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What Boeing range SHOULD look like?

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What Boeing range SHOULD look like?

Old 7th Jan 2020, 05:24
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What Boeing range SHOULD look like?

We're broken numerous swords on what was/is wrong at Boeing. And I REALLY want to avoid yet another thread about that. Let's have a purely technical/commercial talk about, ideally, what do you think Boeing's lineup should be be like?

Obviously, there should be a single-aisle aircraft, a replacement for 737. Or should there be? What else? Should there be a plane similar to A220? What about the "upper class"? Replacement for 777? One plane to replace 767 and 777? Should there have been 787? Should there be a plane larger than 777? If yes, larger by how much?

Boeing and Airbus have always had models that "leapfrog" each other, never a direct competitor. Let's talk about Boeing "dream team" of planes, an ideal range of airplanes.
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Old 7th Jan 2020, 09:13
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In my oppinion

*737 absolutely & urgently needs replacement, basically a shrunken, single aisle, up to date 787. Airbus is delivering A32x at maximum rate, so they can't really take advantage of the MAX grounding for the next few years. Use that time to develop this plane and don't waste time with the MAX. Even if it would probably be a safe plane once it is in the air again, the public impact is enormous, and it would be better to start from scratch. After 53 years it's definitely not too late. In the meanwhile open up the NG line again (well, it's kind of active anyway with the Poseidon) and keep customers.

*757 / 767 market can be taken over by the 787 range.

*777 is for the moment more or less fine as it is, especially with the 777X.

Anything bigger? Not needed - see the A380, which is already being replaced.
Supersonic? As an aviation fanatic it would be nice to see, but as long as there's a sonic boom...absolute waste of money to develop - not even talking about the fuel efficiency of the engines.

If it was wise to buy Embraer's E-Jets program...I don't know. But it opens the commuter jet market for Boeing, just like the C-Series did for Airbus.

But...I'm not an aviation analyst, so probaly I'm not taking into account everything which is going on behind the scenes.
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Old 7th Jan 2020, 12:35
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Flyfan...a good post, i can't disagree too much with your points...

Could a 737 replacement be shrunk/stetched to meet the 737/757 market and would it be sufficiently more efficient than an A220 or A319/A320/A321 to be viable?

The 787 takes care of the 250+ pax market

The 777X fills out the top end of the long haul market pretty well, and the end of the A380 programme shows that anything bigger isnt needed..

But strapping lots of go faster/more efficient goodies onto a 1960s airframe is no longer an option!
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Old 7th Jan 2020, 14:06
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Originally Posted by ATSA1 View Post
Flyfan...a good post, i can't disagree too much with your points...

Could a 737 replacement be shrunk/stetched to meet the 737/757 market and would it be sufficiently more efficient than an A220 or A319/A320/A321 to be viable?

The 787 takes care of the 250+ pax market

The 777X fills out the top end of the long haul market pretty well, and the end of the A380 programme shows that anything bigger isnt needed..

But strapping lots of go faster/more efficient goodies onto a 1960s airframe is no longer an option!
The 787 is a great long haul aircraft, but too heavy and thus inefficient to fill the old B757 (180-220 seats) and B767 (250-290 seat) short to mid haul routes, hence the fact Boeing bothered to launch the B737-10. So the replacment for the B737 needs the ability to a) carry the pax and b) have a suitable range, by way of relatively easy stretch similar to the A318/319/320/321/XLR.

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Old 7th Jan 2020, 15:02
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I'll put my two cents into the piggy bank.

Regional long-hauls are a rising trend, and this multi-billion-dollar segment cannot be ignored. Boeing should have a competitor for A220. E2, while a great airplane, is obviously not the answer. It's either too big or too small for almost every application.

737 needs to be replaced with a single-aisle plane. Clean-sheet design with the latest engines and electronics. The size range should cover everything from the current 737-7 to A321XLR to replace the 757.

Airbus had a good idea of an "entry-level wide-body" with A310. With modern engines and 2020s aerodynamic, the range should be well over 12,000 km. Would make a perfect aircraft. Provided Boeing can keep the price and MTX costs down. Remember when they said 787 would costs between 60 and 80 million?

767 are a tricky market. 767 may be replaced with 787-3 which Boeing shelved many years ago. Shorter wing-span makes it a niche aircraft, however the niche itself has grown quite a lot with most intra-Asian and transcon US routes fitting right in.

777 was a great plane but needs a thorough rework. So thorough in fact, that I'd suggest a clean-sheet design. Truly 10-abreast fuselage, tweaked wing, invite Rolls-Royce and PW back as engine suppliers. I never understood why Boeing, with all its enormous profits, needed $500mil from the engine supplier.

A VLA is needed. Air traffic continues to grow, airports get more and more congested, to the point where even A380 seems inadequate. A lot of work needs to go into this. Airbus led the way and uncovered a lot of underwater rocks. Doesn't mean Boeing can rest on its laurels and wait for the market to mature. When the market finally demands a VLA, it'll be too late to start work on it.
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Old 7th Jan 2020, 15:42
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Clean-sheet design = give existing customers a reason to do a clean-sheet evaluation and pick a competitor.
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Old 7th Jan 2020, 15:56
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IMO Boeing needs two new families - the larger 737-9/1-0 and 757 class replacement and a 100-130(150?) size replacement. C series would have fit the bill. Remember older folks talking about 'the one that got away?' For Boeing it might be the C series.
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Old 7th Jan 2020, 16:00
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Probably best to do it sooner rather than later when there might actually be a competitor capable of supplying product. This is one of those defining moments for a company, do we sit on the old product (which seems safest but is actually the riskiest long term strategy) or do we have a plan for the future? That plan may fail, but sitting on your laurels has always failed. You have customers hungry for product and countries hungry for new markets to enter, a dangerous time to be a legacy manufucturer.
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Old 7th Jan 2020, 20:57
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Originally Posted by UltraFan View Post
A VLA is needed. Air traffic continues to grow, airports get more and more congested, to the point where even A380 seems inadequate. A lot of work needs to go into this. Airbus led the way and uncovered a lot of underwater rocks. Doesn't mean Boeing can rest on its laurels and wait for the market to mature. When the market finally demands a VLA, it'll be too late to start work on it.
I don't expect to see a new VLA in my lifetime (and I'm not planning to pop my clogs any time soon).
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Old 7th Jan 2020, 21:11
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Just a guess:

ONE new family with variants
Covering the TWO explicit aircraft sizes served from 737 to 757 in efficiency, range and capacity

The 7c7 could be based on existing engines to expedite design replacing Max series and increase engines to allow larger 757 capacity and range.
The 7c7 would be single aisle, NMA based (shrunk), lighter than a Max and 787.
The 7c7 could be scaled up a 737, its fuselage widened enabling fuel/range/capacity increases required by airlines.
The 7c7 could be a scaled down 787, reducing weight enabling range increases as demanded by operators.

Type certification for one type, across the board for all models, simplifying training for future.
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Old 7th Jan 2020, 22:17
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The problem with the C-series is that it's too expensive to build - so much so that all the aircraft currently planned will be cash flow negative. A big part of the reason for getting Airbus involved is it was hoped they could get better economies of scale to get the costs down low enough so they could build and sell the aircraft at a profit, but that appears to be a long shot. With so little skin in the game, it'll be interesting to see just how much good money Airbus will be willing to throw at the A220 in an effort to make it profitable vs. just pulling the plug and walking away.

As for Boeing, the 787 and 777X will cover the upper end of the market for the foreseeable future - the 747 is pretty much dead as a passenger aircraft but may continue on as a freighter. Like DR, I don't expect to see another VLA during my lifetime. While the NMA is on indefinite hold while they get the MAX straightened out (and the 777X certified), I suspect the NMA will get launched before too long - it won't a single aisle - probably covering ~180-250 passengers with 5,000 mile range (I still think an updated 767X with a new wing, engines, and avionics would be a good answer, but my friends still on the inside say it won't happen). Finally, once that's all handled there will be an all new narrow body covering ~130-180 passenger range.
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Old 8th Jan 2020, 03:12
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
The problem with the C-series is that it's too expensive to build - so much so that all the aircraft currently planned will be cash flow negative.
Even if true, which I doubt, it's hardly "the problem with the C-series". First Boeing 787s cost $400mil to build. It's quite usual for any new product.
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Old 8th Jan 2020, 03:41
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Originally Posted by UltraFan View Post
Even if true, which I doubt, it's hardly "the problem with the C-series". First Boeing 787s cost $400mil to build. It's quite usual for any new product.
While it's gotten better (i.e. cheaper), carbon composite construction is still inherently considerably more expensive than aluminum. That's a reoccurring cost that's going to affect every C-series/A220 built. Why do you think Airbus only paid a dollar?
For a mid to long range aircraft, the weight benefits make it worth the extra cost. It's hard to make the cost/benefit of carbon composites work for short range aircraft.
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Old 8th Jan 2020, 06:22
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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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Old 8th Jan 2020, 12:05
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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?
fog
Boeing stopped production of the B757 in 2004 due to a lack of demand.
It might of been a better starting point than the B737 but it's been out of production for 15 years so the tooling, supply chain etc. would need to be started from scratch. It would just be easier to start with a clean sheet design.
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Old 8th Jan 2020, 18:17
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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?
fog
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.
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Old 8th Jan 2020, 19:11
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
While it's gotten better (i.e. cheaper), carbon composite construction is still inherently considerably more expensive than aluminum. That's a reoccurring cost that's going to affect every C-series/A220 built. Why do you think Airbus only paid a dollar?
For a mid to long range aircraft, the weight benefits make it worth the extra cost. It's hard to make the cost/benefit of carbon composites work for short range aircraft.
Carbon composites are getting cheaper even as I type this. And A220 is the size of A320 which is a mid to long range aircraft and have used carbon composites in its construction for over 30 years. Do you have any proof of high cost of A220 production?
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Old 8th Jan 2020, 21:03
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Originally Posted by UltraFan View Post
Carbon composites are getting cheaper even as I type this. And A220 is the size of A320 which is a mid to long range aircraft and have used carbon composites in its construction for over 30 years. Do you have any proof of high cost of A220 production?
The A320 has some carbon bits and pieces. The A220 is close to half carbon composite by weight.
No, I don't have access to proprietary A220 cost information (and I wouldn't share proprietary information if I did). But I do know the sort of cost/benefit analysis that gets done when justifying extra costs to save weight, and planned range has a big effect.
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Old 8th Jan 2020, 21:46
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Originally Posted by UltraFan View Post
Carbon composites are getting cheaper even as I type this. And A220 is the size of A320 which is a mid to long range aircraft and have used carbon composites in its construction for over 30 years. Do you have any proof of high cost of A220 production?
Articles mentioned that as a common problem for Bombardier. Few sales, going against Boeing and Airbus, meant that the suppliers were leery of their financial exposure which resulted in Bombardier not getting favorable pricing. One of the possible improvements with Airbus buying the CS is that Airbus would be able to reduce supplier costs in the future.
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Old 8th Jan 2020, 21:53
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
The A320 has some carbon bits and pieces. The A220 is close to half carbon composite by weight.
No, I don't have access to proprietary A220 cost information (and I wouldn't share proprietary information if I did). But I do know the sort of cost/benefit analysis that gets done when justifying extra costs to save weight, and planned range has a big effect.
That comment has also been stated in articles about the next narrow body design. For longer range flights the lighter weight, but more expensive construction method, is worth it. For shorter flights the cost/analysis is harder to justify.

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