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Boeing 'Middle of the Market” (MOM) Airliner

Triton

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"Boeing Advancing on Successor to 757 Jet, Air Astana Says"
By Chris Jasper and Julie Johnsson Jun 27, 2014 11:15 AM PT

Source:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-06-26/boeing-advancing-on-successor-to-757-jet-air-astana-says.html

Boeing Co. (BA) is close to announcing a new aircraft to succeed the 757 jetliner that ceased production almost a decade ago, according to central Asian carrier Air Astana, which is keen to purchase the plane.

The airline’s talks with Boeing at the International Air Transport Association annual meeting in Doha earlier this month suggest the model will be built, Air Astana President Peter Foster said yesterday in an interview in London.

Boeing is gauging the appetite of airlines for a new medium-size jet for transcontinental travel within the U.S., executives said at the Singapore Air Show in February. A plane seating 180 people in two classes able to fly as many as 9 hours also would meet requirements from Almaty, Kazakhstan-based Air Astana on so-called long, thin routes, Foster said.

“They made absolutely clear that this is now firming up and that they’ll be making an announcement soon,” Foster said of the Doha discussions. “That for us is very interesting.”

The new aircraft would help fill the gap in Chicago-based Boeing’s roster of new jets between the largest 737 Max, set to debut late this decade, and the smallest 787 Dreamliner. Airbus (AIR) Group NV has been gaining sales in the transcontinental segment with its long-range A321, and could make further headway if executives move forward with plans to outfit its medium-range A330 with more fuel-efficient engines.
Market Trends

“We continue to watch trends and speak to our customers to determine what the market will require in the years to come,” Doug Alder, a Boeing spokesman, said today in an e-mail. “Today, we’re very focused on our current development programs: the 777X, the 737 Max and the 787-10.”

Air Astana, which is 49 percent owned by U.K. defense company BAE Systems Plc (BA/), has issued a request for proposals for 11 stopgap jets to replace five 757s and a handful of other aging planes, with Airbus’s re-engined A321neo emerging as the best prospect for the niche, Foster said.

Air Astana is seeking deliveries starting in 2017, with the planes on eight-year leases expiring from about the time that a 757 successor would become available in 2024 or 2025, the executive said. Discussions are under way with lessors including AerCap Holdings NV (AER) and Air Lease Corp. (AL), and an A321 order probably will be announced as soon as October, he said.
Final 757

While Boeing delivered the last single-aisle 757 in 2005, the jet remains popular with carriers such as Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL) for a range that’s unmatched by any narrow-body jet currently manufactured.

Chief Executive Officer Jim McNerney said in May that Boeing was contemplating a new aircraft with comparable capabilities, though saw no immediate need to produce the plane.

Boeing’s design would meld features from the single-aisle 737 Max, which seats as many as 192 people, and the twin-aisle 787-8, with a capacity for 242 travelers, McNerney said. The planemaker used a similar approach when it developed the 757 jointly with the larger 767 in the 1980s.

Air Astana has just taken delivery of a third Boeing 767 that may be the last passenger variant off the assembly line, according to Foster, a former CEO of Royal Brunei Airlines and senior executive at Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. (293)

The Kazakhstan airline also has orders for three 787 Dreamliners for delivery in 2017 and 2019 that will be used on U.S. routes, Foster said.

Founded in 2002 as part of a planned BAE deal to sell radar equipment to the Kazakh government, Air Astana has expanded to offer 60 services, 38 of them international.
European Expansion

While the carrier is strongest on routes to Russia and former Soviet capitals in central Asia, it has added destinations in China, South Korea and Thailand and also serves Frankfurt, London and Amsterdam. Flights to Paris and Prague will commence in March after the European Union lifted curbs imposed after Kazakh civil aviation authorities failed to pass a safety audit. Air Astana had already won a partial exemption.

Foster said the carrier also needs to replace a fleet of Embraer SA (EMBR3) E-190 regional jets, and that while Bombardier Inc. (BBD/B)’s new CSeries plane is an option the new generation Embraer E2 family may be more attractive.

Air Astana -- which is 51 percent owned by Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund -- plans to hold further talks with the Brazilian company at the Farnborough Air Show in July, where it could commit to a purchase, he said.

The carrier hired Seabury Group to explore options for joining a global alliance, though the feedback was that central Asia’s relatively low population might not be sufficiently attractive, Foster said. It will instead pursue a code-share with Air France or Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA) and ties with Finnair Oyj (FIA1S) that could provide U.S. links prior to the 787 service.
 

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Possible announcement of a new Boeing aircraft at Farnborough International Air Show 2014? I posted this article in "The Bar" because Air Astana is the source of this story rather than Boeing. Boeing denied 757 MAX rumors earlier this year.
 

Kiltonge

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Cycnically it does sound rather too much like a PR piece for a little-known airline that wants to advertise its new routes. And possibly also to try to grab some pricing-power on those A321 leases ( 'oh we don't really want these Eurobuses, don't you know Boeing is bringing-out a new 757 soon?' )

Mr Foster's remit at Air Astana is to grow and to gain a higher profile for the airline. This puts the airline right on the front page.
 

Triton

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"Two Older Planes That Airlines Won't Let Fade Away"
By Justin Bachman June 27, 2014

Source:
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-06-27/two-older-planes-that-airlines-wont-let-fade-away

Sometimes aerospace engineers just nail it: Size, range, and operating cost all come together in an airplane that fits a market need like a leather glove. Boeing’s (BA) 757 medium-range airplane has that type of cozy feel for the U.S. carriers that fly it to Europe. And Airbus has a similarly well-suited product with its widebody A330, which has won a devoted market among international airlines.

Airbus and Boeing have focused their recent efforts on advanced composite airplanes that are lighter and burn less fuel. But both manufacturers have found a vocal group of airline customers keen to see updated versions of those two classics instead. Exotic technology might be wonderful for future cost savings, but it’s also expensive. Sometimes it’s wiser for an airline to squeeze marginal financial improvements from a plane that is known, liked, and cost-effective.

Boeing and Airbus, of course, need to weigh the sales potential of their newer products against the design costs—and likely lower profit margins—of older models in need of a tweak. Airbus has decided to proceed with a new-engine version of the A330, Reuters reported on Friday, in a nod to the model’s popularity on trans-Atlantic routes; an announcement of the A330neo could come as soon as the Farnborough Air Show next month. But there is also the risk that updating an old plane could damage sales of its new A350 family. “There is no decision yet,” Airbus spokesman Martin Fendt said in an e-mail.

At Boeing, meanwhile, an update to the venerable 757 could fill the product gap between its largest 737 and the smallest 787 Dreamliner, says Scott Hamilton, an aerospace analyst with Leeham. That gap is large and one reason Boeing has heard calls from customers to launch a 757 replacement. The latest came on Thursday when the president of Kazakhstan-based Air Astana told Bloomberg News that Boeing would “soon” announce a new aircraft with the 757′s profile to fill its product gap.

Boeing stopped building the 757 a decade ago, but it’s hardly a distant memory: Delta (DAL), American (AAL), and United (UAL) all still fly large numbers of 757s, which have become a mainstay on many European routes from the East Coast. (Carriers also love the plane’s cockpit similarities to the larger 767—pilots trained on either airplane can fly both.) Airlines are replacing the plane on domestic routes with new, far more fuel-efficient versions of the Airbus A321 and Boeing’s 737 MAX. But neither of those planes has the range to replace the 757 across the Atlantic. “There is still life left in the younger 757s so there isn’t a burning need” for Boeing to rush a decision, Hamilton wrote on Friday in an e-mail.
 

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"The Next Boeing Clean-Sheet Will Probably Be a 757 Replacement"
By Vinay Bhaskara February 12, 2014

Source:
http://airchive.com/blog/2014/02/11/next-boeing-clean-sheet-will-probably-757-replacement/
 

Triton

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Could the 757 replacement be the New Light Twin (NLT) concept first reported in 2011 when there was speculations about a clean sheet 737 replacement?

One conclusion to draw is this is the New Light Twin (NLT) concept with seven-abreast seating covering 30+ rows and a capacity of about 230 seats in a single-class configuration.

Undoubtedly, this design is a conservative look at what Boeing envisions for a 230-seat composite jetliner fitting into a spot just above the 757. It’s important to remember that the original 7E7 design looked like a scaled down 777 when it was first unveiled, containing barely any of the iconic design elements of the 7E7′s shark fin and the final 787 design.

If nothing else, it provides a first visual glimpse into what Boeing engineers are thinking as far as the configuration of its new jetliner that may see service around 2019 or 2020.

- See more at: http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/flightblogger/2011/04/the_first_boeing-sanctioned_re/#sthash.tyHX9Anc.dpuf
 

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malipa

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If Boeing would be really smart, they would design a 737 and 757 successor, with the same fuselage structure system and aerodynamics. A simular cockpit and engine would be great aswel. And an aluminum fuselage wouldn't be to dumb, because new alloys and production methodes have turned out to be a great weight saving, and it is much cheaper than carbon fiber(production, price per weight, reparation). Or a sandwich. But a carbon fiber fuselage is not necessarily a real weight saver, because it is only strong in tension, not in compression. Just some thoughts...
 

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http://aviationweek.com/commercial-aviation/boeing-plays-down-long-range-a321neo-threat
 

Triton

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"Boeing plans new aircraft go-ahead decision by end-year"
11 February, 2016 by: Stephen Trimble Seattle

Source:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/boeing-plans-new-aircraft-go-ahead-decision-by-end-y-421802/

Despite spending months pleading for patience, Boeing executives are now telling employees a launch decision for a new airliner aimed at the “middle of the market” (MOM) could be made by the end of the year.

In an all-hands meeting with employees on 10 February in Seattle, Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief executive Ray Conner said the new project could receive a go-ahead decision as early as 2016, sources say.

Since at least 2012, Boeing has identified a gap in the market between the single-aisle 737 Max 9 and the twin-aisle 787-8. A two-year series of discussions with customers revealed a consensus for an aircraft with about 20% more range and payload than a 757-200.

Until now Boeing executives revealed no urgency behind a launch decision. In fact, only a day before Conner’s address to employees, Boeing vice-president of marketing Randy Tinseth said his time “have a lot of time to work through it” before making a decision.

But the 737 Max 9 has struggled to compete against the Airbus A321neo, which is outselling Boeing’s re-engined product by more than a five to one margin. Sales of the 787-8 also have cooled off since the introduction of the stretched 787-9.

But the company has a six-year backlog of major commercial projects already in development, starting with the entry into service of the 737 Max 8 next year. The 787-10 is scheduled for delivery in 2018, followed by the 777-9 in 2020 and then the 777-8.

A MOM aircraft is not likely to appear before 2022, giving Boeing at least six years to complete development if a programme is advanced later this year.

Several potential customers, such as Air Lease founder Steven Udvar-Hazy, have pressured Boeing to deliver a clean-sheet aircraft that combines the range and payload of a small widebody, such as the 767-200, with the operating economics of a narrowbody like the 737-800.

Two industry analysts have concluded such an aircraft would likely require a new fuselage shape – elliptical instead of circular – to reduce aerodynamic drag while still providing enough payload.

Such an aircraft also may require new engines sized in a thrust-class between existing narrowbody and widebody engines, leading GE Aviation chief executive David Joyce to speculate last year that a clean-sheet engine design would be required.

But other concepts are reportedly under consideration, including a larger version of the 737 Max.

[UPDATE: Clarifies the decision by end-year will be about whether to go-ahead with programme and not a formal launch decision.]
 

Grey Havoc

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http://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Companies/Trio-offers-to-team-with-Boeing-on-next-gen-plane
 

Moose

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Sometimes its hard to make heads or tales of the Boeing management team, especially since they moved to Chicago, but that offer looks like one that will be pretty tempting to them.
 

Kiltonge

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In the mid-1990s Airbus was trying to squeeze costs out of the A310 to fit into that market slot, competing just above the 757 in capability but retailing for about the same price. Eventually they were distracted by other projects and let that languish, which is a shame as it had an excellent wing and could have benefitted from the new engines now available.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/airbus-bids-to-slash-a310-costs-to-rival-boeing-757-17054/

the company is looking at a lower priced A310, offering 18% lower seat-kilometre costs than the slightly smaller 757-200 narrowbody
twinjet.
...
General Electric is looking at a light A310 development as a possible secondary platform for its new 226kN (51,000lb)-thrust powerplant,
 

Grey Havoc

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http://uk.businessinsider.com/boeing-757-airline-demand-la-compagnie-2016-5
 

Boxman

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A "MAX 10"? It seems like Boeing continues to suffer the costs of paralysis by analysis regarding the M-o-M/757-replacement.

They are now looking at another significant 737 re-design to compete with the A321NEO, when they have already missed the mark with the 737-9MAX? At an, at least, $1 billion cost at that. 17-inch wide Boeing economy seats forever?

I guess Boeing will then have to scurry again when Airbus inevitably does come forth with a genuine 757-replacement. Is there anyone among the leadership at Boeing to point the way to the future with wider cross-section aircraft as the basis to succeed the 737 and 757? A billion dollars spent on yet another 737 variant strikes me as "penny wise, pound foolish" when a billion dollars would seem to be significant amount better spent on bringing to market a new "base" narrow-body (or 7J7-esque twin-aisle) for their product line.

http://aviationweek.com/commercial-aviation/boeing-studies-using-airbus-leap-engine-737-max-stretch
Boeing Studies Using Airbus Leap Engine For 737 MAX Stretch
by Guy Norris
Aviation Week & Space Technology
31 May 2016

Boeing is studying the potential use of the larger CFM Leap-1A on a further stretch of the 737 MAX as part of efforts to counter the growing sales lead of the competing Airbus A321neo.

The development, which would conceivably give Boeing a relatively quick-reaction, tactical response to the higher capacity Airbus, is believed to include adding at least four more seat rows to increase maximum capacity to around 190 passengers. According to a Reuters report on the study, Boeing is believed to be looking at a $1 billion plus price tag for the venture which is unofficially dubbed the 737 MAX 10.
...
However, as the prospect of launching the bigger engine MAX undoubtedly rests on keeping development costs to a minimum, the focus of engineering studies will almost certainly be on options to extend the main gear by a similar amount without necessarily changing the pivot point of the leg. The alternate option of a redesign of the wing structure around the main gear bays would entail significant investment and resources at a time when Boeing is already heavily committed to completing other developments such as the remaining MAX family members, the 787-10 and 777X.
 

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Triton

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"Boeing's all-new 757 replacement a matter of 'when,' not 'if'"

Source:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-boeing-757-replacement-20160705-story.html

Boeing says the potential market for its first all-new passenger jet since the 787 Dreamliner is coming into sharp focus — and it could be huge.

The U.S. plane-maker is honing designs for midrange planes to whisk travelers from New York to London, Sydney to Shanghai or Dubai to Oslo. The aircraft would fill the gap in its product line between the largest single-aisle 737 and smallest widebody 787, a relatively untapped market where Airbus Group is starting to extend its reach.

Boeing estimates that sales could reach between 4,000 and 5,000 middle-of-market jetliners as airlines find new routes for the planes. The U.S. manufacturer would be poised to capitalize, provided it can keep production costs in check and prices reasonable, said Mike Delaney, general manager of airplane development. He used the term "when," not "if," while discussing the prospects for the new aircraft family, which would begin commercial flights next decade.

Recent discussions with 36 airline customers have given Delaney confidence that Boeing is on the verge of a breakthrough after years spent seeking a replacement for its out-of-production 757.
 

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"ANALYSIS: Airline support gathers around Boeing MoM concept"
09 March, 2017 SOURCE: Flightglobal Pro BY: Edward Russell San Diego

Source:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/analysis-airline-support-gathers-around-boeing-mom-434961/

US airlines are increasingly showing firm interest in Boeing’s middle-of-the-market aircraft concept, which could replace many of the 757s and 767s that they continue to fly.

Executives from both Delta Air Lines and United Airlines spoke positively of the programme, dubbed the “MoM” by some, as they look at their future aircraft needs in the roughly 200- to 260-seat segment at the ISTAT Americas conference in San Diego.

“It has a lot of merit and, if they decide to launch it, we’d be very interested in considering it,” said Andrew Levy, chief financial officer of Chicago-based United, at the conference.

Daniel Pietrzak, managing director of fleet management at Delta, agrees with Levy’s comments and elaborates a bit on what the carrier needs. “Look at it as a 757-300 capacity mission to something like a 767-200 – obviously new technology but with the size and range,” he says.

Both Delta and United, as well as their peer American Airlines, operate large fleets of 757s and 767s that they use for transatlantic and longer domestic missions. Together, the three carriers operate 258 757-200 and -300s, and 164 767-300ERs and -400ERs, the Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.

All three US carriers have largely replaced their domestic 757s and 767s with Airbus A321s and Boeing 737-900ERs.

The support of both Delta and United, both of which are large Boeing operators, would be a big boost for the MoM programme.

Even Alaska Airlines, which was an all-737 operator until it added the Airbus A320 family to its fleet with its December purchase of Virgin America, could be interested in the MoM concept.

John Kirby, vice-president of capacity planning at the Seattle-based carrier, says he sees a need at Alaska for an aircraft with 190 to 210 seats with a 4,000nm (7,400km) to 4,500nm range in the future – specifications that also fit Boeing's planned 737 Max 10 in seating capacity but not in range.

TAKING SHAPE

The specifications of the potential Boeing MoM – or in the words of Air Lease executive chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy: “just call it a 797” – are beginning to take shape, airlines and lessors say at ISTAT.

The twin-aisle aircraft, something Levy confirms for the first time, will have two variants with around 225 to 260 seats and a range of 4,800nm to 5,200nm.

“We continue to study what that airplane would look like,” a spokesman for Boeing says on the MoM concept. “We’re having very productive conversations with our customers and firming up opportunities there.”

Aengus Kelly, chief executive of AerCap, raises some of the issues that Boeing faces in ensuring that the potential aircraft meets the needs of the wider market, and not just the US carriers.

“That’s the challenge they have to get it right – how do you fix that equation of meeting the mission capability of a global customer base, not just three airlines in North America,” he says at ISTAT. “It has to have global capability.”

For example, Kelly says a 40,000lb-thrust (180kt) aircraft would be good for some carriers but not all, while a 45,000lb-thrust aircraft could meet more of the market demand but would be more expensive.

Boeing has previously said that it is looking at a power range of around 40,000lb-thrust for the MoM.

The airframer is currently seeking proposals from engine manufacturers for the MoM, says Kelly.

“I’m pretty confident there will be two engine [options] on the next generation Boeing,” says Udvar-Hazy on the self-coined 797. He adds that he expects there will be one option from General Electric and another from a Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce consortium.

MARKET MAKER OR DUD?

The major US airlines, as Kelly points out, cannot drive the MoM programme alone. The aircraft would have to attract orders from carriers around the world to succeed, which raises questions about the larger market for a small twin-engined jet liner.

In July 2016, Boeing forecast a total market of 4,000 to 5,000 aircraft for a MoM-sized airplane but noted that the Airbus A321neo and A330neo would take a portion of this, leaving a demand for roughly 2,000 to 3,000 units.

“There’ll be a growing need for an aircraft in that category,” says Udvar-Hazy. “It’s not magnified today but if you look at the lifecycle of that airplane, there will be a need.”

Asked about Airbus' long-range variant of the A321neo, Levy says it "does a nice job but it doesn’t quite meet all the needs we have out of Newark".

Airbus, while agreeing that Boeing needs a clean-sheet aircraft in the middle-of-the-market segment, thinks a twin-aisle aircraft is the wrong idea.

“Light [twin-aisles] will never compete with a good single-aisle stretched airplane,” says John Leahy, chief operating officer for customers at the European airframer, at ISTAT. “Aerodynamically and physically, the widebody will just have more weight and more drag for the loads that you're carrying.”

He points to the Airbus A310 and the 767-200 as examples of small twin-aisles that never met expectations.

At least one fleet manager at a major airline scoffs at Leahy’s comments, saying that a clean-sheet twin-aisle with today’s composite and engine technology could certainly achieve the economics of a narrowbody.

“There’s a lot of medium-sized aircraft demand, you’ve just got to get the economics right,” they say.
 

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"United ‘very interested’ in Boeing MoM concept"
07 March, 2017 SOURCE: Flightglobal Pro BY: Edward Russell San Diego

Source:
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/united-very-interested-in-boeing-mom-concept-434905/

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News Airlines Fleet & orders United ‘very interested’ in Boeing MoM concept

United ‘very interested’ in Boeing MoM concept

07 March, 2017 SOURCE: Flightglobal Pro BY: Edward Russell San Diego

United Airlines is very interested in Boeing’s potential middle-of-the-market aircraft, says chief financial officer Andrew Levy.

“It has a lot of merit and, if they decide to launch it, we’d be very interested in considering it,” he says at the ISTAT Americas conference in San Diego today.

Boeing’s middle-of-the-market, or MoM, will be a twin-aisle, Levy says – the first confirmation of the specs of the potential new aircraft.

He does not comment on whether the airframer is moving forward with the unconventional "ovular" fuselage cross-section that had been speculated.

“We continue to study what that airplane would look like,” a spokesman for Boeing says. “We’re having very productive conversations with our customers and firming up opportunities there.”

United needs an aircraft to replace a range of mid-market aircraft, including its transatlantic Boeing 757-200s up to its Boeing 767-400ERs. Scott Kirby, president of the airline, said in January that the 767 is the only aircraft in its fleet that it does not have “line of sight” to a replacement.

The carrier operates 56 757-200s, 21 757-300s, 35 767-300ERs and 16 767-400ERs, the Flight Fleets Analyzer shows.

The long-range variant of the Airbus A321neo has emerged as a replacement for transatlantic 757s at other carriers. Aer Lingus will lease seven A321LRs from Air Lease to replace its 757s with deliveries in 2019 and 2020.

“The A321 does a nice job but it doesn’t quite meet all the needs we have out of Newark, that being said the 757 didn’t either,” says Levy on the A321LR.

He notes that United likes the commonalities of aircraft families, as it has with the Boeing 737, 787 and 777s. The airline does operate the Airbus A319 and A320.

Boeing is looking at a MoM aircraft that would seat between 200 and 270 passengers with a range of 4,800nm to 5,200nm using some of the composite wing technology that it is developing for the 777X programme. The power range would likely be around 40,000lb-thrust.

If the programme is approved, it would enter service in 2024 or 2025, the spokesman says.
 

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"Customers Press Boeing To Launch New Midsize Widebody Aircraft Soon"
Mar 10, 2017 Jens Flottau | Aviation Week & Space Technology

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/commercial-aviation/customers-press-boeing-launch-new-midsize-widebody-aircraft-soon

Boeing has been considering making its proposed new midsize aircraft a widebody for some time. But now, airlines and lessors have just one message for the manufacturer: Get on with it.

The airframer has been briefing a number of airlines about the project, intended to cover the middle of the market between the Boeing 737 and 787 and replacing the 757 and 767. Just as it rolled out the 737-9 and nears launch of the proposed -10X to counter Airbus’s highly successful A321neo, customers are asking it to make the next step.

“What we have seen so far is very, very interesting to us,” United Airlines Chief Financial Officer Andrew Levy remarked at this week’s International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) Americas conference in San Diego. At the show, Air Lease Corp.’s CEO John Plueger told Bloomberg that he would not be surprised if Boeing goes as far as offering the aircraft to airlines later this year.

Levy says the airline initially did not believe the aircraft would be economically viable as a twin-aisle, but what Boeing has shown so far in terms of concepts and data has changed his mind. “What we have seen, we like,” he says.

Offering the aircraft to potential buyers this year may be a case of wishful thinking, however. Many questions still need to be answered, the least of which is the aircraft’s designation, according to some industry players. “Just call it a 797, because that’s what it is going to be,” Air Lease Corp. Executive Chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy says. He expects there will be two engine manufacturers on the program—General Electric and Pratt & Whitney or Rolls-Royce—but finding an appropriate engine is one of the key challenges that has yet to be addressed for the proposed type.

United is the most outspoken carrier promoting the idea of the new midsize aircraft becoming a widebody, but it is not the only one. According to industry officials, Japan Airlines is looking at using the aircraft on domestic routes and regional services into China, for which the 787 has too much range. Like All Nippon Airways, JAL had ordered the proposed short-range version of the 787, the 787-3, which Boeing later dropped.

The proposed 797 would be pitched at replacing the 767-300 and 757. But one industry observer notes that the aircraft would need at least 500-700 nm more range than the 757 so U.S. carriers would be able to fly it from the U.S. East Coast into Central Europe. According to Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President for Marketing Randy Tinseth, the manufacturer is looking at two variants of the midsize aircraft.

The talks with airlines confirm the results of a Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Aviation Week survey about carriers’ interest in a midsize aircraft published in 2016, which found that 60% of respondents would consider a widebody. However, 46% wanted Boeing to develop an aircraft with 150-199 seats, the size category of the 737 MAX family.

For that market segment, Boeing has begun making firm offers to customers for the final stretch of the 737 MAX family, the 737-10X. Unveiling the first image of the 737-10X at the ISTAT Americas conference, Tinseth said the 66-in.-stretch variant will have “the lowest seat costs ever for a single-aisle airplane,” adding: “Simply put, the [737-10X] would be [the] most profitable single-aisle airplane the industry has ever seen.

Boeing first revealed studies of the -10X stretch in early 2016, following pressure from its loyal airline customer group. These included Asian carriers such as Korean Air, which asked Boeing to develop a more direct counter to the larger Airbus A321neo than the already launched 737-9. Although longer fuselage extensions were considered, Boeing finally opted for a more modest 66-in. stretch late in 2016 and apparently received authority to offer the model from the company’s board in October.

The most significant design changes—in addition to the incorporation of two extra fuselage barrel sections forward and aft of the midsection—are focused on the main landing gear. Design studies currently revolve around variations of a trailing link configuration, possibly including a telescoping feature. Boeing 737 MAX Vice President and General Manager Keith Leverkuhn says studies and testing will continue through 2017 to make sure the extended gear will still fit into the wheel well.

Leverkuhn says Boeing is looking at the -10X entering service in 2020, which would require the design to be frozen in 2018.

However, lessors in particular have been concerned about the market prospects of the aircraft. AerCap CEO Aengus Kelly said at ISTAT that he is “cautious” about the outlook for the -9 and -10X, particularly since they “will cannibalize each other.”

“Some [lessors] said they want as many [-10X aircraft] as possible as soon as possible, and some are more circumspect,” Leverkuhn says. “ISTAT was important, but we have to listen to customers around the globe.” He says he remains “bullish on the airplane,” since “any way you slice it, is better than the competition,” and notes that “the 737-9 is really about high capacity with great range.” The -10X will accommodate even more passengers, “but we let the range fall off a little bit,” he adds. Leverkuhn says the -10X will have a range of about 3,100 nm, compared to 3,300 nm for the -9. Boeing is considering a two-class configuration of 189 seats and 230 seats in single-class arrangements.

The -10X will offer transcontinental range and will also be able to fly, for example, from China’s east coast to the western parts of the country, Leverkuhn says.

The 737-9, rolled out earlier this week, will fly for the first time in mid-April, according to Leverkuhn. Boeing received FAA type certification for the 737-8 and is now “in the final stages of preparing” the first aircraft for delivery to the first customer “in the coming months,” he says.
 

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"Boeing’s talking with airlines about a ‘797,’ and they like what they hear"
by Dominic Gates
Seattle Times aerospace reporter
Originally published March 8, 2017 at 4:12 pm Updated March 8, 2017 at 10:15 pm Corrected

Source:
http://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/boeings-talking-with-airlines-about-a-797-and-they-like-what-they-hear/

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — “Call it a 797,” said Steven Udvar-Hazy. “That’s what it’s going to be.”

Thanks to aviation-industry market guru Udvar-Hazy, chairman of Air Lease Corp., we can now dispense with the varied dreadful designations Boeing dredged up for its next all-new jet, from the MOM airplane (Middle of the Market) to the NMA (variously translated as New Mid-sized Airplane or New Market Airplane).

Forget it. Boeing is talking to airlines about its concept for the 797.

At ISTAT, the annual conference of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading this week in San Diego, major players in the world of airplane finance indicated that Boeing is keen to go ahead with such a plane.

Sized between the largest single-aisle 737 and the smallest twin-aisle 787 Dreamliner, it’s an idea Boeing broached publicly at the 2015 Paris Air Show.

Such a plane wouldn’t enter service until 2025, but Boeing may launch it as early as next year.

While it was heavily discussed at last year’s ISTAT conference in Phoenix, Arizona, this year, Boeing chose to focus its presentation on the MAX 10, a new variant of the 737 MAX family, and left it to airlines and lessors to discuss 797 details.

The concept Boeing currently favors, airline executives said, is a twin-aisle jet that can carry more than 200 passengers with a medium range of about 5,200 miles.

At an ISTAT panel discussion, John Kirby, vice president of capacity planning at Alaska Airlines, expressed potential interest in buying such a plane.

Daniel Pietrzak, managing director of fleet transactions at Delta Air Lines, said it could be an ideal plane for transAtlantic routes.

And Andrew Levy, executive vice president and chief financial officer at United Airlines, said his company is looking for a plane that can fly from its Newark hub deep into Europe, say to Berlin. He said Boeing’s concept has “a lot of merit.”

Airbus sales chief John Leahy, also presenting at ISTAT, tried to knock the concept down by reminding the audience that smaller, lighter twin-aisles jets have failed before. He cited the Airbus A310 and the Boeing 767-200, saying that the drag and weight of those wide, twin-aisle planes produced worse per-seat economics than long single-aisle planes.

“Light twins will never compete with a stretched single-aisle,” Leahy declared, championing his own transAtlantic candidate, the single-aisle A321neo.

But John Plueger, chief executive of Air Lease Corp., said the aviation market has dramatically shifted since the days of the 767-200, with the rise of low-cost carriers that now are venturing into long-haul routes.

The 797, he said, “could be the airplane that creates the next phase of growth for the low-cost carriers.”

Plueger, who along with Udvar-Hazy consults closely with Boeing on new airplane concepts, said Boeing executives are projecting a market for 5,000 of these airplanes.

“I get the sense within Boeing Commercial that they want to launch,” Plueger said.

Udvar-Hazy said the key to going forward will be development of a suitable engine with 40,000 to 45,000 pounds of thrust. He said he expects Boeing to offer a choice of two engines, likely one from GE and another potentially from a Pratt & Whitney/Rolls-Royce joint venture.

If Boeing does go ahead with this particular 797 concept, he said, he expects Airbus to respond not with an all-new airplane of its own but with a modification of its current airplanes.

“By the time this comes out, there’ll be thousands of A321s” in service, Udvar-Hazy said. “Why would Airbus just abandon that? I think the manufacturers will address the market from different directions.”

He expects Airbus to either fine-tune the wing of the A321 to improve its performance or to lighten the twin-aisle A330, reducing the maximum takeoff weight and engine thrust to suit the 797 missions.

Neither of those options would produce a jet as good as a clean-sheet concept, but both would be dramatically cheaper and so Airbus could expect to compete with lower pricing.

That would make cost the decisive factor for Boeing. It has to be able to manufacture the jet at a cost that allows the price airlines want to pay: around $70 million or $80 million.

That’s a tall order for a twin-aisle jet. If an airline today paid $100 million for the smallest 787 Dreamliner, it would be a steal.

As he always does when talking to Seattle-based reporters, Udvar-Hazy didn’t miss the chance to say that this again brings up the question of where Boeing will choose to build the plane.

“Do you build it in unionized Washington state, or somewhere else, like Texas or South Carolina?” Udvar-Hazy asked. He didn’t answer the question, though he brings it up so much one has to suspect he has a strong feeling on the matter — and doubts about Seattle.

That decision will be Boeing’s, and the man who’ll make the business case to the board in Chicago is new Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief Kevin McAllister.

Given the super-expensive and much-delayed development of Boeing’s last all-new airplane, the 787 Dreamliner, McAllister will have to lay out for the board every technological and financial implication as well as the market potential.

“I spent the weekend with him,” said Udvar-Hazy. “I know he’s focused on it.”
 

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"United Looks at Boeing's ‘Paper Plane’ and Likes What It Sees"
by Julie Johnsson
March 7, 2017, 3:13 PM PST Updated:March 8, 2017, 9:41 AM PST

Source:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-07/united-looks-at-boeing-s-paper-plane-and-likes-what-it-sees

United Continental Holdings Inc. has taken a close look at an all-new jetliner that Boeing Co. engineers are developing for trans-Atlantic flying, and the airline likes what it sees.

“What we’ve seen so far is very, very interesting to us,” Andrew Levy, United’s chief financial officer, said in an interview. “We certainly hope Boeing launches the airplane. We think there is a need for it.”

An endorsement from United, a large Boeing customer, would go a long way toward making the business case for so-called middle-of-market jetliners. While the airplane concept exists only on paper so far, Boeing has honed the design to seat between 225 and 260 passengers and worked to bring production costs in line with prices that airlines would be willing to pay.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a decision to offer by this year,” John Plueger, chief executive officer and co-founder of Air Lease Corp., said of the first step in Boeing’s process to formally introduce a new plane. “That might be a bit early, a bit aggressive. But that would not surprise me.”

United had been among the skeptics of the jets that Boeing has spent years developing to fill the gap in its product line-up between the largest of the narrow-body 737 models and the smallest 787 Dreamliners. As Boeing is designing a twin-aisle aircraft with the range to fly from London to New York, budget carriers are shifting more mid-range flying to relatively inexpensive narrow-body jets such as Airbus Group SE’s A321neo.
United Convinced

After delving deeper into the Boeing design, “we’re convinced, we get it. We understand the economics,” Levy said in an interview Tuesday at the ISTAT annual conference in San Diego. “We thought a twin made no sense, but we walked through it and had our questions answered. From what we’ve seen, we like it. But it’s a paper airplane. Hopefully they’ll launch it.”
Exclusive insights on technology around the world.

Timing and price are two of the critical elements that Boeing must consider in its high-stakes chess match with Airbus for market dominance. Billions of dollars of investment are at stake, and the payoff can be thwarted by factors ranging from cheap oil to supplier stumbles. Boeing has been planning its new family of mid-range aircraft, while Airbus has been marketing upgrades of existing jetliners: the A321, its largest narrow-body, and A330 wide-body jets.

Boeing’s jet, which would probably be known as the 797, may begin flying in 2025, said Steven Udvar-Hazy, who co-founded Air Lease and is influential in shaping product strategy for Boeing and Airbus. The engine technology and break-through design of the new aircraft will be critical since it may fly through 2060, he said.

Shareholders of Boeing may balk at total development costs expected to range from $10 billion to $15 billion, Ron Epstein, an analyst with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said in a note to clients Wednesday. But if the U.S. planemaker spends too much time refining its design and manufacturing plans, it risks losing the market to Airbus, he said.

“If Boeing waits too long, Airbus may be an early mover and introduce an A322neo that could address this market,” Epstein said, referring to a rumored new Airbus aircraft.
Magic Blend

Udvar-Hazy isn’t convinced that Boeing has figured out the magic blend of price, performance and production costs that will make the 797 a best-seller.

“Boeing has to really wrestle with that issue,” he told reporters Tuesday. “As we sit here today, the cost of developing and manufacturing the airplane at a price that gives the airlines value -- I don’t think that equation has been solved.”

That’s the most difficult task Boeing has, especially after what happened with the 787, when they “grossly under-estimated the R&D,” Udvar-Hazy said in reference to the Boeing carbon-composite jet, whose costs are thought to have ballooned past $50 billion. “I don’t think Boeing wants to make a mistake, so they are really pinning down what it takes to make that airplane.”

The key for Boeing is “not to overbuild the airplane,” Aengus Kelly, CEO and executive director of AerCap Holdings NV, said in an interview, referring to technology and engine performance that can drive up cost. “If you overbuild it, you start encroaching on the 787 market. If you underbuild it, you run into the A321 market,” which Boeing’s all-new plane couldn’t match on price.
Two Models

Boeing envisions two models to fill the overlapping market segments served by its out-of-production 757 narrow-body and 767 wide-body jets, which were developed jointly in the late 1970s and early 1980s and share the same cockpit design.

“One will be bigger and fly not quite as far, one will be smaller and fly farther,” Randy Tinseth, a Boeing marketing vice president, said in an interview. “To some extent you address the single-aisle market, to some extent you address the wide-body market and to some extent you are stimulating growth where no one has been before. And that has been a fascinating part of the whole project.”

Airbus could counter by improving the wing design of the single-aisle A321neo to yield another 2 percent to 3 percent in fuel savings, or undercutting Boeing on price with a cheaper, lighter version of the A330neo, Udvar-Hazy said. The European planemaker wouldn’t need to consider an all-new aircraft unless the Boeing plane proves to be a sales smash, he said.

United eventually will need to replace the 128 Boeing 757 and 767 jetliners in its fleet, and has studied Airbus’s A321neo as a possible substitute for the aging narrow-body, particularly on flights from the eastern U.S. to Europe, Levy said.

“The 767 replacement that is available now is bigger than we’d like,” he said. “The 757 replacement that is available now is the A321, which is a great airplane. It can do 90 percent, maybe 95 percent of what we’d like it to do. But the other 5 to 10 percent is really critical.”
 

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The 1970s... Late 1973, the Yom Kippur war, oil embargo and oil price rise combine to kick the airline industry in the slats. Recovery happens slowly and selectively and (in particular) it's generally realized that the L-1011 and DC-10 are too large for most domestic routes. Airbus starts slowly, but refuses to do the decent thing and expire. The 727 is still selling quite briskly, but it's generally agreed that the next new airplane opportunity is somewhere between the 727 and the A300.

Paris 1975 - Boeing shows models of a 727-300B with JT8D-217s, a new center-section and four-wheel main gears, and a 7X7 with seven-abreast two-aisle cabin and three CFM56s. The 727-300B represents the upper single-aisle limit. The 7X7 turns into an attempt to cover a large mid-market swath, including a 170-seat twin with the so-called "cropped-fan" engines (RB.211-535 or CF6-32), a transcon 200-some-seat trijet with CFM56, and a long-haul version (later called 777) with three cropped-fan engines and a bigger wing.

In short, the advantage of the 7-across cabin is that it can shrink down to 727-300B size without becoming ridiculously short and fat, while scaling up to transcon and "long-thin": with flatter growth than assumed in the late 1960s, the TriStar and DC-10 can't replace every 707/DC-8 out there, and DC-8-63s are at a premium on the used market. The disadvantages are that you add another aisle but get only one more seat and that the lower deck isn't compatible with other WB types.

The customers who want a narrow-body's low cost, however, are intransigent. The 7N7/757 emerges with two RB.211-535s (and later the PW2000). The smallest 7X7/767 disappears (this is why there is no 767-100). ETOPS eliminates the need for the 777, and the domestic and international missions are handled by a twin.

So today, Boeing has to balance investment in the longest practical single-aisle (MAX10) with plans for a twin-aisle (797/MOM). As in the 1970s, the twin-aisle can't get too big (where it runs into 787 and A330Neo), so you need a smaller cross-section than the A330. I suspect that, once again, they'll end up with seven-across - the question is whether they make it big enough to accommodate eight in ultra-misery class (see 9x in a 787 and 10x in a 777).

Also, there will be all sorts of interesting industrial partnership moves. There are some possibilities that are industrially obvious, and some that are politically awkward.
 

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"Boeing’s ‘797’ Taking Shape as Twin-aisle Design"
by Gregory Polek
- March 13, 2017, 12:13 PM

Source:
http://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/air-transport/2017-03-13/boeings-797-taking-shape-twin-aisle-design

A so-called middle of the market (MOM) airplane meant to replace the Boeing 757 would involve a twin-aisle design, signaled airline, airframe and leasing executives attending the March 5 to 7 International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) conference in San Diego. Boeing remains in consultation with airlines and leasing companies about what now has become known as the 797, which, according to Air Lease executive chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy would also almost certainly offer a choice of two engine types.

While Airbus COO for customers John Leahy predictably derided the idea of a twin-aisle aircraft occupying the 200- to 260-seat capacity range, Hazy reminded the audience during a roundtable discussion in San Diego that one shouldn’t evaluate the potential market for the airplane based on today’s conditions, but rather on a 35-year span beginning in 2025.

“You have to look at infrastructure, airport constraints, capacity constraints, frequency constraints, and then see if you can superimpose an airplane that’s between the 787-8 and 737 or between the A330 and A321,” said Hazy. “So there will be a growing need for an airplane in that category. It’s not magnified today, but if you look at the lifecycle of the airplane, it is significant. Don’t forget the 737 is 50 years old this year.”

However, according to AerCap Holdings CEO Angus Kelly, engine developments have not reached the stage at which such an airplane would appeal to a global customer base. “They key part of this is the engine technology,” said Kelly. “If you’re going to be searching for that window between the A321 market and the 787 market…you need a bigger engine; you need a more efficient engine. It’s not there yet.”

As always, cost will prove a key consideration, and Kelly argued that to keep costs down one might want a lower-thrust engine that might not necessarily offer the necessary performance.

“If you have a 40,000-pound-thrust engine, that might be good for some of your customer base, but is it good for all of them?” Kelly asked rhetorically. “And if its 45,000 pounds of thrust, it’s going to be a more expensive airplane, and that’s the challenge they have to get right.”

SMBC Aviation Capital CEO Peter Barrett asserted that while Boeing could undoubtedly design an airplane that airlines would want to operate, its cost will ultimately determine its viability. “I think the critical challenge to them will be actually can they learn all the lessons that they’ve taken from programs over the last couple of years and apply them in a way to give a sticker price that’s going to make sense,” he said.

United Airlines CFO Andrew Levy, for one, signaled a strong interest in an airplane to replace his airline’s aging 757s and 767s during an airline panel discussion at ISTAT. Although he said the Airbus A321 “does a nice job,” he added that it doesn’t meet all of United’s needs for its base in Newark. “That being said, the 757 didn’t either,” noted Levy. “We had some issued going deep into Europe on the westbound leg, Berlin as an example.

“It doesn’t have to be a narrowbody,” he added. “The new Boeing product is actually a twin, which we were skeptical [about] at first but after studying we actually think it has a lot of merit and if they decide to launch it would be something we’d be very interested in.”
 

marauder2048

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LowObservable said:
ETOPS eliminates the need for the 777, and the domestic and international missions are handled by a twin.
Uh..wut?
 

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marauder2048 said:
LowObservable said:
ETOPS eliminates the need for the 777, and the domestic and international missions are handled by a twin.
Uh..wut?
The original 777 proposal of this era, as described in LO's narrative, was essentially a three-engine 767. Once ETOPS became a thing, the need for a trijet in this class evaporated.
 

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George Allegrezza said:
marauder2048 said:
LowObservable said:
ETOPS eliminates the need for the 777, and the domestic and international missions are handled by a twin.
Uh..wut?
The original 777 proposal of this era, as described in LO's narrative, was essentially a three-engine 767. Once ETOPS became a thing, the need for a trijet in this class evaporated.
The notional (767 derivative) 777 trijet was dead long before ETOPS became a thing; the -100 was only marginally better than
the 767-200 on transcon and ran out of customers while -200 ran out of wing and thrust for intercontinental.
 

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To say that the original 777 trijet was dead implies that it was alive. It was (I think) well understood following the July 1978 launch of the 767 and the launch of the 757 soon after that Boeing could not kick off the 777 for some time, so the project remained dormant. By 1981-82, Boeing was talking about the 767-200ER and took the first order in Dec 1982, with the firm idea in mind that overwater limits could be relaxed - the -200ER market was otherwise minuscule. The first ETOPS 120 clearances were issued less than a year after the -200ER entered service.

Boeing, in 1980-81, argued that the 767 wing was the optimal size for a transcon 767-200; Airbus argued that the wing was oversized for that mission, and since it remained unchanged on the fully intercontinental, stretched -300ER they were probably right,
 

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http://aviationweek.com/commercial-aviation/new-midsize-airplane-will-define-boeings-technology-roadmap?NL=AW-05&Issue=AW-05_20170317_AW-05_630&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_2&utm_rid=CPEN1000000230026&utm_campaign=9134&utm_medium=email&elq2=04098c24402048ca80944a01a649ac99

Mods might want to modify thread title to include other names for MOM like the New Midsize Airplane (NMA) and 797 so that it shows up in searches.
 

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"Opinion: Boeing’s Twin-Aisle Midsize Jet Faces Big Challenges"
Boeing needs twin-aisle capabilities with single-aisle economics
Mar 28, 2017 Richard Aboulafia | Aviation Week & Space Technology

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/commercial-aviation/opinion-boeing-s-twin-aisle-midsize-jet-faces-big-challenges?NL=AW-05&Issue=AW-05_20170330_AW-05_761&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_1&utm_rid=CPEN1000001526993&utm_campaign=9328&utm_medium=email&elq2=239b441e4e5f4c169c40aa52efd9dfd2

The drumbeat for a new Boeing midsize jetliner is growing louder. The recent ISTAT and Speednews conferences saw constant references to the new jet, which will seat 220-260 passengers with 5,000-5,500-nm range. Air Lease Corp. Executive Chairman Steven Udvar-Hazy even gave it a proper Boeing designation: the 797.

Given Boeing’s worsening disadvantage versus Airbus in the jetliner middle market, and given the company’s tendency to rest on its laurels and take long product-development holidays, the prospect of a new jet is very welcome news. But beyond the idea of a new Boeing aircraft, things get complicated. The 797’s twin-aisle configuration is the big issue.

First, there’s the market. Any projection of trends over the past 30 years—airliner fleets, orders and deliveries—clearly shows that single-aisle middle-market jets have enjoyed stronger growth than twin-aisle middle market jets. The mid-market demand ratio is now at least 3:1 in favor of single-aisles.

This explains the A321neo order book: about 1,400 aircraft. It also may explain why orders for 250-seat twin-aisles—particularly the 787-8 and A330-800—have been eclipsed by orders for larger variants. Norwegian’s recently announced plans to start transatlantic service with 737 MAXs, along with the increased number of other transatlantic single-aisle routes, suggest that, if anything, some twin-aisle midsize demand will migrate downward.

Second, there are the higher costs associated with twin-aisles. A glance at operating and production economics (block hour cost per seat and realized price per seat, respectively) clearly shows that there’s a significant gap between single- and twin-aisle jets. A single-aisle product is inherently cheaper to buy, build and fly. Low-cost carriers seeking fast turnaround times may like the idea of two aisles, in theory. But if twin-aisle operating economics remain distinctly higher than single-aisles’, it is unlikely that faster turnaround times will actually trump lower operating costs.

Boeing is aware of this problem. Company representatives have made it clear that the 797 needs to offer twin-aisle capabilities—range, comfort, capacity, and faster turnaround time—with single-aisle economics.

If Boeing is successful with this, they will have a product that likely stimulates demand in the mid-market twin-aisle segment. This is a reasonable goal. One big reason that orders for the 787 and Airbus A330neo series have migrated to the larger members of these families is that these aircraft are built with the structures and systems needed for longer routes and larger models. A plane that’s optimized for the shorter and lighter routes, like the 797, should convince airlines to fly new thinner routes between new city pairs.

But there are no guarantees that Boeing will be able to bridge the cost gap between single- and twin-aisle jets with the 797. And new technologies developed for the 797—particularly new engine technologies—could be used to help lower single-aisle operating costs, too, keeping the gap in place.

We might then see an echo of the late 1970s. At the time, Boeing concluded that the middle jetliner market really needed two products. The single-aisle 757 was introduced at about the same time as the twin-aisle 767, and the manufacturer sought commonality between the two types wherever possible. This time, Boeing is clearly looking at the 797 to play the 767’s role, while developing the 737-10 to do the 757 job.

The problem, though, is that the market views Airbus’s A321neo as better able to replace the 757. And while Boeing could change course and make the 797 a new single-aisle jet, that would imply the 737 MAX would merely be an interim product. Orders would take a serious hit. Also, Boeing might find it difficult to differentiate a new large single-aisle from the A321neo, turning this segment into a low-profit commodity product battlefield.

Therefore, Boeing will likely press ahead with the twin-aisle 797. The company can only hope that it reduces costs enough to stimulate demand in this segment. Otherwise, it’s quite possible that the 797 will get the bulk of the smaller twin-aisle middle market, while the A321neo continues to get the overwhelming majority of the much larger single-aisle middle market.
 

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http://aviationweek.com/paris-air-show-2017/boeing-nma-details-emerging
http://money.cnn.com/2017/06/20/news/companies/boeing-797-paris-first-peek/index.html
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-19/ge-tells-boeing-it-won-t-share-797-engines-with-two-arch-rivals
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I assume "hybrid cross-section" means "sized to accommodate human-hamster hybrids".
 

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2nd Century Digital Architecture - hot diggity!
 

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Arjen said:
2nd Century Digital Architecture - hot diggity!
Does that mean counting on your fingers?
 

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LowObservable said:
I assume "hybrid cross-section" means "sized to accommodate human-hamster hybrids".
I'm thinking perhaps a more flattened underbody for more body lift, at least around the wing body junction. A more elliptical horizontal cross section would certainly work to that advantage too though moving far from a perfect circle or circular lobes gets more and more difficult in maintaining pressurization loads I'm sure. Though it's not to say unpressurized shaping couldn't be added to the body (and be used for something practical like fuel tankage). That just introduces more issues and engineering though.
 

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JFC Fuller said:
... and an abacus.
Proven technology to create crossover economics. Can't get much more proven than that.
 
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