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Boeings Answer To The A380

Sun Nov 16, 2003 3:09 pm

Who thinks Boeing will answer to the Airbus A380? I personally believe they will....Anything is possible. Topping the Boeing 747 to me was probably incredibly hard to do...Nobody developed a jetliner as big for over 20 years! My belief is that if they do...They will do one of three things...either enlarge the Boeing 747 or the 777, or create an entirely new airplane design...what do you think Boeing's answer, if any, will be to the A380?
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RE: Boeing Vs. Airbus

Sun Nov 16, 2003 3:11 pm

They are, the 7e7. It isnt a mega-huge airliner, but iot is their answer. a 767 sized aircraft thats long haul and very efficient.

You might want to re-title this post, or an A vs. B war is gonna inevitably start.....this is a dangerous subject.
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RE: Boeing Vs. Airbus

Sun Nov 16, 2003 3:13 pm

Drop this thread there is too many Boeing vs. Airbus threads on this site anyway. To answer you question, if Boeing plans to match the A380 they are likely to make a new 747 that is based on the technology of the 7E7 if the 7E7 project ever gets off the ground.
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RE: Boeing Vs. Airbus

Sun Nov 16, 2003 3:49 pm

Boeing certainly have the research and development skills to create a competitor to the huge A380 but they don't seem to have the money. Even if they raise the money somehow they won't be able to sell too many of the megaliner to justify the costs let alone make a profit. The market will not support two super-sized airliners.
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RE: Boeing Vs. Airbus

Sun Nov 16, 2003 4:16 pm

Boeing certainly have the research and development skills to create a competitor to the huge A380 but they don't seem to have the money.

Money isn't the problem here. Boeing realizes that their customers don't need such a gigantic airliner, hence the small (compared to the A380) yet efficient 7E7.
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RE: Boeing Vs. Airbus

Sun Nov 16, 2003 4:44 pm

why 7E7 over A380?... "Because passengers want frequency, and airlines want passengers."

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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Sun Nov 16, 2003 5:21 pm

Boeing realizes that their customers don't need such a gigantic airliner, hence the small (compared to the A380) yet efficient 7E7.

well, they think their customers don't need such a large airliner. Airbus begs to differ.

in my mind Boeing are probably somewhat accurate with their plan for the future of commercial aviation.

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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Sun Nov 16, 2003 5:23 pm

Boeing will answer to Airbus' apparent monopoly of the super-capacity liners; the obvious proof is not the 7E7, but the new transport that Boeing is converting a standard 747 into. We have all see 747’s; they are making the fuselage even bigger to fit the sections of 7E7.

The next plane (797?) will be the blended wing body. It is the only design [Boeing has been playing with] that is capable of maintaining size and noise restrictions while gaining an upper hand in the super-capacity market which was certainly fully established by Airbus as much as 15 years prior.

Boeing is planning something big soon, the first may not be commercial but that is the only reason I can think of.
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Sun Nov 16, 2003 5:36 pm

How about Boeing coming up with something to replace the Concorde? That would be something!
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Sun Nov 16, 2003 5:56 pm

More likely they would go for a concorde replacement than a A380, personally I think A380 hype is all hype right now see how much passenger like boarind with 500 other people, again frequency people look at WN
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Sun Nov 16, 2003 6:44 pm

Considering airlines like Cathay, Singapore Airlines and British airways are flying into heathrow three times a day from hong kong and/or singapore with full 747-400's and A340's, there is clearly a market for this aircraft, and the sales of 90-plus orders from airlines show that. (Although Singapore Airlines is the only one of the three that I have mentioned that has ordered any)
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Sun Nov 16, 2003 7:12 pm

As I've just written in another thread, there are more than enough markets that are either too small to sustain own flights to some of the "big destinations", or those destinations are already too congested: I guess that Narita wouldn't be to thrilled if BA, for example, decided to replace their current two 744s per day (F14/C70/Y30/M177 = 291 seats) from LHR with one or two 777s from LHR and adding in a 767/777 (or, better yet, a 737/320-BBJ/ACJ service) from MAN, BHX, BA / EGNM), United Kingdom">LBA, GLA and whatever else might warrant a flight...

There are some markets that will sustain further fragmentation, although I personally see that market as quite small - hundreds of cities will continue to be served through hubs only, unless someone finds a really radical idea of how to get more planes through todays congested airports...

And, just to mention that point as well - I'm aware that the idea behind route fragmentation is completely bypassing the hubs, but let's just think this through: if a market cannot even sustain a daily flight to a hub, how should it be capable of maintaining flights to several non-hub-destinations?

The fragmentation process will continue, the success that 767s and 330s have been enjoying over the years prove that beyond reasonable doubt - but there will, for the forseable future, be routes that can only economically be served by going through one or two hubs - which means that the 380 and the 747 will continue (or in the case of the 380 begin) to enjoy their life for quite some time.

That, at least, is my opinion.
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Sun Nov 16, 2003 7:29 pm

Some oh so wise people who permanently talk about 'more frequency' should better try to get updated first...either check some timetables of airlines like SQ, QF, LH, AF, EK and so on (never had a look on that, right?)...or have a short visit to LHR, NRT, FRA, JFK (never been there, right?) or other congested airports.
The world out there is pretty different from the unlimited 'Southwest Islip to Kansas City model'...  Wink/being sarcastic

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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Sun Nov 16, 2003 9:00 pm

I don't think the process of fragmentation will be sustainable over the next couple of decades because of it's negative impact on the environment (more aircraft movements, higher per-seat fuel consumption, more noise etc).

It might work in the US and some other regions, but definitely not in Europe. Some governments like ours in Germany already have an eye on what's going on with all those low fare carriers because they consider flying as being too "cheap" taking into account noise and exhaust emissions and energy consumption.. And the taxation of cerosene is already on its way and will further limit the possibility of having more point-to-point long range connections...
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Sun Nov 16, 2003 10:15 pm

"How about Boeing coming up with something to replace the Concorde? That would be something!"

LOL. That would be the day when non-genetically-altered pigs fly!

No offence, it will be decades before they stop thinking everything has to have a stretch version...a sonic would never quailfy.
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Sun Nov 16, 2003 10:44 pm

i recon the 7E7 wont go into direct competition with the A380, i believe there will be another version of the 747 that will challenge the A380, this was hinted by a boeing spokes person on a cargo documentary on Discovery Wings where it was mostly about 747's then a few words about the A380 where they said its bigger, etc which led onto "would this mean all cargo firms will be placing orders?" then they asked the boeing person if they will have any form of new aircraft to battle the A380, he mentioned the new 7E7 but mentioned there will most likely be a new 747 as the popularity of this plane speaks for itself, and they recon due to the success of the 747 program there already at the finish line.

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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Sun Nov 16, 2003 11:27 pm

Like some of you have opined, I'm not entirely sure there is a market for another mega cattle car (one that could be built and sold in numbers that would guarantee a respectable return on investment, anyway). Should the world political and economic situation stabilize and show signs of a substantial upswing in the coming years, such a project might be readdressed by Boeing, but I am of the opinion that they will be comfortable in letting Airbus have their cake and eat it too (in this market) whilst toying with alternative future concepts that address different airliner needs.

As far as making a pax version available of their own current "Beluga" transporter redesign of the 74, notice this work is being farmed out, and I really believe that if such an airliner would be in serious consideration, it would envolve into more substantial redesign, rather than a retrofit.

I like Lephron's second speculation (797?), though, that Boeing may very well be burning some midnight oil on on something more revolutionary. The Sonic Cruiser debate has been beat to death, but I believe that world events had more to do with its' demise rather than the project being a smokescreen to take a lot of hoopla away from Airbus' 380 project. A lot of technology went into that project, and evidently some of the findings are being incorporated into the 7E7. I wouldn't be surprised that if, down the road, Boeing uses even more of their concept results in what Lephron calls a more dramatic, although different mission, product.

Only my .02 worth of ramblings, but I thought I'd chime in. Regards...Jack
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Sun Nov 16, 2003 11:59 pm

If Boeing is planning to compete with the A380 they'd better throw their cards on the table quickly. Many major 747 operators have already been ordering the A380. It's highly unlikely that airlines planning to operate the A380 would fly the '797' aswell. Soon there might be no powerfull customers left to justify the development of another Mamoth Airliner.
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 12:21 am

I just noticed something - while most people around here say that it is somewhere between problematic and absolutely impossible to make the A330 comparable to the 7e7 by, for example, using it's (or similarly designed) engines - because of all the advances that have been made in science and technology in the 15 or so years between the A330s launch and the 7e7s launch, quite a lot of people seem to be perfectly willing to accept that the 747 can, just by adding some 7e7 technology, be modified into an aircraft that can, without problems, compete with the A380 - an aircraft that was launched some 30 years later!

Why is it not possible to update an aircraft some 15 years older than a new design, but absolutely possible to modify a 30 year old design to beat a new one?

Any ideas?
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 12:43 am


It might work in the US and some other regions, but definitely not in Europe.

The fragmentation theory is based on the phenomena how smaller planes have replaced the 747 in the past 15 years across the Atlantic. You probably can tell me how many trans-Atlantic flights originated in Munich in 1980? How many are there now? Are you sure about "definitely not in Europe".
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 12:48 am

Leskova; actually, current generation 747s are really quite new and substantially updated in not only systems functions but materials and manufacturing methods when compared to the original builds. One could argue that there is a diminishing cost effectiveness after just so long before it becomes more economically feasible to do a complete redesign rather than keep perpetually updating the original, though. I am of the opinion that this is precisely the reason for the 7E7. Although I am not totally familiar with all of the published 7E7 specs, I do gather that this aircraft is really more of a "replacement" airplane for certain previous-generation Boeing and Airbus products rather than an entirely new mission profile airliner.

Could the current basic 747 package be massaged to deal with the A380? My guess would be "probably", but would the resultant product be really competitive and ultimately cost effective? My guess here would be "probably not", in the long run, anyway. Additionally, as mentioned before, there is a question of how many total A380s and B74Xs the market would bear. I just don't think Boeing will dip their toes into the A380 market, either with a repackaged 747 or an all new super-super jumbo. Hey, I could be real wrong and we might be seeing 74s with ultra-stretched upper decks in the future, but I am sceptical. Regards...Jack
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 1:03 am

Jack, that still doesn't really answer my question - though I know what you mean.

I am fully aware that today's 747 is not, neither in technology nor in manufacturing, the 747 that was launched/designed in the 60s, but the point remains - and I fully agree with you that the market most likely will not be able to digest two large aircraft, because, even though there is demand, the demand is just not that large.

Still, the 744 is not new, as opposed to the 380 - just as the 330 is not new when compared to the 7e7: my question is, why do some see it as more realistic that the 744 can be upgraded to compete effectively with the 380, while quite a few around here maintain that Airbus would never be able to upgrade the 330 to effectively compete with the 7e7!

Dynkrisolo, I'm quite sure that what Tom_eddf wanted to point out was that, from today's situation, there will at best be a little bit more fragmentation, but not alot - his comments, as I understood them, were not directed at fragmentation that, unarguably, has happened in the past.

I can only agree with him, as I've said in my above posts - there are several markets where further fragmentation is simply not an option because of the traffic that's already going into either the departure or destination airport - and then there are other markets where fragmentation is simply not an option because these markets could not sustain anything above, maybe, a Dash 8-300ER (wouldn't that be a plane to cross the Atlantic in?  Big grin)! These markets will have to continue on relying on hubs, and for them, the availability of hubs with enough capacity is simply the only way that they can - at least indirectly - be connected to the rest of the world.

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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 1:13 am

Frank; yes, yes, I now digest your question and would answer that I too don't understand this asymetrical thinking. Surely one redesign would be (nearly, anyway) as successful as the other unless there may be hidden parameters that would render such a project not feasible. Regards...jack
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 1:21 am

Jack, that's (obviously, otherwise I wouldn't have asked the question) just my thinking... now, I know that the question alone brings this thread very close to the usual "mine's better than yours" A vs B bickering, but I am just curious if anyone has any reasons, based on facts, to suggest this, as you put it, asymetrical thinking.

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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 1:36 am

I do not think Boeing is going to compete head-on with the A380. The niche is just too small to justify the necessary capital investment.

I suspect that Boeing will wait until the 380 has been launched and accumulates some service experience before undertaking a competitive response. My own W.A.G. is that they will radically redesign the 744 while keeping a common 744 type-rating.

As far as fragmentation goes, I think it is not over yet. In the last 7-8 years or so there have been flight between secondary cities in Asia and Europe and N. America. For example, Los Angeles to Guangzhou, Chiang Mai to some city in Europe, and Bangalore to Frankfurt.

There are some markets where more fragementation is not practical but not that many: LHR and NRT are the two that really may need a larger airplane to replace 744 flights because of runway capacity.

Interestingly though, JL, NH, and BA have not ordered A380. In contrast, they have increased 777 flying and reduced some 744 flying. I think even these airlines will order the A380 towards the end of this decade and the beginning of the next though.
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 1:50 am

I think Boeing will stretch the 744 or 773...probably the latter.

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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 1:58 am


There might not be too much more fragmentation can take place in Europe in the future, but you certainly don't expect the 380 to replace the 767, 777, 330, 340 or MD-11 in Munich, Birmingham, Stockholm, Helsinki, Manchester, Copenhagen, Vienna, Barcelona, and many, many other secondary international gateways in Europe, right? Do you think with the 380, international airlines might pull out of serving these secondary cities and rely solely on feedings to hub cities like Heathrow, Paris, and Frankfurt? If so, then you will be actually increasing landings and takeoffs at those slot precious airports due to more feeder flights. Then, aren't you defeating one of the major purposes of the 380 which is to provide relief for those congested airports?
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 2:56 am

Dynkrisolo, no, I do not think that the 380 will replace the smaller planes in the secondary hubs - I wouldn't be surprised if cities that are served by 767s now would, with time, move up to 777/340 service as soon as current 777/340 services to primary hubs are replaced by larger aircraft (I'm leaving out the "frequency increase" option here, because of the fact that most of the primary hubs are, essentially, operating at or near maximum capacity).

However small the growth in air travel is at the moment, I expect growth to increase in the coming years, thus justifying larger aircraft while maintaining current schedules: just to sum this up - I expect the services to secondary hubs to stay and - in some, but not all, cases - increase in either capacity or frequency.

The 380 was never designed to be an aircraft to fly between secondary hubs, but provide services between primary hubs, where - in several cases - more frequencies are just simply not an option.

Will services to secondary hubs replace services to primary hubs? Looking at how many USA- or Asia-Services LH, BA and AF operate on large equipment from their primary hubs today, I'd say that fragmentation hasn't affected them too much in the past 10 years - at least, once again, on the European side of the flight.

Look at how much fragmentation has affected Europe: there are dozens of cities in the US that offer services to Germany, France or the UK, but the flights go primarily into LHR, FRA and CDG, with MUC, MAN and - I think - BHX getting some services, with further cities getting little or no service: essentially, I'd say that fragmentation happened on the western side of the Atlantic, but, with very few examples, on this side of the pond.

Why is that so? Political reasons are a huge part of it: in Europe, you'd get a huge outcry (well, relatively speaking, that is: it's been quite a while since Europeans in general have shown any interest in aviation - they have shown an interest in the apperance of LCCs, but even they are getting blasted with the environmental angle and not welcomed as more choice) if an airline decided to replace 2 daily 747 services with 4-6 767/777/330/340 services. Why? More noise, more used fuel, more environmental damage. The fact that the choices are tripled? Believe me - the majority will not see that point as so much of an advantage that the abovementioned disadvantages will be accepted.

This is the point why I do not see too much fragmentation happening in Europe in the future, and also why I see the need for an aircraft like the 380. These services will be fed by O&D traffic generated by the hub itself and by feeder services from cities that do not get international services at all, or just small amounts: after all, people living in Frankfurt will also fly through Paris or London if either the price is right, or if the airline that they prefer flying on simply does not offer the required service from Frankfurt - and all that, although Frankfurt really has no shortage of long-hauls...
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 3:26 am

A question for Thrust:

I wonder why? Why does Boeing need to come up with a competitor for the A380?

Times have changed, as many people have noted above. There is probably sufficient market for one "super jumbo", but not for two.

If Boeing brings out a competitor to the A380, then both aircraft will be competing for that limited market.

On the other hand, if Boeing concentrates all it's present energy into the 7E7, they have a plane which will doubtless sell like hot cakes, especially with the US airlines.

Boeing has effectively said that they think there isn't enough market for two super jumbos. They've even suggested that they don't think there's enough market for one super jumbo.

So why go into it?


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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 3:35 am

Well, Boeing seem eager to keep the 747 line open, especially with the Beluga
version of the B744 coming up.
I personally only think the B747 and B777 will be manufactured of the current
Boeing civilian airplanes in 10 years time together with the B7E7.
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RE: Boeing Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 3:50 am

Boeing has no answer to the A380, in fact, the A380 is Airbus answer to the queen of the sky, the Boeing 747.
Boeing is looking towards point to point travel with aircraft like the 772 and the 763 and the future 7e7, while Airbus looks toward hub to hub, with the A345,A346 and the A380.
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 3:50 am

Leskova -

I think one answer to your 747 stretch question is that the 7E7 Stretch and A330-200 will be direct competitors in terms of capacity and mission profile. On the other hand, the A380 (555 seats) is a much larger aircraft than the 747-400 (415 seats). This creates a large gap in the 450-500 seat segment that a 747 stretch incorporating 7E7 (and even A380) technology would be well-positioned to fill. An A380 shrink's high structural weight would put it at a marked disadvantage, possibly wiping out the efficiency gains from a clean-sheet design.

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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 4:16 am

I have a question: Is a person arriving CDG from Lyon on the TGV considered "connecting" traffic or
"O & D"? I would think "O & D".

Here's my line of thinking...

The A380 is designed more for Europe in mind where major "hub" airports are well served by a rail network. Everyone is not dependent on commuter flights to connect them to an intercontinental flight. Thus, having to add more feeder flights is not really so necessary in Europe. The A380 works well here to places like Asia.

In America, where there are no rail link ups, fragmentation probably works better. It is more spread out. Some cities have enough traffic to bypass hubs where a connection is necessary and support an intercontinental non-stop. The 7e7 is designed with the American market in mind.

I can see the A380 in JFK or LAX, but how many more flights can ORD handle? If the A380 landed there, then, yes, you would have to bring in more connecting flights in to spread out the passengers. So it may defeat the purpose.

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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 4:32 am

Anyone thinks that Boeing will end up as an owner of used A380 in the future?

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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 5:57 am

I think it would be smart for Boeing to stay out of the mega-liner market! If anything, no more than an advanced B747.
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 7:18 am

Is there even a 450-500 seat market? I mean, while airlines are ordering the A380 there is no way of telling if it will be a success until it is actually on the line. Of course, here in the states I find that there will be little need for an aircraft of this size but in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East where population densities are higher this aircraft will prevail. This is already indicated by the customers who are ordering the aircraft.

Should Boeing try and compete with the A380? I don't really think so. The DC-10, L-1011 and MD-11 all tried to take a piece of the pie from the 747 back in the 70s, and how many of them are still flying for major airlines? How many were produced in comparison to the 747? I think Boeing would be smart to stick with the lines where Airbus isn't focusing. This is exactly what the 7E7 targets. With the way the industry has moved to smaller aircraft and more frequency in the states I look for Boeing to develop a replacement for the 737 before coming up with an A380 competitor.
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 7:48 am

I believe Boeing has watched the markets evolve over the last 10 years and has seen the trend for the major carriers to drop huge for more frequency. If you look at the US carriers, long before 9.11 and long before the A380 was announced, they were already getting rid of the 747's and going the way of the 767/777/A340 series. While I am sure that the A380 will be a reasonable sucess, I do not think it will sell the numbers of airframes that any of the other aircraft listed above have sold. I believe that Boeing will sell a significantly larger amount of 7E7 aircraft than Airbus will sell of the A380. This is not to bash the A380, but the fact is that the A380 is a niche aircraft and will serve that purpose well, but the 7E7 fits perfectly for almost all carriers from the point of view of seats available, where as only a handful of carriers have the capacity requirements of the A380.

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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 7:59 am

I reckon that Boeing is playing a watch and wait game. Presently there is simply no need for another giant, perhaps this may change.

If the A380 takes off, literally then with any luck Boeing might respond with a 747-600 or 747-X or whatever. I think that they should keep the general design of this magnificent aircraft and simply update it.

A 747-400 stretched by 30-40 feet could easily compete with the A380.

Just my thoughts, hate to see the 747 die off.
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 8:03 am

There is no interest for a 747 stretch.

Not with Boeing's strategy based on smaller nimbler jets capable of serving secondary point to point markets effectively. And with the 777-300 capable of packing in 350 passengers in a 3 class configuration, who needs the 747?
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Mon Nov 17, 2003 8:08 am

The rest of the world outside the US.

You know, Europe, Asia, etc.
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Fri Nov 21, 2003 4:35 am

What was Airbus's original market forecast for the A380 compared to what it is/ may be now? I am sure there has been some reconsidering of the aircraft's potential due to the global economy the way it is.

And what is Boeing's prediction for the 7E7?

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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Fri Nov 21, 2003 4:47 am

Since the 747 was known as the "Queen of the Skies," will the A380 be known as the "King of the Skies" or the "Empress of the Skies"?
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Sat Nov 22, 2003 3:52 am

What is this with Airbus vs Boeing? I think they both built beautiful aircraft and I hope they will build many more. It`s sad enough that McDonnell-Douglas, Lockheed and Fokker are out of the civil aircraftindustrie.
I love both Airbus and Boeing as much as I love aviation!
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Sat Nov 22, 2003 4:13 am

Another great thread, and its great to see that there it has not become an A vs. B thread, rather it seems to have pretty much stayed on the overarching topic. I agree 100% with Mariner and N79969, if Boeing were to bring out a direct competitor to the A380 right away, then both companies would be competing for a limited market. I think that Boeing has probably learned from the history books that this could be a major mistake. Lockheed and McDonnell Douglas found out the hard way when they both launched their respective tri-jets. At the time the market for these aircraft was limited, and could not support the two jets at once, so only a limited number of both were produced.

I think this is what Boeing sees at the moment, and instead of splitting the market and losing money, Boeing is looking at another niche that the 7E7 can fill. If the super-jumbo market does open up later on, Boeing might try to bring out a competitor to the A380 down the road. I'd think Boeing would design a new plane instead of stretching the 747, since when they proposed the -500/-600, no airlines were really interested. A BWB might be a good option in the future.

It will be interesting to see how everything shapes out in the coming years.

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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Sat Nov 22, 2003 4:18 am

Boeing IS making a competitor to the A380. It's called the 747 Advanced. There was an article about it not long ago.

Boeing plans to create a new 747 design that will be heavily based on 7E7, and will make extensive use of composites in the airframe. The 747 Advanced is slated to be the most efficient widebody airliner, with performance that should surpass the efficiency of the 777-300, currently the most efficient widebody airliner.

No real concept drawings have been released, however, but Boeing is doing a study into this. The 747 Advanced has as much chance of becoming reality as the 717-300 at this point.
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Sat Nov 22, 2003 4:24 am

It will be good if Boeing makes the 7(E)7, hopefully as an innovative and creative aircraft that advances aviation. It will fill a gap Airbus currently doesn't fill and will be good for competition.
Did the chicken or the egg get laid first?
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RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

Sat Nov 22, 2003 4:45 am

Boeing studies advanced version of 747 jumbo jet

LE BOURGET, France (Reuters) — Boeing said on Monday technologies that could be developed for its planned 7E7 plane may also be used to build an advanced version of its classic 747 jumbo, allowing it to fly further with more passengers.

"Initial results have been encouraging," said Randy Baseler, vice president of marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, at the Paris Air Show.

"Ten percent more capacity, non-stop capability between the U.S. East Coast and Asia and five% lower seat-mile costs than today's 747s are all achievable," he said.

Orders for the venerable jumbo, which first flew in 1969, have slowed to a trickle in recent years as airlines were hit by a slump in air travel and rival Airbus SAS stole customers with its A380 superjumbo, due to enter service in 2006.

Late last year Boeing scrapped plans to build a fast jet, the Sonic Cruiser, after customers said they wanted cost efficiency more than speed.

Baseler said that during the next two years Boeing would continue to look at configuration alternatives on an upgraded "747 Advanced" as it talks to customers.

Commercial market outlook

With the A380, Airbus is betting carriers still need bigger planes to allow traffic to keep growing at the world's biggest airports such as Tokyo Narita, JFK in New York and London's Heathrow, where take-off and landing slots are limited.

Boeing has decided not to invest in an all-new superjumbo, reckoning that future air traffic growth will be based around direct connections between smaller airports as airline customers demand more point-to-point flights.

Baseler predicted that the market for planes with 400 seats and more would represent about 11% of the total market in dollar terms over the next 20 years, and only four% of aeroplanes delivered.

Airbus says the market for big planes will be much larger.

Earlier on Monday, Dubai-based Emirates placed the biggest order for wide-body planes in civil aviation history, including the purchase of 21 A380s. The airline also plans to lease 26 Boeing 777s from lessors ILFC and GECAS.

Overall, Boeing forecasts the market for the next two decades for commercial aeroplanes and aviation services will total $5.2 trillion, with the world fleet more than doubling to 34,000 by 2022.

Of that, about 18,400 new planes would be needed just for market growth. Traffic is expected to increase by 5.1% annually in the long term, with Latin America growing the fastest of all regions.

Boeing also projected that airlines would invest $1.9 trillion in new planes, equating to about 24,000 deliveries over the next 20 years.


Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. Click for Restrictions.

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  • [Edited 2003-11-21 20:46:16]
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    RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

    Sat Nov 22, 2003 4:53 am

    Boeing's 7E7 a jumbo inspiration

    LE BOURGET, France -- On a day when Dubai-based airline Emirates Airlines announced an eye-popping order for 21 more of the 555-passenger A380 superjumbo jets from Airbus, The Boeing Co. disclosed that it is studying an advanced version of its 747 jumbo that would incorporate technology being developed for its superefficient 7E7.

    The 747 Advanced, as the program is known, is only a "concept study" for now, said Randy Baseler, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

    And he stressed that even if Boeing decides to eventually go ahead with the project, it would not be until after the 7E7 is finished in 2008. That's because the 747 Advanced would use the new fuel-efficient engines developed for the 7E7.

    This is the latest in a long line of 747 derivative studies for Boeing. The only recent one that has turned into a plane is the 747-400ER (extended range) that entered service last year with Qantas and Air France.

    The 747X , a much bigger plane that would have competed against the A380, was dropped for lack of airline support. More recently, Boeing studied the 747-800X, which would have been a quieter version of the 747-400ER but with about 20 to 30 more seats.

    Baseler said all previous 747 derivative studies have been dropped, and Boeing's focus now is the 747 Advanced.

    "We have left the others behind," he said. "We are going to really break from what we have done in the past. What this allows us to do is say we have something that is worth waiting for rather than doing little things to the airplane."

    The 747 Advanced would deliver about 5 percent lower operating costs than the 747-400ER, he said.

    Boeing will work with airlines over the next couple of years to better define the concept.

    The 747 Advanced would carry about 440 passengers, or from 20 to 30 more than today's 747-400. That's about three rows of seats in economy class.

    It would have a range of about 8,000 nautical miles, or about 300 nautical miles more than the 747-400ER.

    In addition to the 7E7 engines, the 747 Advanced might use some of the composite materials being developed for the superefficient plane, though how much has not been determined.

    Baseler said the 747 Advanced is sized to fit airline needs. They want planes that go up in size by increments of about 20 percent, he said. The 747 Advanced would have about 20 percent more seats than the 777-300ER. And it would have about 20 percent fewer seats than the A380.

    Boeing and Airbus have long disagreed over the size of the market for planes as large as the 747 or bigger. Boeing believes the industry trend is toward smaller jets and that the market for very large planes is too small to justify development of an all-new plane the size of the 747 or A380.

    In Boeing's latest 20-year market forecast that Baseler presented at the Paris Air Show yesterday, it is forecasting that airlines will need 900 planes over the next 20 years the size of the 747 or bigger. Of those, 340 will be in the 400- to 500-seat category. The market for jets bigger than 500 seats is 320 planes, according to the Boeing forecast.

    "We have a completely different view of the future," Baseler said of Airbus and its optimistic outlook for the A380.

    Airbus is betting that airlines will want bigger planes like the A380 as landing slots become more limited at the world's biggest airports such as Heathrow.

    That position was boosted with the huge order announcement from Emirates. It had been expected, but the number of planes ordered was still staggering, given the current industry downturn.

    In addition to the 21 superjumbos, Emirates agreed to buy two A340-500 and 18 A340-600 planes from Airbus.

    It is also leasing an additional two A340-600s and two A380s from International Lease Finance Corp.

    Emirates, which already had an outstanding order for 21 A380s, is now due to receive a total of 45 of the double-decker planes.

    Emirates also announced it would take 26 Boeing 777-300ER jets. But all those planes will be leased -- 12 from ILFC and 14 from General Electric Capital Aviation Services.

    An ILFC spokesman said the Emirates order would be filled with planes already on order from Boeing.

    GECAS said it might need to order an additional four 777-300ERs from Boeing to fill the Emirates requirement for 12 planes. But a source said it is more likely GECAS will swap other 777 models already on order from Boeing and lease those to Emirates.

    In that case, Boeing's order book would not have changed despite what Emirates said was a $19 billion order for all the Airbus and Boeing planes -- the biggest single order ever placed for widebody planes.

    P-I aerospace reporter James Wallace can be reached at 206-448-8040 or

    [Edited 2003-11-21 20:54:38]
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    RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

    Sat Nov 22, 2003 6:48 am

    "There is no interest for a 747 stretch."

    This is not quite true. Recently, both Lufthansa and KLM asked Boeing to study a 450-seat model, which is what the proposed Advanced model would be. I'm sure some cargo airlines would be interested in the freighter version of that, too. There's not a lot of interest in a new 747 at the moment but that may change as the market picks up. To answer Leskova, I don't think anyone believes an even larger '747X' can directly challenge the A380; at best, it would only be a nominal competitor. Using 7E7 engines and systems and with less weight (the last 747X-Stretch was pegged at 1.09 million lbs. MTOW as opposed to the A380's 1,275,000 lbs.), it might approach, though not match A380 operating costs even with higher seat-mile costs (with only 504 seats in 3 classes for that design vs. 555 for the A380. It would also have to cost a good bit less than the A380 to be attractive. Still, at best, it would take a smaller fraction of the super-jumbo market; it could never be on an even footing with the Airbus because of its' vintage design. For the time being, Boeing won't try to compete with this giant, focussing on the 450-seat market is the best bet for the 747 to stay in production another 10-15 years.
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    RE: Boeings Answer To The A380

    Sat Nov 22, 2003 6:57 am

    Since you bring up the subject, may I unashamedly name-drop and say that I met with Randy Baseler yesterday and he specifically told me that the 747 Advanced programme is still very much on the drawing board although it's not being given priority over the 7E7 because the 7E7 is the project which will drive the 747Adv technology.

    However, the 747Adv is not a direct competitor to the A380 sector. It's designed to fit the sub-A380 gap by providing about a 10% increase over current 747-400 accommodation, thereby fitting into the 440-450 seat range which the A380 will not be able to fill, because it's an aircraft which would be too heavy to shrink.

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