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United Order Casts New Light On 777 Replacement  
User currently offlineGymClassHero From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 70 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 15025 times:

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...united-casts-new-light-on-777.html

Something for you guys to nibble on, should make for some interesting conversation. I had a long conversation about this with my father earlier tonight and we pretty much came to the conclusion that it's probably going to be an enhancement rather than a clean-sheet design. The 777 has a lot of untapped potential and could probably still hold it's share of the market if improved enough, I doubt we would end up with a 747-8i situation or anything. How many airlines are willing to wait for what Boeing will do to the 777 and how many are simply casting off the 777 regardless for the A350?

My improvements -
-Aerodynamic tweaks (reshaped lights, refined control surfaces, etc)
-New composite wing
-Al-Li fuselage
-787 Avionics (possibly win over carriers thinking about 787/A350 with promise of commonality)
-More composites in general throughout the aircraft
-Thinner side-walls for true, comfortable 10-abreast
-Updated GE90
-Increased MX intervals
-Lower price

Tada, a 777-8 and 777-9.  Smile I don't think Boeing needs to match the A350's fuel burn improvements of 20-25% over the current 777 (they can probably do fine with 15%). Remember, that burn reduction comes at the cost of MTOW (The A3510 is about 15% less than the 77W), and that's a fact Boeing can probably use to make up for that last 5%.

Probably been discussed to death by now, but now that the 787 is being sorted out and Boeing can put more focus on it's other neglected aircraft, I'm sure we'll hear something official soon.

This is my second post, and first thread, so be gentle, please.  Smile

45 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineNotLegalAdvice From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 21 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 14836 times:

If you're replacing the wing and then trying to add composites in the fuselage, why not just go ahead at that point and design a whole new aircraft? Isn't this what Y3 is supposed to ultimately accomplish?

I think if Boeing can get the efficiency up enough with a new wing and perhaps some improvemenst to the GE90 (anything learned from the GEnx that could be reapplied back to make the GE90 more efficient, perhaps?) then that might get them a few more years. However, I think they're really in a tight spot because they'll have to convince airlines it'll be as cost-effective overall as the A350, and with new engines it wouldn't have as much commonality with existing 777 fleets...

Ultimately they're kind of stuck right now. They need something above the 787 that's leading-edge and marketable, and anything short of a brand new aircraft is going to be a hard sell given how much composites are being hyped as the way of the future. Y3 could do the trick, but announcing it would rapidly kill not just the 777 but the 748i, since it would end up somewhere between the two in size and probably replace both.

Boeing has one chance at a real winner right now. As soon as the 787 flies and they prove the technology works, if they're ready they could announce Y3 as an all-new all-composite VLA. Like I said, it would tank the 748i immediately, but it might also steal a number of aircraft orders headed to the A350. Airlines could cover almost anything with 787 and Y3 and not need anything from Airbus anymore. That's the only real winning scenario for Boeing right now, since a successful flight of the 787 also implicitly is a win for the A350 and its place in the carbon-fiber future unless Boeing can find a way to counter it right away.



The preceding should not be taken as actual legal advice. If you need legal advice, please retain legal counsel.
User currently offlineGymClassHero From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 14699 times:

Well anytime you enhance an aircraft you're going to run into some incompatibilities with previous versions of it. Hasn't stopped Airbus from seriously considering GTF'ing the A320, same for Boeing and the 737. Keeping current Boeing 777 customers loyal is the knack of a 777 enhacement (how many airlines have replaced Airbii with Boeings? Not many!), stop the bleeding that the A350 is causing. Sure it won't have perfect commonality, but neither will 737NG fleets when the CFM56-7B Evolution is introduced.

I think we are being a bit too alarmist with the 777 right now (I remember seeing something like "not a product anymore" or something a while back...). It's way too early to write the 777 off. Like I said, it's a higher performance aircraft than the A350, so of course it will burn a bit more fuel. It you gave an airline the option of two aircraft, but one burns 5% more fuel, than the other, yet carries 15% more than the other, what will they choose? Especially if they've already got a varient of that aircraft in their fleet?

The 777 could still beat the A350 in it's cross-section. Most A350 customers are likely to use 9-abreast. 10 abreast is available, but it's something only an LCC or EK would consider, most others are using 9-abreast. A 777 enhanced and designed for 10-abreast (that doesn't compromise passenger comfort, that's important), plus a new wing (they did it for the 748, why is it that much of a leap?), and the other things I mention, and you could still have a winning plane.

[Edited 2009-12-11 21:59:16]

User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 3, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 14653 times:



Quoting GymClassHero (Thread starter):
-New composite wing
-Al-Li fuselage

Why does this combination always come up? If anything, it should be the other way around.

Tom.


User currently offlineCosmofly From United States of America, joined May 2009, 649 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 14620 times:

It will be easier to do a 787XWB. Just scale the 787 up a bit to fit comfortable 3-3-3 will do the trick. I believe the Dreamlifter has room to fit a wider barrel.

User currently offlineGymClassHero From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 14616 times:

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 3):
Why does this combination always come up? If anything, it should be the other way around.

Tom.

It's the cheapest way to modify the production line. Al-Li is still metal, so the same tooling used to make Al fuselages today can be used to make Al-Li fuselages in the future. The biggest change in tooling is the wing, does anyone have the numbers on how much of the 747 wing tooling had to be replaced to make the -8 wing?

Cosmofly - If you're going to widen the fuselage, you might as well design a new airplane.

[Edited 2009-12-11 22:06:47]

User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15781 posts, RR: 27
Reply 6, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 14535 times:



Quoting Cosmofly (Reply 4):
Just scale the 787 up a bit to fit comfortable 3-3-3 will do the trick.

It isn't that easy. The 787-9 is supposedly up to its maximum weight the landing gear can handle plus a wider and larger 787 would almost certainly need a new wing as well.

Honestly, I think that I have to change my stance somewhat on the idea of a 777NG for a few reasons.
-I think that there certainly is more life in the airframe, especially if they design a new wing for it.

-Boeing will have the 787 stretches and the 737 replacement to build in the next decade to 15 years. The 737 RS they especially can't afford to get wrong. With the 747-8 and 787 to help cover the extreme upper and lower end of the 777 market plus a 777NG to cover the rest should free them up to build the 737 replacement. After that I think that Y3 would be about due by which time even a BWB might be possible, but that is another thread and another set of issues.


How feasible would it be for a 777NG to be reengineered as an "electric jet" and eliminate the bleeds to gain a little efficiency? Would that be a given in any major upgrade, or make it so they might as well design a new plane?



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineCloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2454 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 14210 times:

From the rumour mill, the 777 Advanced (what it is being referred to now) will have new CFRP wings at circa 73/74-meter span. So yes it will be Code F. A350 type mission profiles. Think of it as an A350XXWB.


A310/A319/20/21/A332/3/A343/6/A388/B732/5/7/8/B742/S/4/B752/B763/B772/3/W/E145/J41/MD11/83/90
User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9189 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 14068 times:

Boeing will develop an all new Y3 which is a big bigger than the B 747-400 with 2 storeys. It will be a B 747/777 replacement.

User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9189 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 14065 times:

I bet UA will order that

User currently offlineJoeCanuck From Canada, joined Dec 2005, 5476 posts, RR: 30
Reply 10, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 13941 times:



Quoting Cosmofly (Reply 4):
It will be easier to do a 787XWB. Just scale the 787 up a bit to fit comfortable 3-3-3 will do the trick. I believe the Dreamlifter has room to fit a wider barrel.

The 787 has an interior width less than 4" smaller than the xwb. To put this in perspective, the 737 has an interior width 7" smaller than the 320, yet I've never met a non airline enthusiast who could tell the difference.

So whatever interior the 350 can do, can also be installed in the 787.

This also means that, as far as the fuselage is concerned, the 787 should be able to achieve any length the 350 can. Whether or not the gear, wings and engines can deal with the stretch is another matter.

The question is; is merely matching the 350 enough? I don't think so. Why get into another 737/320 tiff when they can leapfrog the 350 with a true 777 replacement based on 787 tech?

Either way, they will need a new wing, gear and engines and would have to go through the same certification process of a 100% new plane. Boeing might as well go all in with a new, larger, barrel fuse.



What the...?
User currently offlineDavescj From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 2307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 13552 times:

If Boeing wants to play with composite ideas, why not on a 737? They are a proven seller, they have only 3 basic models, but if you could build what amounts to the same bird for less fuel cost, why not?

it would allow some kinks in their supply chain to be worked out, concrete experience with composites, and allow the market to decide what it needs as far as wide body aircraft.

Dave



Can I have a mojito on this flight?
User currently offlineVirginFlyer From New Zealand, joined Sep 2000, 4575 posts, RR: 41
Reply 12, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 13432 times:



Quoting United Airline (Reply 8):
Boeing will develop an all new Y3

Yes, that's the plan apparently.

Quoting United Airline (Reply 8):
which is a big bigger than the B 747-400 with 2 storeys.

That bit is more or less conjecture on your part. I'd personally expect the baseline variant to be more in the 777-300ER to 747-400 size than bigger. I'd also be surprised if such a sized aircraft was 2 deck (well 3 if we count the cargo hold). But then again, that is more or less conjecture on my part.

Quoting United Airline (Reply 9):
I bet UA will order that

If it were to be larger than a 747-400, I'd hazard a guess they wouldn't.

V/F



"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9189 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 11388 times:

I read it somewhere that it will be a double deckor. OK B 747-400 size then.

UA might order it I think. Not sure


User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31124 posts, RR: 85
Reply 14, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 10923 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

On the one hand, we hear that the A330-200 is more than competitive with the 787-8 thanks to it's additional payload, even though it will burn a not-insignificant additional amount of fuel. And yet these same people are adamant that the 777's own additional payload advantage cannot hope to overcome the not-insignificant extra fuel it will burn on a mission over the A350XWB.  sarcastic 

So moving to a lighter fuselage, a new wing, improvements to the GE90 (contra-rotation, a new fan, improved IBR compressors wide chord blades, etc.) could together increase the payload of the 777-300ER beyond the current 70t and improve the range at MZFW beyond the current 5750nm. If they could somehow get a 10% improvement for each, that would match the 747-8, but I expect that's too much to expect. 5%, however, would put payload just under 74t and range at MZFW at just over 6000nm.

It might be hard for Boeing to comfortably exceed both with an all-new design, to be honest. I expect Boeing would need 75t payload at 6500nm of range to really make it worthwhile to launch. At that point, it would have enough overhead to keep the A350XWB below it (even an A350XWB-1100 stretch), would kill the 747-8 stone dead as a passenger plane, and put pressure on the A380-800 (possibly pushing Airbus to launch the A380-900).

If they really put their noses to the grindstone, they might have a 777-300ERX out by around the same time as the A350XWB-1000. To move to a new 10-abreast design would likely mean an EIS at or beyond 2020. However, Boeing could probably keep the 77W relevant by having GE make those changes to the GE90 in the interim before they are applied to the new plane.

One issue for Boeing revising the 777 is that they'd have to keep assembling it in Everett. If they go with an all-new design, they can assemble it in Charleston.


User currently offlineGymClassHero From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 10772 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 14):

No, the 777 is already wide enough to do 10-abreast, but it's wall insulation is too thick. Use the thinner stuff like the stuff on the 787 and it wouldn't take much re-engineering to make the 777 do true, comfortable, 10 abreast at all.


User currently offlineCMB56 From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 231 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 10662 times:

The proposals outlined here for an improved 777 are virtually identical to the original proposal from Airbus for the A350. Remember how badly they got shelled for that. If they had stuck to their plan in spite of the what the "big" customers were saying we would have A350s flying now and Boeing would still be where they are. BETTER is the enemy of good enough. How many customers do you think would dump the long delayed 787 for an in production A350 with nearly the same performance?

User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31124 posts, RR: 85
Reply 17, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 10627 times:
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Quoting GymClassHero (Reply 15):
No, the 777 is already wide enough to do 10-abreast, but it's wall insulation is too thick. Use the thinner stuff like the stuff on the 787 and it wouldn't take much re-engineering to make the 777 do true, comfortable, 10 abreast at all.

There are 777s today flying 10-abreast with identical seat dimensions to the 747 (with narrower aisles). That being said, I do agree with you that Boeing should work to make the walls of the 777NG thinner to either improve the width of the aisles or give the passengers an extra centimeter or so.

But if Boeing does decide to launch a new plane (Y3), I do not expect them to aim for 11-abreast or a hybrid 10/11 configuration (through narrower seats and aisles), but instead go for 10-abreast with a few extra centimeters of seat width.


User currently offlineNwarooster From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1107 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 10505 times:
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The Biggest problem with Composite fuselages, wings and tails is, they can be very difficult to repair correctly. It requires special training and auto claves to do the job right.  old 

User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8508 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 10171 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 17):
There are 777s today flying 10-abreast with identical seat dimensions to the 747 (with narrower aisles).

Now that I've flown on Qantas 747s I'd like to see what flying on an Emirates or Air France 10-abreast 777 is like because I thought the 747 already had a fairly narrow aisle.


User currently offlineBmacleod From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 2311 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 10078 times:

I thought the 787-9/10 were meant to replace the 777.


The engine is the heart of an airplane, but the pilot is its soul.
User currently offlineAirNz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 10017 times:



Quoting United Airline (Reply 8):
Boeing will develop an all new Y3 which is a big bigger than the B 747-400 with 2 storeys. It will be a B 747/777 replacement.

Surely that's going to fly right in the face of the popular a.net myth which repeatedly states there is no market for a VLA. Indeed, Boeing themselves suddenly stated the 748i is not a VLA as no market exists in their mind......so why would they now design one as surely something larger that a 744 with two decks can't conceivably NOT be a VLA?


User currently offlineKhobar From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2379 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 9772 times:



Quoting Cosmofly (Reply 4):
It will be easier to do a 787XWB. Just scale the 787 up a bit to fit comfortable 3-3-3 will do the trick. I believe the Dreamlifter has room to fit a wider barrel.

It already does 3-3-3 apparently comfortably enough.

Quoting United Airline (Reply 8):
Boeing will develop an all new Y3 which is a big bigger than the B 747-400 with 2 storeys.

Why would they do that? There is only a very small market for such a plane.

Quoting Nwarooster (Reply 18):
The Biggest problem with Composite fuselages, wings and tails is, they can be very difficult to repair correctly. It requires special training and auto claves to do the job right.

LOL. That's a good one.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15781 posts, RR: 27
Reply 23, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 8742 times:



Quoting JoeCanuck (Reply 10):
The question is; is merely matching the 350 enough? I don't think so. Why get into another 737/320 tiff when they can leapfrog the 350 with a true 777 replacement based on 787 tech?

I was originally in the skip the 777NG and go straight to the Y3 camp as well, but now I really don't know enough to make that call. But the reason that they would go with a 777NG over the Y3 is that they need to stay competitive but can't dedicate all of the resources for a new plane if say, they were in the middle of building the 737 replacement. I guess that my feelings would be build the Y3 if you can and the 777NG if you must.

Quoting Davescj (Reply 11):
If Boeing wants to play with composite ideas, why not on a 737? They are a proven seller, they have only 3 basic models, but if you could build what amounts to the same bird for less fuel cost, why not?

it would allow some kinks in their supply chain to be worked out, concrete experience with composites, and allow the market to decide what it needs as far as wide body aircraft.

That is not the plane to be experimenting and working out kinks with. Of all of the planes on Boeing's horizon, that is probably the one that they can least afford to mess up.

Quoting Bmacleod (Reply 20):
I thought the 787-9/10 were meant to replace the 777.

They can handle most of the 777-200/-200ER routes, but building a 787 that can realistically replace the 77W is probably not going to happen.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineFlylku From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 817 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 7811 times:



Quoting NotLegalAdvice (Reply 1):
If you're replacing the wing and then trying to add composites in the fuselage, why not just go ahead at that point and design a whole new aircraft? Isn't this what Y3 is supposed to ultimately accomplish?

Indeed. The 777 program was originally the 767-X but very early on, conversations with customers prompted Boeing to switch to an entirely new aircraft.

If Boeing is true to its "Working Together" philosophy then customers will decide whether we get a derivative or a new aircraft. They will vote with their wallets.



...are we there yet?
25 Astuteman : Put me in that camp too. And I agree with your resource argument supporting the 777NG Have to agree with you Stitch. And the 777 has a much bigger si
26 VC10er : I know people in the business of buying commercial jets are only focused on mission specs and $$$, buy the one thing that needs a redesign on the 737
27 GymClassHero : Then it would look a lot like a 757!
28 Stitch : And it still looks better to me than the nose of an A320.
29 RayChuang : I think Boeing may develop a Next Generation 777 with the following features: 1) Lighter wing with improved aerodynamics. 2) Improved GE90 engines usi
30 United Airline : Boeing does not plan to build this in the near future. Maybe after 10-20 years. Who knows? Maybe there will be a big market for it by then. My 2 cent
31 Astuteman : Correct. It was a large majority on A-net that have said this..... Rgds
32 BMI727 : But they have said with their actions that the market is not large enough for two profitable competitors and a Boeing VLA would probably only functio
33 NorCal : I guess you missed the A-net memo addressing the uncompetitiveness of the 777 Of course like the 787 (before the delays) everyone is assuming that th
34 Rheinwaldner : Why? I have not seen articles of regret and concerns that the A330 seems slowly being eclipsed by 787. And how the A330 could become competitive agai
35 2175301 : I feel that their will be a 777NG. Wings, engines, cockpit upgrade are obvious. There may be isolated improvements in the frame.
36 United Airline : Well things change from time to time in aviation. Everything can be different after 20 years
37 2707200X : Now is not a bad time to start a next generation version of the 777 if they want to stay competitive, perhaps a version similar to the 777-300ER and a
38 Stitch : The 777-300ER is already a 747-400 replacement. It lifts more payload than the 747-400, flies it farther and burns less fuel doing it. It doesn't qui
39 Jfk777 : WRONG, JAL & ANA 777-300ER's are among the most luxurious afloat, so much that ANA's new configuration is down to 212 seats. JAL's most current versi
40 Stitch : Maximum Payload of a 777-300ER: 70 tons per Boeing data Maximum Payload of a 747-400: 67 tons per Boeing data Range at MZFW for a 777-300ER: 5750 nau
41 Post contains links and images Keesje : I think Boeing discussed a 777 stretch before. I think a further stretch, rewing/engine could be a low risk scenario leading to a competitive aircraft
42 XT6Wagon : Its 9Y with 17.2" seats.. you know industry standard? What more do you want? If you want wider seats and more seat pitch, start paying for Y+. Otherw
43 Post contains links Keesje : I think 8 abreast A330/340, 9 abreast 777's, 10 abreast A380s and 747 phase out is slowly raising the bar.. 10 abreast on the 787.. Man, I hope you a
44 Birdbrainz : I was thinking about the UA order, and was wondering if maybe UA was trying to send Boeing a message telling them to do a more radical makeover of the
45 JoeCanuck : ...and 10 abreast in the 350 would allow for 15.8 inch seats. That doesn't really disprove my point.
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