Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 5:18 pm

Aircraft Designs

Mon Aug 23, 2004 4:57 pm

I was just wondering why in comparison to the Boeing aircraft the Airbus designs seem so unaltered. I mean when you think of it, wouldn't one expect the Boeing aircraft to be identical since their designs are from an identical culture and background but strangely enough they do not have many common features, eg: 757, 767, 747, 777.

In comparison to Airbus, with the engineers from all over Europe, different cultures they managed to produce one fuselage, the A330 and then extended it for the A340 (enlarging the wing and banging a couple of different engines on), thus producing so many variants, A332, A333, A342, A343, A345, A346. Admittedly the cost is reduced by keeping the research and development to a minimum but should we expect in the future a change of thinking by Boeing to follow suit with Airbus, when it comes to the impending 7E7, (eg: 7e7-100, 200, 300, 400, 500 etc...). Thus having the 7e7 to replace the 737, 757, 767 and maybe the 777 who knows?

Please this is not a which is the best a/c and not a thread for which a/c flies the quietest and so on, I was just wondering whether we should expect a dramatic change in aircraft designs in the future, say in about 10 years.
Posts: 7855
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 1:50 pm

RE: Aircraft Designs

Mon Aug 23, 2004 6:04 pm

Both have their way of doing things and they seem to get the job done. Boeing have probably looked at having common components, but probably decided that it wasn't for them. I once heard that the 773ER and the 772LR were ment to be three holers because GE orginally couldn't make an engine powerfull enough. That would have been an aircraft with the many common parts to the stardar 777 had it ever eventuated. Which thankfully it didn't.
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2001 1:29 pm

RE: Aircraft Designs

Mon Aug 23, 2004 8:19 pm

I can only really speak for B757/B767, but there is plenty of commonality between the 2, you just can't see it. Most of the avionics are of the same model number with part number changes just reflecting software differences between the airplanes. They are flown by the same crews.

As for the fuselage. The 57 was designed as a short to medium ranged, high frequency aircraft. The 67 as a medium to long ranged low frequency aircraft. The A330 & A340 are both long range aircraft.

Even though cost is probably reduced by maintaining a common base design and just expanding on it, there are trade-offs. This is just a guess, but the fuselage/wing interface on the A330/A340 necessarily has to be a compromise. Usually these compromises cost efficiency. If you design a fuselage/wing interface for a specific aircraft, you can optimize the design. If you want a couple of different variant to be "built-in" it will usually cost you.