Boeing shows FedEx concepts for 787F and NMA-F

By Scott Hamilton

Concept of a Boeing 787F. Illustration is for the 787-8, but Boeing also is studying 787-9 option. Credit: Leeham News.

Sept. 20, 2022, © Leeham News: FedEx last week withdrew its previous financial guidance for the year on a revised analysis. Now, the company says, revenues will be about $500m less for air operations and about $300m less for ground operations.

The flagging global economy and higher costs are blamed. As a result, FedEx will be parking an unspecified number of airplanes and implementing cost savings initiatives.

But at the same time, the company is evaluating new aircraft freighters and potentially acquiring and converting used Boeing 777-300ERs to freighters.

Fred Smith, executive chairman of FedEx. Credit: FedEx.

In an interview on Sept. 15, the same day the financial forecasts were revised, Fred Smith told LNA that the airline is evaluating the 777-300ER aftermarket conversions and new airplanes offered by Airbus and Boeing.

The Boeing concepts include the proposed 787F and a freighter version of the New Midmarket Airplane (NMA). LNA revealed months ago that Boeing was studying both of these aircraft. Boeing already launched the 777-8F, another option for FedEx. Airbus has offered the A350F to FedEx. Smith said he’d like to see Airbus launch a new-build freighter version of the A321neo.


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Renewing the FedEx fleet

FedEx currently has five aircraft types in its fleet (the MD-10 was already scheduled to leave the fleet next year):

  • Boeing 757F
  • Boeing 767F
  • Boeing 777F
  • Boeing MD-11F
  • Airbus A300-600F

The 757, MDs, and A300 are approaching retirement ages in the not-too-distant future. The 767F and 777F are young aircraft. But ICAO emissions standards adopted by the international organization in 2017 mean the 777F and 767F won’t be able to be produced from 2028. The Federal Aviation Administration served notice this year it will adopt the ICAO standards.

Boeing already has a solution to replace the 777F. It launched the 777-8F program earlier this year. But the 777-8F is physically considerably larger than the 777F and smaller than the MD-11F.

FedEx, like UPS—another large operator of the 767F—eventually needs airplanes that fit within the ramp space footprint of the 767. This is problematic for the 787 and A350, which are dimensionally closer to the MD-11F.

Alternatives

Boeing has shown Smith concepts of the 787F and NMA-F. Neither program has been launched and internal studies at Boeing are competing the two ideas in a bake-off. Boeing CEO David Calhoun last week told Freight Waves the 787F is the leading candidate to replace the 767F. Calhoun also told Freight Waves “there is no NMA.”

Boeing is also studying a freighter based on the New Midmarket Airplane (NMA). This model would be about the same size as the Boeing 767. This concept and the 787F have been shown to FedEx. Credit: Leeham News.

Yet Smith has been shown the concept of an NMA freighter. LNA’s own market intelligence is solid. Finally, at the Boeing pre-Farnborough Air Show media briefings, Brian Hermesmeyer, the Senior Director, Freighter Customer Leader, acknowledged one is under study.

“We look at a lot of different things in development and how to make sure we have a good medium widebody solution. Are we looking at different freighter platforms in that space? Absolutely. Is the 787 one of them? That’s a natural place for us to look,” he said in an interview with LNA.

“We look at a lot of things. That’s about all I can say,” he said. Pressed specifically about the prospect of an NMA-F, Hermesmeyer said, “One of the things we always do is consider cargo in studying a new airplane family. You can be assured there are studies on any and all platforms when it comes to cargo. Whether or not it comes to fruition has everything to do with market dynamics.

Hermesmeyer said it was a “natural conclusion” to draw that the 787F and an NMA-F are the best new options to succeed the 767F.

Taking Calhoun’s words literally, there is no NMA today. And it’s always possible Boeing’s nomenclature has changed. The NMA was the last in a long line of alphabet names for various concepts. The airplane under study has significant differences from the NMA.

FedEx may, as an alternative, acquire converted 777-300ERs to replace its older freighters.

Exempting the 767F from ICAO standards

Smith told LNA there is hope the US government will grant an exemption for the continued production of the 767F since there is no replacement at this time. But he brought up a point that nobody else has talked about.

“If the US Air Force makes a second buy of the KC-46A [the tanker is based on the 767 platform], it’s very much in the national interest to have the fixed production costs spread over both the 767 freighter and the tanker,” he said. “That’s yet to be decided, of course.”

Given the lack of alternatives for the 767F, Smith said converting any more—of which there is little feedstock remaining—creates more emissions rather than less. Boeing, Smith said, has discussed with the FAA exempting the 767 “at least for domestic production.”

“Terrific freighters”

Smith said FedEx has seen concepts from Boeing for the 787F and the NMA-F. He labeled the concepts as “cartoons—that’s all they are at this time. I think both of them would be terrific freighters. The question is how much non-recurring expenses you have to put on the airplane to make the numbers work.”

Smith said the NMA-F would make sense. Its dual aisle design would take the same container as the 767.

The A350 is “a hell of a plane,” Smith said. Airbus “has briefed us on it over and over. It’s definitely a wonderful plane, it’s definitely something FedEx would consider in the future.”

The 777-8F is about the same size as the 777-300ER. Smith said FedEx will have a “significant interest” in all the planes. “As to which one we’ll end up getting…. The A350 is extremely efficient because it has a composite fuselage. The Boeing airplane has a great benefit because there is a lot of stuff that’s common to the 777F. The big issue with that airplane is that it is mainly a 787 cockpit. Could you get mixed fleet flying?”

The 777-300ER conversions may be a candidate for addition to the fleet. The -300ERs have an identical cockpit to the 777Fs in FedEx’s fleet.

Two -300ER P2F programs have an aft cargo door: IAI and Mammoth. The third program, from Kansas Modification Center, has a forward cargo door. Smith all but ruled out the forward door option as incompatible with FedEx’s ground handling system.

Smith said FedEx will decide in the next year or two what it will do about acquiring airplanes.

151 Comments on “Boeing shows FedEx concepts for 787F and NMA-F

  1. “Smith said FedEx has seen concepts from Boeing for the 787F and the NMA-F. He labeled the concepts as “cartoons—that’s all they are at this time”.

    That says enough: insufficient funding/manpower to produce an actual program.
    Why even bother pretending?

    • Do you actually bring anything different to this platform other than your usual theme?

      Which aircraft has not started off as a cartoon?

      It’s as though Boeing has done something to you personally. Sorry to you if that’s the case

      • It’s called reality.
        You’ll also find it on other aviation press sites, and even in financial analyst news sites: they talk at length about the weak finances, sub-par deliveries and brain drain at BA — in addition to various engineering shortcuts, lawsuits and other scandals. If you can’t stomach that, there’s always the option of sticking your head in the sand.

        The NMA has been “in development” at BA for years now — don’t you find it strange that, at this stage, all they can show is a “cartoon”? Note that the word “cartoon” is, in itself, derogatory: Mr. Smith could just as easily have used the word “sketch”.
        Same question for the 787-F, which was announced months ago and is based on an existing airframe. Nothing more concrete at this stage than a “cartoon”…for an important potential customer like FedEx?

        • It’s not called reality, it’s called pessimism and bias. Which you have no limit of.

          There’s no doubt of the problems Boeing face. All the same analysts that say that also say Boeing is capable of launching a whole new program, so which is it?

          You had the same points 8 months ago meanwhile they launched the 777-8, then in your usual a fashion look for something else to bicker about.

          NMA is tough to bring in if it isn’t a slam dunk. Nobody wants another a380 scenario here. 30 billion for 250 frames. So no surprise it’s not on the market and even if Boeing wasn’t money hungry at the time. It still made no sense to launch.

          Everybody saying Boeing should launch something, launch something that they won’t buy. Nobody wants to put their money where their mouth is. Nobody is launching on vapourware

          Nobody is underestimating their problems but they must still innovate whilst they fix issues

          MAX and 787 are delivery again and this is key to getting out of that hole but there’s no flexibility to not innovate and try and bring products to market at the same time.

          If they don’t do anything you’ll be the first to say they’re not doing anything.

          The problem with your posts is that they’re not constructive at all, mo value, just disaster that you’re waiting to happen but has not happened and probably won’t.

          Some other posters that yes have a bias for example Keesje actually bring constructive Criticism and other solutions and ideas to discuss. You jour bring the Same thing everyday but it’s my fault for taking it seriously anyway

          • Why does a comment have to be “constructive”?
            If you look at the LNA Boom article below this one, is there anything “constructive” in that? It essentially wipes the floor with the whole Boom concept. Are you now going to chide Scott for not showcasing enough optimism in his article?

            *********

            Here’s a modified comment, specially for idealists:
            – Wonderful news that BA is showing cartoons to potential customers — after all, there’s nothing like a cartoon to get companies to spend hundreds of millions of dollars.
            – No worries about the lack of funding for new programs — the “funding fairy” will be making rounds soon.
            – Wonderful that BA has launched the 777-8F. It’s a pity that the underlying program is in deep certification trouble — but let’s not worry about that. Tim Clark worries about that, but he’s just a nasty realist.
            – Wonderful that the 787 is being delivered again. Of course, many of these deliveries aren’t actual deliveries, because the planes are still parked at other locations for re-fitting — so they don’t generate revenue for BA. Moreover, the repair/re-fitting costs eat into any revenue that eventually does come. But, not to worry: the “revenue fairy” will take care of that.
            – Great news that 737 MAXs are being delivered. Of course, there’s little to no margin on whitetails — or on a lot of recent high-profile sales — and supply chain issues are keeping line deliveries low. There’s also the lack of any deliveries to China. But, not to worry: the “delivery fairy” will make all of these woes just disappear.
            – BoA analysts have lowered BA revenue estimates for 2022. But, never mind those nasty realists, or the investors that they cater to: the “estimates fairy” will speak to them in their sleep, and convert them to the path of enlightenment.

            There you go: a lovely, “constructive” comment that will brighten your day 🙂

          • Hold up! I am a boeing supporter (no longer a fan) but they haven’t had their crap together for a long time now and yes, they should have produced a [Edited] plane to replace the 757, 767 type airplane and there were buyers! So report some real and truthful stuff…ok!

          • Bryce asked the question about “constructive”

            The first lesson is, always bring accurate information.

            I spent a career in the filed that the Mantra was, don’t bring me problems, bring me a solution but your information has to be accurate.

            Can you alwyas offer a solution? Clearly no. But you don’t have to bash if you are laying out a problem.

            My first Campground bu9ild I am cutting tongue and grove for a group of the crew on the roof of a rain shelter (fun story but I won’t take up space)

            As I am cutting and getting the boards up to the crew I am also looking at the bundle of tongue and grove I am working with and it is clear to me that we do not have enought T&G.

            So I do an estimate and then get the Forman down. Frank, I think we will get about half the roof covered, maybe a bit more but no where near enough for the whole thing.

            What I did not say was Frank, you can’t figure wood, you messed up, you are an idiot.

            It was, I am guessing at what we started with as I did not count the layers, we need to measure what we have left and run the calcs on how much is left.

            So we did and we were half a roof short. Frank then got on the phone and contacted Anchorage (750 miles away) and told them we needed another bundle of T&G and as soon as possible.

            So, yea Frank made a mistake. He also had an entire campground package to put together and we had hundreds of picnic table parts to cut out, outhouse parts to do the same, nuts, bolts, washers, nails and the equipment to work with.

            The head of the department did not beat up on Frank, he got the bundle headed our way. He had full faith in Frank and Frank had authority to change anyting in the campground design if it would not work on the ground.

            Inaccurate information and bashing simply does not add anything to a discussion.

          • -> “Ahem, the MAX is certified to fly in China.”

            To the preacher who tells others “to bring *accurate information*”,where is your evidence?? 🙄
            How hard is it to practice what you preach?

          • TW: “The first lesson is, always bring accurate information. ”

            ROFLMAO kind of amusing :-))

          • Uwe:

            You certainly made my point, you site nothing (and it should be noted some speculation on your part that I only see in Fiction Novels)

            The Japan US relationship leading into WWII being one. As I promised Scott I would not get into it and won’t, but as an example you stand alone in your view vs 10s of thousands of true experts with supported facts.

      • This used to be an informative site with good insight and decent unbiased comments coming from a variety of guests, ..long before Bryce and his team of ..”YES”…men ruined it for everyone here.!!

        • Alternatively:
          This is still an informative site with good insight and decent unbiased comments coming from a variety of guests, ..despite the pathetic attempts of a denialist “BA back office” to smother comments that are inconvenient to BA’s feel-good narrative.
          Two sides to every coin.

      • Agreed. Bryce almost exclusively comments with hatred toward Boeing, and unfortunately Bryce is also typically one of the first to comment on every thread, which directs the conversation. Personally, I enjoy the comments section far less with Bryce involved.

        • @ Albert Gnadt Ph.D.
          Sorry Albert – Bryce calls it as he sees it and states/defends his reasoning and sources. If you have a more optimistic viewpoint, feel free to share your views, and let us see your logic.

          • AJones:

            I worked with a lot of they call it the way they see it types and they never called it and saw it as applied to themselves.

            I don’t see any reasoning, I just see bashing and a lot of wrong information with no original analysis or understanding as opposed to cut and paste articles by someone else.

          • @TW

            There’s a difference between “not seeing” and “not wanting to see”.

            For example, you’re continuing to cling to the fantasy that the MAX is certified in China, regardless of all evidence to the contrary.

            There’s also a difference between “being realistic” and “bashing”.

    • You haven’t read our reporting on the Boeing hiring spree for engineers and technicians?

      • Scott, yes I have read that — I read all the articles on LNA.

        But one wonders what quality is being hired: hasn’t the FAA publicly expressed dismay at the experience level of the personnel that it has to deal with?
        And is the hiring spree enough to compensate for the outflux? You recently tweeted about a possible exodus of older personnel before year end, because of an attractive lump-sum pension package that could be availed of this year. And that’s on top of the already-publicized brain drain.

        • Boeing most likely have the design in its computers with payload/range, wing design, engines promised, empty mass, cockpit design and systems design. The key is the robotic build, cost to build in volumes and time to break even with its uncertainties and where to build it. If they were Mercedes they would have build sucessors to both 757 and 767 way back in its old plants that were 15-23% better than the original. Not giving up and let Airbus fill the gap with A321neo and A330’s. Boeing still have the option to reopen the Douglas design offices and get skilled engineers from Lockheed-Martin/Northrop/General Atomics.

          • Sigh. BA is just showing potential customers paper planes to test water.

            How many successful engineers with experience would want to join BA?? How expensive is the housing??

            Back in 2014:
            “Boeing Co. (BA) is close to announcing a new aircraft to succeed the 757 jetliner that ceased production almost a decade ago, according to central Asian carrier Air Astana, which is keen to purchase the plane.”

          • Claes:

            I don’t get what the Douglas design office would do? The last single aisles were a 737 like control system. The DC-10 had issues and the MD-11 never did meet its design goals.

            You are not going to get engineers for Lockheed/NG of GA unless you pay them a lot and ensure they have a future.

            As the above have Government contracts and jobs for life, that is a hard sell.

      • Now how accurate is Calhoun?

        China is going to go for the MAX any day? Oh, now its a ways off and its no big deal.

        He reminds me of the Moped in the high speed lane on the Auto Bahn. Retire and get out of the way!

  2. “Smith told LNA there is hope the US government will grant an exemption for the continued production of the 767F since there is no replacement at this time. But he brought up a point that nobody else has talked about.

    “If the US Air Force makes a second buy of the KC-46A [the tanker is based on the 767 platform], it’s very much in the national interest to have the fixed production costs spread over both the 767 freighter and the tanker,” he said. “That’s yet to be decided, of course.”

    Rewarding a manufacturer for not moving forward. However “National Interest” might indeed paly a role. Still, GE offered a GENX for the 767 15 yrs ago & it seemed a good idea from every angle & 767F, tankers and 767NMA’s could have been in service long ago. Flawed strategic assumptions & short term free cashflow management blocked everything I assume.

    https://www.flightglobal.com/programmes/boeing-examines-genx-powered-767-x-for-cargo-and-passenger-roles/134757.article

    I wouldn’t count out A330 NEO F either. We see a string of A330CEO conversions and a fully ICAO complaint NEO Freighter variant seems low risk & just right for many operators. Would fit nicely under the A350F heavy lifter.

    • A waivered, post-2028 767F would be usable on purely domestic routes…but would it also be usable to Canada, Mexico and/or Europe?
      Such limitations reduce the appeal / business case.

      • Bryce:

        You have to know your Air Freight market. FedEx runs the 767 on internal US markets heavily (the MD-11 and 777F are their overseas flights).

        UPS would be affected as they fly the 767 internationally.

        But it is up the US to implement or waiver.

        And you continue to ignore the reality of the ones flying that will fly for 20 years as well as the conversion market.

        So, answer me this, what have you gained by shifting hulls to a conversion market?

        • The ICAO has already passed the resolution, regardless of what you think of it. The US can grant a waver if it wants, but no waivered aircraft will be flying to destinations outside the US.

          • Has the EU adapted the ICAO standards?

            If so then you would be right

    • The problem with a 767 neo using 747-8 powerplant is mass, old systems, old wing and competition from a A330neo Freighter. Still if the USAF would specify a GEnX-2B powered KC-46B with updated wing and systems you have a FedEx/UPS 767 replacement that the USAF would have paid for.

      • claes:

        I don’t see that happening. Huge bucks and how much gain?

        But keep in mind there are two aspects of an engine.

        1. Range: You would be able to carry less fuel as you get better range.
        2. Weight on the wing is supported by the wing vs a fuselage weight that has to have stress factors on the wing box and into the air frame.

  3. Hmm ….

    CNBC: FedEx CEO says he expects the economy to enter a ‘worldwide recession’

    Earlier this year:
    AW: Why The Next Year Will Be Crucial For Boeing

  4. “But the 777-8F is physically considerably larger than the 777F and smaller than the MD-11F.”

    the 777-8F carries 5 _more_ 96×125 pallets than the MD-11F on the main deck (31 vs 25) and 13 more on the lower deck where the MD-11 can only carry LD3s

    it is also rated to carry 45,000 more pounds (247k vs 202k) 820 nm farther (4410 nm vs 3592)

    how is the 777-8F smaller than the MD-11F?

          • Ramp parking lots are based on wing clearance.

            Longer wings and you upset the whole ramp layout.

            It was a factor in the KC-Y bid, the A330MRT takes up more ramp space (the USAF has minimum specs for spacing (even on a linear ramp) so that one aircraft blowing up does not take out adjacent aircraft.

          • “… so that one aircraft blowing up does not take out adjacent aircraft.”

            no bombs on board. 🙂

            Mass of combustibles counts. I’d doubt that minor differences in wingspan have an effect.

            The extra tanks on the 767 add risk versus the better contained (massive wingbox protected) A330 tankage.

  5. Am I the only one who sees the business case as closable here? Get NMA-F, NMA-P for DL and UA and anyone else who wants it, and also pitch the USAF tanker with potential follow on for the new platform. Hub to hub flying can now support more NMA sized aircraft in the US/China/EU so this would be an a321++ from a capacity standpoint and with the added freighter commitment would have a solid backlog. It would be expensive but between freighters and pax airlines wanting it, you can easily get to 500 before any other competitions.

  6. The KC-46A referenced in the article — and multiple comments above — has hit yet another snag:

    Bloomberg: “Boeing’s Troubled Air Force Tanker Hits New Delay in Fixing Cameras”

    “The Air Force’s latest schedule for Boeing Co.’s troubled KC-46 tanker adds as much as 11 months to start installing an improved version of its flawed camera-based refueling system, according to the service.

    “The added time could push completion of the improvements into fiscal 2026. “The magnitude of delay is not known, but will be less than a year,” Captain Josh Benedetti, an Air Force spokesman, said in a statement. He said a new schedule will be set by Sept. 30.

    “Boeing will continue to be responsible for the costs of fixing the camera system unless the Air Force orders changes to the design, Benedetti said. He said possible delays stem from a combination of hardware development and the process for certifying airworthiness.”

  7. Wikipedia contains an interesting history of the various twists and turns in the BA “NMA” concept, starting in 2015.
    Interestingly, it states: “In June 2022, Boeing indicated that it would not pursue development of the NMA for “at least a couple of years”, until significant progress has been made on the next generation of engines and until new digital development tools are sufficiently mature”.

    Has that stance now changed?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_New_Midsize_Airplane

        • Hey just remember LNA also committed last month that China would start taking mad max deliveries soon.. LOL.

          • As many naysayer for China development of C919 still want to believe China will take Maxs (thou Boeing is “remarketing” them to other airlines) I think it time to come to the realization, Comac is here for the long term (decades) and will have slow production ramp of the C919 They will just purchase more Airbus aircraft with FAL in China As a reminder, no new orders from China for Boeing since 2017…5 years, with geopolitical tensions with rising economy of China, maybe it will 50 years. Comac will be around but will Boeing?

          • On the “NMA” I believe Elon Musk said something to the effect that the design stage was easy, it was getting production right that was difficult.

      • Looking forward to future emails from you on this subject. Boeing has publicly started and stopped so many times, its hard to take them seriously but the public are not the customers, airlines are whether pax or freight.

  8. If one of the design drivers of the NMA is that it takes the same main deck container as the 767, how big will the fuselage be? I assume they would not use the same lower deck containers and go smaller. Otherwise it would not be an efficient passenger proposition.

  9. Will the A350F succeed or will Boeing continue to monopolize air freight? I have no doubt that the A350F will be an excellent aircraft, but I see a lot of resistance on the part of companies to change Boeing aircraft (which are great, no doubt!) for Airbus. Does Scott have an opinion on this?

    • Resistance of airlines changing over from Boeing to Airbus aircraft doesn’t seem to have been a real issue during recent decades, although recent comparisons are hard to find.

      • A good case could be made for an A330neoF, I think.

        Composite hulls are not always advantageous, and may not be so at all in full-cycle. How are they going to be recycled/parted out, for one thing? Same issue with “green” CF windmill blades, and, for that matter, rare-earths mining..

        I wonder if there will be a Boeing 787F- or a 777-XF.

        • The 330 CEO F …was a total failure …..in all facets…
          Surely even the most devotedl AB follower would have a hard time debating that !!!
          Why would the neo version be any different..!!!

          • The original A330F was based on the -200.
            The recently introduced A330 P2F — which is selling like hot cakes — is based on the -300. It also has nifty motorized cargo loading tracks that are a hit.

            Accordingly, a new A330 freighter would be based on the -900.

            Maybe a little more research?

          • TC:

            Yes the A330CEO F was a failure, I think that was a result of using the 200 length vs the 300 that would have offered a major increase over the 767F as well as a different segment.

            Airbus could still make the A330-300CEOF (boy that gets long) as they are making the A330 hulls for the A330MRT still. I would guess a lot lower cost than using the NEO hull and certification.

            That of course goes up against the conversions and a lot of feedstock.

            Clearly we lack the data from the freight ops to know what the interest is or would be.

        • Yes, Airbus might be able to reuse most of the EFW cargo conversion for the A330-300P2F for the A330-900F and produce them pretty cheap, still there is in-house competition using surplus 20 year old A330-300’s entering conversion. Some could be converted to both MRTT and Freighters with big aft cargo door, just loading the filled tanks into the main cargo hold and hook up to the refueling systems.

          • The current, CEO based, MRTT uses the built in tanks only. ( A340 pedigree : 140kl / 110t )
            OEW ~122t + 110t fuel = 232t
            MTOW beyond 233t would allow AUX tankage carrying 80% fuel for the excess.
            ( But I don’t think you will see _filled_ fuel containers being loaded .. )

        • And cargo aircraft are not range happy. Fuel stops still work which is why Anchorage is such a major operation.

          • Sure Jane.
            What did Smith of FedEx say??
            “We have flights of over 12 hours … “

    • Well, judging from Scott’s cryptic comment above, it appears that BA may be about to re-heat the NMA dish once again.
      Sources on Wikipedia indicate a projected price tag of ca. $15B: where/when such funds are to be procured, is unclear. On the other hand, why devote any attention to something as irrelevant as funding? 😏

      • > where/when such funds are to be procured <

        Uncle Sugar..

        "re-heat" was quite good, Bryce. Kudos.
        "Best five-day-old meatloaf I've had this week!"

      • Come on guys, the NMA or whatever flavor Boeing/Calcoon calls it is all smoke and mirrors or as Fred Smith calls it, “Cartoons”.

        And….. even if they commit to some type it will be YEARS before Boeing can build/test/deliver. 777XF anyone
        This hiring spree as Scott eludes to is a joke, with young fresh outta of the woke universities and clueless on certification.
        This is reality.

        It’s clear opus99 has never worked in the aerospace industry.

        • Airdoc:

          When I went to work it was with a group of older guys who needed muscle (laborer). That let them do the Journey level work that they were experienced at.

          I could do the grunt stuff better than they could (they were not as young nor muscle bound as I was). I learned from them and moved up into a swing position where I did both.

      • Funding is a limited problem in America, if Boeing sank $21bn just in the 737MAX hickup there is more money to be found doing a 797 if they can show it is lighter & cheaper than the A330neo and on par with the A321neo. Empty mass is quite dependent on fuselage o.d. and can they squeeze in 8 seats/row in a narrower and lighter fuselage with folding wingtips than the A330? Just needing 50k engines instead of the 68-72.8k for the A330. Problem is there is no new super efficient 50k engine available that would be optimal for 3-9hrs flights. GE could maybe make one using the GEnX core engine with a smaller LP system similar to what RR did with the RB211-535.

        • Not so sure about your statement regarding funding: most lenders will be nervous about giving money to a company with $58B in debt, only $10B in cash, and meager income flow.

          • Well they just need to go to Deutchesbank, they lend to anyone!

  10. On the subject of revenue — which will be needed if an NMA is to be funded — Planespotters was showing this morning, Sep. 21:
    – 16 MAX deliveries in Sep.
    – 3 787 deliveries in Sep.

    This is shaping up to be a meager quarter in terms of deliveries, with just 21 MAX in July, 24 MAX in August, and 4 787s in August.
    Of the 7 787s delivered so far this year, 3 are still parked –> no revenue yet. That having been said, one of the AA 787s that was parked in Aug is now listed as active — so that was a relatively short stay in Victorville.

    One of the Sep 787s (for Westjet) appears to be new build (0.3 years old).

  11. “Smith said he’d like to see Airbus launch a new-build freighter version of the A321neo.”

    Is AB considering such a plane?
    Or is it — at present — content with the A321P2F?
    Scott, any rumors?

  12. To bad AB didn’t base the 330 f on the 300 instead of the 200 version!!! ehhh Byrce ..
    Perhaps they should have done a little more research as well.. Another blunder on their part , considering you stated they’re proposing a version based on the 900..

    • TC:

      They did, the famous A300F. Boeing had a lot of them at one time (well that and the A310)

  13. We know the certification history the 787 had during it’s development phase, we know how the FAA was curtailed in the 2012 – 2018 period by a joint industry-congress effort.

    Then we had the MAX drama’s and extended 787 product quality delivery stops until very recently.

    On top, the seriously modified, changed product rule 777x (in development 2012-2018) failed to pass a series of certification requirements & tests and is delayed for x years.

    Now cutting open 787’s load carrying carbon shell, put in new structure & a door, telling it’s just a mod & you’re doing it all the time, probably isn’t gonna cut it for FAA at this stage.

    2028?

      • The A321 and A350 are both constructed by different methods, more conventional and with all the experience that brings, to the 787, but more importantly, has anyone suggested that Airbus would try to cut corners?

        • Even Airbus has acknowledged the certification environment will be more difficult going forward. The same regime Boeing will go through so will Airbus.

          • In de US…where a sloppy certification regime is being tightened up.
            Less change is required outside the US.

          • BA has its hands full, the 777X, 777-8f (concurrent dev. of the two? I kid you not.) and, now, 787f and, drum roll please, NMA and NMA-f (concurrent?)??

  14. On other news: De Havilland announced to build major aircraft manufacturing complex with corp. office east of Calgary

        • Very good example of a statement that has no foundation.

          In this case the poster uses confirmation bias to attempt to portend its a tech issue and not a trade issue.

          • No re-cert, no new orders, all-Boeing airline jumping ship to Airbus: pure denialism if one doesn’t see the writing on the wall here…

          • True, but its so entertaining to read.

            Waiting for the EU to tick off the China government by taking a stand. Wonder how China would respond?

          • @ William
            Do enlighten us by telling us why you think the MAX’s prospects in China are still alive and kicking — particularly in light of recent developments.

            Perhaps you also think similarly about the Airbus – Qatar relationship, for example?

          • In this world (the one outside alt-reality):

            Artemis I update: @NASA is foregoing a launch opportunity Tuesday, Sept. 27, and preparing for rollback, while continuing to watch the weather forecast associated with Tropical Storm Ian.

            https://mobile.twitter.com/NASAKennedy/status/1573676504336179201?cxt=HHwWgoCxha2c6dYrAAAA

            Seems fixes and delays are today’s M.O. somewhere on this earth.

            So I read that as a defeatist’s quiet admission or Freudian’s slip/BA’s plan A (best case scenario under current circumstances)???
            I remember reading awhile ago that one prognosticated it wouldn’t end in a year or two. Is BA ready? 🙄

        • Losing Xiamen to Airbus another setback for Boeing, says BofA

          -> BofA analyst Ronald Epstein noted that Airbus won a $4.85B deal to supply 40 A320neos to Xiamen Air, a unit of China Southern Airlines, calling the news “another setback” for Boeing (BA). Xiamen Air had previously been an all-Boeing operator and China Southern Airlines has “often been counted as Boeing’s biggest customer in the region,” said Epstein, who also notes that China Southern in May removed over 100 Boeing jets from its near term fleet plans due to “uncertainty surrounding the delivery.” The analyst, who maintains a Neutral rating on Boeing, thinks that it will participate in the commercial aerospace recovery, but that it is losing market share in the narrowbody jet market.

          https://www.tipranks.com/news/the-fly/losing-xiamen-to-airbus-another-setback-for-boeing-says-bofa

          The stock fell like a rock in three days: by almost $15 or 10%.

    • Airbus has 637 net orders across its full model lineup this year, versus 388 for Boeing.

  15. I find it curious that FedEx would move to a 777-300 and not the 200.

    The 777F is a 200 hull. It would make Anchorage required stop (though many of the 777F do stop in Anchorage for fuel on a gas and go)

    The ramp in Anchorage is limited as there were only 7 (from memory) slots that could take a 777F/777-300. Two of them were luck that were built for the A380 that never was.

    They might be able to snag the 3 Airport slots South of the facility across a taxi way, those will take anything (including the an AN-228 that is so sadly blown to pieces now)

  16. FedEx can be weird about its aircraft buys. The 757s should be viable for some time, they just got them. Why they did not follow UPS and buy them new not a clue.

    They ran the 727s happily until one day it was, dang, this sucks and off to the 757 races they went. We saw lots of them headed to Singapore to get converted.

    The MD-11 musters on and is in the system for another 8 years as I recall.

    They did try to go for 777-200 conversion but could not get the feedstock.

    • With the latest FEDEX financial numbers and belt tightening to follow, would not surprise me if they went reconfigured pax aircraft route. It would be cheaper on a unit basis but the con would be higher mx costs, but since utilization would be low it will be a minor issue.

      Would love to know more from the FEDEX CEO about the NMA he saw, no doubt he asked more questions but I bet his under some NDA.

      • William:

        I spent 20 years or so at FedEx and it was an interesting thing to watch.

        The move to the 757 was a sudden direction change. They picked up all sorts of truly junk 757 (one had sat for 5 years in Florida and it tried 5 times to get out of ANC and each time something went wrong and it turned back – they finally sent it back stateside for the conversion).

        Then the same thing with the 767, they upgraded the DC-10 to a MD-11 cockpit standard and then went with the 767. they spent millions on each DC-10 to convert it.

        With the 757, they got a lot of long in the tooth 757s. Those might well be candidates for replacement though all the possibles are conversions, A320 or 737.

        • On Sept 23 the same poster said:
          “FedEx can be weird about its aircraft buys. The 757s should be viable for some time, they just got them.”

          Sept 26:
          “With the 757, they got a lot of long in the tooth 757s. Those might well be candidates for replacement …”

          Oh well … “The first lesson is, always bring accurate information.”

          Coherent, logical posts??

  17. Never a dull moment:
    FG: A220-500 would turn twinjet into ‘powerful’ product range: Airbus chief

    Bloomberg: Airbus Reaffirms Plane Delivery Targets Despite Supply-Chain Crisis

      • Just like you were misleading viewers about Boeing not having a clue about the China airlines 787 order..!!
        24 ordered/optioned firmed today.!!!
        Next time ,your quoting other sites info Bryce …, suggest you do a little more research and make sure it’s legit before posting.!!!

        • For those who live in glass houses, Wikipedia may be helpful before you throw stones. 🤣

          • Fighting Bryces’ battles again I see.
            If I wanted your opinion , I’d ask for it ..you.. “crony”..

          • @TC
            Future: you may want to heed your own advice?
            ( Man! are you icky )

          • “This used to be an informative site …”

            Unfortunately some posters here have little idea of what they’re talking about.

            Have you read Reuters’ report?? 😂

    • -> “But we hear from our clients that the A220 product range needs the -500 as well. The -300 is a very good plane, but the potential of the -500 is probably even stronger.”

    • -> The bottleneck in engines, at least, has eased somewhat, with the number of *completed narrowbodies lacking turbines cut to single figures* in recent weeks from 26 in July

      -> Airbus sees largest single-aisle A321 making up 70% of  A320-family order backlog from 60% now as monthly production of jets reaches 75.

      -> Airbus sees strong demand for potential *freighter versions of A321 and A330*. It won’t necessarily do both, but looking at opportunities.

      -> Faury aiming to pay dividends at the higher end of targeted range. A *share buyback is also an option* once a 10 billion-euro ($9.7 billion) net cash goal is reached, which could be quite soon.

      • ” Faury aiming to pay dividends at the higher end of targeted range. A *share buyback is also an option* once a 10 billion-euro ($9.7 billion) net cash goal is reached, which could be quite soon.”

        Verrrrrrrry interesting. More power to them. I remember when Airbus went from a jobs program, struggling in the 70s, gaining momentum in the 80s and 90s, which led to the juggernaut Leahy built in the 21st century. The investors (certain EU and Ex EU countries) deserve their return on investment. Well earned.

        • Airbus was never a “jobs programme” though is was tagged as such by the “opinion formers” and the more simple minded multiplied that.
          Still some around .. even here.
          Leahy seems to have enabled faster progress than envisioned.

          • Yea it was, or more accurately a we want to be relevant in the tech sector and a job program.

            It worked on both fronts, a rare and more accurately unheard of success for that sort of thing.

            Sometimes you can get there in a new field but Aviation is and was not new and there was competition tht was poorly managed and they got their foot in the door. Equally the core materials were well known and a design iteration by Boeing or MD was not going to leave them in the dust.

            The truly real tech move was FBW. That was inserting a proven tech into an old structure and worked.

          • The present irony is that BA certainly is a “jobs program”: it provides lots of jobs, is making no profit, and isn’t currently producing any innovations.

    • 10 .. 20 years ago a Beluga “selfloader” was in the making.
      ( i.e. a contraption that would allow ground support less loading of outsize cargo. … and go around with the Beluga.)

  18. @Brice, I do not think the MAX has a chance with China as long as the US is in a vocal trade war with them and have a “disagreement” regarding Taiwan defense.

    When or if the EU ticks off China’s Government, one can bet the Airbus orders too will dry up, no matter how “awesome” the product is.

    • At the moment there is no third offer around.
      i.e. China can play Airbus against Boeing but the metric of real demand enters the game when you want to “play” both concurrently.

      • The CAAC appears to be requiring EICAS for new certs (judging from its published condition #3; and just like the US from Jan 1, 2023). The A320 family has that, but the MAX doesn’t. No need to resort to politics for an explanation.

        • As EICAS does nothing for a MAX that already has an alert system as well as the NG that they fly, yea I would say politics continues to be the driving factor.

          • The CAAC and the US Congress think differently on that EICAS.
            So does the EASA.

    • Thanks for that clarification, William.
      Applying the logic that you subscribed to above, you do realise that your first paragraph is a clear example of “confirmational bias”, don’t you?

      • If conformational bias as you state and the truth intersects then so be it. With China it is mostly Political. As long as the President of the US states he has Taiwan’s back in case of a China invasion, I would not expect ANY orders for Boeing aircraft.

        I don’t cheer for Boeing or Airbus as if this is some kind of sport. Boeing dug this hole (too many derivatives and arrogance) they are in and Boeing has to climb out of it. At present Airbus has the stronger product lineup, especially in the NB sector. Why Airbus had to resort to bribing decades ago is beyond me, it wasn’t needed.

        IMO,the industry needs a third player badly. Problem is the possible players who could be that strong third competitor are making more money in the defense industry.

  19. How feasible would it be for Airbus to design a new , wider, A321 composite frame fuselage as an NMA/freighter competitor, sticking with the A321 nose, tail and wings?

      • More of a bloated A321 was what I was thinking – swollen to 767 diameter to take existing containers. The whole point of keeping the wings is that they have just been updated so must be reasonably state of the art and, more importantly, would fit existing parking spots.

        • That is a new airplane, with new airplane R&D and certification, and how long will it take to earn those R&D dollars or Euros back? Airbus would doing the same thing Boeing is doing finding a business case for a NMA product.

          Such an aircraft would make sense if it was part of the A330 replacement family of aircraft. Ironic, the A330 defeated the 767 in the pax market in part because of its dimensions, and now some are talking about a 767 sized aircraft from Airbus.

        • If you are going to do anything the wings are what pays dividends in an upgrade.

          The A350 was a cohesive design so it benefited (and was demanded by buyers, they did not want a warmed over A330 when competing against a super tech 787.

  20. Back to the topic of the thread. If Boeing is showing a NMA to customers, maybe the rumors of a launch one to two years from now are not that far off. It does not compete with A321 because it will sit above it. For those of us who grew up flying DC-10s, L1011s and 767 domestically, it makes perfect sense.

    Would Airbus develop their own 757-300 like aircraft to compete with it? I don’t think so.

    • William:

      And that is the point and a good one, there really is no 767 replacement right now.

      What the numbers look like only Boeing knows.

      And how that slots in the A321 issue with a wide body vs a single aisle?

      • Show me when was the last time FedEx/UPS had a direct replacement of their freighters?? 🙄

    • EIS 2030-ish???
      Airbus’s domination in NB can continue on for this decade! How many airlines would even consider BA by then??

  21. Yadi Yadi yada

    From Reuters:
    “Boeing, Taiwan’s China Airlines finalize 787 order

    *Taiwan’s China Airlines* has finalized an order for 16 Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner jets, with an option for 8 more, the companies said on Wednesday, nearly a month after disclosing a provisional agreement.

    Oops …. 😂
    Do you know what is ROC?

    Empty vessels make the most noise, valid even in a so-called information age!

  22. No kidding Pedro . We know the orders been finalized..do you want me to quote what your fearless leader Bryce said
    Since you love quoting other posts.
    Here you go..
    Quote;
    When the carrier announces an order ,and the OEM says it isn’t aware of any such order, that’s certainly remarkable isn’t it .!!!
    Brilliant analysis Bryce…
    Guess Bryce didn’t get Reuters memo either..
    Every other site at the time stated , including Reuters, that Boeing confirmed a preliminary agreement from the airline to purchase the 787..
    Not bad from an OEM who doesn’t have a clue about the order..!!
    I can understand why you defend the all mighty Bryce, but when he totally blows a comment,you can’t call him out on it….sure Pedro ..go back to your leader and give him my regards.

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