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Boeing Prediction: 100 Years Of Service For 7E7  
User currently offlineN844AA From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1352 posts, RR: 1
Posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6386 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.


New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNdebele From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 2899 posts, RR: 23
Reply 1, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6306 times:

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

User currently offlineCaptaingomes From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 6413 posts, RR: 56
Reply 2, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6276 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).



"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
User currently offlineNa From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10657 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6212 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.


User currently offlineILoveORD From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 220 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6115 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



Backhanding the left into submission, one activist judge at a time.
User currently offlineManni From South Korea, joined Nov 2001, 4221 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6089 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.


SUPPORT THE LEBANESE CIVILIANS
User currently offlineBobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6081 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.



Cunning linguist
User currently offlineN844AA From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1352 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6074 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]


New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
User currently offlineTransSwede From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1000 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6054 times:

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

User currently offlineElwood64151 From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2477 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5980 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.



Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
User currently offlineILoveORD From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 220 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5944 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



Backhanding the left into submission, one activist judge at a time.
User currently offlineBmacleod From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 2247 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5841 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.....


The engine is the heart of an airplane, but the pilot is its soul.
User currently offlineDanny From Poland, joined Apr 2002, 3508 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5802 times:

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

User currently offlineCaetravlr From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 908 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5772 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



A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
User currently offlineN844AA From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1352 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5752 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.



New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
User currently offlineTWFirst From Vatican City, joined Apr 2000, 6346 posts, RR: 52
Reply 15, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5708 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.


An unexamined life isn't worth living.
User currently offlineAloha717200 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 4477 posts, RR: 15
Reply 16, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5702 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.


User currently offlineCaetravlr From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 908 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5690 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....


A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
User currently offlineAdria From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5668 times:

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

User currently offlineN844AA From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1352 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5667 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]


New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
User currently offlineVanguard737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 682 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5649 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

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


320 717 722 732 733 735 737 738 744 752 753 763 772 DC9 DC10 MD80 B1900 S340 E120 ERJ CRJ CR7
User currently offlineMark_D. From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 1447 posts, RR: 5
Reply 21, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5592 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.


User currently offlineDeltaMD11 From United States of America, joined Dec 2002, 1701 posts, RR: 35
Reply 22, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5430 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.



Too often we ... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5336 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.


User currently offlineCessna172RG From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 749 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5323 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.



Save the whales...for dinner!!!
25 Alessandro : 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 b
26 Post contains images Lehpron : "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 r
27 Post contains images Codeshare : 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.
28 Cessna172RG : 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 year
29 N844AA : 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 sayin
30 N79969 : I have also heard that the when the last B-52s are retired, some of them wiill have completed an 80-year service life.
31 Prebennorholm : 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 ha
32 Post contains images AvObserver : 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 recen
33 Shenzhen : 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 2
34 BoingGoingGone : 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 su
35 Birdwatching : 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
36 N844AA : 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. T
37 HlywdCatft : **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
38 Joni : 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 gr
39 Shenzhen : 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 w
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