KarelXWB wrote:RJMAZ wrote:The biggest problem for Airbus will be having suitable engines.
If Boeing goes with a full carbon 8AB MOM it will probably be fairly light with a 150T MTO. Engine thrust would be around 45,000lb.
A shortened smaller wing A330 would struggle to get down to 150T MTO. The Airbus model would ideally need more thrust. So to use the same engines the A330 version would either need to have approx 20% less range at the same capacity or be shrunk to have 20% less capacity with the same range.
The A310-400NEO, A330-700NEO or whatever you want to call it would be cheaper to develop and produce. It would keep Boeing honest and mainly compete on price.
Chances of Airbus responding with a completely new widebody aircraft are pretty small, and would be the wrong move IMO.
Instead, Airbus should stretch the A321 (as the Reuters article suggests) and put a new wing and powerplant on the entire A320/A321/A322 family. Not only the investment costs will be much lower, the new family will cover both narrowbody and MOM markets. As long as Boeing focuses heavily on the development of its new MOM aircraft, it won't be able to address the 737 successor.
It will be very difficult to cover both the narrowbody and MOM market with the same wing. The only way I see that working is if they keep the Cseries to cover the smaller end of the narrowbody market and end up with two airplane families to cover the market like what Boeing is proposing.
I think a new wing for an A320/A321/A322 family may not be a good thing. The average flight for the A320 is only about 2 hours and most airplanes aren’t flying around near MTOW. A larger wing may hurt the economics around the core 500-1500mile market where most A320s fly. That may end up extending the life of the 737 since it will be more optimized around short haul. Airbus has to be careful not to touch the core A320neo market with any stretches to go after the MOM. I see Airbus needing a new wing only for the larger versions like Keesje has been proposing and keeping the A320neo as is.