actually 2024 not 23

            There’s space in the market for two of them, i think it should come in slightly bigger.

            At the end of the day the 350 came about 3-4 years after the dream-liner. and that is still a success in its own right

          • BA definitely have to take their time. AB already has its foot in the door: UAL placed a firm order of 50 A321XLR, becoming the fourth U.S. carrier to commit to the jet. UAL is said to line up its order of A350-900 to replace its 777-200ERs. BA can’t do anything big until it stops draining cash. By the time the clean-sheet arrives around 2029-2030, won’t it miss the next generation engine tech?

          • Last time they copied the A330.
            Why shouldn’t they copy the A321 too?
            Again promise lots of unachievable or borrowed from elsewhere but renamed features.
            Bit of smoke and mirrors: announce a humongous gain in efficiencies from that “innovative” bouquet of features that in later reality doesn’t really go much beyond what the improved engines provide.

            Only issue here and now is: where does Boeing get engines that provide a step change in efficiencies of the GTF version used on next decade A321?

          • “UAL is said to line up its order of A350-900 to replace its 777-200ERs”
            United , which inherited the order from Continental, has pushed out the A350 to well into the future with the 787-10 more suited to its 777-200 routes

          • 787-10 doesn’t have the same capabilities as the 777-200 or 777-200ER. I thought most here would know.

            Apparently United knows better and believes business would be back.

            FG: United refrains from retiring aircraft, stands ready to expand long-haul travel

          • Since this is United we are talking about , they have 318 seats in the 787-10
            The 200ER with United varies in seats from say 276 to about 300 plus.
            Seems the ’10’ is quite capable of replacing the 777-200ER on a lot of United routes, they have the longer ranged 787 for some thin routes

            The extremes of certain models range and packed to the windows with seats arent often good indicators of how specific airlines use them for their lucrative routes

          • “”318 seats in the 787-10″”

            For comparisons, 318 seats on the 787-10 would be 6400nm range, just 100kg per pax, no other payload.
            The A330-900 can do 6400nm with 324 pax and less fuel.
            How expensive is the 787-10 to purchase? Maybe a reason why United ordered only 21.

            A350-900 will replace United’s 777-200ER, they ordered 45.

          • Oh, I see now, recently United cancelled 7 B787-10, they have only one undelivered left and that could be one that Boeing couldn’t deliver. United didn’t cancel A350-900.
            This makes sense because of the drama.

  1. It is about time but before getting excited we need to see concrete stuff as there is not much trust left in the current Boeing management.

    That looks more like a way to distract the market from the current failures.

    • > It is about time but before getting excited we need to see concrete stuff

      Yea, verily.

      “In five or seven or ten years we promise to maybe have a potentially-competitive airplane!..”

      We’ll see-

      • Yea my view exactly.

        On the other hand they need something to keep the Program Accounting scam going so who knows?

          • > Amazing how TW keeps babbling on, sometimes incoherent.

            Sometimes presciently, too; which is why I always read/ try to decipher his comments.

      • If the article is correct its a twin aisle so that does change things if it actually is something more than Vapor Ware

        Definitely that would be different and a contrast to current single aisle.

        • > If the article is correct its a twin aisle so that does change things if it actually is something more than Vapor Ware

          That latter bit is really the question, isn’t it?

          As I see it, BA needs something substantively better than an A321; and Airbus says its -XLR variant will be *in service* in 2023.

          Is BA’s “NMA Family™” something more than talk?

          “Well, Dude, we just don’t know!”

          • Yep, believe it when they put some real money to it or program launch.

            Hopefully before I depart the Mortal Coil!

          • Just an unscientific ( sort of ) SWAG re two isle ‘ wide body ”

            Carbon fiber body sections can reasonably be made non-round. With the widest part being at or near isle/seat level. Such body cross sections when compared to mostly round or somewhat vertical partial ellipses ** probably ** gain a bit of lift along with a certain amount of area ruling effects.

            Such a cross section ** may ** make a reasonable efficiency trade compared to a ‘ single isle’ narrow body of conventional design.

            I would guess such an analysis has been made. Consider the excellent lift/drag ratio of the B2 and the partly elliptical body section.

            And Boeing did layup and build a significant part of the B2 ‘ body’

          • Bubba2 – Re: “Such a cross section ** may ** make a reasonable efficiency trade compared to a ‘ single isle’ narrow body of conventional design. I would guess such an analysis has been made.”

            See the discussion below in part of the free introduction to Bjorn Fehrm’s 3-8-2015 Leeham paywall article: “Redefining the 757 replacement: Requirement for the 225/5000 Sector, Part 4.

            “08 March 2015, c. Leeham Co: In the third part of the article series around the need for a more capable solution for 180-240 seats and 5,000 nautical miles, we compared different clean sheet single and dual aisle aircraft to the Airbus A321LR and Boeing’s 787-8, the two aircraft that form the border to the segment.
            We could see that a single aisle aircraft started to have trouble with weight at around 220 passengers using our normalized seating rule set. This would with normal OEM seating rules be around 230-240 passengers. At the same time the dual aisle aircraft becomes stronger the more seats one assumes. The reason is their thicker fuselage, Figure 1, lends itself better to aircraft which passes 50 meters/160 feet in length.”


          • A far as I know area rule only affects mach and over.

            The main affects for a passengers jet are the frontal area and induced drag.

            Long thin wings have a significant affect there.

            Twin aisle frontal drag has been a trade of on bigger jets vs single aisle as well as cost to build.

            Think F-35 with a fuselage that was designed for a fan and hosed up the rest of the drag reductions as the main tools to assist were missing.

            Its not that they run Mach + much, its the affect on SFC and acceleration.

            Neither one is a factor in a commercial jet.

          • “”The 5X would probably be slightly larger than the 321XLR””
            200 seats is not larger.

            “”If the article is correct its a twin aisle””
            Must be the left plane on the first photo. Is this LNA made or from Boeing?
            A 200 seat twin aisle don’t seem be competitive, but at least it’s something new.

            “”Carbon fiber body sections can reasonably be made non-round.””
            Sounds expensive. Who will pay that?

            Now I only need a number to estimate the seat width.
            Could it be Boeingitis?

          • Can a twin aisle match or exceed the A321XLR’s purchase price, operating cost i.e. fuel burn, etc? Is there any technological break thru???

            So many questions.

          • Re: “The main affects for a passengers jet are the frontal area and induced drag.” in TransWorld’s post above.

            This is not true. For a subsonic jet airliner in cruise the dominant component of the non induced drag is skin friction drag (about 75%) which depends mainly on the wetted surface area of the aircraft which depends on height, width AND LENGTH. A fuselage with a 10 foot circular cross section and a length of 100 feet will have approximately twice the wetted surface area and twice the skin friction drag of a fuselage with the same 10 foot circular cross section but one-half the length, i.e; a length of 50 feet. This is one reason why 180 seat airliners with 90 rows of 2 seats across are not more efficient than 180 seat airliners with 30 rows of 6 seats across. The airliner with 90 rows of 2 seats across would have smaller frontal area, but it would have a longer LENGTH, and skin friction drag depends on height, width, AND LENGTH. This is also why there are no 300 seat aircraft with 50 rows of 6 seats of across, fewer rows of more seats across gives higher frontal area but shorter length and less wetted surface area and skin friction drag for a 300 seat aircraft. Somewhere between 180 and 300 seats, 6 seats across becomes less efficient than 7 or 8 seats across. More skin area per passenger seat also means more weight per passenger seat if one is not using weightless material for the surface skin. Transonic drag which can be reduced by area ruling, would be only about 5% of the non-induced drag.

            For those who won’t believe me but will believe Bjorn Fehrm, see the excerpt below from his 3-9-18 post : “Bjorn’s Corner: Aircraft drag reduction, Part 20”.

            “In level flight at FL370, our cruise drag, at our cruise speed of M0.78 and average mission weight, is 7,900lbf. This means our engines need to produce 3,950lbf each to keep a constant Mach of 0.78.

            The 7,900lbf of drag is composed of 4,700lbf of Parasitic drag or drag independent of lift and 3,200lbf of Induced drag or drag caused by lift.

            The Parasitic drag has Air friction drag as the dominant part but also contains drags we’ve discussed like Form drag, Transonic or Compressibility drag and Interference drag.

            Form drag would be around 7% of Parasitic drag, mainly coming from airflow which is disturbed by air-conditioning inlets and outlets and airflow separations caused by the upsweep and contraction of the tail of the aircraft. Separations are also caused by gaps around ailerons/rudders/flaps and the end of flap fairings and engine pylons/nacelles.

            The Transonic drag, stemming from the supersonic areas of the wing, would be around 5%.

            Finally, Interference drag, mainly formed around the engines, would be around 3%.

            This means 75% of our Parasitic drag is made up of air friction drag against the aircraft’s wetted surface.

            There are other drag factors, but these are the main ones and the ones we have discussed. The important ones are Air friction drag and Induced drag. These represent 85% of total drag of an aircraft.

            This is why aircraft designers try to minimize the total surface of the aircraft at the same time as they try to make the wingspan as wide as possible.”


          • Re: ““”If the article is correct its a twin aisle””
            Must be the left plane on the first photo. Is this LNA made or from Boeing?” in Leon’s post above.

            I assumed that the article being referred to was the Aviation Week article that Mr. Hamilton gives a link to in the second sentence of his post. This article does indicated that the NMA-5X under study is a twin aisle aircraft based on the design work that was done for the NMA-6X and NMA-7X.

          • “”For a subsonic jet airliner in cruise the dominant component of the non induced drag is skin friction drag (about 75%)””

            Another reason why the A319 (144 seats, 24 rows) is so efficient vs the A220-300 (145 seats, 29 rows).

            So a twin aisle should not be bad. A step further would be 8-abreast seating. A very short A330.
            6-abreast 198 seats = 33 rows
            7-abreast 203 seats = 29 rows
            8-abreast 200 seats = 25 rows

            Shorter fuselage would also help LH2 tanks in the back. The moment is smaller.

            Boeing with 8-abreast 240 seats 30 rows against A322 240 seats 40 rows. This could get interesting.

          • AP:

            As far as I remember and can see, Induced Drag is the same as what you call skin friction drag.

            Parasite is the direct frontal of the nose, wings, tail feathers and engine

          • The key here for me is twin aisle. Flying any more than 5 hours on a single aisle aircraft is torture. Not only do the passengers need that little but of extra room, the crew need it to operate and relax in. I’ve worked on both A320s and 737s and it’s straight up painful.

          • “”The key here for me is twin aisle.””

            You could use A320family and 737 in 5-abreast, with wider seats and a wider aisle and still have better ecos than twin aisles, but no airline would do that.
            Southwest could use whitetail MAX-8 in 5-abreast and have something special instead of MAX-7.
            On single aisle the crew could rest in the cargo bay.

          • Interesting I remember an analysis from icct in 2018 shows that B757-300 has better fuel efficiency (pax km/L fuel) (about as good as B777-300ER) than B767-300ER/400ER, B777-200ER or B757-200.

          • According to the LNA Mar 08, 2015 article quoted above, I would highlight the following:

            “Their advantages in boarding and deplaning then starts to outweigh their disadvantages in weight and drag.”

            which follows immediately after: “The reason is their thicker fuselage, Figure 1, lends itself better to aircraft which passes 50 meters/160 feet in length.”

            So it seems to me Bjorn concludes that twin aisle’s adv over single aisle is more about ease of boarding/deplaning, rather than lower drag as posited by another poster.

          • “”twin aisle’s adv over single aisle is more about ease of boarding/deplaning””

            If boarding and deplaning is the biggest problem, just use a double bridge to first and last doors, this shouldn’t be expensive.

            Also even the biggest 777-300 and 777-9 have only 1.07m wide first and last doors for two aisles, while single aisle A320family have 0.81m wide doors. Walking through a 0.81m wide door is much easier, two pax with baggage can’t walk through a 1.07m wide door at the same time.

            Airbus is suggesting 0.48m and 0.64m wide aisles for the A320family. I wonder which aisle width airlines are mostly using since many airlines don’t care much about narrow seats.
            But for sure Boeing planes mostly can have only narrow aisles.

          • For the A321neo Airbus shows a Turn Round Time of 51 minutes.
            10 minutes for deplaning at door 1L.
            18 minutes available for cleaning, catering and this seems to be the time for refueling too.
            17 minutes boarding at 1L.
            If boarding and deplaning is a problem just use more manpower for cleaning.

  2. Unfortunately for Boeing Airbus has the A322 probably close to ready for launch. Also several A220 users have said quite loudly they are very interested in an A220-500. These would be 2 very low risk killer blows that Airbus can deliver in pretty short order.

    • At first glance (only) this seems like what a commenter in another thread mentioned: a me-too Boeing alternative to AB’s well-tuned offerings; potentially deliverable in maybe five years, at best?

      We’ll see how it goes.

      • A new program by BA from start to finish (EIS)? It may work in Corp. Boeing pp presentation. What happened to 777x or 737 MAX?

        • It might still provisionally work on the WS dude-types.
          For the rest of us, I suspect, it’ll now be “Show us, don’t tell us.”

    • And those airline buyers will have a quiver of A32x trained pilots that will need minimal training to fly a 322 instead of a 321

  3. I don’t quite grasp what you are describing, is this a 767 or 321 type of thing? Is Boeing going for NMA, NSA or both?

    • A 5-Lite would be disappointing.
      The original NMA with 270 pax and 4000-5000nm would be interesting.

        • That is the big question and what the market is.

          Amazing how many short routes the 787 is used on.

          And then how few long routes 737 or the A320 types fly but they still keep upping the range.

          How do you analysis insanity? They keep shifting the ground and its a who the hell knows?

          • Longer ranges in aircraft are useful not just to fly the long routes, but also because they create operational flexibility. Yes it is most efficient to have dedicated 1000, 2000, 3000nm aircraft each on specific routes. But what happens when your one 3000nm aircraft breaks down?

            This explains much of the “most long range aircraft fly short routes” mystery and is why I think the most flexible aircraft in any give category will win.

        • The firm configuration for the 787-8 from 2005 was interesting.
          OEW 95.5t, 248 pax, 7650-8000nm.
          But the 787-8 has 120t OEW.

          Now reduce the range.

          • That’s max range for pass plus baggage only.
            Add some cargo and the number looks very different
            5200nm at Max payload for the 787-9, and 4200nm for 787-10
            A350-900 it’s 5700
            This is the real reason for typical ranges being around these numbers

          • What you mean is MZFW and it can vary, same with MTOW. Some configurations only have 600nm range with max MZFW, while other configurations of the same plane (A319) can have over 4000nm range.
            Often the maximum range number use 100kg per pax and this payload is much below the MZFW and is often the point on the payload-range curve between “limitted by MTOW” and “limetted by fuel”, hence the intention to show the MAXIMUM range. The A321LR shows nearly exact 180 pax at 4000nm.
            Boeing’s marketing department is often using maximum range numbers far on the “limetted by fuel” curve. At that point the curve is so steep and payload is decreasing so much that no pilot would plan a flight in that area.

            Boeing’s firm configuration for the 787-8 was easily to understand because the OEW doesn’t vary much even with different MZFW and MTOW configurations. But the problem was that Boeing couldn’t keep their OEW promise.
            If the 787-8 would have 95.5t OEW with 248 pax and 7650-8000nm, it would be the most sold plane. Much less than double the OEW of the A321LR with more than 1/3 more pax and the double range.
            This firm configuration from Sep 2005 was an assuption, hence the name Dreamliner LOL and it worked, till end of 2008 Boeing got 915 orders. But now karma rules that it is another nightmare and Boeing has to pay to keep 787 in the air.

          • Interesting comparison of OEW of 787 vintages.

            Note that in 2005 the design was not mature.

            Note also that OEW includes seats.

            (OEW = Operational Weight Empty, ready to fly in service but lacking fuel and payload.
            Probably not food or crew, practice may vary with operator.)

  4. Scott as always a wonderful insight thank you.
    Different topic:
    This FAA AD#:2020-16-51
    For operators of 737-3,4,5,6,7,7v,8,9,and 9ER
    It worried me ! Can you please dig out something good please?

    • This is the bleed valve corrosion problem found in aircraft coming out of storage. All aircraft must be inspected and valve operation verified before next flight. That was done last summer/fall for the active fleet, and is now a requirement for any listed aircraft coming out of storage.

  5. Is this the reason Airbus is working on new wings? A320+, A321, A322. They will certainly be ready in the 4500nm market. I really do hope the normal competition resumes. Very good for us all. However the costs for Boeing will be much higher than for Airbus. Airbus will be focussed on H2 for short range aircraft.

      • Scott,

        Interesting article, so many questions: what’s your guess the fuselage will be made of? Carbon wings a given? EIS?

        Any ideas on who will be supplying the engines? Where will they build it, hopefully Seattle?

        I have this horrible feeling it’s too little too late. Airbus ready with new wings & an A322 and a market lead in the NMA-5X space with the A321XLR EIS 2023.

        • @JakDak:

          1. probably composite fuselage, wings for sure
          2. GE/CFM or PW. Our guess: GE/CFM.
          3. EIS 2029-ish
          4. They should build it in Seattle but Boeing undoubtedly will compete it.

          • Thanks Scott,

            I wonder if they do go composite fuselage, if they will follow 787 or 350 methods, or a different / hybrid? Pricing is going to be interesting.

            Any idea on the thrust required of the engines?

            2029 is a long way away in terms of letting Airbus take market share, I hope BA can get it into service earlier than that, competition is good.

            I also hope the standardised cockpit idea is followed through allowing easy pilot transition from a future BA NSA to the NMA-5X to the 787 and to the 777-9X.

            The other question is what’s next for Airbus: A220-500 and an A321/A322 replacement series to just below A350 with Ultrafan around 2030? Or will they skip the A220-500 and go with an A320/A321/A322 replacement series?

            I don’t see Airbus doing a NSA when they have the A220?

          • Interesting on the engine selection. The 757 was either PW or RR. And the 767 was PW, RR or GE. This part of the new plane could be quite an aggressive competition. I guessing the customers (airlines) are going to want multi-source.

    • Agree, competition is good for us all.
      Wings are important for A321 and A322, not for A320plus. That’s why a A320plus should be easy to do.
      Good would be reworking the airport gates. There are not many D gates anyway, not many 757 and 767 left in service.
      LH2 on short range with engine pods seems good.

    • Cost vs benefit should be considered.

      (Note confusion in this thread as to one versus two aisles, you know what the A32x series is, and the smaller A220 which is not in the market capacity being talked about in this thread.)

      H2 fuel is only needed for politics.

  6. So is/are the NMA single isle or dual isle?

    What with the expected Long term effects on social distancing, I would opine that dual isle would be a better long term solution.

    That being said- with the current crop of power point rangers- a dual isle probably will NEVER pencil out .

    • If social distancing is still an issue when this plane EIS than there is no market for this plane and airbus goes bankrupt.

      • > If social distancing is still an issue when this plane EIS than there is no market for this plane and airbus goes bankrupt.

        ..and if the Sun don’t come up tomorrow morning we’ll all be dead, too..

        [anti]-social distancing is quite the phenomenon.
        I’m continually impressed- though not positively!-
        to see what ideas can be sold, even in the absence
        of evidence..

  7. Following below is part of a comment that I posted on Mr. Hamilton’s 1-14-19 post “Pontifications: Countdown to decision on Boeing’s NMA, Part 1”, that I think is very relevant were to his current post above.

    “The quote below from a 6-30-13 Airways article on preparation for 737 MAX production covers pretty much the same territory as your quote form the Seattle Times, but adds, I think, one interesting tidbit -” rumored to even be a double-aisle airframe.” See the link after the quote for the full article. Why did Boeing pick the designations 797-6 and 797-7 for the designs it is currently shopping around to airlines? Could it perhaps have internal designs studies to which designations 797-1 ,797-2, 797-3, 797-4, or 797-5 have been assigned? If so, are these designs smaller or larger than a 797-6 0r 797-7? Sometimes people can be looking straight at something and still not see what they are looking at in plain sight.

    “Boeing was evaluating a clean-sheet proposal called the Y-1 “Project Yellowstone” that was rumored to even be a double-aisle airframe. Boeing’s Tinseth exclaims that not going forward with the new program was not about protecting one of Boeing’s biggest cash cows nor had the company become risk averse following the 787 issues: “The clean sheet design was coming together from a tech perspective. The biggest challenge was the production system. It would take a long time to go from a green field to 38 aircraft per month and it would be tough to compete in this market.

  8. Scott – is this going to be a single aisle or double aisle aircraft? Can they do both?

    If it’s a widebody, given the larger cross-section, they will lose some efficiency because of the design. Would it even be worth it to launch a widebody to compete with a narrowbody, given that a higher price will have to be charged to cover the $10-15 billion needed to fund it?


  9. In other news:

    ‘Airbus Starts Assembly for Extra Long-Range Jets’:

    > Manufacturing and assembly is underway for large and small components and systems of the first A321XLR, a new intercontinental variant of the narrow-body aircraft series.
    Feb 02, 2021

    Airbus SE reports it has started producing major components for the first A321XLR aircraft, at its own plants and among its supplier partners, toward “major component assembly” of the first forward fuselage, center fuselage, and rear fuselage sections, as well as the wings. Those assembly efforts will begin this year.

    Airbus introduced the A321XLR at the 2019 Paris Air Show as a new variant of the A321LR (the long-range version of the A321neo series.) It will have a range of up to 4,700 nm (8,700 km, or 5,400 miles); and 30% lower fuel consumption per seat than previous-generation jets. The maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) will be 101 metric tons (111 tons), and takeoff, climb, and flight performance will be comparable to the A321neo.

    The narrow-body aircraft will be powered by twin geared-turbofan engines (CFM International LEAP-1A, or Pratt & Whitney PW1000G) and piloted by the same flight crews as the current A321neo aircraft.

    Airbus has logged over 400 orders for the new model, which is expected to be ready for commercial operation by 2023. <

  10. I suspect that this part of a comment that I posted on Mr. Hamilton’s 1-14-19 post; “Pontifications: Countdown to decision on Boeing’s NMA, Part 1”; may turn out to be right about the configuration of a 797-4 or 797-5, but wrong about them not being put into production until the 797-6 and 797-7 have been in production for several years.

    “Although I don’t think the main 737 replacement will be a direct 797 shrink, I would be very surprised if 797-4’s and 797-5’s which just match the range and passenger capacity of the 737-10 and A321, rather than significantly exceeding their range and passenger capacity, have not been extensively studied by Boeing; however, I wouldn’t expect any such designs to see the light of day until or unless Boeing could produce them at greater profit than a 737-10, and this won’t happen until the 797 has been in production for a few years.”

  11. Back to the past? Below is an excerpt from a 3-4-2011 Aviation Week article at the link after the excerpt.

    ” Boeing is moving “far more aggressively” toward a 180-250 seat twin-aisle replacement for the 737, according to company insiders. It would continue production of the 737-800/900ER for airlines that still want the standard offering.”

  12. Nice to see some encouraging news from Boeing regarding clean sheet planes. Hope Boeing also takes the most sensible route and builds this new family of jets in Everett… There will be plenty of space for production after the 787 and 747 lines are cleared out 🙂

      • Most likely it will be mainly robots building it, so manhr cost will be secondary.

        • Have to see as the Robot did not do so good on the 777x Wing.

          Spun 787 fuselage is a lot automation, but, you still have to rivet the stringers into the barrel.

          In other words, you can reduce a lot and more so if the design is new that deals with it, but wings will not be and you can only reduce so much touch labor.

          • Getting robots right is not easy but it is the way forward for volume production of parts designed specially for those robots. That is the main reason having the major parts production and FAL close to Electroimpact that will make and program most of the robots this time with built-in quality control function. There will still be touch labor but maybe only 15-25% of the staff needed to build the 757-200.

          • Boeing MO is to build it someplace else and infrastructure and proximity to the experts be damned.

            Boeing has been moving as much out of Everett as it an as fast as it can.

          • > Have to see as the Robot did not do so good on the 777x Wing.

            Or on the 777X fuselage:

            “After enduring a manufacturing mess that spanned six years and cost millions of dollars as it implemented a large-scale robotic system for automated assembly of the 777 fuselage, Boeing has abandoned the robots and will go back to relying more on its human machinists.

            Boeing said Wednesday it is adopting a different approach that “has proven more reliable, requiring less work by hand and less rework, than what the robots were capable of.”..”


          • @Bill7: Doesn’t all 900 or so 787 have to be inspected due to manufacturing flaws including issue with the automated robotic equipment used to fabricate the fuselage barrels?

  13. Is it possible to create a 3 member family where the smallest variant is efficient enough to compete with the A321? From looking at other families, it seems the smallest variant is always the foster child that nobody wants anyway (737-7, A319, 787-8, A330-800, A350-800, 777X-8).
    How will Boeing make an NMA-5X competitive? Or will it be another stillborn?

    • It is normal to start with the smaller one, like 767-200, then as you get to know the design margins you stretch it and improve the design and reduce cost (787-8 to 787-9) as Engine improvements roll in you increase the thrust and you stop before it gets too much (767-400, 757-300, A340-600). Like going from the 777-200 85k up to the 777-300ER 115k Engines. Doing the opposite is normally not successful like doing the Boeing 720 from the 707 and the 747SP, B737-500/-600, B737-7, A319neo, A310…

        • They might start with the 797-5 for 200pax mixed class+ cargo, then move up to 250pax mixed class for the 797-6+ more cargo and I assume some customers want to replace 2 737-800’s flying the same route 15 minutes apart with a 300seat 797-7 with the same derated engines as on the 797-5 until customers want to trade in 787-8’s for a 797-7ER and ask for full 787-8 thrust and max possible range. We will see what Boeing and its customers can afford.

      • Not necessarily, the 757 started at -200 (because of what launch customers wanted) and never went smaller but rather longer.

        737 Original started at -100 but quickly shifted to -200, which was used in short field service despite shorter -100 being lighter. 737 ‘Classic’ (I detest that word for 737s) started with -300. Later chapters may have shrunk, to get more range and better airfield performance not just lower cost where capacity not needed, note that Boeing eventually offered runway length reduction kits for at least one long 737 model.

        Shorter versions should be more attractive to business users for international dealings because of greater range. (Other business uses include employee shuttles – General Motors operated CV580 turboprops for years, between its many plants in North America. Smaller companies had a few aircraft, I knew about BC Hydro, BCTel, and GTE northwest – all had turboprops or small jets like Cessna Citation to take specialist and parts to their far-flung operational points.) Walmart retail stores had a significant fleet of simple airplanes, because Sam Walton insisted that staff be at stores not in HQ in Arkansas and executives needed to go see them.

    • It will be interesting to watch how Boeing wants to make the NMA-5X competetive against future A321 variants.
      The A321 is single aisle and has the grandfathering rights advantage over any clean sheet. Airbus can reengine at any time and add a new wing for more range.
      I think Leeham concluded some time ago, a new fuselage can add a 10% improvement in economics at best. I dont remember any numbers about the economic penalty for going twin-aisle, it clearly results in increased drag and weight.

  14. Back to the past? – Continued. Below is an excerpt from the 9-23-10 Flight Global FightBlogger post by Jon Ostrower at the link after the excerpt.

    “Boeing has been mostly quiet on its future narrowbody thinking, though a recently revealed patent, filed in November 2009 and made public last month, may illuminate the airframer’s thinking about how to replace the 737 with a composite aircraft and give its most important narrowbody customer, Southwest Airlines, the plane it’s been begging for.
    Titled Weight-optimizing internally pressurized composite-body aircraft fueselages having near-elliptical cross sections, or WIPCAFHNECS as I prefer to call it, is the work of Boeing engineers Mithra Sankrithi and Kevin Retz. Retz and Sankrithi have come up with several methods of developing a composite fuselage design to accommodate a seven-abreast 2-3-2 twin-aisle configuration ideal for quick loading of passengers and cargo.”

    • AP:

      With all due respect that is 10 years old information.

      There will be the early genesis in that but not the final design that was just pre Covd.

  15. From the article:
    > Boeing appears to be developing a third member of the New Midmarket Airplane (NMA), dubbed the NMA-5X. The NMA-5X is sized directly across from the Airbus A321neo family. It’s the third member of the NMA family that was missing throughout Boeing’s struggles to form a business model for the NMA.

    Depends partly on what “developing” means, in this or any context; but how can what’s said above be accurate when
    (as far as I can see) there is no first or second member
    of “the NMA family”? Corrections are welcome-

    • No its valid confusion.

      As noted, where is the 1 through 4?

      And how common are all those types?

      Pushing a hull to a 7 and an 8 means a different hull.

      Or is it modular in you spin or case it thicker?

  16. Also quoted was varaition of the 50,000 lb thrust GE and PW offering.

    Long time line gives RR a chance to get in but you have to wonder on various combo of joint venture with GE/PW or RR/PW.

    RR/GE would be bizarre but RR has something to offer there as does PW.

    PW and RR has some logic but they bring the same approach to the table that is duplicated (GTF). .

    Nice to have some possible to talk about.

      Somewhere on one of your most recent posts in answer to Bill7 you said
      ” A far as I know area rule only affects mach and over.”

      I suggest you check a bit further- AFIK its main effect is the NEAR mach 1 transonic region

      it is one of the reasons the 747 has such a high cruise speed due to the upper cabin bump making a smooth frontal transition in cross section as the area picked up wings plus body smoothly increases.
      It came about when the F-102 as designed was a turkey re supersonic

      ” Whitcomb found that the drag was proportional to the discontinuity in the cross-sectional area throughout the length of the airplane. He concluded that the presence of wing adds an extra volume at that point and by indenting and reducing the volume of the fuselage it could lead to a smoother area distribution, which in turn would reduce the wave drag. The two shapes in the middle reflect the identical cross-sectional area distribution.”

      ‘ The very first application of the area rule was in the modification of the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger as F-102A. The F-102 performed poorly due to high wave drag and failed to achieve a supersonic flight. The aircraft was then redesigned as F-102A by reducing (indenting) the area of the fuselage at the waist, following Whitcomb’s area rule. The F-102A was later able to achieve Mach 1.22, with a considerable reduction in the transonic wave drag.”

      • “Today’s 747 has a large upstairs cabin because Trippe thought it would be a freighter, because a round hump produced too much drag, because Pan Am bosses had fond memories of the Stratocruiser’s bar (and all-night parties held by the light of the Pratt & Whitney R-4360s’ flaming exhausts), and because fuel prices went through the roof. Nobody set out to design the airplane with an upper deck. ”

        • I didn’t claim that the upper deck reason was DUE TO or FOR the Area Rule, but as it turned out, it did have a similar effect.

          • Bubba:

            Point taken but 747 speed is no longer the goal, they are accepting slower for economy sake.

          • The large volume of passenger planes fuselages, especially wide bodies compared to the tiny forward fuselage cross sections of the then fighter jets. I dont think its helped the 747 speed at all, as the highly swept wing meant that was more of a factor. Remember passenger jets have shaped fairings at the belly for the wing fuselage junction and for the 747 that was considerable as well – including to stow the 4 sets of undercarriage units.

            Even NASA gets it wrong , saying the 747 bump was ‘added’ to smooth the forward cross sectional area…

        • I believe the 747 has the hump because Boeing wanted the freighter option like the C-5

          Otherwise, IIRC for the longer hump introduced on the 747-300 Boeing tapered it better, I heard claims that a SATCOM antenna placed just behind the original short hump reduced airplane drag.

    • The Engine design are a function of the mission mix. If you demand 15,000-20,000cycles between shop visits as this plane will find users flying it in EU/Americas/Asia for 2-5 hrs jumps all day and then 2 over night flights for another days hard work, similar for freight comapnies then you cannot have a “too hot” engine, hence the GEnX-2B with a smaller fan/LPT section would be the fastest and cheapest solution. This aircraft will use the Composites advantages of low mass, “free” of corrosion and long time between Heavy checks. Operators that quickly want a stretch with as long range flying as possible would select the most high Tech engine offered not fearing unplanned Engine shop visits. We don’t know how far along Boeing has designed it and Electroimpact/M Torres developed the robots building it.

      • Spirit has been working on the ‘future’ fuselage materials and construction, so that Boeing doesnt have too.
        Why duplicate what the T1 suppliers can do ? Yes they went too far with the 787 and I dont see ‘complete barrels’ being used again.

        However cost is the issue and FML or Fibre metal laminates ( a cheaper composite) should have the edge
        Still require the autoclave though

        • interesting- in the 1960’s Boeing used a coldbonnding laminate of ‘ fiberglass ‘ and aluminum skin panels on 707 and kc-135. and also spot welding on lower skin panels of Kc-135.

          Saved weight- etc
          It took a few years to find out the spot welding was a fatigue nightmare and bonded skin panels could hide corrosion without any easily noticed delamination. So by the mid to late 60’s- both spot welding and cold bonded panels were no longer used, and IF i recall correctly, major panel replacements on Kc-135s.

          It may now be fixed with better ‘ glue ‘ and heating and carbon fiber- but a caution might well be in order- hopefully taken into account. Aluminum and carbon in contact and with a bit of moisture make a weak battery, and over time result in corrosion- hard to detect.

          About that time ( mid 60’s ) as Boeing was starting the AWACS program, a lot of attention was given as to how to improve fatigue life or aircraft structures.

          What follows is a cliffs notes version of following events since the full story is known by very few but includes yours truly.

          One of my deskmates in the then common ‘ bullpen’ of engineers and techs figured out that if a drilled hole could be ‘ stretched’ before a press fit fastener or rivet was installed, fatigue life would be improved. Thus the technique called coldworking came to be. A small firm called industrial wire and metalforming ( IWMF) got involved- and later became Fatigue technology – a process used all over the world today.
          And at almost the same time- a dual impact magnetic riveting process was developed which also provided significant fatigue improvement. Both processes ( coldworking and magnetic riveting ) were essentially designed in the 767 and 757 manufacturing process in late 70’s-early 80’s .Further development of the dual magnetic process became the foundation of Electroimpact whose major factory is next to the Everett plant.

          BTW – Burke Gibson /family re Fatigue technology ( 1960’s-1980’s ) made a bundle. And in later years invested in a lot of unused ( by Boeing in Renton ) property and which is now filled with Apartments and Malls etc.

          Almost full circle 🙂

        • There is lots of work on out of autoclave baking, the car industry that counts seconds to make parts is all over it (like BMW). Shorts and the Russians likes it as well and a new aircraft will probably be a mix of Al-Li, out of autolave carbon baked parts and normal Prepreg ATL layup in big forms+ autoclave baking.
          Boeing most likely have been designing, manufacturing parts and tested them to figure out what the robots like that give the quality and precision needed. The 787 was not designed for robots (maybe the Japanese parts) but I think the T-7A Redhawk and later McAir products might have been.

  17. So, what’s the plan here – cost it all out, models diagrams displays etc, ‘we’ve been working on this for ten years and more so we know what we’re talking about’

    Make a presentation to airlines, get ‘support’, a convincing display of market potential ; then go to a bank or… a SPAC…and say we’ve more or less pre sold to xy and z airlines, we need $15B maybe not all at once, but that would be nice, to make an airplane which will take 5 or 8 years to build certify & bring to market, and then maybe longer to return a profit which we estimate at ….

    ….well given current margins ? nothing, but in 5/8 years time the market will be so strong and competition, even if COMAC gains market share, will allow bankers a ‘healthy’ margin on a long term investment, of what… ?

    (As long as this pandemic fades to nuisance only by then, and the next has not yet arrived)

  18. May be a double post response to Transworld re Area rule effects on TRANSONIC region

    Whitcomb found that the drag was proportional to the discontinuity in the cross-sectional area throughout the length of the airplane. He concluded that the presence of wing adds an extra volume at that point and by indenting and reducing the volume of the fuselage it could lead to a smoother area distribution, which in turn would reduce the wave drag. The two shapes in the middle reflect the identical cross-sectional area distribution.

    ” The very first application of the area rule was in the modification of the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger as F-102A. The F-102 performed poorly due to high wave drag and failed to achieve a supersonic flight. The aircraft was then redesigned as F-102A by reducing (indenting) the area of the fuselage at the waist, following Whitcomb’s area rule. The F-102A was later able to achieve Mach 1.22, with a considerable reduction in the transonic wave drag.

    • The YF102 made its first flight in Oct 53 after which it required major design as mentioned above with the new design YF102A making its first flight in Dec 54.

      However a brand new plane from Grumman, the XF9-F9 ( later the F11F) with a coke bottle designed fuselage had first flown in July 54. Clearly it was ahead on the area ruling of its fuselage with its performance exceeding expectations.
      I understand Grumman had done its own research based on information from captured German work. Whitcomb deserves credit for making it a ‘unified theory’

      • BTW -one of the reasons the 747 has a high cruise speed is partly due to the upper deck bulge and its effects re the Area rule as it tweaked the cross section changes as the wings came into the plot.

        Sort of a sub near transonic effect.

        • Duke:

          Not everying goes back to the Germans of WWII!

          The Swept wings on the ME262 had nothing to do with the delay to Mach, the ME262 could not even come close in level flight and all aircraft of that era did in a dive.

          Equally that same research was pre done by the Italians and others had the same stuff going.

          The ME262 engines were the future though the diversion into the Nene design delayed that for some early years.

          The V2 Rocket was the item that really had no Allied corollary.

          • “Not everything goes back to the Germans of WWII”

            It pretty much does. The standard configuration for airliners of swept wing, and jet engines on pods was first done by Junkers for a late war bomber design that wasnt built.
            Boeing used it almost exactly ‘as they found in blueprints’ for the B47- which had swept wings , podded engines and bicycle undercarriage. They didnt know that the East Germans who took over Junkers engineers and plants went on to the build the Junkers plane
            And people say the Chinese copy western designs when the US ( and USSR) used it for aviation and rockets for a generation- ‘paperclipped’ as its called after the code name.

        • Geeze- when I mentioned the possible advantages of an elliptical body cross section for a twin isle and mentioned the Area rule effects of the 747 hump, I certainly did NOT intend to cause such a involved – major discussion as to did it help or not re the 747. I had mistakenly assumed that that history was well known by many/most of the long time board denizens. So in an attempt to provide some rationale and a few facts and data and articles I will post a few links and extracts with the hope that little or no further discussion re area rule is needed.

          ” The Whitcomb area rule, also called the transonic area rule, is a design technique used to reduce an aircraft’s drag at transonic and supersonic speeds, particularly between Mach 0.75 and 1.2

          The Convair 990 used a similar solution, adding bumps called antishock bodies to the trailing edge of the upper wing. The 990 remains the fastest U.S. airliner in history, cruising at up to Mach 0.89.

          One interesting outcome of the area rule is the shaping of the Boeing 747’s upper deck.[10] The aircraft was designed to carry standard intermodal containers in a two-wide, two-high stack on the main deck, which was considered a serious accident risk for the pilots if they were located in a cockpit at the front of the aircraft. They were instead moved above the deck in a small “hump”, which was designed to be as small as possible given normal streamlining principles. It was later realized that the drag could be reduced much more by lengthening the hump, using it to reduce wave drag offsetting the tail surface’s contribution. The new design was introduced on the 747-300, improving its cruise speed and lowering drag, with the side effect of slightly increasing capacity of passengers.

          This distinctive “hump” has the effect of giving the 747 fuselage a shape closer to the hourglass contour described earlier. As a result, the 747 experiences lower drag than a comparable airliner that lacks the bulged fuselage. The aircraft can therefore travel slightly faster than its competitors for the same amount of fuel. If we compare the maximum speeds of airliners, we find that the 747 is quoted as being capable of Mach 0.885 whereas most other airliners can go no faster than Mach 0.87. While the advantage is a small one, it does appear to give the Boeing 747 the distinction of being the fastest commercial airliner in service today.
          – answer by Jeff Scott, 16 November 2003

          The 747-400, the latest version in service, is among the fastest airliners in service with a high-subsonic cruise speed of Mach 0.85 (567 mph or 913 km/h). It has an intercontinental range of 7,260 nautical miles (8,350 mi or 13,450 km). The 747-400 passenger version can accommodate 416 passengers in a typical three-class layout or 524 passengers in a typical two-class layout. The next version of the aircraft, the 747-8, is in development, and scheduled to enter service in 2010.

          Examples of Area Rule informed Design

          Originally, the shaping of the Boeing 747’s upper deck “hump” was designed to be as small as possible given normal streamlining principles. It was later realised (sic) that the drag could be reduced much more by lengthening the hump, using it to reduce wave drag offsetting the tail surface’s contribution. The new design was introduced on the 747-300, improving its cruise speed and lowering drag, with the side effect of slightly increasing capacity on passenger flights


          • Strange explanation for the hump by Bubba!
            “The aircraft was designed to carry standard intermodal containers in a two-wide, two-high stack on the main deck, which was considered a serious accident risk for the pilots if they were located in a cockpit at the front of the aircraft”
            actually, the 747 first design dated 1965 as a large freighter for the US AIR FORCE
            it lost to the Galaxy.
            all was not lost however!
            the designs could be recycled in the Passenger project (which partly explains the ultra fast 747 EIS )
            the very large cargo door in the nose pushed the pilots up, in the hump.

          • The hump came from the nose door for the freighter versions, the cockpit had to be above it. It wasnt, as some thought, mainly for fuselage wing area rule, and when they needed to extend to upper deck of course they are going to use simple aerodynamic principles to get the best airflow.
            Of course some sources say many things, even NASA gets it wrong that whys its important to consider the comments of the people at the time making high level decisions. History is often rewritten but the people there at the time give a ‘original sources’ perspective.

          • Puuuhlease folks – NO where in my initial post mention as to WHY the Hump- but only its effects re area rule and the transonic region.

            And simply related the possibility of an elliptical cross section re a twin isle passenger plane and a crude comparison re B-2

            And yes 747 owes some features to C-5 competition such as landing gear.

            But why get so picky picky on the basic issue I started with ?

            Having worked on Minuteman, Saturn, 2707, B-1, b-2, 767, 777 and a few other programs
            and dealt with all levels of management in Boeing and Rockwell , and involved with fastening issues such as TaperLoks, Coldworking, Magnetic Riveting ( EMR ). etc

            I usually try to pick my subject and comments carefully.

            But not always

            NUFF !

          • @ Bubba2
            I understood your original comment without any problem, and also your follow-up comments.
            If it’s any comfort to you, some people seem to have very poor reading comprehension skills, e.g. considerable difficulty distinguishing between the concepts: observe, explain, defend, advocate. C’est la vie!

  19. Boeing is proceeding methodically here. They tested the idea of a new twin with airlines awhile back. Now they are testing the idea with the supply chain. They will get their ducks in arrow before proceeding.

    We all knew they would develop a new airplane. It has to meet all the criteria of the market, be competitive, and have a good business case. That will be evaluated going forward. So none of this is really a surprise, and it’s still very early days.

    • @Rob

      “We all knew they would develop a new airplane”

      What you mean is – BA have been talking about a new plane for a long time, and they are still talking about a new plane, and we all knew they prefer to talk than to build

      Nobody knew they would develope a new airplane, and guess what, they have not, during all the time they have been saying they will

      Even when they had the money BA did not build a new airplane, they threw it away to WS

      BA have no money : with their recent track record who would give them the money to build a plane in the worst market ever, dominated by their main rival and with another rival on the rise who’s market is and will be closed to them, probably

      • Boeing has the resources to do this, if they choose. The argument to the contrary has never been very realistic, as noted earlier.

        As always, it will be a matter of execution and timing. But they were never going to walk away from the market.

        • @Rob

          You say BA have the resources to build a new plane

          What and Where are these resources – please provide what you call data, others call facts, or evidence

          Resources – how much? Let’s say $15B, a widely used figure even if BA always overrun

          What do you mean to say – for thee last time they had the resources they gave the resources away

          They do not have the resources, but even if they did..why would they not once again waste these resources elsewhere and otherwise?

          • Depends on stability and cash flow.

            Read Wikipedia about the 747, Boeing was able to borrow very big, it was still delivering 707s and 727s at a good rate, the launch customer for 747 was still taking delivery of 707s.

            Yes, 747 program cost more than expected, and initial delivery rate was slow (in part due poor design of engine by P&W).

            BTW, note the paywalled article says ‘first tentative steps’. (As always, I note that paper airplane work and more basic work often continues behind the scenes. And I note Cessna’s secret development of the Mustang VLJ, with P&W’s secret development of the lower cost engine for it, I presume Cessna had an appreciation of the small jet market from and talked to some of its customers in general terms about VLJs which were the rage at the time. Though ‘fact check’ – Wikipedia says the Mustang was announced years earlier at a conference.

        • Regarding “the resources to do this”:
          – Balance sheet resources: huge net debt ($35B) + impending junk status.
          – Revenue resources: One program stuck in limbo, with decreasing order likelihood (777x). One program stuck in hangers for major, expensive fuselage revision (787). One program not yet un-grounded in China, with very thin margins elsewhere, and 2/3 of market handed to Airbus. CoViD will decrease appetite for new airframes for many years.
          – Skill resources: Talented personnel in WA being abandoned for cheaper labor in Charleston. Mass layoffs to reduce cash burn. Even before the MAX fiasco, it was recognized that an acquisition of Embraer was necessary to provide badly needed new engineering blood –> didn’t go ahead.

          Summarizing: Wishful thinking that Boeing has “the resources to do this”

          • I keep telling you, ignore the posts and they will stop.

            When there is nothing of any insight added just the same corporate phrase its not worth reading no commenting on.

          • The usual group here can believe whatever it wishes. Their track record speaks for itself. I’m just pointing out what will happen. Boeing will develop a new commercial aircraft.

            The financial analysis given here is a result of confirmation bias, selecting only those facts or opinions that support their views. Along with the usual insistence that their views are correct, while experts with far more knowledge and experience are wrong. Hence the track record.

            The truth is that the broader industry consensus is much more positive, and that is what ultimately will drive the reality.

          • The usual individual here can believe whatever he wishes. His track record speaks for itself. We’re just pointing out what will happen. Boeing will struggle to develop a new commercial aircraft.

            The gloomy financial analysis ignored here is a result of confirmation bias, selecting only those facts or opinions that support his view. Along with the usual insistence that his views are correct, while experts with far more knowledge and experience are wrong. Hence the track record.

            The truth is that the broader industry consensus is much more negative, and that is what ultimately will drive the reality.

      • @Gerrard

        “We all knew they would develop a new airplane”

        It should really be:

        “We all knew WE would develop a new airplane”

        It’s kinda obvious where he gets his paychecks from.

        Concerning the money – it’s kinda obvious, isn’t it? Like an 18 year old with her first credit card, those LeBoutin shoes and Gucci bag on going straight on it.

        Boeing recently went to market for $13.8 billion to pay off their revolver. I would bet a good amount the revolver stays in place and becomes the credit card to fund the next aircraft.

        Interest expense climbed from $722 million at the end of ’19, to $2,156 million at the end of ’20 and WS barely blinked. Long term debt went from $19,662 to $61,890 and it barely registered.

        Everyone is so married to the old “it’s one member of a duopoly”, “defense is strong”. and “they’re too big to fail” that when the chickens come home to roost when they can’t beg, borrow or steal another dollar (and yes, they have done all of the above) , those that’re left without a chair when the music stops will be the ones crying.

        • @Frank

          It’s that killer ‘we’ which gets in the way of any reasoned debate discourse or presentation of ideas

          Like the Royal we it’s a figure of speech designed for promulgation of decrees – as you say it’s a giveaway, the mask of the spieler

          BA can only go back to the market a very limited amount of times, then they are junk

          BA and the too big to fail fail to understand that WS makes more money crashing and burning a company than it does with the sage industrial development of very old fashioned tech, one that crashes and burns all by itself, and that time and again

        • According to SEC filing, BA sold $9.8 billion debt maturing between 2023 and 2026.

          As a result of the above and debt raised in Apr last year, BA has over $4.3 billion due in 2023, $3 billion in 2024, $3.5 billion in 2025 and $5.5 billion in 2026.

          • So Boeing might get a $50bn 0.0001% interest loan from Uncle Sam but skilled staff that work well together and produce balanced and reliable aircraft is harder to get. Boeing might outsource alot to proven partners (like the Japanese) and use well respected partners (like Spirit, Liebherr..) but eventually it will be the overall balance decided by a few top bosses that will decide and make sure it is followed if it will be a success. Alan M. knows what it takes.

    • >So none of this is really a surprise, and it’s still very early days.

      “very early days”?

      “We’ll have a mockup by 2026, and maybe possible EIS in 2035!”

      A322 and rewinged earlier variants looming while Boing waffles, fires engineers and skilled workers..

      My provisional take: BA is boxed in by its own financialization
      and WS fealties.

      I’ll make the popcorn..

  20. The market segment:
    Fairly easy, 200 – 225 – 250 Pax in 2 class layout for routes under 5000 nm.

    An A321 (X)LR on an 8-hour mission will carry about 180 – 190 Pax in a 2 class layout with a full flat C. Other than that, it’s just not a long haul configuration.

    Boeing does admit it’s Max 9 and 10 are bad, so they will go larger, and they will have a better wing and engine so they can take fright.
    The A321neo does reach its limits there without an upgraded wing and engine.

    So the plane would need to be a SA with about the same diameter as the A320, it would need to be slightly longer than the A321 (44,5m) – and this is where the trouble starts.
    How should that work out for the 250 Pax version?
    Is that a 60m long SA?
    So 48m for the 200, 54m for the 230 Pax, 60m for the 250/260 pax?
    That would went well into B757 territory, and the -300 didn’t sell well.

    What about the wing? What do you build the fuselage? Won’t airlines be skeptical about a that long SA?

    And it will dismiss the B788, which already has a hard stance against the B789.

    I actually don’t know if Boeing can do it.
    Financially and development wise.
    The Max 10 was announced to be also 2 years late now.
    The B777x is a disaster.

    I do see a market for that plane, but I do see Airbus going against if Boeing brings that NMA. They will not let Boeing take that sweet spot all alone and unharmed.

    And even if, Boeing will need more than 7 years from now to get that on the market. A lot can change at this time.

    For my understanding, Boeings’ priority should be to fix its issues first.
    And that does not only mean the B777x, B787 production issues and Max10, but also it’s processes and ability to develop and produce safe airplanes.

    • It has to be a twin aisle…the drag of a longer fuselage negates any advantage…

      It will be interesting to see how they fund development…

      In addition, Airbus already stated they have been working on a response to that NMA that Boeing was working on before…

      They are already fielding the A321XR and soon the XLR…so they fill a gap until they also decided to clean sheet a design in that range. Convert orders? hmmmm

      • Why does in need to be a WB?
        Shorter WBs have died out. There’s no A300/310 or B767-200ER available, and even the shorter B788 and A332/8 are on the way out or see low demand.

        Unless Boeing comes up with a new fuselage shape, I don’t see how they can do a WB. 2-3-2 is a bad layout compared to a twin, you fly an extra aisle for just +1 seat compared to 3-3 SA.

        And this is where Boeings position gets sketchy. New composite fuselage, 200-260 pax, under 5000nm, new engine, new wing, new family – SA or WB are possible, but it must be cheaper as the B788 which is too much plane for 4000nm missions.
        Sounds like a pandoras box to me.
        Especially with an A321neo and its brothers available right now.

        • Before I compared an 8-abreast, 240 pax, 30 rows plane with the A322, 240 pax, 40 rows. But then did the math to calculate the fuselage skin surface.
          A330 fuselage diameter 5.64m = 222in
          222in x pi x 30 rows x 32in pitch = 669536sqin
          A322 diameter 4.04m (3.95m wide but 4.14m high) = 159in
          159in x pi x 40 rows x 32in pitch = 639377sqin
          So the longer A322 would have 5% less fuselage skin LOL
          Why is Boeing thinking about a twin aisle???

          • What about a 20 ft barrel at 10 abreast?
            240 in x pi x 24 rows x 32 in pitch = 579,058 sqin
            9 abreast at 27 rows: 651,440 sqin
            That’s a rather short A350.

            300 in x pi x 14 x 32 in pitch =422,230 spin
            That’s a double-deck with an oval fuselage. This oval shape is supported by its floors. I don’t believe in unsupported pressurized oval shapes.

          • Double deck with oval fuselage?
            Nothing new: 1953 BREGUET DEUX PONTS
            VERY SHORT 28,94m
            wing span 43m
            OEW 30T
            MTOW 54T
            59 PAX Upper floor plus 48 lower floor
            but some could carry 130 PAX
            probably not pressurized cruising altitude 3800m

          • A330 and A322 have nearly the same seat width. A350 has narrow seats which results in smaller fuselage diameter, but even in 9-abreast it has more skin surface than the A322.
            Of course oval shapes are better.

          • In the end induced drag is just one factor. And fuselage skin is also just one factor in there.
            If you would be right up there, the stretched versions should actually perform worse than their shorter siblings.
            But they don’t. So I don’t consider you right.

            You also forget that a WB has a lot more skin area per row. At least when you are at near round fuselages. Let’s compare A320 (about 4m) vs. B767 (about 5m).
            A320: 3.14 * 2 * 4 = 25m
            B767: 31,4m

            let’s make it easy, and say 1 row has 1m.
            So we talk about 31,4m² for a B767 fuselage vs 25m² for an A320 fuselage.
            Our comparison has limits, as we look only at economy, but forget that business and freight can bring huge yields.
            Let’s look at cabin area that we gain.
            B767: 4,70m
            A320: 3,70m
            Let’s assume Airbus makes the A322 and stretches it by 4m to reach the length of the B767-200ER.
            We get:

            surface area:
            A322: 25*48,5 = 1212,5 m²
            B767: 31,4 *48,5 = 1523m²

            cabin area: Let’s say we loose 9,5 m (5 in front, 4,5 in back) for cockpit and heck.
            A322: 3,70 * 39 = 144,3m
            B767: 4,70 * 39 = 183, 3m

            So on surface area we have a little above 20% more,
            while we gain 21% more usable cabin area.

            If you account that you loose area due to the 2n aisle, you might come to the conclusion that, if your induced drag statement is right, you want to build a long SA.
            Unless you find a solution that is not a circle.

            I’m very interested how Boeing wants to build this, and the technical discussion is very interesting.

            Actually I have a gut feeling, that the MOM gap we see at both OEMs might be of technical nature.
            A SA might be too large and just overstretched, while a short WB might just be too much whale and too little plane.
            A B767 type fuselage as another aisle for just +1 seat more compared to a 3-3 SA and that might be impossible to get efficient.

            I don’t know if a A300/310 remake could have success today.
            Airbus discussed an A330 regional for ages, but the case never really took off.

    • There’s an expression from tennis of being “behind in the point”, where the opponent essentially has you on a string..

      Boing’s way behind in the point (and more, methinks).

      • The analogy above is imperfect- but when behind in a point on a tennis court the percentage-play is, in fact, to go for a big
        shot/winner; otherwise, the opponent will almost certainly
        “grind” (other players will know *just* what I mean) you into

        I’m interested- very interested- to see what Boing does, rather
        than talks about. Its relations with all those who do the real work
        (i.e., non suit-wearers)- whether engineeers, line workers, or suppliers- now bears close watching, I think.

  21. Where’s the money for this project going to come from?
    On Dec. 31st, Boeing had $27B cash on hand…but also had total debt of just under $62B. The cash on hand can’t just be set aside for a new project because it’s needed to pay today’s operating costs (including debt servicing costs in excess of $2B per year). Margins on the 737MAX are thin (or negative) — see Frank’s recent analysis from 10-Q filings. Margins on the 787 will (when deliveries resume) will also be thin. Further borrowing on the debt markets is inevitably going to lead to junk status, with attendant automatic offloading by pension funds, etc, that are required to divest non-investment grade holdings. Biden (a Dem) is unlikely to spend big on defense.
    So where does the money come from?

    • By contrast, Airbus on Sep. 30 had cash on hand of $17.7B, and debt of $19.6B — so that net debt was only $1.9B (compared to Boeing’s net debt of $35B).
      And unlike Boeing, Airbus was and is generating actual earnings: it delivered 560 aircraft last year, its A350s are not in hangers for major fuselage repairs, its A320neo family is not stuck on the ground (particularly in China), and it’s not pouring billions into a continually delayed non-starter like the 777X.

      • @Bryce

        You are building a new and credible case!

        Bleeding cash on your recent new plane failures is not a great incentive to the money for another : besides have BA not got their hands much too full trying to fix their planes that don’t fly/can’t fly to try and get another one to fly?

        As commentors have recently said here AB has the planes and the market share and the cash to put the squeeze on BA, new plane or no new plane

        • While I do not believe Boeing would go the same route, Ford sold off all its assets and collected 20 billion (including the logo) and launched itself through the 2008 depression with no government bail out.

          It can be done.

          The bottom line is its a pyramid scheme. If you don’t keep that scheme going then it crashes, so just out of desperation they have to launch new product.

          When the Air Force refers to your tanker as a Lemon, you know you have issues!

    • On the + side they do have 460 undelivered planes that do represent a LOT of cash. Probably at least 20B

      • Many like AS and WN have said they would use up their customer credit (compensation for the MAX debacle) and not paying more upon deliveries. BA agreed with CFM to cover payments on behalf of customers. How many can BA push out the door this year?? There are also a few dozen white tail that no customer wants, are you interested??

      • to Mark
        customers paid already about 50% of these planes
        cash due at delivery around $30mn /frame
        60 frames (or more) are white tails (customers are unable to take them)
        200 delivered in 2021 that is 6bn
        same in 2022
        production efficiencies will be terrible: low volume, problems with supply chain, …
        cash positive in 2021? doubtful
        maybe in 2022?
        certainly Junk
        probably out of Dow Jones (as GE in 2018)

    • Right? In the last year of articles, the comments about MCAS, and deviations into politics and vaccines, has been completely rational and fact and evidence based. Don’t know what happened on this article…

    • The difference is that this article goes directly against the narrative that Boeing is doomed and cannot recover. That’s been predicted here for quite awhile now. Boeing could never produce a new commercial aircraft, or at least not a good one.

      So this article, which holds out the possibility of success. has provoked a stronger response than usual. The same reaction occurred for the MAX recertification, and the DoJ settlement. Anything that is a positive for Boeing.

      • Talking about a new program is not the same as actually doing it…not to mind bringing it to completion.
        I seem to recall a politician who used to talk alot about “the wall” that was going to be built.

        Actions speak louder than words 😏

      • >The difference is that this article goes directly against the narrative that Boeing is doomed and cannot recover. That’s been predicted here for quite awhile now. Boeing could never produce a new commercial aircraft, or at least not a good one.
        So this article, which holds out the possibility of success. has provoked a stronger response than usual. <

        R.o.b.: this is an article. It is not an airplane; or even a mockup; or *even a proposal* for a mockup..

        "Show us, don't tell us."

        • Interesting that a report of Corp. B reached out to suppliers for early information to help it formulate plans for an all-new aircraft can devolve into proof that Boeing is now able to complete to a new *and* successful program.

      • Guys, you prove my point with every word you write. [Edited] Thanks for providing such great examples.

        • > Guys, you prove my point with every word you write.

          Yep- we should all just shut up, and let the guy from Corporate speak The Real Truth from On High..

          There’s a name for that; starts with ‘F’.

          • Bill, no one is asking you to shut up, those are again your words and your conclusion. There is a place for factual, reasoned, respectful discussion.

            When the discussion starts with insults or ridicule or derision, whether directed at others or at Boeing or at FAA or at vaccines, or whatever the target of the day happens to be, then there won’t be respectful or informed discussion, only conflict. We begin from a low level and spiral down.

            The purpose of moderation is to prevent that conflict, by ensuring the discussion starts and remains at a higher level. That doesn’t seem to work here, and so we end up in the Wild West. Each side is determined to assert their views.

            I don’t see that changing after all this time, but I never want the other side to shut up, or not participate. That’s never the goal. I would like to see their views be broadened to accept the facts that are presented. Even that would be progress. I don’t expect agreement on the conclusions.

          • R.o.b. said:

            > Guys, you prove my point with every word you write. <

            Thought that bit from R.o.b. deserved a re-reading:
            "Resistance is futile!", say some..

            not.. just.. yet.

        • @ Gerrard
          Nice summary 🙂
          One small omission: you forgot the aversion to “speculation”, and the related conviction that “facts” always supersede opinions.

          (and, yet, without speculation and opinion, there’d never be any progress on anything — which, or course, is Nirvana for arch conservatives)

        • @Rob

          More Incorrect statements : yet they are welcome

          As I have always argued, for us to hear his master’s voice, to read the rep for the C-suite, gives us invaluable insight into the corporate mindset

        • @Bryce

          I know – but his posts are invaluable – they are direct from the horse’s mouth, an opening into that mysterious world of the Corporate

          In which all is always well, where there is nothing that can not be denied, in which every day is exactly the same, and nothing can go wrong, it’s a wonderful world

          It’s not a joke or a personal point of view ; it’s the real thing – it’s rare to come across such an undiluted source

          This base line allows and encourages in everyone else more freedom of thought and expression

      • That’s according to top jet buyers. They are “concerned” because they worry there is less competition as the market becomes lopsided.

        From Seattle Times

        As Boeing struggles to stay competitive, top jet buyers describe daunting outlook

        -> In the market for smaller, single-aisle jets, sales of the Airbus A320neo family — especially the large, long-range A321neo model — have far outstripped those of the 737 MAX.

        “The market has spoken. Airbus truly has a commanding lead at the upper-end size of the single-aisle marketplace,” said John Plueger, chief executive of Los Angeles-based Air Lease Corporation (ALC), which owns or has on order a fleet of almost 800 Boeing and Airbus jets. “For sure, Boeing has lost position against Airbus during the MAX crisis.”

        At the other end of the jet scale, Boeing has traditionally dominated the larger widebody airplane sector. Yet the new 777X, which seats more than 400 passengers, is in trouble. The big international long-haul airlines that launched the giant jet cannot hope to fill it in the wake of the global pandemic.

        -> Rob Spingarn, a Credit Suisse analyst, added that with the job cuts in Washington state including the retirements of many older, more experienced workers, Boeing may now lack “the requisite talent to successfully launch a commercially viable clean sheet aircraft.”

        The Airbus A320neo family has amassed a backlog of almost 6,000 orders, including more than 3,000 for the A321neo and its two longer-range variants, the LR and XLR. Boeing’s 737 MAX family firm backlog has shrunk due to cancellations to just over 3,300 orders.

        Plueger said Airbus has revalidated all its orders and though some may fall away in the year ahead, he has “a high degree of confidence” that most of them will stay solid.

        -> Boeing faces other barriers, Kelly [of AerCap] noted: The engine makers, who have just spent billions of dollars developing the new generation LEAP and GTF engines for Boeing’s MAX and Airbus’s neo, would have little interest in investing in a new engine to supplant those models.

        And that same reluctance to cannibalize existing products would apply equally to Boeing.

        “If Boeing launched such an airplane, what would happen to the MAX?” Kelly said. “People aren’t going to buy it and Boeing needs that cash flow from the MAX.”

    • The difference is that this article reinforces the narrative that Boeing is desperate and cannot recover. That’s been predicted here for quite awhile now. Boeing could never produce a new commercial aircraft, or at least not a good one.

      So this article, which holds out the possibility of yet another failure, has provoked a stronger response than usual. The same reaction occurred for the partial/conditional MAX recertification, and the scoffed-at DoJ settlement. Anything that reinforces the image of a dysfunctional Boeing.

  22. I see a tendency to up capacity, range, payload.

    Boeing should aim at 180 passenger incl. 16 sleeper seats with a OEW of 51t , burning 2.5t/hr, engine choice & costing $80-90mln.

    That’s the benchmark rolling of the lines in US, Chine, Europe, up to 30 a month if required.

    There’s no appetite for SUV’s or awesome range capability.

    • Well the US is all SUV so not sure what that means.

      Any offering has to compete at 180 to 250 passengers.

      That may mean a direct A321 competitor to start, then a shorter one and then a longer one.

      Airbus is backing itself into a corner with the Hydrogen short range plan.

      So at this point they then have to compete purely on a new wing and what does the EU have to say?

    • If an aisle seat is an SUV, a sleeper seat is a 40′ RV.
      Looks like plenty of demand for both.

  23. Assuming a 2030 EIS, if the 777 development cost 5B for a 1995 EIS, that would be 20B in 2030. The A350 would be 27B in 2030, the A220 would be 12B. That averages out to about a 20B development cost for a new aircraft in 2030 if things go reasonably well.

      • Thats one of the major issues for both Boeing and Airbus, ‘development costs’ are rising quickly for each generation ( thats not the same as ‘deferred production costs’ that is related to actual production ramp up, learning curves and even ‘launch pricing’)
        but the airlines dont want to pay for that in pricing, especially for bigger orders ( 50+)

        This study looked at development costs of various planes – all in 2004 dollars
        DC6 -$144 mill
        B707 -$1.3 bill
        B777-$7 bill

        I dont think the 777X development cost was over $10 bill for Boeing just for a new wing and empennage, For GE the GE9X costs will be steep but thats not on Boeings tab

  24. With all the recent Voluntary Layoffs (VLOs) Boeing has lost a significant number of experienced Engineers. That brain-drain will definitely put a strain on any new development program in the near future.

    • > With all the recent Voluntary Layoffs (VLOs) Boeing has lost a significant number of experienced Engineers. That brain-drain will definitely put a strain on any new development program in the near future.

      Deserves emphasis, though it’s not just Engineers that Boing has
      lost: skilled long-time line workers as well, with lots of hard-won knowledge; and of course, over-squeezed and pissed-off Suppliers all along the chain.

  25. Scott, thanks again for staying up with everything Boeing and Airbus.
    Boeing has been studying the NMA for 8 years…. and Calhoun has all but shut it down a year ago to a skeleton crew.
    The derivative airplane models (McDonnel Douglas theory) have been disastrous
    The mad max was launched 10 years ago! The -10 now out 2 more years before delivery.
    The 777X launched 8 years ago and just recently pushed out to 2024, yes I know they say 2023, but I know how this company functions and it will be 2024.
    The 787 program was launched 18 years ago, although I’m not saying it’s a disaster, it just took years to execute to delivery and with a $30B program overrun.
    My point being is this company is inept at execution especially a new clean sheet and if they do go forward, it will be likely 2033 before the airline delivery.
    The regulators have lost so much trust and the certification rules will be applied as they should be, EASA will no longer rubber stamp what the FAA certifies.
    Meanwhile Airbus is humming along executing on their promises and delivering a product that the airlines want…. with no FOD.
    This past year Boeing has lost so much talent, including myself, that it’s having dire consequences. PC and D&I is killing the company.
    Sorry for being so pessimistic but a once great aerospace company is no longer and following the MCD and GE ways….

    • I think most of us share your concerns. When the USAF refers to the KC-46 as a Lemon, ungh.

      We hope for the best and discuss how things need to change.

      We do geek out on a new airplane, its sort of our drug of choice.

      • Just to clarify, TW considers the KC-46 to be a lemon, the USAF does not. A very notable and important difference. Substitution of opinion for fact.

          • yes, the ‘lemon’ was a direct quote from the USAF 3 star head of Mobility Command who have to fly them.
            Then again the C-17 was a bigger lemon back in its first 5 years and now they cant do without it.

          • Scott, context matters, just as truth matters, as you yourself have stated.

            General Van Ovost did not call the K-46 a lemon (sorry, Duke). She used a phrase to express that the USAF was making the best possible use of the KC-46, until the new RVS and boom will allow combat duty. That is 2023 and 2024, respectively.

            Just as you were not implying that Steve Dickson was evasive or untruthful when you used the term “ducked” after his MAX test flight. People hear what they want to hear, and some writers like to generate clicks.

            The Drive/WarZone has been called out in the past for misrepresenting a video on the KC-46 boom. A good journalist checks the whole story from multiple sources.

            The full context of the General’s remarks included these passages:

            “We’ve become more of a team with Boeing,” Van Ovost said. “I am heartened by some of the steps that we have been taking now and getting better at it within the deficiencies themselves.”

            “We are exploring limited operational capability for the KC-46,” she said.
            In addition to refueling tests, the plane has already been used during a command-and-control experiment, aeromedical evacuation and cargo missions. KC-46s have also flown around the world.”

            “The KC-46 is certified to refuel ten types of planes, albeit with some restrictions. The Air Force plans to certify five additional aircraft in the coming months, Van Ovost said. Three further aircraft require the updated boom.”

            “That platform when fully developed and capable is going to give us a lot of advantages over our current legacy fleet, especially with respect to its agility, the multiple missions it can do, its ability to have additional battlespace awareness … and its ability to support the joint force, both as a communications node and potentially as a data node forward” during combat operations, she said.”

            It’s notable that respected defense industry media did not lead with the “lemon” story, because it’s not representative of the content or messaging. Aviation Week, Jane’s, Defense News, and the military news sites, among many others.

          • “General Van Ovost did not call the K-46 a lemon (sorry, Duke). She used a phrase to express that the USAF was making the best possible use of the KC-46,…”
            best possible use ?

            General Van Ostens words were
            ‘right now where we’re at in the program is we’re making lemonade out of lemons”
            She didnt say ‘best possible use’ …she said they are lemons.

          • Wow. “[C]ontext matters, just as truth matters,” Hard to imagine the above being said with a straight face by one who incidentally dropped out a few “key words”.

          • @ Rob
            Repeating falsehoods does not make them true!
            You should stick to truth and fact, as you continually instruct others to do!

          • @Bryce

            The comments all object to – It’s the perfect illustration of the exact same problem that BA has

            They say, they go on saying, then they repeat, exactly the same excuses evasions and denials as always they do and have done

            So with the so called new plane, which so far sounds like old plans for a now old plane repeated, as if to repeat them made them new –

            So the defence of the old plane is by rote repetition, they’ve had ten years of practice, it’s meant to sound stale, that’s the out – “we floated the idea but everyone laughed, another lemon”

          • Duke, obviously they are not lemons or they would not be flying and carrying out missions daily, with the USAF ordering more at $3.8B.

            If you asked the General, I doubt she would say they are ordering more lemons. That was not her intent. A few writers jumped all over that phrasing for obvious reasons, just as the usual crowd here has. Most did not. But the reality is found in the broader context.

            The USAF is understandably disappointed that they cannot deploy combat refueling missions. The RVS portion of that is Boeing’s fault, the boom portion is USAF’s fault. But they fly domestic, training, and exercise refueling missions every day.

            In the meantime, the aircraft is multi-mission, and transport missions are being moved into limited ops. The aircraft has dual civilian / military certification for that purpose. Also being used as a command / control / data node, a role not envisioned originally.

            All the tanker wings have on-line newsletters where the missions and progress are reported. Those are a good source of ground-truth. No discussion of lemons there.

          • @ Gerrard
            Indeed, it’s just a different episode of the same old soap opera: new tricks from an old dog.
            Luckily we have people like Frank, who help expose the underlying rot by taking the time to pore through 10-Q filings. And, of course, we have people who look in detail at financial reports and not just corporate PR.

            Poor Boeing 🙁

          • @Bryce

            “The USAF is understandably disappointed that they cannot deploy combat refueling missions.”

            Disappointed! That’s a nanny word– for what the DoD or USAF think about a combat plane not fit for combat tougher more realistic words and gestures are appropriate

            But that’s Boeing – like saying the Max crashes left a lot of people ‘disappointed’

          • @ Gerrard
            Indeed! Along the same lines, one could forward the following similar understatements:
            – The relatives of the MAX crash victims are “understandably disappointed” that they’ve been bereaved, and that there has been no appropriate justice for them.
            – The operators of the MAX are “understandably disappointed” that their business model was flushed by the grounding, and that they’re now stuck with a product that has not been un-grounded in China (40% of world market) and has a severely tarnished reputation (“not up to modern standards”).
            – 787 operators are “understandably disappointed” that their ordered airframes are being stripped in hangars so as to do extensive repairs to forward and aft fuselage skin sections.
            – Boeing investors are “understandably disappointed” that they’re holding equities in a company whose credit rating has sunk to just one level above junk, and that has allowed its balance sheet to descend into a pit.

            It seems that “understandable disappointment” is Boeing’s new mantra.

          • And that folks is why you don’t engage with Rob.

            He is entitled to his alternative facts of course.

            If Boeing said the sun revolved around the earth and it was flat (think Ring World), that wold be so.

          • One word/sentence plucked out of context, and out of an overall positive statement, as reported truthfully by defense media. But that one word held out here to sustain the negative narrative. An example of the confirmation bias noted earlier, and why the predictions are consistently incorrect.

            The irony is that the KC-46 will be in service long after the critics here are gone. But their ghosts will still be complaining about it somewhere, I’m sure.

            Nothing that is said or done here will change that reality. But nor will that reality change anything that is said and done here. The deviation is complete and total, and will no doubt continue.

          • Dear:

            You should actually read it, but that would be asking a bit much eh?

      • @ TW
        Thanks for highlighting the airforce opinion that the KC-46 is a lemon…amusing and informative! It’s always good to have some fact in the discussion…as opposed to the hot-air “opinion presented as fact” from the usual corner.

        • Informative yes, really not funny as we are paying for a capability that is a joke right not (not the funny hah hah sort of joke).

          Equally they are withholding $300 some million to be sure Boeing gets the message (by this time you have to conclude they deliberately don’t want to get the message) .

          Pretty much belies the this is the year the KC-46 becomes a winner.

          Its in the same vein of a series of these in US Procurement that is the worst I have ever seen. One program yes, 4 major ones, no.

          • R.o.b. said:

            >Duke, obviously they are not lemons or they would not be flying and carrying out missions daily, with the USAF ordering more at $3.8B.

            Were they designed to refuel other aircraft, and is that
            the mission they’re now carrying out; and wasn’t the contract previously awarded to a company that’s shown the ability to fulfill such, as Boing apparently

            “We’ll get it right in v7.9.11 in FY2029; meanwhile, we’ll milk these suckers (US taxpayers) dry..”

            Corrections welcome-

            s/ US taxpayer

          • Again, the KC-46 is carrying out refueling missions, and will soon be certified for all aircraft except the 3 that require the new boom. It cannot use the boom for combat missions yet.

            The triple drogue refueling systems are not limited by the RVS or boom issues, and are mission-capable for combat.

            The MRTT could not meet the mission criteria in the existing form, and would have required significant development, just like the KC-46. Similarly the KC-767 is in full combat service now, but doesn’t have the capability of the KC-46.

            It’s not a waste of taxpayer money, the cost of the new RVS is borne by Boeing, as is proper, and will significantly advance capabilities beyond the contract specs, at no cost. It is and will be used effectively by the USAF.

            Bottom line is that the KC-46 will have a long career after the initial problems, which will be forgotten in practice as they always are.

    • Derivatives have been around since the Wright Bros… Flyer I , II, III

      Boeing was doing it from its 367-80 prototype , widened considerably in fuselage for the KC-135 and widened again for the 707. Many many other examples from other companies as well…its almost an axiom ‘reuse rather than re-design’

      • @DoU

        Industry has been developing copies and derivatives since the first trains, since before

        The industrial paradigm is reproduction

        This used to go hand in hand with the capital and the machines and the organised labour force

        Recently these elements have been seperated and copy right/patent holders have sold off industries factories, organisational competence and skilled labour, while insisting on the paramount claim to the product derived from IP

        This is a rentier mind set, good for nothing

    • @ Airdoc
      Thanks for that very honest summary: it’s good to hear the authoritative comments of an (ex) Boeing employee.

      Of course, they’re far too confronting for a particular commentator here, but that’s his problem.

      • @Bryce,
        Thank you.
        I’m not against derivative programs, as someone, not you, had commented. But Boeing is following the Mickey D model and really not making the latest derivative a true updated platform and max max is a perfect case study. Boeing simply cannot execute on their program ad design initiative.
        Boeing continues to sort of say this and say that. Airbus and soon China Comac will be eating their lunch.

          • > FWIW C919 arrived in Canada.

            TY, Pedro.

            “..but those cracks were so small!..”

        • > Boeing continues to sort of say this and say that. Airbus and soon China Comac will be eating their lunch

          It’s interesting, isn’t it, in a train-wreck sort of way.

          Those who dismiss Comac are making a significant mistake, I think (maybe the MC21 as well; not sure).

  26. So there we have it. We can talk about all kinds of unrealistic hydrogen, electric greenwash aeroplanes and fly millions of tons of heavy over ranged aircraft and duty free tramp fuel at the same time.
    Much as I love flying, I can’t help but notice that the sky over Southern England has changed since the covid19 pandemic. The sky is noticeably more blue, the stars more visable and I’m scraping ice off the windscreen like I did when I was a schoolboy.

    • Well I am scarping ice off the windshields because its been darned cold!

    • Grubbie: I like the recent vividness of the sky (and the rest of Nature), too. Very much.

        • Your comment seems cryptic – please tell us more, for the benefit of All (my particular schtick).

          I don’t see a love of Nature as a NIMBY-notion, at all- no one can live without long-term obedience, obeisance to Nature.

          Do you sh!t in your kitchen?

          Apologies if I’m misunderstanding your above comment.

  27. Everybody here is dreaming of a super high-tech new aircraft that has the latest technology, oval fuselage, etc. Boeing is seriously behind the point as one here nicely described, with little money, lost knowledge and bad experiences.

    I believe Boeing needs to make a simple, but cheap me too aircraft, i.e. a solid A320.5-A321 competitor that can grow into an A322 or even A323 type at a later stage. The time where Boeing could afford a moonshot is over. They have to catch-up again and try to not lose too much ground. A solidly built airliner that can be offered at lower prices is much less risky than a moonshot that gets a few extra percentages of efficiency, but that is too complicated and expensive to produce and/or has plenty of risk for delays and quality issues.

    Get a cheap frame that can shine with modern features like FBW, cockpit commonality with the 787, and possibly other benefits for airlines that can be upgraded over time. This could be certified faster, with less cost and gets Boeing back into the game with far less risk.

    The A320.5/A321 would be the small member of the family with ideally matching or better economics as the A321. I would imagine with a state of the art wing (folding wingtips?) it should outperform an Airbus and match the range/efficiency with a slightly smaller cabin. In a second step, get a bigger model that sits above the A321 (i.e. A322).

    • I think most people acknowledge now, that the MAX can’t be left in the woods with the NEO and A220, but hesitate to face the consequences of that reality.

      Agree that a solid conventional aircraft (Al fuselage, CRFP wing) might be realistic. Able to facilitate high BPR engines and containers. Restoring some sort of parity.

      And another lean aircraft to cover 120-180 seats/ 2500NM. A shrink isn’t good enough anymore.

      Forget me-too proudness, get the job done.

      • keesje level-headed, as usual. 😉

        Can Boing presently execute what you suggest?


    • The reporting I’ve found seems to confirm this. The goal will be to get back in the game with a marginal improvement over the A321 using mostly existing technology. To have a competing entry, not an expensive exercise in development. That’s also needed from the perspective of time and EIS.

      My guess is that Boeing had considerable research on deck before the MAX decision, so while that is now 10 years old, it will be refreshed and applied to a 757/767 class aircraft. Possibly borrowing from the adaptation of the 787 flight deck to the 777x. Boeing will try to leverage as much as it can from earlier developments, while holding costs down.

      What will result from that, we’ll have to see. COVID has depressed the value of new aircraft, but hopefully that effect will be diminished by EIS. As I said, still very early days.

      • Rob, I don’t think Boeing are in the 757-767 NMA class ambition anymore.

        They’ve tried that for many years & now are on a new path.

        A better path I think.

        • Keesje, I agree, I meant only that if any derivation takes place, those platforms would be closest, among those available. Possibly with technology from the 787, as mentioned.

      • “…seems to confirm…”
        “My guess is…”
        “Possibly borrowing…”
        “…we’ll have to see.”

        Pure speculation!
        You should stick to truth and fact, as you continually instruct others to do!

      • Why only a ‘marginal improvement?
        Based on what elements?
        The only one I can think of is 757 nose, but I don’t know its capacity and wing size (it wasn’t as long in range as 767 but did well with the new engines of the day, somewhat better are available today perhaps?) And its interior width, IIRC Boeing gained an inch or three by slimming sidewalls somehow. People have criticized the notion of re-engining the 757 and putting it back in production. But the question is:
        – At what cost?
        – For what actual gain?

        Whereas Boeing has capability for composite fuselage and wing, but that technology has to be adapted to different size.

        Avionics for pilots, and related systems, can be adapted, 757 has advantage of 767 flight deck geometry and layout, displays can be changed to larger by revising forward panels I presume.

        But more fundamental changes not. (I don’t remember how redundant the 757s systems like flight controls were, I presume better than 737MAX.)

        757 wing is much larger than 737NG.

        (I’d laugh if Airbus tried to float its hypocritical Frankenplane sneer again.

        I used the term to a person who races his Porsche G2 or G3, pointing to a FrankenPorsche at
        Porsche got a long run of using the 911 shape and rear-engine layout. Even a four-door car, doesn’t look bad. (The 962 mentioned was completely different, a racer like typical McLaren/GT40, et al. The 959 closer to 911 but lower shape. G2/G3 look like 911s. Stretches in wheelbase and track in some cases.)

    • A slightly better A321 competitor would change nothing. Airbus is already improving the A320family. Boeing would waste money.

      If Airbus is confident about LH2, many changes will come. Governments might tax CO2 and current planes will be expensive to operate.
      Most important are advanced manufacturing and production technologies for the next new plane. If Airbus has this Know-How it could start now.
      If Airbus wants to keep Boeing alive, it could sell the “old” A220. Boeing is not able to design a new plane and if they try it will take many years.
      Boeing with the A220 would have something to build on. An A220-500 would compete against A320, an A220-700 against MAX-8.
      Airbus would have money to design a new plane with LH2 pods to compete against the A220 and obviously with a better design and production beat the A220-100 and -300.
      Other new LH2 planes with the tank in the back might be widebodies.
      Airbus would strike again, billions of $$$ for one $.

      • Leon:

        Keeping clear this is Boeing and the only one that believes the spiel hook line and sinker would be Rob:

        The NMA-5 has a couple of aspects that wold change things if it was created (not forgetting you have to make it FOD and to correction dimensions whilom under new Administration will be under serious scrutiny )

        A GTF is going to improves economics by 10%. Might be a bit more.

        The Twin Aisle is more efficient en-plaining and deplaning. Not sure how that weighs in as a percentage of economics.

        And people like to have brand new and cool in the line up if it works.

        There is also the lengthy pizazz PR factor for something really new. You get all the press.

        Clearly Boeing can take a great concept and screw it up. Its their MO these days so we have to see.

        Calhoun would be gone and we might see management that is competent.

          • > R reminds me of a pprune moderator.

            I’m actually starting to feel empathetic to that one’s
            situation, even if its unctuousness is off-putting.


      • Boing: “Here’s why you should buy our plane: “… ”

        We *could* now be in an era where pol arm-twisting
        rules the day; hence the mention of the dreaded ‘F’ word.
        I’m not sure, and sure the hell hope not.

  28. I think Boeing should bet the farm. Maybe a double boom job with first class passengers in their own fuselage, and coach in the fuselage on the left with a little less heat. That, or a flying wing with the two or three stern engines above the cabin like the old McDonnell Douglas prototype. If ultra fan is near, there’s your propulsion. Fascinating times ahead!

  29. 189 seats would indicate single class for a 739 however 250 seats does not represent single class for a 763. 250 seats single class would be indicative of 762 size or slightly smaller than a 753. This would indicate a single aisle aircraft and the images displayed (if to scale with the A321) would indicate the smaller version being on a par with regard to length with the A321 thus suggesting a similar number of rows.

  30. This is another case in point of Boeing and Vapor Ware.

    Even at the time it was stupid, we need another APU why7? So we can force it down the customers throat of course.

    I can see the Silvercrest being a great base for the APU (for those not familiar Silvercrest was a colossal failure and Desault dumped it, had to kill the 5X and got a good PW 800 pair instead for the Falcon 6x )

    • Because Corp. B wants a good pp presentation showing WS and the mass the sky is the limit: BGS targets $50 billion revenue.

      Unfortunately, is it karma or just boomerang?

      -> Boeing Global Services reports loss due to coronavirus pandemic

      Isn’t former chief just went to WS to be among the Big Boys?

  31. I’m thinking now- rightly or wrongly- that the approach
    mentioned above by Matth is the likeliest effective one:

    BA need to show that they can make a_decent_new
    airplane, with their *employees and suppliers*
    fully on board. Can Boing accomplish that?

    Unwinding financialization is probably not so easy;
    if it’s too hard, maybe other approaches to fulfilling human
    needs [than elite-derived ones] will be necessary.

  32. > Even at the time it was stupid, we need another APU why7? <

    Because New is Better, silly- even if it's much worse!

    Tyranny of "Progress"- see Christopher Lasch et al, and check the fit (not at all joking.)

    • “..What did Lasch see coming?

      His most important insight was the widening gulf between economic and cultural elites and the mainstream of American life, whose moral codes and traditions they hold in contempt. The book’s title refers to the Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset’s The Revolt of the Masses, a 1930 volume analyzing the rise of mass democracy, and what he regarded as the decadence of the new personality type coming to dominate society. Ortega was no aristocrat; in fact, he was a leader among Spanish republicans. But he was also an intellectual who feared that mass man would create a society in which all cultural and ideational hierarchies would be replaced by mere appetite. “Barbarism is the absence of standards to which appeal can be made,” wrote Ortega.

      Lasch inverted Ortega’s thesis, accusing American elites of rebelling against standards, and thus debilitating culture. Lasch’s targets were “upper middle class liberals” who, in his view, better exemplified the self-satisfaction, incuriosity, “radical ingratitude,” and hatred for anything not itself that Ortega found in mass man..”

      • @Bill7

        PS Hence the frustration of many here when they feel the need to counter the posts written from this élite point of view, posts which are insistent on presenting a blanket one dimensional and un informative defence of management interests with the sole and un remitting intent of protecting those, at the cost of exclusion or censorship

        This is to negate the previous requirements/requisites of industry, or of politics, for a generally open minded debate about means and ends

      • @Bill7

        Thanks for your comment – I pretty much agree – but to avoid going too far off topic will not discuss in detail

        What is interesting in the context of BA is that their industrial model seems both outdated and irrelevant, impossible to reform – WS and the rest have moved on

        Hence BoD systematic failure, deviance and unreliability, and the flat dull but devious language of Corporate PR

  33. I won’t go into details on the APU, but there is a huge back ground fighter going on between Boeing and Raytheon Collins Aerospace (UTAS, PW,..). Boeing wanted to become less dependent because Collins could said “no” in the Partnering For Success program 1 & 2. Boeing was squeezing the supply chain while playing Santa with free cash flow.

    A PFS 3, with survival as common goal should be launched, including GE, Spirit & Wa$hington.

    • Thank you, reminds me of what Boeing did on the landing gear for the 777X

      Picked a no name company to make the gear for the worlds biggest surviving commercial produion (sort of maybe ) aircraft.

      Because they did not like the bids they got for the gear.

      So, rather than a couple of gear makers doing decently, we break it up and have 3 fighting tooth and nail.

      What what did this cost Boeing? Price is no object when they want to undercut a supplier! Instead of turning a good known gear maker loose, they have to put major resources into making sure they can even do it let alone done right (detracting form their other issues that are still going wrong like fit on 787)

      And all that money going to waste as the gear mfg will never recover costs or pay for itself and Boeing has to support it with higher payments because they can’t afford to loose the gear maker now.

      The Gang That Could Not Build Straight.

        • Yea, yea yea, nothing to do with Boeing trying to undercut primes and going cheap.

      • And now Boeing is asking suppliers about the NMA-5X.
        Sure, if I were a supplier and went through the MAX drama and now the 787 drama and the 777X drama, I would think long to do business with Boeing again. I might tell Boeing that I can provide parts for them but now each part is not $100, like before, now each part is $250, take it or find another fool and don’t bother me again.
        That’s the reason why Boeing is asking. Which sane person would want to do business with them.

        Remember Leonardo, who built some wing parts for the 767 and Boeing was sueing them. Leonardo said that Boeing’s design prints were garbage.

        I recognized something similar recently too. The 787 is flying for 10 years. I checked Boeing’s Airport Planning PDF and couldn’t find the size of doors 3L and 3R. This is important.
        What is it? Is Boeing lazy, or are they drunk, or too cheap to provide infos, or is this secret information which needs to be kept secret?

        • Would anyone want a Boeing mfg Avionics Suite?

          After MCAS 1.0?

          I think not.

          • Um, TW, the problem with MCAS was overall system design not who made the actual electronics boxes (which was NOT Boeing).

            The 737 originally had Boeing-made auxiliary boxes such as for proximity sensor interpretation and various logic functions. Some Boeing engineers are bitter about such work being outsourced since.

            Traditionally airframe manufacturers outsourced avionics but controlled function with specifications. Boeing was good at mixing and maxing, often Collins flight instruments but Sperry gyros. For the commercial version of the C-130 Hercules Lockheed gave it all to Collins thus we had to suffer their inferior gyros.

            Architectures may be somewhat different today, with boxes hosting cards from different vendors, or computers hosting software from different vendors. The 787 does some of that, its databus system was developed by Collins earlier – it had done the R&D for an Ethernet-like data transmission system (very constrained compared to regular Ethernet)..

  34. Illustrating the value of airplanes to take people out of harm’s way

    A massive airlift of threatened Jews from unstable Ethiopia, in 1991.

    Never mind crash safety, the job got done.

    (Ethiopia had relative stability in the just-past decade, but some turmoil again. That’s what causes starvation. There has never been a famine in a country with a relatively free press.

    • Just thousands and thousands and thousands lineup in cars for foodbank! Can’t pay for food and can’t afford not to drive.

    • >There has never been a famine in a country with a relatively free press.

      Since suppression of free speech is a common factor in *most any declining entity* (examples, including >current ones<, available on request) it's an unremarkable statement. Maybe the Irish famine not so long ago would be exceptional, but I don't know that history well enough to say.

  35. ‘right thing’ depends on who is pontificating.

    By EIS of any new Boeing design, the A320 will be quite old. Perhaps a temporary advantage for Boeing.

    Staying flexible is helpful, doing at least preliminary design from the outset for a family is good.

    As for overlap with 787, remember the 757 and 787 – close but different markets. (The 757 transcon – but thanks in large part to new engines having amazing range, and the wide-body 787 with its big wing to support oceanic/remote with three engines. (Two engines in oceanic/remote became acceptable, the point to be made is Boeing planned ahead, in the event the big wing supported high gross weights. The 767 quickly became a 707 replacement in range.)

  36. I understood that there is some drag penalty to a fuselage that is short for its width.

    Airbus took the penalty with the A310 because of the cost saving of using a shortened A300 fuselage, whereas the 767-200 was closer to optimum. (I didn’t ask Boeing about a 767-100, would have been better for my airline but we were not in position to be a launch customer for such.)

    Pontificators should keep in mind that it is total economics that matters – that’s ‘integration’ (including all factors, then weighting them in decision).

    With wild cards today – climate catastrophists notably, even worse is they are collectivists thus support government meddling in design and use. (Never mind Brabazon, YS-11, …..)

    [History lesson: The British government pontificated on British need for passenger aircraft after WW II. (Actually, ‘British Empire’ in the form of the Commonwealth, wanting to keep places like Canada connected, plus commerce with allies like the USA.)

    The Bristol Brabazon was the choice of the ‘Brabazon Committee’ for big long-range, a prototype flew with piston engines, a turboprop version did not advance far before cancellation of the whole project due to airlines not wanting so big.

    The Committee may take credit for pointing the way to what became the Viscount, Britannia/CL44 though eclipsed by jets, and the Comet.

    With good production volume for the small Dove/Heron airplane, and the small Bristol Freighter of which a few hundred were built. (One in the museum SE of Edmonton AB, worth a detour if you drive to Alaska from the flatlands. An extra detour for west coasters, as you’d normally go through BC to Dawson Creek, or take ferries.)

    Others did not amount to much.

    • Boeings big Stratocruiser also only sold around 75 as well, but that was a passenger version of the USAF C97/KC97 of which 850 built. ( and reused a lot of B29 sections)
      Of course long range travel then was for the first class crowd and they needed space , but ocean liners could ‘out space’ any big airliner

  37. TW, ‘induced drag’ is from lift.

    There are various terms for drag from disruption of the air other than from lift, frontal area is important but you have to integrate total airflow.

    Much technical pontificating, aka guessing, in this thread.

  38. For Boeing to try match (or beat ?) A321 efficiency with a clean-sheet design, they need to exploit A321’s weak point, ie its wanting groundworthiness (slow airport ground rotations). With costs breaking down hourly/cyclic/fuel as 45/20/35, if the typical Boeing schedule planning admits 30′ block rotations instead of A321’s present day typical 50+’ on legs with 120′ flight time, trip costs would improve (20′ /170′) x 0.45 = 5.3 %, an economic advantage that A321 cannot match. This to underline that Boeing’s designers need to focus on ground rotation efficiency where there still is room for improvement in these days of otherwise maximal design optimisation throughout the operational spectrum.

      • It took some time and improvements to get the 180pax, 4000nm, 97t, 3ACT A321LR, but it seems it was much easier for the A319.
        The A319 can do 120pax, 4000nm with 75.5t MTOW and one ACT.
        It should be easy to increase the MTOW on the A319 and let it fly more than 5000nm. No new expensive wings needed.

        Times could change, smaller planes for long range, point to point.
        One pilot only would help, just use more planes.

        • The reason for the time ‘delay’ for the A321LR ( apart from lack of increased production rate to take new orders early) was the A321 was the already the heavyweight of the whole class and and any increased MTOW needed depper study.
          The A319 was the lightweight of the family and could borrow existing ‘heavy’ designs, such as thicker skins, more robust landing gear.

          Your pass counts are a bit too high as the A321LR with a ‘brochure’ seating of 206 doesnt account for normal US long range standards of premium seating, galleys entertainment etc which comes to something like 162 seats.
          The long range A319 will be down a bit from 120 seats in the same way. Results show the airlines have gone for the A321 in various long range forms not the A319 ,which is compromised even for shorter haul

          • “”doesnt account for normal US long range standards””

            180pax and 4000nm are my numbers I use for comparisons. Airbus isn’t producing only for US and still the XLR was ordered much.

            “”Results show the airlines have gone for the A321 in various long range forms not the A319″”

            Airbus didn’t offer an A319XLR, but it would be much easier. The A321XLR will keep the old wings with some improvements.
            I replied to Keesje, he mentioned 2 wing sets. An A319XLR wouldn’t need new wings and would keep the 36m gate.
            It’s natural that smaller versions (A319, MAX-7) have more range. It’s much easier to improve smaller versions further instead of improving the A321LR with the wing and gate problem. There can’t be many D gates, I guess that 757 and 767 would need to use E gates anyway on most airports.

      • Seems to me that Airbus are in the pleasant position of being able to wait and watch; they look to have a number
        of well-fitting programs perking nicely along.

        Airbus: Nice, slightly more efficient airplanes, while treating *those who make them* significantly better.. I like that idea.

        Boing: “we don’ need no steenking employees.. we’ll outsource it all!”

        ok- should be fine. 😉

  39. > no certification smartness anymore.

    “Smart™/smartness” = the little people (that’s almost all of us) getting reamed yet again..

  40. Exemplifying my point that manufacturers have paper airplanes in back rooms, check the list of models in for several that were floated in public and sank.

    The 747 of course was limited by its fuselage, even a full length upper deck would not have given a great increase in seat capacity, whereas Airbus’s clean sheet design did – but it was too large for the market.

    And look at the 707, where some loong stretches were sketched out, but rejected because:
    – major structural changes to lengthen landing gear to get rotation angle capability
    – the upgrade in capacity given by the 747

    The 747’s shape comes from wanting freighter capacity and the nose-loading capability for huge cargo of the C-5. Not a huge market, as a side cargo door could take sealand containers.

    Depends on what people want to do in total. Military want to fly big armoured devices, but with many there is ability to take them apart. I saw a version of that near me recently, with a set of tracks on a truck, then the body of a crane, then the boom pieces, etc. Cost of assembly/disassembly of course, but it facilitated the big crane being transported on highways. Note the modest number of C-5s built (131 total).

  41. Boing needs to show that they can competently execute any airplane program.

    The 767 was PR-launched in 7/78 and certificated in 7/82. Why is it an eight year possible timeframe for a possible
    new Boing for possible EIS, for a non-Moonshot aircraft?
    Might that company’s financialization, and consequently less-than-perfect™ employee and supplier relations have anything to do with it?

    s/ Curious.

    Re-engine the 757 or/and 767: 80+% of possible theoretical gains;
    and Boing’s in no position for a cutting-edge program anyway.
    Can they even do what’s mentioned, is my question-

    • I wish there were an edit button:

      *and [deeply-financialized and utterly beholden to WS] Boing’s in no position for a cutting-edge program anyway*

      I’d like to see it once again become a socially-responsible, decent company. That’d be going against the dark, elite-dominated tenor of the times, of course.

      Maybe Corporate will weigh in soon, with the Final Word-

      BTW- Thank you so much, R.o.b., for above granting me momentary, provisional Permission to Speak; I do realize that can be revoked at any time, and *am* grateful.

      • There is an edit function for a short time after pushing reply. But doesnt appear on all my devices so requires some operating system parts to have all ducks lined up.
        The reason for the longer time delay now is the planes are far more complicated, with lots of computer systems right up to simulators Those planes from the 70s/80s had a lot of faults on EIS that wouldnt be tolerated now

        • Maybe so, but the 767 was a very good and *reliable* airplane, and I think a worthy, useable benchmark for the present. Maybe I have a soft spot for the 767, having flown
          on them a lot and liking it.

          Airbus seem to get their craft into service in way, way under eight years- are they less complex, or might there be other reasons for their quicker EIS?

  42. Personally think this is a total miss by Boeing. A large diameter twin aisle won’t compare economically with the A321 (regular, XL or XLR). The single aisle with more efficient engines is more economical. They need a clean sheet replacement for the 737 that directly competes with the A320 family. This would end CFMs engine monopoly and let Boeing compete more effectively with better engines. To cover the top end of the mid-market quickly, they should produce a shortened 787. Oh, and on a slightly separate topic…quit wasting money on the 777x immediately.

    • Good call, I think; though I do understand them not wanting to
      give up on the sunk-costs 777X.

      737MadMax= dog
      KC-46= dog (likely a money-maker, though; t.y., US taxpayers!)
      787= Mmm, fuselage/tail
      NMA=figurative so far


  43. (45) windows Boeing 737 MAX 9
    (46) windows Boeing FSA
    (47) windows Boeing FSA
    (48) windows Boeing NMA
    (49) windows Boeing NMA
    (50) windows Boeing 787-8
    If you go in the wrong path
    That would Be A HUGE BLOW TO BOEING
    In Terms of Airlines Orders
    Once it Rollouts in 2 years The Airbus A321XLR and Which it has 50 windows.

  44. Pingback: Is Thai Airways’ latest fleet plan good enough? – EPSILON AVIATION

  45. The NMA LITE
    Will Have Three Doors
    1 Door In The Front The Mid Exit Will Be On Door 23 And The Last Door On The TailFin and It’s Wing Number 13 To See The Engines and Number 33 were The Flaps Retracted on the Wings To Replace The Boeing 737 MAX And The NMA Will Have 4 Doors 1 door in the front The Mid Exit Will Be On Door 24 and Door 25 The Second Last Door On 39 and 40 And The Last Door On The TailFin On Number 48 and 49 and the Wing on Number 14 and 15 to see The Engines and Number 34 and 35 were The Flaps Retracted on the wings To Replace The Boeing 757 and 767 ok and it’s going to be a Gamechanger.

  46. The NMA LITE
    The Last Door On The TailFin On Number 47
    I’m Sorry For The Number 46 It Wasn’t the right Answer I Had a Gut Feelings ok bye.

  47. ‘Induced drag,’ according to TW, is caused by lift.
    Other than lift, there are several terminology for drag caused by air disruption; frontal area is significant, but total airflow must be considered.
    This discussion contains a lot of technical pontificating, or guesswork.

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