Noshow wrote:Your plan would lead them to design the heavy version first and the shrink it to found a family? So all the smaller ones end up being made of their heavy weight ancestor version's ingredients? No that would not be really smart and not lead to a competitive lightweight product.
And I doubt that airlines are ready for folding wing sections in the short haul market. They would fold heir wings in and out all the time. If that mechanism breaks you are grounded.
Conceptually you would digitally design the NSA first using a common fuselage then beef up gear/engines/wingbox/wing for ER NMA version.
Basically what Airbus will be doing if they rewing A321 and make an A322.
The NSA would have a non-folding 36M wing - not needed as you might only target a range of 3,000ishNM initially. The NMA would have something like a 43-44m wing that folds down to 36M.
Common sized (but not necessarily common strength) wingbox - as the fuel capacity in the 3,000NM NSA wingbox might be enough so you don't have to get into the complication of putting fuel in the wing - allowing the NSA wing to be Simple, really thin (efficient) and light. NSA would have a different tail as different thrust/weight - learn lessons from NMA first and learn how to build in volume.
On Boeing's last Carbon airplane they learned a ton going from 788 to 789. I expect a lot of learning if they take this approach this time as well.
With the volume that NSA will sell in - they can afford to put a lot of hours into it to make it as good as it can be taking what they learn from NMA where weight will not be so critical and not kill the MAX while doing so.