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Revelation
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:25 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Revelation wrote:
The fact that Airbus is focused on A350F rather than A339F doesn't bode well for the long term prospects of the A330neo. The general idea was to use A330 for cheap and cheerful products while A350 would be for high end stuff. Now they seem to be saying they know they need high end stuff to have any chance at getting a footing into the cargo market.

Coronavirus happened. Might as well adapt to the new reality.

I guess that's where things are. I think in most of our minds we saw that A350 sold very well and built up quite a backlog (roughly still 600+ deep!) so we have a hard time transitioning to the post-corona world where there may be some opportunities to squeeze some freighters into the production schedule.

It's going to be a tricky balancing act for Airbus. They seem to be heading down the path of deciding to do a new fuse length and a new fuse barrel for the cargo door. This means they'll need bigger launch orders to kick the program off. The reuters article at the beginning of this thread estimated they'd need 50 orders to launch the program which I would guess is the lower bound if they are doing a new fuse length, upper otherwise.

Also earlier we saw 77F has sold 242 frames, and of course Boeing can keep making more of these at low relative cost and short lead time as long as customers are willing to buy them, is said to be investigating a 764neoF (with one member here saying it's more or less a done deal) and of course can do a 77XF. So, will there be enough of an addressable market for Airbus to make this kind of investment? Or will they view it as a strategic requirement to have a product in this space and aggressively move forward even if they end up with a product with low penetration like A330F?
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Okcflyer
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:35 pm

Late Addition:

Upon further record checking, there aren't as many active A330 in DHL's network carrier's as I thought. Wiki is only showing 12, 7 of which are -300P2F and 5 are factory A332F's: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DHL_Aviation

Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_A ... _operators, this is the list of active operators.

Airline 200F 300P2F Total
Turkish Airlines 10 0 10
European Air Transport Leipzig 3 4 7
Avianca Cargo 6 0 6
Air Hong Kong 2 3 5
Hong Kong Air Cargo 5 0 5
Air Belgium 4 0 4
ASL Airlines Ireland 0 3 3
EgyptAir Cargo 3 0 3
Malaysia Airlines 3 0 3
Undisclosed customers 3 0 3
DHL Air UK 0 1 1
MNG Airlines 1 0 1
Wizz Air 1 0 1
 
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Revelation
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Mon Apr 26, 2021 2:50 pm

I tried to SWAG some scenarios for A350F:

Best case: A350F gets wide acceptance, captures many current 77F customers, gets into the fleets of FX, UPS, and DHL and others, post-corona we see e-commerce trend grow even faster, Boeing decides to not do a 77XF, Airbus sells 200+ A350F over 15 years, Airbus makes strong profits on the program.

Middle of the road: A350F gains medium acceptance, captures some current 77F customers, gets into one or two of the fleets of FX, UPS and DHL, post-corona we see e-commerce trend grow modestly, Boeing decides to do a 77XF, market split between 77XF, A350F and 77WF, Airbus sells 100 A350F over 15 years, Airbus makes modest profits on the program.

Worst case: A350F moves forward speculatively with relatively small initial orders and not much penetration of the 77F base or the 'Big 3', 77XF and 77WF gain large market share, A350F sales stall, it becomes a 'me too' product like A330F, Airbus sells 50 A350F over 15 years, Airbus loses money on the program.

Comments?

My guess is if they can get the ~50 launch orders with one of the 'Big 3' on board and decent prospects at one or two of the other two 'Big 3', then they will feel they can at least be heading down the 'middle of the road' scenario and will give it a go.
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mxaxai
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Mon Apr 26, 2021 3:41 pm

Revelation wrote:
My guess is if they can get the ~50 launch orders with one of the 'Big 3' on board and decent prospects at one or two of the other two 'Big 3', then they will feel they can at least be heading down the 'middle of the road' scenario and will give it a go.

I think Amazon / Prime Air would be a good candidate to make it a 'Big 4'.

Personally, the 'Best Case' scenario seems unlikely. There are many fairly young passenger widebodies (A330, 77W) that were recently retired and probably won't be back in passenger operations. Granted, the A330P2F doesn't directly compete with the A350 or 777 on long haul routes, but it does have the range for many routes that are currently flown by MD-11 or 77F like Europe to central Africa or the Middle East.

The 'Worst Case' scenario seems equally unlikely as long as cargo demand remains high. The A332F was hindered by being too large as an A300 replacement / 767 competitor yet not capable enough to be a MD-11 replacement / 772F competitor. With an A350F, Airbus should have more room to taylor the aircraft to the operator's demands.

If Boeing does launch a 778F or 789F, I would expect a market split of 40 : 40 : 20 for A350F : 7XF : 77WF. If they don't and keep selling the 777-200LRF it's more likely to be 50 : 25 : 25 for A350F : 77F : 77WF. Anything far beyond 50% market share seems unrealistic.
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Mon Apr 26, 2021 4:28 pm

I remain apprehensive about Airbus offering only a single size and range of freighter rather than a more diverse family.

The A350F would be both large in size and high in range. It seems to me that the potential market is likely to be more diverse than that, and they should at least offer a new-build smaller frame with a similar high range (A338F) alongside the posited A350F. That would allow capture of the benefits of the latest technologies including fuel burn advantage for the long range offerings where it counts most. Regional range needs, whether large frame or smaller, could be left to conversions of older frames.
 
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reidar76
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:03 pm

People seems to forget that the last 767F and 777F will be delivered in 2027 due to ICAO’s CO2 emissions regulations, unless Boeing re-engine the aircraft.

"The obvious solution would be to go ahead with the proposed 777X Freighter derivative. But with the 777-8 passenger variant from which it will be developed in limbo, an early move to create a cargo derivative is no slam-dunk."
https://www.flightglobal.com/flight-int ... 55.article

This might be the right moment to launch an A350F.
 
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AECM
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:04 pm

JerseyFlyer wrote:
I remain apprehensive about Airbus offering only a single size and range of freighter rather than a more diverse family.

The A350F would be both large in size and high in range. It seems to me that the potential market is likely to be more diverse than that, and they should at least offer a new-build smaller frame with a similar high range (A338F) alongside the posited A350F. That would allow capture of the benefits of the latest technologies including fuel burn advantage for the long range offerings where it counts most. Regional range needs, whether large frame or smaller, could be left to conversions of older frames.


I think that Airbus will follow this path with an A350F somewhere in between the MD11 and B77F in terms of cargo capacity and range and a smaller variant based on the A330NEO.
 
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Revelation
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:59 pm

reidar76 wrote:
People seems to forget that the last 767F and 777F will be delivered in 2027 due to ICAO’s CO2 emissions regulations, unless Boeing re-engine the aircraft.

"The obvious solution would be to go ahead with the proposed 777X Freighter derivative. But with the 777-8 passenger variant from which it will be developed in limbo, an early move to create a cargo derivative is no slam-dunk."
https://www.flightglobal.com/flight-int ... 55.article

This might be the right moment to launch an A350F.

It's easy to forget because it's not a big concern, despite what one media member cares to project.

Once 779 is out the doors in 2023-4 there will be plenty of time to do a 77XF and a 764F too.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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tomcat
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Mon Apr 26, 2021 8:43 pm

reidar76 wrote:
People seems to forget that the last 767F and 777F will be delivered in 2027 due to ICAO’s CO2 emissions regulations, unless Boeing re-engine the aircraft.

"The obvious solution would be to go ahead with the proposed 777X Freighter derivative. But with the 777-8 passenger variant from which it will be developed in limbo, an early move to create a cargo derivative is no slam-dunk."
https://www.flightglobal.com/flight-int ... 55.article

This might be the right moment to launch an A350F.


Once the 779 will be certified, creating a 777XF will not be a greater effort for Boeing than creating the A359.5F is for Airbus. Making the 778 first wouldn't help much, it would just delay the moment Boeing can start working on the 777XF.
 
flipdewaf
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Mon Apr 26, 2021 8:54 pm

tomcat wrote:
reidar76 wrote:
People seems to forget that the last 767F and 777F will be delivered in 2027 due to ICAO’s CO2 emissions regulations, unless Boeing re-engine the aircraft.

"The obvious solution would be to go ahead with the proposed 777X Freighter derivative. But with the 777-8 passenger variant from which it will be developed in limbo, an early move to create a cargo derivative is no slam-dunk."
https://www.flightglobal.com/flight-int ... 55.article

This might be the right moment to launch an A350F.


Once the 779 will be certified, creating a 777XF will not be a greater effort for Boeing than creating the A359.5F is for Airbus. Making the 778 first wouldn't help much, it would just delay the moment Boeing can start working on the 777XF.

I haven’t had a chance to work up numbers for these scenarios yet but my sense is that the 77XF should not be as long as the proposed 778X (69.8m) but the same as the current 77F (63.73m) to maintain payload.

Fred


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Image
 
tomcat
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:20 pm

Revelation wrote:
I tried to SWAG some scenarios for A350F:

Best case: A350F gets wide acceptance, captures many current 77F customers, gets into the fleets of FX, UPS, and DHL and others, post-corona we see e-commerce trend grow even faster, Boeing decides to not do a 77XF, Airbus sells 200+ A350F over 15 years, Airbus makes strong profits on the program.

Middle of the road: A350F gains medium acceptance, captures some current 77F customers, gets into one or two of the fleets of FX, UPS and DHL, post-corona we see e-commerce trend grow modestly, Boeing decides to do a 77XF, market split between 77XF, A350F and 77WF, Airbus sells 100 A350F over 15 years, Airbus makes modest profits on the program.

Worst case: A350F moves forward speculatively with relatively small initial orders and not much penetration of the 77F base or the 'Big 3', 77XF and 77WF gain large market share, A350F sales stall, it becomes a 'me too' product like A330F, Airbus sells 50 A350F over 15 years, Airbus loses money on the program.

Comments?

My guess is if they can get the ~50 launch orders with one of the 'Big 3' on board and decent prospects at one or two of the other two 'Big 3', then they will feel they can at least be heading down the 'middle of the road' scenario and will give it a go.


I think that Airbus should choose their fight carefully, I mean choosing between running after the high-density market or the low-density market. I feel that the low-density market will be well covered for a while with the A330P2F and 77WP2F. Any potential 787F will always be limited in terms of payload by its current MTOW so it would also address the low-to-mid-density market (as shown on the chart upthread). Is this where the A350F could be the most competitive? I don't think so and I would rather see Airbus aiming at the high-density market without any compromise. The only competitors would be the 777(X)F and they both have some limitations. The current 772F burns much more fuel than a potential A359F and it will not be produced beyond 2027 while the 777XF will have to compose with a high empty weight and will lack economies of scale for a while compared to the A359F. The high-density market may be smaller than the low-density market (until the 747F will have to be replaced) but if Airbus has an outstanding proposal, it might remain unchallenged and enjoy hefty margins.

I fear that by creating an intermediate length -950, Airbus would be sitting between both markets without bringing much value to any of these markets. Note that the chart depicting the A359F as a mid-density freighter is misleading in the way that it considers a 280 tonnes A359F rather than a 316 tonnes designed as a shrunk A351.

Where I'm in doubt is why Airbus is proposing a 70m long A350F as suggested in the press. Is there anything preventing making a 316 tonnes shorter than about 70m, like the fact that the rudder wouldn't retain sufficient authority to compensate the failure of a 97klbs engine? They may need to update the rudder ("à la A332") but given that the 772LRF can handle much more powerful engines while being shorter than the current A359, I don't think that there is a big challenge there.
 
tomcat
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Mon Apr 26, 2021 9:45 pm

flipdewaf wrote:
tomcat wrote:
reidar76 wrote:
People seems to forget that the last 767F and 777F will be delivered in 2027 due to ICAO’s CO2 emissions regulations, unless Boeing re-engine the aircraft.

"The obvious solution would be to go ahead with the proposed 777X Freighter derivative. But with the 777-8 passenger variant from which it will be developed in limbo, an early move to create a cargo derivative is no slam-dunk."
https://www.flightglobal.com/flight-int ... 55.article

This might be the right moment to launch an A350F.


Once the 779 will be certified, creating a 777XF will not be a greater effort for Boeing than creating the A359.5F is for Airbus. Making the 778 first wouldn't help much, it would just delay the moment Boeing can start working on the 777XF.

I haven’t had a chance to work up numbers for these scenarios yet but my sense is that the 77XF should not be as long as the proposed 778X (69.8m) but the same as the current 77F (63.73m) to maintain payload.

Fred


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


I have indeed always considered that the length of the 777XF is not yet frozen since the 778 doesn't exist (it's not clear to me whether Boeing have even frozen the configuration of the 778 or not) so indeed, Boeing can still fine-tune the configuration of the 777XF to achieve what they consider to be the optimum payload or density. This being said, It's not easy to evaluate the max payload of the 777XF. If we take the 772F as a reference, we can state that the 777XF:
- has a heavier wing but this doesn't matter too much for the payload as the limiting factor is the weight between the main landing gear upon landing.
- has heavier engines but they are installed outboard of the landing gear so they're not a penalty for the payload.
- potentially has a lighter fuselage at equivalent length thanks to an increased use of Al-Li.
The 777XF can potentially take as much payload than the 772F while being heavier than the latter thanks to a higher MLW (most of the extra empty weight being outboard of the landing gear).

Of course, if the 777XF has a higher empty weight than the 772F while taking only as much payload, it would be facing a challenge to be competitive with the A359F which should always have a smaller OEW than the 777XF.
 
amdiesen
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Tue Apr 27, 2021 3:58 am

datum1: according to a Peter Gerber interview 50% of freighter capacity is sold three days before the flight / only 50% of capacity is committed in a manner that allows foresight in dispatch planning.

Revelation wrote:
... Comments?

My guess is if they can get the ~50 launch orders with one of the 'Big 3' on board and decent prospects at one or two of the other two 'Big 3', then they will feel they can at least be heading down the 'middle of the road' scenario and will give it a go.


Your historical consul/comments on launch timing resonate; albeit they appear to have little impact on a-net chatter :) .

Probabilistically only 5x. However, you might consider significant b748f operators as key customers.

5x: The a350f platform is natural to the 5X eco-system.
datum2: UPS is said to operate "heavy" for a integrator; ~130 kg/m^3.
datum3: UPS has increased its lift, as measured by volume, by ~30% in the last ~three years... supporting Revelation's timing hypothesis.
(1) Regional buses to move volume over continental distances. Supplanted by a359p2f when available.
(2) ULR freighters to move from Asian metropolis point to Louisville point minimizing time and fuel. The b748f's carrying the bulk of daily volume as they follow the sunrise. 5X offers a competitive advantage of later pick-up times with 'clean-up' a359ULRfs positioned strategically. Further this would allow the 8's to leave earlier enabling sorts with additional time resources.
(3) b744f, age or fuel price driven, replacements.

b748f operators: Consider the thought that the global b748f fleet will consolidate over time to fewer operators as it becomes clear that the GEnX powered new build b787f is DOA* and that operating a small number of an orphan fleet has economic challenges. Airlines operating significant b748f fleets will view the a359f as a mid-capacity companion in the overall fleet. A practical example being: Fedex is committed to the b777 and b767 platforms; UPS will gravitate b748f / a359f / b767f. Other carriers will mimic the pattern that best meets their current assets.

Regarding a350-950: suspect airbus will be faced with critical feedback to increase density specs (shorten proposed length).
The long-term, a350's production lifespan, view is that this window opens a significant space for Airbus and allows carriers to view nuptials as being dynamic.
(1) A shortened a350-950f that handles general cargo on secondary (non-truck routes) and provides an opportunity for carrier dispatch to be nimble/flexible <see datum1>.
(2) Potentially an a359p2f derivative (4-wheel bogie) operating in the express market; Amazon? UPS?.
(3) Longer-term, an ultra-fan powered a35Jf attempting to displace the b778f. Technological advances providing answers to weight management constraints.
From a utility perspective, (a) a higher density than proposed a359f meets general cargo needs, (b) regional mixed density cargo needs, (c) and with auxilliary fuel tanks, ultra long-distance speed needs.

DHL is an unlikely a359f operator. Lufthansa, Aerologic & DHL married the 777 platform. Peter Gerber claimed "We have no offers" a few years ago; intimating that they were dis-satisfied with the b772f option and Airbus was unable or unwilling to build an a350 that conformed to their needs within the time frame needed. The relationship between Kalitta and DHL appears to be growing, possibly at Atlas's cost. One could hypothesis that Kalitta will use the b773ersf as a business-development/relationship-entrenching tool in the express space; DHL and Amazon. DHL is choosing to develop/pattern wide body fleet using the b777f / a333p2f / b767.

Amazon may be so obsessed with a 'disrupter' mantra that they have overly discounted the value of building long-term business relationships. Any illusion that getting one's foot in the door has a long-term pay-off conflicts with reality. This impacts projections that they would come to terms with an air-framer on price for a new-build.

Regarding the parking of 77W: The belly cargo advantage of the 77W, airline budget constraints, and supply-chain availability should make WB cabin renovations more common this decade than last. Difficult to project GE90 powered 777s gathering sand.

*regarding b787f: between freighter wingspan issues and a properly sized a359f, the b787f will not leave the drawing board as the 'thin' demand utility will be met by 787 conversions.
puzzling over:
1) proper amortization of long-lived assets where costs and revenue are complex, in a technologically evolving environment.
2) the economics of gate real estate
 
amdiesen
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:29 am

Okcflyer wrote:
Late Addition:

Upon further record checking, there aren't as many active A330 in DHL's network carrier's as I thought. Wiki is only showing 12, 7 of which are -300P2F and 5 are factory A332F's: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DHL_Aviation

Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_A ... _operators, this is the list of active operators.

Airline 200F 300P2F Total
Turkish Airlines 10 0 10
European Air Transport Leipzig 3 4 7
Avianca Cargo 6 0 6
Air Hong Kong 2 3 5
Hong Kong Air Cargo 5 0 5
Air Belgium 4 0 4
ASL Airlines Ireland 0 3 3
EgyptAir Cargo 3 0 3
Malaysia Airlines 3 0 3
Undisclosed customers 3 0 3
DHL Air UK 0 1 1
MNG Airlines 1 0 1
Wizz Air 1 0 1



Image
https://drive.google.com/file/d/12E0xBVueFBwEKArEldfkSD1p7qTz8WqO/view?usp=sharing
What is stunning is that DHL only has six+1 a333p2fs despite the favorable economics... +1 for ULS
In this context, Airbus's decision to back the freighter variant of the A350 appears rational. However, like many of you, there is dis-satisfaction in data understanding on why the a330 p2f program has been lackluster.
puzzling over:
1) proper amortization of long-lived assets where costs and revenue are complex, in a technologically evolving environment.
2) the economics of gate real estate
 
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Polot
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:44 am

amdiesen wrote:
Okcflyer wrote:
Late Addition:

Upon further record checking, there aren't as many active A330 in DHL's network carrier's as I thought. Wiki is only showing 12, 7 of which are -300P2F and 5 are factory A332F's: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DHL_Aviation

Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_A ... _operators, this is the list of active operators.

Airline 200F 300P2F Total
Turkish Airlines 10 0 10
European Air Transport Leipzig 3 4 7
Avianca Cargo 6 0 6
Air Hong Kong 2 3 5
Hong Kong Air Cargo 5 0 5
Air Belgium 4 0 4
ASL Airlines Ireland 0 3 3
EgyptAir Cargo 3 0 3
Malaysia Airlines 3 0 3
Undisclosed customers 3 0 3
DHL Air UK 0 1 1
MNG Airlines 1 0 1
Wizz Air 1 0 1



Image
https://drive.google.com/file/d/12E0xBVueFBwEKArEldfkSD1p7qTz8WqO/view?usp=sharing
What is stunning is that DHL only has six+1 a333p2fs despite the favorable economics... +1 for ULS
In this context, Airbus's decision to back the freighter variant of the A350 appears rational. However, like many of you, there is dis-satisfaction in data understanding on why the a330 p2f program has been lackluster.

Good feedstock for A330p2f was limited prior to Covid as wide body passenger demand was extremely high. It’s picking up now that feedstock really isn’t an issue, but it will take a little bit of time for that to be reflected in operations.
 
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Revelation
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Tue Apr 27, 2021 3:22 pm

mxaxai wrote:
Revelation wrote:
My guess is if they can get the ~50 launch orders with one of the 'Big 3' on board and decent prospects at one or two of the other two 'Big 3', then they will feel they can at least be heading down the 'middle of the road' scenario and will give it a go.

I think Amazon / Prime Air would be a good candidate to make it a 'Big 4'.

Personally, the 'Best Case' scenario seems unlikely. There are many fairly young passenger widebodies (A330, 77W) that were recently retired and probably won't be back in passenger operations. Granted, the A330P2F doesn't directly compete with the A350 or 777 on long haul routes, but it does have the range for many routes that are currently flown by MD-11 or 77F like Europe to central Africa or the Middle East.

The 'Worst Case' scenario seems equally unlikely as long as cargo demand remains high. The A332F was hindered by being too large as an A300 replacement / 767 competitor yet not capable enough to be a MD-11 replacement / 772F competitor. With an A350F, Airbus should have more room to taylor the aircraft to the operator's demands.

If Boeing does launch a 778F or 789F, I would expect a market split of 40 : 40 : 20 for A350F : 7XF : 77WF. If they don't and keep selling the 777-200LRF it's more likely to be 50 : 25 : 25 for A350F : 77F : 77WF. Anything far beyond 50% market share seems unrealistic.

An A350F at Amazon would be a big paradigm shift, going to a bigger, much more expensive factory new aircraft that the industry has no experience with. No idea if Amazon is looking for something that different or not, but I personally doubt it.

Amazon is now in a place where they have multiple carriers operating under their own certificates and competing for Amazon's business. If one operator disappoints, they just cut them back and give more business to a different operator. All of them operate similar equipment, almost all of it 767P2F conversions. This gives them access to a large pool of trained pilots and mechanics and spares. The fact the USAF is going to operate them for decades to come means the ecosystem will thrive for decades to come, creating a nice stream of military trained pilots who decide sooner or later to leave the military. I already see some of them doing training missions over my neighborhood.

My understanding is the pollution laws that come into play in 2027 only impact new builds, so the P2F conversions will continue as long as feedstock is available, and we see that Coronavirus retirements created another burst of 767 feedstock to appear that the operators happily bought up.

Amazon's network is a set of "W" shaped point to point flights within the US. It's not clear the range of the A350F or 77XF and its fuel burn advantage would be worth paying for.

If they want an incremental gain the 764neoF should be available in the near term. It would mean paying 'new aircraft' prices but the rest of benefits of being part of the 767 ecosystem would come with it. The engines would be a part of the 787/747-8 ecosystem, which isn't a bad situation at all.

I think if Amazon decides they want a bigger plane for more volume rather than range then they will be more interested in 77WF or A330P2F rather than 77XF or A350F.

If they ever decide to do TATL/TPAC, maybe then we will see 77XF or A350F come into play, or maybe they'll find some other 'disruptive' way to address that market.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
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Revelation
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:00 pm

amdiesen wrote:
datum1: according to a Peter Gerber interview 50% of freighter capacity is sold three days before the flight / only 50% of capacity is committed in a manner that allows foresight in dispatch planning.

Revelation wrote:
... Comments?

My guess is if they can get the ~50 launch orders with one of the 'Big 3' on board and decent prospects at one or two of the other two 'Big 3', then they will feel they can at least be heading down the 'middle of the road' scenario and will give it a go.


Your historical consul/comments on launch timing resonate; albeit they appear to have little impact on a-net chatter :) .

Probabilistically only 5x. However, you might consider significant b748f operators as key customers.

5x: The a350f platform is natural to the 5X eco-system.
datum2: UPS is said to operate "heavy" for a integrator; ~130 kg/m^3.
datum3: UPS has increased its lift, as measured by volume, by ~30% in the last ~three years... supporting Revelation's timing hypothesis.
(1) Regional buses to move volume over continental distances. Supplanted by a359p2f when available.
(2) ULR freighters to move from Asian metropolis point to Louisville point minimizing time and fuel. The b748f's carrying the bulk of daily volume as they follow the sunrise. 5X offers a competitive advantage of later pick-up times with 'clean-up' a359ULRfs positioned strategically. Further this would allow the 8's to leave earlier enabling sorts with additional time resources.
(3) b744f, age or fuel price driven, replacements.

b748f operators: Consider the thought that the global b748f fleet will consolidate over time to fewer operators as it becomes clear that the GEnX powered new build b787f is DOA* and that operating a small number of an orphan fleet has economic challenges. Airlines operating significant b748f fleets will view the a359f as a mid-capacity companion in the overall fleet. A practical example being: Fedex is committed to the b777 and b767 platforms; UPS will gravitate b748f / a359f / b767f. Other carriers will mimic the pattern that best meets their current assets.

Regarding a350-950: suspect airbus will be faced with critical feedback to increase density specs (shorten proposed length).
The long-term, a350's production lifespan, view is that this window opens a significant space for Airbus and allows carriers to view nuptials as being dynamic.
(1) A shortened a350-950f that handles general cargo on secondary (non-truck routes) and provides an opportunity for carrier dispatch to be nimble/flexible <see datum1>.
(2) Potentially an a359p2f derivative (4-wheel bogie) operating in the express market; Amazon? UPS?.
(3) Longer-term, an ultra-fan powered a35Jf attempting to displace the b778f. Technological advances providing answers to weight management constraints.
From a utility perspective, (a) a higher density than proposed a359f meets general cargo needs, (b) regional mixed density cargo needs, (c) and with auxilliary fuel tanks, ultra long-distance speed needs.

DHL is an unlikely a359f operator. Lufthansa, Aerologic & DHL married the 777 platform. Peter Gerber claimed "We have no offers" a few years ago; intimating that they were dis-satisfied with the b772f option and Airbus was unable or unwilling to build an a350 that conformed to their needs within the time frame needed. The relationship between Kalitta and DHL appears to be growing, possibly at Atlas's cost. One could hypothesis that Kalitta will use the b773ersf as a business-development/relationship-entrenching tool in the express space; DHL and Amazon. DHL is choosing to develop/pattern wide body fleet using the b777f / a333p2f / b767.

Amazon may be so obsessed with a 'disrupter' mantra that they have overly discounted the value of building long-term business relationships. Any illusion that getting one's foot in the door has a long-term pay-off conflicts with reality. This impacts projections that they would come to terms with an air-framer on price for a new-build.

Regarding the parking of 77W: The belly cargo advantage of the 77W, airline budget constraints, and supply-chain availability should make WB cabin renovations more common this decade than last. Difficult to project GE90 powered 777s gathering sand.

*regarding b787f: between freighter wingspan issues and a properly sized a359f, the b787f will not leave the drawing board as the 'thin' demand utility will be met by 787 conversions.

Lots of interesting commentary here.

One memory got triggered, it seems 5X has a relatively new CEO and she said that they think they've spent a lot on capital equipment and they're done doing that for now. This is why they weren't a bidder on the final four 748F that Atlas ended up buying. They are on a 'sweat the assets' campaign now, for example spending to upgrade A300-600F cockpits rather than new replacements ( ref: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... the-assets ). Seems like a bad time to be asking them if they want to buy all-new factory built freighters any time soon.
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mxaxai
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:53 pm

Revelation wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
I think Amazon / Prime Air would be a good candidate to make it a 'Big 4'.

An A350F at Amazon would be a big paradigm shift, going to a bigger, much more expensive factory new aircraft that the industry has no experience with. No idea if Amazon is looking for something that different or not, but I personally doubt it. ...

I think if Amazon decides they want a bigger plane for more volume rather than range then they will be more interested in 77WF or A330P2F rather than 77XF or A350F.

If they ever decide to do TATL/TPAC, maybe then we will see 77XF or A350F come into play, or maybe they'll find some other 'disruptive' way to address that market.

Sorry, I hadn't meant that Amazon is a likely launch customer for the A350F. But they're one of the fastest growing cargo carriers so I think it's likely - or at least possible - that they'll be in the same league as DHL / UPS / FedEx one day. Right now, they're clearly not.

Nobody would use the A350F or 777F to serve domestic US or EU routes.

As you state, Amazon has no long haul network. Currently their only non-US bases are CGN and LEJ with a small number of 737-800F each. If they want to fully compete with the "Big 3" they'll need to eventually enter the TATL and TPAC markets. When that happens, either the A350F or 77(W/X)F are an option.

I wouldn't get too focused on their past preference for used aircraft and conversions. DHL, for example, operates plenty of converted and relatively old aircraft. But they also acquired new 77F and 748F when it made sense. Especially for long haul freighters, new builds are more viable because they spend much more time in the air.
 
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:33 pm

tomcat wrote:
Originally Airbus was planning a very long range version (the A350R) based on the freighter version (or was it the other way around?).


the "R" would have added weight to carry more fuel but also would need more fuel just to carry that added weight.

The more elegant solution is to go the A330 way: pimp the aero, engines, FBW, increase MTOW with minimal structural penalty.
Takes a bit longer to get there but there is more (longterm) gain in it.
Murphy is an optimist
 
WIederling
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:44 pm

amdiesen wrote:
datum1: according to a Peter Gerber interview 50% of freighter capacity is sold three days before the flight / only 50% of capacity is committed in a manner that allows foresight in dispatch planning..


That is a less grave problem.
You have nn tonnes of capacity on a route.

you sell ~50% as short term "fast" transport service.
you have stored on your yard a continuous flow of less urgent freight.

each flight you take all urgent freight coming up.
each flight you fill up from non urgent freight to capacity.
some days you can move more non urgent freight than on others.
But the amount of freight move on average is more or less constant.
( Afair Claude Shannon wrote the theory of load distribution applicable here.)

note that all freight has the same speed while in flight.
the overall transit time variations are determined by "standing around somewhere" variations.
Murphy is an optimist
 
amdiesen
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:13 pm

As much as I appreciate Tim Hepher's (Reuters) hairstyle as an indicator of intellect, he and his 'Industry sources'* are aware that no one carrier has a fleet of b747s or b777s totaling 50 with the exception of Fedex sometime in the near future. Using the 777 as a guide, retail price will be in the mid-300s wedged between the a359 and a35J. Further, displacement b772f --> a359f, is unlikely due to total airliner infrastructure and ancillary equipment costs. For your consideration, the market is likely b744p2fs, growth needs, a fraction of 5x's MD11s, and older factory b744fs. A distillation of A-net comments, robustly discussed, should have greater overall insight and data versus what one of Mark Potter's reporters (Reuters) would be allowed to publish.

*"Industry sources estimate..." <cough> "...Airbus would need commitments for some 50 aircraft to go ahead with a launch"

Press releases and follow-up commentary are necessary to communicate to airlines that they have a choice and to inspire relevant meetings to discuss need. Carrier industrial engineering and financial analytic input is needed to make diamonds out of coal; times multiple carriers. imo, Given this reiterative process, Airbus will find that the general cargo carriers have an interest in an A350 ability to open routes that are economically marginal with current tools. Further they would be willing to pay a pragmatic density penalty for this ancillary fleet type. Under-discussed, perhaps b/c it is generally accepted, is that the 'ersf' sells into a global environment in which the infrastructure and ancillary equipment costs of the b772f and the GE90 are common.
puzzling over:
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2) the economics of gate real estate
 
RJMAZ
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:54 am

amdiesen wrote:
*regarding b787f: between freighter wingspan issues and a properly sized a359f, the b787f will not leave the drawing board as the 'thin' demand utility will be met by 787 conversions.

I strongly disagree. A 787-8 with the MTOW and landing weight of the 787-10 would allow for 70t of payload. This is perfectly half way between the 767F and 777F and it has most of the strengths of both models combined into one type. The 787-8 takes up much less space on the ground than a A359F with 10m less length and 5m less span.

The 787-8 has 27% greater wingspan than the 767F but also has 27% greater max payload. Space on the ground is not wasted.

I think there is a small chance that no 777X freighter is produced and both the 767F and 777F end production in 2027. It would not surprise me if there is a 50+ launch order of 787-8 freighters in the next few years

The problem with the 777X freighter is Boeing will need to increase the landing weight and MTOW to record highs to match the old 777F.
 
VSMUT
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:39 am

jeffrey0032j wrote:
The A330F is nowhere here nor there. Insufficient payload range to compete effectively all year round both directions on TATL routes with the 777F or even the 747F, yet too big for the tightly spaced stands at the mega hubs of FedEx and UPS, where the 767s fit nicely into (note that most stands in those hubs are Code D for shorter haul cargo + MD11 as a bonus). TATL in this case means inland hubs of FedEx and UPS.


The A330F is a fine aircraft for short and medium range routes, which is a big market. The reality is that most 777Fs don't fly routes longer than a 242t A330-300F/P2F can do. You only have to follow the morning departure banks from Köln and Paris to see that most of the aircraft are just shuffling off to some European destination.

The wing span issue is a persistent A.net myth that oddly never applies to the various 777Fs and hypothetical 787Fs. Airports will adapt, just like they always did.
 
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:34 am

VSMUT wrote:
jeffrey0032j wrote:
The A330F is nowhere here nor there. Insufficient payload range to compete effectively all year round both directions on TATL routes with the 777F or even the 747F, yet too big for the tightly spaced stands at the mega hubs of FedEx and UPS, where the 767s fit nicely into (note that most stands in those hubs are Code D for shorter haul cargo + MD11 as a bonus). TATL in this case means inland hubs of FedEx and UPS.


The A330F is a fine aircraft for short and medium range routes, which is a big market. The reality is that most 777Fs don't fly routes longer than a 242t A330-300F/P2F can do. You only have to follow the morning departure banks from Köln and Paris to see that most of the aircraft are just shuffling off to some European destination.

The wing span issue is a persistent A.net myth that oddly never applies to the various 777Fs and hypothetical 787Fs. Airports will adapt, just like they always did.

Look at it this way, if you are to simplify your fleet, such that you are only going to make 2 orders, one for short to mid haul and one for long haul, which will you choose for the long haul plane? A capable plane in the 777F that can fly both TATL and TPAC is the answer, not the A330F. The European tag ons from the hubs can be seen as an added bonus to better utilise the planes.
 
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Polot
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:06 am

VSMUT wrote:
jeffrey0032j wrote:
The A330F is nowhere here nor there. Insufficient payload range to compete effectively all year round both directions on TATL routes with the 777F or even the 747F, yet too big for the tightly spaced stands at the mega hubs of FedEx and UPS, where the 767s fit nicely into (note that most stands in those hubs are Code D for shorter haul cargo + MD11 as a bonus). TATL in this case means inland hubs of FedEx and UPS.


The A330F is a fine aircraft for short and medium range routes, which is a big market. The reality is that most 777Fs don't fly routes longer than a 242t A330-300F/P2F can do. You only have to follow the morning departure banks from Köln and Paris to see that most of the aircraft are just shuffling off to some European destination.

The wing span issue is a persistent A.net myth that oddly never applies to the various 777Fs and hypothetical 787Fs. Airports will adapt, just like they always did.

It’s about value. The A330F had little of it. If you are restricted on wingspan you want an aircraft that can do the most with it, and that’s not the A330F. You can get a 777F with a similar wingspan and fly further if you want to or carry a lot more cargo. Or you can can get a 767F which does ~90% of what the A330F can do for a fraction of the price and taking up less ramp space.

The A330P2F will perform better in the market place (especially the A333P2F) because it is a lot cheaper than the A330F was, and the A333 has enough volume over the 767F to make it worthwhile to add to fleet.
 
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:51 am

jeffrey0032j wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
jeffrey0032j wrote:
The A330F is nowhere here nor there. Insufficient payload range to compete effectively all year round both directions on TATL routes with the 777F or even the 747F, yet too big for the tightly spaced stands at the mega hubs of FedEx and UPS, where the 767s fit nicely into (note that most stands in those hubs are Code D for shorter haul cargo + MD11 as a bonus). TATL in this case means inland hubs of FedEx and UPS.


The A330F is a fine aircraft for short and medium range routes, which is a big market. The reality is that most 777Fs don't fly routes longer than a 242t A330-300F/P2F can do. You only have to follow the morning departure banks from Köln and Paris to see that most of the aircraft are just shuffling off to some European destination.

The wing span issue is a persistent A.net myth that oddly never applies to the various 777Fs and hypothetical 787Fs. Airports will adapt, just like they always did.

Look at it this way, if you are to simplify your fleet, such that you are only going to make 2 orders, one for short to mid haul and one for long haul, which will you choose for the long haul plane? A capable plane in the 777F that can fly both TATL and TPAC is the answer, not the A330F. The European tag ons from the hubs can be seen as an added bonus to better utilise the planes.


That's a fairly arbitrary scenario you put up. Why just 2 types? Most big cargo airlines have a plethora of types.

Once you take away the trans-pacific flying, there is very little a volume-restricted 777 can do that a HGW A330-300 can't. It's really no different than how the passenger A330 eventually killed the passenger 777-200.
Consider all the ME carriers. Except for flights to the US and Australia, an A330-300F can cover pretty much the entire network. All the airlines in the region already had big passenger A330 fleets, several even have/had the A330-200F. If we look at Turkish Airlines, the majority of its 777F flights are less than 6 hours. Similar story at Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad. Had Airbus pursued a full A330 freighter family, it would have cost Boeing a lot of 777F orders.


Polot wrote:
It’s about value. The A330F had little of it.


Everything is relative. The A330-200F had poor value because there was a cheaper alternative in the 767F. Don't forget that the 777F was quite a bit more expensive than an A330-300F would have been...
 
mjoelnir
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:14 pm

Many posters here expect a new Boeing freighter to be slam dunk by definition, while a new Airbus freighter is suspect.

The A330 freighters will slowly increase in numbers, mainly through conversion. But if there is a need for a A330 sized freighter Airbus can easily bring the neo. More range and more payload than the current A330F, if it is a A330-800F and if it is a A330-900F, it offers more volume.
A A330neo freighter is future proof in regards to engines.

If we now look at the A350F. It may be a new fuselage length, or it may be a -900 length with -1000 capacity in regards to MTOW. It can be earlier to the market than a possible Boeing 777-8F. The A350 program in regards to passenger frames has mostly finished development apart from some adjustments for special customers. The design team is free to do the next iteration, in this case the A350F.
The A350 design is still upwards mobil in regards to the MTOW. The panel design should allow Airbus to increase strength in certain areas by adding layers. The upper limit of the main landing gear should manage around 350 MTOW. There is no reason that the MTOW would be limited to the current MTOW of the A350-1000. The the strength of the beams carrying the floor would be adjusted to the necessary loads.
Regarding the space on the upper deck breadth and height, max loading height and so on, prospective customers will tell Airbus what they will need.
I assume when Airbus choose the fuselage, a freighter version was planned. The height of the fuselage is 6.09 m with the deck below the middle of circle, so I can well imagine making it 3 m for the height of loads, or maximum height through the loading door

What is the competition.
Currently the 777F. I would assume a A350F would match the 777F in payload while offering superior range and lower running cost. The 777F would have beat the A350F on price, but at reduced margins compared to today. The 777F is currently an expensive frame to buy.
The 777-300ER converted freighter is the other competition.
In the near future the 777F needs new engines or be replaced by the 777-8F. I have my doubts if a 777-8F would match the 777F, or the A350F in payload. In case the 777-8 passenger version does not get build (8 frames are still on order), I would say the 777-8F would be very much in doubt. The 777X program is in trouble. Delays are pushing the first frames to late 2023 or early 2024.

A 787F could not match a A350 in payload, it would be rather similar sized to a possible A330neo.
 
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Polot
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:23 pm

VSMUT wrote:

Polot wrote:
It’s about value. The A330F had little of it.


Everything is relative. The A330-200F had poor value because there was a cheaper alternative in the 767F. Don't forget that the 777F was quite a bit more expensive than an A330-300F would have been...

Of course, but it is not like the 767F caught Airbus off guard- it had been on the market for about a decade before the A330F. They knew the plane and its specs when deciding what variant of the A330 to use as the basis for their freighter and what the A330F’s performance will look like.

The A330F is just the result of Airbus wanting something to offer cargo airlines after the A300F died and the A380F never took off that they could pitch to anybody (general cargo and parcel). Their heart was never really in it though (and probably a little hubris based on success of A300F and pax A330 vs 767), and they probably should have done more researched into what the cargo airlines wanted out of their freighter to try to differentiate more to build a desirable niche for their themselves.

The 777F is more expensive than a A330-300F would have been but it has one major advantage: the 777F is an actual real product that customers can buy and not a hypothetical what if.
Last edited by Polot on Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 12:34 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
Many posters here expect a new Boeing freighter to be slam dunk by definition, while a new Airbus freighter is suspect.

The A330 freighters will slowly increase in numbers, mainly through conversion. But if there is a need for a A330 sized freighter Airbus can easily bring the neo. More range and more payload than the current A330F, if it is a A330-800F and if it is a A330-900F, it offers more volume.
A A330neo freighter is future proof in regards to engines.

If we now look at the A350F. It may be a new fuselage length, or it may be a -900 length with -1000 capacity in regards to MTOW. It can be earlier to the market than a possible Boeing 777-8F. The A350 program in regards to passenger frames has mostly finished development apart from some adjustments for special customers. The design team is free to do the next iteration, in this case the A350F.
The A350 design is still upwards mobil in regards to the MTOW. The panel design should allow Airbus to increase strength in certain areas by adding layers. The upper limit of the main landing gear should manage around 350 MTOW. There is no reason that the MTOW would be limited to the current MTOW of the A350-1000. The the strength of the beams carrying the floor would be adjusted to the necessary loads.
Regarding the space on the upper deck breadth and height, max loading height and so on, prospective customers will tell Airbus what they will need.
I assume when Airbus choose the fuselage, a freighter version was planned. The height of the fuselage is 6.09 m with the deck below the middle of circle, so I can well imagine making it 3 m for the height of loads, or maximum height through the loading door

What is the competition.
Currently the 777F. I would assume a A350F would match the 777F in payload while offering superior range and lower running cost. The 777F would have beat the A350F on price, but at reduced margins compared to today. The 777F is currently an expensive frame to buy.
The 777-300ER converted freighter is the other competition.
In the near future the 777F needs new engines or be replaced by the 777-8F. I have my doubts if a 777-8F would match the 777F, or the A350F in payload. In case the 777-8 passenger version does not get build (8 frames are still on order), I would say the 777-8F would be very much in doubt. The 777X program is in trouble. Delays are pushing the first frames to late 2023 or early 2024.

A 787F could not match a A350 in payload, it would be rather similar sized to a possible A330neo.

I mean, that’s A.net right. It’s your 777-8F doubt vs 350F doubt.

Time will tell which one will dominate and it can’t be both
 
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:21 pm

An overly harsh judgement to suggest that Airbus were not pro-freighter post A310F/A300F. There was an enthusiastic team out promoting the A330F. A failure to convince potential operators that one-stop EU-Asia was more advantageous that running a 747F nonstop and, as mentioned in previous posts, an airline preference for the bigger, more capable 748F/777F, together with the renaissance of the 767/767P2F, sealed its fate.

Recall that the original idea was to build the KC-45 and the A330F at Mobile. When the lowball KC-46 re-bid scooped the latter, any industrial economies of scale (and a "made in the USA" label) this would have created switched back the the 767, an advantage it continues to enjoy unopposed, at least until the availability of A330P2F conversion slots matches airframe availability and attractive all-in conversion pricing, at which point its anyone's guess as to which will prevail. .

Unilaterally cancelling the A380F "poisoned the well" with UPS/FDX. Without these "anchor" customers, there was no way back.

The A350F sounds promising, well positioned, the A330NeoF much less so - unless someone out there with staying power and financing wants a great deal on (say) 50+ A339 package freighters.
 
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 1:43 pm

Wildlander wrote:
Recall that the original idea was to build the KC-45 and the A330F at Mobile. When the lowball KC-46 re-bid scooped the latter, any industrial economies of scale (and a "made in the USA" label) this would have created switched back the the 767, an advantage it continues to enjoy unopposed, at least until the availability of A330P2F conversion slots matches airframe availability and attractive all-in conversion pricing, at which point its anyone's guess as to which will prevail. .

That was to boost the efficiency of the KC-45 US production site to make the KC-45 more cost effective (while still “made in USA” to make USAF happy). Building the A330F in the US would have done little to change the A330F’s industrial economies of scale. It’s not like it didn’t get a benefit built in TLS along side all its passenger/MRTT siblings. It wasn’t on its own line.
 
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par13del
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 2:25 pm

Hopefully folks are looking at the 767F and wondering why it is / was still in demand, if Airbus does the A350F will they also try to get something smaller than the A330?
Like the pax variant the A330 does carry more than the 767, however, in the freighter business, the 767 is still wanted, is the footprint an issue?
In the tanker threads the footprint idea was dismissed, so.....
 
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:16 pm

par13del wrote:
Hopefully folks are looking at the 767F and wondering why it is / was still in demand, if Airbus does the A350F will they also try to get something smaller than the A330?
Like the pax variant the A330 does carry more than the 767, however, in the freighter business, the 767 is still wanted, is the footprint an issue?
In the tanker threads the footprint idea was dismissed, so.....

The USAF with their spacious ramps have requirements that are very different from that of FedEx and UPS who have tightly spaced lots at their US mega-hubs.
 
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:26 pm

VSMUT wrote:
jeffrey0032j wrote:
VSMUT wrote:

The A330F is a fine aircraft for short and medium range routes, which is a big market. The reality is that most 777Fs don't fly routes longer than a 242t A330-300F/P2F can do. You only have to follow the morning departure banks from Köln and Paris to see that most of the aircraft are just shuffling off to some European destination.

The wing span issue is a persistent A.net myth that oddly never applies to the various 777Fs and hypothetical 787Fs. Airports will adapt, just like they always did.

Look at it this way, if you are to simplify your fleet, such that you are only going to make 2 orders, one for short to mid haul and one for long haul, which will you choose for the long haul plane? A capable plane in the 777F that can fly both TATL and TPAC is the answer, not the A330F. The European tag ons from the hubs can be seen as an added bonus to better utilise the planes.


That's a fairly arbitrary scenario you put up. Why just 2 types? Most big cargo airlines have a plethora of types.

Once you take away the trans-pacific flying, there is very little a volume-restricted 777 can do that a HGW A330-300 can't. It's really no different than how the passenger A330 eventually killed the passenger 777-200.
Consider all the ME carriers. Except for flights to the US and Australia, an A330-300F can cover pretty much the entire network. All the airlines in the region already had big passenger A330 fleets, several even have/had the A330-200F. If we look at Turkish Airlines, the majority of its 777F flights are less than 6 hours. Similar story at Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad. Had Airbus pursued a full A330 freighter family, it would have cost Boeing a lot of 777F orders.

They may have a plethora of types, but they will order one of each size type (small feeder/large feeder/short haul/long haul) at once. The exception is DHL which operates using different contractors around the world, which allows them to "operate" different types.

The problem with the HGW A333 is, there is no HGW A333P2F (the frames are too young for passenger airlines to dispose of), and since there isn't one, airlines have settled for and found the benefits of the flexibility that the 777F gives. Plus, you can't take away TPAC flying, China is the world's factory, Korea and Japan are industrial powerhouses, Taiwan is the market leader for chips which the world urgently needs now, Asia is such an important market that airlines are even keeping their 744Fs flying just to carry all those loads. The boat for the A330F for the major players in the cargo market has sailed, Airbus can only pick up the scraps from lesser known smaller players.
 
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 3:45 pm

amdiesen wrote:
As much as I appreciate Tim Hepher's (Reuters) hairstyle as an indicator of intellect, he and his 'Industry sources'* are aware that no one carrier has a fleet of b747s or b777s totaling 50 with the exception of Fedex sometime in the near future. Using the 777 as a guide, retail price will be in the mid-300s wedged between the a359 and a35J. Further, displacement b772f --> a359f, is unlikely due to total airliner infrastructure and ancillary equipment costs. For your consideration, the market is likely b744p2fs, growth needs, a fraction of 5x's MD11s, and older factory b744fs. A distillation of A-net comments, robustly discussed, should have greater overall insight and data versus what one of Mark Potter's reporters (Reuters) would be allowed to publish.

*"Industry sources estimate..." <cough> "...Airbus would need commitments for some 50 aircraft to go ahead with a launch"

Press releases and follow-up commentary are necessary to communicate to airlines that they have a choice and to inspire relevant meetings to discuss need. Carrier industrial engineering and financial analytic input is needed to make diamonds out of coal; times multiple carriers. imo, Given this reiterative process, Airbus will find that the general cargo carriers have an interest in an A350 ability to open routes that are economically marginal with current tools. Further they would be willing to pay a pragmatic density penalty for this ancillary fleet type. Under-discussed, perhaps b/c it is generally accepted, is that the 'ersf' sells into a global environment in which the infrastructure and ancillary equipment costs of the b772f and the GE90 are common.

It's a fair criticism, but it'd be better if you came up with a better projection with similar or better substantiation. I mean we are talking about needing to do the tooling and the testing for a new fuselage length, developing a new fuselage section with a cargo door, along with all the certification efforts. One would think it would need substantial pre-orders to get the program started, unless Airbus is very confident it makes strategic sense to go forward with the program and hope it gains orders over time.

VSMUT wrote:
Once you take away the trans-pacific flying, there is very little a volume-restricted 777 can do that a HGW A330-300 can't. It's really no different than how the passenger A330 eventually killed the passenger 777-200.
Consider all the ME carriers. Except for flights to the US and Australia, an A330-300F can cover pretty much the entire network. All the airlines in the region already had big passenger A330 fleets, several even have/had the A330-200F. If we look at Turkish Airlines, the majority of its 777F flights are less than 6 hours. Similar story at Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad. Had Airbus pursued a full A330 freighter family, it would have cost Boeing a lot of 777F orders.

HGW A330-300 are a relatively recent phenomina. Young A330s are still finding new homes. For instance, VietJet is taking up some ex-AirAsiaX A330. Not sure if HGW A330-300s are prime conversion stock yet. Some may be available, but the fact they are viable pax frames still means they will hold value.

The timing elements of all this are fascinating. Is the current freighter surge happening primarily because we don't have belly freight from international pax flights and things will come back to baseline once we have "normal" levels of international pax flights in a small number of years? Or has coronavirus shown the value of dedicated freighters once again, and e-commerce will mean an ongoing demand for their flights? Or will we see economic recession due to all the coronavirus related spending and the entire market will be depressed? How much money gets invested in converting old airframes vs building new ones, especially as so many relatively young airframes are getting retired prematurely? Will fortune favor the bold, or the timid?
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WayexTDI
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 4:26 pm

jeffrey0032j wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
jeffrey0032j wrote:
Look at it this way, if you are to simplify your fleet, such that you are only going to make 2 orders, one for short to mid haul and one for long haul, which will you choose for the long haul plane? A capable plane in the 777F that can fly both TATL and TPAC is the answer, not the A330F. The European tag ons from the hubs can be seen as an added bonus to better utilise the planes.


That's a fairly arbitrary scenario you put up. Why just 2 types? Most big cargo airlines have a plethora of types.

Once you take away the trans-pacific flying, there is very little a volume-restricted 777 can do that a HGW A330-300 can't. It's really no different than how the passenger A330 eventually killed the passenger 777-200.
Consider all the ME carriers. Except for flights to the US and Australia, an A330-300F can cover pretty much the entire network. All the airlines in the region already had big passenger A330 fleets, several even have/had the A330-200F. If we look at Turkish Airlines, the majority of its 777F flights are less than 6 hours. Similar story at Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad. Had Airbus pursued a full A330 freighter family, it would have cost Boeing a lot of 777F orders.

They may have a plethora of types, but they will order one of each size type (small feeder/large feeder/short haul/long haul) at once. The exception is DHL which operates using different contractors around the world, which allows them to "operate" different types.

The problem with the HGW A333 is, there is no HGW A333P2F (the frames are too young for passenger airlines to dispose of), and since there isn't one, airlines have settled for and found the benefits of the flexibility that the 777F gives. Plus, you can't take away TPAC flying, China is the world's factory, Korea and Japan are industrial powerhouses, Taiwan is the market leader for chips which the world urgently needs now, Asia is such an important market that airlines are even keeping their 744Fs flying just to carry all those loads. The boat for the A330F for the major players in the cargo market has sailed, Airbus can only pick up the scraps from lesser known smaller players.

Quoting trans-pacific capabilities (from China/Korea/Japan) is very US-centric, which this forum is anyway.
But the world is not US-centric: you don't need the ridiculous TPAC capabilities (and requirements) to move cargo from China/Korea/Japan to Australia, the Middle East or even Europe.

Will the A330F/P2F be successful in the US? Doubtful. Does it have a place in other fleet? That's possible, even if it lacks TPAC capabilities.
 
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Polot
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 4:41 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
Quoting trans-pacific capabilities (from China/Korea/Japan) is very US-centric, which this forum is anyway.
But the world is not US-centric: you don't need the ridiculous TPAC capabilities (and requirements) to move cargo from China/Korea/Japan to Australia, the Middle East or even Europe.

Very much depends on where cargo is going. Fun fact: Seattle is closer to Tokyo than Sydney, Dubai, and Helsinki are. Asia-Europe benefits from that extreme TPAC capability just as much as Asia-US.
 
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 4:51 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
Quoting trans-pacific capabilities (from China/Korea/Japan) is very US-centric, which this forum is anyway.
But the world is not US-centric: you don't need the ridiculous TPAC capabilities (and requirements) to move cargo from China/Korea/Japan to Australia, the Middle East or even Europe.

Will the A330F/P2F be successful in the US? Doubtful. Does it have a place in other fleet? That's possible, even if it lacks TPAC capabilities.

Interesting, the usual argument we hear is market share is what matters the most.
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mjoelnir
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:16 pm

Opus99 wrote:
mjoelnir wrote:
Many posters here expect a new Boeing freighter to be slam dunk by definition, while a new Airbus freighter is suspect.

The A330 freighters will slowly increase in numbers, mainly through conversion. But if there is a need for a A330 sized freighter Airbus can easily bring the neo. More range and more payload than the current A330F, if it is a A330-800F and if it is a A330-900F, it offers more volume.
A A330neo freighter is future proof in regards to engines.

If we now look at the A350F. It may be a new fuselage length, or it may be a -900 length with -1000 capacity in regards to MTOW. It can be earlier to the market than a possible Boeing 777-8F. The A350 program in regards to passenger frames has mostly finished development apart from some adjustments for special customers. The design team is free to do the next iteration, in this case the A350F.
The A350 design is still upwards mobil in regards to the MTOW. The panel design should allow Airbus to increase strength in certain areas by adding layers. The upper limit of the main landing gear should manage around 350 MTOW. There is no reason that the MTOW would be limited to the current MTOW of the A350-1000. The the strength of the beams carrying the floor would be adjusted to the necessary loads.
Regarding the space on the upper deck breadth and height, max loading height and so on, prospective customers will tell Airbus what they will need.
I assume when Airbus choose the fuselage, a freighter version was planned. The height of the fuselage is 6.09 m with the deck below the middle of circle, so I can well imagine making it 3 m for the height of loads, or maximum height through the loading door

What is the competition.
Currently the 777F. I would assume a A350F would match the 777F in payload while offering superior range and lower running cost. The 777F would have beat the A350F on price, but at reduced margins compared to today. The 777F is currently an expensive frame to buy.
The 777-300ER converted freighter is the other competition.
In the near future the 777F needs new engines or be replaced by the 777-8F. I have my doubts if a 777-8F would match the 777F, or the A350F in payload. In case the 777-8 passenger version does not get build (8 frames are still on order), I would say the 777-8F would be very much in doubt. The 777X program is in trouble. Delays are pushing the first frames to late 2023 or early 2024.

A 787F could not match a A350 in payload, it would be rather similar sized to a possible A330neo.

I mean, that’s A.net right. It’s your 777-8F doubt vs 350F doubt.

Time will tell which one will dominate and it can’t be both


Yes, but the A350 has a better passenger frame base. My doubts are in regards to the possibility that the passenger 777-8 could get cancelled. There is only one customer left with 8 frames.
 
tomcat
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 8:34 pm

mjoelnir wrote:

Yes, but the A350 has a better passenger frame base. My doubts are in regards to the possibility that the passenger 777-8 could get cancelled. There is only one customer left with 8 frames.


The issue for the 777-8F is less that the passenger -8 could be cancelled than the expected lack of economies of scale due to the overall slow rate of production of the 777X family. As proposed today, the A350-950F would also introduce a new fuselage length so from that point of view, it doesn't have any NRC advantage over an orphan 777-8F. Cost-wise, the advantage of the A350-950F is only to be found in the economies of scale thanks to being part of a family that still has backlog of about 600 units.
 
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:07 pm

tomcat wrote:
The issue for the 777-8F is less that the passenger -8 could be cancelled than the expected lack of economies of scale due to the overall slow rate of production of the 777X family. As proposed today, the A350-950F would also introduce a new fuselage length so from that point of view, it doesn't have any NRC advantage over an orphan 777-8F. Cost-wise, the advantage of the A350-950F is only to be found in the economies of scale thanks to being part of a family that still has backlog of about 600 units.

IMO the primary issue is if Airbus can find the customers it needs to make their business case close or not.

If they can't, then Boeing can work to a timeline of its choosing.

779 is said to enter service in 2023, EK suggests theirs won't arrive till 2024, so Boeing's attention for the next two years or so will be on getting 779 out the door, not on 778 or 77F. Now would be a really good time for Airbus to get its business case closed while the freight market is as hot as it has ever been and Boeing is distracted. If/when that happens, Boeing can decide the best way to react since it will take Airbus a few years to develop, test and certify any new product.
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tomcat
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 9:59 pm

Revelation wrote:
tomcat wrote:
The issue for the 777-8F is less that the passenger -8 could be cancelled than the expected lack of economies of scale due to the overall slow rate of production of the 777X family. As proposed today, the A350-950F would also introduce a new fuselage length so from that point of view, it doesn't have any NRC advantage over an orphan 777-8F. Cost-wise, the advantage of the A350-950F is only to be found in the economies of scale thanks to being part of a family that still has backlog of about 600 units.

IMO the primary issue is if Airbus can find the customers it needs to make their business case close or not.

If they can't, then Boeing can work to a timeline of its choosing.

779 is said to enter service in 2023, EK suggests theirs won't arrive till 2024, so Boeing's attention for the next two years or so will be on getting 779 out the door, not on 778 or 77F. Now would be a really good time for Airbus to get its business case closed while the freight market is as hot as it has ever been and Boeing is distracted. If/when that happens, Boeing can decide the best way to react since it will take Airbus a few years to develop, test and certify any new product.


I mostly agree. I was just expressing my opinion that the absence of a passenger 777-8 wouldn't be a significant issue preventing to the -8F to become reality.

Where I'm not convinced with what you said is whether the fact that the freight market is hot is of any help to close the business case of the A350F. What's happening today on the freight market is not a reflection of what's going to happen in the future. Launching a new freighter today is of no help for the current market while the current market conditions make it difficult to predict where the market will be 5 years from now. Hopefully the airlines can identify the long term market trends and order the aircraft that are best suited for their business. The current market conditions will simply help finance new freighter aircraft.

I have also expressed upthread my opinion that the low-density market is already well covered by a variety of cheap aircraft while the high-density market appears less competitive going forward. So IMVHO, if Airbus can make the A350F work for the high-density market, this is where they have their best chance to make a profit with it.

I also want to mention my conviction that Boeing hasn't invested in such a magnificent new wing with this much more area just to stick to a 350 tonnes aircraft. Also considering the thrust potential of the GE9x and the need to replace the 744/8F in the long-term, I wouldn't be surprised to see a heavy 777-9F (400 tonnes?) in a more distant future. All it needs is a few more wheels under its fuselage.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:03 pm

Revelation wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
Quoting trans-pacific capabilities (from China/Korea/Japan) is very US-centric, which this forum is anyway.
But the world is not US-centric: you don't need the ridiculous TPAC capabilities (and requirements) to move cargo from China/Korea/Japan to Australia, the Middle East or even Europe.

Will the A330F/P2F be successful in the US? Doubtful. Does it have a place in other fleet? That's possible, even if it lacks TPAC capabilities.

Interesting, the usual argument we hear is market share is what matters the most.

OK. And? The US are not 100% of the cargo aircraft market; if Airbus is able to capture a big chunk of the "rest of the world" market share with a product not suited for the American market but more for the rest, then it's still a good win.
Which do you think is better? Designing an aircraft for 2-3 American customers and a couple of hundred frames? Or designing an aircraft that those same 2-3 American customers won't order, but will sell 500-600 frames at 20 customers in the rest of the world?

Not every aircraft has to be successful in the US to be successful in the rest of the world.
 
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:22 pm

WayexTDI wrote:
Which do you think is better? Designing an aircraft for 2-3 American customers and a couple of hundred frames? Or designing an aircraft that those same 2-3 American customers won't order, but will sell 500-600 frames at 20 customers in the rest of the world?

500-600 frames to 20 customers is wildly optimistic. Look at the sales figures of new build freighters. The 777F, regarded as a successful freighter, has sold 242 planes across 15 years-46 of which belong to FX. The 748F 107-29 of which are UPS. The 744F 166. The 767F that we talk about so much actually only has 232 new build orders, 202 of which belong to FX and UPS.

There is a lot of focus on the American market because FX and UPS are by far the largest cargo airlines in the world in terms of fleet size. Their fleets make up the bulk of many new build freighter orders-they can literally make or break an entire freighter program. The A330F is a plane that didn’t appeal to them and Airbus only managed to sell 38 since ~2007.
 
amdiesen
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 10:51 pm

Revelation wrote:
amdiesen wrote:
...


It's a fair criticism, but it'd be better if you came up with a better projection with similar or better substantiation. I mean we are talking about needing to do the tooling and the testing for a new fuselage length, developing a new fuselage section with a cargo door, along with all the certification efforts. One would think it would need substantial pre-orders to get the program started, unless Airbus is very confident it makes strategic sense to go forward with the program and hope it gains orders over time.


taking the bait, sigh, .... the backs of punch cards were great media for todo lists.

tomcat's posts: resonates as the most lucid; 'maximize performance not volume'. interpretation: Add the one frame longer six bogie gear of the a35J and design a section of current fuselage length with a cargo door.
visualizations of likely product offerings and current tools at the end-of-the decade
note: if Airbus could deliver a product in the orange oval, imo<> it would dominate new-build offerings in a larger radius and make Boeing work for its b778f while avoiding competing with the advantaged ERSF.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-kWRDh ... sp=sharing

A&B have economic problems and heath of the supply chain problems. The 2020s present as the 'lost decade'. Producing into an oversupplied/over-ordered market, in which average fleet ages are below historical norms, is the environment in which the industry is facing. It doesn't matter how good the a321 or a350/b787 products are when your customers cannot afford to buy or take delivery.
Asiana is an example of an economic solution; converting passenger a350 orders into a350-925f deliveries to replace their aged b744 freighter conversions
Boeing should be motivated to convert b788's as a means of making a b789p delivery and taking a b788 out of passenger supply.
Both offerings provide sustainable demand utility in spaces that are least competitive. However, the dichotomy is (1)the supply chain is bleeding now and (2)time to justify these freighter offerings as independent business cases is substantive.
therefore: Airbus should have confidence in an analytical best micro choice as a part of an overall macro strategic.

In 2005 Boeing launched the b772f with a five lot order from Air France and a commitment from Air Canada.
https://boeing.mediaroom.com/2005-05-23 ... -Freighter

Realistically, your historical comments on timing have resonated as rational.
Prediction: 5x will anticipate its first a350-925fs for 2029 peak.
puzzling over:
1) proper amortization of long-lived assets where costs and revenue are complex, in a technologically evolving environment.
2) the economics of gate real estate
 
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:17 pm

Polot wrote:
500-600 frames to 20 customers is wildly optimistic. Look at the sales figures of new build freighters. The 777F, regarded as a successful freighter, has sold 242 planes across 15 years-46 of which belong to FX. The 748F 107-29 of which are UPS. The 744F 166. The 767F that we talk about so much actually only has 232 new build orders, 202 of which belong to FX and UPS.

There is a lot of focus on the American market because FX and UPS are by far the largest cargo airlines in the world in terms of fleet size. Their fleets make up the bulk of many new build freighter orders-they can literally make or break an entire freighter program. The A330F is a plane that didn’t appeal to them and Airbus only managed to sell 38 since ~2007.

The comments had perfect timing, they were made on the same day an Azerbaijani "rest of the world" cargo airline announced it had ordered five of the US-centric 777Fs.

Ref: https://newsroom.aviator.aero/silk-way- ... reighters/

Turns out US-centric 777Fs are owned by airlines who operate from six out of the seven continents.

Something also perhaps of interest to this thread, seems one of the early 747-8i test frames that was to be converted to VIP is now being offered to the market with a 744-BCF cargo door installed, according to our cargo thread:

viewtopic.php?p=22764715#p22764093

So we may see a second career for KE and LH frames if/when their operators decide to move on, perhaps another block of business that will be taken by something other than A350F.
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jeffrey0032j
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:54 am

WayexTDI wrote:
Revelation wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
Quoting trans-pacific capabilities (from China/Korea/Japan) is very US-centric, which this forum is anyway.
But the world is not US-centric: you don't need the ridiculous TPAC capabilities (and requirements) to move cargo from China/Korea/Japan to Australia, the Middle East or even Europe.

Will the A330F/P2F be successful in the US? Doubtful. Does it have a place in other fleet? That's possible, even if it lacks TPAC capabilities.

Interesting, the usual argument we hear is market share is what matters the most.

OK. And? The US are not 100% of the cargo aircraft market; if Airbus is able to capture a big chunk of the "rest of the world" market share with a product not suited for the American market but more for the rest, then it's still a good win.
Which do you think is better? Designing an aircraft for 2-3 American customers and a couple of hundred frames? Or designing an aircraft that those same 2-3 American customers won't order, but will sell 500-600 frames at 20 customers in the rest of the world?

Not every aircraft has to be successful in the US to be successful in the rest of the world.

If the plane can't make it TPAC, it certainly can't make it Western Europe to Asia without stops.
 
WayexTDI
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Thu Apr 29, 2021 5:15 am

jeffrey0032j wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Interesting, the usual argument we hear is market share is what matters the most.

OK. And? The US are not 100% of the cargo aircraft market; if Airbus is able to capture a big chunk of the "rest of the world" market share with a product not suited for the American market but more for the rest, then it's still a good win.
Which do you think is better? Designing an aircraft for 2-3 American customers and a couple of hundred frames? Or designing an aircraft that those same 2-3 American customers won't order, but will sell 500-600 frames at 20 customers in the rest of the world?

Not every aircraft has to be successful in the US to be successful in the rest of the world.

If the plane can't make it TPAC, it certainly can't make it Western Europe to Asia without stops.

Easier to make scheduled stops in the Middle East than in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, or in Alaska (or thereabouts) in the dead of the winter when it's storming like crazy.
 
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Taxi645
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Thu Apr 29, 2021 6:43 am

In the duopoly world Airbus does not necessarily need a very favourable ROI on the a potential 350F itself. It has the potential to put the nail on the coffin of the 777x. An A350F would be more economical both from a production economy of scale perspective (A350 rate vs. 777) as well as operation cost in the high density marked compared to a 777-8F. Without a freighter, the 777-8 not gaining traction and the 777-9 orders dwindling, the 777X would be in even more trouble than it already is.

In that light through the demise of the 777x, it would increase volume and margin on it's A350 line and thus even without having a great ROI on the A350F itself, would give a good ROI on the A350 program as a whole. Also it would force Boeing to make substantial investments if it wants to stay in the above current 787 market.


tomcat wrote:
I also want to mention my conviction that Boeing hasn't invested in such a magnificent new wing with this much more area just to stick to a 350 tonnes aircraft. Also considering the thrust potential of the GE9x and the need to replace the 744/8F in the long-term, I wouldn't be surprised to see a heavy 777-9F (400 tonnes?) in a more distant future. All it needs is a few more wheels under its fuselage.


Composite use shifts the induced drag vs. increased weight towards larger wingspans. The wingloading on the 7W was already on the high side as well.

The new wing reduces induced drag and in turn reduces the weight and drag of the required engines. I reckon that's the more likely motivation for the new wing than any desire to take it to 400T MTOW. Although it might help to keep that option open.
Innovation is seeing opportunity before obstacle.
 
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Re: A350F. Airbus looking to launch: Looking for customers

Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:13 am

WayexTDI wrote:
jeffrey0032j wrote:
WayexTDI wrote:
OK. And? The US are not 100% of the cargo aircraft market; if Airbus is able to capture a big chunk of the "rest of the world" market share with a product not suited for the American market but more for the rest, then it's still a good win.
Which do you think is better? Designing an aircraft for 2-3 American customers and a couple of hundred frames? Or designing an aircraft that those same 2-3 American customers won't order, but will sell 500-600 frames at 20 customers in the rest of the world?

Not every aircraft has to be successful in the US to be successful in the rest of the world.

If the plane can't make it TPAC, it certainly can't make it Western Europe to Asia without stops.

Easier to make scheduled stops in the Middle East than in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, or in Alaska (or thereabouts) in the dead of the winter when it's storming like crazy.

Cargo airlines haven’t shifted to more TPAC nonstops because stopping in ANC is difficult. They do it because it allows for faster shipping with later pickups to meet delivery deadlines, and the ability to charge more for being placed on priority flight.

That applies just as equally to Asia-Europe nonstops vs stopping in Mideast.
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