n1786b
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BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:13 pm

Scott H just reported that the Boeing customers for the BWB-F that was recently reported about in FI are FedEx and UPS.

Boeing says it has customer for BWB Cargo version
Boeing has quietly said it has a customer for a cargo Blended Wing Body airplane and is working with at least one other airline—something missed by mainstream media but reported by trade magazine Flight International. We’ve learned that FedEx is probably the customer and UPS is likely the second airline. Both had been customers of the Airbus A380, but canceled the orders after the delays pushed delivery to 2012-2014. The BWB freighter might be available as early as 2015.

http://www.leeham.net/filelib/ScottsColumn060507.pdf

Another "game changer?"

-n1786b
 
Molykote
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:34 pm

I'd personally be surprised if we see this project happen anywhere near the timeline outlined in this article.

[Edited 2007-06-05 11:35:27]
Speedtape - The aspirin of aviation!
 
parapente
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:09 pm

Hi N1786B,

I saw this and another article in Flight recently talking about Boeing accepting that a 777-400 would be possible. You might ask what the connection is. I wrote a post 2 days ago that was deleted as my subject heading was not correct. I had received one reply at the time.

My point was this. I found it very strange that Boeing having just mopped up the A380 F orders to then announce the reality of the BWB F. At the same time accepting (with overt pressure from Ufar Haizey (sp)) that a 400 seater -400 version of the 777 could be built. Note ,They have only managed one small order for the 747-800I in 2 years. I would have thought that both these announcements would harm the future chances/sales of the 747-800 series -no? So why publically talk about such things?

We know that airlines (like BA) always wanted the -400 version for pax. Furthermore if a passenger BWB was built it would spell curtains for both the 747 and 380. Certainly from the data so far released the BWB (freighter or passenger) would be 25% more efficient than existing models.

I think there is something very odd about these announcements. Could it be that they now accept that the 747-800 will never sell much and that the 777 will need a complete replacement in the long term to block the A350. I wonder if a combination of the dash 800 and the dash 400 are no more than (good) stop gaps to keep production going (and Airbus sales down) over the next 10 years until Y3 A bwb comes out. I note the the 2 flying scale prototypes are scaled from a 450 seater single deck passenger study. Hmmmmm
 
LifelinerOne
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:28 pm

Quoting Parapente (Reply 2):
My point was this. I found it very strange that Boeing having just mopped up the A380 F orders to then announce the reality of the BWB F.

I think Boeing is presenting this plane as a freighter only. If I recall correctly there was a study which showed that passengers would become sick when flying in the BWB. This had something to do with windows, lighting and movement of the frame. So, I think you should see this BWB as a cargo plane only at first. Of course, they will be doing research and may use this design to create the Y3 or something.

Other questions arise with the 2015 time line. Can Boeing afford working on the B737RS, BWB and Y3 at the same time, or is this BWB going to evolve in the Y3? I think these are the questions here. However, if they can use the BWB for the military as well, funding it might be a little easier.

Cheers!  wave 
Only Those Who Sleep Don't Make Mistakes
 
parapente
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:51 pm

I believe BWB is Y3 - always have done.But could be wrong. However lets say that BWB stays for now "F" only. OK that spells the end -on current sales make up- of the 747. We know that the 777 is dead when the A350-1000 comes. So they must produce something else to replace these aircraft.

So a 777-400 (the last 777) would seat --400. The 747-800i (the last 747)will seat 475 (LH state). And the BWB is designed around a 450 seater study. Now that seems toooo much of a coincidence to me. They always stated that the Y3 would replace both. Whose to say they have changed their minds. I don't believe they have not for a moment..
 
SEPilot
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:17 pm

Very interesting news; sounds like a very good strategy. Make it first as a freighter and test it with passengers. If it is found that passengers like it, go ahead and offer it. If it is unacceptable (as LifelinerOne indicates) then stick with the freighter and make a conventional tube as Y3. I hope this is true, and I even hope it works for passengers, even though that will probably cause me to lose my bet with Keesje as to which of the A380 or 747 will be built last.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
LifelinerOne
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:00 pm

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 5):
Make it first as a freighter and test it with passengers. If it is found that passengers like it, go ahead and offer it.

From a passengerview flying in a BWB wouldn't be that attractive as it would mean less available window-seats and maybe more seats in a row, because I can't imagine that they would fit a plane with 5-6 aisles.

If Boeing doesn't succeed to make the BWB attractive for passenger airlines, designing and building the Y3 would mean big money and they will be stuck with a plane which is suitable for the freight market only, which is a little more limited than a combined pax/freight market.

Quoting Parapente (Reply 4):
I believe BWB is Y3 - always have done.But could be wrong.

Well, I think you can be right, however Boeing will need to do a lot of talking to persuade passenger airlines that a flying BWB is the plane to operate. Okay, so the operating costs are good, but I think passengers will be somehow harder to persuade due to the lack of available window seats. These seats are still the seats who are sold out the fastest in all classes. It would need a lot of PR to sell this to the public so that your passengers won't be running away to airlines who don't fly the BWB.

Configuring the BWB for passengers will be the biggest challenge. Only the thought of flying with 30 people in a row, divided with 4-5 aisles makes my skin crawl. Somehow it makes me feel that my privacy is even more limited than it is now aboard a "normal" plane.

It will be very interesting to see how this is going to develop. If Boeing is really launching the BWB for EIS 2015 with freighter airlines you can bet that this BWB will also become the new passenger plane Y3. If they do it, it will be a major coup, and it will make sure that Boeing once again makes a brilliant statement in aviation history.

Cheers!  wave 
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aogdesk
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:05 pm

I'd guess that this still very much speculative. 5X tends to be EXTREMELY secretive and guarded when dealing with future plans & strategies.
 
Rheinbote
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:18 am

Wouldn't a commercial freighter be a logical spin-off from a next-generation BWB tanker/transport/bomber platform? DoD-funded R&D and several hundred companion airframes for the military would make into a very attractive business case for any commercial spin-off.
 
cygnuschicago
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:41 am

Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 3):
If I recall correctly there was a study which showed that passengers would become sick when flying in the BWB. This had something to do with windows, lighting and movement of the frame. So, I think you should see this BWB as a cargo plane only at first.

A full BWB is in my opinion completely unlikely to be a passenger plane. Airbus, TsAgi, Boeing have all investigated this and abandoned the concept repeatedly.

My guess is the current spate of rumors is based on a military RFP for an efficient equipment transport or tanker - given the existing X-48 research. Boeing is seeing an opportunity to shop this project around as a civilian freighter - just like Lockheed did with the L-500.

In my opinion, the next "shape" for passenger planes may be more of a hybrid between tube-with-wings and a BWB. I expect a partial lifting body fuselage, perhaps a "three lifting surface", but still no more than 12 abreast at most.
If you cannot do the math, your opinion means squat!
 
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flyingclrs727
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:49 am

I wonder if Boeing has any potential military customers lined up. A large BWB freighter with three engines would be an excellent replacement for the C-5A.
 
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scbriml
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:24 am

Quoting Parapente (Reply 2):
We know that airlines (like BA) always wanted the -400 version for pax.

We do? How do we know?
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
 
Devilfish
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:47 am

Quoting CygnusChicago (Reply 9):

In my opinion, the next "shape" for passenger planes may be more of a hybrid between tube-with-wings and a BWB. I expect a partial lifting body fuselage,

I too, think that an "intermediate" semi-blend configuration would be offered in the interim, although if public perception and acceptance of the futuristic shape is overwhelmingly positive, then Boeing will forge head-on with the full BWB.

Quoting FlyingClrs727 (Reply 10):
I wonder if Boeing has any potential military customers lined up. A large BWB freighter with three engines would be an excellent replacement for the C-5A.

KC-Y & Z and AJACS?......

http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...s/AIR_K-X_MACK-type_Concept_lg.gif

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...ontest-to-build-cargo-x-plane.html

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...build-composite-cargo-x-plane.html

[Edited 2007-06-05 22:51:45]
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
Shenzhen
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:39 am

Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 6):

Configuring the BWB for passengers will be the biggest challenge. Only the thought of flying with 30 people in a row, divided with 4-5 aisles makes my skin crawl. Somehow it makes me feel that my privacy is even more limited than it is now aboard a "normal" plane.

The concepts that I have seen would have walls between the rows so that there might be only 6 (just a guess) people in a row within a space, with openings to move between the spaces. Kind of like sitting in a room.

Cheers
 
Viscount724
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:14 am

Quoting Shenzhen (Reply 13):
Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 6):

Configuring the BWB for passengers will be the biggest challenge. Only the thought of flying with 30 people in a row, divided with 4-5 aisles makes my skin crawl. Somehow it makes me feel that my privacy is even more limited than it is now aboard a "normal" plane.

The concepts that I have seen would have walls between the rows so that there might be only 6 (just a guess) people in a row within a space, with openings to move between the spaces. Kind of like sitting in a room.

Passengers sitting at the outer areas of the passenger cabin would probably be much more prone to air-sickness than on current aircraft. It would be like sitting half way out on the wing, and when an aircraft banks or bounces around in turbulence, the further you are away from the center of gravity, the greater the movement. I think it would be very uncomfortable, especially with no windows nearby.
 
FriendlySkies
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:56 am

Regarding rows, isn't it "illegal" to have any passengers more than 2 seats away from a row for evacuation?

I still don't think the BWB passenger version would ever take off (no pun intended), but we'll have to wait for real-life test results if it's ever built.
 
GAIsweetGAI
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:02 am

Quoting FriendlySkies (Reply 15):
Regarding rows, isn't it "illegal" to have any passengers more than 2 seats away from a row for evacuation?

I still don't think the BWB passenger version would ever take off (no pun intended), but we'll have to wait for real-life test results if it's ever built.

Ah, but who says that the emergency exits have to face sideways, as they do now? (Assuming exits through the floor are feasible enough?)
"There is an art, or rather a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."
 
Shenzhen
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:32 am

Quoting GAIsweetGAI (Reply 16):
Ah, but who says that the emergency exits have to face sideways, as they do now? (Assuming exits through the floor are feasible enough?)

The concepts that I saw had the exits in the aft of the BWB or in the rear.

Cheers
 
BladeLWS
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:38 am

Quoting GAIsweetGAI (Reply 16):
Ah, but who says that the emergency exits have to face sideways, as they do now? (Assuming exits through the floor are feasible enough?)

Wouldn't do to well for a wheels up landing. There might have to be more side exits on a BWB for escape. That way you could get everyone out in time.

The problems I currently see with a passenger BWB are distance from the center of gravity, going to make passengers sick with the up and down motion. And lack of windows, also going to make people sick/clastrophobic.
 
cygnuschicago
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:00 am

Quoting GAIsweetGAI (Reply 16):
Ah, but who says that the emergency exits have to face sideways, as they do now? (Assuming exits through the floor are feasible enough?)

Good to think out of the box, but that may be a huge problem in the case of a wheels up landing  Wink
If you cannot do the math, your opinion means squat!
 
Devilfish
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:02 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 14):
and when an aircraft banks or bounces around in turbulence,



Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 18):
The problems I currently see with a passenger BWB are distance from the center of gravity, going to make passengers sick with the up and down motion.

Perhaps this might mitigate the unwelcome effects somewhat, if and when the technology has matured.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...ogy-to-tackle-motion-sickness.html
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
GAIsweetGAI
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:13 am

Quoting BladeLWS (Reply 18):

Wouldn't do to well for a wheels up landing. There might have to be more side exits on a BWB for escape. That way you could get everyone out in time.



Quoting CygnusChicago (Reply 19):
Good to think out of the box, but that may be a huge problem in the case of a wheels up landing

Good point. How about in the "roof," assuming that the engines don't pose a threat?  Smile
"There is an art, or rather a knack to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."
 
jetjeanes
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:20 am

I know Fex has a 757 way over on the south field in Memphis, and some gse equip i guess they practice on. It looks like it was an old british airways with the blue on bottom and white on top.. It sits kinda off near some woods and the new c-5 hanger. Im just wondering if there is going to be enough 757,s on the market to cover the 727,s
i can see for 80 miles
 
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flyingclrs727
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:21 am

Quoting GAIsweetGAI (Reply 21):
Good point. How about in the "roof," assuming that the engines don't pose a threat?

The engines in the Pan Am 747 involved in the Tenneriffe crash 30 year ago could not be shut off. How would you like to have the only available emergency doors position the passengers exiting the aircraft perfectly to be ingested by GE90 or GE Nx engines?
 
cygnuschicago
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:40 pm

Quoting GAIsweetGAI (Reply 21):
How about in the "roof," assuming that the engines don't pose a threat?

Yea, maybe. Which brings up a different question - engine location. So far I've seen four different concepts for engine location:

- The TsAgi design had undermounted engines
- Most current Boeing and Airbus concepts have engines top mounted on struts
- I've seen one NASA design with up to 8 smaller engines in the "wing", similar to the L-1011 tail engine
- Boeing has a smart looking alternative concept with engines mounted partially in the fuselage, called the "boundary layer effect intake" concept
If you cannot do the math, your opinion means squat!
 
BladeLWS
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:50 pm

Quoting GAIsweetGAI (Reply 21):
Good point. How about in the "roof," assuming that the engines don't pose a threat? Smile

Of all the photos of the BWB concepts I've seen the roof is slanted downwards towards the rear where the three engines are. I for one would NOT want to have a roof exit right infront of those engines... Especially on a water ditching.

Although to overcome that they could have the intakes on the underside of the fuselage.

[Edited 2007-06-06 05:53:41]
 
Devilfish
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 1:49 pm

Quoting CygnusChicago (Reply 24):
- Boeing has a smart looking alternative concept with engines mounted partially in the fuselage, called the "boundary layer effect intake" concept

Would that be the ADVENT?.....

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles.../military-engines-power-surge.html

Quote:
"The ability to vary the cycle of a turbine engine between the low bypass ratio and high thrust required for supersonic dash and the high bypass and low fuel burn required for subsonic loiter is to be developed under the Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology (ADVENT) programme, with contracts to build ground demonstrators to be awarded by the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) by late July."

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...mbedded-engines-for-transport.html

Quote:
"Inlet designs enabling fuel-efficient higher bypass-ratio turbofan engines to be buried in the airframes of future stealthy transport and surveillance aircraft are to be studied under a US Air Force Research Laboratory programme.

Current embedded engine installations, such as in the Northrop Grumman B-2 stealth bomber, use low-bypass turbofans and the greater airflow associated with a higher, more fuel-efficient bypass ratio poses design challenges for the serpentine inlet.

The AFRL plans to award multiple study contracts under its 19-month, $3.1 million Higher Bypass Ratio Inlet Development project. These will involve design trades for embedded engines having bypass ratios of 2:1 to 6:1 with windtunnel testing of a preferred inlet planned for 2009."
"Everyone is entitled to my opinion." - Garfield
 
cygnuschicago
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Thu Jun 07, 2007 2:51 am

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 26):
Would that be the ADVENT?.....

I'm not up to date on ADVENT, but looks like a related project. I went back and checked my notes. Looks like I was in error. The boundary layer ingestion design is actually a NASA study based on the Boeing BWB-450 concept (a conceptual design derived from the X-48, as far as I can tell).

Here's a graphic of the configuration differences used in the NASA study:
Big version: Width: 803 Height: 424 File size: 27kb
If you cannot do the math, your opinion means squat!
 
3201
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Fri Jun 08, 2007 5:59 am

Quoting CygnusChicago (Reply 27):
I'm not up to date on ADVENT, but looks like a related project. I went back and checked my notes. Looks like I was in error. The boundary layer ingestion design is actually a NASA study based on the Boeing BWB-450 concept (a conceptual design derived from the X-48, as far as I can tell).

The BL ingestion concept is certainly not new at all -- I don't know the exact dates of the X-48 or BWB-450 programs, so I can't definitively say it pre-dates it, but it's a pretty old idea. This was discussed before on this thread in Tech Ops, which references this paper from 2002.
7 hours aint long-haul
 
deltadc9
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Fri Jun 08, 2007 6:31 am

As to the passengers not having windows thing and the escape thing, take a close look at this concept form the 90s, it is still a reletivley conventional shape, sorta narrow. Airbus is talking 11 across, this may only be, say 20 across. The windows you see are not that far form the center line. Up front it is not much wider than a 380.

Big version: Width: 650 Height: 432 File size: 48kb
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SEPilot
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Fri Jun 08, 2007 7:08 am

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 29):
As to the passengers not having windows thing and the escape thing, take a close look at this concept form the 90s

This one looks doable; why hasn't anyone pursued it farther?
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
3201
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:25 am

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 30):
This one looks doable; why hasn't anyone pursued it farther?

People will cite specific technical difficulties, but I think it's mostly political. Part of the reason is that the A380 was launched and took a huge chunk of the market for such large aircraft, so the economics are less attractive than they would be were there no A380. But some people may also tell you that designs from Long Beach don't get a lot of support in Seattle/Chicago.
7 hours aint long-haul
 
SEPilot
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Fri Jun 08, 2007 9:05 am

Quoting 3201 (Reply 31):
But some people may also tell you that designs from Long Beach don't get a lot of support in Seattle/Chicago.

If that is the case it is very unfortunate. But human nature being what it is I'm not all that surprised. If people would just be able to put such petty feelings aside we'd all end up better off.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
lehpron
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RE: BWB-F For FedEx And UPS?

Fri Jun 08, 2007 4:06 pm

We are talking about a BWB freighter, but the discussion goes into pax. I think if such a plane were be for pax, I agree with others it will be a hybrid, perhaps a tube fuselage within a wing.

Quoting DEVILFISH (Reply 12):
if public perception and acceptance of the futuristic shape is overwhelmingly positive

So they wait for things to be proven? Those hybrid gas-electric cars have been around for a while here in the US, but sales didn't pick up until people saw that the technology worked and the product's existence acted as advertisement to inform more people. I'm not saying hybrid cars are selling like hotcakes, just that there are other examples than the one by Honda, the "Insight".

The technology created its own market by showing itself off. It is obvious to me that Honda found a small niche to sell that grew enough to allow other manufacturers to take advantage. If Boeing can find a "niche" for BWB-F's they should take it, might start something. I think if people saw BWB's in flight more often, then their inhibitions towards the technology would fade. This fear people create will slowly become unfounded.

Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 3):
If I recall correctly there was a study which showed that passengers would become sick when flying in the BWB. This had something to do with windows, lighting and movement of the frame.

If IFE includes internet and more connectivity of personal players and the like, I doubt they'll fuss. Besides, don't judge a freighter as an example for future renditions of the concept, they don't need windows. On past concepts of BWB's I've seen, there are windows, they are just far away from people. Even now in large planes, most folks don't have a window seat and don't bother moving their head to glance outside.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.