Discussion:
Northwest orders more A-330s
(too old to reply)
JF Mezei
2005-02-01 06:44:57 UTC
Permalink
Airbus announced an order from Northwest for 2 330-200s and 6 330-300s.
No delivery dates mentioned. Is this a case of lack of confidence in the
350, or just that NW needs deliveries well before the 350 could enter
service ?


The 330-200s will seat 243 pax in 2 class config.
the 330-300s will seat 298 pax in 2 class config.

Northwest is now the largest North American Airbus customer, and number
#2 in the world.

##
Northwest’s history with Airbus is quite notable. It became in 1989 the
first North American operator of the A320 – just one year after the
aircraft type entered service. Northwest currently operates a fleet of
150 A320 Family aircraft, among the largest A320 Family fleets in the
world. Northwest was also the first U.S. carrier to operate the
A330-200. It currently flies 15 A330s.
##

Continental placed some orders for 787s, and now Northwest for 330s. Is
this an indication of a start of a trend to increase capacity on intl
routes ? Or just a blip from the two least bankrupt carriers ?
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AJC
2005-02-01 14:30:10 UTC
Permalink
On 1 Feb 2005 01:44:57 -0500, in misc.transport.air-industry JF Mezei
Post by JF Mezei
Airbus announced an order from Northwest for 2 330-200s and 6 330-300s.
No delivery dates mentioned. Is this a case of lack of confidence in the
350, or just that NW needs deliveries well before the 350 could enter
service ?
Maybe they have seen the results of more than a year's 330 ops
replacing some DC10 transatlantics, and it has been better than
expected, so they want to bring forward further replacement. I'm sure
that for a customer as good as NW, Airbus would give them a very nice
buy back deal if they wanted to switch to 350s when they become
available.
Post by JF Mezei
The 330-200s will seat 243 pax in 2 class config.
the 330-300s will seat 298 pax in 2 class config.
Northwest is now the largest North American Airbus customer, and number
#2 in the world.
##
Northwest’s history with Airbus is quite notable. It became in 1989 the
first North American operator of the A320 – just one year after the
aircraft type entered service. Northwest currently operates a fleet of
150 A320 Family aircraft, among the largest A320 Family fleets in the
world. Northwest was also the first U.S. carrier to operate the
A330-200. It currently flies 15 A330s.
##
And maybe become the first US carrier to operate passenger 380s?
Post by JF Mezei
Continental placed some orders for 787s, and now Northwest for 330s. Is
this an indication of a start of a trend to increase capacity on intl
routes ? Or just a blip from the two least bankrupt carriers ?
Do the 330s increase capacity over the DC10s? In the case of CO they
haven't actually confirmed the 787 orders, only given some indication
of intent. It could just be a case of publicity generation, confidence
building, to try to avoid doing a UA, US, etc.
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Nikolaj & Marianne
2005-02-01 14:30:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Airbus announced an order from Northwest for 2 330-200s and 6
330-300s. No delivery dates mentioned. Is this a case of lack of
confidence in the 350, or just that NW needs deliveries well before
the 350 could enter service ?
- sip -

I can't tell what is the case for NW. However, if I was responsible for
an airline's purchase of new planes I would be very careful in ordering
the 787. Boeing is desperate now. It is the 11th hour if the company is
to remain a major producer of airframes. The 757 is dead, the 767 and
the 747 almost so and the end of the line for the 737 is now in sight
leaving Boeing with the 777 only.

In this situation Boeing must be gambling. In order to regain their
leading position they must take risks as they will need to offer big
leaps. However offering big leaps now and being able to meet the big
promises later is two different matters. Certain people have been very
doubtful (and is still so) about whether the A380 will meet its
promises. However the same people seems less doubtful when it comes to
the 787. I strongly doubt the 787 will ever meet Boeing's promises.

Nik
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JF Mezei
2005-02-01 20:24:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
In this situation Boeing must be gambling. In order to regain their
leading position they must take risks as they will need to offer big
leaps. However offering big leaps now and being able to meet the big
promises later is two different matters. Certain people have been very
doubtful (and is still so) about whether the A380 will meet its
promises. However the same people seems less doubtful when it comes to
the 787. I strongly doubt the 787 will ever meet Boeing's promises.
I am not so pessimistic about the 787. As far as the beats is
concerned, we should know by end of this year how well/poorly it
performs. If the beast doesn't deliver on promises, expect Boeing to
sell a lot of 747s in 2006 (which might cause it to stop its
"fragmentation" propagenda).

There are no questions that the 787 will be able to achieve substantial
performance improvements over the 767. And it can carry more cargo in
standard containers du to it having a 330 fuselage width (more or less).

The question is whether the 787 will have a *significant* advantage over
the 350/330 or whether the performance advantage will be cancelled by
higher leasing and perhaps maintenance costs. (or maintenanmce costs
could also be significantly lower, but we won't know until the plane has
been in operation for a few years).

For Airbus, I have a feeling that the 350 may be more of a replacement
for the 340 than for the 330. So one has to ask whether the 350 will be
able to have the range of the 340-500, and if it will be stretcheable to
the -600 with only 2 engines. (Remember that the 777 has HUGE engines to
allow it to do this, will the GEnx engines be as big as those of the 777 ?

Since the announcement of the 350, the 330 has outsold by a huge margin
the 350, The 350 is still at 10 orders, and if I recall, we are talking
about at least 26 330s sold since december.

So far, the 787 is a far better success than the 350.
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matt weber
2005-02-02 00:04:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
In this situation Boeing must be gambling. In order to regain their
leading position they must take risks as they will need to offer big
leaps. However offering big leaps now and being able to meet the big
promises later is two different matters. Certain people have been very
doubtful (and is still so) about whether the A380 will meet its
promises. However the same people seems less doubtful when it comes to
the 787. I strongly doubt the 787 will ever meet Boeing's promises.
I am not so pessimistic about the 787. As far as the beats is
concerned, we should know by end of this year how well/poorly it
performs. If the beast doesn't deliver on promises, expect Boeing to
sell a lot of 747s in 2006 (which might cause it to stop its
"fragmentation" propagenda).
There are no questions that the 787 will be able to achieve substantial
performance improvements over the 767. And it can carry more cargo in
standard containers du to it having a 330 fuselage width (more or less).
The question is whether the 787 will have a *significant* advantage over
the 350/330 or whether the performance advantage will be cancelled by
higher leasing and perhaps maintenance costs. (or maintenanmce costs
could also be significantly lower, but we won't know until the plane has
been in operation for a few years).
For Airbus, I have a feeling that the 350 may be more of a replacement
for the 340 than for the 330. So one has to ask whether the 350 will be
able to have the range of the 340-500, and if it will be stretcheable to
the -600 with only 2 engines. (Remember that the 777 has HUGE engines to
allow it to do this, will the GEnx engines be as big as those of the 777 ?
Since the announcement of the 350, the 330 has outsold by a huge margin
the 350, The 350 is still at 10 orders, and if I recall, we are talking
about at least 26 330s sold since december.
So far, the 787 is a far better success than the 350.
The A350 has some serious marketing issues. The gain relative to the
A330 is very small, it loses about 5 tonnes, and gains about a 1%
improvement in cruise drag. It cannot use a bleedless engine. For $5
billion, that isn't a lot of benefit. We can estimate the fuel burn
advantage over the A330.
If we assume a 12 hour operating day, that is about 4400 hours per
year 5 tonnes is 11000 pounds, so the reduced fuel burn relative to
the A330 is 11000/16 x .55 x 4400 that is about 1,600,000 pounds of
fuel per year, give the benefit of a 1% reduction for the rest
3000000/15 x.55 x .01 x 4400 is another 454,000 pounds of fuel,
total saving 2,000,,000 pounds per year. That works out to about
290000 gallons of fuel per year, at todays prices, about $350,000 a
year.
Airbus quotes a $7 million higher price, so it will only take 20 years
to recover the $7 million on fuel burn savings. Gee thanks....

Over the life of the aircraft, the fuel savings has a Net Present
Value (NPV) of about $3 million. It also means that you need to sell
about 1650 of them before the fuel burn savings recovers the cost of
the Non-recurring engineeing costs. This also assume EADS can deliver
on the 5t weight reduction. Weight managment has been a problem for
EADS.

Translation: Bad investment for Airlines, Bad Investment for EADS,
Couple that with delivery that is close to the 21st of Never, and why
would anyone want to sign on the dotted line today, especially given
EADS penchant for selling A330's at deeply discounted prices. While
the selling prices aren't announced, you can get a very accurate
pricture of them from the financial placement notices that show up in
the Wall Street Journal. For example EK has been paying about
$80,000,000 a copy for A330's, that is about half of the suggest
retail price on the A350.

EADS would probably be better off trying to squeeze every penny out of
the A330 manufacturing process, and about 2010, look at an all new
airframe.

The 7E7 is considerably closer to delivery, and the real problem for
EADS is that they are now forced to compete with 7E7 economics, even
if the 7E7 never takes to the sky.

Early indications are that the 7E7 will enjoy a weight advantage on
the order of 40,000 pound over the A350.
40000/16 *.55 *4400=6,005,000 pounds annual fuel burn advantage

Just from the lower EW on the 7E7, there is a fuel savings of over 6
million pounds per year, or about $1,000,000 per year, so the NPV fuel
savings just from the lower weight has a Net Present Value of about $8
million. That ignores a probably 2-3% benefit from a bleedless engine.

It remains to be seen if Boeing can delivery, but traditionally they
have been pretty good at it, and until proven otherwise, that becomes
the price performance standard EADS has to compete against.

Since the 7E7 now 787 has bagged a large order from China, there are
now over 100 orders from 'real airlines' like Continental, ANA and
China. From looking at the delivery positions, it is appears the these
carriers were holding delivery positions well before the formal
announcements. Boeing claims to be holding deposits for about 250
delivery positions.
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AJC
2005-02-02 13:23:34 UTC
Permalink
On 1 Feb 2005 19:04:42 -0500, in misc.transport.air-industry matt
Post by matt weber
Since the 7E7 now 787 has bagged a large order from China, there are
now over 100 orders from 'real airlines' like Continental, ANA and
China. From looking at the delivery positions, it is appears the these
carriers were holding delivery positions well before the formal
announcements. Boeing claims to be holding deposits for about 250
delivery positions.
Can you give us a link for this order info? Boeing quote just 56
orders on their website, coming from Air New Zealand, All Nippon, and
Blue Panorama. I know a few others have expressed interest or intent,
but actual orders?


http://active.boeing.com/commercial/orders/displaystandardreport.cfm?optReportType=CurrentModels&cboCurrentModel=7E7&cboAllModel=&ViewReportS=View+Report

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Lee Witten
2005-02-02 20:11:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by matt weber
Post by JF Mezei
So far, the 787 is a far better success than the 350.
The A350 has some serious marketing issues. The gain relative to the
A330 is very small, it loses about 5 tonnes, and gains about a 1%
improvement in cruise drag. It cannot use a bleedless engine. For $5
billion, that isn't a lot of benefit. We can estimate the fuel burn
advantage over the A330.
I snipped the excellent summary of fuel savings per year.

I'm enough of a geek that I made a graph with range as the X axis
and passenger capacity as the Y axis. In looking at this, I see
that the a330-200 and a330-300 have the same size as the a350-800
and a350-900 respectively, but the a350 seem to have a 30% increase
in range. So I'm wondering if giving it the ability to carry 5 more
tonnes of fuel will give it 30% range?
Post by matt weber
Translation: Bad investment for Airlines, Bad Investment for EADS,
Couple that with delivery that is close to the 21st of Never, and why
would anyone want to sign on the dotted line today, especially given
EADS penchant for selling A330's at deeply discounted prices.
I wonder if Airbus is discounting A330s to try to reduce the market
for 787s. If you don't need the range of 787, and if you want quick
delivery, and if already have some Airbus models in your fleet, buying
the discounted A330s makes a lot of sense. And sales of these types
will probably make it less likely that the customer will buy 787.

I'm not knocking Airbus here, it seems to me to be very good
business savvy. Sell the heck out of what you have now to try to
lock in your customer base as much as possible, and by doing this,
you deprive your rival of the funds it needs to compete. It's
hard nosed business strategy, but business is business.

Say what you want about A380s stand-alone merits, but if nothing
else it makes the customers who buy it less likely to buy additional
747s.

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AJC
2005-02-04 11:25:06 UTC
Permalink
On 1 Feb 2005 15:24:49 -0500, in misc.transport.air-industry JF Mezei
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
In this situation Boeing must be gambling. In order to regain their
leading position they must take risks as they will need to offer big
leaps. However offering big leaps now and being able to meet the big
promises later is two different matters. Certain people have been very
doubtful (and is still so) about whether the A380 will meet its
promises. However the same people seems less doubtful when it comes to
the 787. I strongly doubt the 787 will ever meet Boeing's promises.
I am not so pessimistic about the 787. As far as the beats is
concerned, we should know by end of this year how well/poorly it
performs. If the beast doesn't deliver on promises, expect Boeing to
sell a lot of 747s in 2006 (which might cause it to stop its
"fragmentation" propagenda).
There are no questions that the 787 will be able to achieve substantial
performance improvements over the 767. And it can carry more cargo in
standard containers du to it having a 330 fuselage width (more or less).
The question is whether the 787 will have a *significant* advantage over
the 350/330 or whether the performance advantage will be cancelled by
higher leasing and perhaps maintenance costs. (or maintenanmce costs
could also be significantly lower, but we won't know until the plane has
been in operation for a few years).
For Airbus, I have a feeling that the 350 may be more of a replacement
for the 340 than for the 330. So one has to ask whether the 350 will be
able to have the range of the 340-500, and if it will be stretcheable to
the -600 with only 2 engines. (Remember that the 777 has HUGE engines to
allow it to do this, will the GEnx engines be as big as those of the 777 ?
Since the announcement of the 350, the 330 has outsold by a huge margin
the 350, The 350 is still at 10 orders, and if I recall, we are talking
about at least 26 330s sold since december.
So far, the 787 is a far better success than the 350.
Surely Airbus are in a no lose situation with the 350. If it doesn't
take off, they just keep churning out the popular 330s as a tried and
tested, available, compatible mid size aircraft. If the 350 is a
success, they just switch to producing that. Presumably the production
lines can easily be switched from 330 to 350 if the latter becomes the
preferred choice. There is nothing wrong with the 330, so if airlines
play safe and keep placing orders for the known product, then all well
and good. Boeing, on the other hand, has to make a success of the 787,
it has no existing product like the 330.
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Lee Witten
2005-02-02 22:06:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
I can't tell what is the case for NW. However, if I was responsible for
an airline's purchase of new planes I would be very careful in
ordering
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
the 787. Boeing is desperate now. It is the 11th hour if the company is
to remain a major producer of airframes. The 757 is dead, the 767 and
the 747 almost so and the end of the line for the 737 is now in sight
leaving Boeing with the 777 only.
The 737 has a backlog of 776 airframes:

http://active.boeing.com/commercial/orders/displaystandardreport.cfm?optReportType=UnfAnnModel&ViewReportF=View+Report

On top of this, it beat out Lockheed and won the MMA contract for $20
Billion
and 108 airframes:

http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2004/q2/nr_040614n.html

So, I don't think the end is in sight.
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
In this situation Boeing must be gambling. In order to regain their
leading position they must take risks as they will need to offer big
leaps. However offering big leaps now and being able to meet the big
promises later is two different matters. Certain people have been very
doubtful (and is still so) about whether the A380 will meet its
promises. However the same people seems less doubtful when it comes to
the 787. I strongly doubt the 787 will ever meet Boeing's promises.
I suppose balance is not your strong point. You complain Boeing's
product line is dying, and you complain that Boeing is taking too
big a leap with its new products. Which is it - are they too slow,
or too fast? Doing too little, or too much?

Of course, you could take the view that Boeing is careful to not
churn their installed base (i.e. release new models frequently,
thus undermining the value of the existing planes) and is careful
to only refresh the products when there is a clear technological
reasons and market demands to do so, but you are free to take
whatever view you want.

I think the A380 will be a technological success, and I think it
was a brilliant business move. By making it difficult for B to
sell 747s, it makes it harder for B to update the rest of its
product line. Whether it was the best way to invest $12 billion
or more dollars is up for debate, in my opinion.

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d***@hotmail.com
2005-02-08 10:07:30 UTC
Permalink
While the A380 is an interesting technological achievement, I don't
think that the A380 is a briliant business move.

Personally, it's much more possible that the A380 was created as an
intention to defame the Boeing 747 and Boeing in general. In other
words, it's just like Tier One (SpaceShip One and White Knight),
Freedom Fries and Toast, and Operation Iraqi Freedom, something that is
intentionally created to create division between people and make them
fight each other.

It's doubtful that even Airbus wanted to create the A380, they probably
would rather create something that is more compatible to current
airports and more desireable to more airline companies.



As for the 787.

Well... It's not know on whether it would be as as successful as the
737, but suffice that if it work (doesn't necessary mean it's a
success), then many of the work on it can be used on other aircrafts
designs, possibly toward the replacement aircraft design for both the
717 and the 737.

Personally, the 787 probably is meant as the replacement for the top
717 and the 737.



As for Boeing gambling, desparate, at the 11th hour, and so on.

That's what 'they' said. Personally, from my experience, what ever that
is said, it's almost always the opposite.

And also IF for some unknown reason Boeing (Boeing Airplane Company to
be more exact, since Boeing produces a lot of stuff) pulled out of the
market.

It should be noted that IF Boeing is out of the market, there will be
no more major North American commercial airliner manufacturers.

Personally, I find it odd that if there's an U.S.A. citizen that wanted
Boeing out of the market. But then again, 'they' always wanted people
to rebel.

And also if Boeing is out of the market, then Airbus would be only the
'giant' commercial airliner manufacturer out there.

Then again, maybe it's better that way. That way I wouldn't have to
hear the 'Boeing vs Airbus' things from hell again.

Unfortunately, 'they' will always wanted to make people fight each
other, so 'they' probably kept Boeing alive in order to kept the
'spirit of competition' alive (which usually mean people beating the
heck out of each other).

Or maybe we would fortunate that 'they' will decided to merge all of
the aircraft companies they own that we wouldn't have to hear those
'versus' things again. But then again, that time is still a long time
from now.



As for new aircrafts.

While it's nice creating new aircrafts that is at the technological
edge, we got to remember that there are ten of thousands of old
aircrafts out there, and they are designed to last for decades.
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Jeff Hacker
2005-02-02 00:36:31 UTC
Permalink
[snip]
Post by JF Mezei
Continental placed some orders for 787s, and now Northwest for 330s. Is
this an indication of a start of a trend to increase capacity on intl
routes ? Or just a blip from the two least bankrupt carriers ?
In the case of Northwest, they're replacing their remaining DC10's - they've
probably noticed a tremendous savings with the 330's over the 30 year old
DC10s, especially since Northwest did not ever buy new DC10-30's (they
bought the series 40 with P&W engines, and have now gotten rid of those).
So it probably makes good sense to simplify their fleet with the 330's, and
get rid of the DC10's.

As for Continental, they have several routes that the 787 might be very well
suited for, including some routes now operated by 777's or 767-400's.
Post by JF Mezei
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Nikolaj & Marianne
2005-02-02 13:23:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
I am not so pessimistic about the 787. As far as the beats is
concerned, we should know by end of this year how well/poorly it
performs. If the beast doesn't deliver on promises, expect Boeing to
sell a lot of 747s in 2006 (which might cause it to stop its
"fragmentation" propagenda).
Now is 2005. The beast is to enter service in 2008. That means that
there are still at least 2 years before roll out and first flight. There
will perhaps be as much as 1 year before production begins. There are
still quite some R&D to be done...
Post by JF Mezei
There are no questions that the 787 will be able to achieve
substantial performance improvements over the 767. And it can carry
more cargo in standard containers du to it having a 330 fuselage width
(more or less).
To beat the 767 should not be a big challenge. This beast strongly
underperformed when it came out. I know from insiders that SAS flew it
with huge Boeing subsidies due to that.
Post by JF Mezei
The question is whether the 787 will have a *significant* advantage
over the 350/330 or whether the performance advantage will be
cancelled by higher leasing and perhaps maintenance costs. (or
maintenanmce costs could also be significantly lower, but we won't
know until the plane has been in operation for a few years).
I've seen claims that it should do 30% better than the 350/330.
Post by JF Mezei
For Airbus, I have a feeling that the 350 may be more of a replacement
for the 340 than for the 330. So one has to ask whether the 350 will
be able to have the range of the 340-500, and if it will be
stretcheable to the -600 with only 2 engines. (Remember that the 777
has HUGE engines to allow it to do this, will the GEnx engines be as
big as those of the 777 ?
Since the announcement of the 350, the 330 has outsold by a huge
margin the 350, The 350 is still at 10 orders, and if I recall, we are
talking about at least 26 330s sold since december.
Well the 350 will be out in 2010. Perhaps that will be too long to wait
for many.
Post by JF Mezei
So far, the 787 is a far better success than the 350.
--
Not really. The 787 is still a replacement for a Boeing product that
many will be re-newing. So Boeing simply has a huge stockpile of old
customers from the time of the company's glory days that will prefer
Boeing. The very same reason that the 737NG can still be sold at all.
Take out the China purchase as well as the Japanese one. They are both
more due to political rather then economical ones (I Japan due to
"coordinated industrial politics) In China due to the standing US trade
deficit. Notice also that they have been ordering to a whole bounce of
airlines at the same time. Looks like they have been going for impact
(and perhaps some rebate) in the US public. No doubt some of these
customers has been told more or less nicely from Beijing that now they
were going to fly Boeing!). Then there is the few give-always such as
the two to New Zealand.... Boeing still haven't got one single
impressive order that is 1) not obviously politically motivated 2) not
from a Boeing (or predominantly Boeing) customer 3) not a gift.


Nik
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Lee Witten
2005-02-02 20:12:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
Not really. The 787 is still a replacement for a Boeing product that
many will be re-newing. So Boeing simply has a huge stockpile of old
customers from the time of the company's glory days that will prefer
Boeing. The very same reason that the 737NG can still be sold at all.
Take out the China purchase as well as the Japanese one. They are both
more due to political rather then economical ones (I Japan due to
"coordinated industrial politics) In China due to the standing US trade
deficit. Notice also that they have been ordering to a whole bounce of
airlines at the same time. Looks like they have been going for impact
(and perhaps some rebate) in the US public. No doubt some of these
customers has been told more or less nicely from Beijing that now they
were going to fly Boeing!). Then there is the few give-always such as
the two to New Zealand.... Boeing still haven't got one single
impressive order that is 1) not obviously politically motivated 2) not
from a Boeing (or predominantly Boeing) customer 3) not a gift.
You are entitled to your opinion, but I must say you are very cynical,
and not very objective. I think you can accuse both A and B of using
whatever selling tool they need to use, be it political manuvers,
selling into their installed base, and selling below market value as
a part of a package deal.

You seem to be slighting the technical merits of the B787, and I'd
be careful in doing so. It will be lighter in weight and have more
efficient systems than its competitors. Its use of composites will
reduce maintenence costs by the elimination of metal corrosion and
fatigue issues. It really has the potential to change the way the
whole game is played. If there is any real issue with B787 one should
worry that B is taking on too much new technology in one bite.

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JF Mezei
2005-02-02 22:35:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lee Witten
You seem to be slighting the technical merits of the B787, and I'd
be careful in doing so. It will be lighter in weight and have more
efficient systems than its competitors.
It will be ligher and more efficient than the current 330. Since we
don't know what the 350 will be like, it is hard to compare them.

Boeing has said that the use of composite for fuselage won't save much
weight if at all compared to modern aluminium products.

And the jury is still out on whether all the additiomal systems to
replace bleed air will end up saving weight or weight a lot more.

In terms of maintenance, the composites may alleviate corrosion issues,
but they also introduce delamination issues and will require new
maintance/inspection procedures and hardware.
Post by Lee Witten
whole game is played. If there is any real issue with B787 one should
worry that B is taking on too much new technology in one bite.
The same would have been said of the A320. And it did have a lot of bad
hiccups early on. But in time, they got it to work really well and reliably.

Someone mentioned that he 350 would use a GEnx derivative with bleed
air. I personally have only seen mention that they would use GEnx, and
other than that, there is very little said about the 350s differences
with A330. My guess is that Airbus is closely evaluating its options.

Remember that since the 330, Airbus has made extensive advancements in
materials, both aluminium, composites and a blend of the two. They would
be very stupid not to make use of this for their 350.

It would be rather pointless to make a 350 that is nearly identical to
the 330.

What is intriguing is that Airbus has received authorisation to offer on
a very virtual aircraft whose specs are not defined yet. By the time the
A3XX got authorsation to offer, it was far better defined, they already
had tested concepts such as composite wings, cold welding instead of
rivets etc and there was plenty of documents on the airbus web site
about the A3XX.

But for the A350, nothing. Nada. Zilch. I certainly wouldn't commit to
such a virtual aircraft until it was better defined. And if it really
was just a 330 with a new number and bigger fuel tanks, then I'd go to
Airbus and tell them not to spend 5 billion on such a project and just
put the bigger tanks on the existing 330s and call them 330-200ER and 330-300ER.
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JF Mezei
2005-02-02 20:34:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
Now is 2005. The beast is to enter service in 2008.
I was talking about the 380 (beast). I don't consider the 787 to be
beast. It is more of a puppy compared to the 380 :-)
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
there are still at least 2 years before roll out and first flight. There
will perhaps be as much as 1 year before production begins. There are
still quite some R&D to be done...
Yes, the 787 is still some ways off from having real performance
metrics. Some people seem to think that he comosite fiselage will save
much weight, but Boeing admitted that compared with modern aluminium,
the composite will actually be a bit heavier. (Note that the 380 has a
fuselage on the upper section made from layers of composite and aluminium).
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
I've seen claims that it should do 30% better than the 350/330.
I don't believe those claims. I 20% better than the 767, yes. Maybe 30%
for configs that load up the 787 to the max.

But compared with the 330, and especially the 350, I think that the
difference will be much less.
I suspect that Airbus will want its 350 to be within 5% of the 787.
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
Post by JF Mezei
talking about at least 26 330s sold since december.
Well the 350 will be out in 2010. Perhaps that will be too long to wait
for many.
Yes, but is also a problem for Airbus because it now has to pitch the
existing 330 against the virtual 787 full of big promises since its 350
is so far away and still such a virtual aircraft without any real details.

When you consider that Airbus' multi-year pitch for its A3XX essentially
dried up 747 sales, I think Airbus is still lucky to be selling 330s
now, while Boeing is touting its still virtual 787.
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
Not really. The 787 is still a replacement for a Boeing product that
many will be re-newing. So Boeing simply has a huge stockpile of old
customers from the time of the company's glory days that will prefer
Boeing.
Outside of Delta/Continental/American, I am not so sure that the Boeing
"loyalty" is so great with regards to 767/330 class aircraft. Northwest
just ordered 330s. Air Canada is getting both a 340 and a 767 from the
used market and already has 330s. Air France has both Airbus and Boeing.
One must also not forget that by growing the 767 to the 330 class, the
787 will also compete against the 777 and steal some sales from the 777.

I'd say the amrket is wide open for both the 330/350 and 787. One
problem for Boeing is that it took so long to renew the 767 that it
forced many airlines to go with the 330, and once they've begun with the
330, it is a bit harder to introduce yet another plane.

Consider Air Canada. It has both 767s and 330/340s. When the time comes
to choose between the 787 or the 330/350, AC will have to choose between
a totally new aircraft type with no commonality, and one which it
already has or which has huge commonality with what it already has.

Now, for an airline such as American, either way, the ditching of the
767 requires a totally new plane type be introduced. However, because
the 787 will have some commonality with the 777 cockpit, which AA
already has, then the 787 will have an edge over any airbus product, be
it the 330 or 350.

The true success of the 787 will not be measured with AA/DL/CO. Those
sales are a given once these airliens start buying again. It will be
measured with airlines that currently have both the 767 and 330/340. If
they chose the 787 over the 330/350, then it means that Boeing will
truly have a much superior product to Airbus. If they continue to choose
the 330/350, then it means that the difference between the 787 and
330/350 won't be significant enough to cause such airlines to change.
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
Take out the China purchase as well as the Japanese one. They are both
more due to political rather then economical ones
Note that China ordered 20 A330s a week or two before the 60 787
orders, as well as ordered 5 A380s. (and Airbus is confident there are
more 380s to come for China). You shoudl note that both French and
German heads of state visited China on "trade mssion" late in 2004 to
negotiate those sales.

So every sale in China is very political. You should note that the EU is
now a bigger trading partner with China than the USA is with China. (But
it so more balanced, so trade deficit is not as big).
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
deficit. Notice also that they have been ordering to a whole bounce of
airlines at the same time. Looks like they have been going for impact
(and perhaps some rebate) in the US public.
Central ordering of planes is pretty standard in China. And I don't
think that the "american public" has been much of an issue. Boeing would
have been negotiating with the chinese for quite a few months. Remember
how Boeing was bragging about bagging 200 orders before DEC 31 2004,
even days before the deadline ?

They may have failed miserably to reach that goal, but it also probably
means that they were already negotiating with custoemrs for 200 planes
and that the process was just delayed. I wouldn't be surprised to see
them reach the 200 target of real orders by June of this year.
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
the two to New Zealand.... Boeing still haven't got one single
impressive order that is 1) not obviously politically motivated 2) not
from a Boeing (or predominantly Boeing) customer 3) not a gift.
While the "no a single impressive order" was a valid argument last year.
But I don't consider it valid anymore. They have gotten some commitments
from Continental and the 60 chinese orders. That is a huge order.

Saw a newsclip from the head organiser of the New York 2012 olympic bid.
He agreed that the USA's image is terrible and that it will have serious
negative impact on the selection of New York as host city.

I have to wonder if Boeing is also having similar problems with airlines
in the rest of the world. If so, it is probably just a question of
patience. Eventually the USA will regain better image in the world.
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Lee Witten
2005-02-03 11:08:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
The true success of the 787 will not be measured with AA/DL/CO. Those
sales are a given once these airliens start buying again. It will be
measured with airlines that currently have both the 767 and 330/340. If
they chose the 787 over the 330/350, then it means that Boeing will
truly have a much superior product to Airbus. If they continue to choose
the 330/350, then it means that the difference between the 787 and
330/350 won't be significant enough to cause such airlines to change.
I see your points (those snipped and not), but I think you are talking
about moral victory, or ego victory. Boeing's focus will be to sell
enough planes at a big enough profit margin to provide a reasonable
return on investment, and if it can do that by selling solely to
AL/DL/CO plus JL etc. then it'll feel victorious.

As implied by your points on A330 sales (China, NW) and Matt Weber's
inference that EK is getting A330s at $80M a copy, Airbus seems to
be doing its best to place as many A330s as soon as possible,
presumably to reduce the market for B787. If so, it's a very shrewd
move.
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Nikolaj & Marianne
2005-02-03 11:12:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by AJC
http://active.boeing.com/commercial/orders/displaystandardreport.cfm?o
ptReportType=UnfAnnModel&ViewReportF=View+Report
On top of this, it beat out Lockheed and won the MMA contract for $20
http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2004/q2/nr_040614n.html
So, I don't think the end is in sight.
I didn't say that the 737 was dead but that the end of its life is now
in sight. It is still a re-invention of a frame developed in the
60'ties. The fact that Boeing has allowed the A320 to take such a huge
market share in the first place is somewhat of a defeat.
Post by AJC
I suppose balance is not your strong point. You complain Boeing's
product line is dying, and you complain that Boeing is taking too big
a leap with its new products. Which is it - are they too slow, or too
fast? Doing too little, or too much?
They have - under their former CEO - been taking a far to shortsighted
perspective (as short as the stock options given to their CEO) and done
far too little R&D so as to keep up with Airbus. This leaves them now in
a situation where a large part of their product line needs
re-development at once. Had they gone for a new frame rather then the NG
the situation might have been much different now. Airbus might not have
taken such big market share.
Post by AJC
Of course, you could take the view that Boeing is careful to not churn
their installed base (i.e. release new models frequently, thus
undermining the value of the existing planes) and is careful to only
refresh the products when there is a clear technological reasons and
market demands to do so, but you are free to take whatever view you
want.
I believe that this strategy has proven its weakness again and again in
the history of business. Usually this strategy is used as an excuse to
reduce R&D costs. In high tech (I consider aviation as high tech even if
the airplane is older than the computer) high R&D investment
characterizes successful companies. And Boeing has not been keeping up
and, therefore, now has do some gamboling.
Post by AJC
I think the A380 will be a technological success, and I think it was a
brilliant business move.
Perhaps you are right. The jury is still out. The thing has not yet
taken to the air. Only then will we know.

By making it difficult for B to sell 747s,
Post by AJC
it makes it harder for B to update the rest of its product line.
Whether it was the best way to invest $12 billion or more dollars is
up for debate, in my opinion.
I see the point. However, had Boeing not let Airbus get so much ahead,
the situation might have been different. In some other context someone
said that Boeing's former CEO (name skips my mind) might well represent
the down point in Boeings history. And I think that person is right.

Nik
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Lee Witten
2005-02-03 17:01:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
I didn't say that the 737 was dead but that the end of its life is now
in sight.
Current projections are that it will be in production for at least
another decade. You must have very good vision.

I could see you saying the end is in sight for the A300 and B767
since there are almost no new orders coming in. Of course these
aircraft will be with us for decades to come, but at least I can
see why you say the end is in sight. If you followed the link
above, you see people are still ordering B737s.
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
It is still a re-invention of a frame developed in the
60'ties.
And your point is? Every large transport with podded engines
and swept back wings is a direct descendent of the B-47 from
the 1940s. The B707, B727, B737 and B757 share the same basic
fuselage design. The A330/A340 fuselage is a direct descendent
of the A300 fuselage designed in the early 70s. I guess the
end is in sight for these too. I'll grant that the systems
of the B737 may be old tech compared to the A320, but does that
really make much of a difference? If so, please quantify.
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
The fact that Boeing has allowed the A320 to take such a huge
market share in the first place is somewhat of a defeat.
I'm sure there were factors outside of Boeing's control.
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
They have - under their former CEO - been taking a far to
shortsighted
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
perspective (as short as the stock options given to their CEO) and done
far too little R&D so as to keep up with Airbus. This leaves them now in
a situation where a large part of their product line needs
re-development at once. Had they gone for a new frame rather then the NG
the situation might have been much different now. Airbus might not have
taken such big market share.
A talks a lot about the value of preserving the investment of the
installed base, and about the value of commonality. B clearly
had a large installed base, and they wanted to protect their
investment in training, etc. The famous example of this is WN
asking B to program the displays to draw dials instead of using
digits, to preserve the investment in training of their pilots.
If B had gone all-new, I think A320 could have an even larger
market today, since many of B's customers would have given the
A320 a closer look.

As a techno freak, I too would like to see lots of R&D, but it
has to be balanced with the desires of the customers. I worked
at DEC for ten years. Lots of good R&D projects, but no market.
Result: no DEC.

Also I think B had a lot of commercial market exposure that
A has been protected from, and in the future I imagine that
A's environment will be more like B's currently is.
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
I believe that this strategy has proven its weakness again and again in
the history of business. Usually this strategy is used as an excuse to
reduce R&D costs. In high tech (I consider aviation as high tech even if
the airplane is older than the computer) high R&D investment
characterizes successful companies. And Boeing has not been keeping up
and, therefore, now has do some gamboling.
I'm wondering if you though the A320 project was a sound business
decision or a gamble.
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
I see the point. However, had Boeing not let Airbus get so much ahead,
the situation might have been different. In some other context
someone
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
said that Boeing's former CEO (name skips my mind) might well
represent
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
the down point in Boeings history. And I think that person is right.
I agree that Phil Condit's tenure has not been good for Boeing. At
the peak of the B737 production run, they found a way to loose money
on each one. The purchase of McD-D was a failure. The scandals in
the military side of the company are unexusable. And I agree that
Boeing's focus was too much on the stock price and not enough on the
product line. Now that the internet bubble has burst, stock
performance
is more inline with traditional trends, and so I hope B can focus more
on product development.
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JF Mezei
2005-02-03 21:48:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lee Witten
see why you say the end is in sight. If you followed the link
above, you see people are still ordering B737s.
If you exclude airlines which have a religion of having only one plane
type, are there still that many orders for 737s ?

I think it was you who mentioned a huge backlog of orders for the 737.
Even Boeing ahs admitted that it scaled down revenu expectations because
it knows that a certain percentage of all outstanding orders will not be delivered.

In fact, Boeing was very realistic on September 12th 2001 and immediatly
realised that deliveries would no longer match its order book due to
cancellations and postponements. Boeing immediatly began big layoffs.
Bombardier refused to admit Sept 11 would have any impact and continued
to pain a rosy scenario until it was unable to hide the fact that it had
gone from highly succesful to very close to bankrupcy because of
overproduction, heads rolled and the Bombardier family had to step in
with a large injection of new capital (they bought the recreational
vehicles division) to save the aeronautics division.

Airbus was somewhat in the middle. They were poised to hire lots more
people and raise production and cancelled those plans. (Effectively
scaling down their original plans).

In light of this, I don't think that Boeing's order book for the 737 can
be taken as a bible. Even Boeing admitted that it factored that a non
insignificant number of orders would not be delivered.

With airlines in the USA starting to streamline schedules, they won't
need extra domestic planes. I think that Delta was able generate
capacity equivalent to 19 aircraft by just making its schedule more
efficient.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see Boeing convert 737 orders into
787 orders for the USA carriers. This would allow Boeing to deliver
something to the airlines sooner than if Boeing waited for the airlines
to be ready to take delivery of the postponed 737s. To the airline, it
would be a way to cancel those now unnecessary 737s without penalties
and a way to replace the older 767s with more fuel efficient 787.

Now that high oil prices seem here to stay and the new floor raised from
$20 to $30 or even $35 per barrel, and now that airlines are hurting due
to price of oil, operating the more fuel efficient aircraft will have a
greater weight in fleet decisions.

My guess is that Northwest's order for thr 330s to replace DC-10s is
probably due to this. If, even during financially difficult times,
ordering 330s to replace DC10s must mean that NW will save money real
fast due to lower fuel and maintenance costs.

Not sure if that post ever got though, but to give you an example:
Westjet is scaling down its growth for 2005, but instead of postponing
deliveries, it is going to retire its old 737-200s. The 737NG are 30%
more fuel efficient than 737-200s, and cost $100 per flying hour for
maintenance versus $1,100 for the 737-200s.

However, when you look at airlines such as AA which did a major fleet
renewall as part of Stage 3 in the late 1990s, there aren't that many
aircraft left in their fleet which can be replaced with one whose
operating costs are so much lower that it pays to order tbe new aircraft.

Northwest, on the other hand still has old inefficient aircraft in its
fleet. With the death of the 717, what will Northwest replace its DC9s
with ? Could this be where Bombardier and Embraer come in with their 100
pax planes ?
Post by Lee Witten
And your point is? Every large transport with podded engines
and swept back wings is a direct descendent of the B-47 from
the 1940s.
I am sure that a aeronautical engineer would disagree with you on this.
While to the average person, the wings look the same, I would assume
that experts see huge differences between old wings and current wings.

But we are getting to a point, a bit like the olympics, where advances
are becoming smaller and smaller in tersm of aerodynamic design since
the "art" has been transformed into a better understood science with
fairly accurate computer models. (And the 380 will be one big test to
see if our understanding of aerodynamics can really translate into
products that perform as planned).
Post by Lee Witten
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
The fact that Boeing has allowed the A320 to take such a huge
market share in the first place is somewhat of a defeat.
I'm sure there were factors outside of Boeing's control.
Nop, that is no excuse.

Airbus introduced robots to rivet the A320 sections. Boeing continued
its old tried and tested manual riveting methods (one example). As a
result, the A320 production line was far more efficient than that of the
737.

Had Boeing moved in the last 1980s to revamp 737 production with modern
automated techniques, it may have been able to prevent the A320 from
taking so much market share by being able to offer cheaper 737s.

An inferior product may still be widely succesful if it is priced low
enough that the financing advantages edge out performance disadvantages.
And I think that the same could be said of the 747. f Boeng had been
able to lower production costs for the 747 substantially, then Airbus
might not hve been able to sell the A380 because its TCO might not have
offered subatantial enough savings.

Also, the 1990s were difficult for Boeing because USA airlines were
forced to upgrade their fleets to meet Stage III requirements. So they
ordered heaps of 737s to replace aging DC-9, 737 and 727 aircraft.
Boeing was overwhelmed with this orders with unrealistic delivery
promises to meet those deadlines and it was no time to change production
line of the 737s. Boeing should have automated the line before the "gold
rush" started. It would have allowed Boeing to produce 737s faster with
fewer manpower, at lower costs and less upheavals due to overproduction.


While the 737 isn't doing poorly, one must look at trends. And the trend
doesn't look good with more airlines ditching 737s in favour of 320s
than those ditching 320 in favour of 737s.
Post by Lee Witten
If B had gone all-new, I think A320 could have an even larger
market today, since many of B's customers would have given the
A320 a closer look.
It all depends on hwo good a new-737 would be against the A320. If 1990s
technology would have had a big enough edge over 1980s A320, then the
737 would have had a distinct advantage and Southwest would have still
chosen Boeing, and Boeing would have been able to convince many other
airlines to choose 737 over A320, especially when you look at some of
the low cost airlines who are ditching their 737s in favour of A320s.

On the other hand, designing a brand new 737s would have made it harder
for Boeing to price the plane competitively against A320s because of all
the R&D costs that have to be paid back.

You cabn still have a succesfull less effficient and older product if
you lower its price. To do so, you need to lower production costs. And
that would require new tooling etc.
Post by Lee Witten
Also I think B had a lot of commercial market exposure that
A has been protected from, and in the future I imagine that
A's environment will be more like B's currently is.
Nop. B's environment will be more like A's. Look at the 787 where Boeing
went to Japan and elswhere for subsidies and long term financing,
knowing full well that the USA capital system doesn't provide long term
capital, they are only interested in next quarter's results.
Post by Lee Witten
I'm wondering if you though the A320 project was a sound business
decision or a gamble.
Both. Airbus knew full well that in order to steal sales from Boeing, it
had to present a radically improved aircraft with modern tecnologies
yielding real results. Boeing loyalty was such that Airbus wouldn't be
able to steal customers with an equivalent product. It had to be a
clearly superior product.

And they had to force feed the A320 to enough airlines before word go
around that it was now trendy and socially acceptable to order from Airbus.

Airbus had no choice but to gamble everything for the A320. And it took
about 7 years between first commercial flight and market acceptance for
the A320. (long period partly due to all the hiccups the A320 suffered
druing first 2 years of operation).

Now, Airbus is cosially acceptable, very trendy and with its A380, very
respected. People realise that Airbus is technologically very advanced
and isn't some 3rd world manufacturer of cardboard boxes. This was
strenghtened since Airbus restructured itself into a publicly traded
corporation that reports profits.

(I realise that in the USA, the general public (and media) still see
Airbus as government owned and money losing operation that requires
hefty subsidies to survive, but airline execs know the real story).
Post by Lee Witten
I agree that Phil Condit's tenure has not been good for Boeing. At
the peak of the B737 production run, they found a way to loose money
on each one.
Wasn't it Snonecipher who lost his job over the 737 debacle ?
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Lee Witten
2005-02-04 02:00:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Lee Witten
see why you say the end is in sight. If you followed the link
above, you see people are still ordering B737s.
If you exclude airlines which have a religion of having only one plane
type, are there still that many orders for 737s ?
See for yourself. Go to

http://active.boeing.com/commercial/orders/modelselection.cfm

and select 737 and read.
Post by JF Mezei
I think it was you who mentioned a huge backlog of orders for the 737.
Even Boeing ahs admitted that it scaled down revenu expectations because
it knows that a certain percentage of all outstanding orders will not be delivered.
I agree. Lots of airlines are not doing that well these days.
Some are customers of B, some are customers of A.

But Nik's point was "the end was in sight" and I still don't see
how he comes to that conclusion.
Post by JF Mezei
In fact, Boeing was very realistic on September 12th 2001 and
immediatly
Post by JF Mezei
realised that deliveries would no longer match its order book due to
cancellations and postponements. Boeing immediatly began big layoffs.
Bombardier refused to admit Sept 11 would have any impact and
continued
Post by JF Mezei
to pain a rosy scenario until it was unable to hide the fact that it had
gone from highly succesful to very close to bankrupcy because of
overproduction, heads rolled and the Bombardier family had to step in
with a large injection of new capital (they bought the recreational
vehicles division) to save the aeronautics division.
Airbus was somewhat in the middle. They were poised to hire lots more
people and raise production and cancelled those plans. (Effectively
scaling down their original plans).
In light of this, I don't think that Boeing's order book for the 737 can
be taken as a bible. Even Boeing admitted that it factored that a non
insignificant number of orders would not be delivered.
I agree.

On the other hand, it's been said that Southwest is unhappy about
737NG delivery times. It wants more capacity right now, to fill
the void being left by the decline of US Airways.
Post by JF Mezei
With airlines in the USA starting to streamline schedules, they won't
need extra domestic planes. I think that Delta was able generate
capacity equivalent to 19 aircraft by just making its schedule more
efficient.
In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see Boeing convert 737 orders into
787 orders for the USA carriers. This would allow Boeing to deliver
something to the airlines sooner than if Boeing waited for the
airlines
Post by JF Mezei
to be ready to take delivery of the postponed 737s. To the airline, it
would be a way to cancel those now unnecessary 737s without penalties
and a way to replace the older 767s with more fuel efficient 787.
Now that high oil prices seem here to stay and the new floor raised from
$20 to $30 or even $35 per barrel, and now that airlines are hurting due
to price of oil, operating the more fuel efficient aircraft will have a
greater weight in fleet decisions.
My guess is that Northwest's order for thr 330s to replace DC-10s is
probably due to this. If, even during financially difficult times,
ordering 330s to replace DC10s must mean that NW will save money real
fast due to lower fuel and maintenance costs.
Westjet is scaling down its growth for 2005, but instead of
postponing
Post by JF Mezei
deliveries, it is going to retire its old 737-200s. The 737NG are 30%
more fuel efficient than 737-200s, and cost $100 per flying hour for
maintenance versus $1,100 for the 737-200s.
Interesting.
Post by JF Mezei
However, when you look at airlines such as AA which did a major fleet
renewall as part of Stage 3 in the late 1990s, there aren't that many
aircraft left in their fleet which can be replaced with one whose
operating costs are so much lower that it pays to order tbe new aircraft.
Northwest, on the other hand still has old inefficient aircraft in its
fleet. With the death of the 717, what will Northwest replace its DC9s
with ? Could this be where Bombardier and Embraer come in with their 100
pax planes ?
Post by Lee Witten
And your point is? Every large transport with podded engines
and swept back wings is a direct descendent of the B-47 from
the 1940s.
I am sure that a aeronautical engineer would disagree with you on this.
While to the average person, the wings look the same, I would assume
that experts see huge differences between old wings and current wings.
But we are getting to a point, a bit like the olympics, where
advances
Post by JF Mezei
are becoming smaller and smaller in tersm of aerodynamic design since
the "art" has been transformed into a better understood science with
fairly accurate computer models. (And the 380 will be one big test to
see if our understanding of aerodynamics can really translate into
products that perform as planned).
I agree.
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Lee Witten
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
The fact that Boeing has allowed the A320 to take such a huge
market share in the first place is somewhat of a defeat.
I'm sure there were factors outside of Boeing's control.
Nop, that is no excuse.
Airbus introduced robots to rivet the A320 sections. Boeing continued
its old tried and tested manual riveting methods (one example). As a
result, the A320 production line was far more efficient than that of the
737.
Had Boeing moved in the last 1980s to revamp 737 production with modern
automated techniques, it may have been able to prevent the A320 from
taking so much market share by being able to offer cheaper 737s.
An inferior product may still be widely succesful if it is priced low
enough that the financing advantages edge out performance
disadvantages.
Post by JF Mezei
And I think that the same could be said of the 747. f Boeng had been
able to lower production costs for the 747 substantially, then Airbus
might not hve been able to sell the A380 because its TCO might not have
offered subatantial enough savings.
I recall B saying in the 1990s that A was inefficient because it
had factories all around the world, yet B had critical mass in
Seattle. Seems they re-thought that one. It's nice to be in
a situation where your subcontractors are competing with each
other to lower prices. Thus we get US landing gear on A380,
and EU landing gear on B787.

I think B was fat dumb and happy and did not optimize away labor
costs to the degree A did.
Post by JF Mezei
Also, the 1990s were difficult for Boeing because USA airlines were
forced to upgrade their fleets to meet Stage III requirements. So they
ordered heaps of 737s to replace aging DC-9, 737 and 727 aircraft.
Boeing was overwhelmed with this orders with unrealistic delivery
promises to meet those deadlines and it was no time to change
production
Post by JF Mezei
line of the 737s. Boeing should have automated the line before the "gold
rush" started. It would have allowed Boeing to produce 737s faster with
fewer manpower, at lower costs and less upheavals due to
overproduction.

Agreed.
Post by JF Mezei
While the 737 isn't doing poorly, one must look at trends. And the trend
doesn't look good with more airlines ditching 737s in favour of 320s
than those ditching 320 in favour of 737s.
I agree with your analysis, but I don't think this adds up to the end
being in sight.
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Lee Witten
If B had gone all-new, I think A320 could have an even larger
market today, since many of B's customers would have given the
A320 a closer look.
It all depends on hwo good a new-737 would be against the A320. If 1990s
technology would have had a big enough edge over 1980s A320, then the
737 would have had a distinct advantage and Southwest would have still
chosen Boeing, and Boeing would have been able to convince many other
airlines to choose 737 over A320, especially when you look at some of
the low cost airlines who are ditching their 737s in favour of A320s.
On the other hand, designing a brand new 737s would have made it harder
for Boeing to price the plane competitively against A320s because of all
the R&D costs that have to be paid back.
You cabn still have a succesfull less effficient and older product if
you lower its price. To do so, you need to lower production costs. And
that would require new tooling etc.
I think B did inject a lot of the right technology to refresh the 737.
If it was still 1960s technology, then it would not be still getting
orders today. I think an all new B737 in the mid 90s would not be
much different than the current one, would have cost a lot, and would
have made the current users unhappy, since they'd have to retrain,
get new spares, etc for not much benefit.
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Lee Witten
Also I think B had a lot of commercial market exposure that
A has been protected from, and in the future I imagine that
A's environment will be more like B's currently is.
Nop. B's environment will be more like A's. Look at the 787 where Boeing
went to Japan and elswhere for subsidies and long term financing,
knowing full well that the USA capital system doesn't provide long term
capital, they are only interested in next quarter's results.
Could very well be.
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Lee Witten
I'm wondering if you though the A320 project was a sound business
decision or a gamble.
Both. Airbus knew full well that in order to steal sales from Boeing, it
had to present a radically improved aircraft with modern tecnologies
yielding real results. Boeing loyalty was such that Airbus wouldn't be
able to steal customers with an equivalent product. It had to be a
clearly superior product.
And they had to force feed the A320 to enough airlines before word go
around that it was now trendy and socially acceptable to order from Airbus.
Airbus had no choice but to gamble everything for the A320. And it took
about 7 years between first commercial flight and market acceptance for
the A320. (long period partly due to all the hiccups the A320
suffered
Post by JF Mezei
druing first 2 years of operation).
Now, Airbus is cosially acceptable, very trendy and with its A380, very
respected. People realise that Airbus is technologically very
advanced
Post by JF Mezei
and isn't some 3rd world manufacturer of cardboard boxes. This was
strenghtened since Airbus restructured itself into a publicly traded
corporation that reports profits.
(I realise that in the USA, the general public (and media) still see
Airbus as government owned and money losing operation that requires
hefty subsidies to survive, but airline execs know the real story).
I know A is not government owned, but there is lots of government
pride tied up in A, given the number of high government officials
present at the A380 roll-out.
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Nikolaj & Marianne
2005-02-03 11:17:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lee Witten
You are entitled to your opinion, but I must say you are very cynical,
and not very objective.
You might say so. You are entitled to have your opinion as well. I think
that I am very objective as I am not so taken by the marketing circus
that Boeing is coming up with. Taking into account how big a leap Boeing
claims they will make with the 787 I am highly surprised that so very
few (no one actually - only JF a little bit) ever questions their
ability to deliver on their promises. In particular as the very same
people who trust Boeing's marketing as a fundamentalist Christian trusts
the Bible have no problems being very doubtful (and rightly so) about
the performance of the 380. Just like to see some of the same healthy
doubt applied to B as well!
Post by Lee Witten
I think you can accuse both A and B of using
whatever selling tool they need to use, be it political manuvers,
selling into their installed base, and selling below market value as a
part of a package deal.
This is plain nonsense. Market value is the price that the market
determines in competition between is suppliers. As long as there is good
and healthy competition between A & B (and they do not try to fix prices
between them) prices will be lower than what A & B ask. Mind you.
Neither A nor B is in this business for charity. How big their margins
will be will be determined by demand and production capacity of the two.


Of cause A & B will use all means that they have in order to get sales.
They should do so in fact. However, when JF claims that the 787 has
outsold the 330/350 he is right of cause as far as numbers are
concerned. However, he cannot draw many conclusions from this fact.
Looking at the list of customers it does not indicate market consensus
that the 787 is a better deal than the 330/350.
Post by Lee Witten
You seem to be slighting the technical merits of the B787, and I'd be
careful in doing so.
Your shouldn't. You should rather be critical.
Post by Lee Witten
It will be lighter in weight and have more
efficient systems than its competitors.
Well that is what Boeing says but I still want to see them actually
achieve. Are you reading Boeing marketing as a fundamentalist would
read....
Post by Lee Witten
Its use of composites will
reduce maintenence costs by the elimination of metal corrosion and
fatigue issues.
You are right that composites MIGHT reduce maintenance costs. However,
they might also make maintenance costs much much higher as composite
materials potentially have huge problems as well. Next time you go to
HKG take a look at their windows in the terminal building. They are
composite (layers of plastic and glass glued together). They are all
breaking down now about 6 years after the opening of the airport and
must all be changed. This material might not be used in the 787. But
similar problems might occur here. This is just one potential problems
with composite materials.
Post by Lee Witten
It really has the potential to change the way the
whole game is played. If there is any real issue with B787 one should
worry that B is taking on too much new technology in one bite.
Is this blind faith in Boeings marketing again?

Nik
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Lee Witten
2005-02-03 17:02:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
You might say so. You are entitled to have your opinion as well. I think
that I am very objective as I am not so taken by the marketing circus
that Boeing is coming up with. Taking into account how big a leap Boeing
claims they will make with the 787 I am highly surprised that so very
few (no one actually - only JF a little bit) ever questions their
ability to deliver on their promises. In particular as the very same
people who trust Boeing's marketing as a fundamentalist Christian trusts
the Bible have no problems being very doubtful (and rightly so) about
the performance of the 380. Just like to see some of the same healthy
doubt applied to B as well!
I don't think you need to be so provocative. Bringing religion into
this, albeit indirectly, will lead to the kind of nonsense going on
in r.t.a. I'm kind of surprised the moderators didn't suggest toning
it down a bit. I was taught as a young man to keep religion, sex and
politics out of polite conversation. I'd like to think this forum is
for polite conversation.

I don't know why you accuse me of blind faith. Composites have been
used in gliders since the 1960s. Interestingly enough, Europe led
the way. Their light weight and their ability to take on almost any
contour led to unheard of performance. Within a decade there were
no more metal ships on top of the leader boards at sailplane races,
and within two decades there were no more major American sailplane
manufacturers left. They missed the boat on composites, and never
caught up. Now we see composite aircraft taking the lead in the
general aviation space. Cessna et al are quite worried about
Lancair et al changing the whole business landscape, as they should
be.

The main drawback to composites had been the high amount of hands on
labor needed. It's a big part of why each B2 bomber is so expensive.
B's approach to this is to use robots to do much of the work. From
what I can tell, this appears to be working out OK. I suppose this
may be blind faith, but it's such a crucial part of the program, and
if it were going badly we'd begin to hear of delays to the program.
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
This is plain nonsense. Market value is the price that the market
determines in competition between is suppliers. As long as there is good
and healthy competition between A & B (and they do not try to fix prices
between them) prices will be lower than what A & B ask. Mind you.
Neither A nor B is in this business for charity. How big their
margins
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
will be will be determined by demand and production capacity of the two.
I was responding to your claims of "gifts", presumably a reference to
the inclusion of B787s in the NZ order. What's the difference between
a "gift" and "selling below market price"? I've been avoiding making
this an A vs B thing, but what's the difference between the NZ order
and the QF order where A330s were bundled with A380s? I think we'd
agree there's very little difference.
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
Of cause A & B will use all means that they have in order to get sales.
They should do so in fact. However, when JF claims that the 787 has
outsold the 330/350 he is right of cause as far as numbers are
concerned. However, he cannot draw many conclusions from this fact.
Looking at the list of customers it does not indicate market
consensus
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
that the 787 is a better deal than the 330/350.
I agree it's too early to know much about what the A350 will do in
the market.
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
Post by Lee Witten
Its use of composites will
reduce maintenence costs by the elimination of metal corrosion and
fatigue issues.
You are right that composites MIGHT reduce maintenance costs.
However,
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
they might also make maintenance costs much much higher as composite
materials potentially have huge problems as well. Next time you go to
HKG take a look at their windows in the terminal building. They are
composite (layers of plastic and glass glued together). They are all
breaking down now about 6 years after the opening of the airport and
must all be changed. This material might not be used in the 787. But
similar problems might occur here. This is just one potential
problems
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
with composite materials.
Yes, composites have their down sides too. Personally, I do not expect
them to outweigh the advantages. I also do not expect a return to
wooden
tennis rackets, not for the serious players. My statement below shows
I am concerned about the downsides too. But there's already lots of
information about uses of composites in aviation, and indeed lots of
A and B products are flying around right now with composite tail
feathers.
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
Post by Lee Witten
It really has the potential to change the way the
whole game is played. If there is any real issue with B787 one should
worry that B is taking on too much new technology in one bite.
Is this blind faith in Boeings marketing again?
I'm sure my opinion is being formed by more than Boeing's marketing
department. I'm not so sure why you need to be so provocative to
make your points.
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Nikolaj & Marianne
2005-02-03 11:14:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Yes, the 787 is still some ways off from having real performance
metrics. Some people seem to think that he comosite fiselage will save
much weight, but Boeing admitted that compared with modern aluminium,
the composite will actually be a bit heavier. (Note that the 380 has
a fuselage on the upper section made from layers of composite and
aluminium).
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
I've seen claims that it should do 30% better than the 350/330.
I don't believe those claims. I 20% better than the 767, yes. Maybe
30% for configs that load up the 787 to the max.
But compared with the 330, and especially the 350, I think that the
difference will be much less. I suspect that Airbus will want its 350
to be within 5% of the 787.
Agreed - I think this is more or less the picture.
Post by JF Mezei
Yes, but is also a problem for Airbus because it now has to pitch the
existing 330 against the virtual 787 full of big promises since its
350 is so far away and still such a virtual aircraft without any real
details.
When you consider that Airbus' multi-year pitch for its A3XX
essentially dried up 747 sales, I think Airbus is still lucky to be
selling 330s now, while Boeing is touting its still virtual 787.
While you are talking something like 20% savings (potentially) in the
A380/747 battle (and perhaps more after a few years of fine tuning) the
question is whether or not you will get the same in the 330 v 787/350.
Post by JF Mezei
Outside of Delta/Continental/American, I am not so sure that the
Boeing "loyalty" is so great with regards to 767/330 class aircraft.
Northwest just ordered 330s. Air Canada is getting both a 340 and a
767 from the used market and already has 330s. Air France has both
Airbus and Boeing. One must also not forget that by growing the 767 to
the 330 class, the 787 will also compete against the 777 and steal
some sales from the 777.
I'd say the amrket is wide open for both the 330/350 and 787. One
problem for Boeing is that it took so long to renew the 767 that it
forced many airlines to go with the 330, and once they've begun with
the 330, it is a bit harder to introduce yet another plane.
Consider Air Canada. It has both 767s and 330/340s. When the time
comes to choose between the 787 or the 330/350, AC will have to choose
between a totally new aircraft type with no commonality, and one which
it already has or which has huge commonality with what it already has.
Now, for an airline such as American, either way, the ditching of the
767 requires a totally new plane type be introduced. However, because
the 787 will have some commonality with the 777 cockpit, which AA
already has, then the 787 will have an edge over any airbus product,
be it the 330 or 350.
The true success of the 787 will not be measured with AA/DL/CO. Those
sales are a given once these airliens start buying again. It will be
measured with airlines that currently have both the 767 and 330/340.
If they chose the 787 over the 330/350, then it means that Boeing will
truly have a much superior product to Airbus. If they continue to
choose the 330/350, then it means that the difference between the 787
and 330/350 won't be significant enough to cause such airlines to
change.
God analysis here. However you haven't seen AC et al making 787 orders
yet.
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
Take out the China purchase as well as the Japanese one. They are
both more due to political rather then economical ones
Note that China ordered 20 A330s a week or two before the 60 787
orders, as well as ordered 5 A380s. (and Airbus is confident there are
more 380s to come for China). You shoudl note that both French and
German heads of state visited China on "trade mssion" late in 2004 to
negotiate those sales.
So every sale in China is very political. You should note that the EU
is now a bigger trading partner with China than the USA is with China.
(But it so more balanced, so trade deficit is not as big).
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
deficit. Notice also that they have been ordering to a whole bounce
of airlines at the same time. Looks like they have been going for
impact (and perhaps some rebate) in the US public.
Central ordering of planes is pretty standard in China. And I don't
think that the "american public" has been much of an issue. Boeing
would have been negotiating with the chinese for quite a few months.
Remember how Boeing was bragging about bagging 200 orders before DEC
31 2004, even days before the deadline ?
I am not so sure. The trade deficit of the US with China (and in
general) is HUGE. As China is one of those that's being accused of being
the root of problems in the US itself (too much consumption compared to
production) they need to have good will.
Post by JF Mezei
They may have failed miserably to reach that goal, but it also
probably means that they were already negotiating with custoemrs for
200 planes and that the process was just delayed. I wouldn't be
surprised to see them reach the 200 target of real orders by June of
this year.
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
the two to New Zealand.... Boeing still haven't got one single
impressive order that is 1) not obviously politically motivated 2)
not from a Boeing (or predominantly Boeing) customer 3) not a gift.
While the "no a single impressive order" was a valid argument last
year. But I don't consider it valid anymore. They have gotten some
commitments from Continental and the 60 chinese orders. That is a huge
order.
As defined above I still think the augment is valid even if many more of
their orders are real. In that you are right: Something has happened
since last year. It is no longer a virtual planes to a more or less
virtual customers. "Impressive", however, will be used by me if the
plane gets an AC et al order (cf. your analysis above)
Post by JF Mezei
Saw a newsclip from the head organiser of the New York 2012 olympic
bid. He agreed that the USA's image is terrible and that it will have
serious negative impact on the selection of New York as host city.
I have to wonder if Boeing is also having similar problems with
airlines in the rest of the world. If so, it is probably just a
question of patience. Eventually the USA will regain better image in
the world.
--
No doubt that GW is an expensive choice of president for the US in many
ways
...

Nik
Post by JF Mezei
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Nikolaj & Marianne
2005-02-04 12:23:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lee Witten
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
I didn't say that the 737 was dead but that the end of its life is
now
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
in sight.
Current projections are that it will be in production for at least
another decade. You must have very good vision.
I could see you saying the end is in sight for the A300 and B767 since
there are almost no new orders coming in. Of course these aircraft
will be with us for decades to come, but at least I can see why you
say the end is in sight. If you followed the link above, you see
people are still ordering B737s.
I shall only comment on this as JF has expressed views (no doubt better
than I would ever be able to) close to mine. they need not to be
repeated. The end of the A300 is sure coming as well as the end of the
767. Add to this that there has not been any 747 orders since 2002.
Boeing is now creating a 3G (or should we say a 4G?) airframe to take
over from the 767. Where does that leave the 737? The answer to this
seems rather straight forward: As the only 2G still in production while
the market is now established 3G or perhaps even going to 4G (if the
bleadless engine will prove to be so revolutionary as to be seen as a
new paradigm on par with the introduction of the turbofan, the FBW etc.)

Nik
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Lee Witten
2005-02-04 16:20:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
I shall only comment on this as JF has expressed views (no doubt better
than I would ever be able to) close to mine. they need not to be
repeated. The end of the A300 is sure coming as well as the end of the
767. Add to this that there has not been any 747 orders since 2002.
Boeing is now creating a 3G (or should we say a 4G?) airframe to take
over from the 767. Where does that leave the 737? The answer to
this
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
seems rather straight forward: As the only 2G still in production while
the market is now established 3G or perhaps even going to 4G (if the
bleadless engine will prove to be so revolutionary as to be seen as a
new paradigm on par with the introduction of the turbofan, the FBW etc.)
I disagree that you can call the current B737 a 2G aircraft. The way
I see it: B737/[12]00 is 1G, B737/[345]00 is 2G and B737/[6789]00 is
3G. If the current B737 was a 2G aircraft, they'd all be getting
retired, like B727, DC-10, et. al. The current A320 may have some
technical advancements beyond the B737, but none that make a
significant difference IMHO. The new wing and avionics make the
B737 a new generation aircraft. A cursory look at the specification
of B737-400 vs B737-700 show this to be so.

I think it is fair to say the B787 is a 4G airplane, and B has already
hinted that its next big project after the B787 will be to produce a
4G replacement for the B737, but that will be a long time in the
future.

Note JAL just announced an intent to order 30 B737s today, with
options for 10 more. I know some will attribute this to politics,
but it's hard for me to believe that JAL would accept an uncompetitive
plane. In any case, the end of the B737 is now a little bit further
away.
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JF Mezei
2005-02-04 20:08:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lee Witten
I disagree that you can call the current B737 a 2G aircraft.
737NG would be a 2.5g aircraft. It has the 2G cockpit and system, and
some 3g features in its wings and engines. It is not fly-by-wire and
thus still has lots of heavy mechanical parts that link cockpit to the surfaces.

It also cannot have systems such as the A320s turbulence alleviation
systems which is computer driven.

And more importantly, it has a cockpit which is still incompatible with
newer Boeing planes such as the 777 and 787.
Post by Lee Witten
The current A320 may have some
technical advancements beyond the B737, but none that make a
significant difference IMHO.
If the differences were large, Boeing would be out of business. And just
like the olympics, differences in advancement get smaller and smaller at
every iteration.

But to an airline, a 1% fuel efficiency improvement still results in
large amount of money saved at the end of the year.
Post by Lee Witten
I think it is fair to say the B787 is a 4G airplane, and B has already
hinted that its next big project after the B787 will be to produce a
4G replacement for the B737, but that will be a long time in the
future.
Lets say that the 787 proves to be succesfull (performance wise).
Boeing would be stupid to wait a long time before applying this new
technology to a 737 replacement.

Just because sales of the 737 are still OK doesn't mean that a new model
isn't needed. Consider that if a new 737, Boeing could increase its
market share from around 50% to 70%, this would be an oportunity that
Boeing would be stupid to ignore.

The 737's market share has been slowly eroded by the 320. Sales may
still be good enough to keep the production line opened, but that
doesn't mean that postponing indefinitely the new 737 is a good idea.

Of course, the question then becomes whether any of the 787's new
philosophy would make a difference to shorter flights typically operated
by 737s. (The way I see it, the 787 gains engine efficiency in exchange
for higher weight due to all the additional systems needed). For short
hops with lots of cycles and short cruise, perhaps this would not be
beneficial. We'll know in a couple of years how Boeing's plan to go
bleed-less goes.
Post by Lee Witten
Note JAL just announced an intent to order 30 B737s today, with
options for 10 more. I know some will attribute this to politics,
Whether politics or other, it is still an order. And if they take
delivery of those 30 and pay for them, it is still business.
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Lee Witten
2005-02-05 16:44:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Lee Witten
I disagree that you can call the current B737 a 2G aircraft.
737NG would be a 2.5g aircraft. It has the 2G cockpit and system, and
some 3g features in its wings and engines. It is not fly-by-wire and
thus still has lots of heavy mechanical parts that link cockpit to the surfaces.
It also cannot have systems such as the A320s turbulence alleviation
systems which is computer driven.
And more importantly, it has a cockpit which is still incompatible with
newer Boeing planes such as the 777 and 787.
Would you settle for 2.8 G? 2.9 G? 2.9999 G? :-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_737 says:

The Next-Generation 737 encompasses the -600, -700, -800 and -900, and
amounted to what was a *complete redesign* of the 30-year old airliner.
New wings, new avionics and revised engines were the biggest
engineering
changes. The 737 was given a hi-tech glass cockpit with LCD screens and

digital systems heavily inspired by that used on the 777. An all new
interior was designed for the Next-Generation 737, again borrowing
heavily
from the 777. The 737NG is an *entirely new aircraft*, sharing very
little
with previous 737s, other than fuselage frames. The parts count is down

by about 33%, reducing weight and simplifying maintenance greatly.

Anyhow, I'll round up to 3G, you can straddle the fence, but that can
be painful if you're not careful!
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Lee Witten
The current A320 may have some
technical advancements beyond the B737, but none that make a
significant difference IMHO.
If the differences were large, Boeing would be out of business. And just
like the olympics, differences in advancement get smaller and smaller at
every iteration.
But to an airline, a 1% fuel efficiency improvement still results in
large amount of money saved at the end of the year.
Indeed. While A320 is impressive, B737 is still doing fine.
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Lee Witten
I think it is fair to say the B787 is a 4G airplane, and B has already
hinted that its next big project after the B787 will be to produce a
4G replacement for the B737, but that will be a long time in the
future.
Lets say that the 787 proves to be succesfull (performance wise).
Boeing would be stupid to wait a long time before applying this new
technology to a 737 replacement.
I don't think it's an issue of stupidity, it's a cost / benefit trade
off. The move to 4G will have huge benefits to the customers in terms
of operational and maintenance costs and improved customer
satisfaction.
The costs will be that their current fleet will drop in value very
quickly, and their staff will have to be retrained, not to mention the
loan/lease payments need to be made.

Switching product generations has to be done quite carefully. For
instance, some people are still mad that DEC stopped making VAXes!
There's a time the bulk of your customers are ready to switch, but
you have to be very careful not to get ahead of them.

And there's the issue of when it is Boeing can raise the cash needed
to launch a new product line, but let's not get into that again.
Post by JF Mezei
Of course, the question then becomes whether any of the 787's new
philosophy would make a difference to shorter flights typically operated
by 737s. (The way I see it, the 787 gains engine efficiency in
exchange
Post by JF Mezei
for higher weight due to all the additional systems needed). For short
hops with lots of cycles and short cruise, perhaps this would not be
beneficial. We'll know in a couple of years how Boeing's plan to go
bleed-less goes.
One thing being mentioned is the 787-3 will have a thinner fuselage
wall than 787-8 because it will carry less fuel and need less strength.
Other parts such as landing gear can be less strong if less fuel is
to be carried. So if you know the range is to be smaller, there's
things you can do to compensate.

I see your point, but most of my recent 737 flights have been on WN
and they've been 1000 mile+ legs. Most of the short 250 mile legs
flown by traditional hub and spoke airlines seem to be flown by RJs
or have been replaced by the auto or train now that airports are
such a hassle. I think this trend is the reason the B717 died.

I think the 4G B737 base model will be larger than the B737-700,
and will clearly reach in to what used to be the B757 market.

It will be interesting to see how much influence WN has on the
4G model.
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Lee Witten
Note JAL just announced an intent to order 30 B737s today, with
options for 10 more. I know some will attribute this to politics,
Whether politics or other, it is still an order. And if they take
delivery of those 30 and pay for them, it is still business.
There's no doubt A is making a big splash in the business world,
and B is retrenching, but it seems to me people are drawing too
many conclusions from the current trends. B is still satisfying
customers with the current products, and is working hard to develop
new products that will advance the aviation industry.
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JF Mezei
2005-02-05 20:27:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lee Witten
New wings, new avionics and revised engines were the biggest
engineering
changes. The 737 was given a hi-tech glass cockpit with LCD screens and
digital systems heavily inspired by that used on the 777.
"inspired" is the keyword here. In order to maintain type rating, the
737NG had to maintain exact cockpit functionality of the 1960s 737s. No
additional automation of tasks, same functions/switches. The switches
and displays may have changed, but it is still functionally the same
cockpit as furnished by Boeing.

For instance, the A320 has a "ditch" switch which command a whole slew
of automated tasks such as shutting down air intakes etc etc. It is used
by pilots for de-icing for instance, but was obviously meant in case the
plane had to make a water landing, to reduce the workload on pilots who
would have to press just a single button to have a lot accomplished. The
737NG cannot have that.
Post by Lee Witten
An all new
interior was designed for the Next-Generation 737, again borrowing
heavily from the 777.
Plane's interior is irrelevant to plane certification or operation.
Airbus also redesigned the A340-300's interior when it did the -500s and
-600s, changed the entines on the -300 to a more powerful version of the
engines (which means that passengers didn't have to help push the
340-300 on take-off), and kept the same model name.
Post by Lee Witten
The 737NG is an *entirely new aircraft*, sharing very
little with previous 737s, other than fuselage frames.
This is the marketing done for the public. But to the authorities,
Boeing would argue that the 737NG is exactly the same as the original
737 in order to maintain the same type rating, allowing Boeing to use
many 1960s rules instead of much stricter 1990s rules, and, of course,
avoiding the very expensive certification process for a totally new aircraft.
Post by Lee Witten
Anyhow, I'll round up to 3G, you can straddle the fence, but that can
be painful if you're not careful!
3G implies FBW. The 737 is not FBW, it cannot be 3G. The 777 is 3G. But
not the 737.
Post by Lee Witten
Indeed. While A320 is impressive, B737 is still doing fine.
No disagreement there. One can still do fine with a 2.5 G aircraft. In
fact, the flying skidoos are very mechanical aircraft, probably nearer
to 2.0 than to 2.5G. And they seem quite popular.
Post by Lee Witten
One thing being mentioned is the 787-3 will have a thinner fuselage
wall than 787-8 because it will carry less fuel and need less strength.
Other parts such as landing gear can be less strong if less fuel is
to be carried. So if you know the range is to be smaller, there's
things you can do to compensate.
I am curious as to why Boeing would build different fuselage plugs for
the different models. Seems counter-intuitive on terms of reducing
production costs. You'd think that they'd want to streamline production
to spit out fuselage plugs for any 787 plane.
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John R. Levine
2005-02-06 17:43:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
"inspired" is the keyword here. In order to maintain type rating, the
737NG had to maintain exact cockpit functionality of the 1960s 737s. No
additional automation of tasks, same functions/switches. The switches
and displays may have changed, but it is still functionally the same
cockpit as furnished by Boeing.
I was under the impression that Boeing offered several versions of the
cockpit. One's equivalent to the old cockpit for the benefit of WN
and other airlines who don't want to retrain pilots, the other is more
modern.
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Clark W. Griswold, Jr.
2005-02-06 20:28:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by John R. Levine
I was under the impression that Boeing offered several versions of the
cockpit. One's equivalent to the old cockpit for the benefit of WN
and other airlines who don't want to retrain pilots, the other is more
modern.
That applies to the EFIS (display) formats. All the control panels and switches
are the same between versions.

By the way - the actual display unit (hardware) is identical between both the
777 and 737.
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matt weber
2005-02-07 04:32:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by John R. Levine
Post by JF Mezei
"inspired" is the keyword here. In order to maintain type rating, the
737NG had to maintain exact cockpit functionality of the 1960s 737s. No
additional automation of tasks, same functions/switches. The switches
and displays may have changed, but it is still functionally the same
cockpit as furnished by Boeing.
I was under the impression that Boeing offered several versions of the
cockpit. One's equivalent to the old cockpit for the benefit of WN
and other airlines who don't want to retrain pilots, the other is more
modern.
It is one cockpit, but it is all software driven, so the glass can be
to look round gauges if you want, or like 737-300/400/500, or like
777. Interestingly enough the main driver for that was Southwest,
whose 737-300/500's are NOT EFIS, to keep the type rating, WN demanded
that the -700 cockpit have a common type rating with WN's existing
737's, so they may be glass, but they don't have to look like glass.
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Nikolaj & Marianne
2005-02-04 12:26:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lee Witten
I don't think you need to be so provocative.
It stands to argument who is provocative and goes for the man and not
the ball....
Post by Lee Witten
Bringing religion into
this, albeit indirectly, will lead to the kind of nonsense going on in
r.t.a. I'm kind of surprised the moderators didn't suggest toning it
down a bit. I was taught as a young man to keep religion, sex and
politics out of polite conversation. I'd like to think this forum is
for polite conversation.
I do not use any religious arguments what so ever. I'm just comparing
attitudes. However, do you not find it strange that it is almost never
debated whether or not Boeing will in fact be able to meet their rather
ambitious promises with the 787? Too many people in my opinion take
Boeing's promises as given (as if the plane was already flying) even if
the plane is only in its very early stage of its R&D. I do believe that
the engineers at Boeing are up too a huge challenge - at the very edge
(or perhaps beyond) of what is possible now! Add to that also that a
significant part of the savings are supposed to come from an engine that
to my knowledge hasn't been flying yet either! People on the other hand
rightly questions whether or not Airbus will be able to meet their
promises on the A380! Why never question the 787? Please explain!
Post by Lee Witten
I don't know why you accuse me of blind faith. Composites have been
used in gliders since the 1960s. Interestingly enough, Europe led the
way. Their light weight and their ability to take on almost any
contour led to unheard of performance.
I believe that both Airbus and Boeing has stated that composites are not
weight savers at all (rather the opposite). the reason why they are
introduces is due to maintenance and other reasons.
Post by Lee Witten
Within a decade there were no
more metal ships on top of the leader boards at sailplane races, and
within two decades there were no more major American sailplane
manufacturers left. They missed the boat on composites, and never
caught up. Now we see composite aircraft taking the lead in the
general aviation space. Cessna et al are quite worried about Lancair
et al changing the whole business landscape, as they should be.
The main drawback to composites had been the high amount of hands on
labor needed. It's a big part of why each B2 bomber is so expensive.
B's approach to this is to use robots to do much of the work. From
what I can tell, this appears to be working out OK. I suppose this
may be blind faith, but it's such a crucial part of the program, and
if it were going badly we'd begin to hear of delays to the program.
At this stage? Some of the potential major issues with some of the new
materials will only show after some years of heavy use.
Post by Lee Witten
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
This is plain nonsense. Market value is the price that the market
determines in competition between is suppliers. As long as there is
good
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
and healthy competition between A & B (and they do not try to fix
prices
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
between them) prices will be lower than what A & B ask. Mind you.
Neither A nor B is in this business for charity. How big their
margins
Post by Nikolaj & Marianne
will be will be determined by demand and production capacity of the
two.
I was responding to your claims of "gifts", presumably a reference to
the inclusion of B787s in the NZ order. What's the difference between
a "gift" and "selling below market price"? I've been avoiding making
this an A vs B thing, but what's the difference between the NZ order
and the QF order where A330s were bundled with A380s? I think we'd
agree there's very little difference.
Neither are "gifts" in any real sense. (Nor is the little toy McDonalds
bundles up with their happy meals for kids). Neither A nor b are
charities with a vision for helping airlines. They both make what they
believe are sound business decisions. And if that includes giving some
planes away or selling them at very low prices so be it. Neither will do
it if they did not believe that their offer would pay in the long run!
Post by Lee Witten
Yes, composites have their down sides too. Personally, I do not
expect them to outweigh the advantages. I also do not expect a return
to wooden tennis rackets, not for the serious players. My statement
below shows I am concerned about the downsides too. But there's
already lots of information about uses of composites in aviation, and
indeed lots of A and B products are flying around right now with
composite tail feathers.
Nik
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Nikolaj & Marianne
2005-02-06 10:57:23 UTC
Permalink
"Lee Witten" <***@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:<***@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>...


As a matter of fact the question of whether the 737 is 2, 2.5, 3 G etc.
is about how we define these terms. I shall not deny that according to
certain definitions the 737NG might be called 3G. However, according to
my definition the 737NG lacks one very important feature to be
considered 3G namely FBW. In the same way I will need to see a turbofan
before calling a plane 2G. These are of cause more elements in such
definition.


Nik
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