Pontifications: Moonshot for engines for Next Boeing Airplane may have to wait

By Scott Hamilton

Sept. 12, 2023, © Leeham News: The Next Boeing Airplane (NBA) may be a moonshot for CEO David Calhoun, but airlines will probably be reluctant to take a moonshot on the next new engine.

Service issues with the CFM LEAP and Pratt & Whitney GTF engines are driving airlines batty. The failures of the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 years after entry-into-service (EIS) cost RR hundreds and millions of dollars and a confidence crisis that hurt future sales. LEAP engines are coming off wing well before initial forecasts. Every aircraft model using the GTF faced groundings as engine failures piled up.

Boeing sorely needs a successor to the 737, now in its 55th year and fourth iteration. Ron Epstein, the aerospace analyst for Bank of America, was biting in a Sept. 7 research note.

Flying a Boeing 737 is like driving a ‘68 Chevy Impala with a semi-modern dash.

 “We note that Boeing continues to ride on the coattails of its past glory. The original Boeing 737 prototype first flew in April 1967, entering service less than a year later in February 1968 with Lufthansa. Fifty-five years later, the 737 airframe remains in service through a multitude of derivative models, including the most recent 737 MAX,” he wrote.

“However, we note that the model was never intended to be such a blockbuster long-term solution. Instead, the 737 was expected to be a band-aid for the Boeing portfolio to compete with the market share-winning DC-9. The Boeing fleet lacked a smaller narrowbody model to complement the company’s larger jets, like the 707. In the spirit of the General Motors model, the 737 was intended to be the ‘cheap Chevy’ of the portfolio. Fledgling carriers would operate the cheaper model before upgrading to Boeing’s large, higher-end products like the 707 and, later, the 747, which one could see as the ‘Cadillacs’ of the portfolio.

“In our view, while the longevity of the 737 is impressive, the aircraft is now a bit of an anachronism. Operating the aircraft is like driving around in a 1968 Chevy Impala with a semi-modern dashboard. It is important to note that the 737 is the only currently manufactured commercial aircraft without fly-by-wire controls, which are a staple in modern aircraft control system design.”

Epstein worked for Boeing from 1995 to 1999 as an Applied Research Scientist. He’s a technical advisor to United Airlines for the alternative energy sector.

737 replacement needed

Boeing’s market share of the single aisle sector hovers around 40% vs Airbus’s A320neo family. When the smaller Airbus A220 and Embraer E195-E2 and equivalent COMAC C919 and Irkut MC-21 backlogs are included, the 737 market share falls to around 38%–a pitiful showing for the once-dominant Boeing.

A replacement for the 737 is sorely needed. The MAX 7 and MAX 9 are niche aircraft. Only the MAX 8 is a best-selling model. The MAX 10 is a distant No. 2 to the MAX 8. Airbus’s A321neo outsells the MAX 10 by a factor of four or five, depending on the point in time measured.

The NBA appears to be centered on a high-wing, transonic truss braced design (TBW) that can accommodate today’s conventional engine design and the future Open Fan proposed by CFM. The Open Fan diameter is as big as the GE9X that’s on the Boeing 777X. A high wing is required for this. The Open Fan appears to be the engine Calhoun sees as providing the step change in reduced fuel consumption needed to justify a new aircraft.

New engine problems

But as we wrote Sept. 4, Calhoun’s moonshot might have to start with derivatives of today’s conventional engines. The 737 MAX, A320neo, Embraer’s E2 series, the A220, and 777X have new technology engines that are driving airlines nuts. The 787’s engines were advanced technology when the airplane was designed in the very early stages of the 2000 decade. However in-service issues that emerged later resulted in up to 50 787s being grounded by problems with the Rolls-Royce engines.

Airlines tell LNA that the CFM LEAP on-wing time is far short of the venerable CFM56. The comparison is a bit unfair. The CFM56 EIS was in the 1970s when McDonnell Douglas DC-8s were re-engined. The engine has had decades to achieve the phenomenal on-wing time it has. CFM says the LEAP is performing better today than the CFM56 did at a similar in-service stage.

The A320neo family is the only airplane for which there is an option to choose between the LEAP and GTF. Some airlines tell LNA that the GTF won’t be considered because of the poor durability of the GTF, despite noting there are also durability issues with the LEAP.

Some A220s, A320s, and E195-E2s, all with GTFs, have been grounded because of engine issues, some for months.

The RR Trent 1000 was in service for years before technical issues emerged so severely that some 787s were grounded by operators. Regulators mandated that the single-engine time RR-equipped 787s could fly after one engine failed was cut dramatically. This action restricted over-water use of the RR-powered 787s.

Trouble for the GE9X

Development of the huge GE9X for the 777X ran into technical difficulties during flight testing. Engines were removed from the test aircraft and returned to GE for analysis and fixes. Flight testing was delayed for months. Tim Clark, the president of Emirates Airline, is so concerned that he’s publicly vowed to refuse delivery until the engines prove “mature” through extended testing. Emirates has more 777Xs on order than any other airline.

Skepticism over the Open Fan

CFM’s Open Fan engine is the best mid-term hope for a step-change reduction in fuel economy. (Sustainable Aviation Fuel, batteries, hybrids and hydrogen have too many problems to fit this description.) GE, one of CFM’s partners, vows that the Open Fan will reduce fuel consumption by “more than” 20% after installation. (This remains to be proved, of course.) GE also says that Open Fan airplanes will cruise at today’s jet speeds. Open Rotor concepts (an earlier version of what’s now called the Open Fan) would cruise at lower speeds.

GE also says the Open Fan’s noise level is lower than the LEAP. Open Rotors, with counter-rotating fans, were noisy. The blade-out issue, GE claims, has also been resolved.

But customers need proof of the claims. The Open Fan will be mounted on an Airbus A380 for flight testing. However, given the issues involving all the engines mentioned above, it is a high bar to provide the confidence required.

Evolutionary engines

GE’s EIS goal is 2035. Given Boeing’s poor market position in the single aisle sector today, a replacement is needed soon, in the view of many observers—including BofA’s Epstein, consultants at AeroDynamic Advisory and LNA.

Evolution of today’s LEAP and GTF engines offers a near term solution when mated with the truss brace wing design. Both engines are subject to continuous Performance Improvement Packages (PIPs). While not as dramatic as the Open Fan design, Boeing and GE each told me that mating today’s engines with PIPs to the TBW can provide a 25% fuel burn improvement.

It’s possible that this TBW could be ready for EIS as early as 2031. Assuming that by then today’s technical issues with the LEAP and GTF are resolved, these mature engines will give buyers confidence to move sooner rather than later to replace the 737 and A320 families. An Open Fan derivative could come in 2035, or even later, or in the view of some, not at all.

Boeing’s Calhoun turns 70 in 2027. We expect a decision on the NBA by then. The moonshot for engines may have to wait a bit.


346 Comments on “Pontifications: Moonshot for engines for Next Boeing Airplane may have to wait

  1. Isn’t 2031 too early for EIS of TTBW if 2028 is when the concept is going to be tested? So even if they do the testing and launch the following year it will still practically be 2035 when the engine comes into service.

    There’s nothing Boeing can do this decade and I don’t know why people waste their time continuously writing about it.

    So anyway you look at it, we’re back to 2035, unless Boeing brings forward the testing and they probably won’t with the heaps of problems they have

    • Good question and I wonder seriously if Calhoun is feeling pressure and its easy at this stage to make empty statements.

    • To finish, one first has to *start*.

      Boing’s all hat and no cattle. No there, there.. except for the stock
      price, C-suite compensation packages, and those wonderful Golden Parachutes..

      • That makes no sense. We are not talking about cowboys or cattle here. I mean really, get with it.

  2. Very good article.

    Ron Epstein has some pretty relevant arguments.
    However, Boeing will face major challenges before launching a potential NBA.
    They need to clean house and stop saving money, all the more so in the BCA sector.

    Housekeeping is to be carried out such as less subcontracting, more quality control through more staff, more massive hiring of engineers which will translate into more financing. Splitting BCA from the rest of Boeing wasn’t such a bad idea from analyst R. Aboulafia in 2022.

    Should we really do it?
    That’s another question. But we must not mix commercial aircraft with the rest of military and space programs. If shareholders have to invest, they must ease up on BCA because commercial travel and and passenger safty are a different matter

    Boeing needs to get back to that.
    In 2022 the CEO D. Calhoun may have been right to cancel something of NMA size.

    I still think that in 2023 it is too late to launch a 737MAX replacement and too early to do so.
    In 2024-2025 it will still be too late to launch it but a little less too early to do so.
    In 2026-2027, it will no longer be too late, nor too early to do it
    But in 2028-2029 it will be necessary to do it…

    Concerning the CFM RISE engines,
    I can see it alongside the CFM Leap-56 with a little more thrust for the latter. In other words I can see 2 engines with 2 TBW derivative with the same cross section fuselage like the 737/727’s and 727advanced/707’s lessons from the past.

    The CEO D. Calhoun also spoke of a multitude of TBW families even adding a widebody TBW.
    But before all that the housekeeping must begin and D. Calhoun must do it because too many steps backward and few steps forward in 2023 would put him on an ejection seat (in my opinion) for 2024, and will have to retire if delivery targets are still too far short of what should be done…


    • he should have been ejected years ago and replaced with someone with a vision beyond stock buybacks and personal compensation.

      • @bilbon

        This is pressure from shareholders and Wall Street.

        Did you know that mid-2022 Wall Street was sulked the CEO Calhoun ?
        There was an article whose source was msn (Microsoft).

        He didn’t have much access to shareholders.
        Was he under pressure?
        I couldn’t say. But it is time to change this culture, because as I said this method cannot work with civil aircraft. Being a bean counter makes where McDonald Douglas was, what Boeing is today.

        Personally I did not tolerate this story of poorly placed holes when we learned that it was a subcontractor of Spirit Aerosystem who had the task of doing it. It’s too much and the story is ridiculous.

        It is up to the Boeing Board to make a final decision or separate BCA from Boeing and return BCA to an engineering company. The reason is that BCA until 2019 would generate more turnover than military and space and that it was the largest exporter of the USA.

        Boeing is a historic supplier to the airlines and D. Calhoun needs to reverse his decision and send the shareholders away, but the human problem is that he increased his salary and no one wants to go back, that’s why he will have to leave in 2024, if things do not change in terms of delivery progress and certification of the 777-X and MAX-10…

        • I suggested ages ago Boeing executives should be paid a higher fixed base salary and a bonus package based on longer term portfolio health and stake holder (customers, supply chain, USA) value.

          Instead of short term free cash flow. Apparently a ridiculous approach, this isn’t China!

          • The evil is the stock shares they get, ergo the Share Buyback to boost their stocks

            Go back to the incentive of profits and the pay and a lot of this self corrects.

            You may want a minimum but also a claw back based on really bad performance (loosing big bucks with the MAX, 787 and the various defense programs)

  3. A professor from Aerospatiale used to teach us “never an entirely new engine on a new aircraft design ” : Few years later ,they launched the A320 with the CFM56-5A ( very different from the -3 ) !!. Luck can smile on the bold but the EIS was very difficult for the launching airlines from both the pilot and maintenance engineering point of view . A or B need the right ” support ” from them.

  4. Airbus To Correct A220 Autothrottle Imperfection

    ”…On the A220, it happened that the autothrottle unexpectedly disengaged during takeoff. While attempting to reengage the autothrottle during the takeoff roll, some crews inadvertently selected the autopilot.

    Inadvertent autopilot engagement may have serious consequences, Airbus says in an article published in its Safety First online magazine. Such an action may result in early rotation that can lead to a tail strike, inability to climb, runway overrun, or even loss of control…”


    • Auto Throttle issues are something of a constant.

      Boeing has had its issue (777) with two auto throttle related aspects. The FLCH Trap (reported to be corrected now) and how it works during a go around when they will roll back once the squat switches engage (unless you have your hands on them).

      Having landed an MD-11 Simulator with them, they sure are nice on approach!

  5. Middle of the Market:

    Thank you for this article!
    This is a very interesting approach

    I have been following the multiple troubles, airlines had to endure because of the new-engines many design flaws

    Boeing’s 38% of market share, is not good enough
    The A-321Neo is a great product, with lots of potential

    I am worried about the new Open-Fan design
    I believe they may cause unforeseen noise, and vibrations problems
    And more bird strikes, because of the lack of engine cowling

    My wish for Boeing would be:

    To design and build a great Middle of the Market aircraft. With state-of-the-art engineering, very long wings with folding tips, wider fuselage, and the use of current engine technology (with room to improve in the future)

    Of course, I may be wrong…

    • As things currently stand, there is no particular growth market for the Middle Of Market.

      If we accept the sales of A330-800neo+A321-XLR (even if I don’t understand how the second one works and what its real purpose is), airlines that rarely own 757s have replaced it with A321-XLR.

      If we average sales/launch (2016-2023 bringing together the two A330-800 and A321XLR programs) The A330-800 has 11 sales from 2014 until 2023 and the A321-XLR totals ~700 sales 2019 until 2023
      That’s a little over 100 aircraft sold/year, something like MOM. That doesn’t seem too bad to me.

      The risk i see is that the 757/767 replacement market is too weak.

      To really disrupt the market, is to propose an NMA that with a CFRP fuselage and a TBW configuration powered by GEnX, would bring ~28-30% better than the 767 and ~8-10% better than an A321-XLR to sales not yet convincing
      It remains difficult to associate -XLR as MOM, because the latter has disrupted the market in spite of itself, without guaranteeing that it is truly MOM

      With that the MOM is a difficult equation to understand and the replacement of the 737MAX seems to be a priority with future technologies and BCA can see more clearly…

      • MoM just A321XLRs+A338s?

        For realism, just throw in the thousands of A321CEOs, A321NEO’s, A321LR checklist.

        They have taken over the 2-3 up go 6-7 hours markets up to 230 seats, globally.

        And A333s and 787s.. up to 380 seats for MoM & Leisure.

        • MOM important. There’s too many planes in the sky. And if it is kind of bad now, then think 15 years out. The industry needs a revolution, like you could say is taking place in auto mfg. with electrification. Maybe truss wing on 767 size. But poster is right, Calhoun may not be the person for the job…

          • By 2030 and hopefully sooner Calhoun will be gone.

            Of course the new CEO has to have an aviation brain.

        • The MoM has been traditionally the 757/767 niche. ~2.5k orders from the original line, probably somewhere in the region of 3-4k aircraft, today.

          While there are no set rules for the definition, I would say that it has to have TATL capability.

          Had BA not scrapped the 757 tooling, a re-engined 757Max might have been something to go with. I understand why they did it, cost savings on having to store it, but probably for a couple of billion, they could have had something to go up against the A321LR/XLR.

          Ironically, IMO had Boeing done a 757/767 Max version of each and put money into a clean sheet NB to replace the 737NG, they’d have a hard to beat lineup.

          If you really think about it for a minute, they could have gotten the C-Series off of Bombardier for pennies (along with the engineering talent there), made the -100, 300 & -500 versions themselves, then gone 757 Max & 767 Max, just below the 787.

          NB’s all done on the cheap almost a complete re-vamp & venerable updated 757 & 767.

          Hindsight is 20/20, but that would have been a kick ass product line…

          • The 757/767 were designed way back and you have to replace all systems, the wings are too old, the 757 engines were too expensive to maintain, cockpit old tech besides the redone 767-2. The 757 fuselage a bit too narrow. Today a 757 would have the”cheap” A321neo engines, AlLi fuselage, carbon wings with folding wingtips and simplified 787 systems. Being up to 10 tons lighter than an A321XLR for the same payload/range and a tad cheaper to buy.

          • @Claes

            ‘The 757/767 were designed way back and you have to replace all systems, the wings are too old, the 757 engines were too expensive to maintain, cockpit old tech’

            I know it’s hard to judge a book by it’s cover, but here is a DHL 757 cockpit:


            And a 787 cockpit.


            Sure – what’s important is what’s behind everything, but it doesn’t seem ancient to me.

          • Frank P:

            While I am not an Aeronautical engineer, the comments on the 757 were it was heavy, complex to build (more than 737) and its engines were dated.

            Also, unlike Scott I don’t see the MAX or NG panel as an issue, its what goes on behind the control scene that counts and the PFD in both those birds is good, better in the MAX which is better than the 757 or 767.

            The reality is the 757 was less and less competitive and it had no future other than a complete re-do and then you have a new aircraft.

            Like the 767, its done great in the Freighter market. Unlike UPS FedEx did not buy new for the already outdated 727 and should have (they bought used ones and converted them and some real horror stories there – one tried to fly out of ANC 5 or 6 times and something important failed each time, they sent it back to the US to be converted)

            The 757 was one of my favorites but it had no future and Boeing was right to terminate it.

          • @TW: The panel wasn’t me. It was a comment from aerospace analyst Ron Epstein.

  6. Very true. That’s how Boeing goofed up on its 7J7 Program (a new aircraft design powered by a radical engine technology, in form of the GE36 Open Rotor) in the mid-1980s, which would have been a perfect competitor to the A321 and its larger stretched variants now, had Boeing chosen a conventional, technologically mature CFM56/V2500 variant as an engine option back then rather than trying to simply outmaneuver the CFM56-powered A320 at launch by choosing open rotors only. Also, would highly recommend the latest, Number 1 new release in Commercial Aviation on Amazon currently, “Powerplay: Engine Wars in Commercial Aviation” https://www.amazon.com/PowerPlay-Engine-Commercial-Aviation-Whitney-ebook/dp/B0CC2ZHMQF
    to those looking for a deeper dive on the evolutionary journey of jet engines and tactical dogfights between GE, Pratt, Rolls and Safran in commercial aviation for aerial supremacy since the dawn of jet age.

    • At that time (1988) the A321 was not yet launched and the 7J7 glass cockpit technology was moving towards the launch of the 777 to counter the A330/A340 program in 1990.

      Should Boeing have launched as a twin program 7J7/777 same cockpit and cabin interior architecture ?

      This is a high probability but Boeing seems to have preferred in 1993 to launch the 737NG.

      The story is very similar to 2011 when Boeing gave up launching the NLT in favor of the 737MAX to the surprise of the entire industry..



    • The open rotor was not ready for commercial operations in the mid-80’s. It is maybe now with a simpler design, advanced software for aero and stress and experience with 3D woven fan blades it has came of age. Still lots to prove with variable pitch fan blades and their anti-ice system.

    • Goofed up teh 7J7 and then announced the 727 replacement was going to be a 737 stretch.

  7. On the 737 one can see the huge impact of wings and engines on aircraft economics as the 737-8 is quite competitive against the A320neo. Even with a LEAP-1B with smaller fan but a lighter and slightly smaller diameter fuselage coupled to a modern alu wing it runs neck to neck with the fly by wire A320neo with its bigger fan engines. The 737-10 vs. A321neo is a different story (like an A300B4 vs 767-300ER)

    • I think (maybe the only) advantage the 737-8(00) has over the A320s is 2 extra seat rows. Getting closer to the holy grail 199 seats with 4 ca’s configuration.

      • Keesje:

        Those two extra seat rows make a significant difference. I continue to be surprised Airbus did not come out with a matching model or a seat row or two more.

        And it should be noted that the -10 has not been certified yet. It will be interesting to see what happens when (if) it is.

        • Thousand+ planes ordered. That’s Cash they need and want to move ahead. I can’t see why it wouldn’t fly, Sir.

        • That’s a strawman. Orders are placed based on airframers’ promise and forecast of certification and delivery.

          BA promised to deliver the MAX 7 to WN in 2021 … oops.

          • The 737-10 will have its place and for its routes be very economical. But it is not as flexible as the A321neo’s and will sell less due to this unless Boeing really lower the price.

          • I am wondering how many airlines order the A321-XLR and then fly it with an empty belly tank most of the time.

          • @TW, yes most of the A321XLR will fly daytime with empty belly tank, come late evening they fill it up for 1-2 over night flights to get a utilization of 15-20hrs/day

          • Nope. Airlines know why they order the A321XLR. Why would they want to pay more for a capability that they are not going to use?? You think those running airlines are so dumb?

          • Pedro:

            No I do not think Airlines execs are dumb, I see it as a flexibility that Claes also sees.

            By current standards all the single aisles are vastly over ranged for the mission they mostly fly. But then they can do even 200 mile hops and longer ones.

            Leeham has noted how few 757 long range routes are flown as well.

            Airlines will do the best they can averaging with what they can buy now. And nothing wrong with an A321-XLR on a long thin route and if it firms up to better, then you put a 787 (grin) on it.

          • I can give you many, many examples but I don’t have the time, so a couple off the top of my head:
            AA/AC/B6/FI/QF/TS/UA/6E and Indigo Partners ordered A321XLR specifically to fill their need for certain missions.

  8. One can legitimately ask how interested/committed GE will be to pump money into (refining/fixing) the GE9x, if/when required.
    A sales book of just 350 aircraft translates to a meager 700 engines, plus a few spares — a very paltry showing for a large, new engine program.
    No wonder Tim Clark is nervous.

    • Bryce

      You seem to forget the GEnX which is selling very well.

      The 777-X has good sales potential, as long as Airbus does not offer a bigger CFRP widebody than the A350-XWB.

      The slow pace of 777-X certification is being felt in sales.
      Things need to be done for deliveries to begin

      • Its absurd to think GE will not fix the GE9X.

        RR fixed the Trent 1000 and Ten with a lot less market share. In reality they came out with an all new engine to fix the Trent 1000 and still failed (they took the problem area of the engine into the TEN).

        Big engines, big profits as well as future sales for other engines, aka LEAP and the GENx.

        • Nobody is going to pump cash into a program with little to no ROI.

          The 747-8 and A380 showed us that.
          Engine makers can do similar math

          • The 777-X is far from being a 747-8
            and further than an A380. You have a problem with the concept of size…

          • That and reality of an engine mfgs is an overall relationship and GE would not drop the GE9X unless Boeing cancels the 777x program.

            GE clearly felt Airbus was just playing it and did not try to compete on the A330NEO or the A350 (now having two different engines so split that market as well)

            By the logic bust contended, RR should have quit on the Trent 1000 which already was way behind the GenX engine (SFC and cost etc)

            RR was looking ahead and that derivative engine on the A330NEO is a bleed air version for the A330NEO (which has not sold well)

            The 777X has better sales than the A330NEO and its a bigger higher priced engine.

            And there is the 777X-F in this mix that is going to be Boeing big freighter going forward.

            But feel free to keep beating that illogical drum.

      • 20% to 30% larger than it was in 2019

        That would be another 70-105 aircraft. So best case is 450 planes. On a program that has lost BA $6.5 billion so far, with not one plane delivered and another 2 years to go to certification.

        This is the 787 argument all over again. Sure – they have 1000 flying out there, but it cost the company $7 billion to do it.

      • But dovetailing nicely into this, is another podcast:


        Podcast: Will There Ever Be A New Widebody?

        Joe Anselmo:

        Richard Aboulafia, you wrote a column for us earlier this summer where you noted that widebodies as a share of the aviation market have shrunk. Is the age of the widebody over?

        Richard Aboulafia:

        Well, let’s just say that trends are heavily mitigating against it. Is it completely over? No, I doubt it. It’s just that right now the business case for building a new one is just getting weaker and weaker. Once upon a time the backlog, for many years, the backlog and deliveries by value for both widebodies and single aisles were about the same. So, it was a 50-50 market and it’s now, as I described in the column 70-30 in favor of narrowbodies, and that’s before you really start to see the flood of [Airbus] A321neos delivered. Obviously you’ve got like 5,000 ordered and they’re just starting to get the numbers flowing there. A lot of those jets are going to be taking over former widebody missions on the North Atlantic, intra Asia, Middle East, Europe, whatever else. So, we’re just seeing this start to play out. It could be a 75-25 market at the end of the day when deliveries really ramp up on the 321neo and to a lesser extent the [Boeing] 737 MAX 10.

        You get a real step change in cost reduction both in terms of capital cost and operating cost when you shift from a widebody to a single aisle, so it just stands to reason that as single aisles introduce these new capabilities in terms of range, they’re going to be insanely popular for these international routes that were formerly the domain of widebodies.

      • No reason for the 777-X to be a flop other than the wishful thinking of some not very intelligent hateful polluters. The 777-X currently has the largest and most efficient GE9X and composite wing engines ever built.

        • Are you far enough up the ladder to judge other peoples intelligence? ( beyond noting that they are brighter than yourself )

          • @Uwe


            Don’t tell him that the program is already a flop with a $6.5 billion loss on it, plus the R&D spend. Let him keep judging….

        • There’s a great deal of 777-300s that need to be replaced in the coming years. Some will be replaced according to fragmentation by smaller 787s, some by A350-900 and -1000, 787-10s but mostly by 777-9s. I think that’s kind of what the prevailing opinion would be.

      • A sales book of only 350 (uncertified) frames more than 12 years after launch is not good news for an engine OEM that has spent a tidy sum developing an engine that can’t be used on another product…

        • So, how many more billions will Boeing make on the 787 in the future and if they break even, its beyond better than a 20 billion dollar loss.

          Same on the 777X. The costs are invested in it, if they sell 450 and break even, its better than loosing all those billions is it not?

          • > So, how many more billions will Boeing make on the 787 in the future and if they break even, its beyond better than a 20 billion dollar loss. <

            Someone, *please* attempt to parse this word-salad sentence, to improve the General Welfare..

          • Vincent:

            I can only assume you are being obtuse.

            Simply put, Boeing has a sunk investment in the 787 (and 777X)

            The more 787s they make, the lower the losses are. They may turn a profit someday (heavy on the may).

            So yes it benefits Boeing to keep making 787

            777X is not a materials issue for Boeing, its a paperwork issue and they are having to deal with it for the MAX -7/-10 as well as the 777X.

            The 777X program will learn from the -7/-10 programs.

            Boeing will continue that program unless its becomes clear it won’t sell and you keep forgetting the freighters being added as well as its Boeing large freighter going forward.

            In theory the 777CEO has to be replaced as does the 767.

          • @TW,
            “The more 787s they make, the lower the losses are.”

            Hahaha apparently you never pay attention to what Frank and others wrote. Sigh.
            Spirit incurred like $1.4 billion forward loss on 787. Like BA, Spirit is also in net liability thanks to years of losses suffered. Its CEO openly said its contract work with BA is “not sustainable”. How long can it go like this before it went belly-up? Two unsustainable operators (Spirit and Boeing) don’t make the future look bright.

          • ‘Simply put, Boeing has a sunk investment in the 787 (and 777X)’


            Money is invested in a program in R&D expense that appears in the financial statements each quarter.

            Research and development expense, net:

            Commercial Airplanes $915
            Defense, Space & Security 420
            Global Services 54
            Other 149
            Total research and development expense, net $1,538


            So for the last 6 months BA spent a total of ~$1.5 billion on R&D, of which BCA got $915 million. I have not seen a breakdown of what monies went to which program, but there’s only 3 so take your pick.


            Then there is the deferred production balance (DPB), which are monies spent, but not expensed. It is held in inventory, to be slowly expensed against each delivery as they occur.

            When BA determines that the revenues in the future will not cover the monies in the DPB, they expense it out of there, onto the income statement. Like they did with the 777X ($6.5 billion) and the 787 ($3.5 billion) in previous years. That is money is deemed to never be recovered because not enough revenue will be generated to cover it.


            Then there are ‘abnormal production costs’ like this on the 787 program:

            “We expensed abnormal production costs of $693 and $595 during the six months ended June 30, 2023 and 2022.”


            BCA has had some $2.8 billion of these costs with their 787 issues.


            The proper term is a ‘sunk cost’ – which is money that cannot be recovered. The R&D spend, the DPB write offs, the abnormal production costs are all sunk costs. The remaining DPB monies BA hope to recover in the future – it says so right in their financials:

            “At June 30, 2023 and December 31, 2022, commercial aircraft programs inventory included the following amounts related to the 787 program: deferred production costs of $12,193 and $12,689, $1,765 and $1,831 of supplier advances, and $1,600 and $1,722 of unamortized tooling and other non-recurring costs. At June 30, 2023, $11,823 of 787 deferred production costs, unamortized tooling and other non-recurring costs are expected to be recovered from units included in the program accounting quantity that have firm orders and $1,970 is expected to be recovered from units included in the program accounting quantity that represent expected future orders.”


            Now here’s the real eye opener:

            Just because BA expensed some $10 billion out of the DPB in previous years does not mean it is free and clear of the effects of it. The amounts are still there, it’s just changed names.

            You see, BA didn’t have the funds to pay for this stuff, so they borrowed money to cover it. So now the amounts are still sitting on the B/S but are now called:

            Long-term debt 47,659

            and with each period that passes they pay:

            Interest and debt expense (1,270)

            Borrow $10 billion at 5% and you get $500 million in interest expense to pay each year. That’s the 777X and 787 ($6.5 billion & $3.5 billion) write off.


            ‘777X is not a materials issue for Boeing, its a paperwork issue and they are having to deal with it for the MAX -7/-10 as well as the 777X.’

            Blown out door & high alpha problems were not paperwork related, IIRC

          • @TW

            Side note on the 737 Max program.

            Hidden deep in the fine print of the financials is this:

            “At June 30, 2023 and December 31, 2022, commercial aircraft programs inventory included the following amounts related to the 737 program: deferred production costs of $4,739 and $2,955 and unamortized tooling and other non-recurring costs of $591 and $626”

            What does that mean, you ask?

            BCA increased it’s spend on the 737 program from ~$2.9 billion to ~$4.7 billion (an extra $1.784 billion), but hasn’t let it hit the income statement yet.

            Let’s say that they make $5 million in earnings on each 737Max they deliver, that means that the next ~357 aircraft are being delivered with zero profit.

          • Frank:

            I am not going to argue bookkeeping with you, clearly you geek in that stuff (I thank the powers that be I do not!)

            But setting up to make the 787 is the huge cost. once production is going then its the materials for the aircraft. Charleston was one huge cost, correcting the mfg initially was a huge cost, fixing the shims issues was a large cost.

            The more 787s Boeing makes the more those costs get divided by the numbers built.

            Boeing may never pay back the cost of the 787, but they sure can reduce the losses or even break even if they build enough of them.

            The MAX is the same though not as bad, bad enough. They can keep making them as they are sold out for 3-5 years and they can make money on them.

            So to say shut it down is a bizarre position at best.

            While the 777X is not in production (somewhat) why wold you shut it down with the various sales they have?

            Airbus had two failed programs in the A380 and the A340 and the A330NEO is struggling.

            Boeing shutdown the 747 so yes they can shut down.

            Clearly Boei9ng is looking at the 777x and MAX as a gain, same on the 787.

            As for research money, Boeing could be putting a all of it into the TBW or various splits between the 4 programs.

            I won’t dream of calling that one.

          • @Transworld

            Thread is getting long. I started a new post below.

    • The GE9X was FAA certified in 2020, they hit some problems in engine test and has had the time to fix them, so eventually there will be some more problems in service but that is normal. The Emirates demanded “Desert Run” will show how well it is designed and built.

      • Or not.
        Just look how things have unfolded for the PWG and LEAP — mushrooming gremlins years after EIS.
        Fixes are expensive — and, when you have only 700 engines in the field, not a very lucrative option.

          • I agree. Airbus should discontinue the A350 ASAP. Its nothing but an overpriced drain on airlines bottom line. The engine wear out much too soon as well.

        • Just look at history as the very reliable JT3D was replaced with the JT9D. The drop in reliabilty was massive until later models of the JT9D reached similar times on wing.

  9. In a way, switching to (fuel-cell-powered) electric motors on aircraft would/will be a dream come true for airframers and airlines alike…and a rude awakening for today’s engine OEMs.

    A hell of a lot less hassle, lower costs, quieter operation, simpler servicing,…sounds like Nirvana.

  10. I remember the discussion about the super fan on the A340, which did lead to the subpar CFM 56.

    As we see current engines, it already seemed to be a huge leap (sorry bad pun) and a bit a stretch.
    I don`t agree with the conclusion of the article, that Boeing should start development of an Max replacement.
    A380 shows what happens if you`re early to market with outdated engine tech.
    The A380 would still be a good option, if it would have A350 / B787 engines on the wing. 10% less SFC would make that way more attractive.

    If i think about the actual situation, it seems like it`s fought out. Claims are marked and i would not be confident to move on a new development with actual technology. It`s to dangerous new tech is around the corner.
    Also, Boeing can live with 40% market share, it`s not like before, but it`s still being a good underdog. They will make plenty of money in that position.

    • I think what contributed enormously to the demise of the A380 was that the market changed – airlines moved somewhat away from spoke and hub to point to point.

      • Or the 787 was the instrument that let the market change?

        And the A380 market always was small, multiple services work better and you can tune to the market not have one huge behemoth that only works on narrow markets.

        • the problem for the A380 was the only airlines for whom it made sense were the ME3 for the same reason and business model as Fedex having their central hub in Memphis.

          all traffic goes through the ME, each source city gets one plane, schedule the flights so they all arrive at the ME about the same time, all the pax do a shuffle, then the outbound flights leave, 1 to each destination.

          never made sense for any european airline running point to point routes other than _maybe_ 1 or 2 per airline to cover the few transatlantic flights that could guarantee good fill rates, and even those are seasonal.

          • Boeing sold something like 1500 747 when it had an exclusive on the market in that size as well as range (sans the 747-8).

            What Airbus would not admit was that it never was a huge market. It took Boeing 40 years to sell that many.

            There is a reason no US airline ordered the A380 and even the 777-300 was not on their radar.

          • @TransWorld

            yup – 747 had an exclusive on twin aisle with intercontinental range (and particularly trans pacific) pretty much until the A340 and 777 came along.

          • Billbo: The DC-10-30 and DC-10-40 preceded the A340 and 777. So did the L-1011-500.

          • Scott:

            I am aware but none of those sold well and none were a commercial success.

            The 747 was the main game and the numbers for all the years of production were not something to base the A380 on let alone a split market.

  11. Previous gen engines stayed on the wing for years, only coming off twice in a plane’s 20 year life. These new “green” and more fuel efficient engines cannot come close to matching the same reliability.

    Its why Boeing made a mistake not calling AA’s bluff. Should have continued the Next gen NB plane.

    • It’s a kind of deliberate industry choice, higher temperatures and pressures improve sfc, but reduce time on wing..

      • Not necessarily. For a CFM-56 that would be true, it was not built out of material that would do that.

        The LEAP and GTF should be designed to last better than they are.

        Unfortunately the testing really takes place once in service and then the corrections begin. As noted the CFM-56 had its issues early on.

        So both are suffering the longevity issue that will be worked out but that takes time.

        If you gear up for early failures and your engines last longer that is money wasted (and not a good look selling engines)

        Its all a dance and clearly they will resolve the issue, but even a fully upgraded engine that has few issues and longer longevity put on a plane now, does not change the fact that they have a bunch of engines that need to be upgraded and only so many spare parts even if they have the upgrades ready to go.

        The airlines know better. I would have kept buying 737s as a hedge.

    • After 30 years of maturing.

      someone noted that the CFM56 did show a similar reliability evolution if you compare EIS onwards performance.

    • Long, thin, truss braced wings suffer from flutter issues due to lack of torsional stiffness. BA may be assuming that these can be ameliorated using automatic aileron adjustments (à la 747-8), but the company doesn’t exactly have a good recent reputation as regards control theory 🙈

      Don’t hold your breath.

        • The fear of seeing Boeing innovate scares them. This is the damage caused by anti-Americanism which has nothing to do here.

          Even their selective memories are lacking. It is more than obvious that their lack of objectivity serves no one. Not even them…

          • Funny how the 777 and 787 fly just fine with their control theory issues.

  12. Wall Street doesn’t like the mushrooming debacle at PW / Raytheon:

    “The news sent shares in RTX plunging to a nearly two-year low on Monday. Despite nudging up midday Tuesday to around $75, they’re still well below end-last week’s close of more than $83.”

    “The recalls are projected to result in up to a $3.5 billion hit to RTX over the next several years, including a $3 billion pre-tax charge in this quarter.”


    • P&W discovered the fault way back, corrected production and got stuck in internal politics it sounds. Powder metal disks have very small critical crack lengths often sub 1 mm depending on location and orientation. So they are hard to find in NDT testing. Waiting for “more experience” before acting sounds like Russian Roulette as a separating disk cuts through everything including the fuselage if you are unlucky with the burst fragments directions. Nowdays it is hard to find managers with the balls to make correct and very expensive decisions right when the engineering facts are there and stand up to the CEO and project managers (as at Boeing during the 737MAX time).

      • Equally we have the CFM-56 blade off problem only came to light a few years back as both a problem and a catastrophic (or close) failure.

        They found (surprise) that you could not die test the coated part of the blade root.

        New procedures derived to ensure no more of that (and understanding how a blade off can destroy the containment and a better design to stop that)

  13. There is a lot to unpack in all of that.

    The biggest takeaway is that despite decades difference a MAX is on equal terms with the A320. Do not conflate the MAX MCAS issues with the rest of the aircraft, until that occurred it was more like 45% market share. Certainly not ideal but much better.

    The other relevancy is that an old design (much changed) is equal to a newer design. That tells you its the wing update that counts and a tube is a tube.

    The huge question is, if Boeing came out with a brand new aircraft tomorrow, in the Single Aisle area, would that change their market share?

    Or should they focus on a larger A321 competitor? And then Airbus does a new wing for the A321.

    Engine time on wing the airlines were spoiled with the CFM-56 and the V-2500.

    Frankly I find nothing wrong with the 737 Cockpit.

    The key difference is really the automation philosophy and the United 777 out of (Maui I believe) is an issue. Basically the pilot flying got distracted and came close to nosing it over from a climb into a crash in the ocean.

    An Airbus control setup would not do that (that is per an expert not me).

    Much like the Asiana Auto throttle with the FLCH Trap that the NTSB recommended be changed (they can only recommend) – its not an older cockpit its a mind set and Boeing has some bad aspects to theirs.

    • > Do not conflate the MAX MCAS issues with the rest of the aircraft <

      Thanks for the instruction. No problems w/ the MAX's tailfin, hull, rear bulkhead, EICAS, delivery rate, … along *with* MCAS,
      which itself caused two all-fatalities Boing 737MAX
      crashes, killing 346 persons.

      pesky details..

      • Vincent:

        All aircraft have problems and while I hate to see them crop up on any aircraft, none has been fatal and they are getting caught and corrected.

        Boeing as a company is stuck with their CEO as well as previous ones who made decisions that lead to the mess.

        I can cite the same type issue on the A330CEO when it looses the pitot at altitude (that were known to fail to clear ice) and then flips the control laws when all it needed to do was an automated response to 5 deg nose up and 85% thrust and no issue.

        Explain to me why that simple action with Airbus and their protections could not do that?

        • “…none has been fatal and they are getting caught and corrected.”

          Looks like news of the 2 MAX crashes hasn’t reached the far north yet…🙈

          • Its incomprehensible syntax and scattershot “reasoning” make it not worth a reply.

            I won’t mention its invariable use of an obscuring pronoun, when a clarifying noun is sorely needed..

    • “The huge question is, if Boeing came out with a brand new aircraft tomorrow, in the Single Aisle area, would that change their market share?”

      not if it is Tube and Wing. the only ways forward that will introduce step change efficiency are side by side double bubble, BWB or TBW.

      Side by side double bubble is the only solution that is both easily stretched and does not rely on difficult structural and FBW solutions to work. if built in a canard/overwing engine configuration using an A-320 diameter “bubble” you can get 2 rows of LD3-45 containers, 220 pax in 22 rows, very short landing gear (therefore lighter) and reduced noise due to the wing masking the engines, and compatibility with open rotor in the future as ground clearance for the engine is not a worry.

  14. “Evolution of today’s LEAP and GTF engines offers a near term solution when mated with the truss brace wing design. Both engines are subject to continuous Performance Improvement Packages (PIPs). While not as dramatic as the Open Fan design, Boeing and GE each told me that mating today’s engines with PIPs to the TBW can provide a 25% fuel burn improvement.”

    If evolution of the LEAP and GTF engines can provide a 25% fuel burn improvement, why would you bother with an Open Fan that provides only 20%?

    • The GTF/Leap TBW combo may yield 25%.

      The Open Fan/TBW combo may yield 30-40% (so say some; LNA doesn’t think it will be this much).

      • Considering that its all based on a slide show (power point these days) I will take a given vs a hypotheticl any day of the week (and the reliaiblity will be resolved)

        The GTF in fact has an upgrade that improves things (assuming it works) past the LEAP changes and its proven to be better SFC.

        Nothing in the reporting indicates the GTF and its better SFC are self limiting, they can put more exotic materials in the engine and run it hotter.

        LEAP is as hot as it can get away with.

        And people refusing to fly prop jobs would put a crimp in an Airlines even thinking about a RISE.

        Up to and including the move away from Dash 8 and ATR in the US and poor sales world wide for ATR.

        Horizon has given up the Dash 8 and the Western US is ideal Dash 8 hunting grounds.

          • Well you just need to get with the program and learn. Otherwise we are going to have to make you repeat 2nd grade.

    • Sounds alot with present engines on a new wing/body, normally that is sub 5% improvement. PIP’s normally give max 2% improvement and come with 7-12 years intervals.

  15. Lol ! Keesje, your post is a joke.

    Are you now putting the A321 in the MOM section?
    It’s just absurd to say such a thing

    • Isn’t it rather the case that the middle of the market has adjusted its size requirement to match what is available in the form of the A321? If that wasn’t the case then all the airlines buying the A321LR and XLR would presumably have bought 787-8s and A321s – and I don’t see any significant signs of that happening.

      • Roger:

        A wide body cost a lot more to operate than a single aisle.

        Ergo the appeal of A321 with longer range.

    • Checklist, only Boeing isn’t putting the A321 in the MON section, for obvious reasons. The industry has moved on for some time, as you know.

  16. TransWorld

    …”The huge question is, if Boeing came out with a brand new aircraft tomorrow, in the Single Aisle area, would that change their market share?

    Absolutely, a brand new aircraft launched in 2030 will set a brand new standard against the competition [Airbus]. You just have to observe how the 787 asphyxiates the A330 and outselks the A350.
    2 Airbus aircraft don’t do better
    Airbus and their fanboys wish 2030 would never arrive…

    …”Or should they focus on a larger A321 competitor? And then Airbus does a new wing for the A321…”
    This will mean that Airbus will have to design a second wing for the A321. But what about the A320 against a TBW? Airbus chasing two hares at once?

    …”Boeing has some bad aspects to theirs…”

    Like what?
    All pilots in the world know that if flight AF 447 was a Boeing, the pilot would have been able to regain control easily and the aircraft would never have crashed. This is the difference in Boeing and Airbus philosophy cockpit

    Now for these fanboys who are not happy,
    I will not give my shoulder to cry on…

    • The carbon wing for the A321neo and A320.5 is in the works and trots along waiting for Boeing’s next move. If that is a new high wing aircraft with RISE engines Airbus has to move with something like the ONERA Gullhyver design but for now can wait and continue to work on cargo aircraft and cost/mass optimization on the present fleet.

      • Checklist:

        A Boeing 757 flying into Ireland experienced frozen pitots. The Pilot response was to DIVE the 757.

        He tore off significant items.

        So now, a Boeing control scheme would not have saved AF447 is the pilots did the same thing they did and stalled the aircraft and did not budge from doing their scan and assessment and staying stalled.

        The famous Johannesburg 747-400 that almost crashed due to a single out of position thrust reverse switch retracted the slats when the 747 desperately needed all the lift it could get (high, hot, fully loaded)

        Most crashes both Airbus and Boeing are a result of pilot induced problems. Sometimes those problems are for different reasons (the famous FLCH Trap issue by Asiana into SFO)

        Both mfgs have failures in automation logic.

        as for TBW, we don’t know if its feasible, we don’t know what improvements Airbus gets out of a new A321/320 wing and Boeing still has the A220 issue.

        Under current management I don’t think Boeing can pull off a new aircraft.

        And with the current engine problems for all, why would anyone order a new aircraft from a company that is suspect in its ability to mfg existing aircraft correctly?

        Boeing clearly did a top notch job on the 787 market area and hit a bases loaded home run, then screwed it up with beyond horrible execution and has repeated that. Does Boeing even have the market checking ability to find a good spot and line up airlines for a new aircraft? (let alone execution, read Bjorns articles)

        I love Boeing as a company but I don’t trust current management any further than I can throw the Queen Mary.

      • We’re headed into deep Resource Limitation, and some (many?) seem not to have yet grasped that. Marginal efficiency increases will *not* keep the 19-21c Party Going, gents..

        “Oops upside yo head!”, or something like that, though we can
        still pretend for a couple-few more years that the future will look much like the past.

      • Will they re-wing the 32x, or not? Someone here made a good
        case for a cleansheet SA here recently, though I think resource
        limitations will *actually, soon* play a part in Co decision-making. We will see.

        I still think the re-wing makes sense, FWTW.

        • There is some talk on a A320.5 small stretch (2 more rows..) with updates and the carbon “wing of tomorrow”. Still all this cost money and time so Airbus seems to mainly focus on deliver what is already sold .

          • Claes:

            I don’t think Airbus will do anything. Despite a bit worse economics the A320 sold well and is still selling.

            The A220-500 would be the logical move (assuming P&W gets its engine problems sorted)

          • @TW Airbus will fine tune the wing of tomorrow. Most likely squeeze manufacting cost and wait. The A220-500 might happen but it requires massive investment in cost reductions and new suppliers.

          • Claes:

            Long term the A220 (500) will replace the A320. It has all the needed improvement already done.

            The cost is not miner but its not massive either.

            Airbus sees the shift to the A321 and why wold you put money into the A320 when you have its replacement in hand?

            And yes I have made the assessment that Airbus has legacy contracts to deal with and they have some carrot to hang out in that regard.

  17. File this under: Understatement of the Week

    Russian airliner forced to land in corn field


    ‘Russia’s aviation agency Rosaviatsia said that the “unscheduled landing” happened in the early hours of Tuesday.’

    I’m wondering if anyone in here has ever flown on an airline that has scheduled cornfield landings?

    • Frank.
      Speaking of cornfields…
      Did you hear the one about the F-106 that was out practice dogfighting when the airplane departed and the Pilot ended up ejecting? The pilotless airplane recovered, landed in a snow covered cornfield and was returned to flight status. Must have made for great conversations in the O Club….. I see your airplane flys better without you, and other stuff…..


      • Well back in the day we flew out of Cornfields in Alaska!

        Granted the corn was next to the runway and it was mini hybrid that only grew on the South side of the house.

  18. In the early 2000’s I was in a start-up with a ULCC model. It was clear to me that the B757 was key to the future for this type of operation. The unit-costs of that gauge of aircraft compared to the 150PAX alternatives others were using were compelling and that was the type (the -300) we went after. Most thought I was nuts. Even with the support of Pratt (great company & people) we were fighting against time to get an order in and all were saddened & somewhat angry when Boeing canned it abruptly. The subsequent up-gauging by the LCC’s here in Europe vindicated my thesis and I still think that type with development would be viable today.

    In contrast, the A321XLR is a long range airliner in the same way my Labrador is a submarine. Richard Aboulafia (who by definition is wrong) is entirely wrong in this.

    • Fasthip:

      Unless the 757 got new engines, it was somewhat heavy and its less than good fuel efficient now

      Back in the day it did not make a difference as fuel was a lot lower cost.

      As I understand it the 757 was also complex to build and profits were not what they should have been. Ergo, just enough against it to justify the termination.

    • A320/321ceo has become the latest “goldmine”?? What happened to those AS A320ceo returned but still in storage?

      • @Scott
        Are they returned to lessors or in storage to be returned on scheduled redelivery dates?

    • If only McB gave us regular updates on the certification status of its planes.
      Ongoing radio silence regarding the cert progress (if any) of the MAX-7, MAX-10 and 777-9.
      The latter still doesn’t even have a TIA, it seems.

  19. ‘Infuriating’: Hawaiian’s CEO blasts Pratt’s PW1100G response as airlines plan to ground more jets.

    “Hawaiian Airlines’ chief executive has taken issue with how RTX and subsidiary Pratt & Whitney (P&W) apparently plan to handle its massive recall of PW1100G geared turbofans (GTFs), which power Hawaiian’s Airbus A321neos.”


  20. BA: “The number of orders for 2023 now stands at 624. Thanks to the 114 cancellations, the number of net orders is 510. The total number of delivered aircraft is now 344.


    Good lord: almost 20% of BA’s original 2023 order book size has evaporated in the form of cancellations…


    AB: “Overall in 2023, Airbus has now received 1,257 orders and 39 cancellations, leaving a net total of 1,218 orders. The number of deliveries in 2023 stands at 433.”


      • Your “breaking story” is dated 9 May 2023.

        Any day now, I guess.. tomorrow, you say?


        • Your point being??
          I take it you and your best mate have trouble comprehending a link .
          If you took the time to actually read it. .
          Yes tomorrow ..🙄…
          Last time I checked, it’s the 14th of September. . Isn’t it ??
          Like what’s so surprising for you, that large orders take a long time to finalize !!!
          So Air India means nothing to you..??
          Another large order that took months to finalize..!
          You and Bryces’ Boeing bitterness, I find it very amusing !! 😆😅😆

          • Speaking for myself, only: I hold no “Boing bitterness”,
            though I do have some *contempt* for that deeply financialized, utterly beholden-to-Capital company, which is now only in the business of making money [badly!}, rather than making great, forward-looking airplanes.

            Maybe they’ll turn it all around, very soon [heh].

        • @ Vincent

          It has no time to check mundane things like dates — all emphasis is on using extra punctuation !!!!!!! 😅

          It also hasn’t stopped to consider that other OEMs also have orders that haven’t yet been firmed.

          And it completely missed the point about cancellations 🙈

  21. Enriching discussion.

    From my perspective as an ex CTH Engineer at one of the leading engine OEMs, I would say, most of the problems come from aggressive marketing that pushes engineering and manufacturing beyond the limits on physics and cost and then engineering managers with little technical skills and high ambitions who look for ways to cut cost, get the work done faster, and with same quality.

    Needless to say, that won’t work even if you are making Oreos, let alone a gas turbine that has to ingest PM10 at 110F, while taking off full power.

    Boeing did the same and failed with catastrophic consequences, others have not learned the lesson. Basically the story of mankind, except for the few.

  22. As an ex-Rolls-Royce engineer, I’m probably a little sensitive, but please bear with me – “Service issues with the CFM LEAP and Pratt & Whitney GTF engines are driving airlines batty. The failures of the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 years after entry-into-service (EIS) cost RR hundreds and millions of dollars and a confidence crisis that hurt future sales. ”
    I don’t believe there were any failures of the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines beyond normal usage – there was a MASSIVE logistics failure and a pretty serious design fault, but the £2.4bn cost to RR pales vs the current $6-7bn estimate on the PW1100G.
    My little whinge (whingelet?) is the language – “failure” for Rolls-Royce, “service issues” for PW and CFM (hey, which of these have had in-service disc failures due to iron inclusion? – it wasn’t RR…)

      • Charles:

        Good to get your input. As a company I have nothign against RR. As a tech, when I hear how vastly superior RR and its 3 spool engine are I cringe. My analog is Caterpillar who makes good engines, but they are not alone and various MTU/Cummins/Perkins etc make equally good engines (and are not trying to charge premiums over supposed superiority)

        As I tracked the RR Trent 1000 issues, the first was blade corrosion. That was attributed to being operated in salt water areas. As a 787 was going to be making long over ocean flights to coastal cities (generally) that would be a design issue or choice and you would think that would be understood in this day and age.

        The other one was eventually traced down to a harmonic in the core. A number of repairs were done, computer modeling showing it was fixed and how long you could operate the engines just to show up again much sooner than the model said.

        Again there were design choice there and harmonics are well understood. So its baffling to see it occur let alone not get analyzed for what the underlying issue was (as I recall they kept changing the blades).

        Obviously there are facts behind what where how when and why we probably will never hear, but the issues above were tech problems.

        The service end was more a cascade situation in that RR wants to keep the engine work in house and does not have (or did not) a lot of centers that RR did now own that could do repairs.

        In that I see one part of the issue and lack of repair centers was it, the other part was not thinking they needed the parts even to do so that soon, of course there was not enough spares anyway .

        That was compounded by the failure to identify what the root cause was and having to do the work again.

        Covid hit and reduced the demand and RR caught up but at a huge cost, as well as loss of even more market share.

        What was going on in RR mind I have no idea, but their solution was the Trent 10, despite being mostly a new engine, it carried over the core that was the harmonic cause and more work required.

        The background of 3 spool plays in, while it has a theoretic advantage (and did early on) in the latter generations of two spool, that was no longer true.

        The problem then is the 3 spools cost more as they have more parts counts. If you can offset that with better SFC and or on wing time, you still have a viable engine (the latter A330CEO went to RR by a high percentage)

        RR lost that advantage as the GenX engine had better SFC, better on wing time and was less costly to overhaul.

        Currently we see all 3 big engine mfgs having issues, one common aspect is wearing out too soon. Others are engine specific.

        • Thank you – a few points, which may or may not still be true:
          1) I heard from a GE guy that 3 spool makes sense over 40k lbs thrust, but wasn’t worth GE pursuing given the high risk involved in a new architecture. the 3 spools gave the engine a larger sweet spot (you tune an WB engine for cruise as that is where it spends most of its time and accept it will be less efficient in climb – the 3 spool allows it to be more efficient in climb). As a result, the initial Trent 1000s, apparently, had better sfc on shorter trips, but the GEnx won out over longer ones (interestingly enough, the 787 is used surprising number of short haul routes, but RR managed to screw it up for the reasons you so eloquently flag above)
          2) the parts count I understood to be less – yes there was another shaft, but the compressor was more efficient as the two halves run closer to their ideal operating speed, so you could get away with 1 or 2 less stages (which have a lot of expensive blades). This also meant the engines, and importantly the shafts, were shorter
          3) shorter shafts on the RB211-535 meant there was less whip, so the performance degraded less – the PW2000 was more efficient out of the shop, but the degradation was faster and the -535 was more efficient over the life.

          any/all of the above maybe RR marketing BS…

          Presumably your comments re the 3 spool are why the Ultrafan is 2 (or 2.5) spool?

          Finally, the rumour in Bristol was the RB199 had 3 spools in order to get commonality with the RB211 (!!!).

          • Charles:

            All I can say about GE was that they clearly determined it was better to stick with two spool.

            I do understand the 3 spool advantages, but GE has overcome those apparently with better design as the RR clearly had advantages with the RB211.

            I have seen the short distance advantage for RR but that is also SFC and the engines cost more and were (are) more costly to overhaul.

            All the economics in the RB211 era pointed to an advantage to RR with the SFC overcoming the cost and overhaul disadvantage.

            The GenX was better in all regards (I do not know what the metric is used for SFC, ergo short term advantage).

            Clearly the future is the GTF and I do see it as discussed as 2.5 spool. I don’t see that but RR has taken the plunge now that P&W has proven it can work (granted its not up to snuff in its current form but that is due to wear issues not that GTF does not work and does deliver the SFC and then some promised)

  23. I’ll try and drag the conversation away from the tiresome A v B /RR v GE flame wars beloved of some of our more prolific commentators!

    Moonshot engine are obviously and important aspect of the next generation designs – but some are fuselage and wing materials. There’s a pretty clear cut vote in fibre of composite wings, but is the same true of fuselages? The only ones for which there’s much data are the 787 and A350, so do we know how durable to ramp-rash, and how repairable they have proved to be in service? And, given the current manufacturing problems being experienced by Spirit, will the technology have matured, and be economically viable, in time to be used for the nextgen NB designs?

    • Good point.
      The first 787 hull loss was just a few weeks ago — a relatively low-speed collision with a tow truck was enough to write off the entire frame.

      Impressive…and worrying.

      • I thought the “write-off” was deduced from photos that showed the tail being removed? It was later said that this was normal repair practice to stop the frame being moved by the wind. Don’t know how true either version was, it just goes to show how careful one has to be in drawing inferences from limited data!

        • How often do widebodies “move in the wind” when on the ground?

          And what were hangars invented for?

          Regardless of what’s going on, it’s alarming that a relatively innocuous collision with a ground vehicle can cause a soap opera like this…

          Lightning damage to 787 fuselages is also rather shocking:


          • A 767 into Houston had a severely hard landing and is almost guaranteed to be a write off.

            If it was a brand new aircraft, probably not.

            What goes into a write off has little to do with panderings and all to do with age of the aircraft, value as parts. An early 787-8 is not a desirable aircraft (and in some ways the -8 is not as its not common with the -9 and -10)

            People fall all the time. Rarely they break a leg. It all has to do with the impact and where it occurred.

            Aircraft are not designed to run over tugs.

            I know of on 777 that was written off early as it had far better value as parts than a flying airframe (and it had no damage)

          • Nothing shocking, just normal.
            On the other hand, fortunately it was not the Qatar Airways A350 in flight.

            It would have been the first full Hull Lost which would have included missing passengers probably reminiscent of AF A330 447
            Flight but with much more mystery and interrogation
            with fear forcing the grounding of the A350 with indefinite duration forcing Airbus to lose the program…

    • Also, the true lifecycle costs for composite fuselages need to be
      fully considered, rather than waved away as “externalities”.

  24. The PW GTF meltdown continues to mushroom:

    “DGCA urges swift action by Pratt & Whitney to address engine issues”

    “The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has called to urgently address the issue involving three Pratt & Whitney (PW) engines experiencing in-flight shutdowns on IndiGo flights between August 29 and September 3. These incidents have raised alarm bells globally regarding PW engines used in Airbus A320neo family planes.”


    • Bryce re alleged hull loss

      It’s not a hull loss, just wishful thinking

      There has already been repairs other times.
      But the very rare circumstances meant that the impact on the ground took place on the repair of the first time. It’s the little subtlety. In any case, the A350 has a design flaw. It tolerates UV rays very poorly, as evidenced by the comments not only of AAB but also of Emirates CEO Tim Clark

      It would be very amusing to see how this happens in the future at Emirates and Air Algérie especially with Emirates which reluctantly re-ordered the A350…

      Concerning the 787, LATAM remains very satisfied with the 787 getting rid of the A350 all without exception..

      • I had hoped that bringing the discussion around to the merits or otherwise of composites might elicit some sensible, reasoned posts, but sadly Mr. Checklist is determined not to play ball and has his random “dislike of Airbus” word generator working at full tilt still.

        The question still remains – regardless of the resin composition (which both manufacturers have had problems with) is there a technical argument in favour of either of the two methods of construction, or this there a case for waiting for further advances in tech? I don’t know of an A350 that has been damaged sufficiently to require a panel being replaced – is it feasible? Are the costs of repairing composite fuselages proving to be comparable with repairing aluminium ones? Or, any one who has unwrapped a parcel that has been wrapped in a thin film of Saran (or similar) wrap cannot fail to be impressed how strong it is – could it be used to make cheaper glare-like panels or co-mixed with composites to make a strong woven and coated barrel? It might be less repairable if used in the latter way, though.

        • The topic that you’re raising is so important and interesting that it merits a mini-series by Bjorn Fehrm (my opinion, at least).

          I dread to think how a composite fuselage might behave in a serious crash. We have (virtually) no real-world data on this subject.

          I’d also like to see detailed data on how composite materials are reacting to cosmic ray irradiation.

          • I recall a Boing Engineeer getting fired by that company for noisily [and correctly!] bring up that topic in public.. poor guy.

          • Bjorn answered that some time ago in response to a question on the subject I asked him.

            As for cosmic rays, composites are now new. They have been in use for a long time, including composite aircraft (the Beechcraft Starship being one)

          • A fascinating article, that I would never have come across otherwise. Mr. Checklist might like to note where the work is being carried out, and who the likely ultimate beneficiary will be. It just goes to disprove his theory that innovation only takes place on one side of the atlantic, though perhaps he’ll find YouTube video to counter it…..

        • Roger

          …”Mr. Checklist is determined not to play ball and has his random “dislike of Airbus” word generator working at full tilt still…”
          You are very rude, sir. When Bryce spends his time saying mistakes and horrors about Boeing you don’t disqualify him, do you?

          So I take it that it’s just ridiculous from you
          I play the ball cheerfully …👍


          • I might be rude, but you are so openly bigoted that its hard not to be rude in response. The other correspondents you refer to are far more measured in their comments and invariably back them up with reputable data and sources.

          • @Roger and @Checklist: You two are one more Reader Comment violation away from suspension.


          • @ Roger

            I don’t find you rude at all — as far as I’m concerned, you’re adding value to the discussion.

            However, you can spare yourself a lot of grief by completely ignoring that other entity, like several others of us are doing.

            In this particular instance, you’ve been baited by it into a corner — which precipitated Mr. Hamilton’s intervention.

          • “When Bryce spends his time saying mistakes and horrors about Boeing you don’t disqualify him, do you? ”

            Maybe your judgement on “mistakes and horrors” is (significantly?) off?

        • Roger:

          I asked Bjorn about the costs and or superiority of one method over another (787 vs A350) and his response was they were equal.

          As for repair, the business about replacing whole panels was spin and propaganda trying to create a bonus for Airbus. The silly part is airline execs and repair people know that so it was an attempt to make Airbus method looks superior. A lot like the Frakenplane stuff, all mfgs use various wing combinations along with longer or shorter fuselages.

          In the case of Airbus they claimed Boeing would have to disassemble a whole aircraft to replace a damaged spot. Truly absurd.

          The Ethiopian 787 that caught fire on the ground was repaired with a patch. In that case it was a legitimate question on an all new aft section due to the size of the damage.

          Like a new Rear section that is not just laying around, you do not have extras panels either, you would have to cut into production, pull a panel and then try to make that up as that creates an unfinished aircraft.

          Ergo, composites are repaired with a patch. No one is going to replace a whole panel when one small section is damaged, they will patch it.

          Boeing is the only one I know of that used a spun fuselage, wings are built the same with ribs and panels (or laid down strips?)

          Both methods create a very good airframe if done right and lots of A350 and 787 flying puts that to rest (or should).

          Airbus used methods it could make work (they had done no research on spun fuselage) and Boeing did it their way and both work just fine.

          Issues are in details of execution like the grid and layering over it on the A350 and the fit issues on the 787.

        • Thanks for trying to bring the discussion back on track.

          Related, number of years ago I attended a talk at the Singapore Airshow (Research session, I think it was 2014) on technologies for next gen narrow body. One of the items which struck me was that speakers including a rep from Hexcel, the largest supplier of composites in the aerospace sector, and they stated that composites for narrow body fuselage does not work for two main reasons:
          1) There cost is up to 5 times higher without providing a benefit significant enough to justify the cost.
          2) With a composite fuselage, it is not possible to reach today’s narrow body production rates as it takes significantly more effort to manufacture.

          So I wonder what the tradeoffs are not only between barrel vs panel composites but also new Al-alloys.

          • That’s a bit of an expansion of my question, but a worthwhile one, I think. I’m still interested in the glare concept – it flared briefly on the A380 but seems to have lost favour on the A350 – is there scope for the concept to be revived and improved?

          • Roger:

            If they can keep the cost of composites coming down as well as getting the cure out of an autoclave, then that changes things.

            BBD made that determination on the A220 that a aluminum fuselage and a composite wing were the way to go.

            Russia seems to have solved the cure aspect but don’t know at what cost and its production looks like.

            And the issue is, as soon as you setup your production progress can find a better solution. But you have certified and setup to older tech.

            I don’t see glare making a comeback and I suspect CRFP or some form of composite will see use in new fuselages.

            Its a tough call on what to use and which process.

  25. Too bad we have to proofread that commenter’s posts for him,
    and attempt to surmise a meaning therefrom.. some of us read what we’ve typed before posting.

  26. I think Roger is a good, measured, and articulate commenter. I hope he sticks around.

  27. A narrowbody on an 6-8 hour flight sounds like Hell to me-
    though Iceland has been running 757s on long flights for awhile.

    Maybe TW will set the record straight for all of us simpletons.

    • Not a problem. Its a painfully long flight.

      Not something I want to do.

      Others have their own view

  28. “Flying a Boeing 737 is like driving a ‘68 Chevy Impala with a semi-modern dash.”

    This strikes me as pretty sophomoric. I am surprised a veteran Wall Street analyst would make such a claim.

    It is no doubt grist for the mill for the Airbus Fanboys who dominate the Leeham News message board. Kudos on the scoop!

      • In order to please WN’s demand and avoid any pilot training requirement, the cockpit looks and feels the same as the analog one, BA refused to let engineers update and modernize it.

      • ROFL
        “Mine is bigger than yours, take that!”
        It is not the screensize but what technology sophistication sits behind the sccreen.

    • Yes, both pilots having to use all their physical strength to turn a manual trim wheel is SOOOOO 2023 🙈

      And then there’s the primitive CAS that’s more of a hindrance than a help in complex emergencies.

      Echoes of the steam age.

  29. It doesn’t matter if you are in a WB or NB plane. What matters is the size of your seat. I prefer a A320 seat many times over a 777 seat with 10 accross. Have been there.

    • Agreed.

      Whether you’re 10 across (3x4x3) or 9 across (3x3x3) or six across (3×3) you’ve still got 2 people next to you.

      I prefer to fly with less people around, all other things being equal.

  30. And we’re back again, full circle:

    “AirAsia plans to expand fleet with Airbus order, looks to ASEAN as a multi-hub network”

    “SINGAPORE: Travellers may have more flight options in time to come, with Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia close to inking a deal with Airbus for wide-body aircraft.

    “The budget airline is looking at fleet expansion across both short- and long-haul flights, as well as more flight routes as it seeks to expand its capacity amid ambitions for a regional multi-hub strategy.

    “The deal will primarily be with Airbus, although Boeing has also made offers, said Mr Tony Fernandes, chief executive officer of Capital A, the parent company of the budget carrier.”


    Commercial aviation in Asia has been much slower to recover (from CoViD) than in North America and Europe.

  31. There is perhaps a danger of confusing/conflating AirAsia with AirAsiaX – both have the same leader, but one has a lot more success and credibility to date than the other. In would think that AB will be happy to talk to one of them, and rather more guarded towards the other!

    • I suspect that this latest widebody order will be coming from AirAsiaX.
      It may just amount to a (partial) re-instatement of the previous A330neo order.

  32. And yet more PW GTF woe:

    “Earlier this past week, engine manufacturer Pratt and Whitney announced an extension to the period of time it would take to inspect turboshaft engines on the Airbus A320neo series aircraft. In July, it was announced initially that a period of approximately 60 days would be needed to inspect engines for contaminants in the engine core. However, the organization announced on September 11th that the new time frame for inspections will be closer to 300 days due to cracking in metal powder found in compressor and turbine disks.”


  33. I am not an aircraft engineer, but I am a mining engineer and a professor at the mining engineering department of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil and I am well aware of the highest level of technology available in all areas of engineering. I think the comparison with a ’68 Chevy Impala with a semi-modern dash’ is rather superficial and more emotive than technical since evolutions in materials, aerodynamics, propulsion and electronic systems and software have been applied to the MAX. The project’s evolution potential is considered exhausted by the experts, but currently I would have to consider it a modern machine still. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    • The Impala comparison was probably prompted by the fact that the 737 lacks FBW and EICAS/EICAM — which have become standard in modern aircraft.

      MCAS 2.0 can also be considered to be an amateuristic, “quick-and-cheap” patch of a deeply flawed system.

      The plane’s low ground clearance impedes engine choice compared to the competition, and precipitated the MCAS 1.0 debacle.

      The airframe’s 1960s vintage — with a fuselage that is too narrow to take containerized freight — completes the picture.

      MAX = new lipstick on a wrinkled old pig.

      • Thanks Bryce,

        I think they will come up with something new when they can, luckily for them the market is still buying it in large numbers.

        I think the hard lessons learned due to the initial MCAS fatal tragedies (unfortunately preventable if engineering was applied correctly), turned the MAX into a very safe airplane, do you agree with that?

        • Not sure that I’d qualify the revised MAX as “very safe” just yet: although there haven’t been any new crashes (yet), there have been several serious incidents since re-cert — two of which led to questions in the US Congress.

          MCAS 2.0 remains sub-optimal — with the FAA apparently content with complete inaction in the event of AoA disagree.

          And then there are the various manufacturing quality issues — which still need to be (fully) addressed in the in-service fleet.

          Last but not least: the primitive CAS in the 737 has been implicated in 5 fatal crashes — and it hasn’t been upgraded to EICAS/ECAM. This lack of modernization acts as a hindrance in the event of complex cockpit emergencies.

          Ask me the same question in 2 years.

          P.s. Since re-cert, the MAX hasn’t sold very well outside the US, and 1200 MAX orders were cancelled in the past few years. Draw your own conclusions from that.

          • Bryce

            …”Since re-cert, the MAX hasn’t sold very well outside the US, and 1200 MAX orders were cancelled in the past few years. Draw your own conclusions from that…”
            Many airlines in the largest market which is the narrowbody (~10,000 potential aircraft sold in 20 years/2021-2040 outlook) saw with the 737MAX grounding and COVID circus the right of airlines to cancel due to the crisis because the closing of the contracts gives reasons to the airlines unlike Airbus which forced the airlines to take delivery giving reason to Airbus in the closing of the contracts and not the airlines even if they are bankrupt or in crisis. It’s quite the opposite for the 737MAX. Boeing cannot force Airbus to take delivery because of the grounding. It is unclear at this point whether this was due to the alleged lack of safety in Bryce’s Boeing bashing. Insurers who could pay Airbus are not obliged to do so with Boeing. 1,200 737MAX canceled is the result of the grounding.

          • I’m negatively surprised by the potential unsafeness of this system if correct. This is of paramount importance to me.
            The certification authorities should act in this regard.
            Thanks again Bryce.

          • Bjorn has stated the MAX is as safe as any other aircraft.

            No question MCAS was horribly done and lethal in its implementation as well as documentation.

            Brazil was the only country that tagged MCAS as a discreet system and insisted it be put in the pilot books (my hat is off to that)

            There is a group here who hate Boeing and their comments reflect that and can’t be taken as a measured response or comments.

            Its a shame as Boeing deserves a lot of criticism but that does not mean the aircraft are not safe.

            Ignorance by them is reflected in calling the FAA the gold standard, it never was but you have to read and understand history.

            The FAA came up with the standards but often did not apply them and many crashes resulted (737 Rudder issue, DC-10)

            The FAA is conflicted as it both enforces regulations and is an aviation promoter. That is a bad setup (somewhat alleviate by the NTSB being independent but they cannot enforce their findings, the FAA decides to do that or not)

            The world followed the FAA and various countries have their own way on how to implement those standards.

            We are best served by AHJ questioning information they get and should confirm that it meets criteria before blindly accepting (which is true now but post the MCAS crashes)

          • The above statements reflect gross ignorance.

            EASA has accepted the changes in MCAS. The A320 has its share of crashes and close shaves.

            But the MAX is clearly safe. Any contention otherwise is just pure hate or willfully misleading.

            China has returned the MAX to service (and China was regularly sited as, oh no, its not safe, see!).

            How Now Brown Cow?

            One thing we know, no amount of facts will change their opinions, but present them as facts when in fact they are false.

          • Beck Nader

            “…I think they will come up with something new when they can, luckily for them the market is still buying it in large numbers…”

            I agree, both Boeing and Airbus enjoy a duopoly. Indeed, as for the widebody market, the A350 is a bit like the 737 as the A320 is the 787.
            Both gave everything.
            But Boeing gives the impression of being a little more “lazy” in narrowbody market, enjoying a duopoly which allows it to “dare to propose” one without Fly-By-Wire and EICAS through an old cockpit for the 737. The aircraft remains competitive despite everything and have no interest in not doing something new when the proposal for a replacement comes around 2029-2030.

            I am firmly convinced that the non-containerized lower hold is not a selling point for the successful A32Xneo family because the A220, the most recent widebody western built does not have a container and in reality it is not an advantage for smaller aircraft such as the A320, because the placement in the hold is significantly slower since the suitcases will first be integrated into a container which is a clearly longer process compared to the integration of the suitcases into the hold directly.

            There’s no evidence that the A32Xneo’s success lies in containerized cargo/LD-43W/AKH.

            The success of the A32Xneo lies in the weakness of the 737NG/MAX. Handicapped for 30 years (1993 737NG launch) by a lack of ground clearance allowing neither a bigger engine nor enough space for rotation without tail strick due to small landing gear not allowing flexibility to extend. comfortably” the fuselage.
            Just look at the 757 based on the 737 fuselage but with larger landing gear, wings and tailplanes.
            Boeing found an ingenious retractable main landing gear solution on the 737MAX-10 but arrived too late compared to the A321/A321neo launched in 1994. The 737MAX-8/-800NG targets the heart of the market but has never offered a real growth size only with a mediocre -MAX-9/-900 NG reminding me of the A350-1000 situation with only 7 meters streched of the A350-900.

            So the market chooses 2.5 or 3 times out of 4 the 737MAX-8 and rarely the A350-1000 compared to the A350-900.
            This is why for the 737MAX replacement I can see 1 or 2 fuselages 1 or 2 wing sizes.

            I had heard that the CFRP narrowbody fuselage does not represent a real weight gain; it is in reality insignificant. Again just look at the newest A220 benchmark aluminum fuselage.

            So I can easily see Boeing reusing the 737MAX fuselage with a completely new nose to gain an efficient 3% aerodynamic profile.
            A larger CFRP TTBW (18% more efficient than the 737MAX, 28% if it’s Rise CFM Engine) to fly 3000 Nm.
            An All-New 787-Cockpit-Style but in truth it would be an All-Automatic/Unmanned Cockpit even with Leap-56 engines.

            Thinner side Wall for a cabin ~2″ wider than the 737MAX “à la 777-X” allowing up to almost 18″ seat width with 1.5″ armrest width and the second generation Boeing Sky Interior vaulted big bins 777-X Boeing standard is the simplest and most relevant thing to do.

            Of course a completely new cross section fuselage is possible if there is only 1 single development program/unpaired program
            This is how I bring you the future 737MAX replacement….


          • @ Beck Nader

            You’re welcome.
            Always a good thing to do your own research/reading when it comes to BA, and particularly the MAX: that company desperately needs cash, and it has a powerful PR/lobbying machine.
            Of particular note is the disparity between what the FAA and EASA require in terms of sensor inputs to MCAS 2.0, and the fact that BA *still* hasn’t satisfied EASA’s demands in that regard.

            Here’s some interesting reading for you, from June last year.
            “On 22 occasions, the aircraft’s flight control system failed, 42 incidents involved equipment malfunctions, and on at least 40 occasions, pilots chose not to fly the MAXs until identified issues were fixed. That’s in addition to the six in-flight emergencies declared in the US since the MAX resumed flying.”


            In this recent incident, the FMC on a UA 737 MAX spontaneously shut down on approach:


            You should note that Captain Chesley Sullenberger described the crew alerting system in the MAX as “not up to modern standards”.

      • ULCCs/LCCs could care less about containerized freight.

        The legacy US carriers would care less as well.

        You will need to revamp your sales pitch.

        Also, cannot imagine with the range shortfall on the XLR it will be able to carry much in the way of cargo not to mention full passengers and bags.

        • “The ability to load containers in the belly gives the A320/321 an advantage over its main rival, the Boeing 737-800, which is limited to loose cargo and bags in the lower hold. Vaayu Group cited more payload and containerized volume than the 737-700 or -800 as a factor in its decision.”



          “To ensure that your cargo arrives at its destination safe and on time, we supplement the space on our freighters with the belly capacities of passenger aircraft belonging to Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, SWISS, Eurowings Discover, Brussels Airlines, Aerologic and Sun Express as well as our partners United Airlines Cargo, Cathay Pacific Cargo and ANA Cargo.”


          Note the belly cargo data sheets for the A319, A320 and A321 in the list.

          • Re Conteners

            The Airbus A220 / ex Bombardier Cseries so praised by fanboys and especially the chimera A220-500 do not have containers
            like the Boeing 737MAX in question

            But as it’s an Airbus we wear rose-colored glasses, so ladies and gentlemen let’s see the ridiculous fanboysm, when it is exacerbated and made of nonsense

            Good 👍

        • Gustavo:

          In the US there is not a major component of belly freight in the single aisles.

          On the long routes per the A321-XLR that is something they give up and then the better economics of a single aisle vs a wide body that can carry cargo comes into play.

          In the US and Europe the MOM was not desired with cargo space.

          Asian operators felt differently and it was going to be a decision on how that played out for sales.

          That truly is where numbers guys have to know the routes, what are the economics for both types and what is the return?

          I do remember one of the first shouts on the A380 was they could not carry any belly cargo, pax luggage took up all the space (not sure on weight)

          I was stunned, you guys knew going into this what it did (Airbus made them shutup as it died down fast)

          I think it was a push to get Airbus to jump into the A380-900 that failed as Airbus needed badly to get the 800 working and of course the 900 never came to be.

    • ” but currently I would have to consider it a modern machine still.”

      It runs on grandfathering and wafers.

      The 737 is absolutely un-certifiable under the standing requirements.
      just meeting the g-load and SEO requirements of today would increase its weight by 10..20%

  34. Bryce

    ..”The plane’s low ground clearance impedes engine choice compared to the competition, and precipitated the MCAS 1.0 debacle…”

    . Once again Bryce climaxes in ignorance.

    For him, a non-contenerized fuselage is systematically designed in the 60’s and yet the A220 was launched in 2006.

    It is a safe and reliable source of great credibility and confidence in its claims.

    Bryce :

    ”..MCAS 2.0 remains sub-optimal — with the FAA apparently content with complete inaction in the event of AoA disagree..”

    . Bulls*it Boeing bashing claim.
    I thank in advance the few participants who dared to call me an Airbus hater.
    Certainly I am, as much as Boeing haters

    Bryce :

    MCAS 2.0 can also be considered to be an amateuristic, “quick-and-cheap” patch of a deeply flawed system.

    We remember the difficult beginnings of the A320 after three crashes (1988/90/92) involving a design error that went unnoticed in the absence of ex-twitter / in 2019-2021…

    In France we call this “beginner’s luck”…

    Bryce :

    …”MAX = new lipstick on a wrinkled old pig…”

    The P&W engine is a pipe dream and illustrates Airbus’ lack of evaluation in engine terms. They selected a very bad engine, like for the A380 in the opinion of J. Leahy in 2021, recognizing that it was not what was best for the Jumbo Jet…

    A320neo : nO eNGINE oPTION

  35. Both IAM 751 and BA should pay close attention to UAW’s Fain, but I doubt it would change Calhoun’s mind.

  36. @Transworld

    You said:

    ‘I am not going to argue bookkeeping with you, clearly you geek in that stuff (I thank the powers that be I do not!)’

    Just so that I understand you;

    1) You claim to have no knowledge or expertise in financial matters (as you have posted before).

    2) You offer an opinion on said financial matters.

    3) When factual information is presented to you, it is ignored.

    4) You attempt to run down someone who has said knowledge and was educated in financial accounting.

    5) You express pride that you are ignorant about financial matters.

    6) You continue to offer an uneducated view on the subject.

    I’m not sure when it became stylish and fashionable to tell the world that having a lack of knowledge is a good thing.


    ‘So to say shut it down is a bizarre position at best.’

    Please tell me, point it out to me, where I have made this statement in my post? Failing that – please stop making s–t up…


    ‘The more 787s Boeing makes the more those costs get divided by the numbers built.’

    But that is not what has happened, has it?

    In 2021 BA wrote off $3.5 billion in losses. Let’s say they were at 900 deliveries then.

    Since then, they have had Abnormal Production Costs of $2.8 billion. Now they have 1,050 deliveries.

    Production has not gotten more efficient, producing more profit, over the past 150 airframes. It has cost them more. Costs have increased.


    ‘Boeing may never pay back the cost of the 787, but they sure can reduce the losses or even break even if they build enough of them.’

    They have written off $3.5 billion on the 787. Monies which will never be recovered. It’s the way the accounting system works, which relies heavily on estimates. If they thought they could cover that amount with future sales, they would have kept the amount in the DPB.

    They even say so in their financials – they will need future sales, orders they don’t currently have, but expect to get, to cover monies already spent and in the DPB.

    The program cannot break even.


    ‘While the 777X is not in production (somewhat) why wold you shut it down with the various sales they have?’

    Please get this through your head – I am not calling for anything to be shut down. I am calling ball and strikes.

    Here’s the opinion part:

    Boeing cannot shut down any of their 3 programs. They are in too deep. Cutting any of the three would, IMO be the death knell for the company. They simply have to make the best of it and eat the losses, hoping that they can make it through. Defense is also in the financial crapper, so there’s no help there.


    ‘Airbus had two failed programs in the A380 and the A340 and the A330NEO is struggling.’

    Yes – and have you looked at their financials to compare and see how they are doing? Oh, that’s right, I forgot – you don’t ‘geek out’ over financials and are therefore unqualified to offer an opinion on them.


    ‘Clearly Boei9ng is looking at the 777x and MAX as a gain, same on the 787.’

    A gain? Really?

    Billions in losses and it’s a gain?

    Just curious – what then, is a loss, in your esteemed opinion?

    • Pursuant to one of your points:
      If Emirates were to pull the plug on the 777X in the morning, what would BA do with the program?
      More interestingly: would other 777X customers maintain their orders, or would they also abandon ship?
      There are disadvantages to owning/operating a small-production plane — e.g. lack of second hand parts and lack of secondhand buyers.

      • Bryce

        They have to go through with it. Even if they have to go back to Emirates and sell them the aircraft at $100 million a pop, they can’t abandon the segment to the A350. Imagine how GE would react…

        Who would trust them in the future to put down serious money on another type, plan your future fleet around them, sell seats to customers based on those aircraft – then get left at the alter?

        Would you, as a supplier, want to do business in the future with them, having been screwed over on the program? If you didn’t do business with BA and they approached you to be a supplier and saw how they walked away from everyone on the 777X program, what would you say?

        The ramifications would be huge. They just can’t.

        • The 777X has a 28t OEW penalty compared to the A350 — that’s a lot of dead weight to be continually lugging around, especially with elevated fuel prices.

          Add to that the uncertainty as to what may be down the road with the GE9X and you can understand the reticence.

          We won’t even mention the possibility of further delays in the EIS.

          • And a 777X has a weight penalty of a million tons against a very efficient C-172.

            What counts is space and pax numbers as well as how they plan to use that space (lots of bussiness exec seats or full on max passengers and what is in between)

            The A380 did not operate packed to the max gills, all that matters and you can’t compare apples to oranges.

            The 737-8 is slightly slewed better than the A320 because they can put more passengers in it.

        • Frank:

          Obviously I do understand larger picture finances and have no problem commenting on that.

          The accounting statement was tongue in cheek. I took a college class in that and was bored to tears. That is me, I liked working with my hands and not on a adding machine. I have a relative who is a whiz at it, bless her and what she has accomplished, I could not do that without going around the bend.

          It takes all types for a society to work. We do not want it driven by accountants as pure numbers do not tell the tale.

          Nor do we want the pie in the sky types in charge, they would run us into the ground in short order.

          It takes a mix with people with ideas and working with the numbers people as well as the people that put it together to make it all work.

          I hope that settles at least some of it.

          • …and then there is a third subset of people, who are able to frame a wall, run electrical, install, mud & tape drywall, lay tiles…then sit down at a computer and analyze a spreadsheet (I haven’t seen an adding machine in decades).

            Imagine that.

            I’ve got no problem with it taking all types of people to make the world go ’round. I do have a problem with people who support their hypothesis with ‘feelings’ and ‘beliefs’ and don’t debate the facts, when presented to them.

            Like this gem:

            ‘Clearly Boei9ng is looking at the 777x and MAX as a gain, same on the 787.’


            How you get to this conclusion without offering a shred of proof is astounding. I’m also waiting for you to show me where I’ve said that they should ‘shut it down’.

            You speak with the kind of confidence and authority that only people who have no idea what they’re talking about…can have.

          • Frank P:

            I will formally apologize though I think you took what I wrote wrong.

            Others clearly want Boeing to fold its tent.

            But the reality is you worked withing a pretty tight set of rules for accounting (as there should be)

            I worked in a much more nebulous arena where there were facts and then you had to determine what and how to deal with that fact, what caused it, how to fix it (if possible) and numerous alternatives because the was no single way.

            I could bore you to tears with writing about controls theory but will not, suffice to say I understand it and those rules do apply to aircraft that are FBW/Computer controlled as they do to any process with PID statements (note I did not always use all 3, mostly two of the three was all that was needed).

            I look at Boeing from the large view as I am not going to get the financials in depth. You can get a relative truth close enough from that.

            You can disagree if my large view and conclusions do not add up, I think they do and present background details that I use to make that judgement.

            As a controls guy I pretty well lost it when I saw MCAS and how it failed to have any backup for a single failed sensor (AOA in this case)

            I can also follow what they did to deal with a horribly written software and it has all the protections needed and is indeed safe.

            I can read the data and make the statement I believe the MAX is as safe as any other aircraft flying. Others continue to bash it based on a refusal to look at the fact let alone someone like Bjorn making that same conclusion.

            I had one solution at work that had people looking at me like I was nuts. But the fact was, it was brilliant in it solved a lot of issues and you had to look at it from a free thinking no rules process.

            To my embarrassment I had been working on the same problem for years. The fix went from a couple thousand a unit to under $500.
            No one could find a flaw in it, it was just a different approach that had no downside and the upside was we were able to fix 60 some unit for under $50.000.

            Trouble shooting problems has a loose set of rules but they are not hard and fast though if you can’t figure it out, then you do go back to basics and start from point 0 and work your way through it step by step.

            Knowing when what was the best approach was my bread and butter. Yes I sometimes failed and had to regroup but in the end I could tell management what the issue was even if I could not fix it as physically it was impossible (or it was going to cost so much that they had no choice but to live with it)

            I started out as a grunt laborer and those were some of the best days of my life. Many do not care for that and some detest all the dirt and grim. I did not mind a bit.

            In conclusion, I have a great deal of respect for your digging in and getting the details, but I also feel on solid ground with my thoughts as well.

            You can disagree with me on AF447, but when there is a simple software solution to what occurred to me that is a controls logic flaw as that is what automation should do.

            Flip is I can’t understand why a pilot be it Boeing or Airbus would take the actions they did (or have) when the speed goes away. There is a process for all phases of flight and many did not follow that (I think they found 13 similar incidents and most of them were handled wrong)

          • @Transworld

            ‘Others clearly want Boeing to fold its tent.’

            …and what does that have to do with me? Do you go and kick the cat, when then dog chews on your shoes and takes a leak on the carpet?


            ‘I look at Boeing from the large view as I am not going to get the financials in depth. You can get a relative truth close enough from that.’

            Perhaps you might consider that the big financial picture is made up of various subsets of smaller financial pictures. In BA’s case it’s nicely parsed into 3 division; Commercial, Defense & Services. Then there are further breakdowns within that; BCA has each program; 737, 787 & 777, as does BDS. Then you have company wide items, like the debt load.

            Relative truth? I’m just looking at the facts.

            It’s funny, but from the facts I have presented to you on the financial position of some of the BCA programs, you somehow drew the conclusion that I think BA should ‘shut it down’.

            That is the ‘relative truth’ that you gleaned from my presenting you with the details. Do you not see where your conclusions went astray, insisting that your 20,000 ft view is correct, while ignoring the underlying facts?


            ‘You can disagree if my large view and conclusions do not add up, I think they do and present background details that I use to make that judgement.’

            Here you go again;

            Out of all the info and facts I have presented you, which underpin your ‘big picture’, you have chosen to ignore and dismiss as ‘accounting geekdom’ because you’re a guy who ‘works with his hands’ or some such thing…

            …and you’re right. Because…reasons.

            Out of all the info I have presented, all I get from you is; Stop geeking on me. My view is correct.

            Sure thing.


            ‘I had one solution at work that had people looking at me like I was nuts. But the fact was, it was brilliant in it solved a lot of issues and you had to look at it from a free thinking no rules process.’

            I’m very happy for you. I’m not sure how this helps BA reduce their deferred production balance, or increases the margins generated on their programs or decreases their debt load – but a hearty job well done on fixing that problem for the company you worked for.


            ‘You can disagree with me on AF447’

            Correct me if I’m wrong here, but that was an Airbus aircraft crash over the Atlantic, correct? Look, I’ll admit it – I don’t read through each and every line of every Boeing financial statement, I really can’t be bothered to parse the details of the Principal Accountant Fees and Services, included in their 10-K, but I’m pretty sure an Airbus controls logic solution isn’t in there.


            ‘In conclusion, I have a great deal of respect for your digging in and getting the details, but I also feel on solid ground with my thoughts as well.’

            Well – there it is.

            You are perfectly entitled to go with your feelings. I am sure that when the end of the financial period comes and Boeing needs to pay off a supplier, they can do so with ‘feelings’ as opposed to going to the bank and spending money.

            That is why this:

            ‘I will formally apologize though I think you took what I wrote wrong.’

            Rings hollow.

            “I’m sorry…but I’m still right…because….feelings”

            Makes no difference to me. Sometimes you can lead a horse to water, but it’ll die of dehydration before it admits it needed a drink, all along.

            You see it all the time in the financial world – there are still investors out there INSISTING that BA is headed back up to $440 a share really, really soon. They don’t know a darn thing about financials, can’t read a B/S or I/S worth a damn, but their ‘feelings’ tell them to hold on.

            I guess their Rice Crispies told ’em to…

          • I’m going to diverge onto a philosophical tangent here, just so you understand the point I’m trying to make:

            This is one of your statements:

            Obviously I do understand larger picture finances and have no problem commenting on that.’


            Now I’ve see you rail against Calhoun and the MBA whiz kids from GE who’ve run Boeing into the ground enough to understand that you have no love for their kind.

            But do you understand that they are counting on people like you, who are in their ‘feelings’, who make statements like this:

            ‘I am not going to argue bookkeeping with you, clearly you geek in that stuff (I thank the powers that be I do not!)’

            To keep them in power? When did knowledge and understanding become something to look down upon?


            Here’s how:

            If more people took the time (as distasteful as it may be) to actually READ and UNDERSTAND financials, who could hold their noses while parsing through the BS, then ask questions like:

            “Hold on a sec – why did the DPB on the 737 Max climb by more than $1.7 billion over the past 6 months? Where the heck did that money go? Why is it stuck in Inventory as opposed to being expensed right away? ”

            More investors might decide that parking their money in BA stock is not a prudent thing to do. The promises of “Sunny days are right around the corner!” might just bump into reality that it’s been going on 5 years now.

            If enough people vote with their pocketbook, they’ll have to get rid of him and get competent replacements.


            Education and knowledge is the key to defeating ignorance and lies. You want to run me down because I can read a set of financials? Cool. No skin off my nose.

            You want to go with you ‘feelings’? Also cool.

            Just understand – there are those people out there that are counting on you, to go with you feelings, ignoring reality and facts. They need you (perhaps not you personally, but investors who go with an emotional response) to keep faith with them, as they stumble around in the dark – taking home sweet compensation packages.

            The solution to the Calhoun problem, is to understand the numbers underpinning the company. Numbers don’t lie. Calhoun and West & all the rest can get on TV and spin it all into smoke and mirrors. Then when it falls apart, they’ll ride off into the sunset with a golden parachute, while you’re left with your feelings.

            You’re old enough – haven’t you seen it happen over and over again? Why do you think they’ve made education so expensive?

            Why do you think they’ve got you going on this “I’m a He-man who works with my hands and accounting is for feminine types like my relative”

            If you only saw me.

            The world around us is governed and decided by financial matters. Ignore it at your own risk. They’re counting on you…

          • @ Frank

            Please continue your financial analyses and presentations unabated — they’re an invaluable addition to this site.

            I take corporate finances VERY seriously, and I know that the subject is also on the radar screen of other commenters here.

            Not much can be done to help those who’d prefer to stick their heads in the sand…better to just ignore them.

      • Re 777-X

        Emirates and the others no longer have a choice.
        They want the 777-X because Airbus said no.

        They completed the A380 production in 2021 after a little “20 years program” and failed with the small production A350-1000 whose engines, wings and landing gear are different from the A350-900.

        Do not pour out your sarcasm on us due to the absence of Airbus that you sell to the model company which makes money but which does not prove itself against the widebody of Boeing when there was the opportunity for Airbus to launch a brand new REAL 400 seater ! ✈️

        Airbus has not launched a new program for 17 years!
        With the 777-X Boeing did it because the development is as heavy as a brand new jet

        The 777-X will have the merit of entering the market but not Airbus when we look at the context.

        • I think AB have sold quite a few of the “failed” A350-1000 this year, and there are potentially several large orders that could yet come this year – Turkish AL, AF/KLM etc, although they could of course go to the “troubled” 777-X

    • @ Frank

      West told us last week that BA/BCA will be making a loss in Q3 — which was no surprise, because we already knew this from (worsening) analyst consensus.

      We also know that FY2023 as a whole will generate a loss for BA.

      But what do you think about Q4? Will the company manage to eke out a small profit? Recent analyst consensus pointed to a small Q4 EPS of $0.30…but I think that may be overly optimistic, given all the new QC misery.

      • @Bryce

        What has history shown us? Here are last years delivery figures:

        737 387
        747 5
        767 33
        777 24
        787 31
        Total 480

        Commercial lost $626 million in Q4 with these deliveries:

        737 110
        747 2
        767 12
        777 6
        787 22
        Total 152

        The large entity that is BA needs to deliver more aircraft, probably in the 600 per year range, to have a positive margin. I think Q4 is going to be a rinse/repeat of 2022. They have 344 delivered so far. They’ll probably end up around the 500 mark. 40 a month gets them there.

        We’ll have a clearer picture in about a month when the Sept delivery numbers are out.

    • Thanks for this comprehensive and reality-based comment, Frank. Expect more “na-na-na, I can’t hear you!” from that
      one, though.

      • Vincent:

        Clearly you have your own drum you are beating, I fully concur with Frank P and I think his conclusion is the correct ones.

        Boeing clearly needs to build more aircraft to get back to some degree of profit and the MAX and the 787 are two of the programs to do that , 767 is doing as good as Boeing can hope for and KC-46A clearly has to continue to finish the first contracts and then add more as the USAF gets further behind on its tanker fleet.

        And the 777 current will continue freighter builds adding to the bottom line.

  37. Here’s an interesting point to ponder.

    This is from the Q2/2023 (most recent) financials:

    ‘Commercial Airplanes delivered 136 airplanes during the quarter and backlog included over 4,800 airplanes valued at $363 billion.’

    This is what was said way back in the heyday at the end of 2018:

    ‘Commercial Airplanes booked 262 net orders during the quarter, valued at $16 billion. Backlog remains robust with nearly 5,900 airplanes valued at $412 billion. ‘


    Since 2018 , the backlog has dropped by 1,100 aircraft and $49 billion.

    This works out to an average of $44.5 million per aircraft.

    Most of the cancellations were for the 737 Max, but there were also some widebodies. Orders were also filled and they were not replaced by new orders.

    Point being: depending on the mix (NB & WB), the average revenue that would have been generated by those 1,100 aircraft is $44.5 million, with some planes priced below that figure and some (the WB’s) above it.

    How far below that figure…is the question.


    The second part of the equation is the operating margin. In 2018, BCA had a divisional margin of 13%, which means the average margin on each of those planes would have been $5.790 million.

    And once again, WB’s drag that number higher, while NB’s keep it lower.

    In other words, when things are working well and there are no production hiccups, BCA probably makes around $5 million on average, for every Max they deliver. If abnormal production costs spiral above that figure, than they are in the red.

    • Operating margins at BCA have dropped considerably since 2018, methinks.

      Higher discounts, lower production rates.

      In Q2, the average earnings per plane (before debt servicing costs) were of the order of $1.25M, IIRC. In Q1, the figure was just $250K.


      Average revenue of $44.5M per plane.
      In the case of a 737-8 ($121.8M list price), that corresponds to a discount of about 63.5%…even higher, actually, when you consider that NBs are sold for less than WBs — and, thus, below the average quoted here.

      • ‘In the case of a 737-8 ($121.8M list price), that corresponds to a discount of about 63.5%…even higher, actually, when you consider that NBs are sold for less than WBs — and, thus, below the average quoted here.’

        Spot on, once again.

        I guess what we can do is when the Q3 filings come out, is calculate BCA revenues using $44.5 million per NB and see what’s leftover for the WB’s to see how close to that number they’re getting.

    • I know it isn’t a large number, but presumably at least some of the fall in backlog was due to deliveries? Are there frames that have been technically delivered (and paid for) that are still waiting for or undergoing rework?

      • Agreed. This is when you get into a book to bill ratio. That means for any given time period, a ratio of 1 equates to a replacement of an aircraft delivered, by one ordered, IIRC.

    • Frank,

      Cost is spiraling upward relentlessly, labor rate is up, material cost is up. BCA is unable to fully pass the added cost burden to customers.

        • @TW – True but if your profit margins are near zero or less than zero as it appears to be for BA, then the situation of increasing labor and material costs compounds the profitability problem that @Frank and others are talking about.

          • Indeed.
            For example, Spirit Aerospace is calling for its contracts with OEMs to be re-negotiated. However, there’ll be no attendant re-negotiation of the pricing that has been agreed between OEMs and airlines/lessors for existing sales — so, whatever increased costs arise from the new Spirit contracts, will just have to be absorbed by the OEMs for now. Not a problem for an OEM with healthy margins, but a big problem for one that’s on the breadline (and drowning in debt).

          • Don’t contracts have some provision for price escalation, that accept that inflation rates can vary, given that the contracts concerned are in force over several years?

          • Apparently the cost increases went far ahead what’s in BCA’s mind when the contracts were signed.

          • @ Roger

            Yes, there is an inflation correction mechanism included in contracts.
            However, whether that’s general inflation (likely) or product-specific inflation (unlikely) is a matter for Scott to clarify. The recent wage increases at Spirit were much higher than benchmark wage increases in society in general, so the associated cost increases in parts will probably exceed the general inflation level.

            Not clear that increased costs due to a re-negotiated supplier contract qualify at all in this context, as this would allow too much price manipulation after a (deliberately under-priced) sale is made.

          • Branaboy:

            No disagreement, still everyone is in the same boat and its not a unique set of issues with Boeing.

            What is true with Boeing is the problems with the MAX, 787 and 777X programs (and the defense side)

            The more aircraft they can build the better the balance book will be.

            I don’t see any disagreement in that.

  38. Moonshots sound good on paper but are very difficult to execute. The fact that ex-GE management is fixated on moonshots reflects that seducing investors is a higher priority than executing for customers.

    • Well said- and we’re talking about a company can’t figure out how to correctly build its present line-up.

      “Moonshot”? Show me, don’t tell me, McB.

      • I missed one episode except for a horde of raging fanboys. Where did Boeing talk about moonshot?

        • Calhoun has brought that up, the problem is that you have to come up with new product and his comment was an excuse for failed management on all parts of Boeing.

          The proverbial fix leaf trying to cover up incompetent management.

    • John:

      I really do not like the term moonshots but miracles is a good one.

      So called moonshots are spun in a board room where group speak takes over and they all nod their head yes.

      In the case of landing on the moon, it was done in steps and confirming that the systems worked before going onto the next step.

      You could not do the final part but they did as much as they could pre test and it worked as advertised.

      In the case of RISE there is a method to what they are doing, and its working at least to a degree.

      First goal is to freeze the situation in place which was Calhouns first response, oh we can’t do anything before 2035 as that is when the RISE comes along (just for the record that is 12 years away)

      And as I have noted before, they get a new engine core out of the program and a gearbox (hint, that is the path to a GTF.)

  39. Vincent

    Nobody disputes the difficulties of Boeing but also Airbus with the A220 and some A32Xneo powered by P&W. When do you think Airbus will actually be able to deliver at a rate of 75/Month as it claims ?
    It always remains on paper

    Then you will be able to understand that the so-called rebates mentioned by Bryce ~60% from Boeing make no sense.

    because Airbus will never deliver as much as it announced as orders. Do you understand that at least?

  40. United will start flying its first A321neo from December. Remind me when their MAX 10 is delivered.

    • Pedro

      ”..Remind me when their MAX 10 is delivered…”

      Scheduled for summer 2024.

      Tell me when the A321neo was launched ?

    • @ Pedro

      There are 21 737-7s already built for Southwest, sitting in the parking lot.
      The oldest is already 4 years old, the youngest is 5 months old.

      There’s only one 737-10 sitting in the parking lot (for United).
      It’s 10 months old.

      What does that tell you? 😉

      • It tells me Capt Planespotters has struck again.

        They’ll probably get some $600 million in cash for those airframes, but the margins on them will be terrible. Remember when we talked about the increase in the 737 DPB? Those expenses will be used on future deliveries where the margins are better. Kick the can down the road…

        • I prefer the term kicking the airplane down the runway but its the same thing!

  41. Robert L

    ..”surprising for you, that large orders take a long time to finalize !!!
    So Air India means nothing to you..??
    Another large order that took months to finalize..!
    You and Bryces’ Boeing bitterness, I find it very amusing !! 😆..”


    Despair over the success of the 787 and 777 makes Airbus fanboys nervous. We will long remember the statements of Bryce who has no shame in affirming that Saudi Arabia would not have confirmed its gigantic order of 787 despite the first painted in the colors of RyadAir being unveiled last June. Deny to the point of lying.

    While he does not hesitate to return to the misleading remarks of strong rebates from Boeing aircraft which have no meaning for bean counters who are strongly aware that the huge market cannot turn only to Airbus under the pretext that Boeing is in debts.

    We can laugh at the profound and ridiculous errors in these individuals. And recently the ignorance among other things on the exact facts about the reliability and safety of an aircraft will even harm everything related to Boeing (Boeing bashing)…


  42. Bryce

    …”The 777X has a 28t OEW penalty compared to the A350 — that’s a lot of dead weight to be continually lugging around, especially with elevated fuel prices…”

    Looks like Bryce confirms his ignorance
    Worse still, I have already provided an explanation about the weight of the 777-X ”like an A350 is heavier than a 787”, but beyond that denial becomes a lie which Bryce uses a little too often when he has to do Boeing bashing and even for GE (still American industrial) while he knows that Rolce Royce (non-American industrial) is only a shadow of himself so he pretends not to bring up the unfortunate subjects of the debt of RR, by Boeing and GE.

    Bryce said by his wishful thinking

    ”..Add to that the uncertainty as to what may be down the road with the GE9X and you can understand the reticence…”

    ~360 777-Xs sold is still better than ~200 A350-1000s sold
    This represents 720 GE9X engines sold vs a measly 400 Trent-XWB which is not the same engine as the A350-900.
    Even worse
    -200 A340-500/-600 represented 400 Trent 800 engines.

    It is not surprising that RR is in debt today, it sells few engines for too much development,
    To satisfy the whims of past Airbus

    Just look at the number of 777-300ERs and even other 777 derivatives sold, which represents +2000 GE90s sold

    This individual has no sense of analysis

    He’s making a fool of himself.
    Concerning the ”dead weight” of the 777-X

    The 777-9, ~28t extra to carry +60 extra seats is a feat. The 777-9 is 10% more efficient than the A350-1000
    Add in the largest efficient CFRP wing ever built and you’ll see why he’s so angry.

    The law says that the larger the wing, the less drag is induced. He ignores that. Just look at the economics of an aircraft in flight not on the ground with its MZFW

    Bryce & co do not have sufficient knowledge in aeronautics…
    They use wishful thinking, are irrelevant, non-objective, lack of knowledge, selective memories, fueled by America’s frustration
    and insults those who refute them is their biggest flaw…👎


    • I’ll make no comment on any of this except to say that opinions that aren’t based on quoted evidence are just that opinions – and opinions can reflect bias. However, there are some facts for which there’s no denying, for example the shareholders in Rolls Royce don’t seem to have a jaundiced view of the company’s performance:

      “Rolls-Royce is finally closing in on pre-lockdown levels as its stellar run this year continues.

      Rolls Royce shares than doubled so far in 2023 and rose another 0.7 per cent, or 1.6p, to 227.4p yesterday.

      That put shares within a whisker of the 240p they were trading at in February 2020, shortly before the UK went into lockdown.”

      Note that I’m not making any claims, just passing on some information for the sake of balance. I’m sure that there are those out there who will agree with the view that AB will struggle to increase its Neo production rate whilst the GTF problems continue but until a clearer view of the solutions to the issues emerges, I think we have to acknowledge that all of what is being written without published and quoted evidence is speculation – speculation that are opinions, which brings me full circle to my opening point!

  43. Looks like BA is re-working / finishing various 787s after delivery.
    For example, all the following are currently listed as “parked”:
    – 17.08 787-9 Turkish Airlines
    – 25.08 787-9 Qatar Airways
    – 28.08 787-10 Saudi Arabian Airlines
    – 02.09 787-9 LATAM

    Three of the four are from inventory.

  44. “More companies, especially airlines, warn higher costs will eat into profits”

    “Delta Air Lines on Thursday cut its adjusted earnings forecast for the third quarter to between $1.85 and $2.05 a share, down from an earlier forecast of $2.20 to $2.50. The carrier said it is paying more for fuel than it expected but said maintenance costs were also higher than anticipated.

    “U.S. jet fuel at major airports averaged $3.42 a gallon as of Tuesday, up 38% from two months ago, according to Airlines for America, an industry group.

    “On Wednesday, American Airlines trimmed its earnings forecast, following revisions at Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines. American expects adjusted earnings per share of between 20 cents and 30 cents in the third quarter, down from a previous forecast of as much as 95 cents a share, citing more expensive fuel and a new pilot labor deal.

    “The company expects to recognize a $230 million expense for that new contract, which includes immediate 21% raises for pilots, and compensation increasing more than 46% over the duration of the four-year contract, including 401(k) contributions.”


    As profits go down, the risk of deferrals goes up.

    • Bryce looks like a 12 year old kid who gets angry and throws his video game controller because there’s “Game Over” on his screen. What are you trying to prove?

      That UA and AA regret ordering the 787 in 2019?

      Lol! UA canceled all its A350 orders in 2018 and ordered 💯+💯 787 Dreamliners at T322.

      Please stop whining and accept the facts as they are. You sink into deep ridicule…🙏

  45. Interesting data there, but I think it needs a lot of analysis to make sense of it all! It would be all to easy to pick out eye-grabbing bits of data that in isolation “prove” almost any point of view one cares to put forward. There’s data there (cost per block hour), for example, that suggests that the A350-900 is considerably superior to the 787-900, which in turn is no better than the A330-300, which is bound to annoy some readers, but does that data tell the whole story? I’m sure someone will pop up soon enough to enlighten us!

    • Roger

      ..”for example, that suggests that the A350-900 is considerably superior to the 787-900, which in turn is no better than the A330-300, which is bound to annoy some readers…”

      Lol!! Bulimia of rantings commonly called “Bullsh*t”.
      Looks like our fanboys are suffering and are no longer comfortable in their rose-colored glasses

      (!)Not boring just pathetic…
      I’ve never seen fanboys so lost…
      Interesting psychological state. The breakup is not far away…

      A350 net order 980
      787 net order 1.600
      A330neo net order ~300

      Game Over!

      • So 1280 A350+A330N (plus the A330s sold concurrently with the 787 in the 787 developmental period) is a crushing defeat? Funnily enough, although we would struggle a bit to clarify the latter point, it all has the ring of more or less dead level to me! Like all data, what I originally drew attention to is open to interpretation, but it was independent data from a government source – unlike your claim of United cancelling their A350 order in 2018 when afaik they still have an order for 45 frames (https://simpleflying.com/united-airlines-airbus-a350-order-2023/). I’m not saying they will ever be delivered, but claiming the order has been cancelled is just not true as far as anyone outside AB and UAL knows.

        • Roger

          …”Donc 1280 A350+A330N (plus les A330 vendus en même temps que le 787 pendant la période de développement du 787) est une défaite écrasante ?…”
          If we added the 777-300ER/-200LR/-F/777-X/-8F Airbus is hopelessly far behind while the A350s were launched in 2005-2007.
          +/- for 19 years…👎

          I kept the 777 argument cool to finish with the back of the spoon, after the trough 🔥 Lol !…

          Sadly you fell into the trap…

          Sorry …

          • It’s all very well to say that, but if you want to prove me wrong you need to provide some hard numbers to prove your case! Itemise the B sales figures and the AB figures year on year and I might then believe you.

            Go ahead, I dare you!

          • Ah ah ah! Don’t play this game with me Roger. It is known that Boeing sold ~1000 777LR program/GE90-110/115B as it is known that Airbus sold 1000 A330ceo launched in 1987, except that the 777LR was launched in 2000 and overlapped with the launch of the A350XWB in 2006. your Airbus Fanboy pride aside it doesn’t work with me.

            There will be no proof year after year or else detail the A330ceo sales year after year yourself. It’s me who wins this game!..🔥

            So 1,600 787 and
            360 777-X = 1,960 Boeing Widebody jets vs
            960 A350 and
            300 A330neo = 1,260 Airbus Widebody jets.

            (!) An Airbus Fanboy is in no position to dare anything about Boeing widebody sales
            The proof.👎

            So “Airbus hopelessly far behind” is not an abusive term on my part. It’s just a sick reality for a proud Fanboy

          • “Ah ah ah! Don’t play this game with me Roger. It is known that Boeing sold ~1000 777LR program/GE90-110/115B as it is known that Airbus sold 1000 A330ceo launched in 1987, except that the 777LR was launched in 2000 and overlapped with the launch of the A350XWB in 2006. your Airbus Fanboy pride aside it doesn’t work with me”.

            Fanboyism has nothing to do with my comments, I try to base them on facts

            For example, according to Wikipedia (not the most reliable sources I grant you, but it will do for a quick reality check and does tally with the Airbus O&D sheet, I think) around 1400 A330ceos were built, not including freighters or MRTTs . And have 1000 777-LRs actually been built ?? Internet sources say 60!! I think you might be getting confused here with the 777-300ER. As you say, the end of the 777-300ER production run overlapped with the development and introduction of the A350 and I think it is generally accepted that B offered “killer” prices on end-of-line examples to secure sales and freeze out the A350 in some sales campaigns.

            Please at least try to get your facts straight if you wish to make a case that can be judged as rational!

      • @Bryce

        We don’t know. There is no basis for what you say. Neither evidence nor sources.
        Only crude fanboy rantings

          • Roger,

            Nothing …
            Please don’t try to argue with me. Clearly provide evidence to support your frustrated fanboy wishful thinking…
            It’s that simple👌


      • Correct.

        ~$7 billion in losses, over the first ~1000 or so deliveries suggests a shortfall of ~$7 million in revenue per aircraft.

          • Not to worry Vincent, you don’t interest us as the Fanboy that you are.

            You are not capable of doing analysis and most of the time you are handing out good points and agreeing to say them about another fanboy like you is just insignificant, but just to make you look interesting with irrelevant interventions with ridiculous emotion from a “poor” engineer fired (allegedly) from Boeing.

            Go and worry about an Airbus technician murdered in 2014/2015 by her colleague in Toulouse and look at the real deleterious climate that Airbus has (poor thing) Just come back to objectivity if you know how to do that…
            If it makes you feel like you belong, which is good for you. I’m only speaking to Franck P because he has an outside view of things and not like you, Bryce and other hysterical fanboys/ anti-Americans that you are…

          • What one really has to consider is what effect on sales would a $7 million bump in average sales price to a 787 have?

            Boeing really needs these next 600 (and the future orders they mention in their financials…probably another 300 or so) to count, if they want to have a chance to zero out the DPB.

        • Franck P

          Please provide sources and explain in detail to convince us.

          The figures for 2018 with those of today (2023) may not integrate ASC606 accounting rules or partially, since it was in 2018 that Boeing began to integrate ASC606…

          There could be a “distortion” in the way of looking at numbers 2018-> 2023

          • ASC606 touches on future outlook numbers.

            Here we talk about losses from the past.

    • It remains interesting that AB doesn’t appear to be having problems with the parts that it receives from Spirit…

      • I think you touched on it before.

        If you are in a healthy position financially, then you can deal with the hiccups that come along. Every program at Airbus has also had it’s share of difficulties;

        A350 paint issues
        A330Neo slow sales
        A220 engines
        A321XLR insulation
        A320Neo also engines

        But if you have a buffer built in to things, you can weather a storm. Call it saving for a rainy day fund.

        • Thank you Franck P for your relevant and objective analyses!

          Having to deal with an impartial person like you brings a balanced, true and rich discourse. 👍

          • Re A321XLR insulation

            I can’t understand this thing and I always invite someone to explain to me how they understand this thing.

            The A321-XLR is heavier than expected but wait, It flies a little further than the A321-LR but is heavier because Boeing requested fire containment reinforcements.

            Also the x2 ACT tanks sacrifice X2 LD3-43W/AKH containers Which makes only 8 containers (the A320neo has a capacity of 7).
            So I ask you the question, what is this -XLR thing supposed to be?


        • @ Frank

          My comment was specifically directed to the Spirit-AB situation.
          Why is it that BA has a constant litany of problems with its Spirit parts, whereas we don’t hear of any problems with the parts that AB receives from Spirit? I know that most of AB’s Spirit parts are made outside the US (ex-BAE and ex-Bombardier plants), but some of its parts are made at Spirit plants within the US. So, why the BA-AB disparity in this regard?

          • I do enjoy a well-posed question- and Bryce’s, above,
            is one.

          • Partnering For Poverty?

            As many have mentioned here (I’m thinking that you were aware of it) the contracts that BBD signed and Airbus took over on the A220 program were…generous.

            Now…you are a business owner and you have 2 big customers:

            One continually hammers at you for pricing, has stop and started production on a key product, making a mess of your schedule and generally throws it’s weight around. The other is paying you well because of a favourable contract you’ve negotiated, with good margins.

            Who’s product are YOU going to make sure get’s out the door first, so payment can be issued ASAP?

            Or maybe…

            Airbus is facing issues with it’s Spirit stuff, but because they can weather the storm better than the other guy, it’s not talked about?

  46. TransWorld

    …”Calhoun has brought that up, the problem is that you have to come up with new product and his comment was an excuse for failed management on all parts of Boeing.

    The proverbial fix leaf trying to cover up incompetent management…”

    Is there something wrong with it still being too early or too late to do this? However, I repeated this like a Mantra…

    Historically, name me a model of Boeing series 7 coming to compete with a “Me too Aircraft”. None! Just wait until 2030. Everything you say above is what nonsense on your part about Boeing

  47. Bryce

    ”…And Emirates will probably place an order for aircraft at the upcoming Dubai air show (November) — perhaps as many as 150 frames. It will be interesting to see what model selection will be made…”



    How interesting it was to see Emirates cancel the A350 in 2014 then reorder them in 2019 because Airbus wanted to end production of the A380 and EK had firm options?

    No other choice to reorder the A350 by changing one model for another. Also CEO Tim Clark had said the day before the successful launch of the 777-X at DAS’13, that “The A350-1000 did not have the legs”.

    So Bryce, tell me what’s interesting about this?

    A few days ago, the Qatar Airways CEO was convinced that delivery of the 777-X will begin T125…

    The other theory.
    What if it abandoned the A350 again?
    He didn’t love once, he may not love a second time…

  48. What I find most interesting in all of this is that, after Scott explicitly threatened it with suspension a few days ago, the Checkbot entity subsequently writes the following junk (see below) — and Scott does nothing about it.
    I can understand that Scott doesn’t have either the time or the will to police comments, but it’s puzzling that he doesn’t intervene when slurry like this is poured through his site.
    It’s actually getting worse: now that the Checkbot entity knows that it isn’t being policed, it’s pulling out all the stoppers.
    There was a drunk called “Nicholas” a few years ago on SimpleFlying — we know he was drunk because a colleague of his was also on the site and regularly rebuked him for his behavior. SimpleFlying booted him from the site. The Checkbot entity reminds me a lot of Nicholas — but even worse.

    September 17, 2023

    “Lol!! Bulimia of rantings commonly called “Bullsh*t”.
    Looks like our fanboys are suffering and are no longer comfortable in their rose-colored glasses
    (!)Not boring just pathetic…
    I’ve never seen fanboys so lost…
    Interesting psychological state. The breakup is not far away…

    • Yes of course…and you think you are a model of respect. I am Checklist not Checkbot. Try to call me that. So you should at least respect Scott, the others and me and calm your ardor, because you are not innocent sir. So respect people and question yourself.

      Stop !

    • @Bryce and @Checklist are done. You’re both banned.

      There, Bryce: You should now be satisfied that I took action.


      • The donkey told the tiger, “The grass is blue.”
        The tiger replied, “No, the grass is green .”
        The discussion became heated, and the two decided to submit the issue to arbitration, so they approached the lion.
        As they approached the lion on his throne, the donkey started screaming: ′′Your Highness, isn’t it true that the grass is blue?”
        The lion replied: “If you believe it is true, the grass is blue.”
        The donkey rushed forward and continued: ′′The tiger disagrees with me, contradicts me and annoys me. Please punish him.”
        The king then declared: ′′The tiger will be punished with 3 days of silence.”
        The donkey jumped with joy and went on his way, content and repeating ′′The grass is blue, the grass is blue…”
        The tiger asked the lion, “Your Majesty, why have you punished me, after all, the grass is green?”
        The lion replied, ′′You’ve known and seen the grass is green.”
        The tiger asked, ′′So why do you punish me?”
        The lion replied, “That has nothing to do with the question of whether the grass is blue or green. The punishment is because it is degrading for a brave, intelligent creature like you to waste time arguing with an ass, and on top of that, you came and bothered me with that question just to validate something you already knew was true!”
        The biggest waste of time is arguing with the fool and fanatic who doesn’t care about truth or reality, but only the victory of his beliefs and illusions. Never waste time on discussions that make no sense. There are people who, for all the evidence presented to them, do not have the ability to understand. Others who are blinded by ego, hatred and resentment, and the only thing that they want is to be right even if they aren’t.
        When IGNORANCE SCREAMS, intelligence moves on.

        I would hope the forum reinstates Bryce, he was abrasive at times but did contribute intelligent content. Have a great day

        • Lol….great story and lesson to be learned. I’m going to borrow heavily from this, in the future.

          I second the final sentiment, as well.

  49. Edelweiss (part of the Lufthansa group) has placed a (seemingly separate) order for 6 A350-900s, to replace its (5) aging A340-300s.

    Some (4) of these are ex-LATAM; deliveries start in 2025, and all the carrier’s A340s will be gone by the end of 2026 (so much for lack of early slots).

    “Due to worldwide material shortages and reduced maintenance & engineering capacities, the first four aircraft will initially operate in the original operator’s configuration with slight modifications to the cabin and Edelweiss design. Edelweiss will install a completely new cabin configuration with new seats and interior design at a later date. This will once again significantly enhance comfort and the travel experience for all guests. Edelweiss is investing a three-digit million sum for this. ”


    Before this announcement, the Lufthansa group already had orders for 60 A350s (17 of which have been delivered).

    It placed orders for 39 787s (5 of which have been delivered).

    • 2 x 11 hrs, with a 2-hour turnaround…impressive.

      Is it flying empty, or with ballast onboard?

      • -> Functional and Reliability Testing’ (FnR). Also referred to as ‘Route Proving’, this is part of Airbus’ certification activity contributing to EASA Type Certification expected for the new variant in 2024. Overall, the main objective of the FnR is to demonstrate the A321XLR’s systems maturity well before entry into service, with a target of approximately 100 hours flying time over 10 days with no systems power-down. Specific sectors, comprising around 15 flights in total, are intentionally typical of what airlines might fly when the aircraft enters service.

        -> there will be real airline cabin and flight crews gaining hands-on experience, alongside the Airbus test pilots and flight engineers as well as a representative group of around 30 passengers made up of volunteer Airbus and airline employees.


        • @ Pedro

          Thanks for that extra info.
          11 hours is impressive — but, without a full load, we can’t yet determine if maximum range has been negatively influenced by the (weight of the) extra fuel tank protection. I suspect that it hasn’t, but I guess that we’ll need more data.

        • ’30 passengers made up of volunteer Airbus and airline employees.’

          There’s a great way to get out of the office, visit some foreign lands, get hotels & food paid for and still cash a company paycheck.

          (Once that 22 hour flying with a 2 hour layover leg is done…)

  50. Wow what a feat, a real good thing in humanity…

    Seeing the -XLR I say to myself wow!
    There is a crisis in the aeronautical industry (not just aeronautics)

    If we observe new developments at Boeing and Airbus for almost 60 years, we observe a total slowdown in the entry into service of new aircraft (products) since the 2010s.

    Boeing aircraft launches

    1965: 747
    1979: 757/767
    1990: 777
    2004: 787
    2013: 777-X (complete redesign)

    Airbus aircraft launches

    1968: A300
    1978: A310
    1985: A320
    1987: A330/A340
    1997: A340-500/-600 or HGW (complete overhaul)
    2000: A380
    2006: A350

    Since the 2010s, we have seen difficult deliveries with the 787, A350 and the 777-X, with a historic slowdown in the launch of new aircraft.
    Airbus, for example, is at the forefront of a lack of appetite for launching new aircraft since the A350 was already launched 17 years ago, in 2006.

    But today in 2023 Airbus offers us an innovation that holds our breath, the A321-XLR as a brand new innovative product that really stands out from BCA products!
    And there are some who like it…


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