Sorry guys for not responding earlier. As a none language thinker it’s not always easy for me to respond in time to all the points being made with the quality of argumentation to my liking.
Yes 2030 or later is more realistic.
On production rates:
The production rates was more of a maximum that model range would reach, not start at.On A220 production sites:
Design the new one to be as efficient as possible, then temporally halt Canada FAL to get it close to that standard and then maximize output. It is not meant to produce small amounts at each FAL, it is designed to provide relatively large amounts at each FAL (just not 737/A320 amounts).
On the A360:
Reasons to go for an A360 instead of the A330 reasons for the A360:
1 It and it’s production line can be designed to be produced as efficiently as possible (as is the hot topic currently)
2 The A330 has out-evolded it’s required range bracket, it’s also too close to the A350 thus the production range is not addressing the market as effective as it should.
3 Stunning fuel efficiency gains are to be had (and required as aviation will not be let of the environmental hook in the same way much longer).
4 Cabin environment improved
5 A330-800 as alternative to the NMA might fool a very small percentage of the investment community, but no fleet purchasing process will consider it as such.
6 It designed to take over from where the original A330 left of, but got over capable for. I reckon it would be Airbus’ take on what they could realistically do to minimize the gap in the middle of the market with a widebody. The market will be “huge” by widebody standards, hence the 15+ production rate.
7 The A330 fuselage/sea width is too wide for current standards and too close to the A350.
I will split point 3 again in four parts:
1 Much lighter fuselage being slightly smaller and made from composites
2 Designed from the get go with additive manufacturing in mind, making full use of its advantages
3 New geared engines
4 A new state of the art very high aspect ratio wing leading to a strong reduction in drag.
To expand further on the wing, an A360 as described would be in a very unique position to see huge gains in wing efficiency without having to resort to things like folding wings:
1 At around 200t MTOW the 65m gate restriction would not be a problem for a very AR wing. A 60m wing on a 200t MTOW would yield very good induced drag numbers.
2 Flexible/negative lift wing ends would limit bending moment at the wing root and thus allow this very large wingspan wing to not have an overly large weight penalty.
3 The large wingspan would also provide a larger portion of laminar flow
4 Use of composites would mean weight would be further reduced compared to an A330 tech level wing.On: A220 + A320 + enginesviewtopic.php?t=1400805
Personally I do think there will be a market for 70+ A320 and 30+ A220 with updates, especially if Boeing goes ahead with NMA. The MAX wouldn’t cut it any more and will only linger on with further reduced margins (read near zero).
Rolls-Royce and Airbus have a shared commercial and strategic interest to get RR back into the NB market. Given that, I think it would seem unlikely that the tech RR is currently developing would not end up on an Airbus NB. It’s the biggest market after all.On A330:
Will live on in small numbers for military and perhaps as a freighter if their would be any demand.
A321XLR will only take a small part of the NMA. A322 could take another small part and would again be high margin, low risk proposition.
On the business case for the A320.5:
There should be no reason to let the A220-500 and A320 overlap more than necessary at the moment when they have the combined A220/A320 production strength as mentioned. The A320 is having more than the required range due to SFC improvements. The A320.5 is a way to translate that back into lower CASM. I don't see how a simply stretch would take significantly longer to built or be significantly more expensive to produce. I don't think it would be wise for Airbus to ramp up too far beyond 70 planes a month anyway. I will be too large a concentration of industrial resources into a single type. Long term that is not a safe position to be in.
I'm with Keesje that the increase in margin would be there as it simply positions the plane better in the market relative to the require range bracket as well as relative to a possible A220-500. Yes it would take away some revenue from the A321, but it is cheaper to produce so margins might be better anyway and as Keesje has argued, the gap between the A320 and A321 is quite large.
After NMA, the A220/A320 variants/production rate onslaught will force Boeing to do something about the narrowbody market. It's better to have the best possible combination of A220-A320 variants ready when that happens (eventually).
Personally I reckon if Boeing is to launch NMA, it will allow Airbus to respond with the above approach, cause Boeing would not have any resources left to answer Airbus’ onslaught with A220/A320 variants and production rates. If Boeing goes ahead with a NSA, Airbus range could look quite different.
Innovation is seeing opportunity before obstacle.