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Budget Airlines To "Design" Aircraft  
User currently offlineparapente From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1548 posts, RR: 10
Posted (4 years 4 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 13406 times:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8491366.stm

This is an interesting article.Two huge far Eastern LCC's getting together to state the type of aircraft they want (not need - want). Easyjet have already made strong statements about this.Recently "rejecting" as simple re engine.And of course earlier going to the trouble to actually physically show what they want.

How long I wonder before South Weast and Ryanair join in.If they did (all together) it would be impossible to resist -I would have said.It all depends if they can agree.

Clearly an aircraft that offers 100% "carry on" would be one agreed area. Size - well its a combo of (for Airbus) of 319 - 320( Hardly difficult I would have thought). Range (I have no idea of the different sector requirements).Economy."Yes Please!" from all. Farnbrough is going to be interesting methinks.

23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12899 posts, RR: 100
Reply 1, posted (4 years 4 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 13271 times:
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The airlines that put their money down first have the most say in an airliners design.

Pan am was famous (infamous) for their influence on the 707 and 747. If PanAm ordered a long range aircraft, there was a certain amount of 'copycat' orders certain to follower

But Jetstar and AirAsiaX? I'm certain they have requirements and demands that differ, but this will be like U2. While each airline has their preferences, both Boeing and Airbus must design an aircraft with a broad appeal. Some airlines wish for more cargo hold capacity. Others (like FR), would rather not have the fuel penalty a large cargo hold imposes. WN probably would want the most cargo volume of the LCC's.

The long lead time item is often the engines. The 747 grew beyound the original specifications so much that the 747 had problems with the JT9D. (Pratt wasn't ready for that much thrust growth that quickly.)



As to turn times, there are reasons Boeing enlarged the cargo doors on the 777. The original design did not meet enough airline's needs. So as the article notes, Boeing and Airbus listen to their customers. If they do not, the competitor will.

But are the LCC's willing to pay more in purchase price for an airframe with lower operating economics? What do they mean by Asian terrain? Is that a demand for hot/high performance? Range?

Honestly, it sounds like the person interviewed wished they knew something about aircraft purchasing and design but really doesn't know squat.

The tradeoffs in aircraft design are well know.
1. For fast turns, an aircraft sacrifices fuel burn. Either for larger doors (passenger and cargo), more isle space (wider aircraft with more weight and worse drag), looser tolerances on the engines (so hot blades do not scrape a cold casing) that really hurts fuel burn, larger breaks (less cooling time between flights) add weight, etc. It all comes down to fuel burn.
2. Hot/High takeoff performance requires either a larger wing or fancier flaps and leading edge devices. Ok, one can also just do more thrust if landing performance on a wet runway isn't the runway limit. In general this costs more to design and build the aircraft as well as adding weight and maintenance costs.
3. Larger overhead bins come at one of three costs:
A. larger diameter fusalage which is heaver and thus will burn more fuel
B. Lower deck, which can 'pinch ankles' and makes it tougher to crawl in the cargo hold and move cargo
C. Very tricky engineering (e.g., cabin air, wiring).
4. Range. The greater the available range, the heavier the airframe will be which adds cost on short missions. Asia needs more range than European LCC's. US based LCC's probably need the most available range out of their narrowbodies.

And what size of aircraft? Good luck getting FR and U2 to agree on that.

Airbus and Boeing do their best guess of what they can sell for twenty (or more) years. They are well aware that LCC's will drive the narrowbody market. Hence the push to keep cutting costs. Every airframer tries to cut variable costs as this increases the sales price.

This is why when I look at the 737 vs. A320 I see two aircraft optimized for different missions but capable of operating the missions the other aircraft operates. Each is optimized for the own particular niche.

I'm certain that the LCC's have been heard with the C-series. WN drove the 73G development. U2 received very custom A319's for their requirements. FL's 73G's are 'super LCC' per their specifications. The 739ER received more doors so that the longest 737 appealed more to LCC's. There are so many options when purchasing an aircraft that each airline has been able to customize to their needs. So this article trying to imply LCC's are just starting to define aircarft is miss-leading.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 2, posted (4 years 4 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 12884 times:

Quoting parapente (Thread starter):
How long I wonder before South Weast and Ryanair join in.If they did (all together) it would be impossible to resist

It would be easy to resist, if the economics don't work for the OEM. And, if the economics do work, then there's no need to resist.

As much as the LCC's, or anybody else, want to jump up and down, cry, whine, and design pretty models, they're not the ones that have to plunk down ~$10 billion dollars to develop and certify the thing. The OEM has to be able to be convinced they can make a reasonable rate of return or it's just not gonna happen.

Tom.


User currently offlineMrSkyGuy From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1214 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (4 years 4 months 6 days ago) and read 12583 times:

Geez, how long before Ryanair ends up with a fleet of buses? (lorries to you European friends)  


"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee." -- Gunter's 2nd Law of Air
User currently offlineGo3Team From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3267 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 12382 times:

Quoting MrSkyGuy (Reply 3):
Geez, how long before Ryanair ends up with a fleet of buses? (lorries to you European friends)

That would be a Coach. A lorry would be a pretty bad ride...



Yay Pudding!
User currently onlinewjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5116 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 12285 times:

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 4):
That would be a Coach. A lorry would be a pretty bad ride...

Actually, I think he probably had a point as to Ryanair bringing the concept of SLC to a whole new level...



(SLC=Self-Loading Cargo)


User currently offlineMedAv From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 78 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 12226 times:

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 5):

Actually, I think he probably had a point as to Ryanair bringing the concept of SLC to a whole new level...



You mean something like this?  


User currently offlinekeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 12046 times:

Airlines are pushing the OEMS to come with more efficient , optimized solutions for their requirements. The A320 and 737 are "one shoe fits all" designs, capable of full flights up to 3000nm/ 5-6 hrs. Up to now airlines had little alternatives.

Looking at the network of LCC's, they all fly much shorter stretches. In the US the average stretches are longer, most people live on the edges of the continent. The average aircraft trip length for SW is 639 miles with an average duration of one hour and 54 minutes. Southwest aircraft fly an average of 6.25 flights per day, or almost 11 hours and 45 minutes per day. In Europe average flights are shorter, in 2007 Easyjet average flight length was 533nm.

Based on network realities I see a split solution for the next generation of narrowbodies.

A. Aircraft families optimized for stretches up to 1500nm and max. 170 passengers, like Cseries and likely new Airbus, Boeing and Embraer designs.



B. Aircraft famillilies from 150 seats up to 230 with ranges up to 3500nm, like Comac C919, A320/A321/ A322 upgrades and UAL MS21.



The A category is by far the biggest segment. Airbus and Boeing cannot ignore it without loosing half their marketshare. http://i191.photobucket.com/albums/z...llRRNButilization.jpg?t=1269592130


User currently offlinerichardw From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 3746 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 11929 times:

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 1):
U2 received very custom A319's for their requirements

Not really that very custom, an extra over wing fire exit door and half a galley other half toilet.


User currently offlinescouseflyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 3379 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11894 times:

Taking the point mentioned higher up about a plane optimised for the LCC market to it's logical conclusion you end up with a "hyper-squashed" fuselage - sort of like an A380 cross section rotated 90 degress or Thunderbird 2.

I'd envisage something along the lines of

- Cabin height 18 inches - 2 feet more than current planes
- 2 - 3 - 2 seating
- no proper cargo hold (hence the squashed profile)
- lockers bulit into the base of seats that were the size built to accept the "Ryanair" standard carryon
- seats would be raised slightly up due to the lockers but this woudl be ok due to the higher cabin

Benefits of this approach
- much better use of availble space - no crown etc on effectively a wide-bodied aircraft
- passengers managing all of their own luggage and each seat having designated space for bag
- If U2, FR, SW, etc went for this there could easily be 500 launch orders to support the programme


Possible drawbacks - I haven't a clue how the aerodynamics would be and would the unusual shape need extra strengthening and thus weight?


User currently offlineCRJ900 From Norway, joined Jun 2004, 2172 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 11763 times:
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Quoting parapente (Thread starter):
Clearly an aircraft that offers 100% "carry on" would be one agreed area.

Now that's a Utopia. The bigger the bins become, the more crap pax will bring onboard, making the larger bins too small once again.   



Come, fly the prevailing winds with me
User currently offlineGT4EZY From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 1781 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 11408 times:

Quoting keesje (Reply 7):
In Europe average flights are shorter, in 2007 Easyjet average flight length was 533nm.
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 1):
Range. The greater the available range, the heavier the airframe will be which adds cost on short missions. Asia needs more range than European LCC's. US based LCC's probably need the most available range out of their narrowbodies.

That was 2007. Since then Easyjet's average flight length has grown considerably. TFS, LPA, ACE, FUE, DLM, BJV, RHO, HER, PFO, LCA, SSH, HRG, TLV are all around the 4h+ mark from the UK.

This Summer, MAN-SSH will be easyjet's longest sector.



Proud to fly from Manchester!
User currently offlineBeakerLTN From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2009, 291 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 11116 times:

I like the idea of 100% carry on (not for me of course, I prefer to pay for a nice smiling check in person to put my bags on the belt) but that's not the point.

I'd like to see a large slot (approx 2ftdeep by 1ft sq) in the footwell of each seat space for a special suitcase to slot into. - obviously you'd have to buy the 'ryanair' suitcase so it fits perfectly. then you just board with the suitcase, slide it in the floor under your seat, and do the opposite when you arrive.

Ryanair, southwest et al - if you read this, I want a cut in the suitacase sales!



300/319/320/321/330/732/733/734/73G/738/744/772/77W/146/EMB135/EMB145
User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8942 posts, RR: 40
Reply 13, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 9867 times:

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 5):
Actually, I think he probably had a point as to Ryanair bringing the concept of SLC to a whole new level...



(SLC=Self-Loading Cargo)

You know, it's not the same thing, but lately I've thought of something that might be a little crazy but still interesting (I think). . .

Imagine a 777F that opens its nose like some of the big freighters like some 747s. Now imagine an easily removable cabin, just like cargo pallets, but one single, long pallet that looks and feels just like an aircraft cabin on its inside. Pull the aircraft to the gate, if you even need a gate, slide the arriving giant Tylenol out (  ) , slide another pre-loaded one in, and you are off.

Turn around times could be significantly reduced, there is no need for an extra aisle or larger doors (in the case of narrowbodies and aside from the huge one in the front). And you could potentially use the same aircraft for cargo or pax operations interchangeably, which would increase operational flexibility to what is a significant capital investment.

Sure there are challenges, like electricity and plumbing, but these don't sound insurmountable to me. I am not an aircraft engineer though so I don't know about other difficulties.

[Edited 2010-03-26 07:24:10]


"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlinekeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 9175 times:

Quoting GT4EZY (Reply 11):
Quoting keesje (Reply 7):
In Europe average flights are shorter, in 2007 Easyjet average flight length was 533nm.
..
That was 2007. Since then Easyjet's average flight length has grown considerably.

Not only longer stretches grew. In 2009 everage lenght was 594nm, nearly the same as 2008. Still nowhere close to the ranges the 737 and A320 are optimized for. Not only longer stretches grew.

http://corporate.easyjet.com/~/media...s/Full-Year-final-presentation.pdf

I drew the A319's full passenger range around London Luton. It can reach China and the US.

http://www.gcmap.com/map?P=&R=3600nm@LTN+%0d%0a&MS=wls&MR=1800&MX=720x360&PM=*


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12899 posts, RR: 100
Reply 15, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 7958 times:
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Quoting keesje (Reply 7):
Based on network realities I see a split solution for the next generation of narrowbodies.

The market is growing enough to support more than the duopoly. I suspect we'll have a market with 3 strong contenders and one or two more 'cycling in and out' as their products 'age out' or a new design enters the market.

But FL is the easiest example I can come up with where a few routes needing change forced aircraft selection from the 717 to the 73G. Airlines typically need an aircraft capable of two to three times the range of their typical route. For example, WN flies very few long haul flights, but they had tremendous influence over the 73G design.

Quoting keesje (Reply 7):
The A category is by far the biggest segment.

Don't you mean the B category? In terms of passenger miles, it will dwarf the A category. I'm not arguing A won't be as important, but as fuel prices continue to creep up, it will push the 'optimum' towards larger airframes.

Quoting richardw (Reply 8):

Not really that very custom, an extra over wing fire exit door and half a galley other half toilet.

While accurate, Airbus did go out of their way to win that order. It is a far more 'short range' optimized A319 than their previous interior.

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 4):

That would be a Coach. A lorry would be a pretty bad ride...

   We'd better not give FR any ideas to use the Lorry. They'll charge 20 Euro for the ride too.  


Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlineBrouAviation From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 985 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7208 times:

Quoting parapente (Thread starter):

How long I wonder before South Weast and Ryanair join in.If they did (all together) it would be impossible to resist -I would have said.It all depends if they can agree.

Well, that depends. Luckily, they are not in charge of building new aircraft, and wether they collaborate or not, they remain in the role of potential buyer in the game. If Boeing or Airbus or anyone else don't see profit in this, the LCC's can collaborate whatever they want, it won't happen!

Of the total global fleet of A32S and 73X, what percentage is operated by LCC's? And I mean real LCC's, no holiday charter operators like Thomsonfly et cetera. Air Berlin is a difficult one, being both LCC and holiday charter company, depending on the destination you fly to. I bet the figures are much lower than most people think they are.

Does anyone have any figures on this?



Never ask somebody if he's a pilot. If he is, he will let you know soon enough!
User currently offlineplanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6123 posts, RR: 34
Reply 17, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7116 times:

Quoting keesje (Reply 7):
A. Aircraft families optimized for stretches up to 1500nm and max. 170 passengers, like Cseries and likely new Airbus, Boeing and Embraer designs.

Why go all the way to 1500nm? It doesn't make any sense when your RR chart shows that the vast majority of flights are under 1000nm... and you quote WN as having only a 639sm average flight distance and easyJet having only 594nm average flight distance.

On the other hand, BBD obviously thinks that the CSeries has to have almost double the 1500 range capability that you are stating.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlinekeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6667 times:

There will always be aircraft oprtimized for flights upto 3500nm. Using them on flights averaging 550nm is a good idea when fuel becomes real cheap for long periods again. Most people see this as unlikely.

http://www.inflationdata.com/inflation/images/charts/Oil/Inflation_Adj_Oil_Prices_Chart.jpg

(it's 80$ / barrel as we speak)


User currently offlineplanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6123 posts, RR: 34
Reply 19, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 6076 times:

Quoting keesje (Reply 18):
There will always be aircraft oprtimized for flights upto 3500nm. Using them on flights averaging 550nm is a good idea when fuel becomes real cheap for long periods again. Most people see this as unlikely.

No one is saying that there won't be aircraft optimized for flights up to 3500nm. The question is why does BBD not develop an optimized aircraft as you have proposed since the bulk of the NB flights are below 1000nm.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offlinekeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5332 times:

Quoting planemaker (Reply 19):
The question is why does BBD not develop an optimized aircraft as you have proposed since the bulk of the NB flights are below 1000nm.


Planemaker, the ranges given by OEMS are useally fulll passenger ranges, without cargo under ideal conditions.

Factors like airfield height, temperature, reserves, wind, diversions, APU, Airco and even fuel for the way back have to be taken into account.

rgds


User currently offlineplanemaker From Tuvalu, joined Aug 2003, 6123 posts, RR: 34
Reply 21, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5011 times:

Quoting keesje (Reply 20):
Planemaker, the ranges given by OEMS are useally fulll passenger ranges, without cargo under ideal conditions.

Factors like airfield height, temperature, reserves, wind, diversions, APU, Airco and even fuel for the way back have to be taken into account.

Even worse case scenario that still doesn't take into account the huge difference between sub 1000 miles routes (where the vast bulk of NB routes are flown) and the over 3000 mile range of the CS300ER (with 130 pax @ 225 lb/pax). In other words, the CS300 is designed for more than 4 times WN's average route distance. Hardly and aircraft optimized to take advantage of the vast majority of NB routes.



Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
User currently offliner2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2579 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 4945 times:

I think the NB market is big enough for a third player to enter it, and a LCC-optimized a/c could provide a good opportunity for that. A&B have a very diverse customer base and will almost surely go the one shoe fits all way for their NB replacements. A LCC short-haul optimized a/c could set a hypothetical new entrant apart from A&B designs and help them grab a piece of the market.

Quoting keesje (Reply 18):

Careful... don't take your range optimization thing too far or you could end up with a Dassault Mercure. Yes, an a/c optimized for 1000nm will be more efficient for short missions than one capable of 3500nm, all other things being equal. But short-haul a/c aren't necessarily refueled after every flight. So you need to build in more capability than just the average mission.

As for oil prices... I think that today, they are not high enough to justify an airline having two separate NB types optimized for each range segment - the one shoe fits all A320's & 737's do that just fine. But we will be back at 150$ sooner rather than later, and from that point on the economics may very well change...


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 23, posted (4 years 4 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4811 times:

Quoting keesje (Reply 7):
The A320 and 737 are "one shoe fits all" designs, capable of full flights up to 3000nm/ 5-6 hrs. Up to now airlines had little alternatives.
Looking at the network of LCC's, they all fly much shorter stretches.
Quoting r2rho (Reply 22):
I think the NB market is big enough for a third player to enter it, and a LCC-optimized a/c could provide a good opportunity for that.

Southwest Airlines, the paragon of short-distance LCC's, had a *huge* hand in the design of the 737NG. It *is* an LCC-optimized a/c. I'm not sure where this bizarre view that the 737NG/A32x aren't optimized for short haul comes from. Just because their maximum no-cargo full-fuel range is long doesn't mean that's their optimum operating point. You'll almost never see an aircraft that can take full payload and full fuel at the same time. The best economic operating point for all the narrowbodies is much much shorter than their maximum spec range.

Tom.


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