IIRC, Forgeard already mentioned in the past that they targeted a higher payload in terms of pax for the A350, compared to the 7E7. At least this is what the airlines they saw must have told them to do....
Once again guys, do not take it too hard, especially my fellow Americans, but I am getting tired of seeing the 7E7 being mentioned as a revolutionary aircraft.
Seriously, there is more composites in it compared to actual airliner, the shapes have been smoothed, and the engines improved. Productions methods will also be improved, but what do you expect of a manufacturer whose latest new product came out in 1995 (T7
Of course these things would be drastically improved.
This is hardly revolutionary to my eyes. The Sonic Cruiser was a revolutionary idea, that's for sure, as was the Concorde. But when you look at the 707, there is actually no revolutionary evolutions compared to the 7E7, especially in terms of design.
But then again I do not know the full extent of what is inside it. Maybe somebody has a better insight on the real extent of the improvements.
Similarly, the A380 is also very evolutionary inside (AFDX, Switches, open and closed world, networks and Integrated Modular avionics, cabin e-logbook), and its design is quite amazing in terms of shear size, but that does not make it also a revolutionary aircraft. Same improvements (apart from the composites/engine) have been brought to its design and production, compared to the 7E7. But the A380 is close to its first flight, whereas the 7E7 is still a paper aircraft (well apart from the wind tunnel models
So I would also fully understand the improvements brought to the 7E7 design/production compared to the A380, looking at the number of years separating the design freeze.
Now give me a sonic cruiser and I will call it a revolutionary aircraft.
Hope you will appreciate my arguments, just my 0.02 euros.
Anyway, i believe Forgeard presented the project to the EADS board today, although I am sure they have been aware of all the design proposals, I would understand if they would not rush this decision through without thinking thoroughly about it.
No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.