Airbus details A350F specifications

By Scott Hamilton and Bjorn Fehrm

November 11, 2021, © Leeham News: Airbus has given more information about what led to their new freighter, the A350F, and its data. Scott Hamilton talked to Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer at the IATA AGM on Oct. 3-5 in Boston, and Bjorn Fehrm spoke to Head of Freighter marketing, Crawford Hamilton, about the technical details. (The two Hamiltons are not related.)

The A350F is the most capable new-build freighter Airbus has designed, posing the most serious threat to Boeing’s dominance of jet freighters since the dawn of the jet age. Some expect Boeing to respond next week with a program launch of the 777XF, but LNA understands this won’t be the case.

“The market has asked us to produce it,” said Scherer of the A350F. “So we launched the program based on our own belief of the strength of the business case.”

“The A350F beats the competing production freighter (Boeing’s 777F, our note) on payload, volume, and economics,” says Crawford Hamilton. “We have taken extra care to make the door larger and the floor extra sturdy to ease loading planning and execution. The A350F will be the freight forwarder’s preferred machine.”

The Airbus new freighter, the A350F. Source: Airbus.

The background to the A350F

Airbus launched the A350F without firm launch customers, an unusual move. “We have launched this program on the basis of our own belief of the strength of the business case,” Scherer said in an interview with LNA during the IATA AGM Oct. 3-5 in Boston. “The market has asked us to produce it. The market dynamic that has given birth to this program is one, the very fact, and I think that’s the most important one, that it is some of our customers who came to us and said, this looks like a really good idea. This wasn’t a bunch of guys somewhere in an office in Toulouse saying, ‘Oh, let’s do a freighter.’ This was a market-generated demand stimulated by the fact that I think the market felt it needed competition.”

“The other thing is the ICAO edict that Boeing 777s and 767s will not meet emissions standards,” Scherer said. The 777-200LRF and 767, with designs dating to the 1990s and 1980s, can’t be produced after 2027 under ICAO standards. The A350F and the prospective 777XF will.

Getting it right this time

Scherer said that the A350 with its structure, in particular the A350-1000 version, “which is the world’s longest-range airplane, has a structural capability that previous Airbus airplanes did not have to receive the density of heavy cargo and not just packaged freight.”

Airbus’ previous freighters fell short on structure. “The A300 is a very good package freighter. It’s not a heavy-duty freighter,” Scherer said. “The mistake Airbus made [with the A330-200F] was to say, ‘Look, we don’t have an airplane that is really capable of that having density, but we want that range.’ We developed the 330 freighter on the basis of the -200, and that was the mistake. We should have done it on the -300, because the 200, even though it’s got a little better structural capability than the -300 still doesn’t have the structural capability for the heavy freight. We should’ve gone for volumetric payload, as opposed to trying to compromise between structural payload and volume. We’re not making that same mistake [with the A350] because we’re starting with the bigger module.”

Yet, making the A350 a freighter was nevertheless an afterthought when designing the airplane.

The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter. Boeing has a challenge with doing a cargo door in a barrel composite airplane. Airbus chose the panel approach for the A350. Was Airbus thinking about a cargo version of the airplane, or did it just happen to work out that way?

“It’s tempting to say it was all part of a grand plan,” Scherer said candidly.

The A350F, larger and more capable

The A350F is based on the A350-1000 in its highest Maximum TakeOff Weight (MTOW) variant, the 319t model. The A350-1000 is shortened with five frames ahead of the wing, so the center of gravity is kept in an optimal place for the freighter (Figure 2).

Figure 2. The A350F (violet) compared with the 777F (yellow). Source: Leeham Co.

The A350F is still 6.9m longer than the Boeing 777F, which is based on the shorter 777-200LR. This gives the A350F a 10% larger freighter volume at 695m3 compared with 633m3 for the 777F. The A350F volume is the same as the main deck volume of the Boeing 747-8F.

The A350F also takes a higher payload at 109t versus 103.7t, a 4.5% increase over the 777F. The design freight density is 157kg/m3 (9.8lb/ft3) versus 164kg/m3 (10.2lb/ft3) for the 777F.

The A350-1000 is reinforced to take this higher payload (the max payload for a standard A350-1000 is 63t). The reinforcements are in the main deck aluminum floor beams which are made extra strong so that the loadmaster doesn’t have to place heavy pallets at specific positions in the aircraft.

The extra-large maindeck cargo door is placed behind the wing so that the loading of cargo can’t make the aircraft sit on its tail (pallets are moved to the front before the rear is filled up).

A big portion of the 46t increase in payload over the A350-1000 comes from a lighter aircraft. When the passenger cabin is removed, and the aircraft is shortened, a whopping 30t is removed from the empty weight of the A350-1000. This makes the A350F 20t lighter than the 777F.

Airbus claims this difference in empty weight and the more modern engines (Rolls-Royce Trent XWB 97k) give the A350F a clear advantage in operating cost. We will do our checks of the economics of the competitors using our airliner performance model in a coming article.

2025 EIS—and Boeing’s response

Airbus targets late 2025 for entry-into-service. If it meets this target, or even if it slips into 2026, EIS could be years ahead of the still-to-be-launched Boeing next generation freighter, the 777XF.

The 777XF, based on the 777X, was based on the ultra-long-range 777-8. But following the 737 MAX grounding and COVID crisis, Boeing put the development of the -8 on hold, and by it, the 777XF. The original business plan for the 777X program called for EIS of the 777-9, followed by two years of the 777-8 passenger model and two years later by the 777XF, which was to be based largely on the -8. The original timeline was the first quarter of 2020 (with some hope for 4Q2019), 2022, and 2024, respectively.

EIS for the 777-9 has slipped nearly four years. The target is now late 2023. Technical issues with the giant GE9X engines caused an initial delay of about nine months. Then, the MAX grounding and certification issues caused a knock-on effect to the 777X certification. The COVID pandemic wiped out international passenger demand for which the 777X was designed. The best estimates for demand recovery are 2023, though most see full recovery not occurring until 2024 or even 2025.

The strong freighter market and the upcoming ICAO recommendations about engine emissions have moved the plans for a 777X freighter ahead of the 777-8. Boeing recognizes that with the ICAO standards looming, it must go forward with a new freighter. CEO David Calhoun, on the Oct. 26 3Q earnings call and in previous events, said Boeing is likely to launch the XF program.

He gave no timeline, but Bloomberg News suggests a program launch could come at the Dubai Air Show Nov. 14-18. This timeline seems aggressive. Market intelligence suggests Boeing won’t have an XF EIS ready until 2029, more than a year after the production of the 777LRF and 767F must end—and up to four years after the targeted EIS for the A350F. LNA is told the 777XF program launch is unlikely before 2022.


121 Comments on “Airbus details A350F specifications

  1. I am struck by the fact that they have ZERO launch orders.

    That does not instill a great deal of confidence .

    I am struck by the Panel being the determining cause for conversion, its the frame of the aircraft.

    And we see the reason the A330 was a flop, is launching an A350F without any customers also a mistake?

    There is the can issue, to take advantage of the A350F you need all new can setup which does not work in with interchange.

    I would be cautious on this one as I would on a 777X-F. The 777F may be the best combo top and others fill in below (A330 conversions/767 new and conversions) as well as 737-800

    • Who said that they have “zero launch orders”?
      Just because they haven’t yet been announced doesn’t mean that they don’t exist…

    • Exactly my sentiments

      Okay yes, it can do this, please show us the orders. It’s been about 5 months since launch

          • This is rather fadenscheinig.

            Airlines visit Airbus all the time and vice versa.

            Surely someone has better intelligence than this.

          • I read German but I used the Edge browser and the translation was excellent which I recommend (translate link in the right hand of the URL bar). Aero Telegraph is a serious publication. This is a 2021 article but it links to a 2019 interview they did with CargoLux CEO Richard Forsen in which Forsen says he wants an A350 freighter. (he also says he wants an B777-8X freighter). The 2019 interview is worth a read ofr his insights.

          • Years back the A380 had one of the big heavy freight guys involved form start to (finish is not exactly what I would call the fall off the cliff canceling but….)

            In the end they had not interest in it, went with 747/777 or both.

            It helps keep their tech guys up to snuff and insight into the industry as a whole.

            If you are flying 747F then a 777F or X-F fits in better

          • Another likely customer is UPS.
            They have a fleet of 747 and MD11 but no 777.

    • Why is Boeing dragging its feet to officially launch the B777XF? Didn’t many here say repeatedly Boeing was working on it for years and ready to go any time it wants?? Lack of orders or money/resources, or both??

      • Good question. I mean, it’s not like they’re busy with anything else just now, is it?

        • I’d guess money, engineering resources, and orders in that succession. But I’m sure there’s some activity on all three fronts. Boeing will not cede the freighter business easily to Airbus.

      • @ Pedro
        I seem to remember an astute comment from another LNA article in which the commenter pointed out that, with its very limited available cash, Boeing can better spend development money on a project with a higher potential ROI, i.e. larger sales numbers. After all, the freighter world only represents a relatively small niche market.
        Incidentally, so does the tanker market.

        • Also all engineering resources are involved in B777-9 test campaign and the B787 quality control issue and B737-10 and manning the pumps at the moment.

      • Boeing is in no hurry to kick off the B777XF. By dragging their feet, Boeing is dragging airbus along with them. Everybody knows that boeing has a new Freighter coming up and its the B777XF. Airlines are just waiting for boeing to launch the B777XF before deciding between it and the A350F. Unlike the passenger market, For the air cargo operators they can afford to wait a year or two as they are not in a hurry to retire their fuel guzzling old fleet, especially not when cargo prices are this high after the pandemic. Furthermore there are plenty of 2nd hand B777 around for P2F conversion.
        Dragging their feet is definitely more advantageous to boeing. Not only will their financial situation improve, they may also potentially gain a larger market share via the P2F segment.
        Furthermore Boeing will have the 2nd mover advantage to wait out another year or two to see the full specification of the A350F, then formulated the B777XF to effectively counter the A350F.

          • Don’t see why the 2 yrs gap between the EIS of the B777XF is going to be a big concern. Cargo airlines has lots of patience to wait for new aircraft. Boeing can’t produce doesn’t mean airline can’t operate. Furthermore there are plenty of 2nd hand B777 P2F available for boeing to defend their market.

          • -> Qatar Airways is very interested in purchasing a large fleet of freighters because it has to *start replacing its freighters*

    • I’m not surprised at all. Considering that everyone can see the end of the B767F and B777-200F, everyone is anticipating a new Freighter from boeing. And with the B777X constantly pitted against the A350, its no surprised that no airlines want to make the first move to commit to the A350F before taking a look at the B777XF. Its possibly one of the closest apple to apple comparison for both the aircraft manufacturers and Airbus is probably aware of this. Yet airbus still goes ahead with full confidence of the A350F.

      • If, as stated in the article, the 350F is 20t lighter empty than the 777F the gap will be even larger compared to the 777XF. It seems that Airbus has generally outperformed with the A-350. I think Boeing has a serious challenger on its hands. Get moving Boeing, the whole waiting thing is getting old!

  2. Looks like Airbus has done its homework. Interesting that the demand came proactively from the market, and that the market itself wants an alternative to Boeing.
    One can only wonder (and doubt) if the passenger market is similarly approaching Boeing to come with an alternative to the A321(X)LR…

    • Reality is Airbus has put out a proposal that has had zero response.

      Well I meant to do my homework but the dog ate it. Can you say A330F?

      What we do know is its going to be some years before we see how things begin to play out let alone the slings and arrows of outrageous economics (sorry Will) and all the ebb and flow of airline and freight business.

        • Most likely will there be orders from big EU/ME/UK/Hong Kong cargo operators that RR has not irritated too much. There will be those who had enough of RR and stay with 777F’s. Hence A350F customers might be Cargolux, Lufthansa, DHL, Air France, Qatar, Cathay, BA and maybe Qantas, DAL

          • One can add to that list: cargo operators who have had enough of Boeing — regardless of how they feel about RR.
            Emirates comes to mind.

      • Part of the problem may be the most enthusiastic customer Qatar has its A350’s grounded and its CEO has hinted to the point of being overt that an A350F order is dependant on Airbus resolving the under wing under paint surface deterioration claim.

          • We have not heard much of Airbus solution to Qatar remarks. One could assume Airbus would swap one door panel or other suitable panel with the finding and test to prove if it meets spec. If it does then repaint the aircraft with the latest primer, topcoat and clear coat and set an inspection interval.

        • Barker barks when he wants new toys.

          Charming Boeing about the B777xF and blaming Airbus – sounds like a perfect strategy to get the price down.

          The grounding doesn’t hurt Qatar at all, there’s not enough demand anyway.

          I wouldn’t be suprised if Qatar orders A350F. Nor would i be suprised to see B777xF orders, as i never really got how Qatar wants to operate all the B787 (60), the A350 (77) and 60 B777x. And they still have plenty of young B77W.
          If they convert a few of their orders to F, it would be more feasible.

          • > as i never really got how Qatar wants to operate all the [aircraft]

            Qatar will be getting basically unlimited landing rights in the EU soon. That might allow for quite some fleet growth.

      • > Reality is Airbus has put out a proposal that has had zero response.

        Or they have some but are not admitting to it. Perhaps because early adopters have asked not to be identified or because they don’t want to light a fire under Boeing.

        It is to Airbus’s benefit to maneuver Boeing into delaying a launch of a 777XF, the longer the better. Putting out a long list of launch customers is not the way to do that.

        • @jbeeko
          Quite the opposite. Dragging the B777XF for a year or two would be the most advantageous to boeing. Longer than that then they may start losing customers. As the situation stands now, everyone knows that boeing will certainly launch the B777XF, just a matter of when? Since the A350 is so often compared to the B777X, Airlines are just waiting for boeing to launch the B777XF before deciding between it and the A350F. Unlike the passenger market, For the air cargo operators they can afford to wait a year or two as they are not in a hurry to retire their fuel guzzling old fleet, especially not when cargo prices are this high after the pandemic. Furthermore there are plenty of 2nd hand B777 around for P2F conversion.
          Dragging their feet is definitely more advantageous to boeing. Not only will their financial situation improve, they may also potentially gain a larger market share via the P2F segment.

          • Vince

            Interesting counterpoint. It may depend on how many orders AirBus gets in the first year. If a lot then I think Boeing will regret delaying. If just a trickle then yes the bet will have paid off.

            I suspect that Boeing will loose their bet. That AirBus has a good number of customers lined up and want to avoid pushing Boeing into reacting. Time will tell.

          • @jbeeko
            But from the “ZERO launch orders” it does seems like boeing’s bet is paying off.
            Speculation 1:
            Airlines are indeed holding back their orders waiting for Boeing’s announcement to decide which aircraft is better economics and value.
            Speculation 2:
            Airbus is just holding back the order announcement to drive speculation.

      • Speaking of the 777X certification issues, is there any sign of that TIA yet?
        Any sign of a fix for the uncontrolled pitch issue?
        And how’s the ruptured fuselage fix coming along?

        Any potential 777XF currently has a very weak foundation…

          • Wow.

            In a recent interview with Tim Clark:

            “We are seeking reassurance that this airplane has been built according to the normal rules. But when we know the normal rules were compromised in the MAX program, and this aircraft was built at the same time under the same regime. I can’t understand why the 777X with all its novelties was ticketed as a derivative, while it’s not when you build a new aircraft. The MAX was a derivative of the 737NG, but was it? The issue of the 777-9X at the moment is one of certification. We need clarification that it has been built according to the rules we will accept. There is an act going through Congress as we speak, that’s going to change the processes and the oversight the regulator has in the manufacturing of aircraft. Which presupposes then what was happening before wasn’t what it should be. Because they have to change it into what it should be. That being the case, there is a question mark over all of this, we got to resolve this one way or the other.

            “We found that in a survey that was conducted recently 30% of the employees interviewed said that in their views safety was being compromised in the pursuit of profit. 30%, that’s alarming! 

            “When we read the recent judgment from Delaware and the court’s 103-page finding making Boeing’s management and board culpable for a lot of things, we (Emirates) were alarmed by what we saw. It sent shock waves through the North American aerospace industry.


          • BCA’s Stan Deal not in Dubai??

            What happens to the “grown-up” talk?

          • With explosive statements like this, it’s probably only a matter of time before Clark ditches his remaining order.

  3. Its a bit weird saying customers asked for it but we have no launch customers. Sounds more like customers eager for some price competition to extract better pricing from Boeing, but potential customers willing to jump ship – not so much.

  4. Mh…looks like Etihad may be about to dump its 777X order, and its A380 fleet…

    “Etihad strategy focused on fleet of Boeing 787, Airbus A350s, CEO says”

    “DOHA, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Etihad Airways’ Chief Executive Tony Douglas said on Thursday the Abu Dhabi carrier’s strategy was now focused around its fleet of Airbus A350-1000 and Boeing 787 Dreamliners jets.”

      • GE should get their GE9x perfect by 4th quarter 2023 but I’m curious as to whether Rolls Royce will be able to improve the Tent XWB-84 and XWB-97 by then as well?

    • Most folks seem to believe that Etihad’s order is already included in Boeing’s ASC 606 list for the 777X.

      • It probably is.
        But an ASC606 can still morph into a firm cancellation…especially when penalty-free.

      • it should have been. That order was or is defentiley at risk and it’s propably already canceled.
        The delays are huge and it should give Etihad a way out.

        They changed their strategy, addapted their network and thus their feeders.
        I don’t see how they would be able to fill a lot B779s.

        Pretty sure they are out of the B777x for now.

        • Filling 350-380 seats in a premium heavy seating configuration for 777-900 isnt difficult at all.
          The 747-400 and 800 have been doing that for 20-30 years for flights between major hubs

          • …but now that airlines have smaller WB’s with longer range, they’ve started to ditch the whole VLA concept 😒
            The new way of dealing with high capacity on a route is to use a smaller WB at higher frequency.

          • -> The 747-400 and 800 have been doing that for 20-30 years for flights between major hubs

            Over the years, the jet I took have gone from B747-400 to B777 to A350.

            Without full recovery of business travel, hard to make the case for premium heavy VLA.

          • Yeah, but as you might have realized it’s not the 80 or 90ties anymore, we have different ETOPS ratings and there are very competetive twins available – A339, A359 and B789.

            Why would you buy cappacity that you might not be able to fill and your network doesn’t allow for if you have better options?

            Just count how many US Airlines have B748, A380 or even B77W and to what numbers.
            You’ll end up with 22 B77w at United and 20 at AA, in premium heavy layouts.

            They rather fly smaller WBs.

    • If I’m not mistaken, back when BA wrote off $6.5 billion on the program in Q4 2020, they also said that the backlog was now 190, with the accounting quantity being 350.

      I guess we’ll see…

  5. Dear Scott and Bjorn,

    This announcement surprises me greatly. In the previous analysis a payload of 98 tons was estimated for A350F, in absence of firm data then. Unless Boeing comes along with another rabbit out of the hat, things look pretty dire for the Americans. Numbers were COC $103.2k for 777XF with 109 tonnes payload, and $94k for with 98 tonnes payload. Now Airbus increases to 109 tonnes payload, matching Boeing. At least, the figure given in the previous article, now payload maybe drops to 103.7 tonnes. So for the route of the previous example COC may be in the $97k range on account of the added weight. At parity of payloads this is an advantage of 6% for Airbus by COC. Difficult to cover by price reductions, and very painful for Boeing launching a new plane. If additionally Boeing’s payload were to be reduced to a 103.7 tonne payload the difference grows to 10%, in which case 777XF is no longer viable. With grave doubts whether 777-8 will ever see the light of day, essentially for the same reasons described above, the programme cannot run on just 777-9, which is a good plane, yet by no means a barn burner.

      • Thank you Nicolas. If so this bodes very badly indeed for Boeing. A350 has a 30 tonne lighter OEW, a lot. Boeing on the other hand has better wings and engines. At payload parity and dollar for dollar the airlines will buy Airbus. With a lower purchase price and more cargo capacity, there is not much to talk about.

        • Not that simple. If it was there would be orders. Secondly, this 109 Scott is reporting I’ve seen at Reuters about 3 months ago. Reuters also reported the XF t 115-117 tonnes of payload

          • Mtow has a hard ceiling. Oew is quite a bit higher to begin with. Do the 777xf design metrics really provide for a higher payload?

          • Well, the 777X has the same fuselage outer mould line but a slight increase in interior width, a new composite empennage and a composite wing and center box .
            Some OEW weight savings you might think ?
            remains to be seen whether they will upsize the cabin and belly floor space from the exiting 777F to match or exceed the A350F

          • Weightsavings: none

            Slimming the frames will make them heavier.
            Wings (span, area) and thus leverage are significantly increased.
            center wingbox remained AL.
            I expext a massive intrinsic oew increase for any 777x subtype vs777 classic samples.

    • That would be inline with what we saw from the passenger versions. If I remember right the A350 is much lighter and the only option was to go for a higher passenger capacity for the 777-X to make it competetive.

    • That’s not Airbus claim at all in that link.
      It came from LNA
      “As we predicted…”

    • Both are correct
      Structural limit is 109 T
      Volumetric limit is the 90 T + one

    • Ehh…someone needs to dust off the junior math books: “109” is entirely consistent with “greater than 90”.
      The advantage of saying “greater than 90” is that it keeps the competition guessing for longer 😉

    • I believe the 109t was known long ago, but they decided to keep the fact they outdoing the 772LRF under the table for as long as possible. Meaning Dubai Airshow. Probably Scott got the interview / specs under the condition of not publishing for a month.

  6. (The two Hamiltons are not related.)

    Whaddya mean? All Hamilton’s are related – you could even have royal blood in you, Scott:

    Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, 14th Duke of Hamilton,_14th_Duke_of_Hamilton

    Director of Scottish Aviation Ltd
    (you see a pattern here?)

    Mind you, not very original with the whole name thing, his parents were.

    (or maybe your related to just plain old George Hamilton, the actor with the never ending tan. )

    I know it’s not Airbus related, but you brought it up, so it’s fair game! Gotta have a little fun on Friday…

    • …and to add to the whole name thing (I’ll end it at this, unless someone else chimes in) – here is the award for Cruelest Parents in the World 1847 or Parents with the Weirdest Sense of Humour 1847;

      Hamilton Hamilton

      ‘Hamilton Hamilton (1 April 1847 – 4 January 1928) was a painter and etcher, known mostly for his landscapes of the American West. Born in Oxford, England, he lived most of his life in the Eastern United States. He painted landscapes in New York, Connecticut, the American West, England, and France. He also painted portraits and drew illustrations.’

      Can you imagine the nicknames the kids at school must have given him? No wonder why they moved to the US;

      Hammy Squared
      The Poor Boy who’s parents couldn’t afford a first name
      The Poor Boy who’s parents were in love with the family name

      The list is endless!

      (reminds me of Major Major from Catch 22 – could you imagine trying to talk to customer service on the telephone to access your bank account? Or the DMV?)

      • I remember another Frank too, Frank Gust. You could have real blood in you too, not likely though. I hope.

        • You are too kind.

          The best I could do on Keesje is an national account manager for the Walmart Corp, called Keesje Kort.

          I’m not sure what’s worse; being a serial killer or being a middle manager at Walmart…;)

  7. A bold move, if it works out.

    Will be very intresting to see if they can provide a launch customer in Dubai.

    The numbers are good, but I expect the B777xF to have a bit more payload.
    Will be intresting to see.

    My main concern is for the new freighters the situation on a post covid market.
    Airlines will fleet out plenty of young A330 and B777s, which should be a great base for conversions.
    Boeing will produce “the shit” out of its B767F and B777F lines before 2027, and drop these on the market for low cost.
    When long haul recovers and many A330, B767s, A340 and B777s are replaced by B787 and A350s in 23/24, there’s plenty of belly freight available, which reduces the need for freighters.

    The demand Airbus is building the A350F for, might be already filled or not existent when its EIS is close.
    That’s a huge risk, and the freighter market is known to be cicly.

    Does Leeham has any prediction or opinons about this?

    • BA cut its B777 production from five to two a month. In September, CMA CGM ordered two freighters and will receive delivery next spring. BA still has plenty production slots to fill.

      BA’s decision to flood the market with 777 in early 2010s comes back to haunt it. Low production increases cost dramatically. Nothing better to wreck the supply chain than ramp up production massively only to bring everything to a halt in 2028.

      • Ir you can (pun intended) take it as Boeing owns the market and is the first up over Airbus.

        Isn’t that what Airbus is talking about in Single Aisle?

        Of course the shoe never fits the other foot.

        • Airbus’s single aisle screeching to a halt? When??

          Did you mix up AB with BA’s 737 MAX or 787?? 😂

        • BA once “owned” the large NB market (757), but squandered that to AB (A321).

          BA once “owned” the small/medium WB market (767), but squandered that to AB (A330).

          Things change.

          • Easy to “own” a market segment when there’s no competition.

          • Airbus owned the market for 550 seat airplanes that are parked in the desert at 10 years of service. All part of the “master plan” no doubt.

          • Those in the know:

            “Airlines are nuts not to bring back A380s”


  8. Mtow has a hard ceiling. Oew is quite a bit higher to begin with. Do the 777xf design metrics really provide for a higher payload?

    • MTOW tends to grow, but usually after extended testing / operation validates max load / fatigue expectations.

      • I think Uwe was referring to the fact that the current landing gear of the 777 is limiting the growth of its MTOW.

    • That’s a very sleek piece of marketing 😎
      And nice timing…just before the Dubai AS.
      I sense approaching order announcements 😏

      • That’s the thing. Airbus is announcing a 13 tonnes lighter OEW vs the 777F in their comparison table while Leeham is talking about 20 tonnes lighter. I’m wondering how reliable Leeham’s information are.

      • Yes. But thats an actual route Anchorage- Shanghai. OWE doesnt change They may be a typo in that comparison as it doesnt make sense

      • There’s an asterisk after the “30t” figure, with a note that the figure refers to “current competition aircraft”.
        Further down in the text, the A350F is compared to the 777F (+13t OWE) AND the 747F (+37t OWE). It’s plausible that the “30t” figure is a weighted average of the +13t and +37t figures, based on relative numbers of 777Fs and 747Fs in use worldwide.

  9. I’m kind of hoping Boeing throw a googly (curve ball if you’re not into cricket).
    If Boeing do the B787-9 or B787-10 what Airbus are doing to the A350-1000 to get to get a B787-9F or B787-10F Boeing could get to market sooner.

    They need to
    1 develop a new rear barrel section for the loading door.
    2 Shorten the forward fuselage with a reduced barrel section.
    3 Reinforce structure and remove insulation and windows.
    Nothing worse than what Airbus is doing.

  10. Will Boeing follow the trend and split up?

    “New York (CNN Business) Breaking up is the newest craze for ginormous global companies. Johnson & Johnson, Toshiba and GE announced plans to split into multiple entities this week. The trend may have only just begun.

    Conglomerates are big and unwieldy. Wall Street hates them, because it doesn’t know how to value them properly. CEOs and corporate boards are finally getting the message: Nimble is the new big.

    …Large companies around the world in a variety of sectors are finding religion in getting smaller.
    Tech giant Dell (DELL) recently spun off its cloud business VMWare (VMW) into a fully separate company. Retailer L Brands has broken apart into two firms: Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret.
    IBM (IBM) has spun out its information technology services unit into a new company dubbed Kyndryl. As a result, Kyndryl now has more flexibility to do joint ventures with IBM cloud rivals. For example, Kyndryl announced a deal with Microsoft (MSFT) on Friday.”

    • Splitting up means take overs. Take over bring in billions short term. In the end that is what investors & WS are interested in. If it proves an awesome bad idea 5 years later, they’ve moved on & don’t remember what they promised really, their bank account loved it. Capitalism!

      Washington should prevent this fundamental weakening of US aerospace. Who has the spine when billions and short term share price & golden parachutes are all around, apart from the Chinese?

  11. May I ask, why hasn’t anyone designed a clean sheet freighter only aircraft.

    • Very unlikely to be profitable. Not enough sales to offset the cost of development and certification.

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