I know the 787 has been discussed a million times now, and how it compares with the 767, 777 and various Airbus models, in fact the discussions are ongoing so let's talk some more.
I have studied the various specs and wonder how the 787 compares with the 767 - in terms of range. My question is: isn't the 787 too close to the 777-200 (and -300 to a lesser extent). It is suppose to fit in nicely between the 737NG and 777 families, but it seems to lean more to the 777...
Let me elaborate more. According to Boeing's website, the 787-3 seats 296 in a typical 2-class configuration, with a range of 3,500nm. The 787-8 and 787-9 seats less pax (around 220-250) but can fly over 8,000nm.
Looking at the 767, the following specs: 767-200ER - 181 pax, 6,600nm range; 767-300ER - 218 pax, 6,100nm range; 767-400ER - 245 pax, 5,600nm range.
And finally the 777: 777-200 - 305 pax, 5,400nm range, with the ER and LR models offering 7,700nm and 9,420nm range respectively with the same no of pax. The 777-300 seats 360 pax with a range of 6,000nm, while the ER gives you up to 7,800nm range.
So a few questions come to mind:
(1) Isn't the range of the 787-3 too little? 3,500nm wouldn't make it ideal for routes from the US East coast to Europa (France, Germany, Italy, etc) for example. So one would need to use a 787-8 or 9 -- isn't that too much though?
(2) Why has the 787-8 and -9 so much range? It is much more than the average range of the 777? Shouldn't there be a 787 model with between 5,000 - 6,500nm of range?
It seems to me like the seating capacities are OK, but the range of the various 787 models is either too little or too much.
One could clearly see that the 767 is (was) bigger than a 737 but smaller than a 777, it was as simple as that. But with the 787...it seems to me like it is a small 777. I know it will introduce new technology etc. and it looks like a wonderful plane.
Is the airliner industry following the same route as various other industries like cellular phones - where the various models are so close to each other in terms of specs, that it gets harder to distinguish between them?
Apologies if this issue has been discussed. There are too many discussions on the 787, so I don't know where to start looking!