It would seem FG is reading some of our posts here!
The article does shed light on many issues that have been discussed here. The article lays out some issues in new light that we haven't touched upon here yet. It also puts the current state of affairs in order again but in different wording.
747-8F- Decision to continue production beyond 2022 has yet to be made.
767-300F- A strong offering but will not be compliant with 2028 ICAO standards.
777F- A strong offering but will not be compliant with 2028 ICAO standards.
777XF- Uncertainty on when/if it will go forward, as it is tied to the 777-8.
The 2028 building standards have made me re-think Boeing's upcoming decisions. The 747-8F is the only freighter they currently make that does not require modifications to meet 2028 building guidelines. The 777F comes to its end in 2028 unless money is pumped into the program. Building it alongside the 777-9 creates a two birds on one line process.
Additionally, the 777-8 and the supposed 777-XF's timeline are up in the air. The 767-300F itself is going to need new engines if it is to meet 2028 standards.
So, will Boeing put new engines on both the 767 and 777 to meet 2028 standards? That's a good amount of money. If done on the 777, will they offer the supposed 777-XF only a short time later? If either 777 offering runs behind or has issues extending past 2028, without the 747 in production, you are left with zero offerings until you get it right.
I think they put new engines on the 767. No way that workhorse gets put on the chopping block. USAF, FEDEX, UPS... Can the 767 use the current 747/787 engines with some tweaks? If so, can the 747F line (if in production) have those tweeks passed its way too?
The 777F and 777XF are the conundrum. You are not going to re engine the 777F to then kill it less than a few years later with the 777-XF. IF you don't do the XF, how does a re engined 777F compete against the A350F possibility?
You obviously need people to want your product. I think the 747 continues on. Boeing finds a way to sit down and make some sales. That program is your insurance policy against an issue with what you do in the 777F/XF/A350F fight. You can offer it to customers if you run late on the next 777 freighter variant ala the 767 on the 787 program. Once you have the new 777 freigther offering rocking, then you can turn your eyes to the Queen and see if it is time to close the books.
Should be fun to see what they do.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower