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Questions About The A321 Vs 757-200?  
User currently offline9LFlyGuy From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 170 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 9546 times:

Questions about the A321 Vs 757-200?

First of all, before the A vs B comes up, lets get this straight. I'm not an A or B fanboy. I'm just asking a few general questions about the two frames and why hasn't Airbus done more to make the A321 a more direct competitor with the 757-200. First of all, lets get the specs out there.

Quote:
A321

Length: 146 ft.
Height: 38 ft. 7 in.
MTOW: 196.2 (206.1) lbs. x 1000
Max Fuel Capacity: 6,260 gal (7,840 l)
Max Capacity: 185/220
Powerplants: two CFM56-5B or V2500
Max Range: 2,350 nm or 3,200 nm with sharklets

B752

Length: 155 ft 3 in
Height: 44 ft 6 in
MTOW: 255,000 lb
Max Fuel Capacity: 11,489 gal (43,490 l)
Max Capacity: 200/228
Powerplants:

Rolls-Royce RB211-535E4
40,200 lb (179 kN)

Rolls-Royce RB211-535E4B
43,500 lb (193.5 kN)

Pratt & Whitney PW2037
36,600 lb (162.8 kN)

Pratt & Whitney PW2040
40,100 lb (178.4 kN)

Max Range: 3,900 nautical miles

So my question is, why hasn't airbus increased fuel capacity and added more efficient engines to make the 321 a better replacement/competitor with the 752? It seems like with larger wings (more fuel) a maybe a new engine option plus some AP winglets (which its getting) the A321 could be a more direct replacement for the 752. The more efficient engines and larger wings would increase range to allow it to do to TATL or Hawaii runs. Any thoughts? Now please no "the 757 is a great plane and A321 could never fill its shoes posts." Just speculation as to why Airbus hasn't made these modifications. Thanks!!

[Edited 2011-02-21 13:34:52]


My opinions do not represent the opinions of my company. They are solely the opinion of the poster.
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCamiloA380 From Sweden, joined Feb 2008, 486 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 9522 times:

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Thread starter):

A321NEO....



Flying4Ever!
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31412 posts, RR: 85
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 9522 times:
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Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Thread starter):
So my question is, why hasn't airbus increased fuel capacity and added more efficient engines to make the 321 a better replacement/competitor with the 752?

Well Airbus doesn't make engines, so they have to put on what's available. The 757's engine family is different than the 737s / A320s and developing a new class of engines just for one model would be very expensive.

Also, it's not a simple thing to jack the MTOW up 50,000 pounds. The A321's airframe or undercarriage might not be able to handle it (or pavement loading would be too high). Airbus does have a dual-axle bogey option (used on a handful of AI A320s) that would reduce tire/pavement loading and allow MTOW increases (assuming the airframe can take it). Wing-loading at higher MTOWs could be an issue, as well.

And then there is just the fact that it's mostly United States carriers who operate the 757 on longer missions, so the market for an extended-range A321 just might not be enough to justify the expense of developing it.


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9817 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 9441 times:

I think the point is that the A321 is not a 757. It's a smaller plane, but has similar seating capacity. It is an extension of the A320 family. In my opinion it has the unfortunate comparison to the 757 because it kind of looks like one with its exit configuration. If it had the exit configuration of a 739ER, I don't think people would compare it as closely.

The 757 likely will never have a true direct replacement. It was designed in the 70s when it was a major selling point to be able to operate from 5~6,000ft runways. That necessited a huge wing and higher performance engines. The result as kind of a side factor was a lot of range. The 757 was not designed to operate transatlantic routes. That was supposed to be the 767s job.

The changes you comment are would be extremely expensive. You are talking a lot of added weight and design expense to increase A321 MTOW by 25%. If the seating capcity did not go up, the A321 would likely become a less popular airplane because it would be horribly inefficient on the majority of the routes that 757s fly. It could be more versatile, but as we have seen in the past, outside the US market, the 757s versatility was not needed. With all the extra structural and engine weight, not to mention higher acquisition cost, I think airlines would go for the A320 or 738/739ER instead.

And although the A321NEO is supposed to have 15% lower fuel burn, from what I see, its MTOW will not go up much or at all since there are not going to be major structural changes. The NEO range likely will not go up to anywhere near the 757. The A321 has great CASM and works really well in many markets, especially Europe. Its range limitations make airlines in the US favor the A320, but still it is an impressive seller in its own market and at the job it was designed to do.



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User currently offline9LFlyGuy From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 9402 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):

Well Airbus doesn't make engines, so they have to put on what's available. The 757's engine family is different than the 737s / A320s and developing a new class of engines just for one model would be very expensive.

I understand that... But I'm sure they have enough pull to put pressure on the engine manufactures to make a better more efficient engine.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Also, it's not a simple thing to jack the MTOW up 50,000 pounds. The A321's airframe or undercarriage might not be able to handle it (or pavement loading would be too high). Airbus does have a dual-axle bogey option (used on a handful of AI A320s) that would reduce tire/pavement loading and allow MTOW increases (assuming the airframe can take it). Wing-loading at higher MTOWs could be an issue, as well.

Modifying an existing airframe is never easy but would the benefits of additional sales outweigh the costs.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
And then there is just the fact that it's mostly United States carriers who operate the 757 on longer missions, so the market for an extended-range A321 just might not be enough to justify the expense of developing it.

Okay, lets break down this small market. Just ti name a few.

American: 124
Delta: 164 (752 & 753)
US: 24
UA: 96
CO: 62 (752 & 753)

470 frames between these 5 carriers. If you could replace half of those frames with an extended range A321 at $68 million a frame (rough estimate) you would make $15,980,000,000. I think that could really justify and pay for the development of a new Extended range A321. And that's just for the top 5 carriers in the United States.

[Edited 2011-02-21 14:00:01]


My opinions do not represent the opinions of my company. They are solely the opinion of the poster.
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25999 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 9295 times:

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Reply 4):
Okay, lets break down this small market. Just ti name a few.

American: 124
Delta: 164 (752 & 753)
US: 24
UA: 96
CO: 62 (752 & 753)

470 frames between these 5 carriers. If you could replace half of those frames with an extended range A321 at $68 million a frame (rough estimate) you would make $15,980,000,000. I think that could really justify and pay for the development of a new Extended range A321. And that's just for the top 5 carriers in the United States.

But with the global airline market growing by at least 5% a year, and airports becoming more congested every year, future demand will be for larger aircraft. A high percentage of 757s, especially those used on longhaul routes, are likely to be replaced by widebodies.


User currently offlinetullamarine From Australia, joined Aug 1999, 1638 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 9279 times:

This has been covered many times but the fact is the 757 does not need replacing like-for-like. Just about all of the routes currently operated by the 752 can be operated by the A321 or 739ER today. Both of these planes can operate trans-continental US flights. Likewise most European 757 operators have already moved to the A321 or 739.

The only routes the A321 and 739 cannot do is the transAtlantic routes and that is OK as most airlines are happy to wait for the 787 or use a 767 or A332 on these routes.

The 757 had extraordinary range partly because it was developed with the 767 but the range also came with significant weight penalties and meant it was too much plane for many airlines whi were looking to replace 727s at the time. This slight misreading of the market by Boeing probably opened the market opportunity that Airbus so successfully expolited with the A320 and its derivatives.



717,721/2,732/3/4/5/7/8/9,742/3/4,752/3,762/3,772,W,310,320/1,332/3,388,DC9,DC10,F28,F100,142,143,E90,CR2,D82/3/4,SF3,AT
User currently offline9LFlyGuy From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 10 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 9123 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
But with the global airline market growing by at least 5% a year, and airports becoming more congested every year, future demand will be for larger aircraft. A high percentage of 757s, especially those used on longhaul routes, are likely to be replaced by widebodies.
Quoting tullamarine (Reply 6):
The only routes the A321 and 739 cannot do is the transAtlantic routes and that is OK as most airlines are happy to wait for the 787 or use a 767 or A332 on these routes.

But with restricted gate space, wouldn't a smaller aircraft (757 or A321) size be better for those less profitable routes that widebodies are not suitable for.

Quoting tullamarine (Reply 6):
This has been covered many times but the fact is the 757 does not need replacing like-for-like

Why not? The 757 was/is a great aircraft and airlines are happy with it. Why not a next generation? Some of these 757s are getting up there in age...



My opinions do not represent the opinions of my company. They are solely the opinion of the poster.
User currently offlinedoug_Or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3441 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 9076 times:

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Reply 7):
Why not? The 757 was/is a great aircraft and airlines are happy with it. Why not a next generation? Some of these 757s are getting up there in age...

Because as others have said the current incarnations of the A321 and 739 can already accomplish almost all of the 757's current missions (and they do it with lower ownership and operating costs than a super HGTW A321 could). The only real market your proposed A321 would have is the transatlantic narrow-body market, and that is tiny specialty market that only really exists because airlines already had a capable aircraft in their fleet.



When in doubt, one B pump off
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 9, posted (3 years 10 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 9026 times:

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Thread starter):
So my question is, why hasn't airbus increased fuel capacity and added more efficient engines to make the 321 a better replacement/competitor with the 752?

There isn't a big enough market to pay for the changes.

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Thread starter):
seems like with larger wings (more fuel) a maybe a new engine option plus some AP winglets (which its getting) the A321 could be a more direct replacement for the 752.

That's very true, but with the existing wing/engine it can cover something like 80%+ of the existing 752 routes, so the cost of those really major improvements has to be born by a relatively small number of incremental sales.

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Reply 4):
I'm sure they have enough pull to put pressure on the engine manufactures to make a better more efficient engine.

They don't. The total market is too small to support a whole new engine.

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Reply 4):
Modifying an existing airframe is never easy but would the benefits of additional sales outweigh the costs.

No.

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Reply 4):
Okay, lets break down this small market. Just ti name a few.
American: 124
Delta: 164 (752 & 753)
US: 24
UA: 96
CO: 62 (752 & 753)

470 frames between these 5 carriers. If you could replace half of those frames with an extended range A321 at $68 million a frame (rough estimate) you would make $15,980,000,000. I think that could really justify and pay for the development of a new Extended range A321. And that's just for the top 5 carriers in the United States.

Except you can replace something like 80% of those frames with today's A321. So you're talking about ~100 frames to cover the cost of a re-engine and re-wing; ain't gonna happen. Boeing has already admitted 107 frames wasn't enough to pay for the 747-8 program, and the profit margin on jumbos is significantly better than on narrowbodies.

Tom.


User currently offlineGarpd From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2716 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 8939 times:

Quoting 9LFlyGuy (Reply 7):

Why not? The 757 was/is a great aircraft and airlines are happy with it. Why not a next generation? Some of these 757s are getting up there in age...

With the exception of some US airlines, most 757 operators do not use all of its capabilities.

The A321 has replaced the 757 in Europe.

A lot of package tour operators used the 757 for its capacity and short field performance mainly. Thomas Cook for example pack 235 people on their 752s (I've been on them a few times... tight as a sardine can is an understatement). It's short field performance comes in handy for the Greek islands and some smaller tourist airports in Spain, Turkey, etc.
However, for the most part, no one really used the 757s full performance and abilities.

The A321, has replaced the 757 in Europe because used to its full potential it matches the load and range (give or take a few KG and NM) that most 757 missions use. The A321 does so using less fuel with cheaper airport fees and offers a whole family to back it up. (A320, A319) allowing airlines to use its smaller stable mates on routes too thin for the A321/757.

I pains me to say it as the 757 is my favorite commercial aircraft, but the 757's abilities is it's undoing. No one (in Europe anyway) needs it anymore.



arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlinethegman From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 687 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 10 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 8852 times:

The 321 v. 757 debate flares up here about once a month, and every time it is explained that the 321 can do 80% of what the 757 can, then for the remaining 20% the 757 can still do the job fine.

User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4700 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (3 years 10 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 8717 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 2):
Airbus does have a dual-axle bogey option (used on a handful of AI A320s) that would reduce tire/pavement loading and allow MTOW increases

Actually, according to the EASA TCDS, the A320 with the dual-axle bogie is restricted to a MTOW of 73.5t vs. up to 78t for a normal A320. So no chance to increase the MTOW via that route.



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31412 posts, RR: 85
Reply 13, posted (3 years 10 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 8715 times:
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Quoting A342 (Reply 12):
Actually, according to the EASA TCDS, the A320 with the dual-axle bogie is restricted to a MTOW of 73.5t vs. up to 78t for a normal A320. So no chance to increase the MTOW via that route.

I am going to guess that limit is an artificial one based on low tire pressures since I believe the option was designed for operations from unimproved airfields.

With proper tires at proper inflation, I would expect you could support higher MTOWs.


User currently offlineBlueBus From United States of America, joined Feb 2011, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 10 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 8690 times:

I think the size and range of the A321 is less of a sell to airlines to replace the B757 versus the ability to have a common family of A320 jets, one that can come close to the A321.

User currently offlineA342 From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 4700 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 8437 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 13):
I am going to guess that limit is an artificial one based on low tire pressures since I believe the option was designed for operations from unimproved airfields.

Don't think so. If that was the case, why did they convert all/most of those aircraft to normal bogies?



Exceptions confirm the rule.
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31412 posts, RR: 85
Reply 16, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 8428 times:
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Quoting A342 (Reply 15):
Don't think so. If that was the case, why did they convert all/most of those aircraft to normal bogies?

Because they no longer operate them out of unimproved airfields?

This thread from seven years ago on the double-bogey confirms that AI ordered them for operation out of airfields with lower-quality taxiways and runways - Indian Airlines A320 Double Bogey (by Ryder10uk Dec 4 2003 in Tech Ops)

I would not be surprised if that in those intervening years India improved the tarmac quality of those facilities and since the double-bogeys weigh more, if they are no longer needed, why keep them?


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25999 posts, RR: 22
Reply 17, posted (3 years 10 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 8416 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 16):
and since the double-bogeys weigh more, if they are no longer needed, why keep them?

I expect that would be a very expensive modification.


User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31412 posts, RR: 85
Reply 18, posted (3 years 10 months 7 hours ago) and read 8283 times:
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Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 17):
I expect that would be a very expensive modification.

More expensive than hauling all that weight and the spares / maintenance costs over two decades?


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25999 posts, RR: 22
Reply 19, posted (3 years 10 months 1 hour ago) and read 8222 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 18):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 17):
I expect that would be a very expensive modification.

More expensive than hauling all that weight and the spares / maintenance costs over two decades?

If not mistaken, most of those IC A320s with the double bogies are among the oldest in service, up to 22 years old. Is there enough useful life left in them to get any payback from installing new landing gear? I doubt it. Some A320s of that age have already been scrapped.

[Edited 2011-02-24 17:11:13]

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