The 777 wing is a work of art. From the inside, it gives the appearance of sloping upward at an almost incredible angle. MAC says old and stodgy, but we know his distaste for Boeing in general.
The 747 wing is a "child of the 60s" in terms of higher speeds needed, meaning more fuel to burn which was plentiful and cheap back then. It's a great design dont get me wrong, but it's an older generation design.
Distaste, not at all, they have built some great designs, but I am a great fan of competition and have flown on some of the competing designs by Airbus and have become a great fan. Just as much of a fan there as I was and continue to be a fan of the great Lockheed airlifters I worked on.
The 777 wing, sure, nice wing. Beautiful. It's perfect for it's job. I believe the 777 will be a great seller and do very well for it's customers. There are risks with it's use in some of the ultra long range operations I believe, twin engine etops over the Pacific is one thing that I've been watching. The GE90 engine in particular has a track record of problems that should be watched.
All it takes is one ditching or -close to it- over the Pacific and the 777 will be in the -same boat- the DC-10 was back in the late 70s (in a figurative way). I think caution is a watchword with these large twins.
The new 764 wing will be a further advancement in wing technology derived, I believe, from patented McDonnel Douglas technology. It will use a rearward facing trailing edge that Boeing might also plan for a larger 747.To counter MACs point about Boeing BS and fear vis a vis the A3XX, one should understand that for Beoing, a 5-10 billion dollar investment is not as easy as going to the Commerce Dept. for 30 year loans at 5% interest.
Or expecting US government Corporate Welfare to be the way it was in the past also (LOL!) Those EXIM Bank loans are under the budget axe in recent years, so indeed, some creative financing is going to be in order selling those planes too (G). Financing like that slick act they pulled with SIA over the 777s (which will cost Boeing a -lot- of money to do isnt exactly the best way to make money either...that is going to cost them money in the long run if that's the means Boeing is going to do, incurring a loss on a capital product like that in order to "get sales". I hope it's a one time deal for them, if not, if you own Boeing stock, SELL!!! SELL!!! (LOL!)
The 764 wing will be interesting to see. I caution it -hasnt flown yet- and that's where it counts. As for the vaunted McDonnell Douglas patenting and so forth. Well, we'll have to see.
The MD-11 experience wasnt exactly something to "remember" in a positive way. (G) I certainly hope they dont use the ideas with -that- in the 764 or it will be in serious trouble.
The returns are just starting to come in the 737NG and the 777. Privately raised funding carries significant risk, especially when it is say 10 billion dollars (15-20% of annual Boeing revenue). But competition is good. Boeing will respond once Airbus plays its hand. Don't forget Airbus must privatize before recieving funding for the A3XX and once they do, Boeing will have the luxury of countering with its own new product. A stretched 747 merely needs to maintain a certain level of market share in order to turn the A3XX into an albatross.
I highly doubt the A3XX will turn into an albatross, or is that wishful thinking? (G)
The A3XX is going to introduce "Super widebody" flight and once it takes root, there's no going back.
Boeing has been railing off the same, now decidely more shrill, anti-A3XX propaganda even though it has a design of its own revealed in Aviation Week a few months ago. The difference is Boeing is counting on -not- having to build it I believe. The cheapest way to guarantee their monopoly is of course to smear or deride the potential product that will compete with it. Along with "creative financing" like the SIA 777 purchase as mentioned above.
It will take a lot of money to build the facilites to make this Boeing counter to the A3XX and frankly they probably dont want to do it.
Airbus on the other hand is going forward with it whether people know it or not. The French government is going to support it and yes, the privatisation moves have been accelerating along as agreements between some of the companies and governments involved with the Airbus consortium have been struck. This is a recent development and I'm not sure if you are aware of this.
What it will do is clear the final hurdle from this in order to get the privatisation course for Airbus so it can launch the A3XX.
If Boeing isnt watching this, then they are fools.
Or maybe not, and Airbus takes the market until Boeing responds with a brand new large transport.
That is what I believe is going to happen. They've done it before as well. Because they either misjudged their competition and market (like they did with the A320 back in the late 1980s, earlier as well as the early very slow pace of sales with the 757, all the way to the production difficulties it had with the 737NG) Boeing has an established track record of bungling things like this occasionally and as such, it's a possibility with this one as well. It's a company that is stock market focused. It gobbled up MDD and wasted a lot of capital and resource on that, while losing market share and capability with it's 737NG production line, when it's shortfalls were noticed, layoffs ensued.
Then they fired Phil Condit (Something Gordon Bethune, CO Chairman and former Boeing kingpin said was a total mistake) Then the crash hiring programs (I know this because I lived in the Portland, Oregon area and remember the ads in the paper for Boeing Portland) had to be started, then quality problems with the new hires, then laying these people off -again- and so forth..this Up-Down-Up-Down-Up-Down "madhouse-manner" Boeing has managed itself with is "legendary" for it's confusion. So definitely, I do believe it's possible a bungled Boeing approach to the A3XX is a strong possibility.
I dont want them to screw up, I'm just identifying a -few- of their past mistakes and their track record, and it aint all that "legendary" in terms of good decisions.
For now though, Beoing cannot compete with Airbus financing on a massive new project. So why not do the disinformation game and make Pearson sweat a little. This is what its all about. Unfortunately it will be another 10 years before we know who won this round.
Jean Pearson retired last year, it's Noel Forgeard now (G). And I dont think they are sweating.
They are getting their "ducks in a row" and letting Boeing have a great time with it's disinformation efforts, Re: the A3XX.
We'll see who has the last laugh in this. (G)
I think we will know earlier than that actually.
In another year I believe we will be hearing of the A3XX launch along with Launch customers. In 2 years we'll probably see the Boeing retort, In 3 years, production of A3XX begins. In 4-5 years, first deliveries. Boeing would still be another 2-3 years away from it's first deliveries. It could be spread over a few years, indeed, but Airbus I believe has the lead here and I believe they are going to capitalize on it. Their design has been set for some time now, it's been ambitious and very creative. You need to see some of the documentaries on it that we can get over here in Asia. Star TV Hong Kong had an excellent documentary on the A3XX not long ago and I suggest people watch it.
For starters I believe Airbus is going to build an agressive test program that shakes the airplanes down very well, Route proving flights, all of that. Invitiations to Toulouse to the worlds airline executives. Sampling the literal "Cruise Ship" this thing is going to be. (I think it would be a bit funny if they flew it over Seattle during one of those promo tours (G)..Hey.."payback is a B*tch" ya know (LOL!)
I believe the following carriers are strong contenders to buy it:
Virgin Atlantic (A Cruise Ship and Sir Richard not buying it?! I dont think so! ..He'll have a blast with that! (G)
South African Airways
Emirates and/or Gulf Air
US Carriers-tough one to call thanks to the "Boeing only" contracts that some of these carriers signed. I think the primary Airbus operators are the contenders here.
Something to ponder about.