I have seen nothing but hope and visions to make believe a twin aisle could come close to NB OEW / efficiency for the same seat capacity. No breakthroughs in sight IMO.
In the "Airbus must cut A350 cost" thread ( viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1425217
) it is mentioned that Boeing seems to be able to assemble a 787 for about 20 million less than Airbus can currently assemble an A350.
The difference is mainly in production systems. Boeing has taken a step change in how an aircraft is produced with the 787. Admittedly, they took a huge financial bloody nose to learn how to do it... but they did; and now it it paying off.
Boeing has claimed all along that the NMA would not be much, if any, push on actual technology utilized; but, a major change in the production system used to produce the aircraft - which will be significantly cheaper than the old method.
Now imagine if Boeing is able to assemble a small wide body for 20-30 (or more) million less than what Airbus currently can do with their existing aircraft series... That seems puts it in the price range of a narrow body; which is my interpretation of all that Boeing has been offering: A wide-body jet at narrow body prices.
Is that not a breakthrough?... a breakthrough that is significant.
A key concept though is that to maximize this benefit that an aircraft must be designed from scratch to minimize assembly and fabrication cost. You can retrofit parts of the process onto an existing design. It will never be as cost effective as starting with a clean sheet.
If Boeing pulls this off - they might even be able to sell the NMA cheaper than Airbus can produce and sell an 321XLR at a reasonable profit - and kills its speculated future in this thread and limit it to just a few hundred. I have it from a "friend" who works at Boeing on the NMA project that they had an original goal to produce the NMA cheaper than anything that Airbus can produce with their existing generation aircraft which might infringe upon the NMA market slot. He has never said if they have achieved that (and is mum and deflective the few times I have asked). But, my information is that was an internal Boeing project goal.
Time will tell.... and they have to launch it first and get orders so that we have an idea what it is selling for. But, please do not tell me that you have not recognized that Boeing has changed how aircraft are produced with the 787 which provides a cost advantage over the older design and production methods (hence the 787-A350 estimated 20 million cost of production difference).
Seems to me that acquisition cost for a given capacity is part of the casm calculation.
Have a great day,
There's a lot of reaches in there if I may say so.
Firstly, at least $10m of that (alleged, but lets go with it) $20m is down to the difference in the size of the plane - an A359 is about 10% bigger than a 789.
Boeing could not produce an A350-900 for $90m just because they can produce a 787-9 for $90
Secondly, it is pretty widely accepted that doubling volume of output reduces unit price by 10%
(handily the unit prices cluster around $100m so let's keep the calculation simple - 1% = $1m)
The 787 is being produced at c 150% of the rate of the A350, which would account for about a 5%, or $5m improvement in unit cost.
So the portion of that $20m delta that is attributable to "production methods" alone
is about $5m.
No more than that.
That is the extent of Airbus's production method efficiency target (and it is no small task by the way)
And beyond that, any improvements available to the 787 are also available to the A350 and A330, whether it be 3D printing or supply chain pressure, or whatever.
I note that when the context becomes NMA, $20m difference suddenly becomes $20m-$30m difference for a class of planes that will be a fair bit smaller than a 787-9 or A350. Strange baseline creep if you ask me.
The trouble for NMA is:-
NMA will be bigger than the A321XLR and therefore inherently more expensive - if we're taling about a 70t OEW/140t MTOW plane, it will be about 40% more expensive on a like-for-like basis (assuming no production method changes).
But the kicker is that the A321XLR will come off a line cycling at nearer 70 per month by the time NMA goes into service - certainly by the time MA ramps up to the 14 per month JayinKitsap
I.e. the A321XLR will benefit from FIVE TIMES the volume production. Being generous, that is a 25%-30% production cost delta that the NMA will have to make up.
Whatever your friend proclaims, I don't care how they produce it, it is not possible for Boeing to produce NMA for the same cost as an A321XLR
I don't think they will even be able to produce it for the same cost per seat
, simply because of the volume argument.
However, I'll reserve judgement on that, with the following caveat - even achieving cost per seat parity
with the A321XLR will disadvantage the NMA simply because it will be bigger and more expensive to run.
If there is anything this century has shown us it is that "all other things being equal a smaller plane with the same CASM will have the advantage".
Zvezda would be proud of me
That's not the same as saying there's no business case.
There may be room for NMA, especially in all-Boeing fleets, on missions that the XLR just won't do, by undercutting the 787 and A330.
However NMA won't touch the XLR, simply because the same characteristic that causes the XLR's limitations is its single biggest strength.
It is just another A321NEO and can easily be used as such. There is virtually no downside to owning it in a mixed A321 fleet or A32X family fleet.
And there are a LOT of airlines out there with A32XNEO fleets
Last edited by astuteman
on Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:00 am, edited 1 time in total.