Pontifications: Rolls-Royce and the Next Boeing Airplane

April 18, 2022, © Leeham News: The aviation industry is waiting to see what Boeing will do when it comes to a new airplane.

By Scott Hamilton

The Next Boeing Airplane (NBA), whatever form it takes, will largely be driven by what advances in engines are available. Boeing CEO David Calhoun downplays the engine element. He’s said repeatedly that the next engine will only have about a 10% lower fuel consumption than today’s powerplants. He didn’t today’s name engines, but the benchmarks are now the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbo Fan and CFM LEAP.

Calhoun places more emphasis on a moonshot in design and production advances to lower the cost of the airplane—with the theory the price paid by the customer will be lower as a result, providing a combined benefit of lower operating costs and lower capital costs.

PW agrees that by around 2030, the usual date (plus-or-minus a year or two) given for the NBA’s entry into service (EIS), it can get another 10% of improved fuel economy out of the GTF. CFM, on the other hand, is pressing ahead with what used to be called the Open Rotor concept. CFM now calls it an Open Fan. The company has a target EIS of 2035 and a fuel improvement of 20%. Emissions for the two engines would be reduced by roughly a corresponding amount vis-à-vis fuel burn.

Goal: 20% gain with installation

Setting aside for today’s discussion the technical issues that still accompany the Open Fan installation, some at the airframers believe the drag-trade of the Open Fan could wipe out as much as 10% of the fuel economy. When the GTF and LEAP engines were installed on the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX, the drag trade was about 5%.

CFM’s goal is to retain the 20% improvement, even after installation. But the coordination and design synergy with the airframer will be key to doing so.

Rolls-Royce is developing new engines, called the Advance and UltraFan. But nagging technical issues with its Trent 1000 with the related, multi-year cost to fix them and compensation for customers, plus the collapse of the widebody market due to the COVID pandemic put huge pressures on RR’s ability to fund research and development.

Related Articles:

Rolls-Royce development

RR launched the UltraFan and Advance development in 2014. Initially, the engines were being developed in part with the then-Boeing New Midmarket Airplane (NMA) for the Middle of the Market (MOM) in mind. Boeing targeted a 2025 EIS for the NMA, a date that all the engine makers said would be too soon for a new engine (2029 was their target date). Even some within Boeing knew 2025 was unrealistic, but that was the story and officials were standing by it.

In the meantime, RR’s Trent 1000 issues mushroomed. Problems with fan blades and other components caused some airlines to withdraw the 787s from ETOPS service. At one point, around 50 787s were grounded—and some groundings extended for more than two years. RR’s engine shops were swamped with Trent 1000s. The shops fell behind on the 1000s, as well as servicing Trent 700s and 900s used on Airbus A330s and A380s, respectively. Repair and replacement costs and customer compensation caused hundreds of millions of UK pounds in write-offs several times. RR withdrew from consideration from the NMA, saying it could not meet the 2025 EIS timeline.

Then, before the Trent 1000 issues could be fully dealt with, COVID hit. Hundreds of A330s, A350s, and A380s with RR engines were grounded as international traffic collapsed. (GE Aviation was similarly affected by the storage of Boeing 777s, 787s, and 767s. PW, by this time, was largely out of the “big engine” business already.)

NBA moves to the right—but for how long?

The Next Boeing Airplane development, then in the form of a twin-aisle NMA, was suspended in January 2020 when Calhoun became Boeing’s CEO. He wasn’t a fan of the NMA anyway, but in January 2020, the MAX was still grounded with no end in sight. Boeing’s cash flow was sharply reduced. It was only natural for Boeing to suspend new development until the MAX returned to service.

But then the pandemic hit in March, followed by Boeing suspending delivery of the 787 in October. Eighteen months later, 787 deliveries are still suspended—and so is any new airplane program.

These events give Rolls-Royce time to develop its engines. But how much time?

Market talk suggests Boeing “must” launch a new airplane program in 2023 or 2024 with an EIS target of 2030-ish. But does Boeing see it this way? Officials aren’t saying. In January, the 777-8F cargo airplane program was launched, with a target EIS of 2027. (Some believe that given the uncertainty surrounding the certification of the 777X, the freighter EIS will likely slip to 2028 or 2029.)

Boeing needs to come up with a solution for the 767 freighter. Production must end in 2027 if Boeing doesn’t get an exemption from new environmental regulations that render the engines non-compliant. A 787 freighter might be the solution. Boeing has looked at this and the design was “protected” for a forward door installation. Product Development is working on Increased Gross Weight (IGW) versions of the 787-9 and 787-10. The 787-9IGW will would make a good successor to the 767.

NBA program can wait a while longer

If Boeing slots in a new passenger airliner after the 777-8F and potentially a 787-9F, a program launch could wait till 2024. Would RR have the money and resources to have an engine to offer Boeing by then? This is a good question. It’s too soon to know the answer.

Air Wars, The Global Combat Between Airbus and Boeing, was rated a top read in 2021. Air Wars is available in paperback and eBook form at Amazon and in paperback at Barnes & Noble.

Royal Aeronautical Society

Named to the Top 10 List of Aerospace Books for Christmas Choices, 2021

Puget Sound Business Journal

(Seattle area.) No. 1 on the Christmas list of aerospace books for 2021.


No. 1 on its list of Best New Aerospace eBooks to read in 2022.

Chris Sloan, The Airchive

“A worthy successor to ‘The Sporty Game,’” the 1982 book by John Newhouse, considered at the time to be the definitive book about the competition between Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and the emerging Airbus.

Jim Sheehan, Aviation Industry Consultant

There is so much model and OEM information that it is for sure going to become required reading for anyone who wants to understand the last fifty or so years of commercial aviation.

Loved all of the quotes and stories.

Dan Catchpole, Aviation Writer

Air Wars is a tour de force look behind the curtain of Boeing and Airbus’ global competition and, in part, a biography of Airbus’ head salesman, John Leahy, the man who forced Boeing’s hand to re-engine the 737. Longtime aerospace analyst and journalist Scott Hamilton takes readers through the twists and turns of the decades-long battle between the two companies.

Dan Reed, Aviation Writer

Using John Leahy’s long and monumental career as a vehicle for telling readers about the 51-year battle between Airbus and Boeing is both an interesting and inspired choice by the author.

229 Comments on “Pontifications: Rolls-Royce and the Next Boeing Airplane

  1. “Calhoun places more emphasis on a moonshot in design and production advances to lower the cost of the airplane—with the theory the price paid by the customer will be lower as a result, providing a combined benefit of lower operating costs and lower capital costs.”

    Calhoun is talking about some futuristic thing, that will allow them to re-invent the wheel, as far as making jets. Seems a little absurd, given that they are having such a hard time getting a grasp on producing aircraft today, with current, mature, tried & tested materials and techniques.

    What’s to stop Airbus from launching a Neo+ aircraft, across it’s entire product line-up, once the engine guys have launched their new 10% more efficient product? New wing, new engines – here you go; we saved you millions in capex, cause we didn’t need to spend billions on development.

    Boeing really has taken on the McD government contractor culture of over promising and under-delivering. It’s a pity that in the private sector, there are often other choices and substitute products, for yours.

    (On a side note; You can get a Max today, for a better price than you can get an A320Neo family aircraft. Neo’s are sold out until 2025-26ish? It seems that there is more than just price point at work, here…)

    • PLUS:
      If cash-strapped BA can achieve lower production costs using these futuristic new production techniques to which Calhoun refers, then surely cash-rich AB can pull the same trick? In which case the A321/A320/A220 family will also become cheaper — thereby removing the price advantage on which BA is pinning its hopes.

      • The way this is “projected”:
        You need a fresh uberDesign to achieve those advances. … and don’t expect such advances from a socialist jobs programme anyway 🙂

        • Frank:

          The term we need to change to is Management Shot.

          None of Boeing problem is technical.

          If Calhoun’s lips are moving he is lying.

          All he wants to do is kick the plane down the runway until he can retire with his ill gotten lucre and dump the company on someone else.

          He gets a bonus for doing his job! That is insane.

          If I got one for each time I had done my job in the same proportions I would be in the 10 million plus bonus range.

          You saw how much Muilenberg got when he was FIRED.

          But yes there are digital design benefits, but they sure won’t happen under Calhoun if he can help it.

          • The “NBA” could come after an outsider buys 10% of the stock and demands to be on The Board. Anything could happen…

          • @ SamW
            Who in heaven’s name would want to buy 10% of a company that has $60B in debt and isn’t generating any meaningful revenue?

          • @Sam

            With a market cap of about $107 billion today, it would cost you about $11 billion to do that ($187 per share).

            As noted by Scott in a previous article, Boeing was seeking an equity buyer in NYC recently for $30 billion but wanted them to pay between $250-300 per share.

            The $30 billion would have netted them about 28% of the company, if bought on the market. Getting into an equity deal with BA would have gotten them between 120 million to 100 million shares.

            Boeing was obviously hoping to recoup a chunk of the money they spent on share buybacks, at the expense of the investor.

            There were 588 million shares outstanding, as of 12/31/21. The Boeing deal increases that to between 688 and 708 million, which gives you between 17% and 14.5% of the company.

            So at the high end, Boeing wants the investor to value the company at some $207 billion (if you paid $300 a share, $30 billion for 14.5%). Which also ignores the fact that the shares would also become diluted, devaluing them further…

            I think Boeing needs to go on Shark Tank and have Kevin O’Leary say, “…and given your current financial situation, how did you come up with this valuation?”

          • > None of Boeing problem is technical. <

            Say WHAT? 787 fuselage and no-deliveries, MAX, MAX-10,
            EICAS, Synthetic AoA, 777-X cert, KC-46, KC-46 boom.. shall I go on? Oh, and a new Boeing plane
            on or around the Twelth of Never, for which Boeing seems
            to be blaming -get this!- the engine manufacturers..

          • Bill7:

            That those problems became an issue is pure management failure, the cut and whack culture.

            So, while the problem is technical , why it got there is not.

            Its not like the GP7000 that shredded over (Greenland?) – there was no tech knowledge about the phenomena that caused it, so you would not have known you needed to account for that.

            In the Gun world a discharge from a weapon that is not deliberate, is called a Negligent Discharge. Regardless of the cause, it was a failure or the person with the gun, it was not an accident.

            All the Boeing failures are management negligence. All the tech aspect are known and with a the right structure (Airbus) they do get into a workign aircraft.

            That does not mean that there are not screw ups, but it means the checks to catch that or a person reporting that stops it in its tracks.

            If an arsonist sets a Forrest on fire, its not the fire that is the issue. Its just a symptom.

          • @TWA

            “So, while the problem is technical , why it got there is not.”

            At the end of the day, for the 787, 737 Max, 777X, 767 tanker, and others – the why is not important. The what and how is.

            What is wrong and how do we fix it. It looks like the FAA isn’t going to let them slide in any band-aid fixes anymore, for these programs. Maybe…they get a lifeline for the Max 10, but that comes from Congress.

            On the aforementioned programs, BA is going to be forced to make things to standards and regs. READ: Engineers and airplane guys are going to fix the problems. Too bad if the numbers guys don’t like what it costs. That’s why they have taken the hits on the 787/777X programs, which the bean counters are loathe to do.

            All the engineers/AG’s have to do, when mgmt comes flying downstairs to rant about how much a fix is costing, is to point to the FAA guy and say, “Don’t bitch to me – talk to him.”

            Then the FAA guy says, “You want this plane to be delivered? You do it this way, or else it doesn’t move.”

            Where your point comes in, about mgmt culture and corporate direction, will be on the subsequent aircraft they roll out; be it the 797/MoM/NBA/FSA or whatever.

            If they push people to cut corners and squeeze blood from a rock, all over again – you’ll know nothing has changed. If they hammer every supplier for every last cent, cutting margins razor thin, you’ll know. If they try to shoehorn a 7 year timeline into a 5 year window, you’ll know.

            There’s not a whole heck of a lot the c-suite boys can do, about the current programs and the problems on their plate. Must be humbling…

          • @Frank’s April 19th Post: Interesting with your information about Boeing looking for a secondary offering. My original comment was a jab at Musk’s buying Twitter shares. I was thinking maybe Boeing needs that type of white/ black knight to get the company back in the middle of the game.

      • Another moonshot project for BA?? When will they learn their lesson?

        I think the difference here is AB is not aiming for any moonshot, they are already moving on it one step at a time.

        • An old aviation adage: “airplane design is evolutionary not revolutionary.”
          These projects are so large and involved that integration becomes unmanageable with moonshots. Use proven technology on about 90% and innovate on about 10% each plane.
          But this doesn’t fly with the macho executive management culture of the GE-McDonnell-Welch mafia that took control in a corporate pusch.
          Could the McDonnell merger have been plotted in a Munich beer hall? Just asking.

          • -Revolutionary worked with Space-X and Tesla with Elon Musk (an Electrical Engineer by profession) at the helm. Could it be that Welch and “get with the program” managerial types are essentially like the KGB (Now FBD) educated “siloviki” managers that produce such inept and essentially selfish economic corrupt management in the Russian Federation. Fly back boosters should have been in Boeing and LockMarts wheelhouse.
            -Europe ie Airbus will not produce many if any new technical ideas in aviation. Subsidies for green aviation may help a little.
            -The vast superiority the USA has in aviation and other technology such as having control of search engines, the best jet engines, the best composite technology comes as a byproduct of US military spending. Europe with its naively and sanctimoniously low defence spending doesn’t generate innovation, they subsidise catch up programs. I say this harshly because the continuous attacks on Boeing distract from the lack of European innovation.
            -Out of date 1980s Fly by Wire Control on Airbus aircraft comes from French military aircraft and German VTOL program of long ago. The A350 composite technology comes from the inadequately funded A400M.
            -Airbuses zero-e hydrogen program may galvanise something but Europe will wait for Boeing to show the technical way way forward once again as it did with the B787.
            -I should add that there is a petition circulating among Australian shareholders to ban short selling. Having heard of the damage it had done to LiliumJet I am prepared to say that this kind of law should be considered on the US and Europe as well. Too Many of our great corporations are destroyed by morally unsupportable share market intrigues and plots.

          • “…the continuous attacks on Boeing distract from the lack of European innovation.”

            The “continuous attacks on Boeing” are 100% merited: the company has descended from being an industry leader to becoming a paltry shell that has completely lost the way — and has killed innocent passengers in doing so. Its crippling brain drain and lack of funds are bringing it perilously close to the precipice.


            “Europe with its naively and sanctimoniously low defence spending”

            The EU spends as much on defense as China — which has a four times greater population. The EU also spends five times as much on defense as Russia.
            Australia was spending a yearly amount of about $26B on defense up to 2020. The EU was spending $220B per year on defense during the same time period.
            What’s your problem?

          • @Bryce, If Australia with a population of 25 million is spending $26B/year and the EU countries with a population of 445 million ( 18X times the population of Australia) are only spending %220B (9 times as much) it shows EU per capita spending is half.

            Europe’s anaemic defence spending means European Aerospace is lacking in innovation. Most of the fundemental innovations come from the USA. Bowing was built by commercial brilliance and secondary effects of defence spending. Airbus was built by direct subsidies.

            Boeing Commercial Aircrafts current QC problems have little to do with a lack of fundamental ability to create innovation. The Americans are beating Europe even on hydrogen tanks.

            You only need to look a EU defence minsters such as Jeanine Hennis Plasschaert, (Netherlands), Ursula Von der Leyen (Germany), Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide (Norway) Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti (Itally) and their concern with a carbon neutral policy and other similar issues to know these advocates are unqualified. Much of the EU defence budget of these countries (eg Spain) goes to social programs, disaster relief which further wastefully dilutes this. I suspect Holland and Germany are bad in this regard as well.

            You may not like it but Europe copies the US lead due to this. UK and to some degree France aside. That’s why big tech is based in the US.

          • US military budget.

            Not really defense but “Ministry of War” spending.
            Europe does not feed conflicts all over the globe.

            Budget efficiency is dismally low.
            What does the US actually get for short of a Trillion Dollars per year?

          • Measuring by $ amount can be misleading: see how U.S. threw, what? Over $2 trillion in a tiny central Asian country and got what result? To get the Taliban back in power?? Lol.

          • “Much of the EU defence budget of these countries (eg Spain) goes to social programs, disaster relief which further wastefully dilutes this. I suspect Holland and Germany are bad in this regard as well.”

            Got any links to support this weird assertion? (only one of many)

          • Australians may end up paying over $5 billion for non-existent submarines!!

            No wonder defence spending is on the *high* side.

    • > Seems a little absurd, given that they [Boeing] are having such a hard time getting a grasp on producing aircraft today, with current, mature, tried & tested materials and techniques.

      This, in spades..

      yeesh. “We’ll leapfrog over Airbus in 2037!”

      sure, sure.

    • Frank, you are right about the Max and the A320 Neo. its a perceived worry about Boeing(McD) management. that team has not been punished, Mullenburger walked away with over $40 million in front of the families of the dead. Nobody went to prison, when everybody knew they had committed manslaughter. Airlines know, the tag the Max has got, some even changing its name to blind passengers on what they are flying in. There’s a stench, that will take a long time to disappear

  2. The 787-10 and A350-1000 would benefit from the Ultrafan lower fuel consumption and I think is sized for it. It would cost RR to develop a 40k Ultrafan engine for a new Boeing 757 successor, they can reuse the Ultrafan core (HPC/Burner/HPT) but the rest will be new. Maybe they find partners in Japan for the LP system design/manufacturing letting IHI & co: become a new Snecma/Safran. They already started with the T1000 modules/parts.
    The competition would be stiff från CFMI/PWA-MTU and non has a 40k engine ready, they have problems going to 35k from the 33/34k level they are now.
    Hence it would be new engines from PWA/CFMI for the Boeing 797. With “normal delays” it falls into the RISE engine timeframe that will be SAF/LH2 certified. PWA also works on a new SAF/LH2 engine, leaving RR to catch up if it becomes a requirement with some DOD backing to Boeing/PWA/GE and RR will be left out of an “All American Great engine war” on the 797. Future is hard to predict with any defined certainty..

    • claes:

      The available Japanese partners are already part of PW GTF group, not as formal as the V2500 program, but like MTU, they are part of the GTF group.

    • Ultrafan is not a prototype for a commercial product. It is a testbed engine so colossal in size its is too large for any aircraft including the B777-9. Maybe a B777-10 but its just not a protoptye for a commercial product.

  3. RR miscalculated when they didnt continue the joint venture with Pratt for GTF. Now RR has no narrow body engines and will be expensive for them to get back in. Pratt on the other hand have zero presents on the current wide body side. Maybe RTX should buy RR and merge it into Pratt and spin off RR turbo prop market to avoid complications with holding too much market share with PWC turbo prop products. RR made same mistake as Pratt few decades back when they gave up narrow body market to go after wide body.

    • There is little love between PWA and RR. It will not be harmonic with happy owners, customers and suppliers even though on paper it makes sense to use PWA big engine MRO capability for RR engines and having RR be part of the Geared Turbofan family with bigger purchases of raw materials, manufacturing services and components like igniters, filters, tubing, brackets, ring forgings, PCC castings…
      It only works in MBA spreadsheets, not in real life with both companies making engines since WW2. Just having GE Evendale and GE Lynn agree can create gray hairs..

      • claes:

        I would not say never. PW is now part of Raytheon. RR Jet engine needs to be cut out of the rest of the RR muck (they are into all sorts of diesels, power trains on warships etc).

        Yes Turbofans would maybe need to be divested but it would be a good match product line in LCA jet engines.

        Maybe won’t happen but its a good alignment.

        • Regardless the sense of any product synergy, there about as much chance of RTX buying RR as a European company taking over LM or GE.

          RR was previously nationalized and the UK government still retains a golden share, with which they can (and most likely will) veto any takeover of one of their most important defense contractors.

        • @TW, the design philosphy are so different betwen PWA and RR especially on rotating parts. It would be easier with GE as the T700 is greatly influenced by the CF6-80C2 that RR was a partner on before they put the RB211-524 onto BA 747 that caused the split and GE engineers in Derby working on the RB211-535 went home over the weekend.

          • nytimes 1984 Feb. 4:
            Each of the two companies will participate in the development, production and marketing of one of the other’s jet engines in exchange for 15 percent of the revenue.
            (types: RB211-535E4,CF6- 80C2)

          • @Uwe, Yes RR Derby kind of pissed off Brian Rowe ex RR/de Havilland Leavesden with this move, he got revenge with the GE90 BA 777 launch order as the RB211-524H was not a succeess onto the BA767’s and RR was a tad slow. The BA circus continued with RR buying T800 onto the 777-200ER and was slow to retire its RR 747-400’s when 777-300ER’s were available and picking up a few (GE powered only), then switching to RR powered A380’s before getting RR A350-1000’s that is the solution for now. Once the RR Ultrafan is certified one can wonder if someone dares to certify an A380neo (like Gamma Corp with ex. Douglas engineers did with the DC-8’s and CFM56-2’s) and BA sending in theirs for conversion?

    • Agree Tom, RR made a very bad mistake coming out of the single isle market.
      As to the Ultra its still years away from full introduction to the Aircraft market.
      When it finally arrives, it is said to be scaleable, which would give RR the option as to which engine it builds. Time is not on RR side.

  4. sounds rather familiar when reminiscing in times past:

    Boeing … management .. issued an ultimatum to “develop the plane for less than 40 percent of what the 777 had cost to develop 13 years earlier, and build each plane out of the gate for less than 60 percent of the 777’s unit costs in 2003”, and approved a development budget estimated at US$7 billion as Boeing management claimed that they would “require subcontractors to foot the majority of costs”.

    ( taken from the WP:EN:787 page 🙂

    • Boeing is thinking somewhat right, you have to automate much more and smarly as volumes pick up and using robots (like the car industry since the 1980’s) to increase speed, reduce cost and improve quality with form and locations tolerances in 0.001″ or better made by robots both in house and at key suppliers. The trick is how you do it cost effectivly and repeatly also on composites. Boeings black eye from the 787 dimensional variations should open their eyes (after the swollen eye settles)

      • “The trick is how you do it cost effectivly and repeatly also on composites. Boeings black eye from the 787 dimensional variations should open their eyes (after the swollen eye settles)”

        I have difficulty grasping this:
        787 had those issues beginning with the first production samples.
        This is either 15+years
        * of not trying
        * not making sufficient progress.

        which is it?

        either way would you expect those same people to pull a gold rabbit from some hat or other?

        • Reapectfully Uwe…. The dimensional variability you mention hasn’t exceeded the allowables. What DID go in the toilet was the worksmanship doing he shimming incorrectly and the inspectors inspecting it incorrectly. That gets you to havin your inspection sampling plans revoked and your QA department benched. What we have now is an S load of built product that or may not be assembled correctly and need to be evaluated and repaired, after the engineers prove the process will produce a per drawing part…… Until BA gets its QA people back in the good graces of the FAA, this is a tough nut to crack. As far as this being a 15 Year problem, highly unlikely BUT it is still huge…..

          • IMHO “shiming” is a 1940ties manufacturing solution.
            ( This in a way was the major difference between GDR manufacture: produce parts and screen/select/fix afterwards vs the BRD solution: produce to tight tolerances, and use random sample survey to prove quality.
            look at sample distribution ( square box or normal ) and you can determine the production setup.)

          • Wow, a bit of rewriting history, eh?

            The dimensional variations are large enough to be considered out-of-spec and sufficient for FAA to halt delivery.

          • I conclude it is a combination. Baking carbon fibers structures in fixtures gives you some deformations once they are cooled outside of the autoclave, pop out of the baking tool and on to machine shop after NDT and dimensional check for cleaning edges, drilling holes etc. It is a bit different from aluminum structures out of the press. Both gets form variations and you decide what can be used and how to shim it. Ideally you have “dead structures” with nominal shapes that fit without shimming. Hence a new design with skillful design and analysis is much easier to handle for robots. The A320 is like programming robots build an early 70’s Mercedes 600. Hence today you design for your favorite Kuka or Electroimpact robots to do most of the job.

      • claes:

        Talking in LCA but Calhoun thinking is how to do share buy back and dividends not the health of BCA.

        Boeing needs a complete new management group.

        • The management group does not design aircrafts, they review the preliminary design for payload/range/cost/selling price and possible derivatives, for Boeing it is enough to talk to United Airlines what fleet they want to replace. Then if they are smart talk to Udvar Hazy what he would buy in qantity at what price. Then with a budget of $10bn it is the engineering staffs job together with suppliers and blue collar and a load of retired cheif engineers coming back as consultants for design reviews to define it and make sure it is +15% better than the present competition in performace and can be made much cheaper than United paid last time. Let the design be event driven and the normal 3 design/analysis rounds with the FAA/EASA and launch customers + Udvar until you need to freeze the design and promise delivery dates and prices for the first 100-200 aircrafts. If it was in Germany you would also talk to the unions and Breibsrat to make sure you don’t repeat old misstakes, make it quickly repairable; cargo compatible; allow 2 stretches in the design; allow modifications that the USAF would like to add and get a good material/build flow, but that might be a step too far for Boeing to talk aircraft design with old union men having a beer with Alan M. of 777 fame.

        • Hierarchies!
          Any corporation is a set of “tools” wielded by management sitting at the top.
          If management doesn’t grasp which end of a tool or other is the sharp end you can have the best design and manufacturing departments around and nonetheless get nowhere. Bad management has no recourse.
          Things have better perspective with competent management and slightly lacking “tools”.
          Hierarchy allows to effect improvements.

    • “…Calhoun prefers a moonshot…”
      This a standard page from the GE-McDonnell-Welch management playbook.
      On the 787 the moonshot was called the global supply chain. It was supposed to save the company about half the cost and a third of the time to develop the plane. Witness the results.
      One has to wonder if Boeing executive management really cares if its “moonshots” are achieved. Perhaps the point is merely to create a fancy story for Wall Street so that it won’t sell the stock in the face of a $15 billion development program.
      Tell Wall Street it will take only $7 billion and 4 years, instead of $15 billion and 6 years. At the end of 4 years announce that it needs another $5 billion and 2 more years, at the end of 6 years, $5 billion more and another 2 years….just string Wall Street along like a love-struck partner waiting for a marriage proposal….worked out great on the 787, right?
      If this game plan came from anyone other than Boeing I would listen with some credulity. But when it comes from Boeing I feel like laughing.
      Could Wall Street be so shortsighted as to buy the same old story….YES!

      • ……Furthermore, when Boeing announces a moonshot it should be required to identify precisely which moon it is aiming at. After all, the solar system is replete with moons….Earth’s, Saturn’s, Jupiter’s, etc.
        They might take careful aim at the Earth’s moon but in the event strike Ganymede…..Not their fault of course, an honest mistake…could have happened to anyone….!

      • -Americans often produce “moonshots” including Apollo 11. At the moment it’ Musks companies doing it. I suspect after a period of punishing introspection and correction Boeing will come back strong, Folks may have noticed a war on and vast increases in defence spending, Few European companies have modern Weapons due to decades of underfunding (uk aside) and this will bring in much revenue to Boeing and the USA, deservedly so.
        -Note I am not an American.

          • All out of date by the standards of the F22 and F35 and Grippen, Rafael, Typhoon are no real advance on the much older F16 or F18. The British Tempest is at least 11 years to go. Low defence expenditure has left European firms lacking in fundamental technology. Rheinmetal is a rare exception due to exports and the Boxer program but note the ground breaking Puma has severe problems with its electronic systems. Germany and Holland shared an anaemic defence budget of 1.4% and this effected many systems these countries cooperate in. Safran is not up to the standards of GE and relies on GE for the key hot section technology.
            What is Airbus doing? Nothing really. The blade “wing of the future” laminar flow wing is 25 year old German DLR technology being rewarmed. Any good work is really rewarmed from 20 years ago There are no breakthroughs that aren’t just rewarmed programs from 20 years ago. There is not apple, Google or space x in Europe because of this lack. Nothing has been done in Europe for 20+ years. Once the surge that technology produced peaks a cost will be paid.
            -All of the interesting stuff comes from the USA. Truss wings, solid oxide fuel cells, active flutter control, boundary layer ingestion propulsion, novel structures.
            -The breakthrough weapons in the Ukraine are Turkish and American (or British) not European.
            -Boeing look like idiots over MCAS and the QC issues it exposed but I think they will lead again.

          • Gosh, it looks as if someone has a very rosy view of the capabilities offered by one’s shiny new “Quad” friends.

            It’s worth noting that all this “groundbreaking” tech being ascribed to “a certain country” didn’t in any way help that country to win any of its recent wars — despite the fact that those wars were fought against much smaller, weaker, less-sophisticated countries. It’s amazing how effective a few peasants with basic weaponry can be.

            As regards recent fiascos: the F35 still has a 721 issues to be addressed (most recent count). It can’t be used near lightning, it will disintegrate if it fires its main cannon, it can’t be used for night ops because of its green glow, it’s under-ranged, under-armed and under-powered, and its “stealth” can be compromised by relatively simple passive radar techniques performed from a horsebox. Gosh…let’s hope our lives don’t depend on it any time soon! Not to mind the stellar KC-46A, Zumwalt, and Littoral projects.

            It seems that Airbus and other EU defense companies are doing pretty well selling their “rewarmed” products — maybe it’s because those products actually work?

          • “Gosh, it looks as if someone has a very rosy view of the capabilities ”

            there is a select part of the public that only are aware of inventions and products when they have entered the US domain _and_ have been homesteaded.

            On winning wars: I don’t think these conflicts were handled to win. They were designed to de civilize certain regions. But that forms the attacker too. examples: US, Israel.

          • @Bryce, you might deprecate US stealth technology and point out caveats (i.e. the aircraft needs to be clean and the surface not damaged by dings but these are really trivial things easily managed as we’ve seen with Isreli use of F35 against Russia SAM systems) but the essence is this. The US developed it, the technology works, the US has it in service and Europe at current defence expenditures has no hope of ever catching up. Japan with 1/3rd the population has a program for a 6th generation fighter about to take flight.

            This what will happen: The next innovation in aircraft design will be Boeing (as it was with the B787, B747 & EICAS). Airbus will follow and then copy paste across all of their types.

            Sergi Lavorov clarified Russia policy on nuclear weapons use in the Ukraine. He said “We will not be using nuclear weapons” but then added “at this stage”. What will happen to the commercial airliner systems of the A330MRTT when there is an EMP pulse?

            Whatever your criticism of the US project they eventually lead to results, many of the European programs simply terminate. They create a vast number of technically capable engineers whose capabilities are amplified by the venture capital system.

            I can’t see anything innovative coming out of Europe at this stage. (UK excluded). Artists impressions of flying wings don’t really count. It’s a 30 year old idea at least.

            I wish I was wrong.

          • @ Pedro
            Where the F35 is concerned (and other such projects), perhaps there are cultural differences at play?
            In Europe and Asia, innovation is only considered to be a success when it actually works.
            In other countries, it would appear that this requirement is not present.

      • Perceptive comment, I think. What has Boeing done- for years now!- other than talk?

  5. After the Trent fiasco, will Airbus ever again want to use RR as the sole engine supplier for any of its aircraft? In a way, Airbus crept through the eye of the needle with the RRs on the A350 and A330neo.
    On the other hand, would Airbus want to rely (solely) on US engine manufacturers? We are, after all, now entering a period of de-globalization, in which security of supply chains will be more important than efficiency of supply chains.
    I’m wondering how long it will take before the EU “incentivizes” Safran to become more independent, and to add large turbofans to its portfolio. There are other EU companies that could form a JV with Safran in this regard.

    • Is this solely on RRs book?

      A: the 787 targeted engines were rushed ( actually both but GE has press protection.)

      B: around the Trent1000 issues started to nag a rather insidious commercial attack was released on RR ( with the usual counter of contracting expenses by workforce reduction. result: reduced capability of coping with T1000 issues …

      My guess is that Airbus is quite aware of the spin doctors at work for US companies.

      • Good points . Bloomberg ( whose technical type stories are very widely syndicated) has long been seen as an ‘unofficial partner’ to GE engines, in return for scoops. Not unusual in a way for such cosy
        media arrangements in France and Japan too.

    • Did Airbus suffer that much this time? Mainly Boeing on the Trent1000, the Trent7000 is a bit derated and might work wonders on time on wing and get updated with common upgrades from the T1000-TEN? The RR T700 really helped Airbus take over from the B767-300ER. The A350 Trents might have been a bit late but works pretty good. RR sales kept the cheif engineers home and promised too much to Emirates and hence killed the A380. Airbus had historical problems with other suppliers (PW4158, PW4168A) that was solved by time. The T1000 and Boeing 787 was exceptional.

      • I think AB are in the catbird’s seat with the 320xlr, 330neo, and larger 350 variant; the latter of which could be re-engined to good effect. Then there’s the 220..

        From mcBoeing: some more vapid PR.. then, crickets. 😉

      • Airbus had historical problems with .. P&W:

        SuperFan: canceled, -> A340, A330 wing enlarged to cope. ( actually a longtime boon?)
        PW6000: much delayed, redesigned, fixed by MTU, customers switched to CFM56 for the A318

        IMU this lead to Airbus pushing for IAE being the reign holder for the GTF.

  6. I would like to see that term Moonshot stricken from the discussion. Call it what it is.

    It was nothign more than a smoke and mirrors aka Fig Leaf for management incompetent in the 787 execution.

    They pulled smoke and mirrors and BS that they could have a free lunch when they knew it did not work before with MD.

    Just because Calhoun uses that bull does not mean Leeham should.

  7. There are two major missing elements of the so called RISE.

    One is the added weight of a rear mount. That remove X % of the gain.

    The other is, its a one off mount. You are stuck with a single engine choice.

    So PW does a 10% gain in 2030, then PIP up another 2-5% and …….

    • That extra weight might have been only relevant in the small by todays standards 90-120 seaters of the the 1960s and the technical methods used to design the airframe structure.
      The larger long distance business jets approach that size now and if their was real efficiency gains from putting their smaller engines on the wings they would do so as its a very competitive area of range and fuel burn.

          • Duke:

            You are failing to understand biz jets. They are not driven by economy. That is what cattle class is for.

            Mounting your jets (mostly) on the rear (or the top) allows a lower ground stance for passenger convenient.

            That is why the 737 has tube engines fared into the wings, it was austere airport ops intended and easier for pax and baggage.

            A like for like structure is going to be lighter for a wing mounted engine than a fuselages .

            You miss the dead load of engines mounted on the fuselage that is not there for the wing.

            Worse it has a lever arm that is longer and requires more structure on top of a wing mount.

          • I think you missed by points about business jets.
            of course any $75 mill personal plane isnt about ‘ cheap to run’, as these arent your little Citations and such where close to ground and small undercarriage matter.
            Im referring to heavy business jet end where ‘efficiency’ matters in that it gives competitive advantage in their selling points to customers . Speed , Range and payload. its very competitive between the competing manufacturers.
            And new entrants like E jets or Airbus Two Twenty the ACJ version of the A220-100 which is pitched at same price point

            the main factor that pushes a passenger plane high off the ground is the lower fuselage lobe, often carrying baggage. isnt another 6 steps for the heavy end going to make much difference for the passengers

            I dont see how your ‘lighter for lighter structure’ claim comes from. Maybe once the case in the 1960s.

            The neutral axis of the plane through the centre of the fuselage has the rear engines closer to that axis and directly
            to a reduction stresses compared to way out on wing.

            As well the wing engines largely protrude forward of the wing away from the neutral axis of the wing centre line. And its the fuel in wing that balances the lift not the very heavy point loads of the engines

            The balance around centre of gravity is met by having a shorter moment arm from a shorter fuselage behind wing to account for increased weight.
            Aerodynamics also favour a rear engine with the ‘clean wing’ without a discontinuity in airflow from underslung engines.

          • DoU:
            look at forces and their transfer path.
            Wings provide essential lift.
            fuselage, engines, … all create a downward force component that balances with lift.
            engines on tail : forces have to be transferred via fuse to wings over a long way. requires substantial structure.
            then you have to balance engine weight on tail
            by way of shorter rear fuselage and longer nose. This reduces the lever arm for control surfaces.

  8. After reading the book “Flying Blind” how can anyone believe anything a Boeing executive says”

    J. Carlson

    • “…black boxes went to the US for the work to pull the info out of them.”

      Yes, Honeywell made them, and so Honeywell has to try and salvage the data on them when they’re too knocked up for a regular read-out. Not exactly something to be proud of.
      As @Frank posited a few weeks ago: the whole concept of black boxes is badly outdated, and needs to be upgraded to reflect 21st century technology. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the FAA to take the initiative…

      • The FDR/CVR go to an NTSB lab in WDC, they have the equipment to retrieve and read the data not Honeywell.
        Boeing also has extensive equipment to do the same. Boeing offers a service to read FDR’s all over the world for whatever reasons.

        • The boxes went to an NTSB facility, but the manufacturer’s input is required if the memory modules are damaged.
          Other regulators are perfectly able to read out undamaged memory.

        • Airdoc:

          Honeywell does not have the equipment to read its own Black Boxes? Really.

          What the NTSB has is a set of equipment that lets them take apart a damaged black box and read damaged ones.

          They also have a chain of custody that ensures that there is no question of messing with the data.

          There are only a couple of places that can read damaged units. France has one and the US has the other.

          Any Avionics Outfit that services black boxes can read the chips. My brother did it for years. A general shop will be setup to do their clients (be it Honeywell Black Box or a King Radio) or even the oil foil recorders if that is what you operate

    • Finally a bit of good news on the Boeing front..
      Thanks for the update!!!
      Guess the play-by- play guys gave up sharing every tid bit of info with the China eastern tragedy…Strangly, silent
      when something positive on behalf of the Boeing NG program cones out from the Carrier…..no surprises here!!.

    • I guess the bad blood after the Chinese pulled the plug on the 737 MAX just after the crashes (& rightly so..) has been put aside.

  9. No GENX 787 engines was grounded by any airline or certification authorities. You have seen the pictures of the Trent 1000 engine corrosion. If you were in the industry you will not authorize return to service for the affected engines. RR know they messed up big time.

      • Duke:

        The NTSB makes recommendations. Many of those are cost prohibitive without any real benefit.

        Do not get me wrong, I like the NTSB and many of their findings are spot on. The NTSB also recommended that Boeing change their auto throttle FLCH mode (which I agree with).

        I don’t have an issue with a disagreement on the Gen X engines, but they were no where near the category issue of the RR engines. Those were a nightmare and descending to lower altitude was not going to correct a blown engine.

        • Thats not an opinion that experts at NTSB held that GEnX engines didnt need to grounded.
          One engine that hadnt flown was found to have various incipient issues
          many inflight engine incidents like RR had.
          Are you suggesting that engine safety/reliability be subject to a manufacturers cost benefit claims.
          Thats just nuts. GE got away with similar issues that RR paid a harsher penalty for

      • Amended that was an issue where GE had moved from a hand process to industrialized process and changed the coating.

        they knew it right away (first failure) and corrected it.

        RR never corrected the Trent 1000 issues and they kept having failures.

        In both cases, the fallacy of engineer cert (all mfgs acualy) is that you can change something and not have to do a full test.

        There should be a full engine test program for the final production engine and significant test hours put on any engine change after that.

    • The changed coating on GenX engines “gave up” after a couple of hours. ( cudos to the designed in feature of brakeing the turbine into adjacent stators avoiding a blade out on twice the rpm in idle issue )
      A rather “easy” scenario.
      Trent1000 corroded blade issues only came up after several years of use! suprising performance retention! Looking at the eaten up turbine blades I do wonder why it didn’t ring any watched data bells earlier!

      • That ‘eaten up ‘ damage photos was caused by a single blade that fatigued and then the broken part caused the visible damage to most of the other blades. These are high energy IP turbine blades, not the compressor sections

        • IMU not the proper explanation.
          blade deterioration was caused by insufficient
          SO2+H2O resistance of the turbine blade coating.
          ( surprisingly from pollution and not from sulfur in fuel.)
          final death is another thing.

          • Thats not what you said , which was that the collateral damage ‘didnt ring any watched bells’
            It was after the fracture of ONE blade on an IP turbine , so there was nothing to watch for on the LP turbine blades downstream . RR Trents are 3 stage turbofans.
            Happy to provide guidance on RR turbofan architecture

  10. GE’s engine head Brian Rowe way back called it Unducted Fan 35 years or so ago. The project engine even flew on a DC-9-80. It was squished when crude oil prices collapsed to around $10 a barrel, or at least that was the story. The racket in line with fan was pretty outrageous however.

    • I think the GE36 was less than 30% developed when it flew. It needed some more expensive design rounds to get competetive life cycle costs. But GE learned from it, hence the RISE design achitecture that is way simpler. Still a big challange to design and integrate on a high wing aircraft.

    • I think the CFM RISE has simpler, lighter, quieter less risky technology than the pusher CROR open rotor prototypes. studies we have seen in the past from GE, Pratt, Safran and the Russians. It’s basically a big carbon powerful turboprop with novel large adjustable stators to boost efficiency.

      Much lighter gearboxes, not blade tip shockwave collisions and wake hitting the fan. I have better confidence in this approach.

      • No surprise the new approach is a lot different from Brian’s UDF! His starting point was some project way back in long forgotten Brit engine history. Real surprise of the UDF I suppose is that it worked as well as it did.

    • no gerbox.
      7+7 intermeshed counter rotating stage low rpm work turbine with smalish diameter to drive the propfanblades.

      current GTF has just 3 stages ( running at optimum rpm) to drive the fan.

  11. In this article it seems as though Calhoun is letting Airbus lead in the MOM category. What is he thinking? The A321 series do not compare to the B757.

    • The Max 10 should have been the second plane certified after the 8 , as it was a direct answer to A321. Took forever to even come up with undercarriage change.
      Now it looks like it’s almost too late.

      • “…as it was a direct answer to A321”

        Except for its much shorter range (6110 km) versus even the standard A321 neo (6850 km), not to mind the LR (7400 km) or XLR (8700 km) versions.

        Why else do you think that AB is outselling BA 5-to-1 in this product segment?

        • You should read the LNA more deeply.
          The A321 needs extra fuselage tanks to match the range of the Max 10
          ‘Both aircraft have about the same range when sensibly equipped. The A320 series wing holds about an ACT’s (Auxiliary Center Tank)-worth of less fuel. So Boeing justly equipped the A321neo with two ACTs and the MAX 10 with one. This means both aircraft are just passing 3,200nm without becoming limited by the fuel amount.’
          The LR version is of course trading baggage space by adding more ACT. A clever solution to integrate the multiple extra fuel tanks as a single larger fuselage hugging design thats no longer limits baggage but requires a major gross weight increase and its redesign

          The Boeing Max series are generally lighter than their A320/321 equivalents ( which came about because the NG had a newer lighter wing)
          A better understanding and reliable sources allows comments to be based on reality. Im happy to mentor you in this regard.

          • Thanks for the offer, but I’ll pass 😉
            So, your argument is as follows:
            AB was clever enough to play with tanks in order to increase the range of their A321, thereby delighting their airline customers. BA hasn’t done /can’t do something similar, thereby saddling their customers with very significantly lower range. However, kudos to BA, because their airframe has more space for baggage — even though this isn’t needed. Also, the lighter BA airframe will nominally have a lower fuel burn — though a 5-to-1 majority of customers don’t seem to be bothered by this.

            OK, got it!

          • found a Boeing leaflet? 🙂
            mix of IMU wrong and/or irrelevant information.

          • “The Boeing Max series are generally lighter than their A320/321 equivalents”

            Geez, that’s weird, because 1) the weights for the Max 10 haven’t been published yet and 2) The Max 8 seems to generally be heavier than the A320Neo

            A320Neo OEW – 97,700 lbs
            737 Max 8 OEW – 99,360 lbs

            But at the end of the day, the numbers that generally matter, are these:

            737 Max 8 orders: 2255 (without ASC 606 adjustments)
            A320Neo orders: 3746

            I guess airlines are just generally happier with the A320Neo and Boeing has generally lost the segment.

            Generally speaking, of course…

          • somewhat surprised that neither company embraced the conformal fuel tank model as used commonly on fighter jets.

            build out the wing glove fairings to mitigate interference drag and fill the new volume with fuel. reduce drag & increase fuel capacity in one shot.

          • -> “The Boeing Max series are generally lighter than their A320/321 equivalents .. ”

            Ah, the MAX’S fuselage benefits from grandfathering a design from the 60s that fails the current safety strength requirement.

            In just one incident:
            three deaths, 157 injured



          • Uwe, so quoting LNA own analysis is regarded as a ‘Boeing leaflet’
            Boeing is ‘lighter’ ( as a figure of speech) but its Max8 is an increased size with more passengers than the A320
            Again quoting from LNA own figures

            The 737 MAX 8 is 1.5m (5 feet) longer than A320 with a 2.5m (8.2 feet) longer cabin. This brings a 12 seat higher capacity, everything else being equal.’

            It seems that a lot more need mentoring on the basics.

          • Bilbo:

            I don’t think you can carry over a fighter aerodynamics to a Jet.

            In the area of over wing exits you have an issue all by itself.

          • “Uwe
            April 20, 2022
            found a Boeing leaflet? 🙂
            mix of IMU wrong and/or irrelevant information.“
            Exactly what are you referring to and what is the “correct” information?
            We wait…

          • Pedro. The A320 neo doesnt add 12 seats at all. Its exactly the same size fusealge as it had on first flight

            What you are thinking about is reduced seat pitch and or those new fangled ‘slimline lavatories’.

            Have you see the Max8 -200 flown by Ryanair . Even more seats crammed in, but not standing passengers …yet

            So remember the qualifier in the LNA claim . All other things being equal the max 8 seats 12 more passengers.

            Still time to enrol for remedial classes.

    • FAA has been letting Boeing get away with the 737 Crew Alerting System (EICAS) for way to long. It played a role in several 737NG crashes, but Boeing was able to divert, pointing at the pilots. The 737 alert system proved a system fighting/ misinforming the crew instead of helping it.

      For the 737-10 FAA drew a line in the sand on EICAS, something they should have done years ago.


      Boeing leadership on quality and safety is far, far away here and congress doesn’t help that letting Boeing escape again.

    • “The A321 series do not compare to the B757.”

      comparable or higher payload at range
      better range at that.
      2/3rd the fuel burn.
      up to date tech …

      couple of decades have to be worth something! 🙂

  12. Begin a new production line of 757 whet new powerful engine like the old one take the wings from 7878 take the tale from the 737- 10 and cockpit from 7878 and begin production line in a hurry before A321 LR and XLR take the hole middle market.

    • the 757 fuselage was already a Frankenstein, and now you want to graft on 787 wings and a 737 tail and some graft a non existent engine onto the massively oversized (for 757 mission) 787 wing?

      are you trying to put Boeing out of business even faster than they are doing it to themselves?

  13. Regarding the grossly outdated cockpit safety systems in the 737MAX:

    Seattle Times: “Citing safety concerns, whistleblowers urge revamp of aging Boeing 737 MAX cockpit”

    “Last month, two prominent flight control experts and whistleblowers — one ex-Boeing, one ex-FAA — delivered to the U.S. Senate committee overseeing aviation a technical proposal to upgrade Boeing’s 737 MAX cockpit to current design standards.

    “The system on the MAX for alerting pilots about malfunctions during flight is outdated — and without an upgrade Boeing may need congressional action to extend the jet’s exemption from the latest safety regulation and get the upcoming final version of the MAX into service.

    “The proposed fix was offered as an alternative that all models of the MAX could be retrofitted with.

    ““It’s a matter of the will to do it,” said Joe Jacobsen, former Federal Aviation Administration safety engineer and agency whistleblower. “The question is, what’s the price tag?””


    • Thanks for that most Seattle times link about the Boeing 737MAX cockpit. Just imagine if they get another (totally unwarranted) extension,
      and yet another MAX goes down in the interim..

      • Indeed. From the ST article:

        “Even if it costs $1 billion or $2 billion, it’s in Boeing’s interest to do it,” he said. “The next crash that gets pinned on the flight crew alerting system, they are sunk. It’s a huge liability.”

        • Indeed. BA has been rolling the dice on multiple jets for so long, from the 787 “Nightmare” (not Dreamliner any more), MAX to the 777X.

          • You should see the timelines on the new jets in development limbo in China.

  14. The ongoing KC-46A saga:
    “EXCLUSIVE: Boeing to pay for upgrades to KC-46 tanker’s panoramic system”

    “Whether the RVS 2.0 would include changes to the panoramic camera system was a major point of contention between the Air Force and Boeing — and its inclusion in the RVS 2.0 redesign package represents a major financial win for the service.”

    This will, doubtless, make another nasty hole in the balance sheet.

  15. The litigation associated with the Lion Air MAX crash hasn’t gone away yet: three cases may be going to trial.

    “Boeing told an Illinois federal judge on Monday that it has only three cases left to resolve over a 2018 Lion Air plane crash, but said settlement negotiations aren’t succeeding and trials may be the best way to resolve them”.


  16. If Calhoun is right with his
    “places more emphasis on a moonshot in design and production advances to lower the cost of the airplane”
    he must expect no serious tech change for engines.
    And that’s a huge bet, as the A380 has shown. I still belive it would be a great airplane, would it just have the 87 engines with 10% better specific fuel consuption.

    Moonshot design would mean to change the etablished config, propably they use the composite for that oval fuselage shape.

    Boeing can propably afford only one program, from their enigneers and their financials. B777x F, B787 HGW are already 2 projects, a new program on top and that’s all they can do.

    So let’s assume they to a NMA, 240 – 280 Pax with that oval fueselage and a range of 5000 nmi.
    The RR Ultrafan – btw. it’s using the advanced core – is aming more at the larger A350, and will likley power an A350neo + a stretch. Propably around the end of the decade.
    The 87 is then also due for an re-engine, which Boeing has to do once an engine is available.

    Pratt + RR are going down with geared fan design, CFM is the only one on the open rotor. Hard to guess where that will lead to, but the open rotor hasn’t worked out so far.

    That’s a double edged sword for Boeing – you don’t have an engine, you don’t have a program.
    If you end up betting on an open rotor – and it doesn’t work, your company is toast. Boeing wouldn’t have the financials for another try in its actual situation.
    If you end up not going with the open rotor – and take existing tech – you might end up with a dog product. Up against new developments from Airbus started after design freeze of the B797, powered by H2 or an yet unknown engine.

    As i see why Boeing wants to do smth in that market – their Max 9/10 are inferior to the A321neo and their B788 isn’t selling – i don’t see the how. Nor do i see the should.

    Actually what they should do is build a new SA to replace the larger Max versions.
    They need to do smth, or it will have been 20 years since the last launch of a new program, and most of the things they have done in between didn’t work out as planned.

    • The NASA/Boeing Trussed Brazed Aircraft high wing layout is pretty ideal for the RISE engine. Think NASA will get money to build an X aircraft. Boeing should push that it would be a 220-240 pax version and learn alot from its flight testing. If they are smart they rebuild it for LH2 and install the LH2 system and do more testflying with it and most likely wait for the P&W LH2 engine to give it a chance to show its performance.

      • Claes:

        I disagree. It is ideal for the advanced PW GTF.

        Work continues and it may be what Calhoun has convinced people in Boeing is the way to go (using a carrot and stick method when he is not at all sincere but it also looks to be the single most like possible for an airframe jump in improvement SFC wise.

        The issue I see that jumps out is the long wing and gates – I am not sure you can merge a folding wing into that package.

        • It might be the GTF but P&W might get money to do “The Hydrogen Steam Injected, Inter‐Cooled Turbine Engine (HySIITE) project will use liquid hydrogen combustion and water vapor recovery to achieve zero in-flight CO2 emissions” (ref Aw Week) and put a demo engine on its wings?

  17. The preliminary report on the China Eastern 737-800 crash is now published, but it contains no clues to the cause of the crash:
    “Initial report sheds little light on March China Eastern jet crash”

    “The short, one page report said the plane entered Guangzhou air traffic space at 2.17pm and that Guangzhou air traffic control then realised it was deviating from the altitude it should have been on.

    “Air traffic controllers paged the flight deck but received no response, according to the document.

    “Flight MU5735 from Kunming to Guangzhou fell from the sky about 100 miles from its destination. The last radar recorded from the jet was at 2.21pm, the report showed.”


    • Nothing more than a check mark in the process that is meaningless without the FDR readout.

      • If this was a pilot suicide China Govt is going to be really wigged out.

        • If it wasn’t pilot suicide or a flock of birds that came through the windshield, then Boeing is going to be really wigged out.

  18. SF: Congo Airways Reportedly Looking To Ditch The Embraer E2 For The Airbus A220

    • Thats would be for its superior cargo carrying capability. Swiss says on its website for cargo that it can take more cargo payload than their A320s

    • And IF deliveries resume in Q3 this year, the big question is: at what rate?
      The FAA will be vetting each frame individually — sounds SLOW.

      Just look at the ponderously slow pace at which the MAX inventory is being cleared..

      • Glass half full or half empty??

        -> A once-envisioned delivery target of April has already been pushed back to May with the expectation of further delays, the people said […]

        One of the people added that a restart during the third quarter of 2022 was realistic. The people and other industry sources cautioned that targets have *repeatedly slipped*.

      • “FAA warns of in-flight turbofan failures following long-term storage” ( at the moment only targeting CF34 and PW4000 ) blocked actuators due to corrosion caused by coastal environment.

        • Looks like some substance to it. Timeline fits with Boeing fixing things as well as the intensive checks of the shim fits the FAA is rightfully not at all happy with going with random sampling.


          RR did the same thing on the Trent 1000 with computer projections that proved over and over again to be wrong (and the wrong way, always sooner failures than latter). Of course they revised the computer program and it was wrong again the wrong way.

          While there are a number of ways to ensure quality control, you have to check the quality part vs a known baseline of proven.

          If you do 5,000 checks and have one error, you can put that into the context of does that error have a real impact? (or how many shims can be wrong and the support overall is still ok)

          You keep refining it until you have it better than the minimum and then you can go to random sampling (in this case).

          One area I saw that was a laugh was a fastener company that elected to outsource to China. They then had to build a lab to sample a lot of the production as there were a lot of failures.

          Sourcing in the US they had no issue as the fastener suppliers all had a quality control program that ensured not bad fasteners batches got through.

          The one area they did good in was Washers from Taiwan. A mfg there came up with a new stamping system and they had the quality control built in.

          There is no free lunch though sometimes there can be good suppliers though China is not one of them (unless the factory is OWNED by the company, then they control the quality and there is no under handed corruption. .

      • Bloomberg

        -> American Airlines Group Inc. and United Airlines Holdings Inc. said some Boeing Co. aircraft won’t arrive until 2023 or 2024 amid lingering uncertainty over when the planemaker will be allowed to resume deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner

  19. don’t get too excited!

    In the initial introduction phase back around 2010
    the hold backs were announced in 3 to 6 month portions 🙂

  20. The 787 and 777x delays are costing Boeing easily $15B. How many 787 are in the inventory, the rework required on 787s, 777-9s, nobody wants to know.

    We want to see light at the end of the tunnel. Daylight, not a spotlight installed 1500ft out, to create the perception of daylight to make stakeholders feel good.

    • There are 114 787s in inventory. Boeing has been open about this number.

    • Unfortunately it will take years to clear the log jam even if BA is able to restart delivery tomorrow.

      • PLUS…if/when the FAA is finally satisfied with BA’s 787 process modifications, will the regulator mandate inspections/modifations of previously delivered airframes?

        • Bryce:

          You fail to understand the follow up that is going on. Those checks will be done at the maintenance checks (probably D level) and corrected

          Its not deemed a flight risk at this point, its a failure to follow what you said you wold do.

          Boeing could go for recert the whole 787 based on that exact point. Its easier (lower cost) to comply with it so that is the route they are going.

          Good news is they found a number of areas that were at issue and all those will be corrected. No, Boeing did not intend that but its a bonus to the FAA doing its job.

          Its also showing that the engineers are willing to talk to Boeing and not cover this stuff up anymore.

          And that is exactly what a good regulatory environment does. It puts a leash on the like of Calhoun who only see money. Boeing’s very own Quisling (in an all too long a line of them).

          • ” You fail to understand that” the FAA (or another regulator) can slap on whatever extra checks it deems necessary. The original plan might have been to do extra checks during maintenance, but that policy can change depending on what has come to light in the meantime.

          • Bryce:

            The statement was, at this time. That means its subject to change.

            You also miss that a number of them that had both issues were grounded and fixed.

            Ergo, while not 100%, at this long a time into this, its highly unlikely that the current delivered 787s will be grounded.

            Of course its technical and not everyone works in a tech world (or in my case worked).

            That is why we have people like me to explain things to people like you. The more people that understand the issues with tech (as well as benefits) the better decisions can be made.

            Leeham writes some very good articles in that regard that are good to read.

            There are a great many other resources out there. It just takes some work. Something I never was afraid of. Got lots of ata boys in my file.

          • “That is why we have people like me to explain things to people like you. ”

            Hilarious! best Sunday Morning laugh for a long time.
            Blind leading …. ( who actually ) ?

        • $5.5 billion probably doesn’t provide for inspection/modifications of previously delivered 787.

      • -> Unfortunately it will take years to clear the log jam even if BA is able to restart delivery tomorrow.

        AA and UA confirm BA delivery of the 787 and the MAX slip to 2023 and even 2024.

        More compensation has to be budgeted making the cash drain and debt strain bigger and lasting longer.

    • They can say anything they want, it will not be allowed.

      That and no parts, right mel

      • Please … We have seen waivers already for Gazprombank and Sberbank, continued gas and coal , titanium is there too. Probably very many others in food area too.

        Some from the most sanctimonious country forget the much earlier Iran sanctions where a work around was run out of the Whitehouse…that President was a bit doddery too.

        • Duke:

          The world has long had these sorts of things go on. Sweeden made money off both side in WWII. Equally they did not get invaded by Germany in WWII.

          The US had some aspects of that in WWII as well.

          So, as a separate aspect its fine to point stuff out.

          But in this specific ref, parts are going to be severely restricted. anyone that asks for extra parts will be scrutinized.

          Will some get through? Of course. But most won’t and the Soviets will not have the need for aircraft anyway as the economy crashes (which takes time).

          Keeping in mind hundreds of billions of lost equipment to try to replace where low rate production is the name of the game (including Military aircraft let alone civilian )

          And anyti9ng flown outside of the Soviet Union is subject to seizure.

          Ukraine is still moving gas to Europe. The Soviets are still delivering it.

          But when you have to pay your airlines to stay solvent are you gaining anything or just going in circles?

          And as reinforce failure is going on, this drags out and the more the shift occurs.

          Will Leas Holders look at other countries that are making territorial claims that could result in war, will their insurers tell them no?

          Or the relief of the EU in that the threat is really no longer Vlad? as you army could not take on Georgia right now?

          • “But when you have to pay your airlines to stay solvent…”

            A bit reminiscent of the pandemic aid received by many airlines worldwide…

          • -> Ukraine is still moving gas to Europe. The Soviets are still delivering it.

            Hey who’s telling the Germans to turn off the tap?? Not Putin.

          • Ukraine just demanded that EU/Germany stop _NS1_ and draw all gas via the Soyuz and Brotherhood pipelines.
            ( Amusing : officially Ukraine does not draw RU gas. they provide transit and then procure from the EU domain. Do they pay? I have my doubts. one core starting point of the current conflict was UKR, though having preferential pricing did not pay and additionally siphoned of unmeterd gas while having the pipeline infrastructure go derelict.)

          • My observation is the Anglo American intends to decimate Germany’s industrial base. It’s in their national interest.

          • Yes: “Killing” Germany and some of the EU.

            But it will not go the intended way.
            China will take up the slack not the US.

            And I hope that Germany will be resilient.
            Enough pressure and all the incompetent wordy slackers will be repurposed as dog food

      • Bumper sticker or political slogan has no place in the world where billions change hands everyday!

    • @ Pedro
      Yes, I saw that article — interesting.
      Various sanctions workarounds are also being exploited with regard to oil and gas.
      Every construct has loopholes.

    • Congress might not like the idea of the KC-X suddenly being the no bid contract winner for the different KC-Y program .
      As well this is what the top General in charge of transport and tankers, Van Ovost said in 2020
      ‘“We’re going to have a bridge tanker—we’ll have a full and open competition—on an aircraft to continue to recapitalize … the KC-135.”

        • The USAF does it all the time. As was noted, it was an RFI, not a proposal.

          In US procurement, you can extend a contract if you get the item for the same or better price.

          That was the logical move all along. Its a good deal and it can be made to work even if you just buy more of them (and can afford to as the price is so low you get more aircraft for the same estimated procurement cost)

          A while back the Marines bought a machine gun that was supposed to replace a failure prone one.

          They now extended that contract to buying the same gun (more a beef up assault rifle) to equip the whole front line Marine Force (which all of us thought they were going to do)

          Oshkosh has been extended vehicle procurement a number of times and we are talking of billions of bucks there.

          The USAF is retiring tankers and needs more of them. I would not be surprised to see a KC-46A increase of at least one a month.

          As you do not live in the US you don’t get the full import of what goes on day in day out. I have the same problem with Germany (lets face it, there are 3shakers and movers in Europe – UK, France and Germany, the rest trail along)

          There is a guy in Germany who does a U Tube (Historical Aviation)

          He is extremely knowledgeable and he ran down why Germany would never buy the F-35 despite it being by far and away the best choice.

          That changed in an instant. Its not that he was wrong, events went bizarre beyond belief and the dynamics changed.

          But he understood the German situation and explained it in context I could understand.

          The pained U Tube he did when he explained the U turn (pun intended) was a hoot.

          • Yes. I could see the F35 was the obvious choice for Germans previously . The F18 still needed to be qualified for B81 bomb and the F35 from now on really is doing what was promised back around 2014. The F35 had to be done on the quiet initially as it would offend the French who they are supposed to be developing a new generation fighter.
            Even more reasons for Lockheed to be selling its LMXT then as the KC-46 range and its payload as a combined cargo and refueller over trans pacific distances is the downfall.
            My crystal ball sees Boeing get some extra KC-46, maybe 30 – 50 and the rest going to the more capable LMXT

          • Germany has 216 fighter jets — but it’s only buying (up to) 35 F35s.
            The Tornados will be dumped, and the rest of the fleet will consist solely of Typhoons (18 new ones ordered).
            This small subset of F35s was chosen for 2 reasons:
            – US nuke capable;
            – Compatibility with the rest of NATO (1st link).


            This second reason is the one driving most purchases of the F35 in Europe. All the elephants line up tail-to-trunk…and they all get mired in the swamp together. For example, in the case of Denmark (2nd link):

            ““The broad scope of the group of Joint Strike Fighter users will foster both Denmark’s transatlantic ties and the country’s collaborative relations with a range of European partners.”

            “In other words — everybody else is buying the F-35, so Denmark should, too. But that assumed that everybody else wasn’t also making a mistake.”


            It’s amusing that the F35 is called the “Lightning II”– because the plane can’t be used within 25 miles of lightning (3rd link).
            We get a LOT of lightning here in Europe — oops!


          • @Bryce:
            You think the Ligthning II will turn into the next “Witwenmacher” in German Service?

            IMU it was made clear that qualifying the EuroFighter for the “shared nukes” job would be made difficult. mob tactics, nothing new.

          • @ Uwe
            As regards “Witwenmacher”:
            The F35 does seem to be rather prone to crash landings…and it also seems to regard itself as somewhat of a submarine…

    • Everybody knows the capabilities and track records of both tankers but Boeing and its supply chain badly needs this order. Lets move on and avoid the formal window dressing.

      • Big sections of the 767 airframe are made in Japan.

        Remember the B-52 re-engine program. RR America won that one against the US firms using an engine developed in Germany.
        Im wondering if the full contract has been signed yet or is their political machinations ( called corruption in other countries) yet to happen

    • “USAF is now saying that the KC-X meets its needs”

      INCORRECT: This should read: “USAF is now saying that the KC-X *design* meets its needs *assuming that the design can actually be executed in an operational product within the agreed timeframe*.

      That last bit is where BA keeps tripping over itself — again, and again, and again…

  21. Seems BA is about to announce the 777X will be delayed by one year. Next week?

    While some stick with BA’s “guidance”, most are aware that’s unlikely

        • Emirates has a fleet of 125 777-300ERs in service . The 777X is just a bit bigger and more efficent. They use them to make money .

          Unless Emirates is downsizing over next dozen years , dont expect the 777X orders to change much as they are just a gradual replacement for their existing fleet. You may have noticed theres no replacement for the 88 strong A380 fleet.
          Hmmm , time to put thinking cap on

          • There’s no point in continually waiting around for a plane that’s never going to materialize. There’s a fleet to be replaced, there are customers to be carried.
            Hmmm , time to put thinking cap on.

          • “They use them to make money .”

            Pre-pandemic, 85% of Emirates’ profits came from its A380 fleet. So, the 777 fleet isn’t making as much money as one would like to think…

          • @Bryce

            “85% of Emirates’ profits came from its A380 fleet.”

            That is a staggering statistic. Not that I don’t believe you, but if I were to quote this number elsewhere, I’d love to have a source. You think you could…

          • @ Frank
            Shocked that you doubt me! 😈

            “…Indeed, in an exclusive interview with Simple Flying, Emirates’ President, Sir Tim Clark, revealed that:

            “It’s hugely popular. 85% of our profits prior to COVID came from the A380. It was always full. (…) It was popular in all classes.””


          • @Bryce

            Thank you, sir.

            Please understand my skepticism;

            Almost every airline has said they are unable to make money with the A380. The aircraft has been shunned by some carriers – most notably those in the US. Personally, I always thought that it would have been perfect for the heavily travelled TATL routes – especially those into airports like LHR, where landing slots are expensive, limited and highly sought after.

            Look at Delta – for example, that has 1) many Airbus aircraft in it’s fleet (commonality) and 2) a hub at JFK and 3) they have 7/8 flights a day from JFK to LHR.

            If anybody could have used the A380 on that route, it would have been them, no? You can get double the amount of people across the pond, then other twins (787/A330/767 etc), with only 2 pilots – instead of 4, one landing fee – instead of two, one gate fee – instead of two.

            But I guess it just couldn’t be done profitably. Which I find surprising, in light of TC’s statement.

          • @Frank:
            IMU the US frequency driven market is an evolutionary cul-de-sac.
            largely independent of efficiency questions
            only path to competing is “more frequency”

            doubling per bucket capacity halves frequency
            and your market presence goes massively down.
            But scale gains are much less than 50%.
            You are dropped out.
            Add that distinctly different hardware used allows gaming the system to advantage certain hardware. ( Usually sitting royalty.
            Sorry no A380 gates ever 🙂

            Emirates took a different path:
            they changed
            P—-H========H—-P ( established model) to
            P======H^H======P ( with an “Addidas connected” double central Hub.)
            getting rid of two commutes and splitting the lon range leg into cost advantageous 2 segments.

            A300 : shortish ranged PAX-mover Airbus!

          • @ Frank
            Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.
            In the case of the Emirates A380, the (economy) passenger is treated to an extremely spacious, luxurious, ultra-quiet, “flying palace”, with a stunning IFE system and excellent food. The experience is so good that people go out of their way to avail of it! The Emirates 777s have the same service but are “plain” by comparison — e.g. far less spacious and quiet.

            Other airlines (with few exceptions) didn’t give their A380s that look and feel: for example, BA, AF and Lufthansa A380s are downright bland, and the Malaysia and Thai ones rather tattered. SIA’s are good, but it only has 20 of them, so they can only be experienced on a limited number of routes.

            It doesn’t surprise me at all that the A380 fleet is making a bucket of money for Emirates. What does surprise me is that TC hasn’t acquired any secondhand ones.

          • What 7/8 flights a day by Delta between JFK and Heathrow ?

            Im looking at google flights non stops for May 10 and theres 2 only on Delta planes.

            Delta code share with Virgin planes on another 5 flights which includes KLM and Air France
            So that shoots down your theory that Delta ‘could’ fly A380s on this route. They never used 747s either for this route

            Also it forgets the A380 for many airlines doesnt have the flexibility to have mixed routes to maximise time in the air.
            British Airways never used the A380 to JFK either but does ( even now) fly to Miami, Washington Dulles and LAX.

            Before Covid for BA it used the 747 on its JFK routes to give it frequency ( 7 or more per day) and they code share with American , another 4 flights

          • Check out also Emirates’ fifth freedom routes

    • Emirates is due to begin receiving its A350s in mid 2023 — potentially even sooner if the Aeroflot frames are re-allocated to Tim Clark.
      Not good for BA if Emirates can play with the A350 18 months before its due to receive its first 777X.
      It can also take some of the AirAsiaX A330-900s: perfect for thinner routes for which Qatar and Etihad use 787s.

  22. Yet another 777x delay? Say it ain’t so, Joe!

    “The guidance” is, was, and will be a misdirecting crock..

    • Bill7:

      You just have to understand Boeing strategey.

      Get the first thing you can back into production (MAX)

      Then the next item is the 787 as its making money (if you deliver) and you have lots of them so when they get going, the good times roll!

      Last and least is the 777X. No money to be made for a long time if ever.

      Or you could be cruel and say Boeing can’t walk and chew gum at the same time so it can only do one aircraft at a time.

      Think of an NBA team with 5 players. What do you mean you are tired? Get your butt back in there and score some points and play good defense while you are at it.

      Ergo, the term, Thin Bench though in Boeing case no bench.

      • “Then the next item is the 787 as its making money (if you deliver) ”

        Uh….correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Boeing just write off $4.5 billion on the 787 program and say it’ll cost them another billion going forward? Don’t they still have about a $15 billion deferred producation balance on the program?

        How, on any planet – dies that translate to “It’s making money?”

        If you mean there is cash to be recovered from the inventory they have, than yes. But Boeing is selling something for $15, that cost them $20 to make.

      • Funny in a twisted mind, losing money is equivalent to making money.

        Six impossible things to believe before breakfast. Your name is Alice??

        • And how much will the manufacturer Comac make for each C919 sold initially ?
          production launched in 2008, prototype started in 2011 .
          Lots of failed promises over the timeline there too, must have been soooo hard to build an old style aluminium fuselage and wings with existing engines and systems.
          We wish them the best for their endeavours and its into service before 2025.

          • How much money did Boeing make on the initial batch of 707?
            Dash80 was done on money that would otherwise have been “confiscated” as (WWII?) war spoils. Building the tanker with uncle Sam’s money must have been a gold mine too.

            All Boeing’s current products are in theory “mature production” But reality does not reflect that.

            finally: “Making Money” can be a “Profits” or just “Cash coming in” view.

            Getting inventory out the door will reduce debt. The earlier the better. Storage costs and the products definitely don’t gain value by storage.

          • @Duke

            Is that how far you have to go to get a comparison? Comac?

            Boeing – an aviation pioneer and Comac? A company that was started in aviation about a decade after man learned to fly, in arguably the richest nation in the world…and a neophyte in a country that only joined the rest of the world, economically – in the 80’s?

            Funny how every Boeing bull, when trying to defend them – reminds investors of the wide moat and duopoly that they re in, but don’t want to compare them, or their product line up, against the competition.

            There are only two companies of any significance in the commercial aircraft manufacturing industry. We all know how well each are doing…

          • Fire sale inventory below cost to wind up a business is not a way to make money in my book.

          • Well you can see when one has to pick not the competitor-apparent that have 66-70% of NB marketshare, but all the way down the rank, how far the mighty has fallen and how much further can it go??

      • Isn’t there report that BA told its customers the 787 delivery will restart pretty soon?

        I would have thought engineers should be wrapping out their work on 787. What happened??

  23. Reuters: Air Lease to write off jets stranded in Russia, expects $802 mln in charges

    • An you have to wonder what the insurance companies think of leases to countries like that now!

        • The “sancti”monious are only a limited group of countries.
          This over the top drive for sanctions calls attention to the poisonous quality of the dollar domain.
          US reach will continue to contract. IMHO.

      • Good luck with getting insurance to pay. They will just say you terminated the lease unilaterally not because the the lessee wouldnt pay or wasnt following the terms of the contract. See you in court where you can join the queue for other aviation related disputes- probably Britain as no one trusts the political based US courts

    • Sure this is not an Airbus A350?

      A Boeing can never have this kind of issue.
      ( cue: “press protection” )

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