sonicruiser
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Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:41 pm

I have to admit, one thing I keep seeing here on A.net, is how many people claim that virtually every plane that's not a narrowbody is doomed. The 787 and A350 are exceptions for now as everyone loves to talk about the need to endlessly downsize and increase frequency until we end up at a point where we have 737's and A321's flying TATL. People say the 748 is doomed, the 777X is doomed, the A330NEO is doomed, and of course the A380 is doomed. At this point, what isn't doomed?
 
trav777
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:49 pm

sonicruiser wrote:
I have to admit, one thing I keep seeing here on A.net, is how many people claim that virtually every plane that's not a narrowbody is doomed. The 787 and A350 are exceptions for now as everyone loves to talk about the need to endlessly downsize and increase frequency until we end up at a point where we have 737's and A321's flying TATL. People say the 748 is doomed, the 777X is doomed, the A330NEO is doomed, and of course the A380 is doomed. At this point, what isn't doomed?


we've got NBs going TATL now, so the pax are who's doomed lol
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:50 pm

Believing the general rabble on Internet forums is your first mistake :)
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:59 pm

sonicruiser wrote:
I have to admit, one thing I keep seeing here on A.net, is how many people claim that virtually every plane that's not a narrowbody is doomed. The 787 and A350 are exceptions for now as everyone loves to talk about the need to endlessly downsize and increase frequency until we end up at a point where we have 737's and A321's flying TATL. People say the 748 is doomed, the 777X is doomed, the A330NEO is doomed, and of course the A380 is doomed. At this point, what isn't doomed?


What isn't doomed are:

- aircraft that offer current technology (748, cough) and fit large, reasonably-bounded market segments (320/321Neo, Max8/10, 787, 350)

- aircraft that have a broad customer base (A380, cough), economies of scale and low CASM without being too big to fill

- aircraft that don't overlap similar offerings (330Neo, cough), destroying economies of scale at a manufacturer or across multiple manufacturers

You grossly oversimplify the argument. Few sensible people are saying that 787 & 350 don't have a future. There won't be a dozen different widebody types with a future, no. The A220 may turn out to be great; it can't be great if five manufacturers all play in the same segment.
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:59 pm

Flying will be boring in 20 years, where nearly every narrow-body aircraft is either a 737 or 320 and every wide-body aircraft is either a 787 or 350.
 
sonicruiser
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:06 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
Flying will be boring in 20 years, where nearly every narrow-body aircraft is either a 737 or 320 and every wide-body aircraft is either a 787 or 350.


Yeah this is practically what I'm getting at.
 
Noise
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:10 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
Flying will be boring in 20 years, where nearly every narrow-body aircraft is either a 737 or 320 and every wide-body aircraft is either a 787 or 350.


Not exactly. They're going to keep stretching the 737s and A320s so that they can eventually fit wide-body capacity in them. The wide-bodies will be gone.
 
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casinterest
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:11 pm

Well you all can have the 787. A350, A321, 737 in the next 20 years. I will be traveling by some sort of reusable rocket from Blue Origins, Spacex, Virgin Galactic or a SonicX sonic cruiser :)

Markets and technology are always changing. Right now China is becoming a huge market. Wait until Africa joins the fray. There will be new planes, new engines, and new debates on Anet
Where ever you go, there you are.
 
cledaybuck
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:15 pm

In some ways, isn't this the basic question of the MOM? I, for one, hope we find out.
 
zakuivcustom
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:34 pm

Ziyulu wrote:
Flying will be boring in 20 years, where nearly every narrow-body aircraft is either a 737 or 320 and every wide-body aircraft is either a 787 or 350.


What? Who needs 737 or 320 or 787 or 350 when the mythical Boeing MoM is all you need. :duck:

In actuality, the OP is definitely simplifying things way too much.
1. Yes, Quad VLA (748/380) have limited potential, and there probably won’t be replacements for them in the next iteration.
2. A330neo, if it hit the market just a few years earlier, would have sold much better. By the time it hit market (now), it simply lost its advantage of lower acquisition cost vs. slightly higher operating cost against B787.
2a. And nothing stops Airbus from eventually having a clean-sheet A330 replacement.
2b. Similar to B777X, there are simply way too many new A330s that doesn’t need to be replace yet.
3. 777X is far from dead. Too many brand new 77Ws right now that will have to be replace in 20 years. Airlines simply doesn’t need that plane yet.
4. There are markets for larger aircraft no matter what. On some routes, especially in APAC region, you can have 15x daily A333 and still fill all of them.
4a. Plus NB had been flying across the pond for years. It is THE niche for 757 after all.
 
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Channex757
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:39 pm

I dearly wish Lockheed would get back into the game. Maybe then the breaking of the duopoly would mean revolution instead of evolution of aircraft design
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:42 pm

Econometrically successful? We are in a period where so many planes in production are economically successful. A decade ago, a model that reached even 800 frames in its production was a big success. A lot of financial failures, often pushing the manufacture out of commercial aviation or out of business, with another manufacture coming in and picking up the pieces.

Lockheed L-1011, MD with the DC-10 that morphed into the MD-11. BOAC died earlier, Bombardier with the C series, now the A220 (now with A's deep pockets will do well). BBD also let the Q400 basically die. Saab, Focker, De Havilland, the list goes on.

Actually, today is a period where the planes that made the 800 unit mark in history are nearly all in production still. The ones that have ceased are Boeing 707, 727 and 757, and the MD 80. Still in production: 737, 747, 767, 777, and 787 for Boeing. The A320, 330, 350 for Airbus. So 2/3 of the models that made 800 units are still in production today.
 
StudiodeKadent
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:42 pm

sonicruiser wrote:
I have to admit, one thing I keep seeing here on A.net, is how many people claim that virtually every plane that's not a narrowbody is doomed. The 787 and A350 are exceptions for now as everyone loves to talk about the need to endlessly downsize and increase frequency until we end up at a point where we have 737's and A321's flying TATL. People say the 748 is doomed, the 777X is doomed, the A330NEO is doomed, and of course the A380 is doomed. At this point, what isn't doomed?


Presumably the A350 and 787 aren't doomed. Like you conceded they're doing well.
 
DfwRevolution
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:58 pm

sonicruiser wrote:
People say the 748 is doomed, the 777X is doomed, the A330NEO is doomed, and of course the A380 is doomed. At this point, what isn't doomed?


Every program has its critics. It does not follow that every program will be a failure.
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:58 pm

I think there is a fundamental difference between traffic patterns and feasible aviation technology

Traffic
Long and thin
Short and thick

Technology
More range needs a bigger plan

So the aviation industry invented meaningless seat based metrics. Even with all the magic of data analysis and PR to prove them economical, the fundamental issue remains unsolved.
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 7:48 pm

I find it funny how so many here claim Boeing's MoM is the aircraft that can solve all problems. If I were an airline, I certainly will not be basing my future on something that is still on paper and has not made it to real life.
 
sonicruiser
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:38 pm

I think the MOM will be one of the few airplanes left that will sell well, but it only accelerates the extinction of other types which means that flying will become more boring than ever before in the coming years. A range of what used to be 4 or 5 aircraft in that segment is practically reduced to 1 or 2 today. As the variety diminishes, flying will become increasingly dull and bland in the future. I think the days of a plane being a market success on it own virtue are over. These days, Boeing and Airbus build airplanes to dominate so much of a certain segment that it is impossible for the other to build a similar type unless it wants a loss making aircraft. The perfect example of this is the 787/A330NEO dilemma where the 787 has stolen so much of the market that the A330NEO is basically a white elephant that is left to pick up the scraps. Therefore the days of direct head to head competition like in the DC10/L1011 days where two planes were essentially identical because the market could support both would be unthinkable today. The A350 purposely targets a different market than the 787 because as is evident with the A33N, going head to head would be a recipe for disaster. Ultimately, I think all of this means that we're going to end up at a point where every segment has either an Airbus OR a Boeing as the dominant manufacturer but not both. This would be an atrocious outcome for those looking to fly a variety of different aircraft but I digress.
 
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:51 pm

When the 767 became certified to fly over the ocean. The days of tri and quad jets were numbered. I think the 747 and A380 for passenger service is doomed. The A330 NEO has a real competitor in the market in the 787. I think it will be a tougher sell going forward. I think the A350 and 777X will sell well.
 
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seabosdca
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:17 am

It has gotten expensive enough to create new types or even variants that even companies with the resources of the OEMs have to focus their efforts. And when they do, and really bring all the resources they have to bear on a particular frame, it's hard for everyone else to compete.

So we have the A320/A321 and 737-8/800 in the narrowbody space, which have driven out the competition. And the 787-9 and A350-900 in the widebody space, which are giving the competition an awfully hard time. Not coincidentally, those are the frames which have received the heaviest focus from OEMs! Others all have compromises of some sort.

Boeing may upend the dynamic with the 797. We'll see.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:17 am

Ziyulu wrote:
Flying will be boring in 20 years, where nearly every narrow-body aircraft is either a 737 or 320 and every wide-body aircraft is either a 787 or 350.

Simple convergent evolution.

It's the same reason that a Flying Squirrel and a Sugar Glider have come to look/behave/move exactly alike, despite having vastly different origins.

Image

A320/737 + 787/A350 is what the modern market has shown that it primarily wants and will most optimally abstain. No surprise that they're almost visual/performance clones of each other.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
sonicruiser
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:26 am

LAX772LR wrote:
Ziyulu wrote:
Flying will be boring in 20 years, where nearly every narrow-body aircraft is either a 737 or 320 and every wide-body aircraft is either a 787 or 350.

Simple convergent evolution.

It's the same reason that a Flying Squirrel and a Sugar Glider have come to look/behave/move exactly alike, despite having vastly different origins.

Image

A320/737 + 787/A350 is what the modern market has shown that it primarily wants and will most optimally abstain. No surprise that they're almost visual/performance clones of each other.


Why on earth is that thing called a Sugar Glider?
 
ewt340
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:35 am

A320neo, A321neo, A350-900, B737MAX8, and B787-9 are not doomed in terms of sales.

The rest are slowing down.
 
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:42 am

sonicruiser wrote:
Why on earth is that thing called a Sugar Glider?

Because the bulk of its diet is fruit and nectar.

They're also quite possibly the most awesome pet on the planet. They bond very well with humans, and are easy to teach tricks.

Plenty of YouTube vids of people teaching Sugar Gliders to do everything from fetch, to being the "ball" in a lite game of baseball... taking advantage of their flight/gliding abilities to make it fun. :smile:
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:14 am

sonicruiser wrote:
I think the MOM will be one of the few airplanes left that will sell well, but it only accelerates the extinction of other types which means that flying will become more boring than ever before in the coming years. A range of what used to be 4 or 5 aircraft in that segment is practically reduced to 1 or 2 today. As the variety diminishes, flying will become increasingly dull and bland in the future. I think the days of a plane being a market success on it own virtue are over. These days, Boeing and Airbus build airplanes to dominate so much of a certain segment that it is impossible for the other to build a similar type unless it wants a loss making aircraft. The perfect example of this is the 787/A330NEO dilemma where the 787 has stolen so much of the market that the A330NEO is basically a white elephant that is left to pick up the scraps. Therefore the days of direct head to head competition like in the DC10/L1011 days where two planes were essentially identical because the market could support both would be unthinkable today. The A350 purposely targets a different market than the 787 because as is evident with the A33N, going head to head would be a recipe for disaster. Ultimately, I think all of this means that we're going to end up at a point where every segment has either an Airbus OR a Boeing as the dominant manufacturer but not both. This would be an atrocious outcome for those looking to fly a variety of different aircraft but I digress.


Looking at a chart with each model plotted on a X= Range, Y= Passengers nearly all are in a band going parallel between a B737 and the B77W with a pretty empty middle. Few are off this line, and models like the 73X veer to shorter range for the pax, and the 321LR veering to longer range form the sides of the 'band'. It is striking how much the 78X is off the band. It is empty up where the A300 was - lots of pax for the range. Also quite empty for a smaller plane that can do 10 hour flights. But on much of the line it is saturated.

Suddenly, since the dawn of the Jet the quest for more range has been realized, now it can turn to efficiency which includes maintenance costs. Imagine a 350 pax plane with optimum range of 3,000 miles. The real people mover.
 
ewt340
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:29 am

LAX772LR wrote:
sonicruiser wrote:
Why on earth is that thing called a Sugar Glider?

Because the bulk of its diet is fruit and nectar.

They're also quite possibly the most awesome pet on the planet. They bond very well with humans, and are easy to teach tricks.

Plenty of YouTube vids of people teaching Sugar Gliders to do everything from fetch, to being the "ball" in a lite game of baseball... taking advantage of their flight/gliding abilities to make it fun. :smile:


No, no, no, it's because of the high obesity level in the western world and the fact that many of those people are consuming too much sugars.
 
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:08 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
sonicruiser wrote:
I have to admit, one thing I keep seeing here on A.net, is how many people claim that virtually every plane that's not a narrowbody is doomed. The 787 and A350 are exceptions for now as everyone loves to talk about the need to endlessly downsize and increase frequency until we end up at a point where we have 737's and A321's flying TATL. People say the 748 is doomed, the 777X is doomed, the A330NEO is doomed, and of course the A380 is doomed. At this point, what isn't doomed?


What isn't doomed are:

- aircraft that offer current technology (748, cough) and fit large, reasonably-bounded market segments (320/321Neo, Max8/10, 787, 350)

- aircraft that have a broad customer base (A380, cough), economies of scale and low CASM without being too big to fill

- aircraft that don't overlap similar offerings (330Neo, cough), destroying economies of scale at a manufacturer or across multiple manufacturers

You grossly oversimplify the argument. Few sensible people are saying that 787 & 350 don't have a future. There won't be a dozen different widebody types with a future, no. The A220 may turn out to be great; it can't be great if five manufacturers all play in the same segment.

This.

I would add automated production forces greater economies of scale to be competitive. In other words, the minimum quantity of aircraft that need to be produced each year is going up. Every time production is doubled, the cost per unit drops 13% (pre-automated production it was 8% to 10%).

E.g., Pratt has automated machines to friction weld on compressor blades. (Blisks) the new machines are massive to cut down production time and cost. Going from memory, these are something like $40 million usd machines. Since the machine only saves about $25,000 per engine over the $10 million dollar machines, production must be in the hundreds of engines per year to justify the investment.

Great titanium 3D printers cost $2 to $5 million each (capability dependent). Now, I've personally had sub-assemblies save 80% of production costs :wide-eyed:
But, one must be making thousands of sub-assemblies to justify buying the machines and invest in engineering to redesign sub-assemblies for 3D printing and re-qual parts. One doesn't invest millions in engineering and testing unless big blocks of parts are made.

So we simply see an increase in economy of scale. It is one reason everything is going electrical. The same electric motors that move stuff on the GEnX engines are used on the LEAP (part # identical) and where possible on the GE9x (a few had to be higher torque motors). By stuff I mean valves for engine cooling and such.

The penalty for a niche product has become extreme. We're switching from an era where one could launch an Airframe with minimum planned production of 25/year to a minimum of 100/year.

Part of this is software. Software costs to develop and maintain, but is cheap to install on an aircraft. Much is portable between types, but not all. If it costs $1 billion to design, test, and build software, it is best to spread that cost over a large number of airframes. Aircraft will be more software than hardware the next generation. Too much of the cost savings come from software, but it costs so much to develop (for production, testing, avionics, engines, maintenance prediction).

There will be plenty of new designs that can be produced at 100+/year. But at this time, the largest that might achieve that goal is the 777X. When there is an awesome jump in efficiency (not the A380), a new VLA will sell.

Of course in production aircraft will be sold as long as profitable (someone needs to really explain the loss avoidance on the A380 to me). But as it isn't worth investing in the software, the will to, at best, only get easy to impliment hand me down PIPs. The same is true of aero tweaks (Airframe and engine).

Lightsaber
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seahawk
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sat Jan 12, 2019 4:16 pm

Production is key today. If you are still manufacturing your are dead, as economy of scales will destroy you. However this means that the room for different OEMs is shrinking.
 
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:16 pm

The enormous cost of developing new planes has reduced us to a duopoly, and this has also led both players to a reluctance to challenge the other player head to head with new planes. The last lime this happened was when Boeing challenged the A346 with the 77W. But this was not a completely new plane for either one, but it taught a valuable lesson. Neither company can afford another complete misreading of the future market, as Airbus did with the A380, or a complete botch of an otherwise good plane, as Boeing did with the 787. But neither can either afford to be totally skunked by the other on a new model, as the A346 was by the 77W. So except for narrow bodies (where there is enough demand that at present both manufacturers running flat out cannot meet it) they both appear to be aiming new models in between the opposition’s offerings instead of right at it. And this is probably a necessary and wise strategy. But as part of it they must both be sure that when they do come out with a new plane it must fit its nich better and more economically than anything else.
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:44 pm

There's is also the possibility that aircraft economics will have to take into consideration a considerable carbon fuel cost. Depending on how it's implemented that could encourage fewer flights with larger (full) aircraft.

If, for instance, a carbon tax hits aircraft harder than ground transportation (likey for political reasons even if not nessicary backed by science) it may become cheeper to fly into a hub and take the train then to fly a thinner flight directly.
 
musman9853
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:28 am

Ziyulu wrote:
I find it funny how so many here claim Boeing's MoM is the aircraft that can solve all problems. If I were an airline, I certainly will not be basing my future on something that is still on paper and has not made it to real life.


if we know what the nma specs are (spoiler, we do), then the 50+ airlines that have expressed interest in the nma also know the specs.
Welcome to the City Beautiful.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:50 am

musman9853 wrote:
if we know what the nma specs are (spoiler, we do)

We do?

...can you list those out then.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
musman9853
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 1:52 am

LAX772LR wrote:
musman9853 wrote:
if we know what the nma specs are (spoiler, we do)

We do?

...can you list those out then.



sure.

nma-6x will carry 225 at 5k nm, the nma-7x will carry 265 4500 nm. ovoid composite fuselage, composite wing, 7ab in 2-3-2 config. narrowbody sized cargo hold. engines in the 52k lbf thrust range. anything else you wanna know?

https://theaircurrent.com/aircraft-deve ... eings-nma/
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LAX772LR
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:03 am

musman9853 wrote:
anything else you wanna know?

Yes: why you didn't read the second sentence in that article, and realize what it's telling you.... which is essentially that there's nothing concrete about those stats.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
musman9853
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:09 am

LAX772LR wrote:
musman9853 wrote:
anything else you wanna know?

Yes: why you didn't read the second sentence in that article, and realize what it's telling you.... which is essentially that there's nothing concrete about those stats.


with program launch less than 6 months away, those figures are almost certainly set in stone. the only thing boeing is doing right now is planning how to build the 797, not what they're building.
Welcome to the City Beautiful.
 
Gemuser
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:22 am

musman9853 wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
musman9853 wrote:
anything else you wanna know?

Yes: why you didn't read the second sentence in that article, and realize what it's telling you.... which is essentially that there's nothing concrete about those stats.


with program launch less than 6 months away, those figures are almost certainly set in stone. the only thing boeing is doing right now is planning how to build the 797, not what they're building.

How do we knew program launch is "less than 6 months away"? Have Boeing announced that?

Gemuser
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:22 am

musman9853 wrote:
with program launch less than 6 months away

Even if that were true, it'd be in no way set in stone.


musman9853 wrote:
those figures are almost certainly set in stone.

(See above)


musman9853 wrote:
the only thing boeing is doing right now is planning how to build the 797, not what they're building.

Again, way too broad of an assumption that ignores Boeing's history.

Look to the 787 for example: offered in January 2003, first order in April 2004, but design freeze not until October 2006. During which time, the initial specs, weights, lengths, empennage, and mission profiles changed significantly.

About the only thing that this tells us is that they've decided on widebody versus narrow, that's more or less it for "set in stone."
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:31 am

lightsaber wrote:
So we simply see an increase in economy of scale. It is one reason everything is going electrical. The same electric motors that move stuff on the GEnX engines are used on the LEAP (part # identical) and where possible on the GE9x (a few had to be higher torque motors). By stuff I mean valves for engine cooling and such.
...
Part of this is software. Software costs to develop and maintain, but is cheap to install on an aircraft. Much is portable between types, but not all. If it costs $1 billion to design, test, and build software, it is best to spread that cost over a large number of airframes. Aircraft will be more software than hardware the next generation. Too much of the cost savings come from software, but it costs so much to develop (for production, testing, avionics, engines, maintenance prediction).

There will be plenty of new designs that can be produced at 100+/year. But at this time, the largest that might achieve that goal is the 777X. When there is an awesome jump in efficiency (not the A380), a new VLA will sell.

Of course in production aircraft will be sold as long as profitable (someone needs to really explain the loss avoidance on the A380 to me). But as it isn't worth investing in the software, the will to, at best, only get easy to implement hand me down PIPs. The same is true of aero tweaks (Airframe and engine).

Lightsaber


On these valves does one operator work with a series of valves say 12, 25, 50, 75, and 100mm, each in a family but with different part #?

What is the range of valve sizes on say the 777x?

Are the power characteristics staying with 3 PH, 4W 115/200V 400hz or changing? I recall the 787 went higher voltage"

For say a valve is the power supplied by a 2 wire sheathed cable at 200V with a ground wire? Are these dual sourced at the operator?

One or two signal cables, the main and a backup?
 
sonicruiser
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:05 am

SEPilot wrote:
The enormous cost of developing new planes has reduced us to a duopoly, and this has also led both players to a reluctance to challenge the other player head to head with new planes. The last lime this happened was when Boeing challenged the A346 with the 77W. But this was not a completely new plane for either one, but it taught a valuable lesson. Neither company can afford another complete misreading of the future market, as Airbus did with the A380, or a complete botch of an otherwise good plane, as Boeing did with the 787. But neither can either afford to be totally skunked by the other on a new model, as the A346 was by the 77W. So except for narrow bodies (where there is enough demand that at present both manufacturers running flat out cannot meet it) they both appear to be aiming new models in between the opposition’s offerings instead of right at it. And this is probably a necessary and wise strategy. But as part of it they must both be sure that when they do come out with a new plane it must fit its nich better and more economically than anything else.


Well said.
 
Ziyulu
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:00 pm

One day, the norm will be narrow-bodies flying across the Pacific. Imagine 15 hour flights in a 737 or 320.
 
B1168
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:01 pm

sonicruiser wrote:
I think the MOM will be one of the few airplanes left that will sell well, but it only accelerates the extinction of other types which means that flying will become more boring than ever before in the coming years. A range of what used to be 4 or 5 aircraft in that segment is practically reduced to 1 or 2 today. As the variety diminishes, flying will become increasingly dull and bland in the future. I think the days of a plane being a market success on it own virtue are over. These days, Boeing and Airbus build airplanes to dominate so much of a certain segment that it is impossible for the other to build a similar type unless it wants a loss making aircraft. The perfect example of this is the 787/A330NEO dilemma where the 787 has stolen so much of the market that the A330NEO is basically a white elephant that is left to pick up the scraps. Therefore the days of direct head to head competition like in the DC10/L1011 days where two planes were essentially identical because the market could support both would be unthinkable today. The A350 purposely targets a different market than the 787 because as is evident with the A33N, going head to head would be a recipe for disaster. Ultimately, I think all of this means that we're going to end up at a point where every segment has either an Airbus OR a Boeing as the dominant manufacturer but not both. This would be an atrocious outcome for those looking to fly a variety of different aircraft but I digress.


Please hold that breath. MoM is not a virgin land as you guys frequently think; the lower end has gone to A321LR and the future XLRs. Airbus does get a head start on this field; it is up to Boeing to react and fight against A321XLRs in the market.
A321XLRs are smaller (easier to fill up), easier to establish the fleet than 797 unless possesses a pure Boeing fleet (subfleet vs. fleet for A320 series owners) and earlier start. A321XLR are actually an expansion on 757s, whose old frame will not last over 10 years in pax service from now. Excluding airport performance (those tough airports need a 737 Max 7 and 787-8), A321XLR poses most characteristic that a 757-200 posed, and is a decent replacement.
Meanwhile, 797 are more of a 767 replacement. They have a 7 ab, will be more composite heavy, and lies between A321XLR and 787-8. Other than shorter range, there isn’t that much difference between a 767 and a 797. What Boeing needs is to seize that market fast, before the aging 767s in pax service gets upgraded to A330-800neo or 787-8, or get downgraded to A321XLR.
And here we go, the coffins of 757 and 767 are sealed! Every field is filled by at least one plane!
 
airzona11
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:03 pm

sonicruiser wrote:
Ziyulu wrote:
Flying will be boring in 20 years, where nearly every narrow-body aircraft is either a 737 or 320 and every wide-body aircraft is either a 787 or 350.


Yeah this is practically what I'm getting at.


Cars are the same way, it is all relatively the same, with the same chassis been shared across many platforms, just simple body modifications. Better fuel efficiency? Smaller engines. Etc.
 
trav777
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:54 pm

sonicruiser wrote:
I think the MOM will be one of the few airplanes left that will sell well, but it only accelerates the extinction of other types which means that flying will become more boring than ever before in the coming years. A range of what used to be 4 or 5 aircraft in that segment is practically reduced to 1 or 2 today. As the variety diminishes, flying will become increasingly dull and bland in the future. I think the days of a plane being a market success on it own virtue are over. These days, Boeing and Airbus build airplanes to dominate so much of a certain segment that it is impossible for the other to build a similar type unless it wants a loss making aircraft. The perfect example of this is the 787/A330NEO dilemma where the 787 has stolen so much of the market that the A330NEO is basically a white elephant that is left to pick up the scraps. Therefore the days of direct head to head competition like in the DC10/L1011 days where two planes were essentially identical because the market could support both would be unthinkable today. The A350 purposely targets a different market than the 787 because as is evident with the A33N, going head to head would be a recipe for disaster. Ultimately, I think all of this means that we're going to end up at a point where every segment has either an Airbus OR a Boeing as the dominant manufacturer but not both. This would be an atrocious outcome for those looking to fly a variety of different aircraft but I digress.


It's kind of like that now.

the 350's recent history, if it continues, heralds its defeat by the 787. The latter may slay everything upsize of it including its sister 777x products. The sales right now are 14-8 in favor of the 787, which is as you described, sort of single mfr dominance. In the NB space, I guess the MAX is selling ok, otherwise Boeing was effectively dead there. And the MAX is like sort of a stopgap, like the 330NEO, but it actually seems to have worked out, whereas the 330NEO didn't.

The 35K isn't selling well, the 777x hasn't either, the 330NEO likewise. That leaves the 359 and 789/788 taking all orders, with the 359 slowing down significantly since it started deliveries. We could end up with basically one widebody jet out there going forward taking a huge slice of the market. In the past 5 years the widebody order space between the newest rivals has tilted 373-82, that's 4.5:1 in favor of the 787 vs 350. God help the people in coach...

The EK effect I think is also big- this one carrier has such different demands on aircraft and such apparently deep pockets that we've seen both the 380 and 777x's fate rest almost exclusively in their hands, the latter being basically designed for their demands. The 35K also was designed around what a certain group of influential airlines wanted...so where are the size orders? This jet may not ever sell. BA may never sell other than niche amounts of 777x to anyone other than ME3.

As far as strategic focus goes, if I were BA I go ahead with a carbon narrowbody 737 replacement and ignore this MoM stuff. They have AB on the ropes in the widebody space and could crush them in NB with the type of product advantage the 787 has given them in WB. On the other side of the coin, I dunno what AB can do, they should pursue an all-new NB as well but their 320 product is so competitive now they may not see the need for it. Having so many bad outcomes as they've had in WB...they've got only one model left now. If the 350's sales do not turn around, they will grow increasingly irrelevant in large aircraft.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:35 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
So we simply see an increase in economy of scale. It is one reason everything is going electrical. The same electric motors that move stuff on the GEnX engines are used on the LEAP (part # identical) and where possible on the GE9x (a few had to be higher torque motors). By stuff I mean valves for engine cooling and such.
...
Part of this is software. Software costs to develop and maintain, but is cheap to install on an aircraft. Much is portable between types, but not all. If it costs $1 billion to design, test, and build software, it is best to spread that cost over a large number of airframes. Aircraft will be more software than hardware the next generation. Too much of the cost savings come from software, but it costs so much to develop (for production, testing, avionics, engines, maintenance prediction).

There will be plenty of new designs that can be produced at 100+/year. But at this time, the largest that might achieve that goal is the 777X. When there is an awesome jump in efficiency (not the A380), a new VLA will sell.

Of course in production aircraft will be sold as long as profitable (someone needs to really explain the loss avoidance on the A380 to me). But as it isn't worth investing in the software, the will to, at best, only get easy to implement hand me down PIPs. The same is true of aero tweaks (Airframe and engine).

Lightsaber


On these valves does one operator work with a series of valves say 12, 25, 50, 75, and 100mm, each in a family but with different part #?

What is the range of valve sizes on say the 777x?

Are the power characteristics staying with 3 PH, 4W 115/200V 400hz or changing? I recall the 787 went higher voltage"

For say a valve is the power supplied by a 2 wire sheathed cable at 200V with a ground wire? Are these dual sourced at the operator?

One or two signal cables, the main and a backup?

Every part seems to now be part of a family. But take the PW1200 vs. PW1500:
Some parts just need different springs (oil sump backpressure regulator as the two engines require different pressures in the thrust bearing), similar, but different casings on the starter valve (Mitsubishi has a toolless manual start, Bombardier requires a standard socket wrench).

As to the electrical that is not my specialty. Where I really know details, NFA applies.

But when new actuators ate required, a new motor must be qualified and losses evonomy of scale. Which is why the LEAP has oversized (heavier) motors. There is no life benefit (thermal cycle fatigue is the primary failure mode).

Lightsaber
You only have the first amendment with the 2nd. If you're not going to offend someone with what you say, you don't have the 1st.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:42 pm

trav777 wrote:
sonicruiser wrote:
I think the MOM will be one of the few airplanes left that will sell well, but it only accelerates the extinction of other types which means that flying will become more boring than ever before in the coming years. A range of what used to be 4 or 5 aircraft in that segment is practically reduced to 1 or 2 today. As the variety diminishes, flying will become increasingly dull and bland in the future. I think the days of a plane being a market success on it own virtue are over. These days, Boeing and Airbus build airplanes to dominate so much of a certain segment that it is impossible for the other to build a similar type unless it wants a loss making aircraft. The perfect example of this is the 787/A330NEO dilemma where the 787 has stolen so much of the market that the A330NEO is basically a white elephant that is left to pick up the scraps. Therefore the days of direct head to head competition like in the DC10/L1011 days where two planes were essentially identical because the market could support both would be unthinkable today. The A350 purposely targets a different market than the 787 because as is evident with the A33N, going head to head would be a recipe for disaster. Ultimately, I think all of this means that we're going to end up at a point where every segment has either an Airbus OR a Boeing as the dominant manufacturer but not both. This would be an atrocious outcome for those looking to fly a variety of different aircraft but I digress.


It's kind of like that now.

the 350's recent history, if it continues, heralds its defeat by the 787. The latter may slay everything upsize of it including its sister 777x products. The sales right now are 14-8 in favor of the 787, which is as you described, sort of single mfr dominance. In the NB space, I guess the MAX is selling ok, otherwise Boeing was effectively dead there. And the MAX is like sort of a stopgap, like the 330NEO, but it actually seems to have worked out, whereas the 330NEO didn't.

The 35K isn't selling well, the 777x hasn't either, the 330NEO likewise. That leaves the 359 and 789/788 taking all orders, with the 359 slowing down significantly since it started deliveries. We could end up with basically one widebody jet out there going forward taking a huge slice of the market. In the past 5 years the widebody order space between the newest rivals has tilted 373-82, that's 4.5:1 in favor of the 787 vs 350. God help the people in coach...

The EK effect I think is also big- this one carrier has such different demands on aircraft and such apparently deep pockets that we've seen both the 380 and 777x's fate rest almost exclusively in their hands, the latter being basically designed for their demands. The 35K also was designed around what a certain group of influential airlines wanted...so where are the size orders? This jet may not ever sell. BA may never sell other than niche amounts of 777x to anyone other than ME3.

As far as strategic focus goes, if I were BA I go ahead with a carbon narrowbody 737 replacement and ignore this MoM stuff. They have AB on the ropes in the widebody space and could crush them in NB with the type of product advantage the 787 has given them in WB. On the other side of the coin, I dunno what AB can do, they should pursue an all-new NB as well but their 320 product is so competitive now they may not see the need for it. Having so many bad outcomes as they've had in WB...they've got only one model left now. If the 350's sales do not turn around, they will grow increasingly irrelevant in large aircraft.

Trav777, first, I like your thinking. I simply think Boeing cannot replace the MAX today without customer backlash and there is demand for the small widebody. Enough for scale to make it tougher on Airbus' next widebody. The A321LR/xLR will compete, but has the wrong wing and fuel system to be competitive 3,000nm+.

Lightsaber
You only have the first amendment with the 2nd. If you're not going to offend someone with what you say, you don't have the 1st.
 
Caryjack
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 9:39 pm

lightsaber wrote:
Trav777, first, I like your thinking. I simply think Boeing cannot replace the MAX today without customer backlash and there is demand for the small widebody. Enough for scale to make it tougher on Airbus' next widebody. The A321LR/xLR will compete, but has the wrong wing and fuel system to be competitive 3,000nm+.

Lightsaber

How is the A321LR/XLR fuel system not competitive? Are there auxiliary fuel tanks that take too much room?
Thanks,
Cary
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:38 pm

Could the A220 force a redesign on the smaller end? It doesn't have the range of the A19N and B73M, but is much lighter and is mainline-sized.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Sun Jan 13, 2019 10:43 pm

Caryjack wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
Trav777, first, I like your thinking. I simply think Boeing cannot replace the MAX today without customer backlash and there is demand for the small widebody. Enough for scale to make it tougher on Airbus' next widebody. The A321LR/xLR will compete, but has the wrong wing and fuel system to be competitive 3,000nm+.

Lightsaber

How is the A321LR/XLR fuel system not competitive? Are there auxiliary fuel tanks that take too much room?
Thanks,
Cary

The way the fuel tanks are packaged leaves too much unusable fuel. The ACTs are heavy for their fuel capacity (much fixed on the xLR, except that center tank needs work to reduce unusable fuel).

The room is an issue for high density markets too, but not a major handicap for most sales. It is the weight. Too much component duplication. Wing tanks are easier thanks to wing slope reducing unusable fuel and the natural low and high points to put components. The 737NG is an example of a much better system. Note:. The A320 is leagues ahead of the 737 classic.

Fuel system design has advanced quite a bit in the last few decades. Partially as electric (semiconductor) parts package so much better (fuel level sensors) or 3D modeling software lessons learned allow far more optimal designs (but they require a new wing root structure to give room where needed). As well as electric powered vs. hydraulic powered fuel moving subsystems (NEO switched, but the bays are packaged for old school, hence more trapped fuel).

The tanks are also not set up to adjust center of gravity. A must on widebodies. That can costv3% of fuel burn.

I can't help it. I look at every Airframe/engine combination and I look for how I could bmake a better competitor. I find the dozens of possible changes and see which would be best starting from scratch.

The other issue is a lack of CFRP wingbox/wing and lack of folding wingtips. The CFRP is now old school. The bearcan designers have retired. The wing design staffs, except at business jet companies and Embraer, really have retired away the people who know the quirks of Aluminum wing design. All of the most advanced concepts are prototyped in CFRP today and back converted. So there is more room. Longer aspect ratio wings allow a substantial reduction in drag by enabling underside laminar flow. That takes folding wingtips.

I think the A320/321 is a great design. It wasn't optimized for 6+ hour missions. The NEO is optimized for 2 hour missions (wing area, aspect ratio, engine bypass & pressure ratio). So I see an easy to identify area in the market where for 4 to 9 hour missions, there is no well optimized plane out there.

Lightsaber

Lightsaber
You only have the first amendment with the 2nd. If you're not going to offend someone with what you say, you don't have the 1st.
 
trav777
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:21 am

lightsaber wrote:
Trav777, first, I like your thinking. I simply think Boeing cannot replace the MAX today without customer backlash and there is demand for the small widebody. Enough for scale to make it tougher on Airbus' next widebody. The A321LR/xLR will compete, but has the wrong wing and fuel system to be competitive 3,000nm+.

Lightsaber


I'm not sure I totally agree...the MAX is a stopgap, plain and simple...quick reaction to the NEO which was beating the 737 to death. Even the MAX9 was so outclassed, it was like 5:1 in favor of 321. While the MAX seems to be the better plane for longer routes, having big dominance in over water and long missions, this plane isn't the future. Honestly the Airbus product is so superior that corporate and personal relationships and inertia are why the MAX sells as well as it does IMO.

If Boeing were to go clean-sheet, is Airbus in a position to react? AB's product decisions lately have been horrible. The 380, the 350, the 330NEO...which of these is a runaway success? None. Yes the 350 got lots of prelim orders...then delivery happened. And the order book ran to a crawl, 82 in the past 5 years? Perhaps it's a blip, or maybe it was wait and see by airlines who waited and saw and are now reevaluating. The opposite happened with 787 orders; since delivery of the 350, the 787 is lopsided in orders like the 321 was versus the MAX9.

So conditions now are favorable for BA dominance in WBs...why not go for the jugular and eliminate AB as a first-tier competitor? A new NB design to replace the 737 could do that. Relegating Airbus to the new McDonnell Douglas, a 2nd place, 2nd tier planemaker. BA has made the right decisions strategically for some time, the 777, the 787. The latter's horrible execution are why they haven't already done a carbon 737 and blown Airbus out of the market at all sizes. it's their game to win right now, I think if they put a new plane out, everyone buys it. Lots of 737NGs are gonna be replaced and they could do all sorts of sizes and ranges with a new aircraft. Tons of 320CEOs waiting to be replaced...the MAX won't do that; it's nowhere near good enough to swing an operator to jump ship. A carbon 737 true next gen aircraft could.

This MoM thing is like...ok, where exactly is this? NK is already flying like 230pax in their 321s, Ryan's got nearly 200 in their MAX200. Where's the market? Longer routes? I mean I read all the back and forth and I'm just not clear why take the risk here? This thing flops and they let AB back in the game again like they did with their 787 rollout. The 330NEO only exists bc of that...the 350 was a late reaction to the 787 and it's looking like a misguided one, targeting the 777 marketplace which seems to have shrunk just like the 380 was aimed at a 747 marketplace that had virtually vanished.

I think Boeing should stick to their original plan and step on Airbus's head with a 737 replacement. Remember they were gonna do that but customers demanded MAX now or else they were jumping ship. Bc of the time it would take to get to delivery. As MAX is a placeholder, why not go for the big win and stick with the strategy?
 
2175301
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:41 am

sonicruiser wrote:
I have to admit, one thing I keep seeing here on A.net, is how many people claim that virtually every plane that's not a narrowbody is doomed. The 787 and A350 are exceptions for now as everyone loves to talk about the need to endlessly downsize and increase frequency until we end up at a point where we have 737's and A321's flying TATL. People say the 748 is doomed, the 777X is doomed, the A330NEO is doomed, and of course the A380 is doomed. At this point, what isn't doomed?


You have a great question; and while I believe all models currently up to the 777 size in production will eventually be replaced with something (that is progress after-all); the real question as I see it is what will define a future success. This gets to rate or return on investment.

A major struggle is that the whole dynamics of the large commercial aircraft market has changed due to the intense competition. 15 years ago it was typical to expect at least a 10% return rate on investment into a new aircraft line. Nowadays; the evidence suggest that the best that can be hoped for is 5%. That is all the 787 is likely to return to Boeing long term, and I've seen some data to suggest that the A350 is most likely going to be in the same realm (the 747-8 and A380 to date indicate as overall losses to both companies).

The real issue with the MOM, as I understand it, is not that they do not see a market for at least several thousand aircraft. It is how to ensure that they get at least a 5% or better rate of return (the concept of 10% + is dead). Thus Boeing is being very careful on modeling and cost planning (and are way advanced in aircraft design and planning before launch than in any other project). The very reason Boeing is discussing with their suppliers their getting a long term piece of the long term parts is that is a way to raise the return on investment to a point that makes the MOM business case works. Of course, that squeezes the profits of the parts makers and they have to have a reasonable return on investment as well. However, it appears that both Boeing and most the parts makers are discussing how to make this work as their business also depends on new aircraft models - and everyone can see that this is just how things in the future are going to work. Airbus will have to do the same for their next new aircraft.

New commercial passenger aircraft are expensive to develop; and that will only work out for those cases where there are going to be very large (thousands) of sales - with the exception of the very largest where something might be done for a near 1000 market, with the appropriate premium cost.

Have a great day,
 
Tucker1
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Re: Is the era of economically successful planes over?

Mon Jan 14, 2019 12:49 am

Ziyulu wrote:
Flying will be boring in 20 years, where nearly every narrow-body aircraft is either a 737 or 320 and every wide-body aircraft is either a 787 or 350.

As someone who cannot afford to fly as often as others, flying will always be a joy.

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