chiad
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 9:09 am

Bloomberg reports that Airbus is talking with Rolls-Royce Plc (RR/), General Electric Co. (GE) and Pratt & Whitney about incremental improvements to engines and is considering other improvements including measures to reduce drag on the wing and boost fuel efficiency

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-0...t-range-or-passengers-carried.html
 
r2rho
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 9:40 am

This is not about a NEO, but about incremental improvements (more PIPs) and a MTOW boost to 240t. It only slightly mentions that AirAsia's CEO would like to have GEnx on the A330. Airbus had also stated in the past that they were studying the possibility of sharklets.

To me the MTOW boost is all but a given (let's wait for Farnborough). PIPs are always welcome if the engine manufacturers see they can get a good ROI. Sharklets... I think Airbus engineering resources are busy enough already, I don't expect a decision on that before next year. What is clear though is that Airbus is not giving up on the A330 despite 787 EIS, they still want to introduce incremental improvements. This IMO casts further doubt on the A350-800...
 
art
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 10:06 am

Quoting Chiad (Thread starter):
Bloomberg reports that Airbus is talking with Rolls-Royce Plc (RR/), General Electric Co. (GE) and Pratt & Whitney about incremental improvements to engines and is considering other improvements including measures to reduce drag on the wing and boost fuel efficiency


IMO

Incremental aerodynamic, engine, MTW improvements   

Half-baked A350 Mk1   

"Airbus has won 1,199 orders so far for the A330, and delivered 871. The planemaker had originally expected the plane to be slowly phased out as the competing Boeing 787 and Airbus’s own A350 came into service. A three-year delay in 787 production has boosted demand for the A330, with the plane winning 758 orders alone since the 787 first went on offer."

Interesting to see that the A330 has secured almost as many orders as the 787 since the 787 was launched!
 
panais
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 11:05 am

Quoting r2rho (Reply 1):
What is clear though is that Airbus is not giving up on the A330 despite 787 EIS, they still want to introduce incremental improvements. This IMO casts further doubt on the A350-800

A NEO might cast doubt on the A350-800. An A330 PIP casts doubt on the 787-8's ability to capture more than 50% of the 230-250 seater widebody market.
 
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zkojq
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 11:09 am

Quoting r2rho (Reply 1):
To me the MTOW boost is all but a given (let's wait for Farnborough). PIPs are always welcome if the engine manufacturers see they can get a good ROI.

   Every couple of years they seem to slightly increase the MTOW (for airlines who want the extra range). I don't see why this shouldn't happen once more.
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RubberJungle
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 11:15 am

Suggestions of an A330neo are misleading - during the Airbus briefing in Toulouse last week, Leahy said the engine discussions are about improvements "in the 1%, 2%, 3% category" and "not a new engine". The sharklets idea is still being tossed around, but not everyone at the top of Airbus is convinced there's a business case.
 
ebj1248650
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 12:01 pm

I don't see the A330 improvements as casting doubt on either the 787 or the A350. What I do see is Airbus getting all it can out of an already very successful program. It makes good business sense. The A330 has its place in the airline world, as does the A350 and the 787. Each will succeed or fail based on its merits or problems.

Frankly it's way too soon to be judging the A350 and the 787 is still very new in service. Time will tell whether these airplanes will truly make a name for themselves. As is clear, the A330 has already made a name for itself and Airbus has good reason to be very proud.
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SEPilot
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 12:30 pm

Until 787 production can catch up with demand (i.e. an airline can get one in the same time frame as an A330) there will be demand for the A330. The more Airbus can improve the A330 the more attractive it will be, as it will retain more value once 787's become plentiful. But doing a full NEO would only be economically feasible if the resultant plane was fully competitive with the 787, and I do not believe it will be. That is why it won't happen. Don't forget the 787 will not be standing still, either.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
jfk777
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 12:45 pm

Quoting ebj1248650 (Reply 6):
I don't see the A330 improvements as casting doubt on either the 787 or the A350. What I do see is Airbus getting all it can out of an already very successful program. It makes good business sense. The A330 has its place in the airline world, as does the A350 and the 787. Each will succeed or fail based on its merits or problems.

Why can't the A330 and A350 co-exist ? The A330 is lighter and better for short and medium haul flights, the A350 is a better long haul plane. The A330 program is one of those planes that was in the shadow of its more capable twin, the A340, now it has grown to become a long haul plane making the A340 obsolete. The A330-300 is great for 12 hour flights, the A350-900 will go until about 16 hours. Now Airnus has two decent twin programs.
 
trex8
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 1:04 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 8):
The A330-300 is great for 12 hour flights, the A350-900 will go until about 16 hours. Now Airnus has two decent twin programs.

Does anyone fly a A333 12 hours routinely?? Maybe an A332. A333 is more a 5000nm/10 hr beast for real world operations.
 
ZKCIF
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 1:35 pm

Quoting trex8 (Reply 9):
Does anyone fly a A333 12 hours routinely?? Maybe an A332. A333 is more a 5000nm/10 hr beast for real world operations.

per great circle mapper,
SVO (55°58'22"N 37°24'53"E) LAX (33°56'33"N 118°24'29"W) 340° (N) 5281 nm

but the actual route SU fly with a 333 is something like 5700-5900nm, i believe. of course, their 333 are mostly brand new, older ones don't have this range.

as the majority of 333s don't have the range, their operators do not consider 12-hour routes.
when more so capable 333s are around, there might be more operators doing such long flights.
 
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SEPilot
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 1:46 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 8):
Why can't the A330 and A350 co-exist ?

They can, but the fuel burn per seat of the A330 is what will push it out.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
panais
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 2:01 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 8):
Why can't the A330 and A350 co-exist ? The A330 is lighter and better for short and medium haul flights, the A350 is a better long haul plane.

Airbus said, a couple of years ago, that the A350-800 will be 20% more fuel efficient per passenger that the A330-200 on 4,000nm flights. Anything below 4,000nm is becoming A320NEO teritorry.
 
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Stitch
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 3:34 pm

With Boeing improving the 787-8 with every block-point, Airbus has to keep pushing the A330-200 as far as they can to secure sales while Boeing is only capable of delivering 787s in fits and spurts. Boeing has already stated they intend to go beyond 10 deliveries per month and once they can open up delivery slots again, interest in the A330-200 will weaken.

A stronger A330-200 and 787-8 don't help the A350-800's case, unfortunately. The A350-800 is suffering a bit from the same issues the A350-1000 is: the A330-200 and 777-300ER are so good that operators continue to take them, which pushes back the need for the A350. Airbus pushed back the A350-800 to 2016 because none of their customers want one before then and a better A330-200 and 787-8 are likely not going to encourage operators to clamor for an A350-800.

That being said, I am positive the A350-800 will make it into service. As panais noted, the A350-800 will offer a double-digit fuel burn advantage over the A330-200 and will haul more payload farther. Once Airbus gets A350 production to 10+ a month, the A350-800 will become the natural choice for A330-200 operators who are not going to the 787-8.

And at that point, the A330-200 becomes a freighter and an MTOW boost and engine PiPs will be very welcome there.   
 
col
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 4:03 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 13):
With Boeing improving the 787-8 with every block-point, Airbus has to keep pushing the A330-200 as far as they can to secure sales while Boeing is only capable of delivering 787s in fits and spurts. Boeing has already stated they intend to go beyond 10 deliveries per month and once they can open up delivery slots again, interest in the A330-200 will weaken.

A stronger A330-200 and 787-8 don't help the A350-800's case, unfortunately. The A350-800 is suffering a bit from the same issues the A350-1000 is: the A330-200 and 777-300ER are so good that operators continue to take them, which pushes back the need for the A350. Airbus pushed back the A350-800 to 2016 because none of their customers want one before then and a better A330-200 and 787-8 are likely not going to encourage operators to clamor for an A350-800.

That being said, I am positive the A350-800 will make it into service. As panais noted, the A350-800 will offer a double-digit fuel burn advantage over the A330-200 and will haul more payload farther. Once Airbus gets A350 production to 10+ a month, the A350-800 will become the natural choice for A330-200 operators who are not going to the 787-8.

And at that point, the A330-200 becomes a freighter and an MTOW boost and engine PiPs will be very welcome there.

Think that sums it up nicely Stitch. Take Sunday off.  
 
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lightsaber
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 5:31 pm

I do not see the business case anymore for a re-engined A330. I just do not see the ROI for customers to wait the years or the engine vendors to invest the billions. (For there is no 'plug and play' engine.)

I agree with Stitch. The A332 eventually becomes a freighter and we see how well winglets, weight reduction and other features keep the A330 selling in PAX duty.

Quoting panais (Reply 12):
Airbus said, a couple of years ago, that the A350-800 will be 20% more fuel efficient per passenger that the A330-200 on 4,000nm flights. Anything below 4,000nm is becoming A320NEO teritorry.

That is an important item to note. Anything below 4,000nm is heading towards 737MAX/A320NEO competition. As much as we love widebodies, economics rules the market.

WN, FR, and others are unlikely to buy widebodies. But with longer range narrowbodies, they *will* enter new markets enabled by the greater range. The A350 will be *far* more efficient than the A330 for 5000nm+. The A330 won't compete once there are 500+ A350s in the fleet and a similar, if not greater, number of 787s. Even with a re-engine. The A330 was *really* strong on the short-TATL market. I see that market going to narrowbodies. So there is less market to capture for a re-engine.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 13):
A stronger A330-200 and 787-8 don't help the A350-800's case, unfortunately.

Agreed. I enjoyed your post, but I am a bit more pessimistic on the A358 as the cost per flight of the A359 will be barely anything more. In particular if the A359 hits targets. I see a market up-gauging a la WN from the 73G to 738.


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LAXDESI
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 5:54 pm

For a 5,000 nm trip:

A358 burns about 2,500 gallons less fuel for a saving of $7,500 over a hypothetical A332NEO
A358 may earn additional $15,000 in revenue for the 28 extra seats at 70% load factor.

So even if the extra seats are not needed on a route, A358 saves around $2.6 million in annual fuel cost. If the extra seats can be filled at 70% load factor, then the total annual operating benefits for A358 are higher by about $8 million per year.

The above savings at a cost of capital of 10% is worth about $60 million to an airline assuming a 15 year life for the aircraft. I don't think Airbus would sell A332NEO at a net price that is $60 million lower than A358 to make it competitive.

If one assumes that the extra seats of A358 will go unused on some routes, then the PV of fuel advantage of A358 over 15 years is about $20 million. So for some routes, an A332NEO priced $20 million less than A358 may be preferred.

Currently, A358 is priced about $45 million more than A332 at list. One would expect this spread to shrink between A358 and A332NEO to $30 million.

Comparing the A358 to the current A332HGW for a 5,000 nm trip:
A358 burns about 3,800 gallons less fuel for a saving of $11,500 over A332.

If one assumes that the extra seats of A358 will go unused on some routes, then the PV of fuel advantage of A358 over 15 years is about $30 million. So for some routes, an A332 priced $30 million less(net) than A358 may be preferred.

In summary, A332NEO is unlikely to be competitive against both A358 and B788 unless heavily discounted.
 
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Stitch
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 6:16 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 15):
I enjoyed your post, but I am a bit more pessimistic on the A358 as the cost per flight of the A359 will be barely anything more.

I do agree the A350-800 is in a weak position in the market.

The 787-8's lighter weight (both empty and full) should result in lower fuel burn and it looks to only come up a few tons short on payload (and then only against the A350-800HGW, which will weigh even more empty and full).

The 787-9 should have a not-insubstantial payload advantage in terms of weight and a substantial one in terms of volume while being similar in weight full (and probably lighter in weight empty). The A350-800HGW will have a range advantage, but ULH is not a niche that makes money anymore with fuel prices the way they are.

And then, as you noted, her big sister offers more payload weight, more payload volume and likely very similar trip and operating costs.

Because it is a straight shrink, there is no reason for Airbus not to offer it. But I do not see Airbus using the time gained by pushing back the EIS to spend any money or effort on optimizing the frame as I don't believe it would result in substantial new sales.
 
Airboe
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 6:46 pm

Quoting Chiad (Thread starter):
Bloomberg reports that Airbus is talking with Rolls-Royce Plc (RR/), General Electric Co. (GE) and Pratt & Whitney about incremental improvements to engines and is considering other improvements including measures to reduce drag on the wing and boost fuel efficiency

According to Leeham's reporting from "Airbus Innovation Days", this is how they see it:

"A330neo: Forget about it. Not any time in the foreseeable future."

http://leehamnews.wordpress.com/2012...opsis-of-a-lot-of-stuff/#more-6101

I guess their hands are full with A359 and A351, - and of course the NEO.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 17):
I do agree the A350-800 is in a weak position in the market.

I agree. Really can't see who it is appealing to.

+++
keep it free of the propellers
 
panais
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 7:56 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 17):
I do agree the A350-800 is in a weak position in the market.

Think of the A350-800 as the A319 of the family.
Airbus is creating families. They have the A320, which is working very well for them, and they want to repeat this with the A350. Does it make sense for them to design the A350 for a segment, the 220-240 seat widebody, that is already sold out with 787-8, which by the way many were mostly sold at a loss?

Airbus has probably designed the A358-800 for the next size of the segment which might be what airlines will be asking for in 2025.
 
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Stitch
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 8:54 pm

Quoting panais (Reply 19):
Airbus is creating families.

Indeed. Which is why I believe there is no reason for Airbus not to offer it since it's a straight shrink. I just don't think Airbus would gain much from investing any serious time or money in it. Like the A319 and 737-700, the bigger sisters in the family tend to be close enough on trip costs that their greater size doesn't impose any real penalty if not used, but does offer benefits if you can.

I expect to see more conversions of the 787-8 to the 787-9, as well.
 
liftsifter
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 9:06 pm

Why is Airbus trying to re-engine the A330 when the A358 is supposed to be the replacement?
A300 A310 A319 A320 A321 A332 A333 A342 A343 A346 A380 B736 B737 B738 B744 B763 B77L B77E B77W B788 E190
 
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Polot
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 9:08 pm

Quoting liftsifter (Reply 21):
Why is Airbus trying to re-engine the A330 when the A358 is supposed to be the replacement?

They are not. They are pushing for RR, GE, & PW to make slight improvements to their existing A330 engines to make them even better.
 
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lightsaber
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 9:10 pm

Quoting LAXDESI (Reply 16):
So even if the extra seats are not needed on a route, A358 saves around $2.6 million in annual fuel cost. If the extra seats can be filled at 70% load factor, then the total annual operating benefits for A358 are higher by about $8 million per year.

Thank you for the numbers. Always appreciated.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 17):
Because it is a straight shrink, there is no reason for Airbus not to offer it. But I do not see Airbus using the time gained by pushing back the EIS to spend any money or effort on optimizing the frame as I don't believe it would result in substantial new sales.

That we can agree upon. Between the 788/789 and the A359, I'm just not seeing much of a niche for the A358. Then again, as a 'straight shrink,' there isn't much cost either (besides the flight testing, in particular the rudder). Then again, I'm trying to find what market niche it would excel in.

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Stitch
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 9:29 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 23):
Then again, I'm trying to find what market niche it would excel in.

A340-500 replacement.   

Actually, I am kind of serious as I could see it being employed like the Middle Eastern carriers are using the 777-200LR - to open new long-haul routes with no payload hit and then growing them to larger aircraft.

I could also see it being used to open routes where there is significant competition, but enough of a loyal O&D demand to fill a smaller plane. Much like AS has done in the United States, launching select services out of SEA to destinations their partners already have significant capacity on but utilizing the loyalty of customers to AS (and the AS Mileage Plan) to fill those single flights.
 
panais
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sat May 26, 2012 10:29 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 23):
I'm just not seeing much of a niche for the A358.

If you have a number of A359 and there are some routes where because of traffic or seasonality, you cannot fill them, then you order a small number of A358's to some some money on fuel, landing rights and capital costs.
 
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kc135topboom
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 12:12 am

Quoting panais (Reply 3):
An A330 PIP casts doubt on the 787-8's ability to capture more than 50% of the 230-250 seater widebody market.

Why? Do you think Boeing will never have PIPs for the B-787?

Quoting airboe (Reply 18):

"A330neo: Forget about it. Not any time in the foreseeable future."

http://leehamnews.wordpress.com/2012...opsis-of-a-lot-of-stuff/#more-6101

I guess their hands are full with A359 and A351, - and of course the NEO.

Not to mention the A-380, the sharklet A-320 (non-NEO), and the A-400M.
 
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lightsaber
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 4:30 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 24):
A340-500 replacement.   

Actually, I am kind of serious as I could see it being employed like the Middle Eastern carriers are using the 777-200LR - to open new long-haul routes with no payload hit and then growing them to larger aircraft.

I could see that. But only with a carrier who had other A350s in their fleet.

Quoting panais (Reply 25):
If you have a number of A359 and there are some routes where because of traffic or seasonality, you cannot fill them, then you order a small number of A358's to some some money on fuel, landing rights and capital costs.

Ok. That makes sense. But what would the market be. 60 to 100 airframes? A market a wee bit vulnerable to a 788 MTOW increase (with fuel volume). I'm hearing a few rumors about that (but only rumors).

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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 5:12 am

Quoting RubberJungle (Reply 5):
The sharklets idea is still being tossed around, but not everyone at the top of Airbus is convinced there's a business case.

Especially if available as a retrofit, I can't see why it wouldn't be a reasonably safe bet. They might not do that well, but surely there's not THAT much to lose if they don't.
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sweair
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 8:02 am

The 748 engines should fit like a glove? Would it be much rework to re engine a A330? Heavier engines I am sure. Some 10% more efficient than the CF6?
 
RubberJungle
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 8:41 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 28):
Especially if available as a retrofit, I can't see why it wouldn't be a reasonably safe bet. They might not do that well, but surely there's not THAT much to lose if they don't.

The issue is whether an A330 sharklet would produce effects significant enough to make the retrofit modification economical for the airlines. It already has large winglets, so the extra benefit is not as clear as with the A320.

Not only that but an A320 sharklet retrofit is a fringe benefit of a solid new-build aircraft programme with long-term prospects. The sharklet for the A320 is already designed, and Airbus is already committed to building sharklet-compatible wings as standard.

That's not the case for the A330 for which, given the prospects for long-term production, a sharklet development would have to be primarily viewed as a retrofit programme. Which doesn't mean it can't be done, or shouldn't be done, but it does mean Airbus has to decide whether it's a priority.
 
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PM
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 11:24 am

Pace the thread title, Airbus are talking to all three engine manufacturers. Which of the three is in a better position to improve their current A330 engine?
 
imiakhtar
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 12:18 pm

Quoting PM (Reply 31):
Which of the three is in a better position to improve their current A330 engine?

You would think, given RR's healthy market position on the A330 and their very large customer base, they would require the least incentive. Where they are on the technology front, and how much more could be squeezed out of the Trent 700, I do not know.

PW has been very busy in the past 12 months preparing engine upgrades for the PW 4090 on the B777 with new thermal barrier coatings. I believe KE is currently retrofitting their engines with the upgrades at the moment. Granted the main benefit is maintenance savings, but if PW is willing to put the money into a dead frame like the 772/773, I can not see them shying away from upgrading the 4000-94 for Airbus.
Whatever happened to Leon Trotsky?
 
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Stitch
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 2:28 pm

Quoting PM (Reply 31):
Which of the three is in a better position to improve their current A330 engine?

I would have said GE, but they evidently sneaked a PiP in that addressed their woeful performance in high ambient temperatures.
 
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lightsaber
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 2:56 pm

Here is my 'game theory' test if this will happen.

Neither Pratt nor GE has an engine, yet, for the A350. Would it be better for either of these two to develop an A350 engine or a new A330 engine? IMHO an A350 engine would have a better ROI.

For RR, why would they spend money to dilute their Trent XWB? They need to focus on thrust growth and not a distraction.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 33):
I would have said GE, but they evidently sneaked a PiP in that addressed their woeful performance in high ambient temperatures.

I'm impressed how much their PIP helped. A 'hot takeoff' performance to 59F wasn't impressive. Now that they have thrust to 86F, they're doing fine.

Quoting imiakhtar (Reply 32):
but if PW is willing to put the money into a dead frame like the 772/773, I can not see them shying away from upgrading the 4000-94 for Airbus.

Pratt will. Pratt's issue is temperatures at the high compressor bleed valves (needed to prevent compressor stall). To go to higher thrust requires nacelle changes. IMHO, a workable problem. I could see new TBC's on the PW4170A making it a PW4173A.    I've also heard rumors of a new fan. But that takes a launch customer. The PW4090 improvements are to appease KE after the PW4098 debacle...

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goosebayguy
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 3:15 pm

Tweaking engines is all very well but why not change the wings to all composite? Surely the weight saving would give a huge boost at a relatively low cost say to an all composite fuselage etc? Gradual change to the aircraft but at each stage improving the aircraft for the future to keep ahead of competitors?
 
tdscanuck
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 3:29 pm

Quoting goosebayguy (Reply 35):
Tweaking engines is all very well but why not change the wings to all composite?

Because that's the complete opposite of "tweaking"...changing the wing is about the biggest single possible upgrade while still having the same basic type.

Quoting goosebayguy (Reply 35):
Surely the weight saving would give a huge boost at a relatively low cost say to an all composite fuselage etc?

The weight savings in the wing is less clear than in the fuselage; it would be a *huge* expense in tooling and capital infrastructure with no realistic hope of recovering that cost in the remaining life of the aircraft. If they could revise the aerodynamics at the same time that might do it (that's what Boeing is talking about with the 777-X) but now you're talking about something far far beyond a simple engine tweak.

Quoting goosebayguy (Reply 35):
Gradual change to the aircraft but at each stage improving the aircraft for the future to keep ahead of competitors?

The only thing that has the A330 ahead of its competitors is production schedule; both A & B have products coming that beat it and the A330 can't beat them without becoming one of them. Airbus has to carefully balance investment against their opportunity to recover cost before the A350 and 787 come on full production rate.

Tom.
 
panais
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 4:46 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 26):
Why? Do you think Boeing will never have PIPs for the B-787?

Of course they will have PIPs. I am simply questioning whether the airline industry needs the 787-8. I am of the opinion that the 787-8 will barely sell more than an additional 100 units of the 519 units ordered so far. The B787-9 seems to be a far more superior product at probably zero to very small additional operating cost.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 27):
But what would the market be. 60 to 100 airframes?

They already sold more than that so it has to be more. The A350 is Airbus's next widebody frame (A300 first flight was in 1972) so expect them to develop products on the A350 frame for the next 40 years.
 
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lightsaber
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 4:54 pm

Quoting panais (Reply 37):
They already sold more than that so it has to be more.

I disagree. I suspect as the A358/A359 definition has matured that more than a few airlines will upgauge due to A358 delivery delays. Financing an A358 will be more expensive than an A359 unless Airbus steps in to guarantee residual values. IMHO, it would be better to sell the A359.

However, I see a bright future for the A358 as a freighter. But why worry about that today?

Lightsaber
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Stitch
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 4:59 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 38):
I suspect as the A358/A359 definition has matured that more than a few airlines will upgauge due to A358 delivery delays.

The A350-800 delivery delays are customer-driven, not production driven. With no customers wanting the plane before 2016, I wonder how many of those current A350-800 orders will actually be delivered as A350-800s.
 
Wisdom
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 5:49 pm

Quoting LAXDESI (Reply 16):
A358 burns about 2,500 gallons less fuel for a saving of $7,500 over a hypothetical A332NEO
A358 may earn additional $15,000 in revenue for the 28 extra seats at 70% load factor.

So even if the extra seats are not needed on a route, A358 saves around $2.6 million in annual fuel cost. If the extra seats can be filled at 70% load factor, then the total annual operating benefits for A358 are higher by about $8 million per year.

The above savings at a cost of capital of 10% is worth about $60 million to an airline assuming a 15 year life for the aircraft. I don't think Airbus would sell A332NEO at a net price that is $60 million lower than A358 to make it competitive.

I must disagree with your assessment.

First of all because of your comparison between the A358 and A332NEO.
To compare like for like, I find it more appropriate to compare aircraft with similar max. seating capacity.
The max seating for A333 and A358 are the same at 440 seats despite the A358 being shorter, as the A358 is a nine abreast cabin, the whole point of its XWB campaign.

If you compare a A330NEO with a A358, I don't think that you will see any fuel burn difference.
The weight targets will likely be missed and the A358 will end up weighing about the same as an A333 NEO.
Aerodynamically, the wing probably doesn't achieve much of an improvement, especially if the A330 NEO is fitted with some kind of improved wing edge devices.
The fuselage of the A358 will be wider, meaning more drag.

If the XWB's or better even, lighter GEnx's are fitted, I don't see the A358 achieving the 7% fuel burn advantage you suggest. 2500 gallons or 8 tons of fuel over 9 hour flights, twice a day, 280 days a year, given 7 ton fuel burn of the A333, equates to 7%.

I suggest to consider a 2% fuel burn advantage more feasible.

This will paint a totally different picture on the viability of the A330 NEO program.
The savings will be reduced to 750.000$ a year, which means that over a 20 year period, the savings will only be 15 million dollars.
John Leahy can easily sell an A330 NEO 15 million cheaper to compensate for that difference and will happily do so if he can sell an extra A333.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 15):
Quoting Stitch (Reply 13):
A stronger A330-200 and 787-8 don't help the A350-800's case, unfortunately.

Agreed. I enjoyed your post, but I am a bit more pessimistic on the A358 as the cost per flight of the A359 will be barely anything more. In particular if the A359 hits targets. I see a market up-gauging a la WN from the 73G to 738.

I also think that many customers will shift to the A359. The A358 will still be a feasible instrument in a fleet composed of other A350XWB family aircraft.

In my opinion, Leahy should give its customer airlines the option to go for a A332NEO/A333NEO or A358XWB/A359XWB/A3510XWB longhaul fleet.
This way he won't have to force the A358 onto airlines that need something bigger to operate alongside A332's.

The A332 NEO/A33NEO combo will be particularily well-suited for U.S. airlines who like to build their widebody fleets around this aircraft size and don't particularily need the B772ER range, as long as they can do longer transoceanic services for which 6300NM range of a A330NEO is sufficient.
DL, AA seem to be great opportunities for this kind of aircraft, given long lead times for deliveries of 787's and their long list of aging aircraft.

This will enable these airlines to replace old B767's and B772ER's by one single type of aircraft by the end of this decade, which is sooner than Boeing will be able to offer them a B787.

[Edited 2012-05-27 10:55:46]
 
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 6:51 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 39):
The A350-800 delivery delays are customer-driven, not production driven. With no customers wanting the plane before 2016, I wonder how many of those current A350-800 orders will actually be delivered as A350-800s.

Fair enough. The same point happens, very few A358 deliveries. However, I see the A359 out-prioritizing the A358 rather than A358 customers wishing for a delay... Either way, this is like the 762ER vs. the 763ER, the extra seats in the later more than pay for the small incremental cost per flight. I see that being true of the A358 vs. the A359.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 40):
Aerodynamically, the wing probably doesn't achieve much of an improvement

New cross sections should be a little more efficient. Also, the A350 has substantially more wing area (443m^2 vs. 363.1m^2). The A358, on longer missions, will be able to take advantage of a higher cruise altitude to conserve some fuel. I do not see making competitive with the A358 for missions over 5,000nm.   Since so many of the shorter missions will go narrowbody, I just do not see the ROI for an A330 re-engine.

Lightsaber
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Wisdom
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 7:36 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 41):
New cross sections should be a little more efficient. Also, the A350 has substantially more wing area (443m^2 vs. 363.1m^2). The A358, on longer missions, will be able to take advantage of a higher cruise altitude to conserve some fuel. I do not see making competitive with the A358 for missions over 5,000nm.   Since so many of the shorter missions will go narrowbody, I just do not see the ROI for an A330 re-engine.

I think that it's fair to say that anything up to 7000km will, at least in the Western hemisphere, progressively be operated by narrowbodies.
I think however, that this leaves a big gap there between 7000km and 12000km, a market that is today flooded by B767's, B772, early B772ER's, A343 and early A332/A333's.

The way I see it, the A330 sales will start to see a strong decline around this year, as the 787 deliveries begin to pick up pace. At some point in the near future, the sales will decline to a level where a PIP won't be sufficient to convince the airlines.

I think that Leahy and his team are well aware of this but are waiting for a marked decline of new orders and the backlog to reduce to a certain level to make a decision and announce it. I think that the A350XWB EIS would be the perfect timing to announce this.
Right now they need the A350XWB to be delivered and the A330 to support any delays in deliveries. Why else would Airbus increase production rates 18 months prior to planned EIS of a type that is supposed to cannibalise its sales?
 
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 11:08 pm

Quoting panais (Reply 37):
They already sold more than that so it has to be more.

  

By no means does it "have" to be more, tho it certainly could. Looking at the orderbook today, yes. They have 118 orders for the A358. BUT, look at the orderbook 24 months ago, and that number was 182. In the mean time, a few have been cancelled, but most have been converted to the -900. In other words, exactly what Stitch and lightsaber have been saying. Project that rate out to the A358's EIS in 2016, and the orderbook will stand at exactly 0.  

Seriously, tho, I'm in complete agreement with those two. There is no reason for Airbus to not develop the -800 as a straight shrink. Costs are minimal. However, it's sales future looks to be the same as the 772LR and A345. Great aircraft, but definitively niche.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 38):
However, I see a bright future for the A358 as a freighter.

Here I have to disagree with you. I think the payload/volume combination of the -900 will be better suited to the freighter role than the -800. I seriously doubt we'll ever see a A358F, unless maybe as a P2F (so yes, we are talking a LONG way off. . . ).


Regards,

Hamlet69
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AngMoh
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 11:38 pm

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 42):
I think that it's fair to say that anything up to 7000km will, at least in the Western hemisphere, progressively be operated by narrowbodies.
I think however, that this leaves a big gap there between 7000km and 12000km, a market that is today flooded by B767's, B772, early B772ER's, A343 and early A332/A333's.

I think you are off by a couple of thousand km.

7000 km is solid A330/767/777 territory. Early A333s and non-ER 767s will struggle with such a distance, while a 757 can do it on paper only. 12000 km is the 30th longest flight (ORD-DEL), which is solid 77W/77L/A345/A346/A380/747ER territory. Very few airlines have routes over 12000 km.
 
XT6Wagon
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Sun May 27, 2012 11:56 pm

Quoting Hamlet69 (Reply 43):
Seriously, tho, I'm in complete agreement with those two. There is no reason for Airbus to not develop the -800 as a straight shrink. Costs are minimal

Using that logic there was no reason not to develop the 736 since it was a straight shrink of the 73G. However history has proven it was pretty much a pants on head stupid decision. At this point if I was airbus I'd have to be questioning if I should offer a "free" upgrade to the A359 for current A358 orders to dodge the development and certification costs. 100 Planes justifies the A358 but its sure getting close to where the program isn't justified. The A358F can allways come on the back of whatever the current generation of A359 is when the market is ready for it, nothing is saved or gained by having the passenger version of the frame on the market early.
 
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Mon May 28, 2012 3:16 am

Quoting AngMoh (Reply 44):
7000 km is solid A330/767/777 territory. Early A333s and non-ER 767s will struggle with such a distance, while a 757 can do it on paper only. 12000 km is the 30th longest flight (ORD-DEL), which is solid 77W/77L/A345/A346/A380/747ER territory. Very few airlines have routes over 12000 km.

7000km is only about 3780nm. It might be a struggle for non-ER 767, early A333s, and 757s, but not by much. It is not solid A330/767/777 territory (I would say that is more 5000-6000nm, especially for the 777), it is in the lower end of the their range, and future narrowbodies will probably have no problem getting up to 4000nm when properly equipped.

And Wisdom wasn't suggesting that airlines had many routes over 12000km, rather he was suggesting that the 5000km gap between 7000km and 12000km is where the market is for this aircraft (and he is right). But right now it is saturated with too many aircraft that airlines aren't interested in replacing yet, and that in the later part of the decade airlines will be ready to replace these older aircraft and that is when Airbus should announce an A330neo.
 
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Mon May 28, 2012 4:43 am

Quoting poLot (Reply 46):
And Wisdom wasn't suggesting that airlines had many routes over 12000km, rather he was suggesting that the 5000km gap between 7000km and 12000km is where the market is for this aircraft (and he is right). But right now it is saturated with too many aircraft that airlines aren't interested in replacing yet, and that in the later part of the decade airlines will be ready to replace these older aircraft and that is when Airbus should announce an A330neo.

Here I don't agree. The A333 is perfect for 4-8 hours (which is less than 7000km) high volume flights and there are lots of these. There is no need to extend the range of if the A330 because then it starts competing directly with the 777 and A350 and will not be able to compete. There is a need to have intra-Asia flights, across the Atlantic and middle-east to Europe, India and Asia at an as low as possible cost and that could use an optimized A330 instead of a downgraded 777X or A350.
 
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Mon May 28, 2012 4:56 am

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 42):
I think that it's fair to say that anything up to 7000km will, at least in the Western hemisphere, progressively be operated by narrowbodies.

I think we agree. Oh, maybe we could debate a little on the exact range, but in concept we agree.

Quoting Wisdom (Reply 42):
The way I see it, the A330 sales will start to see a strong decline around this year, as the 787 deliveries begin to pick up pace. At some point in the near future, the sales will decline to a level where a PIP won't be sufficient to convince the airlines.

Agreed there will be a decline, but I think Airbus has time before the end. Hence the weight loss, sharklets, and ???. I see being able to keep the A330 sell-able for a few more years for PAX duty. In particular the A333. But there will be a decline.

Lightsaber
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XT6Wagon
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Airbus Discussing A330 Improvements With RR & GE

Mon May 28, 2012 5:05 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 48):
Agreed there will be a decline, but I think Airbus has time before the end. Hence the weight loss, sharklets, and ???. I see being able to keep the A330 sell-able for a few more years for PAX duty. In particular the A333. But there will be a decline.

Sure, Cheap upgrades will pay thier way onto the frame all the way till Airbus has the time and money for an all new frame way down the road. People seem to ignore that cheap upgrades have been paying thier way onto the A330 every year since it first flew till today. The A330 someone recieves is a whole different plane performance wise than the one that was 1st delivered all those years ago. That said a comprehensive upgrade program like a "neo" is silly idea at this time. That ship sailed with the death of the A350 that was merely a A330NEO.

The A330F program has largely been waiting on slots so even if the 787 steals the A330P's lunch in the next decade, Airbus shouldn't have anything to worry about.

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