Assuming the A350NEO actually is coming circa 2025, I'm not sure they did foresee this seven years ago when they launched the 777X.
I'm pretty sure the Advance -> Ultrafan road map was around back then. Clearly they had to have some inkling about what RR's capacity to compete would be going forward.
Even today, Boeing apparently doubts the viability of Ultrafan circa 2025 (thus the LEAP 1.5 on NMA).
Yes, I sense a lot of risk aversion even though NMA may need a better engine than LEAP 1.5. Clearly the 'Package C' problem didn't help RR's image or its financial capacity.
I have a larger thought that hasn't fully coalesced but this whole dynamic relates to the "No Moonshots" obsession.
The 777X had a cleansheet timeframe yet is clearly not futureproof to a degree sufficient to ensure a successful program.
By settling for a cloudshot, Boeing might have ensured that it loses less money than a failed moonshot, rather than actually making any money.
I see the same dynamic playing out with a conservative NMA that is not future proof either.
I hope you are right that "extraordinary efforts" are being mooted in Chicago, Seattle, and Cincinnati right now.
There is a realistic chance that Airbus will soon marginalize the 737MAX (A220 stretch), compete effectively against any NMA (thereby killing its business case), and send the 777X to an early grave.
That leaves Boeing with only 787. Not a bad "only" but still...
Hopefully Boeing's orientation will shift from "NO MORE MOONSHOTS" to "Only moonshots work, but we can't miss."
I think Boeing as a company was suffering 787 PTSD syndrome when the 77X was being mooted.
There was no enthusiasm to bet big on Y3 so 77X is what we got.
I think NMA's problem truly is a narrow market segment that will be challenged above and below by the competitor.
And of course replacing the 737 will be the gamble of a generation.
GE's financial challenges also weigh heavily.
It seems that NSA is mandatory, moon shot or not.
And if the theory that NMA is a necessary precursor for NSA is true, we may see it go to market too.
It's going to be hard to see any more money being invested in 777X/VLA, which is why I wrote they may decide they've put all they are going to put into that market.
I see the risk of this being a half measure, but the decision to not make it a full measure was made when 77X was launched and just like A380 getting it wrong has consequences.