Pontification: It’s time to replace the 737, says industry leader

By Scott Hamilton

June 14, 2021, © Leeham News: One of commercial aviation’s most influential leaders said last week Boeing needs to replace the 737 with a new technology airplane.

Steven Udvar-Hazy, chairman of Air Lease Corp., said in a CNBC interview June 9 the 737 is a good airplane, but the time has come for a replacement.

“Boeing has to look at the future. What kind of airplanes that airlines will need with all the environmental challenges, regulatory challenges? What is the airplane type airlines will need 5, 10, 15, 20 years from now?” Hazy said.

“Boeing needs to invest. The 737 is a wonderful airplane, but it’s been in operation since 1967. We have an airplane that its basic design has been around for 54 years. It’s time for a new technology airplane that will give airlines and the public greater efficiency, better economics, better environmental footprint so the airlines can make money with it and yet meet the challenges that we’re facing on the environmental front.”

Boeing lost its leadership role

Hazy also said Boeing lost its leadership role in the industry to Airbus.

“I think the biggest issue I see looking back 20 years is Boeing used to be the leader, introducing airplanes like the 747, the Triple Seven, the 787. I feel like in the last five or six years, they’ve allowed Airbus to spend more money on R&D and basically take market share away from them, particularly in the narrow body, the single-aisle family. The combination of the A320neo and the A321neo has really dented Boeing’s market share on 737s. That’s the bread and butter airplane for Boeing.”

Hazy lamented Boeing’s performance over the last 2 ½ years. The 737 MAX was grounded for 21 months. The US Federal Aviation Administration recertified the airplane in November, but not all jurisdictions followed suit. China and Russia, Hazy said, still haven’t authorized the MAX’s return to service.

Then, shortly after the MAX reentered service, it was grounded again, this time by Boeing, with the discovery of a technical concern found in production. This was resolved within a few weeks.

Deliveries of the 787 halted in October over production issues at the Charleston (SC) plant. Deliveries resumed at the end of March before being halted again by the FAA while related paperwork issues are reviewed. None has been delivered since then.

Changing leadership isn’t fixing the problems

Hazy clearly wasn’t impressed with the leadership changes at Boeing.

“You can change line up and the orchestra, but if the music doesn’t sound good to the audience, it doesn’t matter. Changing people just for the sake of changing leadership titles is not going to solve the problem,” he said.

ALC has had “professional” but “very open” discussions with Boeing that “this is not the Boeing we know.”

“They’ve got to get their production systems in line. They’ve got to improve quality control. They have to meet their promises. Boeing has let down a lot of its customers. I think they’re working very hard and putting a lot of resources on getting back on track but it’s been a very, very difficult last two-plus years with Boeing,” Hazy said.

Boom’s price-per-seat

Boom—the developer of the Overture SST—has a price of $200m for its aircraft. The CEO says he’s not discounting the airplane. I can’t imagine United or any other airline paying retail for a jetliner, but let’s set this aside for the moment and assume this is true.

One measurement airlines consider when buying airplanes is the price per seat. By this metric, Boom’s Overture is way, way out of the norm.

Airbus no longer publishes list prices. Boeing’s 2020 list pricing is available. So LNA compared list prices and the standard, two-class seating Boeing lists for its aircraft. Boom’s seating is now 88 (it began at 55).

On this basis, Boom’s price per seat is nearly $2.3m. Boeing’s most expensive price per seat airplane is the 777-8, at nearly $1.2m

In reality, Boeing’s actual sales price is often discounted 50% and sometimes as much as 60% to the list price. The per-seat gap increases dramatically in real-real aircraft acquisition.

There’s really not much more to say, except for this: Cirium has a devastating analysis on the market demand for an SST. And it’s a lot less than Boom suggests.


134 Comments on “Pontification: It’s time to replace the 737, says industry leader

  1. Udvar-Hazy is correct in saying that the 737 is past its time, but BA has essentially already missed the boat with its replacement. Even if a new aircraft is announced tomorrow, it will still be at least 8 years before it becomes available. In the meantime, Airbus is strengthening its dominance in the NB segment, and two new competitors (C919 and MC-21) will be available in the near future for customers in countries who are “non-western-aligned”. The FAA is already being ignored in Asia/Pacific today, so who’ll care whether these new offerings are “western certified” or not?

    With the icy tones between the G7 and China in the past few days, BA shouldn’t plan on getting any future slice of the Chinese NB market — let’s hope BA’s marketing department factors that into the sales prognoses. Airbus may not be far behind in that respect: once the Chinese have a homegrown product, they’ll dump anything “western”. The Chinese are now probably doubling down on efforts to produce a domestic engine, foreseeing that the US will block LEAP exports.

    So, taking all that into account — and also considering a countermove by AB — what addressable market is there for a new BA single-aisle product?

    • Bryce would you prefer for just Boeing to not exist and Airbus to be the only OEM? I’m genuinely asking I don’t mean that to argue with you

      • No, I wouldn’t prefer that — I’d prefer for Boeing to go back to the reliable company that it once was. But what we do or don’t “prefer” has no bearing on objective reality, does it? Boeing chose to squander its reputation for a quick dollar, and now its situation is truly precarious.

        And Airbus won’t be the only OEM: Embraer and ATR are still there, and the Chinese and Russians will also gain a foothold.

        • The regime change operations pushed by the US have shown that destruction/gutting is easy.

          (re)creation is in a completely different class.
          ( and they’ve never managed it at all.)

          • Nnaeto:

            While it is a good question, but there is a strange highly China bias involved.

            Where that comes from I don’t know.

            No China should not be underestimated but they also are not 20 ft tall.

            Its only a discussion if there is a willingness to consider a posted take and assess it vs a bias.

            BBD is a rare example of they got most of the two of the three aspects of a successful Large Commercial Aircraft. The C series done (granted at a huge cost structure). But they could not maintain production.

            While production was a major issue, credibility in support was also a major factor.

            It will take Airbus many years to get the now A220 as a viable program. And that is with an outstanding fully modern build.

          • > (re)creation is in a completely different class. ( and they’ve never managed it at all.)

            C’mon man, USA USA! did a superb job of nation-building™ in Iraq Libya Syria (to come?) and elsewhere..


          • So, if the weather man predicts that there’s a storm coming, then that can only mean that he’s biased toward storms?

            That’s a fascinating world view.

          • -> “The C series done. But they could not maintain production.”

            Where is the evidence??

      • When one of duolopy crashes out, we should all hold our noses and give a helping hand? That’s not what’s called the “free market” in textbook, right?

        • Saving them at any cost is certainly not the textbook definition of “free market”.

          I think an interesting question is, can world civil aviation really operate with only one single OEM? In normal circumstances (i.e. no Covid), I’d have said “no” simply because of production capacity. Now, I think that’s up for debate.

          Safety? Efficiency? How about the Airlines? There’s arguments both ways, but if the debate could conclude “there’s got to be more than one”, then the world’s governments might have to concede to an intervention in that free market. To get that intervention right would require supreme delicacy, something I fear would not be delivered. For example, getting Boeing really right could mean wholesale changes to the entire business ecosystem of the USA, otherwise it could just end up being perpetually supported by the tax payer.

    • While the MC 21 is definitely an advance on anything ‘western’, it’s quite hilarious to think the C919 is in that category. It’s actually ‘newer’ even than the MC21 it seems it’s technology is much older …around the early 80s it seems. It’s wing , we are told, is built on the other side of the factory to the sub contract production of A320 wings, also from the early 80s.
      Bryce you need to wake and smell the coffee, the C919 doesn’t have a non Western engine and even the Leap copy could be 10 years away, the customer isn’t in the strong position you think it is with regard Boeing orders….blowhards often find that’s the case.

      • The C919 might not be that technologically advanced, but the Chinese Airlines are basically all state owned. There will forcibly a strong domestic demand, which both Airbus and Boeing won’t be able to compete with. They will certainly order some western planes, but my guess would be at least 50% will be local models in 10 years.

        • The folks who minimize or pooh-pooh what China can do, and likely will do in Aerospace are deluded. Do they not realize where *most everything they buy* comes from? The notion that China can’t because it’s not fully flowered quite yet is a curious one.

          stay tuned

          pull your thumb out BA, and do something.

          • @ Bill7
            The Chinese are currently building their own space station, they recently soft-landed a probe on Mars (first attempt) and also deployed a rover on Mars (first attempt)…but there’s absolutely no way that they’ll ever be able to run a commercial airliner program — right?

            ROFL 😉

          • Diversion…much. no wonder aviation is in a funk the best and brightest are wasting their talents on vanity projects
            How’s that shnzhai engine for the C919 going, and how’s the shanzhai C929/IL96 coming ?

          • Last week, @DoU touted his proposed “MAX 10B”, *built on 60s technology*, would be competitive with A321XLR.

            Cognitive dissonance??

        • What engines do these ‘home brand’ planes fly with ?
          CF34 on the ARJ-21 and Leap-1C on the C919.
          Why would the US allow them to use their engines , so they can be then shut out of the home market.
          As well the C919 has a lot of US systems from US suppliers especially in the critical avionics area, but others like APU, landing gear, fuel systems, flight control actuators..
          This is not unusual for any recent airliner program like Bombardiers Cseries and Embraer especially who have very little made in Brazil. Those countries achieved international standards in certification and chose to compete on their merits , not by operating in a closed domestic market. Boeing got slapped back by trying to close off the local market for Cseries even with a Mobile workaround.

          • And what “international standards” were adhered to in the farsical “certification” of the MAX?
            And why did the FAA settle on a two-input bandaid for MCAS when the current “international standard” is to use 3 inputs?

            Some very selective interpretations being used here…

          • The MAX crashes exposed the self-certified regime in U.S. aviation. Is that the “international standards” you meant?

      • The C919 doesn’t have to be an “advance” compared to any current technology: it just has to be “home grown”. The Chinese want aviation independence — the first iteration thereof doesn’t have to be cutting edge. Once the first iteration is established, follow-on iterations will follow in quick succession.
        I’m not the one here who can’t “smell the coffee” 😉

        And, if the C919 is “hilarious” because it’s based on 80s technology, then what label does one put on the MAX, which is based on 60s technology and doesn’t even have FBW? How about “preposterous”?

        • @Bryce

          Your response to the usual suspect is correct

          China is building an aviation industry, starting with their home market, and the first examples/products are not expected to ‘world beaters’ – this is/would be an impossibility

          To criticise the supposed ‘poor quality’ of the CR planes is to miss the point and to fail to understand industrial and infrastructure processes and time scales, probably for reasons of ideological prejudice rather than from any rational examination of reality

          Winess Slater the traitor!

          • Building home market ?
            Not going to happen if they want a closed market ,against WTO rules, and yet they want their ‘home brand – Shanzhai planes to fly with western produced engines….pleeeeze
            Why do you think the WTO gets so involved in the machinations of state aid and such of Boeing and Airbus.
            If China doesnt need the World to export to, and ignore the WTO rules by which it does so more freely, its in for a hell of a lot of hurt domestically.

          • Americans made sure WTO has carve outs to allow its Buy American first requirement.

        • Yes, it will take some fast iterations of new C919 models for them to get very close. Just like the Koreans and their car industry getting new models onto the market quicker than the Japanese and Germans and getting closer for each iteration.
          It is just about funding and letting young engineers try their skills and not letting politrucks and its CAA forcing copying the A320neo and its LEAP engine.
          The political situation with China amessing wealth and irritating the west looks like a repeat of the opium war and China silver wealth back then. Hopefully the West is smarter now compared to back then. As China infrastructure is finish built-up they can move to private land ownership and normal political parties (one for the rich, one for the poor, one for farmers, one for industrial workers, one for teachers and lower civil servants, one for the religious, one for the enviromentalists and one nationalistic that is against all the others including all non-chinese) then they team up after electrions and make a goverment like in the EU.

          • > China infrastructure is finish built-up they can move to private land ownership and normal political parties <

            What's a "normal political party"?
            Timely question, I think..

            Not to worry: they'll build 'em with Robots and "AI".

          • > China infrastructure is finish built-up they can move to private land ownership and normal political parties <

            What's a "normal political party"?
            Timely question, I think..

            Not to worry: they'll build 'em with Robots and "AI" (joking).

          • China’s political candidates and system is more interesting than you think. There are other parties or people who dont belong to CCP in their parliament but not for opposition in the western sense. Unlike the Soviet model, at various levels theres more approved candidates than positions available, at higher levels it might be 10% down to village level when it could be an ‘open slate’. In most western countries now they have moved to good sized multiple parties rather than US style monolithic two party system. But of course a Leninist-Party-state isw still at centre of the China system
            The single party government is quite common throughout Asia and its a fairly settled system with a few hiccups , like Japan has been ruled by LDP almost entirely since late 40s, (maybe 5 years with coalitions of other parties) and they too have self selecting party hierarchy.
            Not really the place here to ponder on the ‘system’

          • If this is a repeat of the opium wars who is the man behind the curtain? It was David Sassoon who used his wealth to influence / corrupt Parliament to cause this vile trade to continue. His key role is minimised. Today the “Master of the Universe” and there media upset over some privatisations that didn’t go there way promote conflict with Russia forcing China into allegiance with Russia and creating a powerful allegiance that needn’t have been. The MC21 is a sophisticated product and the Russians have developed engines (the PD-14), Fly By Wire and APU options to make the MC-21 sanction proof. This technology will be transferred in an instant to the C919 should it be threatened by Sanctions and we can see this happening with the C929.

        • @DoU

          Who says anything about a closed market – as far as I know China is the world’s biggest importer and exporter, and set to grow

          Who says anything about ‘flaunting WTO rules’ although these are often the subject to dispute, and of course change

          The point is that industrial development proceeds always to the same pattern-copy or steal another country’s more advanced tech, build this up first in the home market, then…

          Witness Slater – read up on the history of industry and your comments will gain

          You’ll find the US still copying/stealing ever since- was’nt Chairman Cal copying some Toyota stuff not so long ago, even if he couldn’t quite get it to work

          As for state support being somehow illegal or unfair….well look at the various Biden bills

          • > As for state support being somehow illegal or unfair….well look at the various Biden bills <

            Alluding to this w/ another commenter; no response so far.

            "It's *totally different* when we do it."

      • @duke

        “Boeing forecasts China’s annual passenger traffic growth to be 5.5% over the next 20 years. Boeing estimates operators will need more than 6,450 new single-aisle airplanes in China over the next 20 years.”

        These are BA’s numbers. If China can force it’s carriers to take 50% of that number from BA & AB, for domestic service – it’ll be a huge chunk out of the revenue streams from both.

        It isn’t about making an aircraft comparable to the Max or the Neo. It’s about them buying a Chinese product and NOT a western made one.

      • The current chines plane iteration is more a learning project to set up the industry, skills and support structures. Its a learning curve you cant rush that much. It doesnt need to be competetive as long as the KP mandates their airlines to buy it. Their home market sales can even be large enough to create a sizable war chest for financing a next gen plane without much government money on top.

        • That was not the original intent. It was to get it certified to World Standards (more or less FAA and EASA and those who work withing that system such as Brazil, Japan).

          Where Airbus succeeded in fully modern and different.

          The A300 was on a shoe string but Leahy leveraged it and it had a moderate success in Asia that did not adhere to the 3 engine standard for longer over ocean.

          In turn the A320 was facing a dated competitor already and it matched or exceeded the 737 at the time (despite how entrenched the 737 was)

          As China has no current path to certification (World no internal ) it will be limited to internal China.

          Yes the Government can force the airlines to take it and it will be interesting to see as it would not be able to fly to say Vietnam that does have the World requirement. Vietnam is allowing overflight of the MAX, but not allowed yet.

          So even if a country allowed it to land, if it has to pass through another country that does not, its not allowed.

          Ergo, limited flexibility.

          I don’t know how many all internal routes they can fly and make it work, it would be a good report that is well beyond my capability.

          You don’t become world class by copying, you have to get in on the cutting edge.

          Japan offered economical and reliable cars to the US that his a boom during a dire period and proved themselves.

          Airbus had an opening and took it.

          China does not have the tech down so they went joint with Russia with the 929 but that is playing out as you would expect.

          • > As China has no current path to certification (World no internal ) it will be limited to internal China. <

            Maybe that's so, TW; but where's the evidence for this repeated claim?

            "slant-eyes can't make airliners" is not evidence. Ignore the competition at
            your country's peril..

            "first slowly, then faster." -Hemingway

          • There wasnt a ‘standard’ outside the FAA about 3 engines over water. In Asia they used the ICAO standards which were more realistic. The FAA was fixated on the California- Hawaii route because of the record of ditchings by airliners in the 4 engine propellor days, and others who made it with one engine out.
            This meant a plane for US service that didnt have the capability to do the route from the halfway point with one engine out wouldnt be certified. Twins, a bit smaller like the A300, could do the North Atlantic if they routed a bit north so they could use Reykjavik as an alternate.
            Europe -Africa was like Asia , didnt need a big jump across a major ocean gap for a lot of routes .

          • Bill7:

            I detest it when people put words in your mouth let alone using derogatory terms for people and then back ref.

            The Chinese are fully capable of advance tech and innovation as is any country that has the infrastructure, schools and science disciplines to make that happen.

            If you read the aviation trade publications you will have seen the course of the certification attempts and failures for both the ARJ21 and the 919.

            They also have not developed a commercial jet engine. Its not that they can’t, its the SFC and reliability that the US/UK/EU have been working on since WWII.

            China was not willing to go back and correct the problems in their process for certification and there was nothing the FAA could do.

            It may well be that now they would not even try, but there was a more workable climate previously.

            I admire what they did on the Mars rover endeavor, that was some extraordinarily well done work.

            So do not read a racist aspect into a disagreement with both a government/system and the ability to create and support a viable LCA into the world.

          • Duke:

            I will follow up but that does seem right, so kudo to you on that one. My hat is off on that point.

            It may be that I was remember the US history on it and at one time that drove world standards until Airbus came alone.

            I doubt the FAA would allow twins, ergo the 3 engines and the 777 at one time was designed with 3.

            So yes the standard was set for 4 piston engines and the MD-10/L1011 broke the mold with 3.

            Airbus had the moxy to go with two. But that is a case in point there was an entry point there (credit to Airbus)

            Equally Airbus and Fly By Wire. Clearly Boeing was not moving in that direction until Airbus proved it.

            But that also is an example of where you can gain entry to a field.

            China is offering nothing new on the 919 and the 929 is Russian due to the tech and the Western Certifiable Russia does possess as they went through the process China dumped on.

          • Russian’s An-124 is frequently sighted in U.S. and Europe. Was it developed under your “World Standards”??

          • An-124? Why yes
            “The An-124-100 is actually a fully commercial derivative of the military AN-124 external link, with more than 14 years experience of intensive, global commercial operations. The civil An-124-100 was certified in 1992, and meets all current civil standards including ICAO Stage/ Chapter III noise limits and modern navigational equipment requirements.”
            Not to hard when you put your mind to it

          • ICAO is not a regulator. Don’t you know??

    • Just a fyi, the C919 currently only has monthly mfg capacity of 4 aircraft. Looking forward 10 years, maybe 10 a month for the C919, not a real threat but China want the world to recognize them as legitimate commercial aircraft producer

      • Good for within Communist China, but the big questions are reliability and support.

        Russia has long faced those questions, has tried to satisfy by adding options of ‘western’ engines.

        Even Airbus and Embraer did not satisfy US airlines, not bad and they’ve improved.

        A person I knew who’d been involved in operating F28s said they were better designs out of the gate compared to B737s but Europeans did not understand why anyone would want their design to be ‘improved’. Boeing was renowned for product support but it took several years for each of the B727 and B737 designs to be rid of problems.

        The F28 was a good airplane but did not have the belly of the B737, Transair Winnipeg used them on flights from Winterpeg to northern MB which had road service for freight, those flights carried many business people with little luggage (like Alberta shuttles of PW and on the east coast of the US). But Transair used the B737 to go to Whitehorse YT. Of course in Europe roads and trains are available to carry freight, though I’ve seen car fenders in B737 belly cargo as faster than a half day or more by road.

        • And I should give credit to airlines for improving reliability.

          Those with strong engineering departments and supporting functions were key players in improving reliability of Boeing airliners. The likes of AC, PA, and UA plus PW for the commercial Hercules airfreighter.

          Wildest case was AC trimming corners of turbine blades on brand new Airesearch APU wheels. The Phoenix bureaucracy did not like that, especially as their replacement to get reliability did not do nearly aw well as was promised. (That company had a record of botching improvements.) Its lack of ability fomented emergence of competitors after a couple of tries, the likes of Sundstrand(AlliedSignal/Honeywell)/APIC and other companies teamed to supplant Airesearch – UA was a huge push for that. (Earlier the L1011 used a PWC PT6 TwinPack as APU. PWC is now on the A380 and A32x, B787 and B747-400, and Embraer E1xx line. Now Boeing and Safran plan to build large APUs. Competition is good.)

          Boeing is in my ‘future to the back’ category, having built small turboshaft engines circa 1960s..

          And in ‘not new’ is that it powered an anti-submarine drone helicopter.

  2. But this goes back to what I asked last week. If Customers are saying they want a new narrow body. What can Boeing do? They won’t build NMA in its initial form. They have to answer to their customers and if the aircraft can give them the break they’re looking for. Then they have to do it

  3. The Boeing Transonic Truss-Braced Wing looks compelling and likely to offer a 10% aerodynamic fuel burn advantage over aircraft of similar propulsion quality but the NASA X-Plane test bed demonstrator for the technology wont fly until till 2023 suggesting a decision on this concept can’t be made till 2024.

    Airbus needs to make sure it doesn’t fall into the same trap Boeing did in 10-20 years time.

    • Reminds me of the forward swept wing, it looked so good on paper ( although for different reasons to efficiency), but planes dont fly in wind tunnel conditions in real world.

      • The forward swept wing worked quite well though. Its failure to spread owes itself to other factors.

        During the second world war the Germans built and successfully flew a forward swept jet test bed code named Junkers Ju 287 V1 in August 1944 and latter produced a technically successful forward swept business jet called the HFB 320 Hansa Jet (of which 47 were built from about 1964).

        The forward sweep was to direct the span wise flow sweep creates inwards and away from the tips where it might cause premature tip stall due to the thickening of the boundary layer from the longer flow path and a loss of roll control and irrevocable pitch up. The aeroelastic problems of forward sweep meant that Junkers used a twin spar structure with thick skins. So as not to interrupt the skins they podded the engines and so as avoid flutter they changed the natural frequency of the wing by using the engine pods as pendulums.

        The use of pods and engines acting as pendulous masses found its way into the B-47 though forward sweep didn’t make it.

        The forward sweep technology worked and the extra weight needed to stiffen the wing was compensated by the space advantages having spar far back in the fuselage gave for cargo, passengers or bombs.

        The HFB-320 seems to have failed more due to changes in the Deutschmark US dollar exchange rate and issues unrelated to the unconventional layout.

        Latter the US X-29 and Sukhoi S52 tried again using composites with tailored aeroelasticity but forward sweep is not radar stealthy it seems and that is the way the milarites were going.

        Often technologies that work just don’t become standardised and remain unfamiliar. Slats, wing fences, dog tooth leading edges, geometric twist were used to break up span wise flow on rearward swept wings.

        The Transonic Truss-Braced Wing (TTBW) seems a concept rather than a potential project for launch though I can’t see why it can’t be built. The upper wing 20 degree sweep vehicle is capable of handling turbofans, turboprops and propfans allowing Boeing to spread the risk.

    • So, if airbus launches now they will have the market to themselves for 10 years.

      • Looks like it. Boeing have to make the MAX work. It seems a very competitive aircraft except when a smaller aircraft is needed (A220) or longer range is needed (A321XLR) . I suspect that the MAX-8, MAX-9 and MAX-10 will remain very competitive in the passenger number and range covered by those aircraft.

        If Airbus introduce a composite ‘wing of the future’ what are they doing? Getting longer range or getting reduced weight and thereby increased fuel economy? If they get the range to between 5500NM to 6000NM all of the Asian capitals are in range of Europe. Lesser ranges allow flights like New York to Honolulu.

    • What’s the rationale for a truss braced wing? I can see that a truss is much more efficient structurally in bending, supporting the weight of the aircraft and the engines. How much weight does this save in the structure of the wing, and how much overall, and is it worth it? Is the wing more aero efficient because it is now thinner? Where does the fuel go?
      What is the story and the rationale for the truss braced wing? I see the pictures, but I have not heard the explanation.

      • @Ted
        Excellent questions.
        “How much weight does this save in the structure of the wing, and how much overall, and is it worth it?”
        The main idea behind the strut-braced wing is to allow a much larger wingspan and smaller chord and thickness for the same platform area and Mach number. The strut helps with structural loads in positive g-maneuvers (i.e. a pull up), but not as helpful in a negative g-maneuver (i.e. a pushover) so the weight savings from a strut vs. a similar cantilever wing (if possible at all) is not game-changing. Also, the strut does not help as much with the torsional rigidity of the outboard wing at higher speeds (which causes flutter issues). This latter issue is something that low-speed truss-braced aircraft aren’t exposed to as much but transonic commercial planes need to address.
        ” Is the wing more aero efficient because it is now thinner?” yes & no. some gains come from the lower thickness but the most significant aerodynamic benefit comes from the higher span (i.e. increased aspect ratio, reduced induced drag). Also, at transonic speeds, the strut to wing junction produces ungodly amounts of wave drag. An issue that is often handwaved (oh we’ll get that fixed when we go to the next phase).
        ” Where does the fuel go?” supposedly in the wing. But this places the center fuel tank (usually 30-40% of fuel volume and always full) above passengers, and in a crash landing, the fuel tank will dose the passengers underneath with fuel – no reliable shield can be designed (and even if so, add extra weight). Not currently allowed for a new cert type for this reason. To these issues, you might add the extra weight of the fuselage structure to be able to support the wing weight in a crash landing (i.e. so it doesn’t crush the cabin), and the extra weight and aerodynamic penalties of the additional landing gear fairings (for conventional low-wing airplanes, the landing gear is conveniently mounted to the wing and folds into the wing-to-body-fairing). Another issue would be water landing (miracle on the Hudson): current regulations demand the airplane to be hydrostatically stable and not roll in the water more than 10 degrees sideways once ditched. A low wing airplane facilitates this by the buoyancy of the wings sitting level in the water. A high wing airplane, if ditched, has to roll on its side to get to hydrostatic equilibrium. These issues are not insurmountable, but their solutions add tremendous weight and drag to an airplane, which doesn’t compete well with an equivalent low-wing design. As you can see, there is a lot of good reasons why every modern commercial airplane has a low-wing, conventional design. A lot of these issues are exotic and are usually not realized or tackled until a later stage in the development. As you can see, a low wing conventional design inherently avoids a lot of these issues from the start.

        The TBW concept, which is the product of the Southern California Advanced concepts team in Huntington Beach, has been debunked at Boeing internally several times by the other engineering stakeholders , yet it always seems to find a way to come back periodically. Non of the fundamental issues have ever been addressed and the internal evaluations have been grim at best.

    • > Airbus needs to make sure it doesn’t fall into the same trap Boeing did in 10-20 years time. <

      Where's the evidence that they might do that?

      A350F ?

      A321XLR? EIS 2023.


      As for the first part of the comment, it fits w/ the "Boom!" SST stuff, as far as I can see: vaporware.
      The competition are refining very prosaic stuff,
      and I see that as the right road, for now.

      • Udvar Hazy was the one that asked for a 5000NM A321 which became the 4700NM A321XLR. Perhaps the A322 or A321 plus with the plastic wing will get that 5000NM plus range. 5000NM just manages Frankfurt to Bangkok If the combination of new engines, new wing aerodynamics, reduced wing weight and wing fuel volume get to 5500NM a large number of European to Asian destinations open up.

  4. Boeing’s failure to change has been an on going issue, for years, they try to save money by recycling ideas, and engineering. It ends up costing them. They lost the Joint Strike Fighter which is the Lockheed Martin F-35, because they tried to recycle Harrier trchnology that was suceptable to heat seeking missles.

    The cargo dooron the 757 Freighter is the same door that is on the KC-135 Tankers, a early 1950s design. The circular staircase on the early 747s was the same one from the 377 Strato Cruiser. Boeing has been high criticizedby other aircraft manufactures for not modernizing the way they do things. I was there for 15years, and thena yearas a contract engineer.

    • they didn’t lose the JSF because they were more vulnerable to heat seekers than the lockheed design.

      they lost for several reasons:
      1: their design was (slightly) less stealthy due to the exposed fan face
      2: they changed their design radically at the last moment from a delta to a wing and tail
      3: they didn’t put on a STOVL-Supersonic demo (because in order to save cost during the demo phase, their STOVL version didn’t have the variable geometry intake that the production version would have, and so couldn’t)
      4: they owned fewer congresscritters
      5: their design was perceived as “ugly”

      actual capability, actual development time and actual costs had almost nothing to do with the selection of the F-35. politics and perception decided it.

      so, we got a rube goldberg fighter jet 10 years after planned IOC that still doesn’t do half what it promised.

      • From my POV the F-35 is fulfilling its [unstated] mission perfectly: milking huge money/resources from the taxpayers, ad infinitum.

        “We’ll fix that pesky, unflyable bit in Block37b4, in FY2073.”

        it’s keystroke-money now anyway; but resources are not so easily conjured.

  5. If Boeing commits to the NMA they’ll kill two birds with one stone. They’ll be giving the airlines the B767 replacement, and they’ll have the most popular freightliner platform updated. In addition, they’ll have a new cockpit and a lot of the software for the NSA. They could do it in four years, yes four years if they keep it in house. See Covid-19 vaccine: One year. In the past development of a vaccine took many years. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Three years…

    • Three years – sure. After all, Boeing have had such a wonderful recent history of turning out aircraft on time and on budget – right?

      777X – check.
      737 Max – check.
      787 – check.

      I’m sure Calhoun is thinking exactly this…

    • But they would allow Airbus to gain an unhealthy marketshare 120-160 and 180-220 seats. For development times, lets take the 787, MAX and 777X as reference, including a damaged, angry (justified) re-authorized FAA.

    • I’m sorry to wake you from your blissful dream – but development times for clean sheat aircrafts have increased over the years. Boeings last attempt to ignore those realities in favor of some powerpoint fluff ended in financial disaster (787).

      • nofly:

        I think the area we need to look at is the T-7A and MQ-25.

        Those may be the integration the all digital that changes things time wise.

        I am not say it is so, just it is a possible route that might change that dynamic.

        It also means Boeing does not repeat the 787 disaster, or create a different one.

        As with the MAX, see one horrid decision and where that can lead.

        • T-7A & MQ-25 are not designed or certified to FARs, assuming the next BCA program will have the same short development cycle is a stretch…

          • That Boeing lost its self-cert business is a bigger loss than the MAX loss.

            I wonder what’s going on with the 787 fuselage issues. It seems the way Boeing wanted to fix it doesn’t fly.

        • The MQ-25 does not expect to reach IOC until 2025, postponed by one year, but our poster has a crystal ball and knows it’s a Great Success in 2021!!

    • > They could do it in four years, yes four years if they keep it in house..

      show me

      >See Covid-19 vaccine: One year. In the past development of a vaccine took many years. <

      Yes, let's do follow *that one* especially; and its
      longer-term outcomes.

    • ‘CDC says vaccine link to heart inflammation is stronger than previously thought’:

      Last Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there is a stronger correlation between the coronavirus vaccine and heart inflammation.

      “Males under the age of 30 may face heart complications after receiving a full shot, Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the CDC’s Immunization Safety Office, said during a Food and Drug Administration advisory group, NBC News reported.

      Although it has not been officially confirmed to be an associated problem, the agency is investigating 226 cases of myocarditis, the inflammation of the myocardium in the heart, and pericarditis, the inflammation of the pericardium, among young, vaccinated men. Myocarditis and pericarditis share the same symptoms, including fever, fatigue, shortness of breath and a particular type of chest pain..”

      “Points-scoring”? Mmm. Check w/ me in late 2023..

      Decide for yourself, yourself, yourself- on all counts.


      • 226 (non fatal, temporary) cases in what, 30,000,000 vaccinations of men under 30, vs 2 in 1000 mortality (for healthy men under 30). I’ll take the vaccine thank you very much.

        myocarditis and endocarditis is also a frequent side effect of dental work, so you better not get your teeth cleaned….

    • Mmm, four years would require great leadership – lacking with 787 and 737MAX. Boeing did have very good engineering leadership in the 767 program.

      As for vaccines, note major advances in biomedical technology had occurred and research into vaccine against cancer was quickly applied to develop the BioNTech/Flizer mRNA vaccine. And government bureaucracies like US FDA compromised by approving use earlier than normally would occur (and likely were more focused than usual).

  6. as much as they are incapable of it at this point, Boeing needs to take a “moonshot”

    the replacement for the 737/757 needs to be a radical departure from the aluminum tube and wing design, which, while it has been very cheap and effective, has reached the end of the optimization curve (at least, given the C gate rules)

    Airbus will probably drop a C gate compatible A322 with composite wings and down folding wingtips which will be about as far as you can go with an aluminum tube narrowbody.

    Boeing needs to shoot for the moon with either a BWB or double bubble TBW and introduce a step change in both flying and gate turnaround efficiency.

    but they won’t. they will twiddle their thumbs, Rome will burn, and the Board will ride shareholder returns into the ground.

    • That’s what they need – to think outside the box – 747, 777, 787 style. Hopefully they will land a visionary at the helm.

      • If you go by recent history, that will never happen. Guys in the c-suite don’t give up their gravy train just because some feel the company needs a ‘visionary’. Nope – they ride that sucker all the way into the ground and get paid to do it.

        It’s just not how things work on Wall Street

      • More good management and engineering.

        Visionaries are not grounded in reality.

        • Well put. It is not that I’m niave and don’t understand that many CEOs will milk a company for all they can, it’s just that Boeing still has enough experienced people and resources to be a great operation. But they do need to take some risks.

  7. In the price per seat for Boom best factor in that being supersonic you may fly up to twice the miles with the same seat (one of the reasons planes win it from trains, tax advantages apart). But this will not bridge the factor 5 in the 2nd figure. And of course you will not make twice the miles since time on the ground at airports will not differ that much.

  8. If BA is planning a new NB, then a candidate engine is appearing on the horizon:

    “GE, Safran working on cleaner energy aircraft engines that could work with hybrid technology, hydrogen”

    “GE’s aviation unit and its joint-venture partner Safran of France on Monday said they are developing new airplane engines that aim to cut emissions by more than a fifth of today’s levels.

    The companies plan to design an engine that is open fan, which is unlike the covered jet-engines on commercial aircraft.”


    • That open rotor design will be available from 2035 (best case). So aircraft development would have to start in 2027.
      Thats a project with manyy known showstopper risks.
      – Will the engine be available on time?
      – Will it be reliable enough?
      – Will the promised performance figures really materialize?
      – Can it fit into current and future noise regulations?
      – Are there any alternate openrotor engine designs that can be fittet on if that one turns out to be a toad?

      • Also, can they really make it safe enough. Those are mighty big pieces of rotating material.

    • Thanks for the link. That CNBC article was full of “could”, “might”, “should”, and “may”.

      show me

      Regarding the new-lingo “open rotors”: are they anything like what we once called “propellors”?


  9. A non-rosy outlook for another BA program:

    “Boeing CEO’s Dreamliner Recovery Prediction Is a Pipe Dream”

    “Demand for Boeing’s most popular wide-body jet will never be the same as it was a few years ago.
    In short, the replacement market can only support today’s depressed level of 787 production. And with airlines likely to grow their wide-body fleets at a modest pace over the next decade, that leaves Boeing virtually no chance of sustaining a 14-per-month 787 production rate anytime in the coming decade.”


    • They closed the second production line , exactly because they foresee a production rate of maybe half or less of the 14 per month ‘peak rate’ achieved for a very short time.
      And you have just found this out now …? maybe the name of the reference is a clue .

      • Missed this quote, did you?

        “At a recent conference, CEO Dave Calhoun suggested that Boeing will eventually return to its pre-pandemic Dreamliner production rate”

        It seems “the name of the reference” refers more appropriately to your reading skills, and to hot air from “The Cal” 😏

        • He never gave a timeline for going above the current 5 per month.
          It was just an ‘expectation’… just like China has been being ‘expecting’ to certify its Shanzhai plane each year for the last 5 and thats with its own friendly aviation certifier.
          I also ‘expect’ there to be delivery hold ups with the Leap-1C as GE prioritises its other engines.
          Another Great Leap Forward ends up with face planted in paddy field.

          • Calhoun didn’t have to “give a timeline”: the author of the article showed that a higher production rate is untenable one way or another — and thus regardless of “timeline”.

            A valuable article, because it shows how out-of-touch the CEO is — fully in line with Airdoc’s comment below.

            You should read more financial articles on Boeing — it might help dispel some delusions that are blowing around.

          • Yeah what would Boeing know about selling wide-bodies..
            now that motley fool plane ….seems to have some passengers
            enjoying the flight even they never sold a single one…go figure.
            some financial advice, when the advice is free it’s worth even less. If Boeing didnt have a single new order there’s enough in the pipeline for the next 8 years, so production rates will rise but does need investment at Charleston…the wrong site in my view but it’s done now.

          • At current rate of production, BA is barely above breakeven.

            According to Boeing’s orders & deliveries: there is a backlog of 436 B787 (after ASC 606 adj.) There are 100 or so B787 that are built but not delivered yet.

            That’s hardly worth six years’ production at current rate.

          • Furthermore, Boeing has a bigger problem. There is a glut of used B787 on the market: the jet lost over 30% of its value, more than double that of A350 according to WSJ.

    • From the provided, informative link:

      > At a recent conference, CEO Dave Calhoun suggested that Boeing will eventually return to its pre-pandemic Dreamliner production rate. <

      Somebody tell the new rob

  10. The Airbus update tomorrow will be very interesting. One thing I could think of, is that if Airbus gives the A350F the ATO, then Boeing has two choices.

    – Give the 777X Cargo a go and invest R&D cash to counter the Airbus move to stay in the cargo game and have a product after 2027 when their existing freighters are no longer sellable. But they would then most likely have to postpone any development in the passenger market, as they probably can’t afford two developments at the same time anymore
    – Invest their scarce dollars into a replacement of the 737 or NBA to at least have a chance to stay in the game in the passenger narrow body market. So they would have to let the cargo business go, ending a decades long dominance.

    I can’t imagine that Boeing goes for the cargo option, as that is the much smaller market, although less risky and less expensive. But unless Airbus really doesn’t get it right, my bet would be that in 10 years, Airbus will be the dominant cargo player (with new sales).

    • Why not just develop a 787-10F, instead of a 777F?
      The 777X program has one foot in the grave.

  11. What actual improvements can they make to the 738? Wider seats and FBW? Would they even be able to do carbon wings? I bet they can’t even scale up to 70 sets a month. I don’t see a compelling case for replacement. IMO, Boeing’s next logical move is a 500 to 3K nm aircraft with 10% to 30% more pax floor area than an A321, or a midrange aircraft with 50% more payload range than the A321xlr.

  12. I just retired after 46 years in aviation maintenance and engineering, the last 16 at Boeing where I retired from, with the last three in aviation safety.
    Hazy nails it about the failed leadership, or as I would say lack of any leadership. I experienced it daily. VP’s and directors who couldn’t perform are just moved around (recycled) to other areas to continue the falsehood of “ we are fixing it”
    As long as Boeing continues down the path of wokeness, PC and D&I, it’s only going to get worse.
    Most don’t have any problems with ensuring skilled and qualified people are promoted and advanced, but when people are simply promoted based on their skin and/or gender but lack any skill or qualifications is a recipe for disaster. At Boeing and probably most American corporations it’s shut up and sit down, don’t question authority and collect your paycheck. That’s what happened on the 787 program and mad max and is happening on 777X and will be this way on future programs.
    Don’t take this wrong, I loved working for Boeing as do many, but it’s not the same company our fathers worked for. I want them to succeed, but it won’t happen with Calhoun’s and BoD culture of corruption. Hazy is right and Scott has pointed this out previously, this needs to change. But it won’t.
    Clearly the aerospace leader is Airbus with SpaceX now the leaders in Space development.

    • “As long as Boeing continues down the path of wokeness, PC and D&I, it’s only going to get worse.”

      You obviously don’t have kids or haven’t talked to them about this. In my career at Boeing, I saw the culture shift from accepting overt racism to one of holding management accountable to permitting racism to being pro-active to address the fact that the work-place needed to reflect the diversity of not just the US workplace but also the international workforce.

      One other thing to consider is that your own experiences, which may be primarily within Puget Sound, may not reflect the experiences at the other Boeing sites. And I heard some pretty bad stories about Houston.

      • Without realising it Airdoc himself has had his own ‘cultural shift’. Its clear hes accepted the modern idiom of even caring about management and its ethos . Before the Mcdonnell-Douglas merger/takeover ( as you wish) Boeing was a management/production shambles along with the industrys boom bust cycles must have made working on the factory floor a nightmare. Just because social media can highlight issues today doesnt mean they are talking about something new thats never been seen before.

        • At least before the “reverse takeover” by McDonnell, Boeing had no problem to design, develop and engineer a passenger jet like B767 and B777. Unlike what happened after that.

      • > the work-place needed to reflect the diversity of not just the US workplace but also the international workforce. <


        • Because:
          1) It is the right thing to do
          2) The younger generation demands it because their generation is raised in a different culture than the generations preceding it
          3) Different cultures and backgrounds bring strengths to the workplace which are not quantifiable and fully appreciated
          4) Boeing is an international company that if it is going to compete in the worldwide marketplace needs to respect its talent throughout the organization and provide opportunities for meaningful work and career advancement.
          5) There is not good reason not to do it. It just means being a bit more pro-active, for example, adding schools where Boeing does recruitment and offering more internships.

          • Not seeing much concern for Diversity, Inclusion, and so-called Anti-Racism from
            the West’s real competitors.

            Meanwhile; we in the ultra-Woke West are
            inundated with the New, Woke “Cultural Correctness” combined with the worst aspects of Corporatism (i.e., fascism with a smiley-face on it); and that combined
            with likely *extremest social inequality* in
            recorded history (cf. Piketty).

            Odd that the Diversity and Inclusion folks never, ever, ever talk about Class (so very confyoozing, that..).

            Wokeness and its offshoots are *elite* projects, not grassroots ones; and will not be of benefit to the Many (my prime concern).

          • ” It is the right thing to do ”
            1 No its not. It is the opposite. It’s the wrong thing to do. Colour blind merit is the only right thing to do.
            2 Look into your heart, and motives. You know that ‘social activism’ is often simply desire for revenge and resentment. It’s low.
            3 Your claims of ‘overt racism’ are a reflection of your own antagonisms and bias.
            4 Janet Flamingo believed in D&I until she left university and saw what it actually did.
            The decline of many great US companies and cities is hastened by the burden they must carry. It’s why manufacturing is shifting and soon the high tech and systems tech will as well.

  13. > 5) There is not good reason not to do it. It just means being a bit more pro-active, for example, adding schools where Boeing does recruitment and offering more internships. <

    Woke Re-education Camps for the New Orthodoxy, then?

    pass, big-time.

    The thriving countries that- not coincidentally, are utterly ignoring the New Woke Orthodoxy- are going
    to have The West for lunch (not a fan of their prescribed future, either), and ask what's for dessert..

  14. > Because:
    1) It is the right thing to do <

    For whom, and according to whom? The young are not driving Woke-ism; they're just hoping for a tiny crumb to fall their way from it (I do have a 32 year old daughter in the very thick of it, by the way).


  15. TW said to Bill 7:

    >..So do not read a racist aspect into a disagreement with both a government/system and the ability to create and support a viable LCA into the world..<

    Ok. No one likes being mis-interpreted, especially with those terms being so casually flung around these days.

    I do remember, though, you saying something about "communists" not being able to do what we do here in the "free countries". Is that an accurate portrayal of what you've said before, or not?

    Thanks. B7

    • TW, I was inadequately clear in my above comment.

      My real question to you is this: what missing quality is it, exactly, that makes China somehow unable to produce an adequate large commercial passenger


      • The word that you are looking for that explains it all is :
        Results…or they want to do in 15 yrs what other countries have taken 50yrs and it isn’t working.

        • I’ll continue to watch China’s aerospace programs with interest.

  16. More Bad News

    The above confused dogfights about diversity taking over the comments section is a tiny mirror of the futile and distracting segmentation taking over US society and politics

    Witness the increasing violence everywhere especially in the aircarts



    Diversification and segmentation in the population may be a root cause, according to the experts

    « The FAA announced a zero-tolerance policy for bad behavior on planes in the days after the Capitol riot on Jan 6. The flight attendants union said at the time that those who stormed the building should not be allowed to get on flights home.

    During a town hall meeting late last month, FAA chief Steve Dickson said he was “appalled” at the behavior the agency had seen on planes and warned of “hefty fines and possible jail time.” »

    Collapse into a caste culture is to revert to a more primitive way of thought and organisation of society

    • > The above confused dogfights about diversity taking over the comments section above <

      Please straighten us confused persons out, Gerrard,
      since you appear to have a mainline to the Truth, and to the Prime Mover.

      Thanks so much.

      who does that one work for

      not us

      • @Bill7

        If you wish to know more about the distractions of diversity talk and who’s interests this serves, I refer you to the links once again I have already referred you to

        All such talk is to divert from the case in hand

  17. Question for commenter “Gerrard”: are you paid for your very consistent work on this forum; and if so, by whom? Nothing personal- I asked brother Rob the same question awhile back.

    I receive no compensation from any entity for my
    comments here.


    • @Bill7

      This is the kind of thought that occurs when distracted from the case in hand

      Analyse the structures of production, rather

  18. It transpires that GE was given a (4-year) license to export the CFM LEAP-1C to COMAC in April last year:

    Reuters Exclusive: “U.S. grants GE license to sell engines for China’s new airplane”

    “…But in February, President Donald Trump intervened, blasting U.S. proposals that would prevent companies from supplying jet engines and other components to China’s budding aviation industry.

    “I want China to buy our jet engines, the best in the World,” Trump tweeted on Feb. 18. “I want to make it EASY to do business with the United States, not difficult. Everyone in my Administration is being so instructed, with no excuses…”

    Trump’s downplayed any national security concerns. “We’re not going to be sacrificing our companies…by using a fake term of national security. It’s got to be real national security. And I think people were getting carried away with it,” he told reporters.”


    Of course, this doesn’t mean that Mr. Biden won’t attempt to revoke the license; after all, backtracking is very “in vogue” in the US nowadays.

    • Ask the people in Hong Kong about backtracking….and that was a 50 yr agreement.

    • “Airbus says that it currently has no plans for an A322”

      May depend on meaning of ‘A322’ rather than A321XXXX, and on meaning of ‘plan’ (I’d use that word as something solid, but politicians don’t).

      I’d bet they have several paper airplanes, as does Boeing.

      Sometimes manufacturers study parameters, as Boeing did for the B767 fuselage width and for fitting one flight deck into multiple airplane types (757 and 767 were common flight deck except for squeezed overhead panel in 757, I think Boeing looked at 747 as well (I am not familiar with what they eventually put into the -400).

      And mix and match is common:
      – Airbus shrunk the A300 fuselage in length to compete with the B767 (new wing was appropriate too, didn’t need to be big as stretch version already existed whereas Boeing sized theirs for transoceanic). That was the A310.
      – Airbus stretched the A300 into the A330 (with new wing structure common with A340 which had more engines).

      Many choices that pontificators don’t appreciate exist.

      (Your Reuters link is empty but people have claimed Airbus has designs to do things like re-winging the A32x design, in LeehamNews.)

  19. Can’t reply inline, so-

    William said: “..The MC21 is a sophisticated product and the Russians have developed engines (the PD-14), Fly By Wire and APU options to make the MC-21 sanction proof. This technology will be transferred in an instant to the C919 should it be threatened by Sanctions and we can see this happening with the C929.”

    Thanks for that bit, for those of us in the reality-based community. 😉

    • “Russians will transfer the technology in an instant…”

      They have the same issues with technology theft from China- shown by its array of PLA air force copies, why would they undercut the market for Russian built MC-21 by doing this as a tech transfer ? There are already ructions on the C929 joint project as China wants their home market ALL to themselves and leave the rest of the world with the russian built version , a tiny number. Look what happened with Bombardier bringing Comac on board with the Cseries…result is zero orders, and certification nightmare
      Im not really seeing sanctions against the C919, just that China if closing its home market to Boeing at the size plane, contary to WTO rules they have agreed to which allow them to have their export boom, then why should US engines especially be supplied. Pourquoi, as Hercule Pirot would have said.

  20. Unbelievable, how blatant can Boeing be? 5 year subsidy ceasefire. Everyone knows what’s coming next.

  21. Some people are confused, some are full of hot air like ‘I feel’.

    Comparing price per seat of Boom with subsonic airliners is incompetence. The real question is productivity of capital, as a Canadian Pacific Railway engineer pointed out to his bosses when its airline started flying the DC8 – goodbye passenger service on trains. The difference is s p e e d.

    Doesn’t someone in Leeham know about cost per seat mile? That would include fuel efficiency, which I do not know for Boom’s airplane, I do understand they stay below the speed of a steep rise in drag.

    (The real question with Boom is different: can they do the job and at what actual airplane price?)

    • @Keith:

      Since you’re snotty about it, yeah, we know about CASM. We also know about trip cost, DOC (which includes capital cost [aka cost per seat]) and productivity. If you want to know what we know, you can pay us a five figure consulting fee.

      We also know BS when we see it, whether from OEMs or readers.


      • So why the big cost per seat graphics?

        The parameter isn’t even meaningful for subsonic aircraft, as twin aisles and long range are expected to have higher cost per seat because of higher construction cost, and of course higher fares from greater comfort and range (have to do cost per seat mile etc. calculations)..

        The graphic and paragraphs seem gratuitous.

        OTOH, discussions of demand are relevant. The Cirium article has some good points, some “no-kidding” points, and some confusion/errors. (Speed quoted by Boom is usually 2.2M including for the XB-1 demonstrator but at least one page says 1.7M – they are sloppy in their web site which is not a good sign for ‘can these people follow through”. Concorde cruised close to its top speed of 2.04M.) Utilization with curfews is a good point, range is a good point (not saying the article is right, but the points are good for discussion). I don’t get the claim that Boom’s airplane cannot do two transat trips a day, have to look at noise curfews in their example Overture would arrive at 4am local – five hours flying and five time zones, but if it left NY later would it be a problem? Have to research noise curfews both ends. LHR has many arrivals after 4:30am.

        A political subject, some people want more restriction, some want less as newer airliners are much quieter. Boom’s projections I don’t know, noise is one reason it now has three engines (engine-out in remote-oceanic another).

        And account for operational risk if departure delayed. With eastbound time of ten hours in the air (Cirium’s figure), and somewhat more westbound against headwind, plus an hour turn each end, it is tight on time elapsed even without noise curfews.

        Range of course is TBD as even the demonstrator has not flown yet.

        Scott, while I have time for Blake Scholl I have pointed to the criticality of getting the job done well, which is crucial for companies without an existing revenue stream as Boeing had during its 787 botching, especially as he comes out of the software business as Vern Raeburn of Eclipse did. He has made much progress, the design and development seems much more flushed out now, with areas like synthetic vision for the pilots being tested already. JAL has been involved interactively since early which is good, that’s overlooked in the UAL hype. The big event will be flight of the demonstrator, probably in 2022.

        • Keith goofs too.

          I included time zones. ?!

          BUT Curium’s flight time is way off because the speed value they have is way off. Boom is supposed to be faster than the Concorde. I’ll use 2.1M as Boom says 2.2M and Concorde cruises only a bit slower than its 2.04M maximum speed.

          Boom claims 3.5 hours NY-London England. So less than 10 hours each round trip (adding a bit for westbound headwinds, rounding up, and an hour turn each end). So two round trips are within realm of feasibility IFF curfews allow. Curium’s evening departure eastbound won’t work as landing would have to be in middle of night which is verboten at LHR. But departing in morning from LHR, say 8am local, puts landing in NYC at 7am, departing for return at say 9am would put landing in England at 6pm local. Even with a two hour turn, departing at 8pm, puts landing in NYC before 8pm. But return that evening is verboten at LHR. So only 3 legs feasible, which in general is Curium’s concern. (CAVEAT: thinking off the top, just as an example, scrubbing through with details is necessary.)

          (There are other airports in the London England area, including Gatwick which has train service into London, and Standstedt, Luton is somewhat further out, ground transportation is key to time saving.)

          LHR’s web site is a mess for noise limit numbers, have to look for specific info such as approach plates. And at JFK.

          Boom answers may be in https://boomsupersonic.com/contact#faq-section, one on fuel economy, this morning links don’t work – flight cancelled due unserviceable aircraft. :-o)

          • I am puzzled why the 1.7M figure is floating around such as in Wikipedia’s messy article about Boom. It makes no sense since Boom’s intent has always been to be as fast as or faster than Concorde, which cruised close to its 2.04M maximum speed. (Some other recent SST proposals were for much slower flying.)

            Wikipedia’s article on the Concorde mentions 1.7M as a speed that a Concorde painted in Pepsi blue could sustain indefinitely (whereas normally white paint reduces skin temperatures about 6 to 11C), (that promotion was used only on short routes). Using that speed figure for analysis of regular operations would be incompetence. A good question for Cerium who improperly used that speed in analysis.

            (The company’s name Boom is amusing, like a pre-emptive strike as blonde and even lawyer jokes sometimes are – told by the individual to forestall someone else making them.)

          • Oh, Booms FAQs are browser sensitive.
            Notion for longer range is tech stops of less than one hour, without deplaning. Have to calculate total time as an extra climb and descent required. SFO-HND (Tokyo Haneda) is 4484 nm according to https://www.greatcirclemapper.net/en/great-circle-mapper.html?route=KSFO-RJTT&aircraft=72&speed=. (There is a more user-friendly page somewhere.)

            (And Bjorn’s article gives figures out of Singapore of 3,300NM or less, Japan and Australia, which have communities of common interest. But Singapore to Dubai was not workable for Concorde due noise complaints.)

            High altitude enables drift climb technique to save a bit of fuel (as weight burns off just let it drift upward, Concorde used that, cruising in the ballpark of FL560 whereas subsonic airliners fly at FL510 or much less). Concorde shifted fuel to optimize CofG for range, done today on subsonic airliners though inadequately on the A330 from perspective of flight crew and failure modes (a factor in the almost-accident of AirTransat’s glide into the Azores).

            Another confusion is seating, figures vary, perhaps people are not grasping the option of lay-flat seating for much longer flights (mentioned on Boom’s web site, that alone creates two quite different values, at different fare levels). That’s an example of the need to thoroughly review data and claims, understand them, and stay up to date (which is made awkward by Boom’s sloppiness in their web site).

  22. No one needs to travel that fast,not even F35 pilots,its far more about exclusivity, it must have been a very warm feeling when your boss booked you on concorde.Point to point in a narrowbody will match the majority of Boom flights. No one needs a $500000+, 200mph car either, but they are selling like hotcakes

    • “Grubbie
      June 15, 2021
      No one needs to travel that fast,not even F35 pilots,its far more about exclusivity,”

      Error alert!

      You omit the value of the one scarce resource – individual human time alive.

      You are falsely equating time saving with toy cars.


  23. It’s interesting that the shift in market share in the narrow body sector has been highlighted, but I fancy that it’s been going on for rather longer than 5, 6 years. More like 30 I’d say. Arguably, every A320 sold since 1990 is an aircraft Boeing didn’t sell.

  24. Interesting that narrow-body airliners are being converted to freighters.

    Depends on logistics of cargo carriers.

    Fred Smith started small of course but grew big. UPS flew B727 and DC-8 aircraft (including B727 with RR engine retrofit), ABX had a gaggle of DC-9s without large cargo door (they used narrow containers).

    Bigger aircraft replaced them, but there are small ones down to Cessna Caravan’s. (Which may be operated on contract, perhaps owned by the biggies.) Sizeable turboprops in the middle I suppose. Across the smaller market of Canada B727 and B737 are still used, the Purolator subsidiary of Canada Post is served by them..

    The couriers started out with hubs in the ‘Ohio Valley’, Fedex in Memphis, UPS in Louisville, and Airborne Express in Wilmington – all packages went to a hub, were sorted, then sent on flights to local cities like Seattle. Warehouses with some repair depots were built near the hubs (definitely was that near Wilmington airport).

    But with increased volume fast point-to-point might make sense. (For example, Seattle SFO/LAX might be worthwhile.)

    Things change, pontificators are often ignorant of that fact of reality.

  25. In the huge category of ‘think everything through completely’ is the fatal crash of a Canadian Forces FBW derivative of the Sikorsky S-92 large helicopter.

    Primary cause was failure to recognize all navy maneuvers and crew behaviour in analysis and testing.

    A means exists in which the autoflight system can build up a ‘command bias’ that severely limits ability to recover from a pitch down condition at low altitude.

    Dozens of a sharp turn maneuver to change from flypast to approaching helideck on stern of ship had been performed in service life of the helo, including one earlier in the sortie, but this time the crew fell into a narrow trap.

    Crew procedures, lack of controller feedback between pilot positions, and some human interface factors of display of mode and alerts contributed.

    The CH-148A is an FBW derivative of the S-92 helicopter popular with offshore operations. Both the Canadian Navy and Sikorsky underestimated the effort required to develop the variant. It was initially sold to Canadian government financial authorization process as ‘non-developmental’ but FBW is a huge change. This helicopter version was early in development of full-authority FBW for helos.

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