kevin5345179 wrote:Polot wrote:In the end you have to be careful about falling into the trap of assuming that the A330 will always be cheaper than the 787, just because it is older/in production longer. The A330 is using very different materials than the 787s, and built in a very different manner. Boeing did screw up initial 787 program execution, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that Boeing’s beliefs about the 787’s potential production costs are unsound. They could still be valid, it is just taking Boeing longer to realize their production cost goals than they thought at program launch.
It is entirely feasible that at some point the 787 will be at about parity with the A330 in terms of production costs, or maybe even slightly cheaper. It is possible that day is closer than many initially realized due to Boeing’s aggressiveness towards cutting costs (squeezing suppliers, increasing rate, etc) over the past couple of years. Remember that the 787 is not a brand new aircraft anymore. Boeing have built ~650 of them; they have some experience with the type, more than many other widebody programs.
I wonder how does the material cost compare. After all, 787 has a lot more composite material and those material do cost more. Regardless the techniques for building the plane, the material cost won't go away ...
Anyways, I think the bigger pricing issue for 787 is whether Boeing wants to do something with their deferred cost. At the current rate, I don't think they can zero the deferred cost when the current backlogs are delivered.
Material costs won’t go away, but as composites become more commonplace their cost decreases. There will eventually be a time where it will be more expensive to make a plane out of aluminum rather than composites, but that will likely be well after the A330 and 787 programs are dead (at least in their current iterations). It will happen with structures like wings first.