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What Boeing range SHOULD look like?

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What Boeing range SHOULD look like?

Old 8th Jan 2020, 22:54
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I never understood why Boeing, with all its enormous profits, needed $500mil from the engine supplier.
Because
  • Boeing thought that money was more important than any thing else
  • The money would also boost the share price
  • Because they could
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Old 9th Jan 2020, 00:25
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A family of aircraft with as far as possible commonality, so that a pilot could go from smallest to largest with ease. Flight decks and handling characteristics as similar as possible along with the rest of the systems, SOPs and operational philosophy.

A single aisle 190 seater B787.
The current B787 with the 8,9,10 versions is well placed.
The new B777X once sorted out will cover the top end of the market.

Whilst there will be places for niche aircraft such as supersonic, VLA and middle of the market, why bother ?
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Old 9th Jan 2020, 02:44
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Originally Posted by krismiler View Post
Whilst there will be places for niche aircraft such as supersonic, VLA and middle of the market, why bother ?
Boeing has estimated the 'middle of the market' at over a thousand aircraft.
That's a heck of a 'niche'.
Fully agree about supersonic and VLA though.
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Old 9th Jan 2020, 09:18
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Previously there was a huge gap between the B737-200 and the B747-200 into which the B757/767 was neatly slotted.Now with greater capacity, longer range narrow bodies and much smaller wide bodies that gap has narrowed considerably.

Many airlines needed something between the 73 and 74 but many of those would now choose either a B737-900 or a B787-800. Only a few would specifically require something in the middle, however if the growth in air travel is sufficient it could pull the number up to a viable total.

With the MAX debacle necessitating a new narrow body sooner, rather than later and ongoing problems with the B787 and B777W Boeing won’t have the resources to take on another new project for a number of years, leaving Airbus A321 variants virtually unchallenged in this area.
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 07:24
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Are the economics really worth a narrowbody clean sheet design using composites ?


I would have thought a new Boeing product range based on the 787 design would be the way to go


Then I looked up the empty weight on the 787-9, itís very similar to the much older three engine DC10


This was a big surprise, I thought the main reason to build with composites is to save weight and that just doesnít appear to be the case with the 787


It seems most of the efficiency comes from the advanced engines, systems and wing


I imagine an all new composite design could be Ďover builtí less and have a lower empty weight but it makes you wonder whether itís worth it
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 07:55
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
They did stretch the 757 - the 757-300. You may not be familiar with it because it was a big flop (55 built - 5% of total 757 production). The main problem with the 757 is that it was relatively expensive to build - when the 737NG came along it cost little more than half as much, and aside from long range it could do pretty much anything the 757-200 could.
That is interesting. Why was the 757 such much more expensive to build? Didn't it use the same fuselage cross section that the 707, 727, 737 all shared? If it really was that much more expensive to build, wouldn't that have been true of the A310 and A320 also?
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 08:00
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Originally Posted by stilton View Post
Are the economics really worth a narrowbody clean sheet design using composites ?


I would have thought a new Boeing product range based on the 787 design would be the way to go


Then I looked up the empty weight on the 787-9, itís very similar to the much older three engine DC10


This was a big surprise, I thought the main reason to build with composites is to save weight and that just doesnít appear to be the case with the 787


It seems most of the efficiency comes from the advanced engines, systems and wing


I imagine an all new composite design could be Ďover builtí less and have a lower empty weight but it makes you wonder whether itís worth it
That is very surprising, especially as the MDs had a reputation of being built like tanks.
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 10:22
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The A320 vs B727 was a good example of how efficiency improved over 25 years. Basically the A320 does the same job with one fewer engine, one fewer flight crew member and uses half the fuel.

With the basic A320 being 30 years old now, I wonder if a brand new design would offer similar improvements, given that engine and flight crew numbers couldn’t be reduced.
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 23:26
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Originally Posted by BRE View Post
That is interesting. Why was the 757 such much more expensive to build? Didn't it use the same fuselage cross section that the 707, 727, 737 all shared? If it really was that much more expensive to build, wouldn't that have been true of the A310 and A320 also?
When the 757 was originally designed (1978-1981), it was expected that the cost of jet fuel would skyrocket over the next 20 years (the number I remember was $10/gallon by 2000, which of course didn't happen). So, pretty much every design trade of lower weight vs. lower cost fell on the side of lower weight. Further, the 757 tooling was designed for a max production rate of 7/month (one very 3 work days). By contrast, by 2000 they were cranking out 737s at over 1/day. This gave considerable economies of scale to the 737 and much lower overhead costs per aircraft. Eventually as customers chose the 737 over the 757, and the production rate dropped on the 757, the overhead costs associated with keeping the 757 line open became too high (especially since that same factory space could be devoted to manufacture of additional highly profitable 737s).
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Old 11th Jan 2020, 23:36
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Originally Posted by krismiler View Post
Previously there was a huge gap between the B737-200 and the B747-200 into which the B757/767 was neatly slotted.Now with greater capacity, longer range narrow bodies and much smaller wide bodies that gap has narrowed considerably.

Many airlines needed something between the 73 and 74 but many of those would now choose either a B737-900 or a B787-800. Only a few would specifically require something in the middle, however if the growth in air travel is sufficient it could pull the number up to a viable total.

With the MAX debacle necessitating a new narrow body sooner, rather than later and ongoing problems with the B787 and B777W Boeing wonít have the resources to take on another new project for a number of years, leaving Airbus A321 variants virtually unchallenged in this area.
Single aisle becomes problematic at around 200 passengers - the turn times become excessive because it takes so long to load/unload compared to twin aisle. That was a big problem with the 757-300 - it's costs per seat mile looked really good, but the overall economics not so much because it spent more time on the ground (I've been near the back in a 757-300, 10 minutes after they opened the door to disembark, I still couldn't see any sign of movement).
There are a lot of 757s and 767s out there that are getting quite long in the tooth, and the A321 NEO simply isn't a good replacement. It's single aisle and it's wing is too small - to make the A321LR viable they loose cargo capability which is often a bigger money maker than the SLF.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 01:48
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Fuselage length also becomes a problem as well, increased length needs increased ground clearance or tail strikes become a greater risk. Some smaller airports even have difficulty with the A321 on the apron as the tail sticks out too far.

Hopefully Airbus won’t repeat Boeing’s mistake and try to take the A320 beyond the current range, any more than an A321XLR needs to be an all new design.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 03:52
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Originally Posted by BRE View Post
That is very surprising, especially as the MDs had a reputation of being built like tanks.
The 787-9 is 12000 Kg lighter than the DC-10. That seems a significant weight savings.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 04:57
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Originally Posted by glob99 View Post
The 787-9 is 12000 Kg lighter than the DC-10. That seems a significant weight savings.
The weight of those really big fan engines has also skyrocketed. I don't remember numbers, but the two engines on the 787 weigh quite a bit more than the three smaller engines of a DC-10.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 07:40
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Originally Posted by glob99 View Post
The 787-9 is 12000 Kg lighter than the DC-10. That seems a significant weight savings.

Not sure where you get those numbers, Iíve seen empty weights of 254000lbs for the DC10-30 and 244000lbs for the 787-9, only a 10k lb difference


And surprising
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 13:43
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
When the 757 was originally designed (1978-1981), it was expected that the cost of jet fuel would skyrocket over the next 20 years (the number I remember was $10/gallon by 2000, which of course didn't happen). So, pretty much every design trade of lower weight vs. lower cost fell on the side of lower weight. Further, the 757 tooling was designed for a max production rate of 7/month (one very 3 work days). By contrast, by 2000 they were cranking out 737s at over 1/day. This gave considerable economies of scale to the 737 and much lower overhead costs per aircraft. Eventually as customers chose the 737 over the 757, and the production rate dropped on the 757, the overhead costs associated with keeping the 757 line open became too high (especially since that same factory space could be devoted to manufacture of additional highly profitable 737s).
Thanks for the insight! I had suspected overhead but not realized weight savings were prioritized in the design. I suppose overhead does not make that much of a difference once development and invest for tooling is written off.

So how does the 757 compare to the A32x in weight and fuel consumption? Propably apples and oranges because of size and range differences.

Did the 767 see the same optimization for weight? AFAIR, it does not compare favorably even to early A330.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 19:42
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Basic weight of a B747-400 177,400 kg
Basic weight of a A340-600 179,200 kg
A full B747-400 from London to Orlando has same operating costs of an A330.
Bring on the B747-900 with B787 technology.
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 20:38
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Originally Posted by B744IRE View Post
Basic weight of a B747-400 177,400 kg
Basic weight of a A340-600 179,200 kg
A full B747-400 from London to Orlando has same operating costs of an A330.
Bring on the B747-900 with B787 technology.
What "operating cost" are you referring to? A 747-400 weighs a lot more than an A330 and would have higher direct operating costs. I've seen reports that the A330-300 has the lowest CASM for the Atlantic. It's not trying to carry an airplane (wing, gear, engines, etc) capable of 7,000+ nm flights on a flight only 3-4,000 miles.

Page 4-8 has the 2013 costs per hour. 300+ passenger jet cost was $14,600/hr, <300 was $9,100/hr. Four engine jets cost per hour was $14,000, two engine jets were $10,300 per hour. https://www.faa.gov/regulations_poli...4-op-costs.pdf
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 21:49
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Originally Posted by Fogliner View Post
What was the main problem with Boeing working to stretch and tweak the 757 platform?
I always liked the look of them and with the higher stance wouldn't they be a better starting point for modern engines than the old 737?
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Originally Posted by B744IRE View Post
Basic weight of a B747-400 177,400 kg
Basic weight of a A340-600 179,200 kg
A full B747-400 from London to Orlando has same operating costs of an A330.
Bring on the B747-900 with B787 technology.
That strategy of patching old models has worked very well for them with the Max....
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 22:21
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Originally Posted by B744IRE View Post
Basic weight of a B747-400 177,400 kg
Basic weight of a A340-600 179,200 kg
A full B747-400 from London to Orlando has same operating costs of an A330.
Bring on the B747-900 with B787 technology.
Mmm. There's BS, and then there's gold plated, diamond crusted, pearl infused, BS. For anyone in doubt, this falls in the latter camp
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Old 12th Jan 2020, 23:59
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Originally Posted by BRE View Post
Thanks for the insight! I had suspected overhead but not realized weight savings were prioritized in the design. I suppose overhead does not make that much of a difference once development and invest for tooling is written off.

So how does the 757 compare to the A32x in weight and fuel consumption? Propably apples and oranges because of size and range differences.

Did the 767 see the same optimization for weight? AFAIR, it does not compare favorably even to early A330.
I don't recall that weight was as big a concern during the 767 development relative to the 757, although I couldn't say why that was the case. I do know that when I was working the 757 (late 1990's) we worked several changes that resulted in heavier parts but with much lower manufacturing costs. It's probably worth noting that neither the 757 or 767 were envisioned to morph into the longer range aircraft they eventually became - in the case of the 767 it went from 320,000 lbs at EIS to over 400k less than ten years later (helped considerably by the upgraded engines that came along in 1988).
It's not really fair to compare the 767 with the A330 - the A330 came along over 10 years after the 767 and hence the more direct 767 comparisons would be with the A310 and A300-600.
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