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MrHMSH
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Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:05 pm

Looks like Airbus has started talking to airlines about the longer range A321XLR.

The European firm is in detailed talks with airlines over the price and timing of the longer-range design - known as A321XLR - and has penciled in some orders subject to a formal launch, expected this year, industry sources said.

Airbus is looking for 200-300 draft orders before committing to build the A321XLR, in a move that would limit the space available for a mid-market alternative that Boeing hopes to launch in a gap between medium-haul and long-haul jets.


http://www.reuters.com/article/us-airbu ... SKCN1QA1Z1
 
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:18 pm

I expect Aer Lingus will be an early customer, they’ve already stated it’s under consideration for the remainder of their 14 A321LR order.
 
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:23 pm

B6 for possible TATL, NK for deeper South America and maybe Delta?!? As far as US carriers are concerned.
 
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:43 pm

Needing 2-300 orders for a launch seems a lot, although creating 'orders' via conversions from other orders does help
 
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:52 pm

I think A321XLR will be a Widebody/Super Hub killer.
 
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:52 pm

Air Malta has said they are interested in this design for North America and India...
 
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:05 pm

Should be an easy launch decision.
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:32 pm

I could definitely see B6/DL/TP/EI ordering some. Already all (current or future) A321NEO operators.
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:39 pm

Hmm, those news coming out the same day that local media are reporting Icelandair to be in negotiations with A and B regarding their fleet strategy. Honi soit qui mal y pense...
 
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:13 pm

I could see airlines like Icelandair being interested (disposal of MAX aircraft by lease-out) as well as Jetstar and maybe even AirAsia, Scoot, Batik Air, and Finnair.
 
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:22 pm

The growth will be in this segment, so Airbus will do well. If anything it will make the 797 have to be better.
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 6:26 pm

fcogafa wrote:
Needing 2-300 orders for a launch seems a lot, although creating 'orders' via conversions from other orders does help

I see PR in the "conversion" camp, substituting a handful of their current A321N later delivery orders for the 'XLR' version --- with commonality, earlier availability, and most importantly, lower price as deciding factors. :airplane:
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:18 pm

MrHMSH wrote:
Looks like Airbus has started talking to airlines about the longer range A321XLR.

The European firm is in detailed talks with airlines over the price and timing of the longer-range design - known as A321XLR - and has penciled in some orders subject to a formal launch, expected this year, industry sources said.

Airbus is looking for 200-300 draft orders before committing to build the A321XLR, in a move that would limit the space available for a mid-market alternative that Boeing hopes to launch in a gap between medium-haul and long-haul jets.


http://www.reuters.com/article/us-airbu ... SKCN1QA1Z1


The advantage the A321XLR has over the mid-market alternative is that it is far more tangible.
 
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:36 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
I think A321XLR will be a Widebody/Super Hub killer.
- I doubt it. There is a reason US airlines have talked about the MOM or NMA it isn't just the range or they would have pushed airbus to just create the 321XLR a while ago. They are looking at something that can replace the 757's and 767's with a widebody feel. I know a few routes could work on a 321XLR (more than just being able to fly- think passenger experience) i wouldn't expect the US (AA/UA/DL) to jump on the band wagon other than B6.
 
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:38 pm

gatibosgru wrote:
I could definitely see B6/DL/TP/EI ordering some. Already all (current or future) A321NEO operators.


DL not a chance they don't even want the LR.
 
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:48 pm

This is a smart play by Airbus. If they can grab several hundred orders for a relatively low investment then they may torpedo the NMA business case before it ever gets approved for development. If the NMA goes ahead then the parameters probably change a little to ensure that it beats the XLR.

There must be a reason Boeing didn’t jump already?
 
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:48 pm

Boeing may ditch the MOM and focus on designing a 737 replacement slightly larger than the A320 family which could cover all from A320 to 753 size.
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:50 pm

LawAndOrder wrote:
gatibosgru wrote:
I could definitely see B6/DL/TP/EI ordering some. Already all (current or future) A321NEO operators.


DL not a chance they don't even want the LR.


But do they not want the LR because they want the XLR?
 
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:51 pm

xlr is just a third aux tank right?
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 7:57 pm

shamrock350 wrote:
I expect Aer Lingus will be an early customer, they’ve already stated it’s under consideration for the remainder of their 14 A321LR order.

fcogafa wrote:
Needing 2-300 orders for a launch seems a lot, although creating 'orders' via conversions from other orders does help

Devilfish wrote:
I see PR in the "conversion" camp, substituting a handful of their current A321N later delivery orders for the 'XLR' version --- with commonality, earlier availability, and most importantly, lower price as deciding factors. :airplane:

I think anything Airbus does to expand the capabilities of the A321neo will do well. I think Airbus will have to do their sums carefully, though. It seems to me their biggest competitor to A321XLR is going to be conversion of existing A321NEO orders already in their backlog, and airlines tend to think they can move orders around without paying in proportion to the increase in capabilities.
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:12 pm

Revelation wrote:
shamrock350 wrote:
I expect Aer Lingus will be an early customer, they’ve already stated it’s under consideration for the remainder of their 14 A321LR order.

fcogafa wrote:
Needing 2-300 orders for a launch seems a lot, although creating 'orders' via conversions from other orders does help

Devilfish wrote:
I see PR in the "conversion" camp, substituting a handful of their current A321N later delivery orders for the 'XLR' version --- with commonality, earlier availability, and most importantly, lower price as deciding factors. :airplane:

I think anything Airbus does to expand the capabilities of the A321neo will do well. I think Airbus will have to do their sums carefully, though. It seems to me their biggest competitor to A321XLR is going to be conversion of existing A321NEO orders already in their backlog, and airlines tend to think they can move orders around without paying in proportion to the increase in capabilities.

Airlines are used to being nickel and dimed for upgrades. E.g., no free thrust or MTOW increase. Or winglets are optional. The SHARP kit to reduce takeoff distance is an added cost option too.

Airbus will make an easy profit, in my opinion, on the xLR. The question is, will NMA sales be impacted? Not much in my opinion. This is a market expanding option.

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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:28 pm

lightsaber wrote:
Airbus will make an easy profit, in my opinion, on the xLR. The question is, will NMA sales be impacted? Not much in my opinion. This is a market expanding option.

Lightsaber


I tend to disagree. The A321XLR will be able to capture the remaining part of the small part of 757-200 still operating as pax carrier - there are just about 320 left, with United, American and Delta - all three large A32X operator - operating more than half of that fleet. For all of them adding the A321XLR is much easier than introducing a somewhat small subtye. Whatever Airbus brings forward in terms of an upgraded A321 will reduce the NMA´s market potential even further. The NMA market segment "replace 757-200" is all but gone already I think.

Considering the pricing Airbus can manage on an A321 I fail to see how Boeing will be able to ever bring costs of an NMA down enough to make it an attractive A321[neo, LR or XLR] competitor.

Whilest one cope with sales being eaten away on the lower end, the upper end is of worry for them as well. They tried to kick out the A330neo from the market and - at the end of the day - apparently failed. Latest with Emirates A330neo order it is clear that this model is here to stay. It will bring pricing pressure on both the 787 as well as a "larger NMA" - plus there is no replacement market left for a 767-200 sized plane. And the 767-300ER replacement is called 787-8.

What - from my point of view - raises the question: is there actually a need for a NMA-sized plane with every improving narrowbodies (the 737-10 won´t stand still either) and widebodies with family production volumes in excess of 1,000 units? Neither Airbus nor Boeing will currently profit from a NMA-sized plane but stand to loose billions in terms of failed investment. Same goes for the engine guys - only laughing ones would be the airlines.
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 8:41 pm

musman9853 wrote:
xlr is just a third aux tank right?

The LR can take the third aux tank already. As far as we know, the Xlr consists of permanent tanks taking up unused space - and probably the space of one or more aux tanks. So more fuel capacity without the weight of the aux tanks. An MTOW bump is also expected. As for any other improvements, I've only heard speculation.
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:16 pm

Definitely an interesting and potentially clever development of things. Since NMA seems to be delayed/not even clear if it will come, I believe this will hurt Boeing.

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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:25 pm

pdp wrote:
LawAndOrder wrote:
gatibosgru wrote:
I could definitely see B6/DL/TP/EI ordering some. Already all (current or future) A321NEO operators.


DL not a chance they don't even want the LR.


But do they not want the LR because they want the XLR?


Nope. I don't think they are interested in a Long range narrowbody, or they would have ordered atlest the LR when they ordered the NEO. I think we are grossly underestimating the market potential for NMA. I think all the airlines knew a XLR was coming, and realized it is just a step gap to keep a widebody out. If I was a betting man I wouldn't count the US big 3 as being a part of the XLR crowd. The US3 NMA potential alone is higher than the 200-300 airbus wish to win IMHO. The US3 stop flying widebodies regular scheduled domestic due to pricing but widebodies score higher majority of the time on customer experience and can carry a more premium product.
 
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:26 pm

Flying-Tiger wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
Airbus will make an easy profit, in my opinion, on the xLR. The question is, will NMA sales be impacted? Not much in my opinion. This is a market expanding option.

Lightsaber


I tend to disagree. The A321XLR will be able to capture the remaining part of the small part of 757-200 still operating as pax carrier - there are just about 320 left, with United, American and Delta - all three large A32X operator - operating more than half of that fleet. For all of them adding the A321XLR is much easier than introducing a somewhat small subtye. Whatever Airbus brings forward in terms of an upgraded A321 will reduce the NMA´s market potential even further. The NMA market segment "replace 757-200" is all but gone already I think.

Considering the pricing Airbus can manage on an A321 I fail to see how Boeing will be able to ever bring costs of an NMA down enough to make it an attractive A321[neo, LR or XLR] competitor.

Whilest one cope with sales being eaten away on the lower end, the upper end is of worry for them as well. They tried to kick out the A330neo from the market and - at the end of the day - apparently failed. Latest with Emirates A330neo order it is clear that this model is here to stay. It will bring pricing pressure on both the 787 as well as a "larger NMA" - plus there is no replacement market left for a 767-200 sized plane. And the 767-300ER replacement is called 787-8.

What - from my point of view - raises the question: is there actually a need for a NMA-sized plane with every improving narrowbodies (the 737-10 won´t stand still either) and widebodies with family production volumes in excess of 1,000 units? Neither Airbus nor Boeing will currently profit from a NMA-sized plane but stand to loose billions in terms of failed investment. Same goes for the engine guys - only laughing ones would be the airlines.

Need? Economics rules. Everything I've been privy to has the NMA cost per passenger low enough to create a market. Was there a need for the A350? Doesn't matter, economics drive the solution.

I love the A321. But there are limits. Engines are optimized for a 2 hour mission. The wing is, with Sharklets, optimized for a 90 minute mission.
I agree most TATL 752s could be replaced by the A321xLR. I am of the opinion more will be sold as growth.

Now, it has literally been decades since I did engine/aircraft design optimization. Last time we figured how to take a million dollars of cost out and quite a bit of weight in 2 weeks of work. On an Airbus similar to the NMA, but TPAC range. When I look at aircraft, I look to see if I could engineer a successful competitor with a large enough market.

For the NMA:
1. CFRP wings (saves tons, more durable).
2. Optimize engines for a 4-6 hour mission (always ootimize for a mission shorter than the maximum. T1000 at 8 hours, GEnx at 10, for example).
3. Folding wingtips for underside laminar flow.
4. No wasted space for 7 or 8 across.
5. Design for the long version, 4,000nm+ range at EIS, with a plan to get to 5,000nm. Plus is there is always a management reserve for overweight or missing performance.
6. Modern subsystems. Save 3% in fuel over a NEO. Plus less maintenance.
7. First commercial aircraft designed for 3D printed parts from day 1. There is a long enough lead time to buy larger machines for more monolithic parts.

I believe I could design a 7 or 8 across aircraft that would sell vs. The A321/A339. Both are heavy for TATL or India-EU length missions. The xLR is not a high density aircraft at range. I am one of the bigger advocates of the A321LR, but it only flies far with a 16t payload.

The xLR will save weight (tankage weights less than 3 ACT and less unusable fuel) and have more fuel capacity. But it is getting improved engines, not new engines.

I see, with the xLR, the potential for the NMA to have 600+ launch orders and 1,200+ sold by EIS. So obviously we have different opinions on market size.

Oh, I see a thousand+ xLRs selling. With all those hubs maxing out, it is time to make way for BOS, DUB, PHL, MAD, new Mumbai, new IST, CLT, MCO, DEN, Daxing, PVG, 2nd Delhi, ADD, WAW, SVO, CGK (assume 3rd Runway), and KLIA to grow.

I've worked re-engine studies. The risk is half of aircraft efficiency improvements require Airframe changes you often cannot do without getting the prior design (777x is one example where that was done). The NEO chose to keep commonality. That costs efficiency.

IMHO folding wingtips are a game changer. I haven't been able to adequately explain why they save enough fuel at very low cost (by aerospace standards) here. I believe over the next 20 years, everything larger than the A220 will progressively be either replaced or redesigned to have them.

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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:26 pm

Isn’t it because of the old paradigm that longer range definitely need a wide-body.

Now that one VLA out of the picture, manufacturers and true commercial airlines have clear mind.

Long range NB opens up several possibilities. Secondary TATL and Asia-Europe are best example.

Imagine any A320 able to operate long range without huge investment in WB ops.


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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:28 pm

Flying-Tiger wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
Airbus will make an easy profit, in my opinion, on the xLR. The question is, will NMA sales be impacted? Not much in my opinion. This is a market expanding option.

Lightsaber


I tend to disagree. The A321XLR will be able to capture the remaining part of the small part of 757-200 still operating as pax carrier - there are just about 320 left, with United, American and Delta - all three large A32X operator - operating more than half of that fleet. For all of them adding the A321XLR is much easier than introducing a somewhat small subtye. Whatever Airbus brings forward in terms of an upgraded A321 will reduce the NMA´s market potential even further. The NMA market segment "replace 757-200" is all but gone already I think.

Considering the pricing Airbus can manage on an A321 I fail to see how Boeing will be able to ever bring costs of an NMA down enough to make it an attractive A321[neo, LR or XLR] competitor.

Whilest one cope with sales being eaten away on the lower end, the upper end is of worry for them as well. They tried to kick out the A330neo from the market and - at the end of the day - apparently failed. Latest with Emirates A330neo order it is clear that this model is here to stay. It will bring pricing pressure on both the 787 as well as a "larger NMA" - plus there is no replacement market left for a 767-200 sized plane. And the 767-300ER replacement is called 787-8.

What - from my point of view - raises the question: is there actually a need for a NMA-sized plane with every improving narrowbodies (the 737-10 won´t stand still either) and widebodies with family production volumes in excess of 1,000 units? Neither Airbus nor Boeing will currently profit from a NMA-sized plane but stand to loose billions in terms of failed investment. Same goes for the engine guys - only laughing ones would be the airlines.



Except that the NMA has to be aimed at a lot more than the remaining 757-200 market or there would be no chance of a business case being made. The NMA is targeting a mid range widebody market supposedly with the ownership/operating costs per seat as a narrowbody. While it would be good for them if it captures some 757 replacement orders. If the main target was the 757 routes, it would be a lot cheaper to design another 737 version. Even if they had to make wing box modifications to add longer gear to give the needed range, it would be a lot cheaper/easier than designing a NMA.


The smaller NMA is supposedly 20 more seats and 500-600nmi more range than the A321xlr would be and the larger one with simlar range to the A321xlr but around 70 more seats. The two aircraft will still be aimed at different markets. To compete directly with the NMA, Airbus would have to go the A322 route with stretch and new or modified wing.


Honestly, Airbus should want Boeing to go ahead with the NMA that doesn't really target the A320 family much. If Boeing decides against the NMA as currently envisioned, they will likely shift to the NSA with the smallest being a little bigger than the 737MAX8, a mid size a little bigger than the A321 and the largest something in between the 752 and 753. Then the JV with Embraer would do the 150 seat and smaller series. If Boeing did that, Airbus would be forced into a clean sheet A320 series replacement program. If Boeing sticks with the NMA, Airbus can just let Boeing have the 1500 or whatever sales that cannibalize A330, 788 and a little of the A321 while they countinue to crank out the A320 series at healthy profit margin.
 
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:14 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
Isn’t it because of the old paradigm that longer range definitely need a wide-body.

Now that one VLA out of the picture, manufacturers and true commercial airlines have clear mind.

Long range NB opens up several possibilities. Secondary TATL and Asia-Europe are best example.

Imagine any A320 able to operate long range without huge investment in WB ops.


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The NMA is significantly lowering the cost of entry.

xLR will cost $50 million in today's dollars.
A349 or 788 both about $100 million. Or 1.5x to 2 x as much per seat as the A321.

Long range narrowbody opens options. So does a widebody that costs as a narrowbody, per seat, have a market? I think so.

Today you are buying a 7,000nm+ aircraft when buying a widebody. There is a huge cost to make the plane efficient over long missions.

The goal of the NMA is to sell the aircraft for the same cost per passengercost the A321xLR yet have much lower operating costs per passenger.

I see nothing in the physics preventing a design that costs enough less per passenger (per trip) than the A321xLR on 2,000nm+ missions to prevent sales.

I also see few (if any) missions below 2,000nm for the NMA. Other than how we see widebodies used today. Probably fewer missions though..

Obviously, a NMA must underprice the 788/A339 or none sell as mission flexibility has a value.

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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:05 pm

LawAndOrder wrote:
Nope. I don't think they are interested in a Long range narrowbody, or they would have ordered atlest the LR when they ordered the NEO.


DL currently has 100 A321neo on order. I'd be very surprised if they weren't able to convert at least some to LR/XLR. Way too early to say definitively one way or the other.
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:12 pm

It will be interesting to see how the empty weight of the XLR's redesigned tankage comes out and how much cargo hold space it consumes. Will this be a special solution for operators who need 4000 nm range only, or will it become the way some or all baseline A321neos are built going forward? The thing is that the regular A321neo is so good, being easily capable of 7-hour flights with no aux tanks, that if the XLR is not the "new normal" then its niche is pretty small.

It is not going to kill the NMA, but it may peel off a few potential orders at the low end of payload/range needs.
 
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:19 pm

Nice that Airbus is finding interest for the A321XLR. I'm hoping for a name change because A321, A321NEO, A321ACF, A321LR, A321XLR is getting a little confusing. Besides I find it kind of odd that Airbus is develop another A320-family member while there is a huge backlog for A320NEO's. The A321XLR will further strain the already overstretched A320-family backlog.
While on the other hand there is another Airbus product family member that can use more orders.
AFAIK the A321XLR will be a small MOM, <200pax for <5000NM. But Airbus classifies the M segment as <300pax <5000NM.
I found the images below via google_image Airbus 2018 market forecast.
Image
Image
If you look closely in the forecast presentation [slide 18 /19] you can see that Airbus admits that they haven't got a optimized M-segment product.
But both the A321LR and A330(NEO) could be used for it, but they aren't optimized for it.
The A321XLR is optimized for the lower end of the M-segment. But that still leaves open the upper end of the M-segment for the 797 or C929.

I don't view the A330NEO as replacement for the A330CEO, its the replacement of the A340-200 & -300. If you look at the specs the A330NEO they are small L-segment aircraft. (257pax, 8150nm | 287pax 7200nm) but a ULCC A330-900 could be XL aka >400pax.)
I think Airbus should go back to it's origins, and derive a new large M-segment range from the A330NEO (aka A300 & early A330 replacement).
Airbus has a far easier path to develop a MOM or M-segment aircraft than Boeing has, in my opinion. AFAIK the biggest problem for the 797 business case is that Airbus can beat market entry. It could be the Bombardier CSeries and A320NEO story all over again.

It would be very nice if Airbus develops both the A321XLR and M-segment A330NEO derivative, but that isn't very realistic. I think the later is beter for Airbus longterm. But it's more risky and more expansive. (but more in line with A380 program termination).

Edit to add. I expect the A321NEO will be offered besides the A321XLR (I prefer A325). Besides the larger center wingbox fuel tanks, I also expect double wheel bougies. This creates further stretch capability aka Boeing 757-300 replacement (though market was only 55 birds) and range will reduce if the current wings remain.
 
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Erebus
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Thu Feb 21, 2019 11:45 pm

seabosdca wrote:
It is not going to kill the NMA, but it may peel off a few potential orders at the low end of payload/range needs.


As far as the NMA goes, I think Boeing would have to be looking at closing the business case on the assumption that an A321XLR (and any other potential variants like an A322) does get launched. Account for lost market potential early in your projections.

A low-risk A321XLR would for sure find its niche, especially with narrowbody-centric operators and those who don't want to add another completely different type to their fleets.
 
trevd
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:48 am

From my 2 cents worth....I think Boeing would be PRAYING for Airbus to do this. All the XLR will do for you is bump MTOW by 4t, which will allow you to either fly about another 400nm or get another 12-15 pax back into the airplane that can do TATL (and probably barely that westbound in winter).

Anyone thinking the NMA is solely a TATL/757 replacement market is targeting a market where during the peak of summer (Aug-2018) there were a total of 26 TATL routes (not including O-D Reykjavik) and an average of 30.3 daily freguencies...that's probably not even a 30 airplane market.

Yes, there are probably some existing A321neo customers that would value a 4t MTOW bump and get a couple hundred miles or those few extra pax back in the airplane, but any orders would likely come from existing A321neoLRs orders rather than incremental or at the expense of a NMA if it launches.
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:10 am

I was an advocate of a simple bump for the A321neo LR, but at this point, Airbus might as well launch an A322.
Keep the same fuselage and systems and/or add a simple stretch, a new wing and engines to take it up to 120 tons MTOW and a real 250 seater at 5000NM.
Build it on a new dedicated line.

This XLR is too little to confront a NMA.
Sure, there is more range but without a payload increase, the A321XLR does not have a very compelling business case.
 
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gatibosgru
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:42 am

trevd wrote:
From my 2 cents worth....I think Boeing would be PRAYING for Airbus to do this. All the XLR will do for you is bump MTOW by 4t, which will allow you to either fly about another 400nm or get another 12-15 pax back into the airplane that can do TATL (and probably barely that westbound in winter).

Anyone thinking the NMA is solely a TATL/757 replacement market is targeting a market where during the peak of summer (Aug-2018) there were a total of 26 TATL routes (not including O-D Reykjavik) and an average of 30.3 daily freguencies...that's probably not even a 30 airplane market.

Yes, there are probably some existing A321neo customers that would value a 4t MTOW bump and get a couple hundred miles or those few extra pax back in the airplane, but any orders would likely come from existing A321neoLRs orders rather than incremental or at the expense of a NMA if it launches.


This will cost Airbus next to nothing to develop, unless it takes away from them working on an all new narrowbody family, I don't see why Boeing would be praying for Airbus to try this.
@DadCelo
 
tealnz
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:59 am

Strikes me too many people here are in denial about both the 797 and the XLR. They're both going to happen. And I reckon they'll both do just fine.

In the case of the XLR we now seem to have reasonable clarity about both the engineering and the performance. The engineering involves using a void just aft of the gear bay plus the space occupied by the two ACTs in the aft hold to install a conformal tank (the cargo system in this part of the hold is also stripped out). This delivers a significant saving on MEW and a big enough increase in fuel capacity to allow a 500nm - 700nm range increase. Leeham also reported that Airbus were looking at a new wingtip treatment worth ~70nm plus MTOW increase to allow additional fuel/pax. I can't see any reason not to take the numbers at face value.

And I think we should assume that the XLR will replace the LR as soon as Airbus can start producing. Maybe we end up with two A321 configurations: a standard NEO without ACTs, and the XLR. Keesje has also speculated about a stretch version taking advantage of the extra integral fuel and MTOW of the XLR. All of which sounds consistent with Airbus's sustained development effort on A320, A330 and A350.

Will this kill the 797? No. Boeing sound committed. It's at the upper end of the MoM. It will be bigger and pricier than the XLR. It will be an obvious answer for hub to hub services that need more volume as well as 4000-5000nm regional routes that can sustain more capacity or premium traffic than an XLR. There's room for both. What the XLR will do, of course, is limit Boeing's ability to extract super profits from the 797 - it's going to be competitive enough that Boeing will have price the 797 somewhere within range of the XLR.
 
FlyHPN
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:07 am

gatibosgru wrote:
trevd wrote:
From my 2 cents worth....I think Boeing would be PRAYING for Airbus to do this. All the XLR will do for you is bump MTOW by 4t, which will allow you to either fly about another 400nm or get another 12-15 pax back into the airplane that can do TATL (and probably barely that westbound in winter).

Anyone thinking the NMA is solely a TATL/757 replacement market is targeting a market where during the peak of summer (Aug-2018) there were a total of 26 TATL routes (not including O-D Reykjavik) and an average of 30.3 daily freguencies...that's probably not even a 30 airplane market.

Yes, there are probably some existing A321neo customers that would value a 4t MTOW bump and get a couple hundred miles or those few extra pax back in the airplane, but any orders would likely come from existing A321neoLRs orders rather than incremental or at the expense of a NMA if it launches.


This will cost Airbus next to nothing to develop, unless it takes away from them working on an all new narrowbody family, I don't see why Boeing would be praying for Airbus to try this.


I think Airbus sees the A220 as their "new" NB family. If Airbus makes this move, it opens up Boeing to fill the gap between the XLR and the A330n/787, providing they can make the economics work.
 
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flee
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Fri Feb 22, 2019 3:14 am

I think that any XLR should receive a mild stretch to accommodate the bigger fuel tanks as well as more galley/washroom space for the longer (> 7hrs) flights.
 
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seabosdca
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:38 am

tealnz wrote:
And I think we should assume that the XLR will replace the LR as soon as Airbus can start producing. Maybe we end up with two A321 configurations: a standard NEO without ACTs, and the XLR.


There are no longer structural differences between the LR and the "regular" A321neo. I agree with you in concept, though: the XLR will kill any demand to put ACTs into a "regular" neo. In fact, I wouldn't be shocked to see early LR customers trade in early for XLRs, which will be a fair bit more efficient on the long-range missions. The early LRs will have good resale if marketed as regular A321neos with aux tanks removed and MTOW derated to 93 t.
 
n7371f
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:49 am

Airbus playing the game. Anyone else want to question the validity of actual "pencil" orders? All part of the game plan against the NMA. Wise of Airbus to do everything possible to try and manipulate the potential launch of the NMA.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:51 am

The ball is in Boeing's camp, Airbus isn't going to really move until Boeing has played, the XLR is just easy pickings, not any kind of move on Airbus' part.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:06 am

While adding internal tanks is a cheap solution, there are many issues.

-Both MTOW and Maximum "non-wing weight" (I would write MZFW but with that much fuel in the fuselage, we need another term) need to go up.That is no small feat and will require significant amounts of strengthening.
-if they use the same wing, wing loading will become higher affecting take-off performance. Good luck getting it off the ground.
-Mediocre payload capability and cargo space for longer range missions.
-Few seats + long range = risk
-Backlog too big, will be ready by 2023 but the backlog extends through 2027.Not deliverable in high numbers until then.

Solutions:
Redesigning the flaps and extending the trailing edges to increase the wing area, at least for take-off. But could influence overall aerodynamic performance negatively by modifying the chord, etc. Better take-off and slow speed performance but worse in cruise. May also need extensive testing and certification.
A new wing is a better option, it can better compete against a NMA and implementing a stretch would be a lot easier. But design, development and certification costs will be high. Would close off the NMA before it launches and guarantee market dominance, though not sure how big a market it really is and whether it's worth it.
-A new line dedicated to this model would enable Airbus to sell it as a different product with faster deliveries and higher prices. Fitting it in-between regular A320 family production will distract from high rate production that the A320 family needs to achieve and maintain.
 
YIMBY
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:56 am

It seems to be around the wing, (also for 330-lite).
- How much tweaking they can make in the wing without entering into the process of redesigning the wing completely?
- How much weight does a new carbon fibre wing save? (same size and optimized)
- How big aerodynamic benefits a new wing can give?
- How much they can redesign the wing to be counted as derivative?
- Do they need to modify the body in case of major tweaks or redesign of the wing? (change of balance)
- is it important to keep the wing length, given that they spend relatively less time in airport gates and may not use the most space-constrained airports?
- How much different options will cost?
 
FatCat
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:07 am

Every airline will need one of this planes... A321XLR will be the definitive game changer in commercial aviation.
They will be afforable to buy (or lease) and cheap to operate, with less crew needed, small training for pilots required, and cheaper landing / handling fees.
Smaller airlines will have the possibility to serve smaller airports between the oceans and land, offering cheaper fares and boosting air travel worldwide.
Also A321XLR can be used as normal A321Neos... so I bet many A321N orders will be changed in A321XLR.
Aeroplane flies high
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keesje
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:16 am

Waterbomber2 wrote:
While adding internal tanks is a cheap solution, there are many issues.

-Both MTOW and Maximum "non-wing weight" (I would write MZFW but with that much fuel in the fuselage, we need another term) need to go up.That is no small feat and will require significant amounts of strengthening.
-if they use the same wing, wing loading will become higher affecting take-off performance. Good luck getting it off the ground.
-Mediocre payload capability and cargo space for longer range missions.
-Few seats + long range = risk
-Backlog too big, will be ready by 2023 but the backlog extends through 2027.Not deliverable in high numbers until then.

Solutions:
Redesigning the flaps and extending the trailing edges to increase the wing area, at least for take-off. But could influence overall aerodynamic performance negatively by modifying the chord, etc. Better take-off and slow speed performance but worse in cruise. May also need extensive testing and certification.
A new wing is a better option, it can better compete against a NMA and implementing a stretch would be a lot easier. But design, development and certification costs will be high. Would close off the NMA before it launches and guarantee market dominance, though not sure how big a market it really is and whether it's worth it.
-A new line dedicated to this model would enable Airbus to sell it as a different product with faster deliveries and higher prices. Fitting it in-between regular A320 family production will distract from high rate production that the A320 family needs to achieve and maintain.


Agree with most considerations on replacing the by now high loaded wing.

There's IMO more however that could drive not going for a (significant) wing improvement.
- time to market
- costs/price
- fleet commonality..

From a technical standpoint and for a possible A322, a new wing would seem preferable. But the other factors would drive a more conservative approach, making a XLR/322 wing a heavy duty version of the A321 wing. Apart from strengthening, they would probably look at the slats, flaps, cord, software, load elevation, more dynamic fuel distribution.

Image

I agree with someone who said even the A321XLR might be slightly longer than the A321. Leahy said they were already fighting / puzzling for space on the A321LR. At some point a minor 30-60 inch stretch solves so many problems, it becomes worth the effort.
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
gokmengs
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:52 am

Seeing so many Keesje designs I am a bit confused about which is which:) (Thanks for the great work Keesje) so 321XLR is just an 321LR with extended range correct? IMO if Airbus really wants to eat away at this hypothetical mid size plane that Boeing is building it has to go 322 etc with the legs of the 321LR and higher mtow. Having said that this 321XLR is easy decision for Airbus, there is a market and seems to me the development cost is not that high. Exciting times for us anetters
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columba
Posts: 5230
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:12 pm

Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:56 am

dtw2hyd wrote:
I think A321XLR will be a Widebody/Super Hub killer.

Completely different approach Airbus had with the A380........
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
jpiddink
Posts: 13
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Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:42 am

fcogafa wrote:
Needing 2-300 orders for a launch seems a lot, although creating 'orders' via conversions from other orders does help

Actually conversions don't help that much.

Creating a new XLR version requires some investment in the development, even if it is a rather minor upgrade. New orders that weren't in the order book will attribute to a return on investment, but for airlines that have already committed to A321LR, the additional revenu consists only of the "conversion fee" which I suspect will be relatvely mild.

So it may look good in the press (we announced the XLR and we can ship 300+) but the financial department will still want to see how many additional revenues were realised compared to the additional developement and construction cost of the XLR. If that is negative, it will be a no-no and Airbus will be happy with the existing orders for the LR.
 
Kikko19
Posts: 519
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:45 pm

Re: Reuters: Airbus pencils in orders for new A321XLR jet.

Fri Feb 22, 2019 9:51 am

Waterbomber2 wrote:
I was an advocate of a simple bump for the A321neo LR, but at this point, Airbus might as well launch an A322.
Keep the same fuselage and systems and/or add a simple stretch, a new wing and engines to take it up to 120 tons MTOW and a real 250 seater at 5000NM.
Build it on a new dedicated line.

This XLR is too little to confront a NMA.
Sure, there is more range but without a payload increase, the A321XLR does not have a very compelling business case.

agree 100% a new wing for the a32x family and if they want to splurge a new a300 neo (with new wing and new engines to go after the a330neo later). of course all with new materials and new construction methods (lot of savings) to go after Boeing.

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