First off, you should pay more attention. Boeing has said numerous times that design freeze isn't scheduled to occur until 2Q '05. Your implication that they are behind on their schedule is ridiculous. Now, on a point by point basis:
"- a 100-150 inch stretch allowing 20-40 more passengers and cargo, lowering seat/mile costs. Same MTOW as current specified 7e7-8 to limit design adjustments, so reduced range (nobody seems to really demand that last 600 miles..)
Thereby making it basically a A330-200 equivalent, huh?
No, the aircraft family has been laid out this way for a reason. Boeing is looking at not only competing head to head with the A330 (and any future derivatives), but also the large A300/310/762/763 replacement market. For some airlines, the A330-200 is too large for this role. Thus the 7E7-8 is sized between the 763ER and the A332, while the 7E7-9 is between the A332 and A333. Notice Boeing has pushed back the EIS of the -9 because they have so much interest in the -8. That's where the market is at the moment.
"- review the use of advanced composite materials on places that are easily damaged and/or hard to reach.. Mechanics do maintenance, not labatories..
Airline mechanics are highly trained professionals. They perform the skills they have been trained to do, and learn new skills all the time. If Boeing can work with their suppliers to perfect the installation of a composite patch to a damaged area until the aircraft's D check (the current line of thinking), then airline mechanics will be taught this procedure, and do it well, I'm sure.
"- Airlines might prefer some systems to be powered by bleed-air, for component/ system standardisation (e.g. pneumatics, standard APU & batteries). Airlines hate complexity and too much expensive non-standard stuff on the shelves..
. . . and change one of the basic and most effective cost-savings of the new aircraft, huh? BS
!! Any system that Boeing put in requiring bleed-air, even a back-up system, would require a complete redesign of the entire 7E7 concept. And for what reason, so that Airbus has a shot of getting closer to the 7E7's performance with a warmed-over A330? Hardly. As to airlines 'hating complexity and too much expensive non-standard stuff,' I guess your point is entirely proven by the extremely limited number of A32X's out there, huh?
"- Rationalize the shark tail (weight & complexity). Airlines buy aircraft, not the media..
Your one valid point. The last I heard from Boeing is, while the nose is pretty much set, the tail will be 'traditionalized' a little bit, though will retain some aspects of the current design.
"- Smaller windows. Saves weight, some passengers might prefer not having the sun in their face all flight (eliminates the need for complex cristal solutions for this) .. & Airlines buy aircraft, not passengers..
Yes, I know as a passenger I hate it when I wake up in the morning on a transcon or trans-Atlantic flight, that awful feeling of having a large window with a beautiful morning sun in my face.
And of course, I'm too stupid to pull the shade.
And get off it, 'airlines buy aircraft, not passengers'? So you are admitting that Airbus' PR
about the A320 being wider than the 737, or the A340 being quieter than the 777, that's all just bullsh**, right?
"For the short/medium range 230 seat requirement airlines might prefer single aisle efficiency..
The most ludicrous argument of them all. Your suggesting that, instead of merely changing the wing design for the regional model, they design an entirely seperate aircraft, wing and fuselage? In the process, of course, one would also create the need to have two completely seperate assembly lines, or at least have to reconfigure the tooling jigs for each line number, thereby greatly increasing costs. And this makes sense, why. . . . ?
My god I've seen a lot of biased/ignorant posts on this forum, but jeez. . .
Honor the warriors, not the war.