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ukoverlander
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Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:15 pm

Just saw this today on CNN. Interesting review of the first 10 years of the 787 and is triumphs and struggles.
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/boei ... index.html
 
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Pythagoras
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:28 pm

ukoverlander wrote:
Just saw this today on CNN. Interesting review of the first 10 years of the 787 and is triumphs and struggles.
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/boei ... index.html


The 787-10 is going to be the standard going forward much like the 767-300ER was for the 767 Program and 777-300ER was for the 777 program. There certainly will be a need for the very long range flights in an airlines' operation which 787-8 and -9 will continue to fly, but those are a smaller fraction of an operator's total flights. The economics of a stretch just make it superior to anything else.
 
Okcflyer
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:49 pm

Pythagoras wrote:
ukoverlander wrote:
Just saw this today on CNN. Interesting review of the first 10 years of the 787 and is triumphs and struggles.
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/boei ... index.html


The 787-10 is going to be the standard going forward much like the 767-300ER was for the 767 Program and 777-300ER was for the 777 program. There certainly will be a need for the very long range flights in an airlines' operation which 787-8 and -9 will continue to fly, but those are a smaller fraction of an operator's total flights. The economics of a stretch just make it superior to anything else.


I don't think that'll happen near term. I think this will track more like the A320 vs A321. The 789 is still the versatile option and optimally sized for most networks, especially in the context of more non-stops dividing traffic flows out of historical city pairings. Long term, the 78J will increase in popularity as years of growth start to stack up and filling it becomes easier, and future pips / neo's better handle the extra weight/thrust without the same steep drop off in durability that's present today.
 
AndoAv8R
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:33 pm

Having talked to United Airlines pilots/mechanics (back pre covid when United had the aviation day at the United hangar in Denver with 787s there on 2 occasions) I heard nothing but good things about it, as well as from everyone I've talked to who's been a passenger on one. Every new design has it's teething issues and problems, just look at the original 747
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Tue Oct 26, 2021 10:41 pm

Great airplane, poor financial outcome. Much like the A220
 
Caryjack
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:04 pm

It's nice to see that Tom Sanderson is Director of Product Marketing for the 787. He certainly put a lot into it.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:40 pm

If being the best selling widebody in history is a failure, then yeah....it's real bad.
 
LDRA
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:00 am

Pythagoras wrote:
ukoverlander wrote:
Just saw this today on CNN. Interesting review of the first 10 years of the 787 and is triumphs and struggles.
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/boei ... index.html


The 787-10 is going to be the standard going forward much like the 767-300ER was for the 767 Program and 777-300ER was for the 777 program. There certainly will be a need for the very long range flights in an airlines' operation which 787-8 and -9 will continue to fly, but those are a smaller fraction of an operator's total flights. The economics of a stretch just make it superior to anything else.


-10 being a 8-12 hour machine, is really at heart of the market. Just like the A330 once was
 
ukoverlander
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 2:26 am

ElroyJetson wrote:
If being the best selling widebody in history is a failure, then yeah....it's real bad.


Well it's all relative isn't it? If you take the article at face value (and assume it's reported numbers are correct), if 'breakeven' was expected to be 1,000 frames at anticipated expenses of $32 billion, the equation has changed significantly if actual expenses incurred are now $50 billion. Being a 'sales success' is different to being a financial success given those numbers, especially for an airframe that's reached it's10th anniversary.

You can sell a lot of $5 hot dogs for $4 but in the long run unless you can consistently reduce productions costs to profitable levels and maintain sales and margin over time the jury is out on the financial success of the program.
 
sxf24
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 2:55 am

ukoverlander wrote:
ElroyJetson wrote:
If being the best selling widebody in history is a failure, then yeah....it's real bad.


Well it's all relative isn't it? If you take the article at face value (and assume it's reported numbers are correct), if 'breakeven' was expected to be 1,000 frames at anticipated expenses of $32 billion, the equation has changed significantly if actual expenses incurred are now $50 billion. Being a 'sales success' is different to being a financial success given those numbers, especially for an airframe that's reached it's10th anniversary.

You can sell a lot of $5 hot dogs for $4 but in the long run unless you can consistently reduce productions costs to profitable levels and maintain sales and margin over time the jury is out on the financial success of the program.


People love the A380 and the A220, but neither are a financial success.
 
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FLALEFTY
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:33 am

Once Boeing gets the latest round of production SNAFU's sorted out, and the international market opens back up, look for the 787's to start selling big once again.

For example, both AA and UA will eventually retire their B777-200 fleets and the B789 and B78X are the most likely replacements. While it is true that UA has A359's on order, I think they will balk at adding another type to their fleet when they already fly all three B787 variants. Meanwhile, AA has B788's as their B763ER replacements, especially given that the NMA project at Boeing has stalled out.

I do wonder if Boeing will expand their optimization program for the B788 to get more weight out of the airframe and cut its range to 6,500 nm, making it a better airliner for the Trans-Atlantic market? Get the efficiency up of this type and it would make airlines think twice about deploying the slower, narrow bodied, A321XLR across the Atlantic in competition.
 
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seahawk
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 5:14 am

What a nightmare.

* technology breakthrough
* unbeaten performance
* outstanding dispatch reliability
* best operating cost in the market
* flown by all major airlines
* totally crushed the competition
 
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enzo011
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 5:28 am

FLALEFTY wrote:
I do wonder if Boeing will expand their optimization program for the B788 to get more weight out of the airframe and cut its range to 6,500 nm, making it a better airliner for the Trans-Atlantic market? Get the efficiency up of this type and it would make airlines think twice about deploying the slower, narrow bodied, A321XLR across the Atlantic in competition.



One aircraft has a lower MTOW than the other just standing there empty. You are going to have to shave a lot of weight out of the 787 to get to that stage, right? Yes, you have more seats but those seats needs to be filled and you could be in territory where in the 787 they are lower yielding than the A321.

sxf24 wrote:
People love the A380 and the A220, but neither are a financial success.


I guess we can add the 787 to this list, of aircraft people love that were not a financial success. :duck: We could play the game of who the aircraft is a success for, whether it be Boeing, the airlines or passengers. Put it this way, I treat the 787 like I treat Ryanair, if it is the cheapest option by a long shot I will choose to fly the airline that uses it. If there is another option for similar price I would rather take the next option. So from this passenger, it is not a success. And before any comes out with, "airlines choose the layouts and not Boeing", funny that Airbus aircraft does not have this problem for most airlines.
 
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vhtje
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:49 am

Chris Sloan CNN Correspondent in linked article wrote:
I was fortunate to be a passenger on board ANA flight 7871, the inaugural flight of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in passenger service, operating a special charter between Tokyo and Hong Kong Kai Tak


Huh?

Chris Sloan is an aviation journalist. I expect better from CNN.
 
tealnz
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:00 am

Pythagoras wrote:
The 787-10 is going to be the standard going forward much like the 767-300ER was for the 767 Program and 777-300ER was for the 777 program. There certainly will be a need for the very long range flights in an airlines' operation which 787-8 and -9 will continue to fly, but those are a smaller fraction of an operator's total flights. The economics of a stretch just make it superior to anything else.

Not so sure about that. A couple of years ago NZ was all-in on the -10, planning a fleet of them to replace the 77Es. It was being touted as the answer for North America- New Zealand routes as well as Asia. Some here on a.net even saw the -10 as a 77W replacement.

The airline has now changed tune. So far all the new orders have been for the 789 rather than -10. And the NZ CE is talking of bringing the remaining 77Ws back into service. Maybe the capability limitations of the -10 westbound out of the USA are starting to bite. Perhaps exacerbated by the boost the pandemic has given to freight revenue – where the -10 would struggle even on LAX-AKL.
 
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RyanairGuru
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:35 am

tealnz wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
The 787-10 is going to be the standard going forward much like the 767-300ER was for the 767 Program and 777-300ER was for the 777 program. There certainly will be a need for the very long range flights in an airlines' operation which 787-8 and -9 will continue to fly, but those are a smaller fraction of an operator's total flights. The economics of a stretch just make it superior to anything else.

Not so sure about that. A couple of years ago NZ was all-in on the -10, planning a fleet of them to replace the 77Es. It was being touted as the answer for North America- New Zealand routes as well as Asia. Some here on a.net even saw the -10 as a 77W replacement.

The airline has now changed tune. So far all the new orders have been for the 789 rather than -10. And the NZ CE is talking of bringing the remaining 77Ws back into service. Maybe the capability limitations of the -10 westbound out of the USA are starting to bite. Perhaps exacerbated by the boost the pandemic has given to freight revenue – where the -10 would struggle even on LAX-AKL.


IMHO that’s entirely due to cargo, which has largely kept the lights on at NZ for the past 18 months or so. The 78J can fly LAX-AKL with passengers and bags, but the 77W will win hands down almost every day once you bulk it out below deck. NZ’s 777s are already quite dense, so CASM shouldn’t be too much higher. I think the reason that NZ were quite keen to retire the type is that the crew, both pilots and cabin crew, on the legacy long haul fleet are on much more generous pay and conditions than the 787 crew. After the success of running up to four cargo flights per day during the pandemic, NZ have presumably decided the additional crew costs are worth it for the additional revenue cargo is generating.
 
ZK-NBT
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:38 am

tealnz wrote:
Pythagoras wrote:
The 787-10 is going to be the standard going forward much like the 767-300ER was for the 767 Program and 777-300ER was for the 777 program. There certainly will be a need for the very long range flights in an airlines' operation which 787-8 and -9 will continue to fly, but those are a smaller fraction of an operator's total flights. The economics of a stretch just make it superior to anything else.

Not so sure about that. A couple of years ago NZ was all-in on the -10, planning a fleet of them to replace the 77Es. It was being touted as the answer for North America- New Zealand routes as well as Asia. Some here on a.net even saw the -10 as a 77W replacement.

The airline has now changed tune. So far all the new orders have been for the 789 rather than -10. And the NZ CE is talking of bringing the remaining 77Ws back into service. Maybe the capability limitations of the -10 westbound out of the USA are starting to bite. Perhaps exacerbated by the boost the pandemic has given to freight revenue – where the -10 would struggle even on LAX-AKL.


It would be a big financial hit for NZ to retire the 77W now, still not sure the 77W will fly again however given NZ as a countries stance, we will see how it loosens up in the next while. UA ran as we know the 78J SFO-AKL for a season pre covid, from what was said here we gather it didn't carry much freight but could carry up to 318PAX. NZ in a North American configuration, talking LAX/SFO-AKL here would seat what 300? I wouldn't rule the 78J out at all, but NZ maybe happy to go with the 789.
 
flipdewaf
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:38 am

Its fine in general but nothing special. In the back its too cramped at 9 across and I try to avoid it when flying in Y if I can for that reason. I don't like the stupid window blinds but apparently airbus are going the same way on the A350 so what can we do.
In the front end it's as comfy as the top deck of the A380 if a little noisier but nothing in it really (comparing QR to QR so as fair as it gets). Boeing appear to have hit a pretty sweet spot in the market and its a pretty flexible jet. Whilst it shouldn't feel that much smaller than the T7 on the inside it does somehow feel more 'exclusive'.

I have done about 12-15 flights on the dreamliner on a variety of airlines and classes (AA, BA, AI, AC, QR, ET) Y, Y+, C. and id choose it over any of the last gen in Y+ and C and probably the last gen if going Y. compared to an A350 I do not know as I haven't been on one yet! *Mutter about bloody covid*

In terms of what its done for Boeing Its a mixed blessing, they chose absolutely the right strategy and market and then blew it on execution it seems. Still haunting them to this day, its hard to argue with sales numbers though.

Fred
 
moa999
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:34 am

Yep. I think the back is the problem.

The 330 can be a comfortable 2-4-2 or a very tight 3-3-3 on only a few ultra LCCs (Air Asia X, Cebu Pacific).
The 787 is 3-3-3 for everyone
 
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MrHMSH
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:22 am

I don't think the 787 is a 'game-changer' as much as is sometimes perceived, it's the next step after the 777/A330, and what it has achieved is following a similar line of evolution to those aircraft.

That said, it has been very good for the airlines, its size, capabilities and efficiency were exactly what was needed, which is why it has sold so well. It (hasn't/might not?) make money for Boeing, but that's little to do with the actual aircraft and more because of Boeing's fairly well-documented issues. It should be a case study in how *not* to execute a big industrial programme.

Pythagoras wrote:

The 787-10 is going to be the standard going forward much like the 767-300ER was for the 767 Program and 777-300ER was for the 777 program. There certainly will be a need for the very long range flights in an airlines' operation which 787-8 and -9 will continue to fly, but those are a smaller fraction of an operator's total flights. The economics of a stretch just make it superior to anything else.


I'm not sure, I think if it is to happen it'll wait for the engine upgrade. Airlines seem to be happier with the flexibility offered by the A350 and 789. The 78X is good for what it's designed to do, but with long haul aircraft it has generally been the case that the longer range variants have sold more than the shorter. One exception to that is the A333, but even then A333 sales really boomed when the capabilities were improved.
 
ukoverlander
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:28 am

seahawk wrote:
What a nightmare.

* technology breakthrough
* unbeaten performance
* outstanding dispatch reliability
* best operating cost in the market
* flown by all major airlines
* totally crushed the competition


You choose to miss the points relating to the factors needed for the airframe to be considered to be a true financial success for a manufacturer. Nobody is suggesting the 787 is not an extremely capable aircraft.and an excellent aircraft for it's customers - it's the economics of it's production and profitability for Boeing to date that tell that more tricky side of the story.
 
sxf24
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:49 pm

enzo011 wrote:
sxf24 wrote:
People love the A380 and the A220, but neither are a financial success.


I guess we can add the 787 to this list, of aircraft people love that were not a financial success. :duck: We could play the game of who the aircraft is a success for, whether it be Boeing, the airlines or passengers. Put it this way, I treat the 787 like I treat Ryanair, if it is the cheapest option by a long shot I will choose to fly the airline that uses it. If there is another option for similar price I would rather take the next option. So from this passenger, it is not a success. And before any comes out with, "airlines choose the layouts and not Boeing", funny that Airbus aircraft does not have this problem for most airlines.


Passengers do not make airplanes successful, airlines do. The profitability of the 787 for airlines is undeniable, confirmed by how many remained in service during COVID. I think the story with the A220 is similar: an expensive development program gone horribly wrong resulting in a very good airplane. This is what happens when you take risks.

ukoverlander wrote:
seahawk wrote:
What a nightmare.

* technology breakthrough
* unbeaten performance
* outstanding dispatch reliability
* best operating cost in the market
* flown by all major airlines
* totally crushed the competition


You choose to miss the points relating to the factors needed for the airframe to be considered to be a true financial success for a manufacturer. Nobody is suggesting the 787 is not an extremely capable aircraft.and an excellent aircraft for it's customers - it's the economics of it's production and profitability for Boeing to date that tell that more tricky side of the story.


I don’t think there’s an issue now with the cost of production, rather the structure of the production system (imagined by Alan Mullaly) is still giving Boeing nightmares.
 
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FLALEFTY
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:39 pm

enzo011 wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:
I do wonder if Boeing will expand their optimization program for the B788 to get more weight out of the airframe and cut its range to 6,500 nm, making it a better airliner for the Trans-Atlantic market? Get the efficiency up of this type and it would make airlines think twice about deploying the slower, narrow bodied, A321XLR across the Atlantic in competition.



One aircraft has a lower MTOW than the other just standing there empty. You are going to have to shave a lot of weight out of the 787 to get to that stage, right? Yes, you have more seats but those seats needs to be filled and you could be in territory where in the 787 they are lower yielding than the A321.



A weight/range-optimized B788 will be able to fly 30+ more seats, can offer larger premium cabin space, cruise 33 knots faster, carry up to 28 LD3's of cargo under the deck, cruise 4,000 feet higher and offer a cabin altitude 2,000 feet less than the A321XLR. I think it could be a better competitor at the upper-end of the 200-250 seat "sweet spot" for Trans-Atlantic routes.
 
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northstardc4m
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old -

Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:41 pm

moa999 wrote:
Yep. I think the back is the problem.

The 330 can be a comfortable 2-4-2 or a very tight 3-3-3 on only a few ultra LCCs (Air Asia X, Cebu Pacific).
The 787 is 3-3-3 for everyone


So far... dont push anything passed the ULCCs
 
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seahawk
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:57 pm

ukoverlander wrote:
seahawk wrote:
What a nightmare.

* technology breakthrough
* unbeaten performance
* outstanding dispatch reliability
* best operating cost in the market
* flown by all major airlines
* totally crushed the competition


You choose to miss the points relating to the factors needed for the airframe to be considered to be a true financial success for a manufacturer. Nobody is suggesting the 787 is not an extremely capable aircraft.and an excellent aircraft for it's customers - it's the economics of it's production and profitability for Boeing to date that tell that more tricky side of the story.


Yes, but the reasons for this is not 787 specific, but nearly normal at Boeing. They botched the 787, the MAX, the KC-46A and the 777-9 does also not look to good. The recent quality issues in production are not a problem of the 787, it is a problem of the company. I dare say that if the 787 would not be such a good design, Boeing would be even deeper in trouble.
 
ukoverlander
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 4:00 pm

FLALEFTY wrote:
enzo011 wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:
I do wonder if Boeing will expand their optimization program for the B788 to get more weight out of the airframe and cut its range to 6,500 nm, making it a better airliner for the Trans-Atlantic market? Get the efficiency up of this type and it would make airlines think twice about deploying the slower, narrow bodied, A321XLR across the Atlantic in competition.



One aircraft has a lower MTOW than the other just standing there empty. You are going to have to shave a lot of weight out of the 787 to get to that stage, right? Yes, you have more seats but those seats needs to be filled and you could be in territory where in the 787 they are lower yielding than the A321.



A weight/range-optimized B788 will be able to fly 30+ more seats, can offer larger premium cabin space, cruise 33 knots faster, carry up to 28 LD3's of cargo under the deck, cruise 4,000 feet higher and offer a cabin altitude 2,000 feet less than the A321XLR. I think it could be a better competitor at the upper-end of the 200-250 seat "sweet spot" for Trans-Atlantic routes.


Ok, but what is the difference in a) the list price, and b) the transatlantic operating costs between a A321XLR and even an optimized 787? The 757 opened up thin transatlantic routes and the A321XLR is primarily aimed to meet and expand that market. I imagine that a heavier, more expensive 787 aircraft, with 30+ seats is not necessarily going to be a realistic competitor for many of those routes.
 
UWPAviation
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 5:06 pm

CNN has to release their weekly article on how "bad" Boeing is. Yet everyday millions fly on Boeing machines, even the "death-trap" 737MAX and do not blink an eye. My father who knows nothing about aviation said he would never fly on the MAX again. Yet he has since the un-grounding not knowing what the MAX is or looks like.

Sure the 787 had problems and still does. Every machine does. It still is a marvel of a plane.
 
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FLALEFTY
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 5:13 pm

ukoverlander wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:
enzo011 wrote:


One aircraft has a lower MTOW than the other just standing there empty. You are going to have to shave a lot of weight out of the 787 to get to that stage, right? Yes, you have more seats but those seats needs to be filled and you could be in territory where in the 787 they are lower yielding than the A321.



A weight/range-optimized B788 will be able to fly 30+ more seats, can offer larger premium cabin space, cruise 33 knots faster, carry up to 28 LD3's of cargo under the deck, cruise 4,000 feet higher and offer a cabin altitude 2,000 feet less than the A321XLR. I think it could be a better competitor at the upper-end of the 200-250 seat "sweet spot" for Trans-Atlantic routes.


Ok, but what is the difference in a) the list price, and b) the transatlantic operating costs between a A321XLR and even an optimized 787? The 757 opened up thin transatlantic routes and the A321XLR is primarily aimed to meet and expand that market. I imagine that a heavier, more expensive 787 aircraft, with 30+ seats is not necessarily going to be a realistic competitor for many of those routes.


AA uses the B788 as their primary Trans-Atlantic plane out of their PHL hub. While they have also ordered a large number of A321XLR's, I think the original plans to use them T-A out of PHL might not end up being at the scale they previously anticipated. I expect premium, frequent-flyer AA customers will likely book away from an A321XLR T-A flight, if they can, largely because of the better premium cabin offerings on the B788. This will make for a much better potential yield than using the A321XLR with its much smaller, more cramped premium cabin. I expect the AA XLR's will likely end up being used mostly on Transcon, South American, Hawaiian and Caribbean routes.
 
flipdewaf
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 6:12 pm

FLALEFTY wrote:
ukoverlander wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:

A weight/range-optimized B788 will be able to fly 30+ more seats, can offer larger premium cabin space, cruise 33 knots faster, carry up to 28 LD3's of cargo under the deck, cruise 4,000 feet higher and offer a cabin altitude 2,000 feet less than the A321XLR. I think it could be a better competitor at the upper-end of the 200-250 seat "sweet spot" for Trans-Atlantic routes.


Ok, but what is the difference in a) the list price, and b) the transatlantic operating costs between a A321XLR and even an optimized 787? The 757 opened up thin transatlantic routes and the A321XLR is primarily aimed to meet and expand that market. I imagine that a heavier, more expensive 787 aircraft, with 30+ seats is not necessarily going to be a realistic competitor for many of those routes.


AA uses the B788 as their primary Trans-Atlantic plane out of their PHL hub. While they have also ordered a large number of A321XLR's, I think the original plans to use them T-A out of PHL might not end up being at the scale they previously anticipated. I expect premium, frequent-flyer AA customers will likely book away from an A321XLR T-A flight, if they can, largely because of the better premium cabin offerings on the B788. This will make for a much better potential yield than using the A321XLR with its much smaller, more cramped premium cabin. I expect the AA XLR's will likely end up being used mostly on Transcon, South American, Hawaiian and Caribbean routes.

I was under the impression the business class on the AA A321XLR would be fairly good, lie flats the same as on the 787, I guess it’s smaller but is that a disadvantage?

Fred


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
texl1649
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 6:19 pm

FLALEFTY wrote:
ukoverlander wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:

A weight/range-optimized B788 will be able to fly 30+ more seats, can offer larger premium cabin space, cruise 33 knots faster, carry up to 28 LD3's of cargo under the deck, cruise 4,000 feet higher and offer a cabin altitude 2,000 feet less than the A321XLR. I think it could be a better competitor at the upper-end of the 200-250 seat "sweet spot" for Trans-Atlantic routes.


Ok, but what is the difference in a) the list price, and b) the transatlantic operating costs between a A321XLR and even an optimized 787? The 757 opened up thin transatlantic routes and the A321XLR is primarily aimed to meet and expand that market. I imagine that a heavier, more expensive 787 aircraft, with 30+ seats is not necessarily going to be a realistic competitor for many of those routes.


AA uses the B788 as their primary Trans-Atlantic plane out of their PHL hub. While they have also ordered a large number of A321XLR's, I think the original plans to use them T-A out of PHL might not end up being at the scale they previously anticipated. I expect premium, frequent-flyer AA customers will likely book away from an A321XLR T-A flight, if they can, largely because of the better premium cabin offerings on the B788. This will make for a much better potential yield than using the A321XLR with its much smaller, more cramped premium cabin. I expect the AA XLR's will likely end up being used mostly on Transcon, South American, Hawaiian and Caribbean routes.


Isn't an A321XLR transatlantic going to be...lower/slower vs. a 787 as well? That's busy air space. I know single aisles have a place in those trips (particularly from smaller airports/non-hubs/LCC's etc), but does anyone really think they'd prefer a business/first trip on a narrow body vs. a widebody?
 
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old -

Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:00 pm

flipdewaf wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:
ukoverlander wrote:

Ok, but what is the difference in a) the list price, and b) the transatlantic operating costs between a A321XLR and even an optimized 787? The 757 opened up thin transatlantic routes and the A321XLR is primarily aimed to meet and expand that market. I imagine that a heavier, more expensive 787 aircraft, with 30+ seats is not necessarily going to be a realistic competitor for many of those routes.


AA uses the B788 as their primary Trans-Atlantic plane out of their PHL hub. While they have also ordered a large number of A321XLR's, I think the original plans to use them T-A out of PHL might not end up being at the scale they previously anticipated. I expect premium, frequent-flyer AA customers will likely book away from an A321XLR T-A flight, if they can, largely because of the better premium cabin offerings on the B788. This will make for a much better potential yield than using the A321XLR with its much smaller, more cramped premium cabin. I expect the AA XLR's will likely end up being used mostly on Transcon, South American, Hawaiian and Caribbean routes.


I was under the impression the business class on the AA A321XLR would be fairly good, lie flats the same as on the 787, I guess it’s smaller but is that a disadvantage?

Fred


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


I looked up some of AA's A321 & B788 seat layouts for comparisons:

Here's the standard A321NEO (196 seat) layout for AA:

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ameri ... 321neo.php

Here's the special, Transcon A321CEO (102 seat) layout for AA:

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ameri ... 21_new.php

Here's the standard B788 (234 seat) layout for AA:

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ameri ... 87-8_A.php
 
Okcflyer
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:01 pm

Commercial aircraft are extremely complex and difficult to get right. There are thousands of critical decisions, each with the potential to cause multiple billions of dollar in delays or overruns. Most here are viewing this on a totality basis, and there is no black or white answer. Lockheed left the market. MCD ran themselves out of business. Russia couldn't keep up with western progress. China has been hard at work for a decade and they don't even have a legit competitor for 40 year old technology (A320). This business is hard and about the only major modern program that has been successful from essentially day 1 without major missteps is the A320 family.

In the case of the 787, we should break it down and analyze what went right and what went wrong. Frankly, the "rights" are probably more important than "whoops, we shouldn't have done that" which become the wrongs.

The Rights:
- Boeing's prediction on the market direction was spot on. Literally could not have been better. They correctly determined there would be massive fragmentation as more non-stop city pairs opened up, and this would put pressure on the traditional flows through strategic hubs. In hindsight this is easy to see but for them to get this so right at the time is incredible, especially as historical performance in both the aviation market and other transportation markets proved to be inversely true.
- Because they got the above right, the nailed the capacity and range requirements of the airplane. Even today some 20+ year later from when these decisions where being made, they're still spot on the mark. They often win tenders because it's design goals most closely match the requirements of today.
- They nailed the fuselage width. Their strategy to lead with a "comfortable 8-wide" but making sure it 9-wide with standard seats was possible was pure genius. This gave them a ton of flexibility long term, and, critically, prevented undercutting their own product (777) too early in the process. By setting their performance targets based on 8-wide, they left themselves the option of going 9-wide to claw back unit-economics when something (which was inevitable) came up with made the thing heavier/less efficient. And it bought them the necessary space to keep it from competing against 777 opportunities early on. Even today, it's the best size dollar wise. While passengers love the A330, it's a bit too narrow for optimum. Had Airbus made the A330 the width of the 787 way back when, they would never have had to invest and build the A350, and they wouldn't have been as badly destroyed by the 77W with the A346 as they were.
- Overall marketing: No other commercial airline program has been even remotely as successful as the Dreamliner is/was. It's still perceived to be more advanced and better than it actually is, even within the airline industry, due to the momentum they built early on which cemented it's leading perception. Boeing got maximum value out of these efforts.

The Questionable Parts (and in some cases, the things they got wrong):
- All-electric architecture. I don't see the ROI this investment had. In hindsight, I think they probably would have kept to a more traditional architectural with latest and greatest predictive maintenance. I think the under-estimated predictive maintenance capabilities on pneumatic and hydraulic systems and convinced themselves they needed to go all-electric when that wasn't actually required.
- Barrel construction: Not as weight or maintenance efficient as originally assumed. Required ridiculous investment up front for the massive autoclaves and dreamlifters. In hindsight, should have one with composite panels.
- Risk sharing / supply chain: Due to the massive risks they were taking with the all electric systems and new composite barrel construction, they sought more than usual risk-sharing partners on the supply chain side, and one way to do this without giving up too many of the future returns was to use them to do more of the manufacturing process. While this has historically worked out, what they didn't account for well enough is how to manage this properly and what happens when 1 or 2 weak links drives the rest of the supply chain into the ground.
- Engines -- not sure the dual supplier of engines really worked out. Boeing got burnt by RR in the end.

Overall, they got more right than they got wrong. They should followed the 80/20 rule better with systems architecture and barrel construction. They could have gotten 80% of those benefits for 20% of the cost and risks. Those two pieces is what drove the program off the walls.
 
flipdewaf
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:05 pm

FLALEFTY wrote:
flipdewaf wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:

AA uses the B788 as their primary Trans-Atlantic plane out of their PHL hub. While they have also ordered a large number of A321XLR's, I think the original plans to use them T-A out of PHL might not end up being at the scale they previously anticipated. I expect premium, frequent-flyer AA customers will likely book away from an A321XLR T-A flight, if they can, largely because of the better premium cabin offerings on the B788. This will make for a much better potential yield than using the A321XLR with its much smaller, more cramped premium cabin. I expect the AA XLR's will likely end up being used mostly on Transcon, South American, Hawaiian and Caribbean routes.


I was under the impression the business class on the AA A321XLR would be fairly good, lie flats the same as on the 787, I guess it’s smaller but is that a disadvantage?

Fred


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


I looked up some of AA's A321 & B788 seat layouts for comparisons:

Here's the standard A321NEO (196 seat) layout for AA:

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ameri ... 321neo.php

Here's the special, Transcon A321CEO (102 seat) layout for AA:

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ameri ... 21_new.php

Here's the standard B788 (234 seat) layout for AA:

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ameri ... 87-8_A.php

https://viewfromthewing.com/american-ai ... -9-cabins/

[quote=“Robert Isom”]
[American is] in the process right now of designing the interior for the 321XLR so we’ll take that input and it’s helpful. That aircraft is not going to be as densely configured as our current 321s because it will have a real lie-flat business class section, it will have a real premium economy section and it will have a smaller coach configuration

[/quote]

Fred


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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Revelation
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:05 pm

Interesting this article comes out the same day Boeing reports the following about 787:

The low production rates and rework are expected to result in approximately $1 billion of abnormal costs, of which $183 million was recorded in the quarter.

Ref: https://boeing.mediaroom.com/2021-10-27 ... er-Results

For Boeing it must be like being the parent of a gifted wunderkind, you're proud to be its parent but it's costing you lots of money every day of its life.

From TFA:

Hamilton believes the 787 program has cost an estimated $50 billion in program development, cost overruns and customer compensation. And what's overlooked is the knock-on effect in product development. "Had the 787 been delivered on time, Boeing would have easily been 5-8 years ahead of Airbus. Boeing's distraction by crisis after crisis has given Airbus a commanding lead in the heart of the narrow-body market."

I'm not sure how Hamilton comes up with that number, but I do agree with the the conclusion. Basically if 787/Y2 had not been such a calamity in terms of not just budget but also schedule, we would have seen Y3 instead of 777X and Y1 instead of MAX and Boeing would be in a totally different position in terms of its product line up and finances.
 
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:18 pm

I have flown on United's 787's to Europe and Asia many times as well as between their hubs in the U.S. and I would agree it is an amazing plane if you are flying up front in Polaris. In coach, I find the cabin cramped for long haul flights. In my opinion, the airlines screwed up by adding another seat and going to 9 across instead of 8 across as Boeing had pitched the plane. The bean counters at the airlines won out and again, the passengers lost. It is hard to sit in an aisle seat and not be bumped by flight attendants or carts going up and down. The coach cabin on Japan Airlines 787 was amazing at 8 across and even the four seats in the middle felt spacious. They have individual arm rest and do not feel crowded at all and you were never more then 1 seat away from the aisle. ANA had a similar arrangement before they went to 9 across seating. Company policy is they pay for business class on flights to our Asian facilities, but not to Europe anymore. I would take an old 767 in coach over a 787 in coach any day of the week or an old 9 across 777. The 777 cabin at 9 across seating always felt spacious to me as a passenger..
 
Okcflyer
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:23 pm

Revelation wrote:
Interesting this article comes out the same day Boeing reports the following about 787:

Hamilton believes the 787 program has cost an estimated $50 billion in program development, cost overruns and customer compensation. And what's overlooked is the knock-on effect in product development. "Had the 787 been delivered on time, Boeing would have easily been 5-8 years ahead of Airbus. Boeing's distraction by crisis after crisis has given Airbus a commanding lead in the heart of the narrow-body market."

I'm not sure how Hamilton comes up with that number, but I do agree with the the conclusion. Basically if 787/Y2 had not been such a calamity in terms of not just budget but also schedule, we would have seen Y3 instead of 777X and Y1 instead of MAX and Boeing would be in a totally different position in terms of its product line up and finances.


I agree with this 100%. It's starting to feel like the MAX is the MD11 (design compromises lead to crashes and killed it's perception) and the 77X the MD90 equivalent (not well positioned against its more modern competitor). They need to invest heavily in a new narrowbody pretty soon but they keep having to spend all of their resources fighting self-inflicted wounds, and are unable to make the investment to ultimately save the company.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:46 pm

Okcflyer wrote:
I agree with this 100%. It's starting to feel like the MAX is the MD11 (design compromises lead to crashes and killed it's perception) and the 77X the MD90 equivalent (not well positioned against its more modern competitor). They need to invest heavily in a new narrowbody pretty soon but they keep having to spend all of their resources fighting self-inflicted wounds, and are unable to make the investment to ultimately save the company.

While I generally agree with your comments, I'm not sure I agree with the last bit. It seems to me they had no problems finding money to work through the MAX situation and presumably could find the money to finance whatever airplane they want to do next, once they sort out exactly what that is and when they want to do it.

I would add that they are now working in a very different environment with the FAA and the rest of the world's regulators making them walk the extra mile, and not knowing if poorly thought out climate change regulations will come along and totally change the rules of the game.

In the 787 saga the main complicating factors were technical and industrial, in whatever they do next regulatory factors will be at least as prominent as these others were for 787. For instance, we still don't know what the regulators will want from a next generation cockpit design.
 
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ElroyJetson
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:03 pm

MrHMSH wrote:
I don't think the 787 is a 'game-changer' as much as is sometimes perceived, it's the next step after the 777/A330, and what it has achieved is following a similar line of evolution to those aircraft.

That said, it has been very good for the airlines, its size, capabilities and efficiency were exactly what was needed, which is why it has sold so well. It (hasn't/might not?) make money for Boeing, but that's little to do with the actual aircraft and more because of Boeing's fairly well-documented issues. It should be a case study in how *not* to execute a big industrial programme.

Pythagoras wrote:

The 787-10 is going to be the standard going forward much like the 767-300ER was for the 767 Program and 777-300ER was for the 777 program. There certainly will be a need for the very long range flights in an airlines' operation which 787-8 and -9 will continue to fly, but those are a smaller fraction of an operator's total flights. The economics of a stretch just make it superior to anything else.


I'm not sure, I think if it is to happen it'll wait for the engine upgrade. Airlines seem to be happier with the flexibility offered by the A350 and 789. The 78X is good for what it's designed to do, but with long haul aircraft it has generally been the case that the longer range variants have sold more than the shorter. One exception to that is the A333, but even then A333 sales really boomed when the capabilities were improved.



I would generally agree with most of your comments, particularly regarding the 787-10. I think it is a fantastic aircraft for what is does but right now it is not a legitimate ULH plane. My guess is Boeing did not want to cut into existing 777 sales, just as Airbus did not want to initially cut into A340 sales with early versions of the A330.

As it became clear the A340 sales were winding down Airbus increased the MTOW of A330-300 and it rightly became a big sales success. If Boeing can get similar improvements in payload/ range with the 787-10 it should follow a similar sales trajectory as the A330-300.

From comments Lightsaber among others have made Pip's are in the pipeline for 787 engines. The open question is can the planned Pip's improve performance enough for the 787-10? I would think an improvement of 500nm range or payload equivalent would do the trick. We'll see what happens.
 
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:18 pm

Caryjack wrote:
It's nice to see that Tom Sanderson is Director of Product Marketing for the 787. He certainly put a lot into it.

He certainly has - Tom's a friend of mine and I've heard the good, bad and ugly (all off the record and nothing confidential or proprietary of course). He's spent a lot of time away from home and family since the inception of the program but takes it all in stride.
Last edited by ER757 on Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
smartplane
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:21 pm

Okcflyer wrote:
The Rights:
- Overall marketing: No other commercial airline program has been even remotely as successful as the Dreamliner is/was. It's still perceived to be more advanced and better than it actually is, even within the airline industry, due to the momentum they built early on which cemented it's leading perception. Boeing got maximum value out of these efforts.

The Questionable Parts (and in some cases, the things they got wrong):
- Risk sharing / supply chain: Due to the massive risks they were taking with the all electric systems and new composite barrel construction, they sought more than usual risk-sharing partners on the supply chain side, and one way to do this without giving up too many of the future returns was to use them to do more of the manufacturing process. While this has historically worked out, what they didn't account for well enough is how to manage this properly and what happens when 1 or 2 weak links drives the rest of the supply chain into the ground.

The new marketing was great. Where Boeing are, and will be much less successful, is placing used aircraft with new 787 operators. Support software systems, despite efforts to simplify are a big overhead for smaller operators. The A33CEO, and even NEO, are far simpler propositions.

In respect to risk sharing, the full extent of the problems are under-estimated. Suppliers have used opt out / exit provisions, but are still retained on temporary supply contracts, at elevated unit prices. Covid and current production suspension has seen a boost in exit notifications.

If only Boeing had more faith themselves in the 787, they would have done a simple 777 re-engine (would have been simple compared to post-MAX treatment now of a re-engine), and by now offered a second 787 LR / heavy wing and undercarriage option, and perhaps an 11 instead of the 777X. Instead, 787 development was curtailed by 777 management team lobbying.

If the high volume NB market can be covered by one family, makes no sense WB requires two model families. At least Airbus A33 and A35 share many features, components and production infrastructure. 787 and 777X virtually zero.
 
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old -

Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:48 pm

flipdewaf wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:
flipdewaf wrote:

I was under the impression the business class on the AA A321XLR would be fairly good, lie flats the same as on the 787, I guess it’s smaller but is that a disadvantage?

Fred


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


I looked up some of AA's A321 & B788 seat layouts for comparisons:

Here's the standard A321NEO (196 seat) layout for AA:

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ameri ... 321neo.php

Here's the special, Transcon A321CEO (102 seat) layout for AA:

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ameri ... 21_new.php

Here's the standard B788 (234 seat) layout for AA:

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ameri ... 87-8_A.php

https://viewfromthewing.com/american-ai ... -9-cabins/

[quote=“Robert Isom”]
[American is] in the process right now of designing the interior for the 321XLR so we’ll take that input and it’s helpful. That aircraft is not going to be as densely configured as our current 321s because it will have a real lie-flat business class section, it will have a real premium economy section and it will have a smaller coach configuration



Fred


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk[/quote]

Thanks for the article link. Very interesting!

It seems AA admits that stuffing 172 seats into the B38M and B738, along with jamming 196 seats into their new A321N's were mistakes (I wonder when they will correct them? - Just kidding!). It will be interesting to see what interior configuration of their A321XLR's settles on. I'm guessing an adaptation of the Transcon A321CEO cabin (their version of the "Hollywood-Broadway Express"), but without the F class? I'm thinking they will end up somewhere in the 170~175 passenger range. They may even peel a few XLR's off and configure them into 102-seat versions to replace the CEO's on the JFK-LAX run.
 
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Polot
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old -

Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:51 pm

FLALEFTY wrote:
flipdewaf wrote:
FLALEFTY wrote:

I looked up some of AA's A321 & B788 seat layouts for comparisons:

Here's the standard A321NEO (196 seat) layout for AA:

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ameri ... 321neo.php

Here's the special, Transcon A321CEO (102 seat) layout for AA:

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ameri ... 21_new.php

Here's the standard B788 (234 seat) layout for AA:

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ameri ... 87-8_A.php

https://viewfromthewing.com/american-ai ... -9-cabins/

[quote=“Robert Isom”]
[American is] in the process right now of designing the interior for the 321XLR so we’ll take that input and it’s helpful. That aircraft is not going to be as densely configured as our current 321s because it will have a real lie-flat business class section, it will have a real premium economy section and it will have a smaller coach configuration



Fred


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Thanks for the article link. Very interesting!

It seems AA admits that stuffing 172 seats into the B38M and B738, along with jamming 196 seats into their new A321N's were mistakes (I wonder when they will correct them? - Just kidding!). It will be interesting to see what interior configuration of their A321XLR's settles on. I'm guessing an adaptation of the Transcon A321CEO cabin (their version of the "Hollywood-Broadway Express"), but without the F class? I'm thinking they will end up somewhere in the 170~175 passenger range. They may even peel a few XLR's off and configure them into 102-seat versions to replace the CEO's on the JFK-LAX run.

My guess is they will be configured with similar number of seats as the TATL 757s when those were around.

You are not going to see XLRs configured as a dedicated A321T replacement-an XLR is complete overkill for that. If AA were to replace them with a similarly configured aircraft it would be standard A321neos. I would not expect that anytime soon though (if ever).
 
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:30 pm

Okcflyer wrote:
Commercial aircraft are extremely complex and difficult to get right. There are thousands of critical decisions, each with the potential to cause multiple billions of dollar in delays or overruns. Most here are viewing this on a totality basis, and there is no black or white answer. Lockheed left the market. MCD ran themselves out of business. Russia couldn't keep up with western progress. China has been hard at work for a decade and they don't even have a legit competitor for 40 year old technology (A320). This business is hard and about the only major modern program that has been successful from essentially day 1 without major missteps is the A320 family.

In the case of the 787, we should break it down and analyze what went right and what went wrong. Frankly, the "rights" are probably more important than "whoops, we shouldn't have done that" which become the wrongs.

The Rights:
- Boeing's prediction on the market direction was spot on. Literally could not have been better. They correctly determined there would be massive fragmentation as more non-stop city pairs opened up, and this would put pressure on the traditional flows through strategic hubs. In hindsight this is easy to see but for them to get this so right at the time is incredible, especially as historical performance in both the aviation market and other transportation markets proved to be inversely true.
- Because they got the above right, the nailed the capacity and range requirements of the airplane. Even today some 20+ year later from when these decisions where being made, they're still spot on the mark. They often win tenders because it's design goals most closely match the requirements of today.
- They nailed the fuselage width. Their strategy to lead with a "comfortable 8-wide" but making sure it 9-wide with standard seats was possible was pure genius. This gave them a ton of flexibility long term, and, critically, prevented undercutting their own product (777) too early in the process. By setting their performance targets based on 8-wide, they left themselves the option of going 9-wide to claw back unit-economics when something (which was inevitable) came up with made the thing heavier/less efficient. And it bought them the necessary space to keep it from competing against 777 opportunities early on. Even today, it's the best size dollar wise. While passengers love the A330, it's a bit too narrow for optimum. Had Airbus made the A330 the width of the 787 way back when, they would never have had to invest and build the A350, and they wouldn't have been as badly destroyed by the 77W with the A346 as they were.
- Overall marketing: No other commercial airline program has been even remotely as successful as the Dreamliner is/was. It's still perceived to be more advanced and better than it actually is, even within the airline industry, due to the momentum they built early on which cemented it's leading perception. Boeing got maximum value out of these efforts.

The Questionable Parts (and in some cases, the things they got wrong):
- All-electric architecture. I don't see the ROI this investment had. In hindsight, I think they probably would have kept to a more traditional architectural with latest and greatest predictive maintenance. I think the under-estimated predictive maintenance capabilities on pneumatic and hydraulic systems and convinced themselves they needed to go all-electric when that wasn't actually required.
- Barrel construction: Not as weight or maintenance efficient as originally assumed. Required ridiculous investment up front for the massive autoclaves and dreamlifters. In hindsight, should have one with composite panels.
- Risk sharing / supply chain: Due to the massive risks they were taking with the all electric systems and new composite barrel construction, they sought more than usual risk-sharing partners on the supply chain side, and one way to do this without giving up too many of the future returns was to use them to do more of the manufacturing process. While this has historically worked out, what they didn't account for well enough is how to manage this properly and what happens when 1 or 2 weak links drives the rest of the supply chain into the ground.
- Engines -- not sure the dual supplier of engines really worked out. Boeing got burnt by RR in the end.

Overall, they got more right than they got wrong. They should followed the 80/20 rule better with systems architecture and barrel construction. They could have gotten 80% of those benefits for 20% of the cost and risks. Those two pieces is what drove the program off the walls.


Quite a bit of arm chair engineering here in this post.

I'd call you to task for the assertion that the 787 barrel sections are substantially more costly than the A350 panelized design. Airbus chose their panelized design primarily to avoid cost and schedule risk, and to avoid technical risk as well because they are not as advanced as Boeing in composite repairs. Airbus has for a long time favored bolted repair options for composite structure and has favored designs which are conducive to that.

Circumferential lap splices are very difficult to get correct. Just go out and look at any older 737 and the rework required for an example.

Boeing's manufacturing approach is to minimize touch time in final assembly which is the reason why they were pursuing pre-stuffing components. Airbus does the same.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:35 am

FLALEFTY wrote:
I expect premium, frequent-flyer AA customers will likely book away from an A321XLR T-A flight, if they can, largely because of the better premium cabin offerings on the B788. This will make for a much better potential yield than using the A321XLR with its much smaller, more cramped premium cabin.

Interesting. When did AA release the specs on its -XLR business cabin hard product? Have a link?
 
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seahawk
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Thu Oct 28, 2021 5:39 am

ElroyJetson wrote:
MrHMSH wrote:
I don't think the 787 is a 'game-changer' as much as is sometimes perceived, it's the next step after the 777/A330, and what it has achieved is following a similar line of evolution to those aircraft.

That said, it has been very good for the airlines, its size, capabilities and efficiency were exactly what was needed, which is why it has sold so well. It (hasn't/might not?) make money for Boeing, but that's little to do with the actual aircraft and more because of Boeing's fairly well-documented issues. It should be a case study in how *not* to execute a big industrial programme.

Pythagoras wrote:

The 787-10 is going to be the standard going forward much like the 767-300ER was for the 767 Program and 777-300ER was for the 777 program. There certainly will be a need for the very long range flights in an airlines' operation which 787-8 and -9 will continue to fly, but those are a smaller fraction of an operator's total flights. The economics of a stretch just make it superior to anything else.


I'm not sure, I think if it is to happen it'll wait for the engine upgrade. Airlines seem to be happier with the flexibility offered by the A350 and 789. The 78X is good for what it's designed to do, but with long haul aircraft it has generally been the case that the longer range variants have sold more than the shorter. One exception to that is the A333, but even then A333 sales really boomed when the capabilities were improved.



I would generally agree with most of your comments, particularly regarding the 787-10. I think it is a fantastic aircraft for what is does but right now it is not a legitimate ULH plane. My guess is Boeing did not want to cut into existing 777 sales, just as Airbus did not want to initially cut into A340 sales with early versions of the A330.

As it became clear the A340 sales were winding down Airbus increased the MTOW of A330-300 and it rightly became a big sales success. If Boeing can get similar improvements in payload/ range with the 787-10 it should follow a similar sales trajectory as the A330-300. .


This was only possible because the A340 was a direct sibling, so that the MTOW was already in the design. This is not the case of the 787. There is no higher MTOW sibling.
 
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enzo011
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old -

Thu Oct 28, 2021 6:02 am

FLALEFTY wrote:
I looked up some of AA's A321 & B788 seat layouts for comparisons:

Here's the standard A321NEO (196 seat) layout for AA:

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ameri ... 321neo.php

Here's the special, Transcon A321CEO (102 seat) layout for AA:

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ameri ... 21_new.php

Here's the standard B788 (234 seat) layout for AA:

https://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Ameri ... 87-8_A.php



I looked at the comparative layouts with AA but its not a good comparison as the products are not the same. You have F in the A321 but no F in the 788. Now you could argue the current J in the 788 is the same as the F in the A321, but there are too many variables to make that comparison in the layouts they currently use.

We will have to wait and see how many seats they use and what the layout it before being able to say a refined 788 will be able to compete. The same arguments against the A380 and using 2 788 will apply. But this time it is one 788 and sending two A321's.
 
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enzo011
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Thu Oct 28, 2021 6:07 am

seahawk wrote:
This was only possible because the A340 was a direct sibling, so that the MTOW was already in the design. This is not the case of the 787. There is no higher MTOW sibling.



I think this is a common misconception of the A330 and its evolution. Every aircraft program will have similarities, but each one is also unique that some of its advantages, and disadvantages, will be applicable to the specific program. Look at the A359, it hasn't had huge MTOW increases at the same level as the A333, so its not a Airbus feature to have MTOW increases baked into their designs. But the A330 had it due to the way the program was realised.

The A359 may still see more MTOW increases, but this would be realised by learning from the bigger A35K and using some of its structures to attain this. The 787 does not have this, the MTOW is the same for the family so there is no frame you can borrow stronger landing gear from to up the MTOW of the other models.
 
debonair
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:15 pm

flipdewaf wrote:
I have done about 12-15 flights on the dreamliner on a variety of airlines and classes (AA, BA, AI, AC, QR, ET) Y, Y+, C. and id choose it over any of the last gen in Y+ and C and probably the last gen if going Y. compared to an A350 I do not know as I haven't been on one yet! *Mutter about bloody covid*


It also depends also on the carrier flying with, the A350 is a great aircraft - but e.g. the seats in Eco AY has chosen are a nightmare.

But, in general, there is one big difference between the B787 and A350 - quality. I have flown on several B787 and was shocked to see the poor standards on the B787. I first thought, that this is an airline related problem - poor maintenance. But I came across this problem with several airlines, like loose cabin ceilings, "swinging" (best to describe) centre toilets on take off and gaps/not fitting PSU (passenger service units). I can't wait and see how the LH Group will accept such poorly manufactured B787. In my opinion, yes, the B787 is a modern, outstanding performing aircraft - however Boeing needs to handle these unacceptable problems.
 
Exeiowa
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Thu Oct 28, 2021 1:45 pm

It says something interesting about the modern world where you can have the best selling plane, is clearly the most capable airplane in it window (superior to A330, slightly different window to A350) yet it still has not broken even. The other issue that will be coming to hurt them soon, is that in there attempt to extinguish the A330 as an alternative they went on a sale price slashing campaign to remove the one edge the A330 had of lower acquisition cost, but that was based on higher production rates reducing costs with economy of scale. Right now that isn't happening so if this persists for any amount of time there will be some aircraft being produced with much slimmer margins than expected. When we see the paper accounting activities of program accounting, we might get to see this show up as they will might have to reduce the amount "paid off" per aircraft, plus a further increase in the accounting block. Yes I know its not real money lost etc, etc but it does pull open a curtain into something we otherwise would not get to see.
 
lifecomm
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Re: Interesting article on the 787 at 10 years old - "is the Boeing 787 Dreamliner still more dream than nightmare?"

Thu Oct 28, 2021 2:29 pm

Okcflyer wrote:
Commercial aircraft are extremely complex and difficult to get right. There are thousands of critical decisions, each with the potential to cause multiple billions of dollar in delays or overruns. Most here are viewing this on a totality basis, and there is no black or white answer. Lockheed left the market. MCD ran themselves out of business. Russia couldn't keep up with western progress. China has been hard at work for a decade and they don't even have a legit competitor for 40 year old technology (A320). This business is hard and about the only major modern program that has been successful from essentially day 1 without major missteps is the A320 family.

In the case of the 787, we should break it down and analyze what went right and what went wrong. Frankly, the "rights" are probably more important than "whoops, we shouldn't have done that" which become the wrongs.

The Rights:
- Boeing's prediction on the market direction was spot on. Literally could not have been better. They correctly determined there would be massive fragmentation as more non-stop city pairs opened up, and this would put pressure on the traditional flows through strategic hubs. In hindsight this is easy to see but for them to get this so right at the time is incredible, especially as historical performance in both the aviation market and other transportation markets proved to be inversely true.
- Because they got the above right, the nailed the capacity and range requirements of the airplane. Even today some 20+ year later from when these decisions where being made, they're still spot on the mark. They often win tenders because it's design goals most closely match the requirements of today.
- They nailed the fuselage width. Their strategy to lead with a "comfortable 8-wide" but making sure it 9-wide with standard seats was possible was pure genius. This gave them a ton of flexibility long term, and, critically, prevented undercutting their own product (777) too early in the process. By setting their performance targets based on 8-wide, they left themselves the option of going 9-wide to claw back unit-economics when something (which was inevitable) came up with made the thing heavier/less efficient. And it bought them the necessary space to keep it from competing against 777 opportunities early on. Even today, it's the best size dollar wise. While passengers love the A330, it's a bit too narrow for optimum. Had Airbus made the A330 the width of the 787 way back when, they would never have had to invest and build the A350, and they wouldn't have been as badly destroyed by the 77W with the A346 as they were.
- Overall marketing: No other commercial airline program has been even remotely as successful as the Dreamliner is/was. It's still perceived to be more advanced and better than it actually is, even within the airline industry, due to the momentum they built early on which cemented it's leading perception. Boeing got maximum value out of these efforts.

The Questionable Parts (and in some cases, the things they got wrong):
- All-electric architecture. I don't see the ROI this investment had. In hindsight, I think they probably would have kept to a more traditional architectural with latest and greatest predictive maintenance. I think the under-estimated predictive maintenance capabilities on pneumatic and hydraulic systems and convinced themselves they needed to go all-electric when that wasn't actually required.
- Barrel construction: Not as weight or maintenance efficient as originally assumed. Required ridiculous investment up front for the massive autoclaves and dreamlifters. In hindsight, should have one with composite panels.
- Risk sharing / supply chain: Due to the massive risks they were taking with the all electric systems and new composite barrel construction, they sought more than usual risk-sharing partners on the supply chain side, and one way to do this without giving up too many of the future returns was to use them to do more of the manufacturing process. While this has historically worked out, what they didn't account for well enough is how to manage this properly and what happens when 1 or 2 weak links drives the rest of the supply chain into the ground.
- Engines -- not sure the dual supplier of engines really worked out. Boeing got burnt by RR in the end.

Overall, they got more right than they got wrong. They should followed the 80/20 rule better with systems architecture and barrel construction. They could have gotten 80% of those benefits for 20% of the cost and risks. Those two pieces is what drove the program off the walls.


I think you make excellent points. I suppose we won't really know what Boeing got right/wrong until they produce their next clean-sheet aircraft. One area I wonder about is lower maintenance costs. How true is this? This also applies to each subsystem, as well: brakes, AC, etc. For example, are there any reports from the operators that state how much better electric brakes are or are not?

One quibble: my gut tells me that the barrel investment will pay-off and the Dreamliner width will be the largest Boeing produces for future clean-sheets and CFRP barrel construction will be their standard. But maybe not!

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