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planespotter20
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Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:45 pm

How did the plane names of both Boeing (777, 747, 787, 757, 767, etc) come about? Also the same question for Airbus plane names (a350, a380, a330, a320, etc).

Another (kind of stupid) question; when both Boeing and Airbus run out of names that either start with 3 (Airbus) or start and end with 7 (Boeing) what will they name the planes?
 
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ikolkyo
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:51 pm

Not too sure how they began but I wonder what Boeing will do, that decision is coming very soon since all they have left is 797.
 
Boeingphan
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:29 pm

ikolkyo wrote:
Not too sure how they began but I wonder what Boeing will do, that decision is coming very soon since all they have left is 797.


Well there are plenty of options out there now aren't there? Is there something wrong with a Boeing 827, 837, 847 etc?
 
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IslandRob
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:38 pm

Boeingphan wrote:
ikolkyo wrote:
Not too sure how they began but I wonder what Boeing will do, that decision is coming very soon since all they have left is 797.


Well there are plenty of options out there now aren't there? Is there something wrong with a Boeing 827, 837, 847 etc?


I've always imagined they'd go with 828, 838, 848, etc. The 888 would trigger instant orgasms in Asian markets. -ir
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:47 pm

Boeingphan wrote:
Is there something wrong with a Boeing 827, 837, 847 etc?


I think all of those numbers look quite old fashioned, like before Boeing moved into the 7x7 moniker.

If they were to move to the 8 number range, I think it's probably be in the style of 8x8.

Besides, 8 is an auspicious number in Asia, so it wouldn't hurt to have that as well.
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WesternDC6B
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:18 pm

I like how the British plane makers did things. Actual names for planes. Comet, Lincoln, Varsity, Lancastrian, Brittania, Viscount.
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Yflyer
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:45 pm

For Boeing, the answer is kind of boring, really. In the early 1950s Boeing decided to set aside certain blocks of model numbers for certain types of products. Models 700-799 denoted large civilian transport aircraft; other numbers denoted military aircraft, missiles, etc. When Boeing developed it's first jet airliner their marketing people thought "707" sounded better than "Boeing 700". After that the 7x7 scheme stuck, with the only exception being the 720, which was really just a 707 variant.

For Airbus, the A300 was so named because it was originally intended to seat 300 passengers. I guess they just decided to go with a A3X0 scheme for future models.
 
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VirginFlyer
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:49 pm

Hehe I recall this question coming up when I first joined a.net 16 years ago. Some things are always on people's minds.

For Airbus, the A300 was named because it was originally designed to have 300 seats. When the design was shrunk, it was initially referred to as an A250, before being called A300B. The prototypes were subsequently called A300B1 to differentiate them from the model that went into production, which was a stretch of that, the A300B2.

The A310 was originally studied as the A300B10 before becoming the A310, and from there the increase by 10 numbering sequence continued (with the A380 being a jump to highlight the jump in capacity of the aircraft)

For a lot more information take a look at http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/i ... ic=12498.0

For Boeing, the 707 was developed as the 367-80 (the 367 was the military Stratofreighter, and I believe the -80 designation was used to conceal what Boeing was developing). When it came time to give it its own name, it was decided to give it a new number block. The 300s and 400s were already in use for aircraft, the 500s for jet engines, and the 600s for missiles. So they went with the 700s. 707 was chosen because it was 1) memorable and 2) featured the number 7 at the end, which had become associated with other Boeing airliners (247, 307, 377). The first production 707 was the 707-120, which featured a wider fuselage than the 367-80. Airlines received different codes for the last two digits after the dash. Pan was 21, United 22, American 23, Continental 24, etc - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_B ... omer_codes

A stretched 707 was the 707-320. A shortened version for use on short-haul flights was the 707-020, which at the behest of United Airlines became the 720. Alongside the 707, a military aerial refuelling tanker was developed from the 367-80, with a fuselage which was widened, but not by as much on the 707. This aircraft was called the 717, but is generally known by its military designation: KC-135.

When a new type was developed for short haul markets, Boeing used the sequence started by the 707 and 717, and called it the 727, and thus the 7x7 designation was set.

When Boeing acquired McDonnell Douglas in 1997, they decided to continue development of the MD-95, and it was given the designation 717-200 (since the military 717 designation was not at all in the public eye).

For some conversation about Boeing's numbering sequence, see http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/i ... 0/all.html

As for what happens when the numbers "run out", it was the accepted wisdom of these threads 16 years ago that after the 797 Boeing would be forced to stop making aircraft, and likewise Airbus after the A390. :duck:

But seriously, they'll come up with designations which may or may not be predictable. For instance, we all assumed there would be a 787 many years ago (I recall a book from 1992 applying the designation to a Boeing VLA). We all also assumed there would be an A350. However, few, if any, would have predicted the A380's out of sequence designation, and I don't think anyone would have predicted the current penchant for starting version sequences at -800 for Airbus, and at -8 for Boeing.

Personally, I imagine that should Airbus get past A390, they'll go into the A5xx sequence (leaving A4xx for military transports). But before they get there they need to give us an A360, A370 and A390. Assuming the A320 and A330 will stay in production until the mid-2030s at least, and the A350 until the 2040s, imagine we won't be seeing all of those designations until at least 2040 at the earliest, if then, and I'd wager it would be after 2050 before we'd need to think about what comes after A390.

For Boeing, there's still a 797 to bring to the market. Should they develop a brand new middle of the market aircraft, I think it's almost certain it would pick up that designation. After that? Well the 737 will likely last through to 2030 at least (and in so doing surpass the DC-3/C-47 as the most produced transport aircraft) before there is a need for a replacement. The 777 will surely make it to the mid-2030s, and the 787 to at least 2040. What will they go with? Well I think they'll keep the 7, and so we'll have an 807, 817, 827 etc. Others think they'll stick with the symmetry and go for 808, 818, 828 etc. Maybe they'll surprise us all and call it Bill or Fred.

V/F
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BWIAirport
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:26 pm

They touched on this when I toured the Boeing factory in Everett in 2015. Basically, the 7x7 family is reserved for commercial airplanes, while other disciplines will get different names. This makes going to an 8x8 style unlikely. I would imagine we see something like a 7107, or just creating another system from scratch.
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VirginFlyer
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:38 pm

BWIAirport wrote:
They touched on this when I toured the Boeing factory in Everett in 2015. Basically, the 7x7 family is reserved for commercial airplanes, while other disciplines will get different names. This makes going to an 8x8 style unlikely. I would imagine we see something like a 7107, or just creating another system from scratch.

Is the 8xx series used at all yet? If it's vacant there's no reason not to use it. The 9xx series definitely had one model, the 929 Hydrofoil. Actually ifvthey follow that formula, 8x8 is more likely than 8x7.

That said, I like your idea of Seven Ten Seven, Seven Eleven Seven, etc. Although the Seven Eleven Seven may have some marketing issues...

V/F
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:05 am

VirginFlyer wrote:
Although the Seven Eleven Seven may have some marketing issues...

V/F


:lol:

Maybe the Seven Eleven Seven will feature a galley with a soda fountain and a hot dog warmer for self service beverage and snack service.
 
FGITD
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:55 am

Based on the current trends, pretty soon we'll likely have the Boeing 888-8iNGNEO and the Airbus A888-888XWBNEO.

The obsession with 8 has killed all logic in the aircraft numbering scheme
 
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:35 am

FGITD wrote:
Based on the current trends, pretty soon we'll likely have the Boeing 888-8iNGNEO and the Airbus A888-888XWBNEO.

The obsession with 8 has killed all logic in the aircraft numbering scheme


Has any carrier (in Asia) falling for this though? One would think that businesses can see beyond these marketing gimmicks, so why do A/B continue to do so?
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:22 pm

Spiderguy252 wrote:
FGITD wrote:
Based on the current trends, pretty soon we'll likely have the Boeing 888-8iNGNEO and the Airbus A888-888XWBNEO.

The obsession with 8 has killed all logic in the aircraft numbering scheme


Has any carrier (in Asia) falling for this though? One would think that businesses can see beyond these marketing gimmicks, so why do A/B continue to do so?


I was under the impression the numeral 4 was taboo for the Asian population (don't want to offend anyone with my terminology), no?
 
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:48 pm

7A7 seems to be more reasonable choice.... although at past those 7-alphabet-7 were used by boeing to denote aircraft designs?

For 8, I don't see much dash 8 in east asia
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:51 pm

Boeing 808
 
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c933103
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Mon Dec 05, 2016 1:56 pm

btw if boeing really want to go ahead with MoM then the decision will have to be made in next decade
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:02 pm

c933103 wrote:
7A7 seems to be more reasonable choice.... although at past those 7-alphabet-7 were used by boeing to denote aircraft designs?

Yes, Boeing typically uses letters in initial design studies/phase. The 787, for example, was the 7E7. Although with the amount of publicity and talk the 7E7 got on the internet/in the public realm I remember there were some who thought Boeing was actually going to stick with that moniker for the final product.
 
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:28 pm

Doesn't anyone remember the Boeing 2707? That was the proposed supersonic transport.
 
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:33 pm

WesternDC6B wrote:
I like how the British plane makers did things. Actual names for planes. Comet, Lincoln, Varsity, Lancastrian, Brittania, Viscount.


I like that also, but it's difficult getting names that mean something globally, and sometimes it means something rude. For instance, in Congolese 'Varsity' is a male body part.

'How did you get here?'

'I came on a massive Varsity. Took 10 hours, but it was worth it in the end.'

'Hard landing?'

'Yes, Not a skilfull pilot.'
 
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:34 pm

I think after all the Boeing numbers are used they should just go back the the 707.. There probably will be no more flying and most people who saw one will be dead.
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aviationjunky
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:04 am

As far as Airbus goes, they like to add odd letters to their aircraft, i.e. A350XWB. But they also have a few extra numbers that they skipped, i.e. A360, A370, and A390.

With how things are currently going at Boeing, it looks like they are just adding new numbers to current models, i.e. 747-8 or 777-9. Also, I was doing some searching and it looks like Boeing tried the letter thing in the late 80's early 90's with the Boeing 7J7 and Boeing NLA. I guess the 7J7 was a propfan narrow-body with about 150 seats. The NLA was their version of the full upper deck airliner, and it looks like they canceled it for further 747 development, which turned into the 747-8.
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:17 am

WesternDC6B wrote:
I like how the British plane makers did things. Actual names for planes. Comet, Lincoln, Varsity, Lancastrian, Brittania, Viscount.

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VC10 (VC11 cancelled)
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VirginFlyer
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:41 am

aviationjunky wrote:
Boeing tried the letter thing in the late 80's early 90's with the Boeing 7J7 and Boeing NLA. I guess the 7J7 was a propfan narrow-body with about 150 seats. The NLA was their version of the full upper deck airliner, and it looks like they canceled it for further 747 development, which turned into the 747-8.

Boeing has often used letters for aircraft in development before they are launched.
7N7 -> 757
7X7 -> 767
767-X -> 777
7E7 -> 787

I'm sure there are more floating around out there too.

If Boeing had have developed the 7J7 in the late 80s, I think it is fairly safe to assume it would have been called the 777, and the big twin which entered service in 1995 would have been called the 787. If they had also followed through on the new large aircraft that would likely have been called the 797 (or the 787 if the 7J7 didn't happen) - indeed I have a book from 1992 which refers to Boeing's New Large Aircraft as the 787.

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benjjk
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:40 am

Spiderguy252 wrote:
FGITD wrote:
Based on the current trends, pretty soon we'll likely have the Boeing 888-8iNGNEO and the Airbus A888-888XWBNEO.

The obsession with 8 has killed all logic in the aircraft numbering scheme


Has any carrier (in Asia) falling for this though? One would think that businesses can see beyond these marketing gimmicks, so why do A/B continue to do so?


Marketing is full of these subliminal gimmicks. On the face of it you'd never say it's swayed your purchase, but when they are done right they are surprisingly effective. And the 8's aren't just there to make the airlines buy them - it is to be used as a selling point (subliminally or otherwise) for their passengers.
 
ZKOXA
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Tue Dec 06, 2016 9:00 am

What's the reason Airbus went straight to -800 for example on the A380 or Boeing straight to -8 for the 787?? Wouldn't you think also these would be popular in Asia if they liked the no. 8 so much?

ZKOXA
 
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XAM2175
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:13 am

kurtverbose wrote:
I like that also, but it's difficult getting names that mean something globally, and sometimes it means something rude.


Another priceless example of that effect is Mitsubishi's Pajero, an SUV named for some South American leopard-cat thing.
It also happens to be Spanish for "wanker", so they sell it as the Montero in the Americas and Spain and the Shogun in the UK.

Nowadays Rolls-Royce is the only company in aviation I can think of still marketing with product names, and even then they're not shy of going in with only a model number either.
 
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WesternDC6B
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Tue Dec 06, 2016 7:54 pm

XAM2175 wrote:
kurtverbose wrote:
I like that also, but it's difficult getting names that mean something globally, and sometimes it means something rude.


Another priceless example of that effect is Mitsubishi's Pajero, an SUV named for some South American leopard-cat thing.
It also happens to be Spanish for "wanker", so they sell it as the Montero in the Americas and Spain and the Shogun in the UK.


Same thing here in the States with the Buick LaCrosse automobile being sold in Canada as the Buick Allure. No French Canadian wants to be driving a Buick Wanker.
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LHRBee
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:20 am

I seem to remember that the reason Airbus skipped from A340 to A380 was that the shape
of the number 8 represents the cross-section of
the two decks, one above the other. I would like confirmation however?
 
WIederling
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:48 pm

BWIAirport wrote:
I would imagine we see something like a 7107, or just creating another system from scratch.


HEX numbers.

7A7, 7B7, 7C7 ....

If you really like that you could continue through to 7Z7 for quite a whopping reservoir of designators.
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flipdewaf
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:41 pm

Maybe Boeing will use letters instead of the 7. Id suggest using the letter M.
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vrbarreto
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:07 pm

Boeing GR8 for the win!
 
superjeff
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Re: Boeing/Airbus Plane names

Wed Dec 07, 2016 2:27 pm

planespotter20 wrote:
How did the plane names of both Boeing (777, 747, 787, 757, 767, etc) come about? Also the same question for Airbus plane names (a350, a380, a330, a320, etc).

Another (kind of stupid) question; when both Boeing and Airbus run out of names that either start with 3 (Airbus) or start and end with 7 (Boeing) what will they name the planes?



Originally, Boeing had the 200 series and 300 series [the 247, a predecessor to the Douglas DC3, then the 307 Stratoliner (one in the Smithsonian/Udvar Hazy Museum now), the 377 Stratocruiser] which were commercial piston airplanes; the <100 series included military piston planes like the C97 derivative of the 377, used as a tanker (one at the Pima Museum in Arizona). The 400, 500, and 600 series were to be reserved for military planes, then the 700 series for commercial jets. Not sure how they decided on the 707 rather than some other 700 number, but that's how it developed.

Not sure about Airbus, but their commercial airplanes have all been 300 series (300, 310, 320 and derivatives 319 and 321, 330, 340, 350, and 380). Not counting pre-Airbus planes made by Sud Aviation (Caravelle) British Aerospace, and their component partners, including Concorde.

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