Depending upon how much of the R and D (including new manufacturing systems) of the 797 are directly transferrable to the NSA the price of the NMA may be a few tens of millions cheaper that customary accounting might have it. One learning I suspect Boeing is demanding from the 797 is rapid build up of production. The 797 will be fast, the NSA will sprint to ten a month - (by the end of the first year?)
Yeah, everyone wants to ignore the impact you hve on NSA by doing some of the systems here. Even if they are derivatives it’s a lot easier to get to rate quickly with things you already make or are similar to things you make.
The NSA rate spin up will be (for both builders) the biggest industrial and development challenge ever managed. IMHO the second one is announced orders for he previous model dry up and people are screaming to convert. Ideally you need to go from announces to in service in 4 years. You need to be in high rate production in 6. That is a huge challenge.
By offering new models above the 737 current capabilities is the best way to transition, in particular if the NMA is sold sufficiently to sell at rate 20.
Yes the size of the components are different between the NMA and NSA. But actuators can have different force and stroke, but the NMA version is basically a stretch of the NSA version. All the controls stay the same in both. Repeat 1,000 times. The air packs could be the same, 4 on the NMA and 3 on the NSA. Use the same software and architecture throughout. But the NMA would give a good dress rehearsal, a chance to change items a bit for the new size to improve them onto the NSA.
Digital design, 3D printing, barrels with the ribs installed, every part designed for full on automation. Designed with elegant simplicity and redundancy. The 787 has now provided thru 800 copies to get CFRP experience and learning curve improvements.
It is time for ATO, I see Airbus constrained by the 380 demise and the changing of the guard. Airbus's initial response would likely be an A322 or similar with a new wing, but that locks them longer in the existing architecture of the A320, sort of a dead end. Similar to Boeing with the MAX introduction, it locked an added decade of 737 production, but it was the only available option as it would be 5 extra years to go NSA then, besides the lessons learned on the 787 were not fully there yet.