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PanAm_DC10
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Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Tue Sep 07, 2004 6:24 am

I was reading the Bloomberg news and came across a report that stated Airbus will potentially Launch a new model of the A330 possibly by year end. Cost of development would be US$2-3 billion. There has been much discussion of the A330 Lite/A350 on other threads and to me this report was merely affirmation of what has been discussed. The Financial press sometimes don't report Aviation too well/accurately and then Bloomberg updated the story. This time they quote Mr Noel Forgeard and he goes even further by not ruling out an entirely new design costing up to US$8 billion

I'm surprised by that. Talk of a totally new design. Maybe it's just Mr Forgeard "raising the rhetoric" in response to calls for the 1992 accord to be reviewed.

Here is the link to the original story. The update is subscription only and I cannot post it from home unfortunately. Anyway, If there is talk of a new design has anyone else heard of this? or is it just related to the A330/350?
http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&refer=us&sid=aaw23Pue2AbI

In this case i'd like to ask whether we'll still see the 200 7E7 sales by year end that Boeing executives still say is achievable. 62 down only 138 to go, Reports that VN want 10-15 but no SQ commitment. Either way, Airbus appear to be on the PR run and I thought I'd ask the more informed members if they've heard anything.

Regards
Ask the impossible to achieve the best possible
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Tue Sep 07, 2004 6:42 am

Anyway, If there is talk of a new design has anyone else heard of this? or is it just related to the A330/350?

All of the A350 talk centered around updating the exisiting A330-200/300 not an all-new design. Many people (including myself) agreed that any A330 update would not be a long-term solution to the 7E7, maybe Airbus is shelving a near-term stopgap to focus on a true A330 replacement.

In this case i'd like to ask whether we'll still see the 200 7E7 sales by year end that Boeing executives still say is achievable. 62 down only 138 to go, Reports that VN want 10-15 but no SQ commitment

I get the feeling that Boeing was banking on SQ for a good deal of those 200 commitments. It is important to note that SQ did not "reject" the 7E7-3, there was no better aircraft than the 7E7-3 in this segement. Lots of it has to do with the proliferation of narrowbodies and LCCs in Asia...

VN is apparently very interested in the 7E7, a Yahoo group has reported they've already signed a MoI and are working closely with Boeing to firm the order. I would find it supremly ironic if the 7E7 was demeed a "failure for only scoring 62 orders in its first whole year of availability... though I would be disappointed in Boeing for over-hyping themselves
 
StickShaker
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Tue Sep 07, 2004 9:12 pm

Its no surprise that Airbus will vigorously defend their territory - having produced an aircraft (A332) that effectively eliminated the B767 from the market they will not stand by while Boeing develop the 7e7.
What may come as a surprise is the speed and ease with which Airbus can do so.
The A350 (lite) would be a derivative of the existing A332 but with a new wing thus making use of many existing parts. Airbus have a much cheaper and simpler task ahead of them than Boeing that involves no technological risk. While Boeing may publicly scoff at any proposed A350 they would be acutely aware that if Airbus can produce the A332 (and shutdown the B767) then they are more than capable of producing an aircraft that can steal significant sales from the 7e7-3. Not only can they do so but at a fraction of the cost of the 7e7 program and without any of the risk involved in bringing so many new technologies on line in a production environment.
Having taken the plunge and committed $8B Boeing are in no mood to see their returns on that investment diminished - hence the vigorous political lobbying to cut off access to development funds for Airbus. Most of this lobbying will probably fall on deaf ears (in the EU at least).

Its worth looking back a few years to see how Boeing arrived at this situation.
During the 1980's and 90's Boeing endured a hiatus on new aircraft programs that exceeded 20 years - the only exception being the B777 (albeit a very good one). Boeing produced derivative after derivative but seemed loath to commit the funds for completely new programs - even the B777 was only launched after vigorous pleading from loyal Boeing customers (BA in particular). At the same time, Airbus was releasing a plethora of new models which themselves spawned even younger derivatives. One of these derivatives - the A332, has completely stolen the B767 market. Not long after the new millennium Boeing has found itself selling only B777's and B737's and faced being relegated to a niche player in an industry it once dominated - a daunting prospect for a company with Boeing's history. That this situation could occur is an indictment on the quality of the management at the helm during the 1990's who effectively sat on their hands while their major competitor was developing so many new products. This is why it is so important for Boeing that the 7e7 succeeds.
Airbus have the upper hand here - Boeing have their backs against the wall. They had no choice but to commit $8B to develop the 7e7 and having done so will face a tough battle for sales against Airbus who can develop competing products for a fraction of the cost and with little risk.
Boeing will use all commercial and political means at their disposal - they cant afford to loose.

Cheers

StickShaker
 
widebody
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Tue Sep 07, 2004 9:30 pm

Wow, difficult to look at it from such a global perspective, I would have thought Boeing had the upper hand in this one.

One other point that may also affect Boeings position is the 737. At this stage I don't see Boeing having the will or capital to develop a new 737 replacement, and I doubt they can get much more out of the 737NG series....on the other hand, Airbus can introduce the A320NG in a few years for a relatively small budget. Unless Boeing recuperate some capital on the 7E7 quite quickly, they could be in trouble in the narrowbody market over the next 10 years or so.
 
Klaus
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StickShaker

Tue Sep 07, 2004 9:34 pm

Welcome to the forum, StickShaker!  Big thumbs up

Your analysis does indeed look consistent with what we´ve seen so far.

If the A380 program is going well, Airbus may not even need major additional loans for the A350 development campaign... Boeing is mainly making noise at this stage, without much hope of really achieving much with it.

Sure, a re-negotiation of the 1992 agreement may be due, but an earlier european proposal to put it on the table again had not be taken up by the american side, so it would probably cut both ways - especially with the rather precarious issue of the japanese production subsidies being ready to get dragged into it.

"May you live in interesting times!" as the chinese proverb says... Big grin

[Edited 2004-09-07 14:49:43]
 
Klaus
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Widebody

Tue Sep 07, 2004 9:45 pm

Widebody: At this stage I don't see Boeing having the will or capital to develop a new 737 replacement, and I doubt they can get much more out of the 737NG series....on the other hand, Airbus can introduce the A320NG in a few years for a relatively small budget.

Any NGs (or NNGs in the Boeing case  Wink/being sarcastic) would primarily depend on the kind of improvement that could be achieved. And Boeing could potentially apply 7E7 technology more or less "out of the box" to their narrowbody line if the 7E7 should indeed be the imagined step forward. Airbus may be in better shape overall, but they could be forced to catch up technologically in some areas, even though they´re ahead in others. I don´t think it´s quite that clear cut in favour of Airbus...

But again, without a clear technological advantage, NGs would not make much sense. The 737NGs back then profited from a substantially more modern wing for the most part. Without any substantial potential for further improvement, I would not expect anything to happen soon.
 
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solnabo
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Tue Sep 07, 2004 10:05 pm

Mr Forgeard (my hat off for him) really sticks his neck out on building A330L/350  Big grin

 Big thumbs up Way to go Airbus  Big thumbs up

Micke
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NoUFO
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Tue Sep 07, 2004 10:36 pm

I have to admit, I'm a bit flabbergasted and would have thought that Airbus would rather develop a new A32x first with LCC in mind. The new 321 could then become a competitor to the smaller 7E7 variant.

The experiences made in this program could be used later to design an all new 300/310/330 family to compete with the 7E7.

The difference in both approaches is that Airbus now seems to defending a marked position by developing a competitor to one of its own (so far) successfull products.
In contrast, the development of a new A32x family would further attack Boeing and maintain one of Airbus' strenghts.

What if Boeing comes first and uses profits and/or loans to develop an all-new 737 family after the 7E7 is available? Foregard would find himself and Airbus in a defensive position for years - if not two decades -to come.
I support the right to arm bears
 
N79969
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:12 pm

"Mr Forgeard (my hat off for him) really sticks his neck out on building A330L/350 "

While Airbus could and should be congratulated for engineering some good airplanes such as the 319/320/330-200, it cannot be meaningfully congratulated for ever actually taking a real business risk.
 
widebody
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:41 pm

Fair enough N79969, but that's business. Why introduce risk when you don't have to?
 
A388
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:04 am

Interesting posts here. When looking at Boeing and Airbus I thaught the following:

Airbus had a (major) advantage over Boeing when they introduced their new generation aircraft, being the A320 until the A340 with the commonality philosophy being a major selling point (IMO). Boeing had a disadvantage at that time. But....

Now Boeing is introducing a completely new aircraft, the 7E7 (just like Airbus did back than). Boeing can and probably will build a complete new generation of aircraft from the 7E7 design. So I see the same thing happening as was the case when Airbus introduced their new aircraft family (A320/330/340 and now the A380). If Airbus doesn't react quickly Boeing can have a major advantage over Airbus if they will design a complete new aircraft family based on the 7E7 technology. It's only more than logical that Airbus is trying to defend its territory.

NoUFO:

"I have to admit, I'm a bit flabbergasted and would have thought that Airbus would rather develop a new A32x first with LCC in mind. The new 321 could then become a competitor to the smaller 7E7 variant.

The experiences made in this program could be used later to design an all new 300/310/330 family to compete with the 7E7.

The difference in both approaches is that Airbus now seems to defending a marked position by developing a competitor to one of its own (so far) successfull products.
In contrast, the development of a new A32x family would further attack Boeing and maintain one of Airbus' strenghts.

What if Boeing comes first and uses profits and/or loans to develop an all-new 737 family after the 7E7 is available? Foregard would find himself and Airbus in a defensive position for years - if not two decades -to come."

I completely agree with you on this  Wink/being sarcastic

Airbus does have an advantage over Boeing for the moment, but they must not and probably will not stand still and do nothing. Boeing will become a very serious thread to Airbus if they come up with a new generation of aircraft based on the 7E7. Airbus knows that, so we will have to wait and see what both Boeing and Airbus will do in the coming years...


A388
 
keesje
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 12:35 am

Well, I think we can expect a hot autumn this year with Airbus testing the water on which direction to go & Boeing fanatically trying to sell 7e7's / discourage Airbus and it's customers to wait for an alternative.

IMO there are a few options for Airbus (& discussed in previous thread starters) to bring in as additions/replacement to current portfolio:

* A3XX series focussing on the "regional+" 100-130 seat market (318/736 are heavies, however questionable if Airbus sees this as their market..)

* An A322 to fill part of the 321/332 gab & grab some 757/310 replacements orders from regional/transcon services & leisure airlines.

* An A330-300ER 300 seat long range twin to go head to head with Boeings succesfull B777-200ER. (New engines to be developed ... 400kN /82k lb).

* A380 new stretched/shortened versions. Unlikely in the next 4 yrs IMO.

* An "A350" could go either :
- head to head with the 7e7-3 (short/medium haul, most likely IMO, 757/762/A300/A310 replacement) or
- ad extra range to the 332 (unlike IMO, A332 has a good range (e.g. lots of US/European 332s at NAR), so it would be a big investment for a small market segment).



IMO the A330/A310 replacement gab, 190-240 seat short/medium range is most clear. A bigger 320 series or light 330 based variant seems most likely.

"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Navion
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Foregard "sticking His Neck Out"

Wed Sep 08, 2004 2:24 am

Yeah, it's easy to stick your neck out when it's not your money...and spare me the bulls**t about Airbus isn't subsidized etc...the fact is, no matter what you call it, they always have plenty of money to produce whatever they need whenever they need it. It's right there in front of all of us folks, just wake up and look at the obvious. There have been so many articles in so many financial publications which discuss the ways Airbus can shift their financial burden and Boeing can't, but how many of the teenagers on this forum read such periodicals and publications such as the Wall Street Journal, probably about one or two. Jeez, this Airbus financial stuff is getting ridiculous.
 
Areopagus
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 3:09 am

Stickshaker: During the 1980's and 90's Boeing endured a hiatus on new aircraft programs that exceeded 20 years - the only exception being the B777

Suppose we play that game (which is all it is) with Airbus and exclude the A320. Then Airbus had no all-new aircraft between the A300 (1973) and the A380 (2006), a span of 33 years.
 
hz747300
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 3:22 am

This is too funny. Airbus's attempt here does not even pass the laugh test.

The only reason this is not ROTFL funny is that there are lots of jobs at stake and poised for ruin with Airbus's piss-poor decision making. They will have screwed themselves. Toulouse will be full of soup kitchens and bread lines in about ten years.

Also, if the 7E7 project is a failure, it is a big sh!t sandwich to which Boeing has to take a bite. If the A380 is a failure, they just simply do not have to pay back the loan.
Keep on truckin'...
 
gigneil
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 3:23 am

Um. The A330 and A340 are all new airliners.

Just because something is the same width as something, doesn't mean it is the same as that something. Despite being 222 inches wide, the fuselage of the A330/340 is a completely different construct than the A300/A310.

N
 
nwa330tony
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 4:16 am

Now I know its early and a final descision has not been made but if airbus goes ahead and recofigures the A330 to make this A350 is there chance we may see the A350 take 1st flight before the B7E7??? I mean if its just switching some materials and keeping almost the same design as the A330 wouldnt it be much easier for them to reconfigure thier production lines etc and have thiers sooner, ahead of boeing? And if so how big of an effect do you guys think it will have on 7E7 sales? I would imagine those loyal airbus customers who are stongly considering the B7E7 might grab the A350 if they know its coming.

I mean in just my opinion i would imagine it would be much easier for airbus cause they can eliminate alot of disign planning, and production as opposed to boeing having to deal with a whole new design.

 
kim777fan
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 4:33 am

"I mean in just my opinion i would imagine it would be much easier for airbus cause they can eliminate alot of disign planning, and production as opposed to boeing having to deal with a whole new design."

With all due respect, this sounds like Boeing's own mistaken thinking with the 767-400 going against the all-new 330.

Why would that all of a sudden work for Airbus with the A350 against the 7E7 when it didn't work for Boeing???
 
Scorpio
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 5:11 am

The only reason this is not ROTFL funny is that there are lots of jobs at stake and poised for ruin with Airbus's piss-poor decision making.

Have you been living under a rock these past few years? This 'piss-poor dcision making' did make Airbus the largest civil airline manufacturer...

They will have screwed themselves. Toulouse will be full of soup kitchens and bread lines in about ten years.

...and you'll STILL be in need of a life.
 
widebody
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 5:12 am

True Kim777fan, but look at how well the 737NG did against the A320 Family. I guess it depends on the scope of the modifications.
 
Leskova
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 5:56 am

Wow... I feel like it was only yesterday, or perhaps the day before that, when we were last running through this discussion...

... errr.... wait...

... that was just around one or two days ago!

Anyhow, just for all of those that still have not understood the reasoning or the success of Airbus' type of, and I quote, "piss-poor decision making": when you've just gone through two years of running up profits in excess of 800 million euros and have just finished the first half of the current year with more than one billion euros in profits, in what way does that qualify as "piss-poor"??

If that were, in fact, "piss-poor", then you can bet just about anything you own on the fact that there'd be lots of companies lining up to take lessons in how to make "piss-poor" decisions like Airbus.

Regards,
Frank

Smile - it confuses people!
 
rabenschlag
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 6:20 am

re all those complaining about airbus being subsidized:

europe luckily is a free continent where every government can decide to use tax money as it wishes. by democratic elections, the majority of europeans support this practice.

if you dont like freedom, go visit north korea!

 
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scbriml
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 6:46 am

Suppose we play that game (which is all it is) with Airbus and exclude the A320. Then Airbus had no all-new aircraft between the A300 (1973) and the A380 (2006), a span of 33 years.

So the A330 and A340 would be figments of my imaginations then?  Insane
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
AvObserver
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 7:39 am

"europe luckily is a free continent where every government can decide to use tax money as it wishes. by democratic elections, the majority of europeans support this practice."

Rabenschlag, that's true but ultimately, the World Trade Organization has authority to regulate how much of these tax-dollars can be used to fund export products like airliners. If the two disputing sides can't resolve their differences, it falls in their court. Neither the U.S. or the E.U. can likely proceed with impunity in these matters if the other challenges its right to do so. The W.T.O. would have to make a ruling to avoid a protracted trade war. As the arbiter of fair trade, the W.T.O. acts if it decides its guidelines are being abused. All W.T.O. members like the U.S. and E.U. members must comply with such a ruling once it's made; they can't simply do as they wish.

"Toulouse will be full of soup kitchens and bread lines in about ten years."

I really wish posters would steer clear of incendiary lines like this one. It's been used before and created a firestorm the last time. It's hot enough, here!

My only comment on the Airbus 'focus' on countering the 7E7 is that it doesn't as yet seem focussed, They go from being "unconcerned" about the 7E7 to looking at a reengined A332, to looking at a short-range, rewinged A332 to talking about a possible all-new design, which is what I've said they must do. It doesn't appear they're really sure just what to do, yet. Given that, it seems unlikely to me they can meet the 7E7's E.I.S. date unlesss they go with a quicky derivative, to me, not a good move. Rushing into this is probably the worst thing to do, it might guarantee the resulting airplane would end up inferior. They must decide between a lower cost/risk derivative which could meet 7E7 E.I.S. but fall short of true competitiveness OR go the distance to take the much costlier but much more competitive clean-sheet design which will hit the market 3 or so years later but be a lot more formidable against the 7E7, perhaps even better, further advancing the state of the art in efficiency. It seems to me, the latter approach is by far, the best in the long run. Thanks.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:33 am

Well, I think we can expect a hot autumn this year with Airbus testing the water on which direction to go & Boeing fanatically trying to sell 7e7's / discourage Airbus and it's customers to wait for an alternative.

I think we should all be prepared for Airbus to have at least one false start, a la 747-500/600. There are too many variables at work in this industry for the first draft to get everything right.

Some sources say the 7E7 of Jan-03 was another 2+3+2 aircraft, that only officaly changed to 8+ abreast around May-03. As much as Boeing got harassed for the 747-X proposals, I think we should prepare ourselves for reality now.

* An A330-300ER 300 seat long range twin to go head to head with Boeings succesfull B777-200ER. (New engines to be developed ... 400kN /82k lb).

Say good buy to the A340-300 IMO... it is a bit of a loner in the A340 family. Could Airbus build a heavier A333 buy transplanting the A345/A346 wing?

Airbus have the upper hand here - Boeing have their backs against the wall. They had no choice but to commit $8B to develop the 7e7 and having done so will face a tough battle for sales against Airbus who can develop competing products for a fraction of the cost and with little risk.

Boeing is by no means is the underdog in this scenario. Unless Airbus completly guts the A332 and rebuilds it on an investment the scale of the 7E7 project, they simply can't match the 7E7. The same investment that Airbus made evolving the A300 into the A330 will be required to make the A350 a true 7E7 competitor. My reasoning is as follows-

While reduced opperating cost are the driving force behind the A350, this does not address the countless versatility advantages of the 7E7

We've already mentioned that Airbus would (like Boeing) have to build two aircraft to go after both the 7E7-8/9 and 7E7-3. We could argue new aircraft versus update all day long, and while the A350 could come very close to the 7E7, there will always be a hint of "anything you can do, I can do better." Think about the common engine pylon, 8500 nm range, cargo capacity rivaling a 772ER.... the list goes on and on

Even if A350 matches the 7E7 in some areas, there are so many minute advantages across the board that, when added up, gives the 7E7 has a huge lead. Without a capital investment on the scale of the 7E7, Airbus will likely only gain orders from its loyal customers.

Most importantly, don't forget the 777. In the past, the 777 (while a great project) didn't have the support the A340 had from the A330. Now it does. As a package deal, the 7E7/777 looks much better than the A330/A340. Air New Zealand was pinned as a sure-fire Airbus order by many people....
 
gigneil
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:41 am

Today's Washington Post confirmed Airbus to enter the fray by year end, and confirms that an all-new aircraft with an $8b budget is likely.

Say good buy to the A340-300 IMO... it is a bit of a loner in the A340 family. Could Airbus build a heavier A333 buy transplanting the A345/A346 wing?

Yes, but they won't. The A340-500/600's wing is extremely heavy for obvious reasons. Any A330-300LR will involve an all new wing. Airbus has said that even a derivative airplane will have an all new wing.

Unless Airbus completly guts the A332 and rebuilds it on an investment the scale of the 7E7 project, they simply can't match the 7E7.

They may not have to, completely. People with lots of 330/340 series craft would probably go for a more capable 330 series plane. It would allow them to family, rather than forklift upgrade.

Think about the common engine pylon, 8500 nm range, cargo capacity rivaling a 772ER.... the list goes on and on

Well, total volume does rival a 772. But who knows what that means in terms of standard containers. I doubt that it will hold as much containerized cargo.

N
 
UA772IAD
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 9:30 am

This is a pretty bold move. The world's economy won't be ready for three new lines- The A380, the 7E7 and now a new Airbus. Shouldn't a manufacturer worry about selling 1 line before beginning to design a second?
IMO, due to the economies, it seems that Airbus's smaller models the A318/A319/A320/A321 might be selling better in the long run- it seems that the 320 is Airbus's most sucessful airplane and rivals the 737 models. We'll just have to see where this goes... because it seems as though the 330 isn't very popular.
 
gigneil
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 9:41 am

We'll just have to see where this goes... because it seems as though the 330 isn't very popular.

What? The 330 killed the 767 completely, and is still selling like hotcakes despite the announcement and subsequent launch of the 7E7.

I'd say the 330 is a pretty popular airframe.

N
 
Hirnie
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:11 am

In the early 90`s I read an artical in which Mr.Schremp (at this times chief of Airbus Germany) said that they respectBoeing as the biggest manufacturer of aircraft in the world and that Airbus would keep this in mind on every step they take. Seen from the point of today they did never underastimate Boeing.
They still don`t underestimate Boeing and for Airbus Boeing is still the competitor they need to maintain to be successfull. Boeing will ever scoop out of the best.
But now Airbus is the greatest and I don`t think they will do the failures Boeing did. They will defend their marked until the last...
 
UA772IAD
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:32 am

Gigneil:
True the 330 did "kill" the 767-- but how many carriers operate a 330 vs. 767/777 (I'm not sure, I just know in the US and Asia, there are more 767's than 330's). Again, my European airline knowledge is a bit rusty (outside of BA and LH).
The US:
UA, AA, US, DL, CO, Hawaiian All have 767 fleets. Only US has A330's.

Asia:
NH, SQ, Qantas, JAL, NZ, have 767s. (Not sure which has 330's).
Perhaps Europe is the only market in which the 330 sold better, but I know BA, LH: two huge European airlines both operate 767's (LH has 330s too).
 
Rj111
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:41 am

This A350 does sounds rather rushed to me. Could allowing lessons to be learnt from the 7e7 and its revolutionary technology boost Airbus' position in the long run?

Perhaps if Airbus do go ahead with the A350 or whatever, it willl mean that similar bleedless architecture used for the fuselage can be adapted to the A340NG or possible A300/A310 updates in the future, further increasing commonality.

Q: How much are Boeing planning on spending on developing the 7e7?
 
whitehatter
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 10:47 am

Actually LH has never bought the 767.

With regard to the rest, it's a question of timing. Many major European airlines bought the 767 such as Air France, KLM and Britannia among others. When the A330 became available, airlines bought that.

It's a step issue. The Japanese airlines were early adopters, and stayed loyal for commonality reasons. As did other operators no matter where they are. The A330 won out in recent years primarily because of the LD3 issue and also economics. Now Boeing is addressing those points in their new B market product, the A330 isn't such an attractive buy any more.

I concur with the thoughts of a number of other posters here, that a cut-rate rejig of the A330 might not be adequate. Airbus may find that they are in the same position as Boeing did with the 764, in that the nunbers don't quite add up to a desirable product when placed against the 7E7 and its overall improvement on the 767 way of doing things. For some reason the expression "papering over the cracks" comes to mind....
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
Leskova
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 3:09 pm

UAL772IAD, in the US, you should add Northwest as A330 operator... and to stay in North America, there's Air Canada as well (not the A332, but the A333 in their case), not to mention Air Transat and Skyservice.

Otherwise, you've got Lufthansa, Scandinavian, Air France, Swiss, Austrian, Aer Lingus, Air Caledonie, Air Greenland, Air Luxor, Air Madrid, Birdy, BMI, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Corsair, Cyprus Airways, Dragonair, Edelweiss, Egyptair, Emirates, Etihad, Eurofly, Eva Air, Garuda, Gulf Air, Iberworld, Korean Air, LTU, Malaysia Airlines, MEA, Monarch, MyTravel, Nova Airlines, Philippine Airlines, QANTAS, Qatar Airways, SriLankan, Star Airlines, TAM, Thai, Thomas Cook UK and Volare.

SAA also currently still operates one, but that, like LH's B767, is just a stopgap measure.

And Air Algérie, Asiana and KLM have ordered A330s but aren't operating them yet.

Factoring in the fact that the B767 has been flying since the early 1980s, while the A330 started appearing on airports in the mid 1990s, I'd say that the list that they've accumulated isn't all that bad...

Regards,
Frank
Smile - it confuses people!
 
widebody
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 5:21 pm

Tasha,

No doubt Airbus have reached the position they are in today with the help of government loans, however we must also keep in mind that the original WTO agreement was initiated to cap the huge indirect support Boeing were getting pre-1992. While Airbus have benefited hugely post-1992, there is no doubt that the largest portion of the pie was Boeing's pre-1992.

As for the A350, no doubt it will not reach the level of technology provided by the 7E7. Then again, it depends on whether operators actually need it or not for their individual ops, and more so whether they're willing to pay for it. The A320 is generally technologically more advanced than the 737NG, yet the 737NG is extremely popular and continues to be.......it will depend on the scope and magnitude of improvements introduced by the 7E7, and how close Airbus can get with the A350.
 
planemaker
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 5:25 pm

Just some thoughts on a potential "cheap & quick" Airbus approach to a 7E7 competitor...  Smile

When Boeing was doing the 7E7 preliminary design they hadn´t decided which way to go between composites and aluminum. I remember that Mulally stated that the aluminum manufacturers had offered "newer" alloys that were very close to composites in weight performance... but at a cheaper cost.

Ultimately Boeing went with composites despite the higher cost and the "higher" manufactering risk factor (composites have not been used on such a scale before.) However, given the performance/cost/risk issue, I was left with the nagging suspicion that going the 100% composite route was driven to a significant degree by "marketing" -- Boeing really wanted to make the 7E7 stand apart from previous offerings.

So, in context with the proposed Airbus 7E7 competitor, Airbus could use the "new" alloys to relatively "quickly & cheaply" (and at very low risk) "re-skin" a A330 "shrink" to offer a competing aircraft that, although not quite as cheap to operate as the 7E7, would nevertheless be cheaper to purchase and would have commonality with existing A330s (and could potentially even EIS before the 7E7.)
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
AvObserver
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 6:15 pm

Yes they could "re-skin" a A330 "shrink" but a lot of the weight savings of the 7E7 composite approach (it's really about 50% by weight, not 100%, the 7E7 is still about half alloy) will also be in the internal structure, something Airbus can't practically address without a major redesign. If, as Gigneil posted, an all-new aircraft is likely, it's by far, the preferred choice. Any significant shortfall in economic competitiveness of the new Airbus would still somewhat handicap it in the market, despite lower costs and more commonality with existing models. In the long run, the newer designs are the ones that seem to do best, as evidenced by the A330-200 prevailing over the 767 that earlier prevailed over the A300.
 
planemaker
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 6:53 pm

a lot of the weight savings of the 7E7 composite approach (it's really about 50% by weight, not 100%, the 7E7 is still about half alloy) will also be in the internal structure, something Airbus can't practically address without a major redesign

Obviously, there are still many components of the 7E7 that have to be of steel alloys... gear legs, actuating rods, etc., as well as other components made up of titanium, and other metals (the engines are one big example...) The 100% I was referring to (as was Mulally) was the traditional aluminum components (fuselage and wings) that will now be "virtually" 100% composite on the 7E7. Therefore, Airbus can use the "new" aluminum alloys that Boeing had under consideration not only for the skin but for much of the internal structure as well, where appropriate (as they would no doubt use composites in several areas... the wing box for one example) without having to do a "major redesign" since they would be basically swapping the "old" alloy for the "new" alloy. Obviously, further savings would be derived by using much of the same tooling and jigs as exisiting A330s. That is why Airbus cuold get the "new" aircraft on the market in the same time as the 7E7.

Anyhow, my post is just pure speculation on a possible stop gap approach (stategy) that is "quick & cheap" and that doesn´t preclude a plan by Airbus to "leap frog" the 7E7 with a future A333 and A340 replacement. The A350 would be used to merely "blunt" the 7E7 market attack and limit any potential Airbus "defection" until the "next gen" A330 is on offer.  Smile
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
sabenapilot
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 7:20 pm

Obviously nobody knows what is in the minds of the Airbus engineers right now, but my best guess for the A350 will be:

A long range medium capacity twin
based on the very successful Airbus twin aisle cross section (now copied by B)
a fuselage built from newer aluminium alloys
and with more use of composites in other parts than the fuselage.

We will most certainly see the A380 cockpit (basically that of the A340-600 plus the side console screens for the no flightbag concept) and interior make their way to this new plane.

For the engines, no doubt it will be the same ones Boeing is heavily relying on to make most of their efficiency gains but without the bleedless concept.(according to RR, more than 80% of the lower TSFC of the engine would come from better compressor techniques and the new combustion chambers, so the bleedless concept of the engine itself is not that a dramatic factor in the efficiency gains of the B7E7, it is more a marketing hype to show how revolutionary B wants the B7E7 to be)

Will the A35O also use the High Pressure hydraulic system of the A380 or will it be based on the more conventional system currently in use? I think this question will be answered once we know in how far the A350 will be an all new design: the more it will be an all new plane, the higher the chances for a HP hydraulic system.

And then there is the wing, possibly the single most important part of a plane from a manufacturer's point of view: it has been confirmed the A350 will come with an ALL new wing designed for the specific tasks of the A350 rather then the one-fits-all compromise wing of the A330/A340 which -although a marvel of technological design as it was designed for both twins and quads- inevitably leaves room for improvement, notably in the area of weight, load, slats and wing tip fences.

With a completely new wing, new engines, new skin, an updated cockpit and possibly a different hydraulic system, it looks as if the A350 is going to be an all new plane (hence the renaming), rather then just an updated A330; I'd rather compare this latest Airbus project to the marvelous work B did on the B747-300 which ultimately lead to the B747-400 rather than to their low cost failed attempt with the B767-400.

 
greaser
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:25 pm

I wonder what Leahy is gonna do about his words about the 7e7 in the past.
Anyway, Boeing has Airbus rite where it could hurt it most...if they had more money. Launch the 747/737 replacement now, ( i know southwest's objections)..Possible?
Now you're really flying
 
StickShaker
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:53 pm

"With a completely new wing, new engines, new skin, an updated cockpit and possibly a different hydraulic system, it looks as if the A350 is going to be an all new plane"

Very good point - the A350 is not a cheap and quick upgrade.

There seems to be an assumption that the A350 cant match the operating economics of the 7e7 simply because it lacks the new technologies of the 7e7. Boeing have demonstrated with the 73NG that an aircraft doesn't need to be bristling with the latest technologies to be fuel efficient and a keen revenue earner. Airlines will be more interested in issues such operating costs, ownership costs, maintenance costs and revenue produced rather than technology for its own sake.

There is also the assumption that the 7e7 development program will run without hickups despite bringing so much new technology on line within tight budgetary and very tight time constraints. The development time frame is about the same as the B777 which was evolutionary rather than revolutionary. In such a complex environment as aircraft development it would only take a few slipages here and there and associated cost blowouts to give the program real grief. Don't forget the Lockheed Tristar or MD11. Boeing have quite a bit of credibility in this area but they really have set themselves some tough goals within tight constraints. Would welcome some comment from engineering types on this issue.

"The only reason this is not ROTFL funny is that there are lots of jobs at stake and poised for ruin with Airbus's piss-poor decision making"

The point I was making is that it was poor decision making and lack of vision on Boeings part that has led to their current difficult situation.
Those who consider Boeing to be in a strong position should consider what future the company has in the passenger aircraft market without the 7e7 - the only aircraft that are selling are the B777 plus the umpteenth derivative of the 737 (still competitive but getting long in the tooth).
Compare this to the late 80's and early 90's where Boeings products were selling strongly in every market segment. Airlines were ordering aircraft by the truckload and Boeing was swimming in cash. If some of that money had been used to launch a B767 replacement in the mid to late 90's then Boeing might not have lost that market segment to the A332. Now Boeing will have to fight hard to win back that market share and the upcoming B767/A300/A310 replacement market.
Boeing have already ceded the 500+ seat market to Airbus. They cannot afford to cede the 250 seat market as well.
The 7e7 should have been launched 5 to 10 years ago.

"Now I know its early and a final decision has not been made but if airbus goes ahead and recofigures the A330 to make this A350 is there chance we may see the A350 take 1st flight before the B7E7??? "

Wouldn't be at all surprised.
Airbus are obviously still looking at different configuration and development options (derivative or all new) but time would be on their side.
One thing for sure - the A350 is not a red herring as was the 745 or the Sonic Cruiser.

Cheers
StickShaker

 
keesje
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Wed Sep 08, 2004 9:34 pm

The 7e7 should have been launched 5 to 10 years ago.

Fully agreed.
http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/1669219

I still stand by what I said ealier :
IMO It appears there is a risk Boeing might not be in time with it's 7E7 to fully benefit from the predicted economic recovery & growth in the 2005-2010 period.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
DeltaWings
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Thu Sep 09, 2004 2:14 am

If Airbus launches a qick 7e7 compeditor it cant possibly be as good as the 7e7. OK, it may be the best on the market before the 7e7 arrives, but then?
Airbus will just have wasted money, because the 7e7 will have the newest technology, better then the Airbus will have , so Airbus will have to come up with another plane to match full 7e7 technology.
In about seven years time the A350 will probably just wind up beeing retired, because the 7e7 will have the modern technology.
Homer: Marge, it takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen.
 
gigneil
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Thu Sep 09, 2004 4:25 am

We will most certainly see the A380 cockpit (basically that of the A340-600 plus the side console screens for the no flightbag concept) and interior make their way to this new plane.


Don't forget the magic new FMS - its represented by LCDs now, as well. Nice large display to read route data off of.

The A380 has a total of 8 forward LCD panels, and the two side ones for the Jepps and other maps.

N
 
Areopagus
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Thu Sep 09, 2004 5:36 am

Gigniel: Um. The A330 and A340 are all new airliners.
Just because something is the same width as something, doesn't mean it is the same as that something. Despite being 222 inches wide, the fuselage of the A330/340 is a completely different construct than the A300/A310.

Well, thanks for the correction. You live and you learn. I have been looking for independent confirmation of this on the web, and have come up dry. A number of sources say "share the same cross section", which in the absence of contrary knowledge would indicate shared structure. I would think that the EADS reference should be more explicit. Some places, cited below, say it shares design, so it seems that I was not alone in my misapprehension.

So, how different is it? What was the motivation to completely redesign a perfectly good and efficient structure?

http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Airbus-A330: The A330 fuselage design is inherited from the Airbus A300 and the fly-by-wire system and flightdeck from the Airbus A320.


Wikipedia A300 entry: The basic fuselage of the A300 was later streched (A330 and A340), shrunk (A310), or modified into many derivatives (Airbus Beluga).

Wikipedia A330 entry: The A330 fuselage design is inherited from the Airbus A300 and the fly-by-wire system and flightdeck from the Airbus A320.
(Well, the identical wording to nationmaster encyclopedia leaves open the possibility that one entry is derived from the other. Nearly identical words appear on other websites, such as informationblast.com.)


From EADS:Airbus developed the twin-engine A330 and long-range four-engine A340 as a joint programme, using the same wing design for both aircraft and retaining the fuselage cross section of the existing A300/A310 to offer comprehensive and economic medium to ultra-long-range route coverage.


From A340.net: When the A340 took off for its first flight the design was almost 20 years old and the basic concept hadn't changed very much since the mid 1970s when its German and French designers first proposed the TA 11 as a medium sized, four engined, extreme long-range aircraft. It all began with the wide body twinjet Airbus A300 which made its maiden flight in 1971. The large fuselage was a perfect starting point for the development of different A300 derivatives. and Beside the fuselage of the Airbus A300, the A320 was the main starting point for Airbus' new vision...

(Note that I didn't say the design was old.)
 
Areopagus
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Thu Sep 09, 2004 5:43 am

Sabenapilot: For the engines, no doubt it will be the same ones Boeing is heavily relying on to make most of their efficiency gains but without the bleedless concept.(according to RR, more than 80% of the lower TSFC of the engine would come from better compressor techniques and the new combustion chambers, so the bleedless concept of the engine itself is not that a dramatic factor in the efficiency gains of the B7E7

Boeing has noted other benefits of bleedless:
* elimination of weight & volume of bleed-air piping around the aircraft, and its associated insulation.
* Replacing airliner-only boutique components by electrical components used in other industries, reducing costs.
 
kalakaua
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Thu Sep 09, 2004 6:03 am

A380 ---> 747Adv
B7E7 ---> A350

Hmmm... Get it?  Big grin
Gravity explains the motions of the planets, but it cannot explain who set the planets in motion.
 
leelaw
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Thu Sep 09, 2004 6:24 am

"Factoring in the fact that the B767 has been flying since the early 1980s, while the A330 started appearing on airports in the mid 1990s, I'd say that the list that they've accumulated isn't all that bad..."

There are or soon will be 43 operators; on it's face an impressive statistic. However, it's also interesting to note, that no current operator, with the exception of EK (with 29 A332s), has twenty or more A332s in it's fleet. The next largest operators, once unfilled orders are delivered will be Qatar and Etihad with 18 aircraft each.

The A332's sales since it was announced in '95 have been good, but hardly a roaring success with approximately 250 ordered and 160 delivered to date. Additionally, in the same time period Boeing sold approximately 250 of its clearly outmoded 767s (exclusive of the 764). In fact, 767 sales really didn't slow down until post 9/11.

It will be interesting to see how the A332 design, with or without substantial modification holds up in the competition with 7e7.
Lex Ancilla Justitiae
 
gigneil
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Thu Sep 09, 2004 6:59 am

After orders are filled, NW will have more than 20 A330s. US will have 19.

You are right, however.

N
 
AvObserver
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Thu Sep 09, 2004 7:27 am

"With a completely new wing, new engines, new skin, an updated cockpit and possibly a different hydraulic system, it looks as if the A350 is going to be an all new plane (hence the renaming), rather then just an updated A330"

It won't be ALL-new since it will still use the A332 fuselage, which, however much they lighten with new skin panels, should still carry the same basic internal structure, making it still somewhat heavier. Perhaps that's not too much of a liability, given the cost savings but I don't believe it to be a an optimum long-term plan. For just the short-range model, it may make sense.

"One thing for sure - the A350 is not a red herring as was the 745 or the Sonic Cruiser."

That's HARDLY certain; the A350 is NO MORE than a proposal, at this point and it seems Airbus isn't even sure whether to go with the this quicker, cheaper approach or the much costlier but certainly much more competitive clean-sheet approach. All you guys are saying about the A350 is MOSTLY just speculation until Airbus firmly defines it. Right now, it's indeed as much vaporware as the Sonic Cruiser was, despite its seeming feasibility. Airbus is still mulling its options, as it should well be taking the time to do. Though it will soon need the short-range model to succeed older A300/A310s, the current A332 will still be viable for a number of years in the longer-range segment, despite the 7E7. No need for any "knee-jerk" reaction from Airbus.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Report: Airbus To Counter 7E7 In 2004

Thu Sep 09, 2004 7:36 am

All you guys are saying about the A350 is MOSTLY just speculation until Airbus firmly defines it. Right now, it's indeed as much vaporware as the Sonic Cruiser was, despite its seeming feasibility

Bingo... I would not be suprised, nor would I fault, Airbus for making at least one false start with their 7E7 response.