aerolimani wrote:BrianDromey wrote:I think posters are looking at this the wrong way round. It’s not that the A32x can’t be re-winged, the real question is what a new wing is bolted to.
What aero, construction and weight advantages can a new carbon panel/barrel construction fuselage bring Vs bolting a new wing/tailplane/engine to the current structure. How does this impact the weight/fuel burn/payload? Most importantly, what are Boeing doing?
If an A320 based A321XLRnneo or “A322” can be competitive with a “797” it would be a lot cheaper and quicker to develop - apparently some work is already done if rumours are to be believed.
The consensus seems to be that CFRP fuselages are beneficial for widebody fuselages, but of less benefit to smaller aircraft. Bombardier considered it for the CSeries, but ultimately went for Al–Li instead. Part of the argument against CFRP is the greater risk of damage from ground vehicles that a NB experiences versus a WB; more frequent loading/unloading (with pressure for quick turnarounds), and being closer to the ground.
To make matters worse, there is not that much improvement in weight between regular aluminum alloys and Al-Li; around 5% lighter, I think. Over a fuselage as small as an A320 family aircraft, this is not a significant number.
As to weight savings in the structure, the A320 already contains many parts made from AFRP, GFRP, and CFRP.
I feel like we're in a waiting game right now. With current technology/materials/engineering, it doesn't seem like there is much to be done to improve the current A320 where the benefit outweighs the cost. We're waiting for technologies like laminar flow to mature. For now, I don't see a rewing (or a new fuselage) coming for the A320 family.
I used to imagine an A322 with a new wing… and as a response to a future Boeing, this kind of things could possibly happen. But, for now, it's not needed, and the cost does not justify the benefit.
Good points. We've been in a waiting game since 1988.