tealnz
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More range for A321LR?

Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:26 pm

Bjorn Fehrm at Leeham has posted a couple of pieces under the heading "Can Airbus improve the A321neo further?" Leeham has a good track record on A320 development - Fehrm broke the original A321LR story, with great detail on how it was to be achieved.

This time round Fehrm again seems to be getting some good information from industry or airline sources on how Airbus might tweak the LR to achieve a nominal range closer to the Boeing "MOM" target. Seems to involve a mix of better winglets, a bit more tankage, a bit more power and a further weight increase - a package of incremental improvements potentially adding up to a further significant boost to range.

This may not be what the A322 advocates were hoping to see. On the other hand you can imagine shareholders and airline customers liking this kind of package if it offers seriously better trans-Atlantic capability and an early in-service date.

Interesting to see these pieces emerge right now. Might the boys in Toulouse have an interest in stirring things up a little just as Boeing is testing the market for a shiny new twin-aisle MOM design?
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:35 pm

I still wonder if/when they'll consider going double tandem, since they've done it before... and what sort of weight increase (if much of any) it would allow.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
airbazar
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:02 pm

Not surprised. After 3 months in commercial operations Airbus now has real data on how it performs. I'm sure they had a series of improvements lined up, depending on how its entry into service went. I wonder when the first engine PiP will happen?
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:13 pm

airbazar wrote:
Not surprised. After 3 months in commercial operations Airbus now has real data on how it performs.

A321NEO is, A321LR isn't.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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hOMSaR
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:31 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
airbazar wrote:
Not surprised. After 3 months in commercial operations Airbus now has real data on how it performs.

A321NEO is, A321LR isn't.


But isn't the LR just a NEO with extra fuel tanks?
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A321neoLR is also unnecessary. It's simply A321LR.
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Varsity1
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:53 pm

hOMSaR wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
airbazar wrote:
Not surprised. After 3 months in commercial operations Airbus now has real data on how it performs.

A321NEO is, A321LR isn't.


But isn't the LR just a NEO with extra fuel tanks?


Not really. The LR will operate at higher weights all around.

The real 'weak link" in the 321LR situation is the wing. Current heavy 321's are already anemic at altitude at high weights. Further step climb penalties takes a toll on range as lower initial cruise = more fuel burned.

I think a stretched 321 with a brand new wing would really hit the nail on the head. The commonality, low development costs and light OEW would be fantastic.
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LAX772LR
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:26 pm

hOMSaR wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
airbazar wrote:
Not surprised. After 3 months in commercial operations Airbus now has real data on how it performs.

A321NEO is, A321LR isn't.

But isn't the LR just a NEO with extra fuel tanks?

Externally... but you're dealing with different weights, different capacities, modified software, and possibly slightly differing flight characteristic.

It's like comparing a 772ER to a 772A, physically almost the same, but still requires additional testing/calculations.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:06 am

Does the LR incorporate a tail tank?
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tealnz
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:17 am

Varsity1 wrote:
The real 'weak link" in the 321LR situation is the wing. Current heavy 321's are already anemic at altitude at high weights. Further step climb penalties takes a toll on range as lower initial cruise = more fuel burned. I think a stretched 321 with a brand new wing would really hit the nail on the head. The commonality, low development costs and light OEW would be fantastic.


Sure. I think everyone likes the idea. Except maybe the shareholders. A new wing is always going to cost billions. Strikes me the real question from the Leeham pieces is about Airbus strategy. Are they thinking they need to get in fast with an airframe that has a bit more than minimum trans-Atlantic range? Maybe take a big chunk out of the bottom of Boeing's MOM market? Presumably the appeal of this is that it requires minimum engineering and certification effort and could be done by just tweaking current engines. They could hold off on any serious new investment (new wing or next-generation engine or even new airframe) until well into the 2020s. That said, at the end of the day it's all about what the market wants and is prepared to pay for.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:22 am

LAX772LR wrote:
hOMSaR wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
A321NEO is, A321LR isn't.

But isn't the LR just a NEO with extra fuel tanks?

Externally... but you're dealing with different weights, different capacities, modified software, and possibly slightly differing flight characteristic.

It's like comparing a 772ER to a 772A, physically almost the same, but still requires additional testing/calculations.


Umm not really. The A321LR is a 7,000 MTOW increase, which is a small 3-4% increase. The 772A to 772ER is an increase MTOW of about 110,000lbs which is about 20%. Airbus borrowed the LR term from Boeing, but the A321LR isn't that big of an MTOW increase. Most airplanes have various weight options and 7,000lbs wouldn't earn a new designation or require all that much testing. It is probably just a small software change and revision of the flight manuals. I think that is why they are looking at what tweaks can increase it any more.
 
Varsity1
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:10 am

Newbiepilot wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
hOMSaR wrote:
But isn't the LR just a NEO with extra fuel tanks?

Externally... but you're dealing with different weights, different capacities, modified software, and possibly slightly differing flight characteristic.

It's like comparing a 772ER to a 772A, physically almost the same, but still requires additional testing/calculations.


Umm not really. The A321LR is a 7,000 MTOW increase, which is a small 3-4% increase. The 772A to 772ER is an increase MTOW of about 110,000lbs which is about 20%. Airbus borrowed the LR term from Boeing, but the A321LR isn't that big of an MTOW increase. Most airplanes have various weight options and 7,000lbs wouldn't earn a new designation or require all that much testing. It is probably just a small software change and revision of the flight manuals. I think that is why they are looking at what tweaks can increase it any more.


7000MTOW increase, lighter OEW, larger engines.

More moving parts than first glance.
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reidar76
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:00 am

hOMSaR wrote:
But isn't the LR just a NEO with extra fuel tanks?


I would say both yes and no. Today's neo is just the A321 with the new engines. The LR variant requires the "A321neo plus" frame. The neo plus has aerodynamic optimizations, new exit door configuration and other weight reductions, MLG strengthening and 4 t increased MTOW. The neo plus is also required for the 240 pax variant. Fusalarge parts for the first neo plus arrived at TLS this summer.

Eventually all A321neos will be of the neo plus variant. The difference between a post 2019/2020 A321neo and a A321LR will then will the third additional fuel tank.

The recent Leeham stories are related to the possible neo-plus-plus.
Last edited by reidar76 on Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
giblets
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:15 am

tealnz wrote:

Sure. I think everyone likes the idea. Except maybe the shareholders. A new wing is always going to cost billions. Strikes me the real question from the Leeham pieces is about Airbus strategy. Are they thinking they need to get in fast with an airframe that has a bit more than minimum trans-Atlantic range? Maybe take a big chunk out of the bottom of Boeing's MOM market? Presumably the appeal of this is that it requires minimum engineering and certification effort and could be done by just tweaking current engines. They could hold off on any serious new investment (new wing or next-generation engine or even new airframe) until well into the 2020s. That said, at the end of the day it's all about what the market wants and is prepared to pay for.


Agree that taking the bottom out of the Boeing MOM market could be just enough, either to move the MOM upwards, and protect the A321 market advantage or get Boeing questioning the return on the investment full stop. Airbus don't even have to do that much physically to get Boeing thinking about the positioning! WIn win for them!
 
Dardania
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:36 am

Maybe instead of adding power & wing lift ability, they could reduce weight (to leave more fuel capacity)?

One of the shortcomings I understand for CRFP in short haul jets is that the weight saving is not worth the fuel burn improvement on typical short haul missions. Perhaps in context of the medium haul runs an A321LR would take, the weight (and therefore fuel consumption) saving could be worthwhile?
 
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keesje
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:00 pm

If Airbus wants to move into the MoM / NMA segment where the A310 used to be, that doesn't mean they will stop adding regular enhancements to existing A320 types/ versions.

If they go for a different wing / engines for the A320 it probably won't be named A32X anymore. When the A300 got a new wing / engines it became A310. The A330 / A340 same story.

It would probably be a new family using A320 fuselage, systems & commonality. A360-800/-900 ?

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N757ST
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:03 pm

I wonder if there is a plan soon to go to a double bogie main gear. With the current a321 weight they are approaching and exceeding in some airports the concrete weight limitations. I want to say some airports like BDL have around a ~190,000lb limit single bogie gear.
 
airbazar
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:55 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
airbazar wrote:
Not surprised. After 3 months in commercial operations Airbus now has real data on how it performs.

A321NEO is, A321LR isn't.

Engine and winglets are the same and that's where the improvements are supposedly coming from. In addition, I'm pretty sure that real operational performance data from the NEO can be extrapolated for the LR.
 
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:28 pm

Dardania wrote:
Maybe instead of adding power & wing lift ability, they could reduce weight (to leave more fuel capacity)?

One of the shortcomings I understand for CRFP in short haul jets is that the weight saving is not worth the fuel burn improvement on typical short haul missions. Perhaps in context of the medium haul runs an A321LR would take, the weight (and therefore fuel consumption) saving could be worthwhile?


Pulling weight out of an existing airplane is a monumental task. The A321 has probably gone through a number of weight reduction efforts over the years. It can cost millions of dollars to remove hundreds of pounds of Weight. I dont think it is feasible to get enough weight out to significantly increase range. Switching structural components from aluminum to composite is likely cost prohibitive.
 
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:56 pm

giblets wrote:
Agree that taking the bottom out of the Boeing MOM market could be just enough, either to move the MOM upwards, and protect the A321 market advantage or get Boeing questioning the return on the investment full stop. Airbus don't even have to do that much physically to get Boeing thinking about the positioning! WIn win for them!


It´s the same question Boeing is asking themselves: does further beefing-up the -10MAX and slimming down 787-8 won´t cover the MOM market in a far more cost-effective and efficient way than an all-new model an billions us USD invest will do? (Same analogy works for Airbus with the A321 and A338).

As a shareholder I´d rather be pleased to have the companies work on incremental improvements and beef up margins, and not to try out another extremly expensive adventure with unknown results.

At the moment launching a MOM by either Airbus or Boeing will only benefit airlines, certainly not the manufacturer´s margins short- and long-term...
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mjoelnir
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:58 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
Dardania wrote:
Maybe instead of adding power & wing lift ability, they could reduce weight (to leave more fuel capacity)?

One of the shortcomings I understand for CRFP in short haul jets is that the weight saving is not worth the fuel burn improvement on typical short haul missions. Perhaps in context of the medium haul runs an A321LR would take, the weight (and therefore fuel consumption) saving could be worthwhile?


Pulling weight out of an existing airplane is a monumental task. The A321 has probably gone through a number of weight reduction efforts over the years. It can cost millions of dollars to remove hundreds of pounds of Weight. I dont think it is feasible to get enough weight out to significantly increase range. Switching structural components from aluminum to composite is likely cost prohibitive.


The A320 family is going through weight reduction programs constantly, but we are talking about the one kg here and the one kg there. We will not see suddenly a reduction of half a metric ton.
 
astuteman
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:00 pm

Newbiepilot wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
hOMSaR wrote:
But isn't the LR just a NEO with extra fuel tanks?

Externally... but you're dealing with different weights, different capacities, modified software, and possibly slightly differing flight characteristic.

It's like comparing a 772ER to a 772A, physically almost the same, but still requires additional testing/calculations.


Umm not really. The A321LR is a 7,000 MTOW increase, which is a small 3-4% increase. The 772A to 772ER is an increase MTOW of about 110,000lbs which is about 20%. Airbus borrowed the LR term from Boeing, but the A321LR isn't that big of an MTOW increase. Most airplanes have various weight options and 7,000lbs wouldn't earn a new designation or require all that much testing. It is probably just a small software change and revision of the flight manuals. I think that is why they are looking at what tweaks can increase it any more.


Good post, my friend, as always

Varsity1 wrote:
7000MTOW increase, lighter OEW, larger engines.

More moving parts than first glance.


Er, no. 7 000lb MTOW increase. About 150kg OEW increase that I understand will become the A321NEO standard (i.e. any 321NEO can be converted to an LR ( also see note below re 3D printed bulkheads to offset the extra OEW) ), and exactly the same engines, only in 35k lb guise. The LR will, as Newbiepilot says, just another A321NEO weight variant. Which is its sinle greatest strength in the market IMO.

And why Airbus are looking to use continuous improvement of the baseline as the route to development

reidar76 wrote:
Eventually all A321neos will be of the neo plus variant. The difference between a post 2019/2020 A321neo and a A321LR will then will the third additional fuel tank.


Exactly :)

Newbiepilot wrote:
Pulling weight out of an existing airplane is a monumental task. The A321 has probably gone through a number of weight reduction efforts over the years. It can cost millions of dollars to remove hundreds of pounds of Weight. I dont think it is feasible to get enough weight out to significantly increase range. Switching structural components from aluminum to composite is likely cost prohibitive.


I think the "bionic" 3D printed cabin bulkheads are a good example of both the extent, and the limits of weight reduction available to the A320 platform.
A 75kg bulkhead will this year become a 35kg bulkhead, and applied across the whole cabin, liberates about 250kg weight. That's a lot of effort for 250kg.

mjoelnir wrote:
The A320 family is going through weight reduction programs constantly, but we are talking about the one kg here and the one kg there. We will not see suddenly a reduction of half a metric ton.


Indeed. Just the quarter of a metric tonne, as described above :D

Rgds
 
BrianDromey
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:28 pm

The question Airbus has to answer is after the A320neo where do they go?

The issue for MOM is, as ever, fuselage technologies might not allow them to save enough weight and engine technology night not gain enough efficient to justify the investment for airlines over their MAX fleets.

If Boeing do manage to make the sums work on the MOM, Airbus may be forced to respond. But if you're going to build a single-aisle MOM the fuselage cross section of the A320 seems about optimal. The 339 Vs 787 shows that an Al fuselage isn't too far off a CFRP fuselage. So would Airbus be better off putting a new wing, dusting off the double bogey and MOM engines on the A320 frame? It would likely be available sooner, be cheaper to develop, fit into current A32x operators fleets. Airbus may, in tandem, decide to build a smaller, lighter wing to compete against the C-Series. I would guess any A322/323/"A360" sized wing would be totally uncompetitive on the A319 against the C-Series, which would otherwise be the only game in town for 100-160 seat sized aircraft - of which there are many to be replaced in the coming decade.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:45 pm

Dardania wrote:
Maybe instead of adding power & wing lift ability, they could reduce weight (to leave more fuel capacity)?

One of the shortcomings I understand for CRFP in short haul jets is that the weight saving is not worth the fuel burn improvement on typical short haul missions. Perhaps in context of the medium haul runs an A321LR would take, the weight (and therefore fuel consumption) saving could be worthwhile?

The main issue is the wing. CFRP would save weight in the wing. Airbus would also gain fuel space. If folding wingtips we're added, a few tons ow weight would be saved and 200 to 300nm more range due to better aerodynamics. Better short field performance too. Airbus could also demand a new engine and could put in new gear....

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tommy1808
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:51 pm

astuteman wrote:
A 75kg bulkhead will this year become a 35kg bulkhead, and applied across the whole cabin, liberates about 250kg weight. That's a lot of effort for 250kg.


question is.. how much cheaper will those 3D printed bulkheads be? I wouldn´t be surprised if is that solution will in the end safe weight and money, even before fuel savings.

And its ~40nm range. 40nm here, 10 there, 50 over there and barely transatlantic becomes a transatlantic range....

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parapente
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 4:02 pm

Does Leeham state how much additional range is possible?

And for whom would this (extra range) be most attractive from a sales POV?

Clearly TATL routes.But not intra Europe - or North American continent I would have thought.Does it ( medium range-thin routes)have particular appeal in the Far East?
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:15 pm

As a number of folks have already said.....the wing is sub-optimal for a true MOM role. A few tweeks here and there will not change the fundamental problem.

As a 757 replacement on TATL flights from Western Europe to the East Coast the A321 LR is okay. Maybe 90-95% of what the 757 can do with much better fuel burn. But real world going westbound on a TATL 3500 nm is probably the best you can expect....and that might be pushing it.
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CRJ900
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:23 pm

Does Airbus use old-style seats or new slimline seats when calculating their weights for cabin equipment? 220 slimline seats can weigh about 400 kg less than old-style seats.
The latest galleys and slimline toilets are lighter too.
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airbazar
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:51 pm

ElroyJetson wrote:
As a number of folks have already said.....the wing is sub-optimal for a true MOM role. A few tweeks here and there will not change the fundamental problem.

But "MOM" role is very subjective. There is no universal definition for what it is. Airbus and Boeing could have very different views on what MOM is.
Having said that, there is no doubt that the A321's wing is its greatest handicap for obtaining greater range. But greater range, at least an extra 1000nm gain might not be necessary at all. The current wing span also has advantages. It's lighter for obvious reasons, and it doesn't require Code D gates, like the 757 does, or the MOM might.
At the end of the day if Airbus can increase range by about 400nm thru additional improvements and without increasing the the wingspan, I think they will have the medium haul, 200 seat market all to themselves.
 
o0OOO0oChris
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:12 pm

airbazar wrote:
The current wing span also has advantages. It's lighter for obvious reasons, and it doesn't require Code D gates, like the 757 does, or the MOM might.

I always wondered how much cheaper a A321LR is compared to the 757-200 regarding airport fees. I searched a bit and google came up with the following list for Toronto Pearson:
https://www.torontopearson.com/en/Airport_Charges_and_Fees/
I admit, I have no knowledge regarding airport fees at all, but for me it looks like this:

I assume a tatl flight, so probably 170 passengers for the A321LR and some 180 for the 757 due to range restrictions at the far end of the range?
105 minutes turnaround, bridged.

A321LR 97.000kg MTOW
B757 115.660kg MTOW
Apron fee 2,75 for A321LR and 5,75 for 757 (Code C/D)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
________________________________A321LR__B757__
Non-Domestic arrival -per seat (8,82)__1499,40__1587,60
Landing Fees per 1000kg (17,19)____1667,43__1988,20
Airport Improvement Fees (p.pax 25)__4250,00__4500,00
Apron Fee (105 minutes turn)_________288,75___603,75
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total____________________________7705,58__8679,55
Total per passenger__________________45,33____48,22
Is this about right?
If so, I would have expected that the weight difference and code D gate would make the 757 a lot more expensive, but by my calculations (probaly wrong), it doesn`t look like a big deal?
 
tealnz
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:24 pm

BrianDromey wrote:
... So would Airbus be better off putting a new wing, dusting off the double bogey and MOM engines on the A320 frame? It would likely be available sooner, be cheaper to develop, fit into current A32x operators fleets.


lightsaber wrote:
The main issue is the wing. CFRP would save weight in the wing. Airbus would also gain fuel space. If folding wingtips we're added, a few tons ow weight would be saved and 200 to 300nm more range due to better aerodynamics. Better short field performance too. Airbus could also demand a new engine and could put in new gear....
Lightsaber


ElroyJetson wrote:
As a number of folks have already said.....the wing is sub-optimal for a true MOM role. A few tweeks here and there will not change the fundamental problem.

As a 757 replacement on TATL flights from Western Europe to the East Coast the A321 LR is okay. Maybe 90-95% of what the 757 can do with much better fuel burn. But real world going westbound on a TATL 3500 nm is probably the best you can expect....and that might be pushing it.


Sorry folks. But it seems to me the whole point of the Leeham report is that Airbus are now thinking they can further tweak the A321 to achieve comfortable trans-Atlantic range without the delay and major investment that a new wing and undercarriage and engine would require. Strategically the point is that this delivers a highly competitive offering at the low end of the MOM range – and lets them do it fast and cheaply. They conserve capital until they decide it's time to do a clean-sheet MOM or NSA. They achieve a big capability margin over the MAX-10. And they make it harder for Boeing to get the numbers to add up on their plastic twin-aisle concept. Not as exciting for a.netters as a new wing but this smells like the next offering from Toulouse.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:43 pm

Yeah I think those of us on A.net like exciting and innovative development. Wing tip extensions and thrust bumps aren't that exciting, but it is what the industry wants. Airlines want minimal change, low cost options that don't impact operating costs over shorter routes that allow more payload to extend range when possible. I think there was a collective sigh when the 737-10 only was a 66 inch stretch with a levered gear as well. The idea of new wings, new gear, cfrp, etc is a bit beyond scope of what airlines are looking for.
 
Waterbomber
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:46 pm

I see repetitive postings about reduced OEW on the LR.
I think that the LR will have higher empty weights than a regular NEO in the same cabin configuration: think about the weight of the auxiliary fuel tanks (plus pipes, pumps, unusable fuel), wing, pylon, landing gear and structural reinforcements for the higher MTOW.
Some weigth savings are in order to counter that additional weight, otherwise you lose part of the pointof having a higher MTOW.
 
uconn99
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:42 am

N757ST wrote:
I wonder if there is a plan soon to go to a double bogie main gear. With the current a321 weight they are approaching and exceeding in some airports the concrete weight limitations. I want to say some airports like BDL have around a ~190,000lb limit single bogie gear.


Looks like 200,000 at BDL but other airports look to be min 250,000. Why is BDL so much lower than others? 6/24 was recently rebuilt I believe, or was it only resurfaced?

https://www.airnav.com/airport/KBDL
 
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reidar76
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:48 am

Waterbomber wrote:
I see repetitive postings about reduced OEW on the LR.
I think that the LR will have higher empty weights than a regular NEO in the same cabin configuration: think about the weight of the auxiliary fuel tanks (plus pipes, pumps, unusable fuel), wing, pylon, landing gear and structural reinforcements for the higher MTOW.
Some weigth savings are in order to counter that additional weight, otherwise you lose part of the pointof having a higher MTOW.


The regular A321 can have two auxiliary fuel tanks in the cargo compartments, both LD3-45 sized. This will increase to three tanks from 2018, and Airbus is labeling this increase as "LR".

The important thing is that there won't be two versions of the A321 going forward. Airbus announced that at the press conference when the LR was launched. The LR has the neo plus fuselage with Airbus flex cabin (AFC). Door 2, with surrounding structure and reinforcements are permanently removed. This weight saving alone is enough to counter the weight of the structural reinforcements necessary due to the modest 4 ton MTOW increase.

Leeham wrote:
"We were told that the elimination of door two brings such weight advantages that the extra strengthening of the A321LR structure that will be necessary will not increase the aircraft’s empty weight compared to a four-door variant. Airbus can thereby rationalize the build standard for A321neo so that for AFC versions there will only be one version of the aircraft which has the stronger LR structure for all variants of A321neo."

https://leehamnews.com/2015/01/18/a321n ... roduction/

Airbus also said that the LR will be bulk loaded, in order to have enough cargo space for checked-in pax bags. Not having the containerized cargo system installed, saves weight.
 
RalXWB
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:16 am

Airbus is under no pressure, because they do not have to catch up to anything. Every tweak they can get out of the current frame is an additional bonus for Airbus and its customers until the next evolution, the A322.
 
armchairceonr1
Posts: 82
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:20 am

reidar76 wrote:
Waterbomber wrote:
I see repetitive postings about reduced OEW on the LR.
I think that the LR will have higher empty weights than a regular NEO in the same cabin configuration: think about the weight of the auxiliary fuel tanks (plus pipes, pumps, unusable fuel), wing, pylon, landing gear and structural reinforcements for the higher MTOW.
Some weigth savings are in order to counter that additional weight, otherwise you lose part of the pointof having a higher MTOW.


The regular A321 can have two auxiliary fuel tanks in the cargo compartments, both LD3-45 sized. This will increase to three tanks from 2018, and Airbus is labeling this increase as "LR".

The important thing is that there won't be two versions of the A321 going forward. Airbus announced that at the press conference when the LR was launched. The LR has the neo plus fuselage with Airbus flex cabin (AFC). Door 2, with surrounding structure and reinforcements are permanently removed. This weight saving alone is enough to counter the weight of the structural reinforcements necessary due to the modest 4 ton MTOW increase.

Leeham wrote:
"We were told that the elimination of door two brings such weight advantages that the extra strengthening of the A321LR structure that will be necessary will not increase the aircraft’s empty weight compared to a four-door variant. Airbus can thereby rationalize the build standard for A321neo so that for AFC versions there will only be one version of the aircraft which has the stronger LR structure for all variants of A321neo."

https://leehamnews.com/2015/01/18/a321n ... roduction/

Airbus also said that the LR will be bulk loaded, in order to have enough cargo space for checked-in pax bags. Not having the containerized cargo system installed, saves weight.

I understand this differently. There is going to be one version for A321neo with AFC and other version for without AFC.
Airbus can thereby rationalize the build standard for A321neo so that for AFC versions there will only be one version of the aircraft which has the stronger LR structure for all variants of A321neo
 
astuteman
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:38 am

Waterbomber wrote:
I see repetitive postings about reduced OEW on the LR.
I think that the LR will have higher empty weights than a regular NEO in the same cabin configuration: think about the weight of the auxiliary fuel tanks (plus pipes, pumps, unusable fuel), wing, pylon, landing gear and structural reinforcements for the higher MTOW.
Some weigth savings are in order to counter that additional weight, otherwise you lose part of the pointof having a higher MTOW.


The reinforcements for the higher weights are said to come to about 150kg in total, which will be more than offset by OEW reductions across the range from the likes of the lighter bulkheads and revised doors.
I understand that because of this, Airbus will make the "reinforcements" standard for all A321's following the LR's introduction, so that the LR does indeed just become another weight variant of the basic plane.

Beyond question, the ACT's add to empty weight, but not of the airframe per se. They add weight to any A32X that they are fitted to.
You are right to point out that carrying around 1.8t of empty ACT is one of the trade-offs Airbus are making in ensuring the A321LR is "just another A321"

From a weight point of view, I can't help thinking that a substantially greater span CFRP wing with the necessary integral tankage could be done quite easily within the weight of the current Al wings PLUS the extra 1.8t of the ACT's - the greater lift and reduced induced drag would essentially be "free" from a weight viewpoint.

It would just be a) expensive, and b) now not just another A321.

As Newbiepilot suggests, airlines quite like something that they know and are familiar with (which is why the MAX and NEO have come into existence in the first place)

Rgds
 
BrianDromey
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:08 am

My understanding is that the AFC version ( 2 x doors, 2 overwings, one type B door) is required to take capacity to 240, so I think AFC will be required for LR and high density versions.
 
parapente
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 12:52 pm

I have not read the article(paywall).But if Airbus can find a way of cost effectively increasing range by a few hundred miles,whilst still retaining a 210ish 2 class pax load,then clearly they should.The aircraft would cover the 752 segment -and indeed the 762/310 segments.
Would make Boeings life a lot harder one imagines.
Clearly P&W need to get their act together (but they will).
 
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seahawk
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:40 pm

This matches the mood in the industry imho. If they can achieve this with minor changes compared to vanilla A321, the A321 could turn out to be even more of a winner in the future.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:44 pm

The empty weight of the aux fuel tanks is pretty minimal. Roughly 500lbs per tank on most commercial aircraft. As for the A321 LR.....it is a good replacement for the 757 on TATL flights. But visions of a true MOM to replace the 757/767 family are not going to happen unless Airbus does a significant redesign.

Per studies I've seen the sweet spot for a true MOM is roughly 200-240 seats and minimum 4500-5000 nm range. The A321 is never going to do that with its current wing and supporting structures.

I sincerely hope Boeing or Airbus come up with a true MOM frame soon. I think that is a gaping hole in the aviation market right now.
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KarelXWB
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:46 pm

tealnz wrote:
This may not be what the A322 advocates were hoping to see.


On the flip side, A321 is so much smaller than the proposed MOM aircraft that it would allow Boeing and Airbus to avoid 1:1 competition in the MOM segment. So on one hand we have A321LR with increased range that takes the bottom of the market, and on the other hand we have Boeing's newest aircraft that takes the upper hand of the market. Each taking their share of the market.
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seahawk
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:16 pm

The question is what the market actually is. If we look at the experience from Norwegian and their ideas of flying TATL from Ireland and the UK to secondary or tertiary destinations in the US it seems that operating costs are hugely important as is flexibility. Lower yields are expected, because the routes are only of limited interest to business travellers

So going by reports some things that can be learned from the planing done at Norwegian.

1. not betting on high yielding traffic
2. small fixed costs are paramount
3. high load factors are desirable
4. plane must not be too much for the infrastructure at the small airports
5. attracts new travellers very much into low prices
6. if the route does not work, it must be possible to quickly re-integrate the frames in the network -> they must work on normal A320/737 routes
 
c933103
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:22 pm

CRJ900 wrote:
Does Airbus use old-style seats or new slimline seats when calculating their weights for cabin equipment? 220 slimline seats can weigh about 400 kg less than old-style seats.
The latest galleys and slimline toilets are lighter too.

But I thought the A321LR's nominal range is with only about 180-190 passenger on board and LCCs won't put only 180-190 passengers on board and as such the given range is only relevant to legacies. And legacies most likely won't put slimline seats onto aircrafts that are dedicated to TATL flights.
 
parapente
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:47 pm

The 'sweet spot' for MOM according to published sources is indeed 200-240 (some however say higher).But of course (one class) 200-240 is exactly where the A321NEO is.indeed the LR is suggested to carry circa 210 in 2 class.Overall fractionally bigger than a 752 and about the same as a 762.
At 4,100 nm the 321LR falls short of the 4.5-5.0 nm (but further than a 752).Hence no doubt Airbus' drive to see if they can find a few more miles range if they can.
But it's not just about range it's about overall economics.If they can achieve all this with a 'standard' existing aircraft that they bash out in the multi thousand then the overall COO will be tiny v's a new build.
 
tealnz
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:07 pm

KarelXWB wrote:
tealnz wrote:
This may not be what the A322 advocates were hoping to see.


On the flip side, A321 is so much smaller than the proposed MOM aircraft that it would allow Boeing and Airbus to avoid 1:1 competition in the MOM segment. So on one hand we have A321LR with increased range that takes the bottom of the market, and on the other hand we have Boeing's newest aircraft that takes the upper hand of the market. Each taking their share of the market.


There may be something in that. If you want to extend the point, you could speculate that a decision not to rewing the A321 would open the possibility for a rewinged A300/310 combo some time in the 2020s. With next-generation engine, systems and a lightweight wing, 2-4-2 seating and LD3s it could sit a notch above the Boeing MOMs in terms of capacity but give the airlines a cabin and hold they know and like for regional routes. If Boeing gets some serious traction with their MOM Airbus might face real pressure to look again at the gap between the 321 and 332...
 
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seahawk
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:00 am

That pressure might be marketing cool aid by Boeing, because in reality they have nothing below the 787-9, as they really do not want to sell too many more 787-8 due to the higher production costs, while the 737-1000X lacks the growth potential still in the A321 frame. For such a huge demand in that section of the market, the last sales of 767-300nonER and A310/A300 pax versions lie too many years in the past.
 
astuteman
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:35 am

ElroyJetson wrote:
The empty weight of the aux fuel tanks is pretty minimal. Roughly 500lbs per tank on most commercial aircraft


Bear in mind that the Airbus ACT's hold 2.3t of fuel whereas the Boeing ACT's hold about 1.5t. The A320 ACT's are about 400kg each dry, but there is also another 200kg of "stuff" to go in. Hence each ACT adds 600kg to an A321, and 3 will add 1.8 tonnes.

This Leeham article explains

https://leehamnews.com/2015/01/15/airbu ... ats-there/

Rgds
 
parapente
Posts: 1946
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:15 am

Btw did the article suggest where they could stuff any more fuel?Cant think where without major changes.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: More range for A321LR?

Sun Aug 13, 2017 3:17 pm

astuteman wrote:
ElroyJetson wrote:
The empty weight of the aux fuel tanks is pretty minimal. Roughly 500lbs per tank on most commercial aircraft


Bear in mind that the Airbus ACT's hold 2.3t of fuel whereas the Boeing ACT's hold about 1.5t. The A320 ACT's are about 400kg each dry, but there is also another 200kg of "stuff" to go in. Hence each ACT adds 600kg to an A321, and 3 will add 1.8 tonnes.

This Leeham article explains

https://leehamnews.com/2015/01/15/airbu ... ats-there/

Rgds




I didn't know that, thanks. I have read most aux fuel tanks empty weight is roughly 500-550 lbs. If Airbus aux tanks hold almost a ton more fuel than Boeing the 800 kg empty weight figure makes sense.
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