Boeing’s steps toward its next new airplane

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By Scott Hamilton

June 6, 2022, © Leeham News: Boeing will launch a new airplane program, vows David Calhoun, CEO of The Boeing Co. Stan Deal, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA), said Boeing is going through the “prerequisites” for a new airplane, according to Bloomberg news. Skeptics remain doubtful, noting research and development spending remains at historic lows and definitive action remains out of sight.

Boeing's next new airplane could be a twin-aisle, similar to the New Midmarket Airplane concept, or a single aisle to complement the 737-10 more along the lines of a 757-200 and 757-300. Photo credit: Leeham News.

“The dilemma for Boeing is whether to wait to see if the new technology pans out, ‘or do we run the propulsion system one more time before we go to that next technology suite?’ Deal said in a virtual panel discussion hosted by the Royal Aeronautical Society,” Bloomberg reported in January. Calhoun, in an appearance at Bernstein Research Friday, said engines aren't advanced enough for a new airplane to counter the Airbus A321neo.

Nevertheless, if one looks carefully, steps moving toward a new airplane program are there. LNA analyzed Boeing’s recent job hiring spree, which includes engineers, technicians, and other positions. Some of these are specifically for new airplane jobs. Boeing last year spent millions of dollars above contract requirements with SPEEA, its professional union, to retain engineers and technicians. Last year, Boeing named a new leader for its Digital Design Team for a new airliner. The Design Team recently studied lessons learned from defense programs for application to BCA.

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