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Boeing's new 'sonic' airliner atracting lots of interest from airlines!

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Boeing's new 'sonic' airliner atracting lots of interest from airlines!

Old 9th Apr 2001, 14:33
  #21 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

From April 9 Aviation Week:

"Boeing's 'Sonic Cruiser' Grabs Airlines' Attention


While concentrating on A380, Airbus says it,
too, has advanced concepts and is exploring
fast subsonic aircraft Boeing's plan to shelve the 747X and develop a new Mach 0.95 commercial airliner has generated keen interest among major airlines, which recognize the potential long-term competitive advantage of speed over size.

"We obviously see a use for that airplane,"
said Donald J. Carty, CEO of American
Airlines parent AMR Corp., Boeing's largest commercial customer.

The near-supersonic concept "will probably
revolutionize aviation," Carty said at Aviation Week's MRO 2001 conference in Dallas last week. "It can radically change our business productivity." The 767-size niche is the best use for the aircraft initially, but part of the strength of Boeing's plan is that it is to lead eventually to a family of aircraft, Carty added.

HAVING THE ABILITY to schedule two flights to
Europe per day instead of one is a primary
benefit of acquiring such a plane, according to American. Boeing expects airlines will pick up 1 hr. of flight time on a 3,000-naut.-mi. New York-London flight. In conventional jet airliners, the same flight takes around 6.5 hr.

"If it meets the economics, we're going to buy the airplane," said Gordon Bethune, chairman and CEO of Continental Airlines.

Long before the Mar. 29 announcement, Boeing
Commercial Airplanes briefed several of the
world's major airlines on plans to develop a
long-range aircraft that would replace the 757 and 767. The aircraft is intended to carry 175-250 passengers, with a 15-20% bump in performance over other commercial airliners and a claimed range of around 9,000 naut. mi. United, American, Delta, Northwest, Continental, Singapore and British Airways are among those major airlines that got an early peek at this new twin-engine airliner, dubbed the "Sonic Cruiser," which is slated to enter commercial service 2006-08
(AW&ST Apr. 2, p. 32).

"This aircraft would represent a very significant additional option" for airlines, said Delta Air Lines Chairman and CEO Leo F. Mullin. "On a 14-hr. trip to Asia, 20% (reduction in flight time) is three hours. That is a very significant savings." Despite
its endorsement of the program, Delta said it
would need much more information before even
considering buying the aircraft.

United Airlines Chairman and CEO James
Goodwin said the Mach 0.95 aircraft could fit
nicely into United's long-haul routes in the Atlantic and Pacific, but there were no immediate plans to even entertain a purchase of the new jet or the very large Airbus A380. For now, United says the 747 and 777 will remain the long-haul vehicles of choice. Among United's 600-plus aircraft fleet are
19 767-200s, 33 767-300s and 98 757-200s.
American has 181 757s and 767s, combined.

Dick Wyatt, general manager of fleet planning for British Airways, seemed to echo the sentiments of other airline executives when commenting on the Sonic Cruiser: "For some international markets, speed will provide an advantage. But the success of this aircraft depends critically on what are the unit and operational costs, [actual] range, payload
and noise."

Predictably, Airbus indicated that Boeing will have its work cut out for it. Adam Brown, Airbus vice president for market forecasts, said the near-supersonic flight regime is "a hell of a difficult area to design an aircraft for," but Boeing's Sonic Cruiser is "an interesting idea."

DIFFICULT OR NOT, AIRBUS has more than a
passing interest in pushing the envelope on
commercial airliners. Brown said Airbus has an E2 concept, which calls for an aircraft with an advanced high-aspect wing, ultra-high bypass engines above the wing and sized between the A321 and A330-340. The plane would be a 250-seat complement to the A380, said Brown.

As for the Sonic Cruiser, ticket prices are
expected to cost more once this aircraft comes to market. Airline executives believe that passengers, particularly business travelers, would be willing to pay a slight premium to fly on the airliner. If, however, Boeing produces a larger and slower Concorde clone, where only the rich could afford passage, "then that would be a disaster for
Boeing and we wouldn't be interested," said one airline executive, who asked not to be identified.

Most airlines feel that Boeing's decision to
compete against Airbus with speed over size will enrich the competitive landscape. "From our point of view, the fact that Boeing and Airbus are attacking different aspects of what we need for different markets is ideal," said Wyatt. He said BA would consider having both the A380 and Sonic Cruiser.

David Hughes and Michael Mecham contributed
to this report from Dallas.
Copyright April 9, 2001 The McGraw-Hill Companies
Old 9th Apr 2001, 16:38
  #22 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
Red face

cpdude writes "When true super-sonic travel becomes feasible then they will have a huge advantage over Airbus (please, the Concord is not feasible or efficient)."

Well Concorde was feasible and efficient enough for about 25 years of service. I wonder if all the people who travelled between LHR and JFK on Concorde realised that they weren't enjoying "true super-sonic travel"?

[This message has been edited by stagger (edited 09 April 2001).]
Old 9th Apr 2001, 17:14
  #23 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

Mr. Gordon Bethune says it perfectly:

If the ECONOMICS are right! As we have no data at all, just some fancy looking picture (which does itself imply that this bird will be a nightmare for the ground handlers), t is not possible to say what this idea is going to create. But, unless Boeing discovered new physics and materials (which is unlikely) that bird is going to cost a lot of money = high seat costs. And this brings me back to the parallel with Concorde: how many people are prepared to pay higher prices for gaining 2 to 3 hours?

They used to have 4 round trips on Concorde, but this was quikly reduced to 2 only, as there was not sufficiant demand!!!!!

There's nothing like a three-holer...
Old 9th Apr 2001, 19:03
  #24 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

Hey Stagger,

"True super-sonic travel" was in reference to the near super-sonic travel of the Sonic-cruiser. But, I'm sure you knew that. Oh ya, my old 454 Chevy Impala was feasible when it came out in 1970 as well, but with the cost of fuel these days it's costing a pretty penny and I don't have to worry about environmentalists..........yet!

See ya!
Old 9th Apr 2001, 20:33
  #25 (permalink)  
Flight Safety
Posts: n/a

The Aviation Week article above contains the following statement:

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica" size="2">Long before the Mar. 29 announcement, Boeing Commercial Airplanes briefed several of the world's major airlines on plans to develop a long-range aircraft that would replace the 757 and 767.</font>
The "Sonic Cruiser" will not replace the 757, as the 757 is in an entirely different market segment from the twin aisle 767. The 757 is basically a larger 737, and operates in the short/medium sector market and is cabable of operating at smaller airfields like the 737. Unlike the 737 however, the 757 is a much better ETOPS aircraft and is transatlantic capable.

Again the 757 is NOT used on long haul sectors like other twin aisle widebodies, which the "Sonic Cruiser" is being designed to replace. BTW, in recent years, the 757 has become a very good seller in its own right for Boeing, so I don't see them replacing this aircraft with a new design.

Unless of course, Boeing is thinking about designing both "single aisle" and "twin aisle" versions. ????

Safe flying to you...
Old 13th Apr 2001, 05:11
  #26 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

Lufthansa has "no real interest" in the Sonic Cruiser". The article is from Handelsblatt:

Lufthansa Mulling A380 Order

Dow Jones FRANKFURT. Deutsche Lufthansa AG said Wednesday it is evaluating whether to make an order for A380 superjumbo jets from Airbus Industrie and isn't seriously considering Boeing's pitch for a smaller, faster aircraft.

"The focus is on the A380," said a spokeswoman at the German air carrier. "There is no real interest in the Sonic Cruiser."

Boeing said last month that it would shelve a plan to develop a stretch jumbo jet to rival the 555-seat A380. Instead, it's betting the future lies in demand for the Sonic Cruiser, a 250-seat plane that will fly 20% faster than conventional jets.

Before that decision, Boeing had approached Lufthansa hoping the airline would choose its stretched 747 over the A380. The Lufthansa spokeswoman said the German airline isn't involved in any work groups on Boeing projects.

If Lufthansa decides in favor of ordering the A380, a deal could be finalized with Airbus this summer, after negotiations with Lufthansa's pilots conclude. She didn't say how many planes Lufthansa might order.

Lufthansa operates a fleet of 323 airplanes, including 120 Boeing and 130 Airbus jets.

The spokeswoman declined to say whether Lufthansa's management would meet this week with Boeing Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Phil Condit, who is holding a press conference in Frankfurt Wednesday.

Boeing has said Condit would update reporters on recent developments at the company, including decisions to work on the Sonic Cruiser and to move the group's headquarters to a new location.

Airbus has 62 firm orders for the A380 and hopes to raise that to 100 by year-end. Boeing had no orders for its stretch 747 when it opted to put the project on the back burner.

[This message has been edited by SK (edited 13 April 2001).]

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