By Bjorn Fehrm
Aug. 31 2015, ©. Leeham Co: Last week we started to look at Boeing’s 767 to see if it can serve the passenger and range space which is not well covered by modern aircraft: the 225 passenger/5,000nm sector. Boeing calls this the Middle of the Market or MOM. Boeing recently said that there is some increased interest for the 767. We analyze why and what can be done to increase any chances of it having a new life as a passenger aircraft.
We started with comparing the 767’s different variants to the most likely MOM aircraft from our series “Redefining the 757 replacement requirement for the 225/5000-sector”. We will now continue and look at the 767 in detail, its strong suits and its less efficient areas. We will also discuss what can be made to address the less efficient areas.
By Bjorn Fehrm
Aug. 27 2015, ©. Leeham Co: In our Monday article, “Boeing sees healthy future for 767,” Boeing’s spokesperson said, “We are continuing to explore additional capabilities and improvements” for the 767. It was not clear what these improvements were other than a 0.5% engine performance improvement package (PIP) that was introduced earlier in the year. With lower and lower fuel prices, existing aircraft get more and more viable as a stop gap to cover market segments that today are not part of the plans for the OEM’s modern products.
We will therefore examine the 767 deeper to understand what can be improved further and how well such an improved model would serve as a stop gap replacement for the lack of a modern Middle of the Market (MOM) aircraft. We explored how a MOM aircraft should look like in our series, “Redefining the 757 replacement requirement for the 225/5000-sector”.
The 767 has several of the attributes that we found optimal for a MOM aircraft, one having a seven abreast cabin cross section. In the 767 variant that is being produced for the US Air Force tanker program, the 767-200ER, the overall fuselage dimensions are also close to the ones we found desirable for a MOM aircraft.
With fuel now well below $2.00 per US Gallon (about $1.35), we will compare the 767 to our MOM specifications and try to understand where there is a fit and what would needed to be changed to improve the 767’s efficiency so that it could serve as a MOM stop gap. Finally, we will check if such changes can be economically viable in different fuel price scenarios.
June 22, 2015, c. Leeham Co. The Paris Air Show was largely as expected, with a few small surprises. Boeing did better than expected via-a-vis Airbus, actually leading slightly in firm orders and tied in orders-and-options going into Thursday. This is virtually never the case, particularly at the Paris Air Show, Airbus’ “home” turf. At the same time, some Wall Street analysts noted the firm orders fell below expectations. I’m not especially concerned about whether an announcement was firm or a commitment, because the latter typically firm up, if not within the current calendar year then usually in the next. Note, for example, Boeing announced the launch of the 777X program at the 2013 Dubai Air Show was some 200 commitments, or thereabouts, but the orders didn’t firm until 2014. Airbus announced a commitment for 250 A320s from Indigo in 2014 and it will likely be firmed up this year.
By Bjorn Fehrm
June 16, 2015, Paris Air Show, c. Leeham Co: On the second day of the Paris Air show we visited several Boeing briefings. The first was Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) update with BCA President and CEO Ray Conner. He elected to not do the usual slide show speech as all slides were available as handout. Instead the whole session was turned into a Q&A, which was good. All hot topics were discussed as questions from the audience. As many were also covered in Boeing’s next session, BCA development update, I will handle these there.
The topics that did not come up in the second briefing were Boeing’s Middle of the Market (MOM) studies for a new mid-range aircraft with 200-250 seats and Boeing’s view on the VLA market. Let’s take MOM first. Conner confirmed that Boeing now has identified that there is a market of around 1.000 aircraft over 10 years which is not served by a suitable aircraft. He dismissed this market being covered by Boeing’s 737 MAX 9 or the Airbus A321LR, both being too small and not having enough range. Range requirement from the many airlines they had visited over the last year was 4,500-5,000nm. The MAX 9 and A321LR have advertised ranges of 4,000nm or less.
Conner said the next step is now to study if Boeing can build an aircraft to serve this market at the price required by the market. “We are early in the studies and don’t expect any concrete decision soon.” He could also not answer if any MOM aircraft parts or technologies could be shared with an up-and-coming replacement for the 737 MAX.
Conner said the Very Large Aircraft (VLA) sector “is a small market. We don’t see that people really want to travel to a point for gathering, then go to the next hub together, only to start spreading out again. People want to go direct to their destination. We are happy with serving this market with our 747-8, especially as part of the small market is freighters.”
April 2, 2015, c. Leeham Co.: Even as Pratt & Whitney prepares for the entry-into-service of its new
Geared Turbo Fan engine on the Airbus A320neo, it’s looking ahead to the most likely all new airplane that could be launched as early as 2018 with an EIS in 2025: the Middle of the Market (MOM) airplane, also most popularly known the as Boeing 757 replacement.
Except that this new airplane really isn’t a 757 replacement, but one that is more accurately a replacement for the Boeing 767-200 or the Airbus A300: a twin aisle, 250 passenger airplane with 4,000nm-5,000nm range.
Alan Epstein, vice president of technology and environment for Pratt & Whitney, believe a derivative of the GTF will be on this new airplane.