7M7 is key to Boeing’s future

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Introduction

An enthusiast’s concept of the Boeing 797. Image via Google.

April 24, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Boeing faces growing challenges this year as airplane sales slow, production of the 777 Classic declines, its new Global Services unit prepares to formally launch and a decision whether to authorize a sales offering for the New Midrange Airplane looms.

We’ve spent a lot of time covering slowing sales and declining 777 production. Tomorrow, we’ll have a special report on the ambitious Global Services strategy.

We’ve also spent a lot of time on the Boeing NMA. LNC’s Bjorn Fehrm last week presented number three in a paywall series on the NMA, looking at it from a technical viewpoint. We’ll take a look at it from a strategic point of view today.

Summary
  • There is a demand for the NMA that is commercially viable.
  • Middle of the Market sector is larger than typically defined.
  • 7M7 is key to Boeing’s future.

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Could an NMA be made good enough? Part 5

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

April 20, 2017, © Leeham Co.: After defining the fuselage and wings, it’s now time for the engines.  We go through the sizing criteria for engines for airliners and find the size of engine that is needed for the NMA.

The NMA will need engines which are larger than the single aisle engines for Airbus’ A320neo and Boeing’s 737 MAX. But they will be smaller than the next size up for modern engines, the GEnx-2B for Boeing’s 747-8.

Figure 1. The NMA takes more and more the shape of a 767 replacement (A United 767-200). Source: United

This means the NMA will need new engines, at least 50% larger than the present engines designed for A320neo and 737 MAX.

Summary:

  • An NMA engine will be sized by V2 safety speed or Maximum Continuous Thrust (MCT) criteria.
  • The normal Top of Climb (ToC) sizing point will be less stressing for a twin engine airliner like NMA.

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Pontifications: Lessor cites cool reception to MAX 10

By Scott Hamilton

April 17, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Buckingham Research Group last week issued back-to-back notes about Boeing. One was a recap of an investors call with Steve Rimmer, CEO of Altavair Airfinance (nee Guggenheim Aviation partners). The other was BRG’s earnings preview, the first off the mark for Boeing’s earnings call on April 26.

I’ll include a summary of BRG’s earnings preview in a subsequent post when other analysts issue their previews.

BRG’s Rimmer note is lengthy and covers industry issues beyond Boeing. Here are a couple of the Boeing-focused points:

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Could an NMA be made good enough, Part 4?

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

April 13, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Last week we finished the sizing of the fuselage for an NMA design. Now we continue with the wing. We go through the key parameters that will decide the performance of the wing and the aircraft.

The NMA is a critical design case. The performance envelope has to be just right. Too high and the economics of the aircraft won’t work, both for purchase price and operational costs.

Figure 1. The NMA takes more and more the shape of a 767 replacement (A United 767-200). Source: United

Summary:
  • Wing design is the mixing of conflicting requirements to a successful compromise.
  • The NMA wing will use the design principles of the Boeing 787/777X wings but will be different in area, size and plan-form.
  • The wing is sizing the engines, something we will look at in the next article.

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Could an NMA be made good enough, Part 3?

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

April 6, 2017, © Leeham Co.: After sizing the cabin of the NMA, the time has now come to size the fuselage. Can a fuselage be designed that gives an NMA “dual aisle comfort with single aisle economics”?

Figure 1. The NMA takes more and more the shape of a 767 replacement (A United 767-200). Source: United

We will investigate the dimensions, the drag and the weight of an NMA fuselage. It will be based on the cabin and design techniques we described in Part 2. We then compare the efficiency of the result with the fuselages of the Airbus A321LR and Boeing 767. This will show if the necessary efficiency can be achieved.

Summary:

  • It’s possible to design a dual aisle fuselage with the same perimeter per seat abreast as a single aisle fuselage.
  • This will make the central, cylindrical, section have competitive weight and drag characteristics.
  • The larger diameter of the dual aisle fuselage will increase the size of the tapered front and rear sections however.
  • It’s still possible for an NMA fuselage to be as weight-efficient as a single aisle fuselage, measured per transported passenger.

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Could an NMA be made good enough, Part 2?

By Bjorn Fehrm

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Introduction

April 3, 2017, © Leeham Co.: In the first part of our investigation on how good an NMA can be, we explored low weight and drag fuselage design. We will now continue with the design consequences for the fuselage construction and the cabin.

What drives whether one goes for an Aluminum or CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer) fuselage?

Figure 1. The NMA takes more and more the shape of a 767 replacement (A United 767-200 pictured). Source: United.

What will be the typical dimensions for an NMA fuselage and what will be passenger capacities?

Summary:

  • An elliptical fuselage will force a CFRP design.
  • The fuselage door configuration will be critical for cabin capacity and flexibility.

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Naming games

March 31, 2017 (c) Leeham Co.: With the likelihood appearing greater and great Boeing will launch a new, middle of the market sector airplane, what’s the name

Is “A360” a name for the next Airbus aircraft? Or would it be the butt of jokes? Rendering via Google images.

going to be?

Steven Udvar-Hazy, chairman of Air Lease Corp, already calls it the 797. We agree, though until this is a done deal, we’re calling it the 7M7 while in development.

If Airbus responds with a stretched A321neo–anything but a certain prospect–the working title among the press has long been A322. Airbus officials have occasionally called it the A321 Plus-Plus, a name that will hardly roll off the tongue.

If Airbus were to respond with a new twin-aisle, either smaller than the A330-200/800 (which aren’t selling these days) or about the same size, what would this be called? Skipping to A400 doesn’t work: the name is taken by the A400M, which in any event is a snake-bitten name.

Then, what will the replacements for the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 be called.

It’s already assumed “797” is the name of the widely expected Boeing middle of the market airplane. Rendering via Google images.

For Boeing, the “797” runs out the string of 7 Series choices. For Airbus, folklore says it rejected the name “A360” because of the jokes that would be made about the airplane flying in circles if an issue required a return from its takeoff point. According to the same folklore, “A370” was rejected because the “7” harks to Boeing’s 7 Series.

So: just for fun, let’s have some naming contests.

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Pontifications: Boeing MAX 10, “797” NMA dominated ISTAT headlines

By Scott Hamilton

March 13, 2017, © Leeham Co.: The soft launch of the Boeing 737-10 and the prospective Boeing “797” Middle of the Market aircraft easily were the headline news items to come out of the annual ISTAT conference in San Diego last week.

The “797,” as the MOM-sector aircraft was unofficially dubbed, brought enthusiastic reaction.

The MAX 10, not so much.

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Engine OEMs diverge on technology for next generation

March 7, 2017, © Leeham Co.: Representatives of the four major commercial engine

GE9X, the final engine in a decade-long engine renewal program for GE Aviation and CFM International

manufacturers have divergent views of the next round of engine development, either for the Middle of the Market/New Mid-range Airplane (NMA) or New Small Airplanes (NSA) coming in the next decade.

Officials of CFM, GE, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce appeared at the annual ISTAT conference in San Diego yesterday.

PW’s Rick Deurloo, SVP of Sales, Marketing Commercial Engines, had the added task of dealing with the highly-publicized teething issues surrounding its new Geared Turbo Fan engine on the Airbus A320neo.

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Filling the Middle Of the Market gap

By Bjorn Fehrm

January 17, 2017, ©. Leeham Co: Airbus and Boeing had completely different views about the product strategy for the “Middle of the Market” sector (MOM), both for today and the future.

Officials presented their views on how to fill the “Middle of the Market gap” at the Air Finance Journal conference in Dublin.

The Airbus view is: “We got it all covered”.

Boeing’s view is: “Not so fast, there is more to it than meets the eye.” Read more