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Topic: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: N844AA
Posted 2003-10-29 18:13:01 and read 6381 times.

So I'm a member of the Boeing World Design Team for the 7E7 -- a very prestigious appointment for which I was selected on the basis of putting my email address into a little form. Anyway, as a member of this august organization, I receive periodic newsletters from Boeing trumpeting the various design milestones reached by the 7E7 design team.

In the most recent newsletter, the 7E7 design team leader, Walt Gillette, made what I thought was a very interesting, provocative statement:

"The flying machines we create have lives as long or longer than we humans," Gillette said. "The last 7E7 will probably leave revenue service sometime early in the 22nd century, long after all of us who will labor over the next five years to create the first 7E7 will have gotten our angels' wings."

http://www.newairplane.com/USA/learn_gillette.htm

Suppose the 7E7 enters service in 2008, as scheduled, and has a production lifespan of 25 years -- not unprecedented but a generous estimate, I think. The last 7E7 will then roll of the line in 2033.

The DC-3 notwithstanding, do you think we're likely to see a modern jetliner in revenue service nearly 70 years after it was produced, and over 90 years after the type was introduced? When the last B-52 rolled off the line in the early 60's, I doubt anyone envisioned they'd still be the backbone of the American bomber force without any replacement in sight, but I don't think that parallels this situation. Or does it?

Obvious this is a question for which the answer can't be known (at least not until the middle of this century, when the 707 approaches its 100th birthday) but I think it would be interesting to hear some speculation.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E
Username: Ndebele
Posted 2003-10-29 18:17:36 and read 6301 times.

As long as there is Northwest, any aircraft type might see 100 years of service  Laugh out loud

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Captaingomes
Posted 2003-10-29 18:20:12 and read 6271 times.

If that would be the case, then Boeing is envisioning a lack of progress in the future. This goes against logic of course.

The only thing I can think of is if the 7E7 comes in a large variety of variants, and is easily adapted to new technologies, including new engines, avionics, etc. If you look at the 747, it has been in production for over 30 years now, and they will continue to be produced, with new variants possible. Supposing it will be in production another 10 years (maybe more) with new variants coming out, and those stay in service for 30 years, then the 747 may in fact be in commercial service for over 70 years. (30 + 10 + 30 = 70 in my little example).

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E
Username: Na
Posted 2003-10-29 18:28:19 and read 6207 times.

"...will leave revenue service sometime early in the 22nd century".
As what, a bar or disco somewhere in Oklahoma?

I hope that aviation technology doesn´t progress so slow that a 7E7 can still fly as an airliner by 2100. And btw: is there enough oil left on this planet so this ancient propulsion technology can still be used by then?

The chances that a few 747s will still be flying by 2050 are higher if you ask me.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: ILoveORD
Posted 2003-10-29 18:42:06 and read 6110 times.

"In the most recent newsletter, the 7E7 design team leader, Walt Gillette, made what I thought was a very interesting, provocative statement:"

NA844A, I really don't mean to quibble, but I was just wondering: how recent is this news letter? I read this same exact article (literally, verbatim) by Mr. Gillette in the Chicago Tribune a few months ago--July, to be exact. How is that you, as a member of the 'very' prestigious Boeing world design team, are just receiving it now?

I am not able to provide the full archived text because it requires payment, but here is the link to the summary:

http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/chicagotribune/index.html?ts=1067448919

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Manni
Posted 2003-10-29 18:46:04 and read 6084 times.

I'm amuzed and wonder what the next thing is were this PR guys come up with,  Laugh out loud to keep their project in the media.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Bobrayner
Posted 2003-10-29 18:46:59 and read 6076 times.

Why is this so bad? It'll just move down the "food chain" as newer technology comes out.

Major airlines in the USA wouldn't dream of putting passengers into a DC-3 now; but you can be sure there are still some out there in the rest of the world, earning revenue.

A fews decades hence, the 7E7 would be doing what the DC-3s, Caravelles, 707s, and other antiques are doing now. That's progress.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: N844AA
Posted 2003-10-29 18:47:28 and read 6069 times.

I think the bold part of his prediction is the "revenue service" part of it. I probably wouldn't be terribly surprised to find a 7E7 hauling cargo a hundred years from now, though that presumes a certain lack of technological progress. But to imply that airlines will still be using it in 2100 strikes me as supremely confident.

Variants are the other wild card. If the 717 catches a second wind (or a first wind...) and stays in production for another 10 years, I'm pretty sure that would mark 50 years of production since the first DC-9. I think right now NW's oldest plane is 37 years old. If one of those 717's could hang on for about that long, then that would be just about 90 years. Of course, that brings up the question whether it's fair to call a DC-9-10 and a 717 the same aircraft.

ILoveORD: I got the newsletter in my email either yesterday or this morning. Other than that, I have no information as to the freshness of quote -- it may well have been discussed in the past, and I apologize if it has. As far as my membership on the prestigious board goes, I hope my tongue in my cheek was apparent  Smile

[Edited 2003-10-29 18:50:04]

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: TransSwede
Posted 2003-10-29 18:48:47 and read 6049 times.

Why don't they actually build the aircraft before boasting about how long it will remain in service?

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Elwood64151
Posted 2003-10-29 18:58:00 and read 5975 times.

Na:

The likelihood is that, within the next 20 years, hydrogen will replace oil as the preferred fuel for automobiles. Even oil company execs are saying this. That means that, within thirty years, gasoline consumption will probably be cut by as much as 60-70 percent. So yes, there will still be oil reserves available.

As for the 7E7 seeing 100 years of service, the Panama Canal just turned 100. It's using the same technology to control the lock system as it did when it started. The internal combustion engine is basically the same as it was fifty years ago. The incandescent bulb is very similar to the bulb invented by Thomas Edison 110 or so years ago.

Not quite the same, I know, but there are some examples.

As for the DC-3, well, it's a good example of well-built, well-maintained equipment lasting forever.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: ILoveORD
Posted 2003-10-29 19:01:45 and read 5939 times.

N844A,

I hope my post didn't come off as doubting or critizing, I really didn't mean it that way. I was honestly just curious about how recent the newletter was. My stupid computer's "sarcasto-meter" has been having problems recenty  Big grin Once again, my apologies.

Mark

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Bmacleod
Posted 2003-10-29 19:31:36 and read 5836 times.

100 years of service is a very bold prediction since no airliner has yet to reach that mark. The DC-8 and 707 were launched in the 1950s and they are no longer in service except for a few cargo freighters. We'll have to wait 50 years or so to see if they will reach that mark!! Probably not.....

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Danny
Posted 2003-10-29 19:41:22 and read 5797 times.

If all predictions about 7E7 are the same accurate and reasonable as this then .... bye bye Boeing.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E
Username: Caetravlr
Posted 2003-10-29 19:45:40 and read 5767 times.

"I think the bold part of his prediction is the "revenue service" part of it. I probably wouldn't be terribly surprised to find a 7E7 hauling cargo a hundred years from now, though that presumes a certain lack of technological progress. But to imply that airlines will still be using it in 2100 strikes me as supremely confident."

N844AA,

Not to nitpick, but I think you got the terms "revenue service" and "passenger service" mixed up. Anything that someone pays you to do is revenue service, even hauling cargo. Also, cargo carriers are airlines also, as in UPS Airlines, it doesn't refer exclusively to pax service. Not saying the plane will still be flying for money in 100 years, but if it is flying cargo, then it is in fact still in revenue service.

CAETravlr

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: N844AA
Posted 2003-10-29 19:48:41 and read 5747 times.

Good point. For some reason, my mind was interpreting "revenue service" as "scheduled passenger service." I suppose if that's what had been meant, that's what would have been said.

In any event, whether it's carrying people or pigs, I'd be impressed to see an airliner still making money after 100 years. I can't wait until my 120th birthday when I find out if the 7E7 hits that mark.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: TWFirst
Posted 2003-10-29 19:55:28 and read 5703 times.

Based on the technology spike that occurred over the last 100 years, 100 years into the future we should all have individual high-speed personal hover-craft transport-thingies to get us from point a to b... probably won't even be a need for a flying bus anymore.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Aloha717200
Posted 2003-10-29 19:56:39 and read 5697 times.

I am also a member of the World Design Team, got that same email.

The way that I read it was that 7e7 variants will still be flying up to a hundred years from now. That's not at all illogical to think of.

The B-52 example is a good one. However in this context we're looking at something different.


Try this on for size:


In about 15 years Boeing may or may not start looking at a replacement for the 737NG. By then the 737NG will be a 20 year old design, and the 7e7 will likely be enjoying good success in the long-haul, medium-high capacity markets. The SR version with 300 pax will probably have just started getting popular after a very slow start in Asia. And Boeing will either be looking at making a 7e7 narrowbody with 200 pax, or will have already done so.

When the 737NG's life nears it's end. Boeing will likely use the 7e7 design to create a replacement. If a 200 pax narrowbody 7e7 will have already been produced, Boeing might shorten it. If not, Boeing might create one with the ability to be stretched....exactly like the 737NG but looks like the 7e7.


The 737 in all it's variants has enjoyed a production life of almost 40 years, and we can reasonably expect 15-20 more years for production. Therefore it's not impossible to expect:

7e7 base: Production 2008-2028
7e7LR: Production from 2008-2028
7e7SR: Production from 2009-2024
7e7 narrowbody first generation: 2017-2040
7e7 narrowbody NG: 2037-2060


The last narrowbody 7e7 would end up being about 40 years old by the time the new century dawned.

As can be clearly seen, there are 707s older than 40 years old still flying in some remote regions of the world. This is not an impossiblity for the 7e7 to also achieve in some form or another.


I think Boeing is going to milk the 7e7 for as much as it can. I dont doubt at all that the 7e7 will eventually be spread to cover all product lines. This makes for a VERY boring future...but...an efficient one.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E
Username: Caetravlr
Posted 2003-10-29 19:57:50 and read 5685 times.

N844AA, Hope I didn't sound like a smart a** that time. You are right, though, flying ANYTHING in 100 years would be quite impressive. Doing it for money would be even moreso....

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Adria
Posted 2003-10-29 20:01:34 and read 5663 times.

Yeah, sure! In 100 years the 7E7 will rest in a Museum.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: N844AA
Posted 2003-10-29 20:01:47 and read 5662 times.

Caetravlr: No no, not at all -- I hope I didn't sound as though I didn't appreciate the correction. It was definitely my mistake. I'm here to learn, after all  Smile

[Edited 2003-10-29 20:03:03]

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Vanguard737
Posted 2003-10-29 20:04:27 and read 5644 times.

Ndebele, you comment about Northwest wasa one of the FUNNIEST, and probably TRUE comments I've ever seen Laugh out loud Kudos, Kudos.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Mark_D.
Posted 2003-10-29 20:15:04 and read 5587 times.

N844AA-- In the most recent newsletter, the 7E7 design team leader, Walt Gillette, made what I thought was a very interesting, provocative statement:

http://www.newairplane.com/USA/learn_gillette.htm



Looks like not just Gillette but a whole lot of people at Boeing (who shovel out this PR guff) need to stop trying to outdo Elmer Gantry, and maybe focus their energies instead on actually building something. Rather than just tell yet more stories.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: DeltaMD11
Posted 2003-10-29 22:39:13 and read 5425 times.

"Of course, that brings up the question whether it's fair to call a DC-9-10 and a 717 the same aircraft."

The 717 is not a variant of the DC-9 family. Nor is the MD-90, MD-88, or MD-87. I wont deny that their designs are based heavily on the DC-9, however their designation by their manufacturer says otherwise. The last DC-9 was the DC-9-83.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Alessandro
Posted 2003-10-29 22:53:57 and read 5331 times.

Rather pointless to make such statements since I think none of us will be around year 2100.
B52s don´t put in same amount of cycles as a commercial used airplane.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Cessna172RG
Posted 2003-10-29 22:56:46 and read 5318 times.

And if my grandmother had wheels, she'd be a wagon...

Let's get down to Earth for a second. How old are the average modern jetliners? How long does it take for most of them to be put out to pasture, converted to box haulers, or scrapped? 20 or 30 years? That seems about right.

The only thing that is gonna last into the early 22nd Century is my frozen body, awaiting new medical technology to let me live forever. And the day that happens is the day that a 7E7 turns 100 years old.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Alessandro
Posted 2003-10-29 23:06:09 and read 5273 times.

Well, the B7E7 isn´t around yet and it´s 97 years to the next millenium, so when/if (I believe it when the price tag is out) the B7E7 flies it´ll be even less...

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Lehpron
Posted 2003-10-29 23:17:15 and read 5240 times.

"If that would be the case, then Boeing is envisioning a lack of progress in the future. This goes against logic of course. "

The fact that Concorde retired without a successor and that most people don't think so goes against logic as well.  Insane Boeing is actually betting on the technology of the future to extend the lifespan of the only two first-class model numbers left: 787 and 797.

Personally I think this is wishful thinking on Boeing's behalf, just like Branson bragging about getting 3 sonic cruisers...

The 757 had what? 20 years? How about 767, same? What about the 737/747 line, another 20 each? I doubt the 7E7 will last past 2050. Boeing acts like they are the only company and all others have dropped out and newer ones have not come of age. Their statement is ignorant and naive. Note for as long Boeing has been around; none of the founders are still alive, only the name of Boeing will be 100 soon. A company is truly only as old as the employee with the most number of hours. Airbus has been at it how long? How long was Lockheed at Boeing's heels? Not long; that is the point.

What gives anyone the right to assume there won't be another company out there that will topple Airbus or Boeing??? Those of you who are patriotic can be so for all I care, but this is a fact of life.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Codeshare
Posted 2003-10-29 23:17:59 and read 5239 times.

The whole story is very optimistic for Boeing.

I don't believe that that 7E7 will last for 100 years. Maybe the initial design or, as you like, idea. What we might end up with is the eg. 7E7 NG LXVIII (or the 68th evolution of the 7E7) in, hmmm, 2098.  Big grin

Now seriously technology is pushing forward by that time the A380 will be considered the Baby Bus.

And no fuselage can withstand 100 years of service.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Cessna172RG
Posted 2003-10-29 23:37:31 and read 5187 times.

Seriously, how do you keep an airframe going for a hundred years? By the time they turn 50, it's time to go to a museum or be totally rebuilt. 50 years later after the 7E7 would be first built, the technology would be like taking a 1957 chevy from an old taxi company with rusted out metal components and rebuilding it. That's about the time when you give up the nostalgia and say "scrap it!"

All the wear and tear, corrosion, cycles, etc...50 years tops. How many 747-100s do you see around? Not many. 707s? Well the Air Force has tons because they keep refitting them. Ah, refitting! Another fun subject...

Bremerton and Norfolk have tons of ships sitting out there that are older than a lot of us on the board. Why, some are over 30 years old. Just look at the battleships, the Iowa class, for example. How do you keep a ship in service for so long? You refit it every so many years. A refit is not like an overhaul, it's different. Components are changed. Engines are changed. Structures are added/removed/replaced with more modern ones. Technology is improved, systems upgraded. In theory, you COULD do this with the 7E7, but...eventually that airframe is gonna buckle from stress and you can't refit them anymore. It's like the 727-200 with hushkits, or MD-80 engines, and wingtips plus liquid crystal displays in the cockpit. Structurally, she's the same bird. But, with new engines, new systems, and slight modifications to keep her airworthy. Just like the KC-135s, a lot have new engines. Even that Locheed twin from the 1930s is still around, what's it called? L-18 or something? Some have been modified from their old empennage configuration to a standard inverted "T" tail design as seen on light Cessnas and other aircraft.

So, it's all up to the engineers. If I had it my way, they'd keep refitting the Concordes, 727s and L-1011s for years to come, but the airframes wouldn't hold out. Technology does get old and is replaced by new. In 20 years just watch Boeing introduce a replacement for the 7E7. It will happen.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: N844AA
Posted 2003-10-29 23:52:40 and read 5113 times.

I think Aloha717200 has the right idea about variants being the only way our grandchildren will see 7E7's flying a century from now. And I'm not saying variants make it a terribly likely scenarios -- let's see the damn thing get built first -- but I can't imagine a first generation 7E7 taking to the skies after 2070 or so. But the 7E7 NG II -- bearing only a slight resemblance to the 2008-series 7E7 -- just might still be around.

In order to see a jet survive a century of service (as I suspect a few B-52's might) I think you'd have to have a fairly uncommon confluence of factors: limited hours, (relatively) low cycles, irreplacability, necessity and a generous definition of economical operation (namely, the USAF's ability to bear refit costs an airline could not.) I don't think the 7E7 will meet any of those criteria a century from now.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: N79969
Posted 2003-10-30 00:02:08 and read 5056 times.

I have also heard that the when the last B-52s are retired, some of them wiill have completed an 80-year service life.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Prebennorholm
Posted 2003-10-30 00:35:47 and read 4972 times.

A hundred years is probably not unrealistic.

I think it depends much more on the engines than on the airframes.

A lot of 60'es or 70'es birds would have been flying today, instead of being scrapped, if it had been feasible to re-engine them with modern fuel efficient and quiet engines. The DC-8-60 to -70 conversion was the exception.

When will the last cargo company scrap the last DC-8-70?

But the B-52 is hardly a good example. First of all they fly much, much less hours than commercial airliners. And over the years they have been refurbished over and over again when they got adapted to new weapon systems. And then they still fly on engines which are banned at most (all EU) airports for their noise. And fuel guzzling engines which would make any airline uncompetitive. Which doesn't matter since they fly so little.

The B-52 would have been replaced long time ago instead of refurbished if there had been a replacement on a production line.

In fact it was going to be replaced 10 - 15 years ago - by the B-2. But it had en entirely different price tag and proved too expensive for its lone customer to buy in numbers.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: AvObserver
Posted 2003-10-30 00:41:13 and read 4951 times.

Walt Gillette may be a highly knowledgable and respected member of the 'old guard' at Boeing (and deceptively youthful-looking if that photo's a recent one) but I can't quite buy his comment. I think there will be far too many changes in aviation, JP fuel availability, etc. for one design to remain in service quite that long, though I suppose it might be outwardly possible. Boeing predicted the 777 would be in production 50 years and examples would likely fly 30 years beyond that. if the 747 could be kept going another 25-30 years with improvements, it would top that. The A380 derivatives will probably be built at least 50 years, as well, seeing another 30 years or so on top of that. It's not too big a stretch from 85 years to 95+ years but I still think odds are against it. I'd almost have an easier time buying that Walt himself would last until then, if that picture's not heavily retouched, he looks amazing for a 61 year old.  Wow! But I digress. Even though economics and other factors have kept designs in production longer than they used to be, it's still a huge longshot that such old designs would be kept in service that long. I'd say too many advances in too many areas would favor phasing them out in favor of newer ones. Just my 2 cents.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Shenzhen
Posted 2003-10-30 04:02:05 and read 4786 times.

I think that the statement could be simplified. The last variant of the 7E7 that rolls of the assembly line (if successful) could still be flying in 2100.

Corrosion is a major factor in aging airplanes, and by going composite, this is eliminated. Will the airplane handle the fatigue, I don't know, but maybe Walt does.

Nothing wrong with making some bold statements to garnish some additional interest in a companies newest product.

It isn't like the top dogs at Airbus never make any bold, unsubstantiated statements.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: BoingGoingGone
Posted 2003-10-30 06:42:43 and read 4676 times.

I think what Boeing is telling us is that the 7E7 is a foundation for a single family of aircraft that will be optimized in design, sufficient that such design will hold true for at least 60 years of production. I think the same could be said of the A-320 line. It is a well optimized aircraft and tweaks are done from time to time to improve the aircraft, but the basic aircraft remains the same.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Birdwatching
Posted 2003-10-30 07:20:20 and read 4626 times.

So what is this "prestigious" World Design Team? Is it a mailing list where you get an email once every month?
Or is it a group of people who come up with names like "Dreamliner?"
Would be interesting to know.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: N844AA
Posted 2003-10-30 07:29:24 and read 4604 times.

Birdwatching, a mailing list is exactly what it is. I think anyone who voted in the name poll is counted as a member.

Like I said, very prestigious. The newsletters are actually moderately interesting, though.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: HlywdCatft
Posted 2003-10-30 07:37:49 and read 4588 times.

**As long as there is Northwest, any aircraft type might see 100 years of service **

Dammit Ndebele, you beat me to the punchline. I was going to say that Northwest must be taking orders of them

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Joni
Posted 2003-10-30 10:19:38 and read 4514 times.


Isn't this similar to what they said about the Sonic Cruiser and 747X? I think Boeing should concentrate on working hard to get the design off the ground and placed with launch customers, not on making this kind of grandiose statements that as of yet have no connection to reality whatsoever.

If they fail to launch the 7E7 successfully, it will be their third failed attempt in a row and their credibility will be severely damaged. Then they'd just sell 737s and overpriced tankers to the taxpayers.

Topic: RE: Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7
Username: Shenzhen
Posted 2003-10-30 10:38:56 and read 4490 times.

Well, if we go back into history, we would see Airbus talking up an airplane called the A3XX all through the 90s, yet it still hasn't flown.

I think we can give Boeing at least 8 more years of talking up the 7E7, before industrial launch, if we want to be fair.

Maybe these "grandiose statements" statements are being made to attract some customers. Kind of like the "grandiose statements" about gyms, duty free stores, bars, and so forth.


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