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Slug71
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Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:29 am

While the A330NEO has just begun revenue service, things could improve for its future.
However, it has struggled for orders. The A350-800 failed for reasons discussed several times before. This market is not one that Airbus will abandon.

Do you think we could see the launch of a A350-700 and A350-800 in the not too distant future, to replace the A330NEO?
The -700 being the base model and the -800 being a stretch. Thus there is no "shrink" in the family. New wing. Ultrafan.
Optimized Freighter and MRTT variants.

Or an "A370-X/X00 (XXWB)" which has a wider fuselage than the A350, thanks to the bigger Beluga? 10-abreast in a more comfortable arrangement than a A350 in 10-abreast. But not enough to squeeze 11-abreast.
While the new Beluga could accommodate a fuselage wide enough for 11-abreast, the fuselage would have to be shorter so as to not compete with the A350-900.
Commonality with the A350. Should be good for a -F/MRTT too. But is a clean sheet and will be a lot more expensive than a A350-700 and A350-800.

Thoughts?



And can we please not turn this into a A vs B thread.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:50 am

It will be new design. Something like a mix of A300-600 and A330. Say around 5000nm range for the larger version (capacity a tad over the A332 but using 9 abreast seating) and about 6500nm for the shorter version (about A306 capacity).
 
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Siren
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:52 am

The A330NEO will continue to be Airbus' 'horse' in the medium-large airliner segment. They have more than enough orders to justify continued production, plus, the replacement cycle for the older A333s is just beginning. They've got a solid product in the A330NEO that, tentatively, appears to exceed their original specification. Remains to be seen how it actually performs...

Any notion of an A350-700 as "base model" must necessarily be considered a shrink of the A350-900. The only way to make this an economically viable aircraft would be to re-wing the thing with a lighter structure so it's not carrying all the dead weight that is required for the weight of the A359. That would be a hugely expensive move - if you're spending that much money on development, you may as well develop a clean sheet design that allows you to apply all the lessons learned from the previous design effort.

This is how I see the A330NEO: It's almost the A350 mk1 that was badly repudiated by the market and forced Airbus to go back to the drawing board to develop the XWB. Now they've got two products, the NEO which essentially fills the market slot that the original A350 mk1 concepts would have been targeted for. The market wanted a bigger plane, and thus Airbus delivered the XWB, but it seems a good amount of their engineering research already invested into the A350 mk1 concept ended up transferring over to the A330NEO project. It's a brilliant gambit: Update the best selling A330 into a design that will garner a few hundred additional sales while most of the R&D money spent on the airframe has been more than paid back to the company. It was a low cost, low risk project compared to the amount of resources spent developing a new aircraft. And it will be very profitable in the long term.

There's no real market need for a new A350-700/800... that slot is filled beautifully with the A330NEO and the 787.
 
crazyplane1234
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:54 am

After the previous A358 failure, I think Airbus would prefer to wait and see if the A330neo starts to gain more traction. If the A330neo turns out to be a flop, they'll probably introduce smaller A350 variants when the time comes for a re-engine.
 
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Channex757
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:01 am

Remember too that Airbus uses the panel architecture for its bodies. Depending on how these are to be assembled, it makes transportation easier than barrel sections. Each way of building has its own merits so not an A versus B situation, but the Airbus one does offer the possibility of going wider using existing Belugas and stacked panels.

Secondly the market has not effectively spoken one way or the other about whether a mid market aircraft has a viable business case. Indications are that yes it would, but operating cost is going to be such a huge pressure that whether the inside is designed to the body or the other way round hasn't been decided. Narrowbody or widebody? Just how wide? How expensive to build and the gate price of the new aircraft? So many variables as of yet with no clear pathway.
 
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Taxi645
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:03 am

I expect a tighter 5.5m 8-abreast plane in stead once new engines and very high aspect ratio with with more laminar flow are mature enough towards the second half of the next decade.
Innovation is seeing opportunity before obstacle.
 
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keesje
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:30 am

After the 787 launch and A350mk1 and A350-800 failures, Airbus sold 1000 A330s. A lighter version of that might also be an alternative.
https://goo.gl/images/uePWqy personally I think they will pursue a all new design positioned somewhere inbetween A321/22 and A350-900. The A350 seems big, heavy and expensive to provide a base platform here.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:01 am

Slug71 wrote:
The -700 being the base model and the -800 being a stretch. Thus there is no "shrink" in the family.

That's not possible; the -900 is already the base of the A350 platform.

...thus either (1) those aren't variants of the A350 platform, meaning they're an all-new model, or (2) they're shorter variants of the current A350 frame, meaning that they're shrinks.

Can't have it both ways..
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:15 am

I think the A330 cross section will live on for one final model with a carbon wing.

Both engine and MTOW improvements have allowed the A330 to grow from 6000nm to 8000nm. Further engine improvements in a decadd would see this hit 9000nm. So reducing the MTOW significantly is a must to reduce empty weight and improve efficiency.

So basically weights would look more like the A300 with a similar upgrade process as the 777X. The A330-800 58m fuselage length could be the middle model with the A330-900 63m length short range people mover. The 53m A300 length can be the long range model. All share the same cockpit and tail.

53m 6000nm range 250 seat 2 class
58m 5000nm range 300 seat 2 class
63m 4000nm range 350 seat 2 class

This should all be acheived with a MTOW below 200T. So the wing area will probably be closer to the A300 in size just with a greater aspect ratio.
 
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Lingon
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:24 am

Would the cross section of the A350 be viable for a smaller plane? I'm no aerodynamics guy, but intuitively it seems like a bad idea.
A "carbon fibre 330" clean sheet? Or would that give too tiny bang for too many bucks?
 
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keesje
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:31 am

We discussed a smaller A330 in the past. It would require extensive, costly modifications. E.g.modern 40-50klbs engines do not exist at this stage.

https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1358087#p19418613
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
WIederling
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:15 am

Lingon wrote:
Would the cross section of the A350 be viable for a smaller plane? I'm no aerodynamics guy, but intuitively it seems like a bad idea.
A "carbon fibre 330" clean sheet? Or would that give too tiny bang for too many bucks?


I'd expect a new Airbus twin aisle frame to be a "same systems, scaled" version of the current lead model.
i.e. the A350XWB, further improvements added in.
Murphy is an optimist
 
aviationaware
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:21 am

The 800 wasn't selling, what makes you believe it would be relaunched let alone an even smaller 700? Makes no sense.
 
WIederling
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:32 am

aviationaware wrote:
The 800 wasn't selling, ...

Sure:
Dec 2012:
A350-800 112
A350-900 362
A350-1000 88
Total firm orders 562

ref:https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Airbus_A350_XWB&oldid=529445662#Orders_and_deliveries
Murphy is an optimist
 
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keesje
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:49 am

WIederling wrote:
aviationaware wrote:
The 800 wasn't selling, ...

Sure:
Dec 2012:
A350-800 112
A350-900 362
A350-1000 88
Total firm orders 562

ref:https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Airbus_A350_XWB&oldid=529445662#Orders_and_deliveries


It was selling, but Airbus decided it wasn't viable and had a years long campaign to switch over the -800 customers to the A350-900, A330CEO and A330NEO. Which they failed at Hawaiian, but were mostly successful with the rest. Many "grew" into the -900 and no doubt got a sharp offer to compensate the inconvenience of the -800 being terminated.

WIederling wrote:
Lingon wrote:
Would the cross section of the A350 be viable for a smaller plane? I'm no aerodynamics guy, but intuitively it seems like a bad idea.
A "carbon fibre 330" clean sheet? Or would that give too tiny bang for too many bucks?


I'd expect a new Airbus twin aisle frame to be a "same systems, scaled" version of the current lead model.
i.e. the A350XWB, further improvements added in.


Probably a lot "same technology / architecture, like the A350 inherited much from the A380. But time moves on and maybe the time / enablers for a "moonshot" approach has come. The new management sounds ambitious and maybe wants a new point on the horizon..

Image
Not an A350.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
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scbriml
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:15 am

WIederling wrote:
aviationaware wrote:
The 800 wasn't selling, ...

Sure:
Dec 2012:
A350-800 112
A350-900 362
A350-1000 88
Total firm orders 562

ref:https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Airbus_A350_XWB&oldid=529445662#Orders_and_deliveries


IIRC, those orders were placed when the -800 was going to be an optimised shrink of the -900. Once Airbus decided it was going to simply shorten the -900's fuselage to make the -800, airlines lost interest quickly.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
 
WIederling
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:36 am

scbriml wrote:
airlines lost interest quickly.

Not. Customers were moved by Airbus.

The -800 was not done due to Airbus demoting the subtype and not because of "no sales" to begin with.
Murphy is an optimist
 
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flee
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:13 pm

I think we can start thinking about this only if a new engine with greatly improved economics is available. I would expect something that can produce between 55-75K lbs of thrust.

If it is to replace the A330Neo, a two model family will be needed - one that can seat 240-270 pax and another that can do 280-310 pax.

I would imagine that given current airframe and engine technology, such an aircraft will probably be possible for entry into service after 2030.
 
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scbriml
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 12:37 pm

WIederling wrote:
Not. Customers were moved by Airbus.


Once those existing customers were no longer interested in an unoptimised model, yes.
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
There are 10 types of people in the World - those that understand binary and those that don't.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:09 pm

Shrinking an airplane efficiently so it doesn’t become overweight is harder than stretching it. To stretch a plane, only a limited number of parts need to be redesigned to meet the higher loads or capacity of the bigger plane. Systems are usually designed around not increasing the size of IDGs, Pumps, etc.

To effectively shrink an airplane without it costing the same to build and being just as heavy requires redesigning everything for the smaller loads. All the structure needs to shrink and so do systems components. For example If a 36 GPM hydraulic pump is all that is required due to smaller flight controls reusing the more expensive and heavier 48 GPM pump is not desirable. The bigger pump makes the plane more expensive and overweight.

The business case to invest in new systems, a new wing and significant structures modifications to shrink the A350-900 is hard to make when airlines will want to pay less for the smaller plane. It is easier to make a business case to stretch an airplane that airlines will pay more for than to go for a shrink that they will pay less for.

Airbus already gave up on the A350-800 once. I assume the decision to go with the A330neo had sound logic behind it. I don’t see them reversing that decision.
 
cledaybuck
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:15 pm

scbriml wrote:
WIederling wrote:
aviationaware wrote:
The 800 wasn't selling, ...

Sure:
Dec 2012:
A350-800 112
A350-900 362
A350-1000 88
Total firm orders 562

ref:https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Airbus_A350_XWB&oldid=529445662#Orders_and_deliveries


IIRC, those orders were placed when the -800 was going to be an optimised shrink of the -900. Once Airbus decided it was going to simply shorten the -900's fuselage to make the -800, airlines lost interest quickly.
How many of those orders were carry overs from the original A350 (non XWB)?
As we celebrate mediocrity, all the boys upstairs want to see, how much you'll pay for what you used to get for free.
 
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Polot
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:15 pm

WIederling wrote:
scbriml wrote:
airlines lost interest quickly.

Not. Customers were moved by Airbus.

The -800 was not done due to Airbus demoting the subtype and not because of "no sales" to begin with.

Then you have to ask yourself why Airbus saw fit to “demote” the -800 subtype in the first place. Perhaps the crystal ball for the optimized A358 wasn’t looking so rosy as specs for the base A350 platform were firming.
Last edited by Polot on Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:16 pm

scbriml wrote:
WIederling wrote:
aviationaware wrote:
The 800 wasn't selling, ...

Sure:
Dec 2012:
A350-800 112
A350-900 362
A350-1000 88
Total firm orders 562

ref:https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Airbus_A350_XWB&oldid=529445662#Orders_and_deliveries


IIRC, those orders were placed when the -800 was going to be an optimised shrink of the -900. Once Airbus decided it was going to simply shorten the -900's fuselage to make the -800, airlines lost interest quickly.


I think there are multiple reasons. Many of those A350-800 orders are from well before the design was solid. I believe all the A350-800 orders were from 2007 or 2008 with some being conversions from the original A350 design. Airlines wanted the capacity and efficiency that the size offered. As the design matured, Airbus discovered that making such a plane was either not viable or not feasible. I don’t think we know exactly why, but the A350 design was a rather iterative process. My guess is that Airbus knew they weren’t going to be able to build the airplanes to the specifications that they sold to the airlines. That is when they began their campaign to change all the orders.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:24 pm

Interesting question, but the answer is no. The A350 family was optimized to replace the 77E and 77W. It does so very well. To shrink the A350 and attempt to turn it into a mid-range light weight aircraft is too expensive and impractical. Start with a clean sheet.
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WIederling
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:36 pm

ElroyJetson wrote:
Interesting question, but the answer is no. The A350 family was optimized to replace the 77E and 77W. It does so very well. To shrink the A350 and attempt to turn it into a mid-range light weight aircraft is too expensive and impractical. Start with a clean sheet.


In that context: I have the tentative theory that the -800 was a decoy.
Murphy is an optimist
 
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keesje
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:52 pm

The interesting think is IMO, the A330NEO isn't becoming a lighter more optimized aircraft, it's price & capabilities are growing. Making it less attractive for short / medium range operations..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Newbiepilot
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 3:00 pm

keesje wrote:
The interesting think is IMO, the A330NEO isn't becoming a lighter more optimized aircraft, it's price & capabilities are growing. Making it less attractive for short / medium range operations..


The A330ceo sales in the last few years have been heavily driven by short to medium range demand in China. So far the Chinese Airlines haven’t shown interest in the A330neo or A350 for that market yet. Going forward I see that segment expanding, but I don’t think an A350-800 would be the right plane. The A330neo is probably the better choice.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:42 pm

keesje wrote:
The interesting think is IMO, the A330NEO isn't becoming a lighter more optimized aircraft, it's price & capabilities are growing. Making it less attractive for short / medium range operations..


I agree with you. The A330neo is too capable to fit a true next generation light-weight mid-range role. Its key competitors are the 788 and 789 or as a direct replacement for A330 ceos.

Airbus will need a clean sheet design or an A322 with a new wing and engines. Personally, I would go with a clean sheet because you already know that is what Boeing will do.
707 717 727 72S 737 733 737-700 747 757 753 767-300 764 A319 A320 DC-9-10 DC-9-30 DC-9-50, MD-82 MD-88 MD-90 DC-10-10 DC-10-40 F-100
 
parapente
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:36 pm

In a recent debate someone linked to an article on Airbus ( perhaps it was the one on Airbus' future).In it I noticed one line where the author stated that Airbus had recently shelved a concept it had been speaking to customers about.He/she called it an A330-500 if I am not mistaken.The inference was ( I thought) was that Airbus had been looking at a shortened 330.So that would ( I imagine) be a A310 size.Clearly it would have required a new smaller wing and one assumes the MOM engines.
Anyrate it appeared to get the thumbs down from customers.But I may be over interpreting what I read.
 
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Taxi645
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Re: Likelihood of a A350-700 and A350-800?

Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:40 pm

I think that was an older article.
Innovation is seeing opportunity before obstacle.

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