Tangowhisky From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 862 posts, RR: 8 Posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 8185 times:
Does anyone really know or take a guess at where will Airbus aim with the A350/A370 with their unveilling of their product strategy coming up at Farnborough?
When they launched the Mark I, II, .. of the A350, it seemed like a direct competitor to the the 787-8/-9, and would replace the A330. But if they aim there, then the A340 market segment will be all to Boeing with the 777.
Boeing on the other hand has a dilemma as the 787-10 will eat up 777 sales. If Airbus does not launch a 777 rival, then Boeing will try and persuade airlines to buy 777s, while at the same time eat the A330 market with the 787-8-/-9s and the 787-3 positioned to replace the early 767-200s, A300s, etc.
Since the 777 was developed over 15 years ago, and the 340 has a dismal future, why not build a 777 killer, and at the same time also develop a A330NG (like the 737 Classic to 737 Next Generation with as much new technology as possible, like GenX engines, new wing, etc.)? They will still have a reasonable challenger for the 787-8/-9, and even -3, but throw a spin to Boeing about the 787-10 dilemma as well as a serious challenger to the 777.
Hummmm... don't make the assumption that the 777 is such an easy target. The 77L and 77W are almost brand new, and have the only 100K+lbs commercial engines in existance that are also quite new and efficient. In addition, Boeing airframes tend to be lighter than similar sized Airbus frames.
So good luck trying to catch it. The A330 only ate heavily into the 767, because of the cargo issues with 767, not because it was that much more efficient, even though it came 15 year after the 767.
Ken777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7440 posts, RR: 5 Reply 4, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 7956 times:
I think their main focus will be on the 777, with a bit of the upper end of the 787 thrown in for good measure.
If so, the challenge will be to make the 370 better than the 777 will be in 2012, not better than what it is today. The 777 seems to have minor, but continual improvements, making it a moving target for Airbus.
Regardless of the challenge it will be interesting to follow the efforts of Airbus if they do take the 777 on directly.
KC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 11705 posts, RR: 52 Reply 6, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 7921 times:
Unless Airbus is coming out with an all composet A-350 and A-370, they have a tough hill to climb against the B-777 and B-787.
I just don't see them being able to do that, right now. There are too many engineering issues at Airbus(A-330F, A-320 follow-on, A-380 problems, A-350 Mk. I to XX, A-370, A-400, etc.) and not near enough engineers.
Quoting Baron95 (Reply 3): The A330 only ate heavily into the 767, because of the cargo issues with 767, not because it was that much more efficient, even though it came 15 year after the 767.
That is correct. But, it is a totall different issue with the B-777 and B-787.
Baron95 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1335 posts, RR: 9 Reply 7, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 7900 times:
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 6): That is correct. But, it is a totall different issue with the B-777 and B-787.
That was exactly my point - not so easy this time around.
Some planes were superceeded due to obvious competitive disadvantage. 767 lack of cargo space compared to A330. L1011/MD11 due to third tail engine that could not benefit very high bypass technology due to their location, etc.
The 777 has no obvious competitive disadvantages. It has a 2 engines (current trend), highest of ETOPs (current trend), perfect width supporting both 9 and 10 abreast, FBW, 2-person crew, choice of long range, extended range, longest range, two sizes of fuselage, a fraighter. I think the only thing you can seay the 777 lacks is a short range, high cycle version for say the Japanese market and short and fat routes.
But what I really would like to see is a 777-400 with a upper deck hump like the 747.
MrComet From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 497 posts, RR: 8 Reply 9, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 7733 times:
Quoting Ken777 (Reply 4): I think their main focus will be on the 777, with a bit of the upper end of the 787 thrown in for good measure.
Quoting Baron95 (Reply 3): Hummmm... don't make the assumption that the 777 is such an easy target.
They can clearly beat the 777 with some hard work and creativity and especially with new engines. However, the question may not be whether they can beat it, but can they beat it ENOUGH to make airlines replace it. The 777 is also rather expensive making it look vulnerable but never expect your competition to sit still. I think a healthy percentage of that expense after 1000 planes built is profit. Boeing will confront the threat by lowering the price making the 777 cheaper and cheaper. The plans for the A350 as I have seen involve fancy alloys and thus will always be more expensive in terms of material cost.
Of course the massive no interest no payback loans will be a very strong temptation to improve the field.
Grantcv From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 429 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6428 times:
The biggest problem with competing with the B777 is timing. The market for widebodies tend to be cyclical. Airlines initially all buy a new model, and then wait 20-25 years before replacing them. At some point, most airlines have purchased the bulk of their fleet and the market slows considerable before the next upswing. That is the biggest problem with the A380 - sales for the largest widebodies peaked in the 1970s, 1990s, and will again in the 2010s. For now they are awfully quiet.
The B777 is enjoying the current upswing in its market. When Airbus brings out a competitor in 6 or so years, sales in that category will be in a trough. By the time sales pickup again - as airlines look to replace their early B777s, the Y3 will be in place and it will be the brand new plane, technologically ahead of the Airbus offering.
This is where Airbus is in a pickle. Rather than planning out an evolving family of airliners, coinciding with the ups and downs of the market, they have squandered a dozen years to focus on a technological achievement at the very fringe of total market. They have kept adding to the family rather than accepting that parts of the family would need replacement or upgrading at some point. Now the A300, A310, A330, and A340 are all aging or obsolete, and chances are, the A320 will either have to evolve or be replaced or it too, will be in trouble. Airbus is now suffering from bad strategic decisions 5-10 years ago.
We don't exactly know what the A370 is at the moment. We will have a much better idea by the end of this month, but for know, Airbus is woefully lacking in the 300-400 market niche.
What's more likely than a direct assault on the 777 is a product that builds its way into the 777's shoes. For example, the initial variant is a direct 772ER competitor, and eventual variants will take-on the 773ER.
Quoting Tangowhisky (Thread starter): They will still have a reasonable challenger for the 787-8/-9, and even -3, but throw a spin to Boeing about the 787-10 dilemma as well as a serious challenger to the 777.
Boeing has ended the dilemma over the 787-10. They're building it, and they have no qualms about "killing" their own best-selling product.
At this point, a launch could come in the next few months and likely before the end of 2006. A very good candidate is EK, perhaps as soon as the Farnborough Air Show.
Quoting MrComet (Reply 9): However, the question may not be whether they can beat it, but can they beat it ENOUGH to make airlines replace it.
Estimates show the A350-900* and 787-9 can beat the per seat fuel consumption of the 772ER by nearly 15-20%. That's quite impressive, and enough to convince my arm-chair airline to stop ordering supplemental 772ER and built a new fleet around the A350/787.
The problem is then coaxing the replacement market, and that's something I believe the A350/A370 is just a bit too early to achieve. Boeing is in a more advantageous position of simply offering a derrivative to fill the interim need for a 300-seat aircraft.
Now also keep in mind, the 787-10 is likely bigger than both the A359 and maybe a bit larger than the 772ER itself. That means fuel consumption per seat will be even lower.
Dw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1244 posts, RR: 1 Reply 14, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6314 times:
Quoting Baron95 (Reply 3): don't make the assumption that the 777 is such an easy target.
Easier doesn't mean easy. It is a simple fact that the SFC on the 777's engines cant match the SFC on the new model engines, but when everything else is factored in this may not have a big enough impact on cost of ownership and operation to make a significant difference.
Baron95 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1335 posts, RR: 9 Reply 16, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5227 times:
Quoting Dw747400 (Reply 14): It is a simple fact that the SFC on the 777's engines cant match the SFC on the new model engines
Huh? What engines? What engine existing, designed or firmly planned can beat the GE 110/115B on the 77W and 77L? None. Because none exists. These engines are state of the art and there is nothing else in their thrust range.
Now if we are talking 772/772ER, I grant you that it is an easier market. But in 2012, when the new Airbus widebody comes out, Boeing will be fighting in that market with 787-9 and 787-10, not with the 772ER.
To me, Airbus killing the 777 means killing the 77L and 77W (that is 777-200LR and 777-300ER with GE90-110/115B). The 772 will be killed by Boeing themselves with 787-9 and 787-10.
Good luck with that: First build a competitive airframe to compete with one that can be discounted at will, since Boeing already recouped their development costs. Then find someone to build a competitive engine to compete with an engine that can be discounted at will since GE has already recouped their development costs.
TinkerBelle From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5053 times:
I know the statement I'm just about to make wouldn't be very popular with a lot of financial analists but why not forget what Boeing is doing and make a kick-ass plane without aiming at anything! The 777 is not gonna be as easy of a target as some of you make it out to be and as we've seen, good luck aiming at the 787.
DfwRevolution From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 18, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4920 times:
Quoting Par13del (Reply 15):
Is this the same one that Qantas in their evaluation said was on par with the B787 and which no one else agreed even Airbus who have since thrashed it?
It's also the one being outsold nearly 4:1
The vast consensus was that QF merely made a politically correct statement toward Airbus. Those close to the decision said it was not a close race. Furthermore, throw in the color commentary of IFLC, GECAS, SQ, and EK and the current A350 model is not one with widespread industry approval.
Dw747400 From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1244 posts, RR: 1 Reply 19, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4876 times:
Quoting Baron95 (Reply 16): Huh? What engines? What engine existing, designed or firmly planned can beat the GE 110/115B on the 77W and 77L? None. Because none exists. These engines are state of the art and there is nothing else in their thrust range.
Materiel improvements will likely make the new airframe lighter than the later 777 family members, reducing installed thrust requirements. RR and possibly GE will be making new engines, likely in the 85 to 95,000 thrust range, using technology developed for the 787/A350 engines. It is not far fetched to assume that these engines (or growth derivatives of them) will offer an aircraft somewhere between the 773 and 773ER in performance, with an ultimate capability to match the 773ER with better performance.
The question is--will the gestation period of the new projects push the new aircrafts EIS back to that of the Y3. Once the Y3 is out, Airbus is competing on a more equal footing.
Par13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 5894 posts, RR: 8 Reply 20, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4710 times:
Here's another take. The Airbus "faction" state that the A330 "killed" the B767, for arguments sake I buy that. Point is, by the time the A330 did the "killing" the B767 had already (a) Recouped its development cost (b) Turned a profit. Similar to the DC-10 / L-1011, better plane late to market made the "inferior" a/c profitable.
Fast forward to present day, if the new A350 / A370 is a B777 "killer" will that make a difference to the B777 program after it has made a profit?
My original take was that the delayed A350 would have allowed the B787 to sell incremental numbers as airlines needed more efficient a/c ASAP. That would have been a competition as both a/c would be on the market within a few years of each other.
While Airbus is taking on an already successful program, what exatcly will Boeing be doing, I guess "standing still"? As another poster already stated, the engines on the B777-300ER are still at the top of their class, regardless of the age of the airframe design. I guess its better PR to state that you are going after your competitor rather than saying you are going to improve your existing product line ala A340.
Good points Par13. Other items to keep in mind is that the 767 was a first generation twin-engine-long-haul widebody. They obviously missed the mark on a few things like the fuselage width (where A330 2-4-2 was better for passengers and and for fitting standard sized cargo containers). The 777 is a second generation twin-engine-long-haul widebody and has no such deficiencies.
Furthermore, Airbus has benefited in the past from the ability of having lower priced airframes than Boeing. With oil at US$70+/gallon, airframe price takes a second seat to efficiency. So it is harder to win on price alone.
I'm afraid that Airbus will not going to be able to kill the 777 unless they go to full composite fuselage - and I think there is very little chance of that. Anything else, and their advantages over the 777 will be marginal at best.
Stitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 26681 posts, RR: 83 Reply 22, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4329 times:
Airbus' current strength is in the "small" widebody market with their A330. However, that line faces serious competition with the 787. However, that competition will probably not be absolute - just as the A330 was better then the 767, Boeing still sold 767s, but at a lower rate. However, since the program was "bought and paid for", those lower production rates didn't impact profitability to the point those frames were in the red. Therefore, between the A330's current backlog and what I believe it will gain in additional orders, Airbus could very well "afford" to let the A330 face the 787 and address their current weakness - the "medium to large" widebody market currently handled by the A340 family.
The 787-9 and 787-10 will squeeze the A342 and A343 out of the market, just as the 777-200LR and 777-300ER are squeezing the A345 and A346 out of the market. Again, the Boeing plane's are not enjoying absolute competition, but they are winning the majority of orders - many from current A340 operators.
By moving "upstream" with the A350/A370, Airbus replaces their weakest line - the A340 - with a much more competitive product. It might not be as good as the 787 and it might not be as good as the 772LR/773ER in absolute one-on-one comparative terms, but it should be significantly more competitive then the A340 is and win a significant balance of orders.
However, as Grantcv notes in Reply #12, Airbus risks being too late to the party, whether they launch the A350 in current form or "super size" it to the "A370". If they stay the course with the current A350, they are looking at an EIS two to three years after the 787 which gives Boeing a sales edge they are making the most of. Also, if they do decide to stick with the current A350, their own inconsistency has cost them at least one customer (SQ) and might cost them more.
And if Airbus does indeed launch the A370, they could very well be forced into a very accelerated delivery schedule lest they launch into a market already saturated with 777-300ERs only a few years old. And Airbus may not be able to meet that schedule, which could result in more headaches with customers.
Airbus can hardly stand still on their current product line for the next decade. However, they should not panic nor should they project the view of being in a panic. Boeing has momentum right now, but it will not last forever, just as Airbus' momentum the past five years has started to stall.
Boeing took a look at where they were hurting and they moved to address it in a very bold way. Airbus should consider the same. Just as the A330 and A340 covered a wide swath of the widebody market with a common family, a new family of two twins, one aimed at the A330/787 and one at the A340/777, could help better secure orders and customers against Boeing's Y2 program and, more importantly, help to pre-empt in part the Y3 program. And an "A320NG" program could generate new excitement and orders in the narrowbody market, helping to secure customers now to blunt Boeing's Y1 project.
Stitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 26681 posts, RR: 83 Reply 24, posted (6 years 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 3990 times:
Quoting Baron95 (Reply 23): Excuse me, but the in the wide-body, mid-long haul market - i.e. 767/777/747 vs the A330/340/380 the battle has been prety even for the past several years.
And I indicated as such.
Yet while the A330 continues to score against the 767, the 777 has been winning the majority of battles against the A340, including battles where the A340 was already operated and the 777 wasn't. And the 787 should start winning the majority of battles against the A330, since it is winning the majority of them against the "A330NG" - the A350.
The A380/747 battle seems to be stalled on the passenger side (though the A380 scored early and often, to be sure), while the 747 is handily winning the freighter side at this time. As noted, the 747P might win some battles in the near-term due to delays in the A380 program, but time is on the A380's side. However, the A370/Y3 might impact the A380's long-term success and the 747 will probably be available for some time, as well.
25 Thorny: If it is just more efficient engines, why wouldn't Boeing re-engine the 777 to compete better?
26 Stitch: They may very well do so, and if Boeing doesn't, you could see a market where the airlines themselves re-engine their 772 fleets to extend their usab
27 Tangowhisky: Other than the small tweaks here and there such as the A330, A320 minor improvements, Airbus needs to come up with a product strategy roadmap. What ar
28 Baron95: Do you think there is any chance that Airbus will actually come out with an all-new (meaning new fuselage diameter, twin-engine, composites up the ya
29 Stitch: It's looking like that is what they intend to do based on comments from Airbus and airline execs.
30 Tangowhisky: Look at the situation Boeing was in when they started producing the 737 Classics. They did not sell as well as intended. Their largest model 737-400
31 TepidHalibut: I'm not intending to pick on you specifically TW, but I'm constantly amazed by the number of A.net posters who grossly underestimate the effort and t
32 Tangowhisky: Tepidhalibut you are correct in pointing out the large sums of money it takes to develop and produce a new engine. In Reply 27 I was talking about put