nycflyer
Posts: 1288
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 1:23 am

Why Are B's 7X7 And A's 3X0?

Wed Jul 13, 2005 4:59 pm

I know this is a very elementary question. But I've always wondered why Boeing models are 7x7 and Airbus 3x0? Surely some executive didn't wake up one morning and decree that all plane types would follow a certain numerical pattern. Anyone know the history behind it?

thanks.
 
FrancoBlanco
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RE: Why Are B's 7X7 And A's 3X0?

Wed Jul 13, 2005 7:01 pm

Ok, in a nutshell:

Boeing´s trademark in the 1920s, 1930s, 1940s was that their planes had a "7" at the end of their designation. There was, for example, the Boeing 247, a competitor to the Douglas DC-3. Later, after WWII Boeing built larger prop aircraft, so the next "row" of numbers was opened, resulting in the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser.

Then Boeing started to build Jets. The prototype of the later 707 was called Boeing 367-80 (so you have the 7 at the end again). But when the final model was about to come out, they decided to give it a new, catchier name and opened the 700 row and because there always has to be a 7 at the end, the first possible designation was 707.

Airbus is a bit different.
When Airbus was developing the plane which later became the A300, it was originally planned to carry about 300 pax, hence the designation A300.
Then they realized that this could be too big and reduced the concept to 250 pax and called the final plane A300B (all A300s ever built are B models, even the latest model, the A300-600 is actually an A300B4-600).
At the beginning of the 1980s, Airbus wanted to build a smaller long-haul plane based on the A300. The designation should have been A300B10, but finally Airbus switched to A310.
Since then they continued with those designations, such as A320, A330 etc.

If something I said is wrong, please correct me!

Sebastian
'Pointless!' - NY Times
 
nycflyer
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RE: Why Are B's 7X7 And A's 3X0?

Wed Jul 13, 2005 7:47 pm

wow - that was an extremely thorough explanation! thanks!
 
backfire
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RE: Why Are B's 7X7 And A's 3X0?

Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:16 pm

The A300 was originally given the working title 'HSA300', something of an in-joke by the UK partner Hawker Siddeley Aviation, which added that the number '300' was simply a round figure to work on.

Although it was meant as a light-hearted suggestion, part of the name stuck and the subsequent project became known as the A300.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Why Are B's 7X7 And A's 3X0?

Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:40 pm

Nice Explanation.

Im sure glad they both did choose the B7x7 & A3xx

Hows the Numbering on the Embrarer decided.

regds
MEL
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Why Are B's 7X7 And A's 3X0?

Wed Jul 13, 2005 11:34 pm

>> Then Boeing started to build Jets. The prototype of the later 707 was called Boeing 367-80 (so you have the 7 at the end again). But when the final model was about to come out, they decided to give it a new, catchier name and opened the 700 row and because there always has to be a 7 at the end, the first possible designation was 707.

Well... sort of.

At the time that the 367-80 debut, Boeing realized that they had diversified into so many new products that they needed a better naming system. Boeing decided to break-up nomenclature into the following categories:

400-499 = military products
500-599 = missile products
600-699 = turbine products
700-799 = commercial products
800-899 = avionics products

That's just off the top of my head, so they may be a little off. I do know that the 700-series is, for sure, commercial products  Wink

Anywho, as Boeing was trying to work the 367-80 prototype into a viable, marketable product, they went through 7 concepts. By sheer coinscidence, the final product was the 707. Even after it went to market, Boeing didn't catch-on: their next product (13 concepts later) was the 720. By then, Boeing realized the tremendous marketing advantage of a number which is universal in all languages. A 707 is a 707 in Spanish, French, German, Chinese, whatever.

All subsequent Boeing products have been 7x7
 
FrancoBlanco
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RE: Why Are B's 7X7 And A's 3X0?

Thu Jul 14, 2005 2:00 am

Don´t forget that the 720 was originally planned to be the 707-720 (after the 707-120, 707-220, 707-320, 707-420) and that´s why it finally became simply the 720.

Next, after the 707 came out, the plan was to name the military versions 717. This didn´t catch on to the army so it became the C-135 but on some photos here on A.net you see the 717-148 (or whatever the customer code is) designation in brackets.

Sebastian
'Pointless!' - NY Times