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africawings
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Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:17 pm

I know Boeing has its hands full at the moment, but looking just slightly ahead, I can't help but notice the incremental gains that Airbus is making with the Airbus A330-neo. Given that they also have the Airbus A350 positioned in size just ahead of this model, it really puts the squeeze to Boeing, especially on the 787-8 model. Are there any plans to increase range or fuel efficiency on this model (taking advantage of design improvements on the 787-9 and -10)? to make the -8 remain competitive in the marketplace? Since Boeing won't likely reduce the price of the jet, without better range or economics on the -8 they have to find a way to compete somehow or risk ceding a rather lucrative segment to Airbus.

Thoughts?
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:53 pm

Boeing is reducing cost and weight by reaching commonality with the 789:

https://leehamnews.com/2018/04/17/boein ... mmonality/

The 787-8 sells on cost now. The first part of this cost reduction efforts should already be in place. by next year, nality with the 789 should be complete. This should save some weight but mostly cut cost.
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sat Sep 14, 2019 4:54 am

No doubt the 788 can be improved, but I have a feeling the focus will shift towards the 789 and 781 as this is where, I believe, most of the sales will come from going forward.
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:55 am

Francoflier wrote:
No doubt the 788 can be improved, but I have a feeling the focus will shift towards the 789 and 781 as this is where, I believe, most of the sales will come from going forward.


Well the 788 can be used as a direct 763 or 764 replacement with better CASM and longer range. Lowering the cost of the 788 helps to compete against the A330-800. Airlines that want to get rid of their 763 fleets could find a lower cost 788 attractive, especially if they want them before the yet to be launched Boeing MOM is available or want more range than the MOM will have.
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:09 am

flyingclrs727 wrote:
Francoflier wrote:
No doubt the 788 can be improved, but I have a feeling the focus will shift towards the 789 and 781 as this is where, I believe, most of the sales will come from going forward.


Well the 788 can be used as a direct 763 or 764 replacement with better CASM and longer range. Lowering the cost of the 788 helps to compete against the A330-800. Airlines that want to get rid of their 763 fleets could find a lower cost 788 attractive, especially if they want them before the yet to be launched Boeing MOM is available or want more range than the MOM will have.

Yes, a lower cost 788 would be really competitive, currently it's not a brilliant replacement since there are plenty of less capable but probably better suited cheaper aircraft like used A330-200/300s for instance or the A330neo.
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:34 am

There's no need to improve 787-8. The production capacity is fully occupied for 787-9 and 787-10.

The only thing the can do is to make a new 787-8 as a simple shrink of the 787-9 to improve standardization in the manufacturing.

It also means the future 787-8 can achieve the same MTOW of the 788-9 with the obvious consequence that it could open the way to either a very long range 787-8 or a medium sized freighter.
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:09 pm

AA is replacing their 767-300ER fleet with new build 788. The 787-9 is going to be the main 787 model followed by the longer 787-10. There is still a place for the 787-8 for smaller operators, not all missions need 8,000 miles range. Whichever 787 model gets sold many will be sold, 2,000 787 are probably 10 years away.
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:34 pm

One poster (RJ) has mentioned that an improved 787-8 with a little more maximum weight capability would fill two big niches: long thin routes, and a similar sized freighter replacement for the 767. The 767 seems to be a magically righted size for serious freight work. He also has mentioned that the 777-8's capability is misplaced for freight.
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sat Sep 14, 2019 3:47 pm

Francoflier wrote:
No doubt the 788 can be improved, but I have a feeling the focus will shift towards the 789 and 781 as this is where, I believe, most of the sales will come from going forward.

If one follows the history of the 788, for quite a while Boeing was preferring to sell 789 because they make more money on them and because 788 was so different from 789/J in terms of production.

Then we saw AA order 20 frames as mentioned by jfk777 which created a great opportunity to put the 789 tail onto the 788, greatly increasing commonality and lowering manufacturing cost.

Perhaps some other optimizations were made along with the common tail, but I haven't read of any.

Now it would seem any future 788 orders are "found money" largely enabled by the increase in commonality.

frmrCapCadet wrote:
One poster (RJ) has mentioned that an improved 787-8 with a little more maximum weight capability would fill two big niches: long thin routes, and a similar sized freighter replacement for the 767. The 767 seems to be a magically righted size for serious freight work. He also has mentioned that the 777-8's capability is misplaced for freight.

767F has two things going for it:
    1) Dirt cheap to build and maintain due to development cost being written off decades ago and production line being shared with KC46 tanker
    2) Fits into current hangars and bays at UPS/FX sort centers

788F does not hit those marks.

777F exists for very long range freight needs with development cost written off but needs bigger hangars/bays just like 788F would.

Eventually a transition will have to be made, but we could easily see KC46 in production for another decade with cheap 767F as a side effect.
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sat Sep 14, 2019 7:38 pm

I see Boeing not going after a lot of the new versions, likely because the high priority is the NMA. The 778 might sell 200 if it follows the 77L experience, probably costs around $1B to develop, that is $5M per bird over the 779 development cost. Big changes to the 788 will also be a while off. Get the Max back flying and go for the NMA.

Once the NMA is launched, the 788 position is altered. The current 788 will still be offered but will be low volume, but a 788LR is quite easy, a shrink of the 789 to the 788 length gives a 268,000 lb OEW, 560,000 MTOW, an increase of over 50,000 lb from the current 788 with the 789 MTOW. Additional tankage would be needed to use this extra capability for maximum range, but it could go out with full payload and a lot more fuel. It would probably take out the 778 completely while fitting better with the NMA capabilities.
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:07 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
I see Boeing not going after a lot of the new versions, likely because the high priority is the NMA. The 778 might sell 200 if it follows the 77L experience, probably costs around $1B to develop, that is $5M per bird over the 779 development cost. Big changes to the 788 will also be a while off. Get the Max back flying and go for the NMA.

Once the NMA is launched, the 788 position is altered. The current 788 will still be offered but will be low volume, but a 788LR is quite easy, a shrink of the 789 to the 788 length gives a 268,000 lb OEW, 560,000 MTOW, an increase of over 50,000 lb from the current 788 with the 789 MTOW. Additional tankage would be needed to use this extra capability for maximum range, but it could go out with full payload and a lot more fuel. It would probably take out the 778 completely while fitting better with the NMA capabilities.


Except that a 778F could take more of the accounting hit to develop the 778. I don't expect the 778F to be announced till Boeing is ready to shut down the 747 line. Airbus has much less experience with freighters. I expect Boeing to have the advantage for the 748F replacement.

Also if for some reason the USAF decided it needed a KC-10 replacement, a 778F based aircraft might be a good option.
 
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keesje
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:31 am

The 787-8 is 37% heavier than the 767-300ER.

Image

763ER operators aren't looking for an ultra long thin routes replacement. They use other aircraft for that (789, A359).

37% is hard to rationalize away. But that's another discussion. That has become quiet, by the way..
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:57 am

keesje wrote:
The 787-8 is 37% heavier than the 767-300ER.

Image

763ER operators aren't looking for an ultra long thin routes replacement. They use other aircraft for that (789, A359).

37% is hard to rationalize away. But that's another discussion. That has become quiet, by the way..


The 767-300ER operators might not look for a modern 767 with equal performance and range. If they are looking for an aircraft with similar seats the 787-8 might be a feasable option, that'll perform the mission the current 767 flies while being more efficient. The 787 will also give more flexibility than the 767 due to the increased performance and range.

If Boeing manages to make the -8 more common with the -9 and cut costs, I see the -8 as a viable 767 replacement.
For the 767 operators that don't need the extra performance of the 787 over the 767, a lower MTOW -8 might be a great alternative while also filling in the NMA gap, giving Boeing the room to start with a NSA design.
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:21 am

Quint1 wrote:
keesje wrote:
The 787-8 is 37% heavier than the 767-300ER.

Image

763ER operators aren't looking for an ultra long thin routes replacement. They use other aircraft for that (789, A359).

37% is hard to rationalize away. But that's another discussion. That has become quiet, by the way..


The 767-300ER operators might not look for a modern 767 with equal performance and range.


I think they are. Boeing 767 capacity & range but with 15-20% lower fuel burn and operating costs. For the price of a 767.

Problem is it doesn't exist, it's not on offer. So they have to do with compromises.. 737-10, A330NEO, A321, 787-8. They aren't happy but have no choice.
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:56 am

flyingclrs727 wrote:
Except that a 778F could take more of the accounting hit to develop the 778. I don't expect the 778F to be announced till Boeing is ready to shut down the 747 line.

This is not the case at all.

The 777-8F will cost just as much to develop as the 777-8. They will have very big differences internally.

If you look at the 777-200LR and 777F they have landing weights of 223t and 260t respectively. The freighter has massive stengthening inside. The lower landing weight of the 777-200LR saves weight and improves range. The higher landing weight of the freighter allows for maximum payload and is even a higher landing weight than the 777-300ER. The freighter also has metal floor beams and the passenger version has composite beams.

If Boeing decides to make the 777-8 and 777-8F on the same frame it will compromise both models. Boeing would want to give the 777-8 freighter a landing weight higher or equal to the 777-9 to maximize payload. Boeing would want to reduce the landing weight of the 777-8 passenger version and save 3-4t of structural weight. This weight saving could be the difference of winning and losing the project sunrise as fuel burn would be improved by 1 or even 2%.

So if the 777-8 and 777-8F both have a questionable business case then it might be worth cancelling both. It would no doubt be cheaper to develop a 787-8 freighter using the 787-10 landing and takeoff weights. Yes the passenger 787-8ER would gain weight and lose efficiency over the current 787-8 but it would gain massive range and also do the ultra long haul role of the cancelled 777-8.

With the 797 in the picture doing short routes it makes perfect sense to go with the 787-8ER and 787 freighter in the long run.

I believe the 747-8F freighter will live on for a very long time as it plays an important role in the US military. The 747 freighters are making a killing doing work for the military. It is still cheaper for the military to outsource to private freighter companies and keep the flight hours down on the C-5's and C-17's. I am certain the US government would have told Boeing to keep the 747 line open at all costs.

The easy option is to keep the current 777F in production as it has a monopoly.

The 787 upgrades do not even have to come at once.
1) 260t MTOW
2) 787-8ER simple shrink of the 787-9.
3) 787-8 Freighter
4) 787NEO. GE puts in CMC's as a big PIP.

I expect all four to be done by the time the 797 enters service.
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:29 am

Improve the 787 with 2-4-2 seating, that will increase range since the plane will carry less passengers.
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:14 pm

keesje wrote:
The 787-8 is 37% heavier than the 767-300ER.
763ER operators aren't looking for an ultra long thin routes replacement. They use other aircraft for that (789, A359).

37% is hard to rationalize away. But that's another discussion. That has become quiet, by the way..

How does the 767-300ER numbers compare to the a/c which all and sundry say put it out to pasture, the A330?
That is where the market went, that is where the bulk of the sales now exist and has been for a decade or so. If prior 767 customers went A330 because of its advantages, why would the same not apply to the 787 and indeed the existing A330 customers?
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:21 pm

par13del wrote:
keesje wrote:
The 787-8 is 37% heavier than the 767-300ER.
763ER operators aren't looking for an ultra long thin routes replacement. They use other aircraft for that (789, A359).

37% is hard to rationalize away. But that's another discussion. That has become quiet, by the way..

How does the 767-300ER numbers compare to the a/c which all and sundry say put it out to pasture, the A330?
That is where the market went, that is where the bulk of the sales now exist and has been for a decade or so. If prior 767 customers went A330 because of its advantages, why would the same not apply to the 787 and indeed the existing A330 customers?


The A330 has about the same weight as 787. And it replaced the 767 on routes where growth was required in terms of capacity, cargo.

In Asia it was used for it's passenger/cargo capacity. For replacing the 767 fleets at AA, DL, UA, doing domestic, Caribean etc. Less so. Here also A330 is a compromise.

A few years ago carriers were looking at reordering new 767, despite their 787/A330 backlog, with old CF6, PW4000/RB engines..

The 787-3 proved an expensive, heavy, unpopular solution for the 767s medium routes requirement. The -8 isn't better.

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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:15 pm

par13del wrote:
keesje wrote:
The 787-8 is 37% heavier than the 767-300ER.
763ER operators aren't looking for an ultra long thin routes replacement. They use other aircraft for that (789, A359).

37% is hard to rationalize away. But that's another discussion. That has become quiet, by the way..

How does the 767-300ER numbers compare to the a/c which all and sundry say put it out to pasture, the A330?
That is where the market went, that is where the bulk of the sales now exist and has been for a decade or so. If prior 767 customers went A330 because of its advantages, why would the same not apply to the 787 and indeed the existing A330 customers?

In service we see 767 flies with 7 across in Y whereas A330 does 8 across and 787 mostly does 9, so the heavier aircraft produces more revenue.

The 767 engines and wings are light but they are damn inefficient, thus the need to put 787 onto the market.

Indeed, if weight was the only determinant, A300 would still be on the market.
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:03 pm

So are we confirming there is a market for the NMA?
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:22 pm

par13del wrote:
So are we confirming there is a market for the NMA?

We know there is a market. It is at what price vs. capability and for Boeing to first get their house in order (deficit on engineers and engineers avoiding the program as it being run as another burn out the technical staff and if they cannot meet the impossible to meet schedule (aka IMS), it is their fault). In other words, today's aerospace market.

But the 788 has been made more competitive to win AA's order. Who else might order? It depends on Boeing's sales price. We have enough threads on:
1. Boeing is making an extreme profit on every 787
2. Boeing has an order deficit

If I were a Boeing VP and the 2nd point became a crisis, a discount order of 788s to fill the production pipeline would be an easy call.

How many discount 788s must Boeing sell to:
1. Kill the A339?
2. Fill the pipeline

This does little damage to the profitable 789 and 78X sales.

As every article seems to point out, Boeing is dependent on 787 sales for profit and that is dependent on great economy of scale (168+ per year). Hmmm... I think we know what will happen: brutal price war at a profit for Boeing. Just not $30 million each, there is an incredible amount of price flexibility there. :devil:. Ignore sunk costs and do business.

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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:44 pm

I really do not have the knowledge and insight into the manufacturing of passenger (or any other) aircraft. However, from what I have picked up reading here, taking the Boeing plant tour at a time when the 747-400 was at its peak, and personal tour at Embraer when the E135/45 and initial E175’s had already begun delivery against a massive amount of orders. I also got a very detailed and up close tour and blueprints of the “yet to be announced “Phenom” Exec Jet. For an aviation enthusiast, it felt like I was dreaming!

I certainly recall reading the articles in mainstream magazines (written for the average person) about the totally breakthrough way in which Boeing had designed and was building the 787 fuselage: basically all composite, and in 1 piece, versus the usual panels of aluminum bolted to the skeleton. That the single tube composite fuselage would weigh less and require far less “ribs” of the traditional fuselage. How they do that “exactly” I don’t really understand. But the thrust of the article was this new innovative way of manufacturing would create multiple advantages: lighter and more fuel efficient, yet stronger, and allowing for higher cabin pressure. The articles mentioned what Airbus was cooking up, the XWB. It too would have a composite fuselage, but assembled more the traditional way using panels.

If the 787-8 was a first of its kind, I also understand that through development and manufacturing, much of the learning was done then, and the future variants (-9 & -10) would reap the benefits.

But as I read this thread, I’m really surprised to read that manufacturing commonality with the -9 & -10 is ONLY 30%?

Can someone please (like you’re explaining to an intelligent 10 year old) how 70% changed? And is it ALL in the-8’s manufacturing or are things like flying commonality: cockpit and avionics, handling the flying of the -8 vs -9 & -10 for pilots very different? (I would have assumed a 787 trained pilot could hop into any of the 3 787 variants, no problem)

Has the wing changed over time? Does the 78-10 have a very different wing than the 78-8?

I must admit as much as I love flying the 787, it’s quiet and seemingly effortless taking to the air, and general comfort during long flights is wonderful. But, I cannot help but I still love a 767. I love the tube size, and even enjoy her buzzsaw engine noise on take off.

I know AA bit the bullet and chose the 788 as the 767 replacement. I’m not the one to say if that was the right call. Clearly United has decided to stick with their 767’s for as long as feasible and making huge investments fixing her up. My few UA refurbished 767 flights were awesome in Polaris. Yet, it does seem like the 788 is too big to be a direct replacement- unless perhaps UA were to create very high premium 788’s. I would think (Although what do I know?) that a high J, high PE and high E+ 788 would be a very desirable way to fly for pax who are LHR bound, from a few UNITED US hubs.

Delta seems already covered with their mix of A330s, 772s and A350’s???
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sun Sep 15, 2019 6:21 pm

Revelation wrote:
In service we see 767 flies with 7 across in Y whereas A330 does 8 across and 787 mostly does 9, so the heavier aircraft produces more revenue.

The 767 engines and wings are light but they are damn inefficient, thus the need to put 787 onto the market.

Indeed, if weight was the only determinant, A300 would still be on the market.


If it was only about the wings and engines, why not an X treatment ala 777X ? Should be much cheaper to develop than a clean sheet. I think 2-3-2 in Y and 1-1-1 in J are the culprit. Too much space lost in the additional isle without gaining much revenue space. If Boeing/Airbus do build a proper replacement for the 767, I'll bet it would be at least 2-4-2 in Y to leverage the extra isle, not to mention LD3 compatibility. The 767 fuselage is neither wide enough to generate enough additional RASM over a narrow-body but not efficient enough to beat the CASM of 787/A330.
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:37 pm

Boeing tried updating the 767, anyone remember the 767-400 campaigns?
So they went for a replacement - 787 - and it is sized the way it is because the clients wanted that, and now we try to say Boeing was in error?
 
kimimm19
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:18 pm

Would it not be better to try and shrink/lighten the 788?

The 787 technology is about as good as anything a NMA could have given the lack of advancement in 10-15 years other than engines. So I think they could potentially save time and money using that as a base, plus anything that airlines would want the 788 for, they just order the 789, because it can do it better and for more revenue potential.
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:35 pm

If they are moving the existing 788 to have more commonality with the 789 process I suspect a shrink will be too heavy with too much structure, especially if it is being done for ease of manufacture, you would be back to the 787-3.
If we are talking about the NMA, big question would be whether the barrel method does go much smaller than 787 size, there have been questions of whether it works economically for a 737 / 757 size a/c.
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:58 am

kimimm19 wrote:
Would it not be better to try and shrink/lighten the 788?

The 787 technology is about as good as anything a NMA could have given the lack of advancement in 10-15 years other than engines. So I think they could potentially save time and money using that as a base, plus anything that airlines would want the 788 for, they just order the 789, because it can do it better and for more revenue potential.


No, it would be better to build a new plane optimized for short to medium routes like those that A330ceos built in the last 10 years are being used for. A new plane can be optimized for shorter missions allowing it to be lighter weight and more efficient as well as cheaper to build. The 787-8 was not designed to be flown like a 737.

Composite design and manufacturing has changed in the last 15 years.
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:54 pm

A revised re-engined 788 would make sense when the family gets re-engined; after 2025. That is tough to conceive right now but keep in mind the A330 line will probably be closing around then (especially from a sales perspective). Boeing is likely to have a composite winged/fuse NMA and NSA alike on offer, and Airbus will be responding in kind.
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:26 pm

Revelation wrote:
par13del wrote:
keesje wrote:
The 787-8 is 37% heavier than the 767-300ER.
763ER operators aren't looking for an ultra long thin routes replacement. They use other aircraft for that (789, A359).

37% is hard to rationalize away. But that's another discussion. That has become quiet, by the way..

How does the 767-300ER numbers compare to the a/c which all and sundry say put it out to pasture, the A330?
That is where the market went, that is where the bulk of the sales now exist and has been for a decade or so. If prior 767 customers went A330 because of its advantages, why would the same not apply to the 787 and indeed the existing A330 customers?

In service we see 767 flies with 7 across in Y whereas A330 does 8 across and 787 mostly does 9, so the heavier aircraft produces more revenue.

The 767 engines and wings are light but they are damn inefficient, thus the need to put 787 onto the market.

Indeed, if weight was the only determinant, A300 would still be on the market.


I think (in hindsight) Boeing might have been over occupied with the Dreamliner 787-8, 787-3

:arrow: The 767 has supercritical airfoils and mods have been made to wingtips overtime. A further aero dynamic clean-up using CFD could be considered. Not "damn inefficient" to start with IMO, right sized anyway versus the 787-8 maybe heavy, "oversized" wings.
:arrow: Better engines were available from GE and RR. It has been seriously looked at years ago.
:arrow: Both Boeing (787) and USAF (lowest purchade cost) had other priorities than 767 fuel efficiency at this stage.
:arrow: There's a good engine the GENX-2, maybe Trent 7000.
:arrow: It fits code D gates and would have commonality with existing 767 fleets.
:arrow: It has the same cockpit section as the 777 fleets.
:arrow: And it would still be 30t (!) lighter than 787-8 & A330NEO.

Image

I think that when Boeing would have launched a 767NG, around 2006-2010, the world would look different for Boeing.

Image

Probably hundreds of new Boeing 767 NMA would be in service
:arrow: among leisure carriers US & Europe
:arrow: doing transcons
:arrow: consolidating TATL markets
:arrow: hopping around China, Japan etc.
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:32 pm

keesje wrote:
The 767 has supercritical airfoils and mods have been made to wingtips overtime. A further aero dynamic clean-up using CFD could be considered. Not "damn inefficient" to start with IMO, right sized anyway versus the 787-8 maybe heavy, "oversized" wings.

Is this another suggestion that technology hasn't improved since the 80's?

767 wing is actually late 70s tech and quite oversized/overweight by modern standards.

The right comparison is 767's damn inefficient wing to the upcoming NMA wing which will be right-sized for MoM missions and will be mated to a right-sized engine as well.

And it would still be [u]30t (!) lighter than 787-8 & A330NEO.

Not after you fit TXWB/GEnX2 era engines which are much heavier than RB211/CF6, plus add strengthening to wings, wingbox, gear, etc. needed to carry them.

I think that when Boeing would have launched a 767NG, around 2006-2010, the world would look different for Boeing.

Sure, and if Airbus had launched an A300NEO around 2006-2010 they would not have needed to mess around with A358, A338 or perhaps even A321XLR.

They would have had a pure MoM product on market just as the market woke up to its possibilities.

Yet of course they decided against that, for similar reasons.

Nice to see you advocating grandfathering mature tech for a change, though.
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Weatherwatcher1
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:18 pm

It feels strange to discuss improving the 787-8 or building a 767-8 when we know that Boeing is working on an all new airplane that will cover the market for a short to medium haul 220-270 seat 2-class plane.
 
kimimm19
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:45 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
It feels strange to discuss improving the 787-8 or building a 767-8 when we know that Boeing is working on an all new airplane that will cover the market for a short to medium haul 220-270 seat 2-class plane.


Yes, however, given the difficulties (delays, manufacturing problems, supplier problems, etc..) that recent clean sheet design and even re-engined aircraft are having, I would think that if Boeing does drag the process out, most airlines will have replaced the middle of the market (757s and 767s for regional) with newer efficient planes on either side of the spectrum.
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:55 pm

kimimm19 wrote:
Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
It feels strange to discuss improving the 787-8 or building a 767-8 when we know that Boeing is working on an all new airplane that will cover the market for a short to medium haul 220-270 seat 2-class plane.


Yes, however, given the difficulties (delays, manufacturing problems, supplier problems, etc..) that recent clean sheet design and even re-engined aircraft are having, I would think that if Boeing does drag the process out, most airlines will have replaced the middle of the market (757s and 767s for regional) with newer efficient planes on either side of the spectrum.


Boeing is already dragging the process out and there is no replacement available in the same size category. The 787 is 40,000 lbs too heavy and the 321 in any version is too small.
 
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keesje
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:37 am

Revelation wrote:
Is this another suggestion that technology hasn't improved since the 80's?

767 wing is actually late 70s tech and quite oversized/overweight by modern standards.

The right comparison is 767's damn inefficient wing to the upcoming NMA wing which will be right-sized for MoM missions and will be mated to a right-sized engine as well.


No. The 767 seems to have an good wing loading, dimensions for the missions envisioned. Contrary to using a 787 or A330 on those shorter medium missions. The 767 wing holds enough fuel & fits the gates. As said the 767 was developped in the late seventies, but was advanced (super critical airfoil) then.

Image

. Not after you fit TXWB/GEnX2 era engines which are much heavier than RB211/CF6, plus add strengthening to wings, wingbox, gear, etc. needed to carry them.


Nope. I added ~ 4t to the OEW for that. A MTOW increase would not be required for NMA missions, so little need to beef up everything. .


Sure, and if Airbus had launched an A300NEO around 2006-2010 they would not have needed to mess around with A358, A338 or perhaps even A321XLR.

They would have had a pure MoM product on market just as the market woke up to its possibilities.

Yet of course they decided against that, for similar reasons.


Airbus sold many A330s, A350s and A321s after that. So they did something right.. the XLR seems to be in a segment of it's own.

Nice to see you advocating grandfathering mature tech for a change, though.


Grandfathering has more to do with the way new and incremental designs are certified, and against which (grandfathered) requirements. Not so much the aircraft themselves. I guess authorities are reviewing it at this moment. I notice the word "grandfathering" is staunchly avoided these days, when the mechanism is clearly in the spotlights. :sarcastic:
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SQ22
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:03 am

May I remind you that this thread is about 787-8 improvements and to stay on topic? Maybe it is just my understanding, but I do not have the impression that the initial intention of this thread was to focus on "The Middle of the Market" but on a specific aircraft and its capabilities. Thanks.
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:14 am

From where I sit the fuselage and wings are only two elements of a composition of technologies that make up a aircraft.

An NMA utiliasing the 787's architecture / systems would probably be the most cost effective solution for building an aircraft in the size / segment required.

If we go back twenty five years when the 777 was being developed, Boeing Australia had to do a quick redesign of the composite tail fin to increase its size. Where the general arrangement, architecture and manufacturing processes of the fin was developed over multiple years the resizing only took 3-4 months.

If we go back to the early years of the 787 it was suggested the barrel technology was scalable. In other words size was not a factor for the application of the technology.

Another indicator is the size of the engines for the proposed NMA. They are considerably smaller than those used on the 787. I'd suggest with the aircraft optimised for shorter routes, the engine architecture will be considerably different to that on the 787 engines.

If we look at where cost savings in the manufacture of the 787 occured, we can often trace it back to a material type, technology or manufacturing process. As such, improving the 787-8 will be largely be based upon applying technologies/manufacturing processes used for the 787-9. This could also suggest there are still potential cost savings for the 787 family as a whole or a new NMA.

As such, the best way to improve the 787 is to ensure its architecture and systems can be shared acrossed multiple platforms so that the cost to develop them can be shared between the greatest amount of aircraft possible (just trying to keep on topic).
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Tue Sep 17, 2019 1:16 pm

Or to summarize, the original mission profile of the -8 is a valid niche - long and thin routes. Its particular growth mode is to do it better and cheaper, which carries the side benefit of possibly making it a freighter of choice. And to toss something new in, could they fold those wing tips just a bit to fit one size smaller dock?
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seabosdca
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Tue Sep 17, 2019 3:54 pm

The 787-8 can increase commonality with the 787-9, but it can't just become a simple shrink without losing what competitiveness it does have. The only reason it works at all is because it uses a considerably smaller and lighter main gear than the other 787s. This reduces empty weight by a few tonnes, but is why it has a lower MTOW and shorter range.

If Boeing goes forward with NMA, I expect the 787-8 to be discontinued once all orders have been filled. If Boeing decides not to do NMA, the 787-8 will stay around, and will make the occasional sale, but won't ever be the volume product in the 787 line.
 
Sokes
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:46 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
flyingclrs727 wrote:
Except that a 778F could take more of the accounting hit to develop the 778. I don't expect the 778F to be announced till Boeing is ready to shut down the 747 line.

This is not the case at all.

The 777-8F will cost just as much to develop as the 777-8. They will have very big differences internally.

If you look at the 777-200LR and 777F they have landing weights of 223t and 260t respectively. The freighter has massive stengthening inside. The lower landing weight of the 777-200LR saves weight and improves range. The higher landing weight of the freighter allows for maximum payload and is even a higher landing weight than the 777-300ER. The freighter also has metal floor beams and the passenger version has composite beams.

If Boeing decides to make the 777-8 and 777-8F on the same frame it will compromise both models. Boeing would want to give the 777-8 freighter a landing weight higher or equal to the 777-9 to maximize payload. Boeing would want to reduce the landing weight of the 777-8 passenger version and save 3-4t of structural weight. This weight saving could be the difference of winning and losing the project sunrise as fuel burn would be improved by 1 or even 2%.

So if the 777-8 and 777-8F both have a questionable business case then it might be worth cancelling both. It would no doubt be cheaper to develop a 787-8 freighter using the 787-10 landing and takeoff weights. Yes the passenger 787-8ER would gain weight and lose efficiency over the current 787-8 but it would gain massive range and also do the ultra long haul role of the cancelled 777-8.

With the 797 in the picture doing short routes it makes perfect sense to go with the 787-8ER and 787 freighter in the long run.

I believe the 747-8F freighter will live on for a very long time as it plays an important role in the US military. The 747 freighters are making a killing doing work for the military. It is still cheaper for the military to outsource to private freighter companies and keep the flight hours down on the C-5's and C-17's. I am certain the US government would have told Boeing to keep the 747 line open at all costs.

The easy option is to keep the current 777F in production as it has a monopoly.

The 787 upgrades do not even have to come at once.
1) 260t MTOW
2) 787-8ER simple shrink of the 787-9.
3) 787-8 Freighter
4) 787NEO. GE puts in CMC's as a big PIP.

I expect all four to be done by the time the 797 enters service.


In short: Because a B747F will be always needed, it's better for Boeing to do a B787-8F than a B777-8F.
That's surely something to think about. At least there seems to be no urgency until B777Fs need replacement. Plus if the B777-9X gets delayed, new B777Fs can keep the line busy. But then Boeing would have to make a decision soon and inform the market.
Moreover a lot of long range cargo will travel in A350s and B777-9X bellies in future. Which again strengthens your B787-8F case.

The problem is we don't really know how expensive it would be for Boeing to make a -9X into a -8F and how the freight markets will develop.
Most of all it will depend on the new B777 engine.
And then I'm not sure if an A350 wouldn't make a better freighter compared to B787. On the other side B767 freighters still sell, so you may be really up to something.
Most important: as B787 orders are lacking for the future it would help to stabilize production.
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RJMAZ
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:52 am

Sokes wrote:
And then I'm not sure if an A350 wouldn't make a better freighter compared to B787. On the other side B767 freighters still sell, so you may be really up to something.
Most important: as B787 orders are lacking for the future it would help to stabilize production.

The A350-900 would actually be a poor freighter. The landing weight is the most important part of a freighter. With the current A350-900 landing weight it barely matches the maximum payload 55t of the much smaller 767F. The A350-900 would only be great for long range lightweight packages. This is why A330 passenger to freight conversions are not very attractive. The A350-900 freighter would need the A350-1000 landing gear with its 223t zero fuel weight to be effective. A big investment but would allow roughly 85t of payload. It could also produce a 10,000nm range passenger aircraft, very niche.

The 777F has a max payload of 100t. The reason why it is such a good freighter is because it is 10m shorter than the 777-300ER and Boeing could use all the stronger landing gear.

The 787-8 also benefits from having two longer length fuselages with significantly heavier landing weights. So by making the 787-8 a simple shrink of the 787-9/10 not only does Boeing save on production costs but conveniently makes a perfect freighter and an ultra long haul aircraft. Three birds with one stone. Payload of the 787-8F would probably be around 75t.

The 767 freighter sales as you point out are doing well. There are also many A300 freighters in service. The DC-10's and MD-11's are also smaller than the 777F and would be perfectly replaced by the 787-8F.
 
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seabosdca
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:39 am

RJMAZ wrote:
The A350-900 would actually be a poor freighter. The landing weight is the most important part of a freighter. With the current A350-900 landing weight it barely matches the maximum payload 55t of the much smaller 767F. The A350-900 would only be great for long range lightweight packages.


Do we know that landing gear is the limiting factor?

The 787-8 also benefits from having two longer length fuselages with significantly heavier landing weights. So by making the 787-8 a simple shrink of the 787-9/10 not only does Boeing save on production costs but conveniently makes a perfect freighter and an ultra long haul aircraft. Three birds with one stone. Payload of the 787-8F would probably be around 75t.


I suspect it will be more cost-effective to make a 787-9F, just like Boeing chose to do with the 767-300ER. A bit of strengthening of the center wing box and you could probably get 70 t payload out of it, which would be plenty.[/quote]
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:15 am

seabosdca wrote:
Do we know that landing gear is the limiting factor?

Yes. The landing gear struts, tyres, trucks and the section where the struts tranfer load into the centre wing box is what determines the maximum landing weight.

To increase the maximum takeoff weight the landing gear has very little to do with it unless pavement loading hits a limit. As the aircraft accelerates down the runway the weight on the landing gear reduces.


seabosdca wrote:
I suspect it will be more cost-effective to make a 787-9F, just like Boeing chose to do with the 767-300ER. A bit of strengthening of the center wing box and you could probably get 70 t payload out of it, which would be plenty.

That would cost more, a unique wingbox and landing gear.

The 767-300F received many stronger parts but most ended up getting used on the 767-400 a few years later. Maybe if Boeing plans to launch the 787-11 in say 10 years time they could develop the stronger gear and wingbox first for the 787-9F in say 5 years time.

The 787-9 by having more volume would have the advantage for light parcels. The 787-8 freighter would be similar payload weight/volume ratio of current freighters. Some freight companies might not like a low weight or high volume.
 
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:32 am

Is there any chance that something like a 787-3 might return? Possibly with a fully custom made efficient smaller wing as CFRP manufacturing became cheaper?
 
RJMAZ
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:24 am

Noshow wrote:
Is there any chance that something like a 787-3 might return? Possibly with a fully custom made efficient smaller wing as CFRP manufacturing became cheaper?

The problem with the 787-3 was that it was not very optimised. After the 787-8 delays Boeing decided to make the 787-3 even less optimised which effectively killed it.

Making a short range optimised aircraft it is not as simple as reducing MTOW weight and derating the engines. Every part ideally should be optimised for lower weight and loads.

The NMA-6 and NMA-7 naming conveniently sat underneith the 787 numbers. Quite a few members thought we could see proper short haul optimised 787-6 and 787-7 versions. Optimisation that went well beyond the original 787-3 to reduce weight. I did think there was a small chance of a lightweight 787. Such an aircraft would not have filled the MOM gap but would have made it much smaller. Pretty much the role of the original A300.

The bare minimum it would need a brand new fully optimised smaller, lighter wing, wingbox, landing gear and engines. You have now effectively built half of a new plane, very costly. If we had two fuselage lengths I'd expect the 787-7 to be the same length as the 787-8 and the 787-6 to be 6 metres shorter. Keeping with the current 787 spacing between models.

The problem with this however is it could never match the performance of a cleansheet. It would still carry over many heavy parts from the original larger 787 models mainly the 9ab cross section that would result in a short and stubby aircraft.

Building a cleansheet 797 might cost double to triple the cost of a lightweight 787. A cleansheet design might improve performance by 5% but that might result in 5 times as many aircraft sold over the life of the aircraft. So it might be worth spending more which seems to be the case.
 
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keesje
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Thu Sep 19, 2019 11:53 am

lightsaber wrote:
Boeing is reducing cost and weight by reaching commonality with the 789:

https://leehamnews.com/2018/04/17/boein ... mmonality/

The 787-8 sells on cost now. The first part of this cost reduction efforts should already be in place. by next year, nality with the 789 should be complete. This should save some weight but mostly cut cost.


Indeed

The 787-8 lacks commonality with the 787-9 and 787-10. The latter are 95% common, making production easy and cost effective. The 787-8 is only roughly 30% common with the 787-9, Darrell Larson, director of aft-body operations at Boeing’s Charleston plant, acknowledged during a press briefing in advance of delivery of the first 787-10.


Theoretically a smaller lighter wing, wingbox, engine, landing gear etc could bring 787 empty weight in 767 territory, -25t.

Image

Image

But you are basically developping a brand new aircraft. Still sub optimal in many ways. Better go all clean sheet..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
USAirKid
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Fri Sep 20, 2019 3:15 am

keesje wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
Boeing is reducing cost and weight by reaching commonality with the 789:

https://leehamnews.com/2018/04/17/boein ... mmonality/

The 787-8 sells on cost now. The first part of this cost reduction efforts should already be in place. by next year, nality with the 789 should be complete. This should save some weight but mostly cut cost.


Indeed

The 787-8 lacks commonality with the 787-9 and 787-10. The latter are 95% common, making production easy and cost effective. The 787-8 is only roughly 30% common with the 787-9, Darrell Larson, director of aft-body operations at Boeing’s Charleston plant, acknowledged during a press briefing in advance of delivery of the first 787-10.


Theoretically a smaller lighter wing, wingbox, engine, landing gear etc could bring 787 empty weight in 767 territory, -25t.

Image

Image

But you are basically developping a brand new aircraft. Still sub optimal in many ways. Better go all clean sheet..


Why is there a fly in my screen?



(a.k.a. Why is there a fly in those images???)
 
jetmatt777
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:46 am

USAirKid wrote:
keesje wrote:
lightsaber wrote:
Boeing is reducing cost and weight by reaching commonality with the 789:

https://leehamnews.com/2018/04/17/boein ... mmonality/

The 787-8 sells on cost now. The first part of this cost reduction efforts should already be in place. by next year, nality with the 789 should be complete. This should save some weight but mostly cut cost.


Indeed

The 787-8 lacks commonality with the 787-9 and 787-10. The latter are 95% common, making production easy and cost effective. The 787-8 is only roughly 30% common with the 787-9, Darrell Larson, director of aft-body operations at Boeing’s Charleston plant, acknowledged during a press briefing in advance of delivery of the first 787-10.


Theoretically a smaller lighter wing, wingbox, engine, landing gear etc could bring 787 empty weight in 767 territory, -25t.

Image

Image

But you are basically developping a brand new aircraft. Still sub optimal in many ways. Better go all clean sheet..


Why is there a fly in my screen?



(a.k.a. Why is there a fly in those images???)


It’s a “watermark” of sorts to prevent others from using his renderings
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keesje
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:26 am

Everybody is free to use any of my renderings unauthorized. Thing is even for digiblinds like me, it is easy to create something that looks pretty official. The fly is to discredit it & avoid people taking it overly serious. There's enough fake news around..
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Sokes
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:07 am

keesje wrote:
Everybody is free to use any of my renderings unauthorized. Thing is even for digiblinds like me, it is easy to create something that looks pretty official. The fly is to discredit it & avoid people taking it overly serious. There's enough fake news around..


I believe the most important principle in science is truthfulness. Thumbs-up for your answer/ fly in the screen.
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justloveplanes
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Re: Improvements to the Boeing 787-8

Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:55 pm

So the Leeham article on the aft section rework is from 17 months ago (April 18).

So the commonality is greater, but not 90% like between the 9 and 10.

However, Boeing does say they build the same.

So this implies that sections that are different, are likely different versions of a part/section that from a manufacturing perspective are the same.
Such as:
Wingbox
MLG
Fore/aft barrels.

Do we know if the following are now the same?

Center Section
Nose section
Subsystems (not sure why these would be different)

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