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9Patch
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The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Thu Nov 11, 2021 9:07 pm

Scott Scott Hamilton and Bjorn Fehrm at Leeham News and Analysis have a new post up about the proposed A350F. It details the specifications of new plane and how it stacks up against the Boeing 777F and future Boeing freighter offerings. One paragraph that jumped out at me:

The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter. Boeing has a challenge with doing a cargo door in a barrel composite airplane. Airbus chose the panel approach for the A350. Was Airbus thinking about a cargo version of the airplane, or did it just happen to work out that way?
https://leehamnews.com/2021/11/11/airbu ... more-37783

This is the first time I've ever heard this. I thought Boeing designed the 787 with a freighter version in mind. Are they talking about P2F conversions only, or new build freighters?
 
Noshow
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Thu Nov 11, 2021 9:27 pm

Every big program of every manufacturer is made with freighter variants and conversions in mind from the very beginning. So Boeing has considered this when defining the production system and structure without question. Can't they just cut in holes anywhere as required and patch the fuselage around if needed? Isn't this how they cut in windows and doors anyway?

What I think is surprising is the (claimed) Airbus way of introducing another fuselage length for the A350F. While it might make sense for low density express packages it would not make sense for A350 passenger version operators. Maybe this is just a spoiler to distract from the 777XF launch? Every A350 is RR powered. Would the package giants from the US still order it?
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Thu Nov 11, 2021 9:31 pm

9Patch wrote:
Scott Scott Hamilton and Bjorn Fehrm at Leeham News and Analysis have a new post up about the proposed A350F. It details the specifications of new plane and how it stacks up against the Boeing 777F and future Boeing freighter offerings. One paragraph that jumped out at me:

The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter. Boeing has a challenge with doing a cargo door in a barrel composite airplane. Airbus chose the panel approach for the A350. Was Airbus thinking about a cargo version of the airplane, or did it just happen to work out that way?
https://leehamnews.com/2021/11/11/airbu ... more-37783

This is the first time I've ever heard this. I thought Boeing designed the 787 with a freighter version in mind. Are they talking about P2F conversions only, or new build freighters?


Sounds a heck of a lot like the Leeham News writer is limited in their creative thinking abilities, as anything that isn't already developed must be impossible.
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Thu Nov 11, 2021 9:38 pm

It is possible that Boeing designed the 787 optimized as a passenger plane, it does have relatively low % OEW to MTOW, which hints at this optimization. New build freighters would be relatively easy to include the cargo door frame into barrels, but this can be designed with the freighter variant in the future. However, it may be quite difficult to do a P2F large cargo door in a conversion. The floor beams in the 787 are probably lighter than in the 77W, which can handle a cargo density some 20% lighter than the general cargo market. So yes, not the greatest freighter.

With the 777 freighters above it, does it make sense to offer a 787 freighter - probably not
 
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Revelation
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Thu Nov 11, 2021 9:45 pm

I don't know if it's just a.net folklore, but we have had posts here saying 787 is designed with a cargo door location already determined, and wiring and systems are routed around that opening. Presumably this means Boeing knows a 787F is going to happen some day. I presume they'd have to design it in to allow the planes to have an afterlife. Without this, financing rates are much higher. So, I'm calling BS on this report. It could be that cutting the cargo door is more difficult or more costly, but IMO it's already planned out how to do it.

One such post is in viewtopic.php?t=1415567 ...
 
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Polot
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Thu Nov 11, 2021 9:54 pm

Leeham seems to be under the impression that structural reinforcement is difficult with the barrel approach (because cutting out a hole for a main deck cargo cargo door is no different than how the windows, belly cargo doors, and pax doors are cut out of the barrel, so I hope they wouldn’t view that part as a challenge). Not sure if that impression is actually based on any engineering knowledge or just unfounded assumption though…
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Thu Nov 11, 2021 9:58 pm

Polot wrote:
Leeham seems to be under the impression that structural reinforcement is difficult with the barrel approach (because cutting out a hole for a main deck cargo cargo door is no different than how the windows, belly cargo doors, and pax doors are cut out of the barrel, so I hope they wouldn’t view that part as a challenge). Not sure if that impression is actually based on any engineering knowledge or just unfounded assumption though…

I agree, it may be a challenge, but I presume there is a plan. Currently Boeing has made ~1000 787s and still has backlog of ~500 more. It's hard to conceive that there is no plan for how to go about converting them to freighters. We have ten plus years of posts about how 77W could not be used as a freighter because of the CFRP floor beams, but guess what, they found a solution and the product will EIS in a couple of years.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Thu Nov 11, 2021 10:04 pm

9Patch wrote:
Scott Scott Hamilton and Bjorn Fehrm at Leeham News and Analysis have a new post up about the proposed A350F. It details the specifications of new plane and how it stacks up against the Boeing 777F and future Boeing freighter offerings. One paragraph that jumped out at me:

The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter. Boeing has a challenge with doing a cargo door in a barrel composite airplane. Airbus chose the panel approach for the A350. Was Airbus thinking about a cargo version of the airplane, or did it just happen to work out that way?
https://leehamnews.com/2021/11/11/airbu ... more-37783

This is the first time I've ever heard this. I thought Boeing designed the 787 with a freighter version in mind. Are they talking about P2F conversions only, or new build freighters?


This article is about an interview with Airbus. Of course they are going to say the 787 doesn’t make a good freighter. Are you surprised?

Airbus has given more information about what led to their new freighter, the A350F, and its data. Scott Hamilton talked to Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer at the IATA AGM on Oct. 3-5 in Boston, and Bjorn Fehrm spoke to Head of Freighter marketing, Crawford Hamilton, about the technical details.


Leeham news is simply being an advertising portal for Airbus
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Thu Nov 11, 2021 10:15 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
This article is about an interview with Airbus. Of course they are going to say the 787 doesn’t make a good freighter. Are you surprised?


Those words are written by the author, not Airbus.
 
sxf24
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Thu Nov 11, 2021 11:38 pm

scbriml wrote:
Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
This article is about an interview with Airbus. Of course they are going to say the 787 doesn’t make a good freighter. Are you surprised?


Those words are written by the author, not Airbus.


Who do you think provide information to influence those words?
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 1:43 am

sxf24 wrote:
scbriml wrote:
Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
This article is about an interview with Airbus. Of course they are going to say the 787 doesn’t make a good freighter. Are you surprised?


Those words are written by the author, not Airbus.


Who do you think provide information to influence those words?

If an author of what's supposed to be an objective analytical organization is so easily fooled by base-level propaganda, then that person's probably not going to remain an author for long.
 
SteelChair
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 1:48 am

LAX772LR wrote:
sxf24 wrote:
scbriml wrote:

Those words are written by the author, not Airbus.


Who do you think provide information to influence those words?

If an author of what's supposed to be an objective analytical organization is so easily fooled by base-level propaganda, then that person's probably not going to remain an author for long.


I would argue that the aviation media is no less biased than the sports or mainstream media. It just depends on whose ox gets gored.
 
iamlucky13
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 2:43 am

Hopefully it's obvious to everyone that adding a cargo involves more than just cutting a hole in the fuselage. There would be a fairly stout frame installed at that location to transfer loads across the door opening, just like with a passenger door, but larger. There might be an increase in the number of plies of carbon fiber in that area to help loads transfer into frame. They might identify some changes to be made to their carbon fiber layup and cure tools to facilitate those changes.

As someone else noted, if they haven't already routed systems in anticipation of a freighter variant, they will need to account for that, as well.

And as others noted, floor beams may need to be strengthened.

But these considerations apply to all freighters.

Personally, I'm still intrigued by the possibility that at a re-engined 767 might still have more appeal than a 787F, due to the greater differentiation from the A350 and 777, the often discussed gate space concerns, the optimization of the 787 for longer routes that domestic cargo operators have less need for, and the presumed very low relative cost of the 767.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 3:05 am

LAX772LR wrote:
sxf24 wrote:
scbriml wrote:

Those words are written by the author, not Airbus.


Who do you think provide information to influence those words?

If an author of what's supposed to be an objective analytical organization is so easily fooled by base-level propaganda, then that person's probably not going to remain an author for long.


Leeham News isn’t an objective analytical organization. It’s a blog whose author has direct access to Airbus marketing. They aren’t hiding anything. The first paragraph in the article says information came from interviews with Airbus

Airbus has given more information about what led to their new freighter, the A350F, and its data. Scott Hamilton talked to Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Christian Scherer at the IATA AGM on Oct. 3-5 in Boston, and Bjorn Fehrm spoke to Head of Freighter marketing, Crawford Hamilton, about the technical details.


Of course the head of freighter marketing at Airbus is going to say the 787 doesn’t lend itself well to being a freighter.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 4:08 am

iamlucky13 wrote:
Personally, I'm still intrigued by the possibility that at a re-engined 767 might still have more appeal than a 787F, due to the greater differentiation from the A350 and 777, the often discussed gate space concerns, the optimization of the 787 for longer routes that domestic cargo operators have less need for, and the presumed very low relative cost of the 767.


Personally, I am too! I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the 767, I don't mind saying. It was the aircraft I grew up with, it was the aircraft I took my first international trip on, and it remains to this day the best flight I've ever had on (IAD-LHR).

So with that in mind, I'd LOVE to see a 764F w/ GeNX. While my conscious brain says it's unlikely, I do remember (hopefully me saying this doesn't violate anything) that FedEx actually asked Boeing specifically for a 764F. Once they worked out the numbers, they both agreed that the 763F would do the job adequately without the added expense. But damn I still wish they'd gone ahead with that. . . LOL!
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 4:22 am

I dont know about a freighter but I remember when the 787 was launched people were saying it wouldn't make a good platform for military use as you couldn't just cut out holes nilly willy in the barrels and put sensors in anywhere like on a 707. And I remember people saying when Airbus launched the XWB with its panel construction, this would make freighters and military versions much easier than a 787.
 
ikramerica
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 4:55 am

Not really sure why reinforcing a barrel is not feasible.
 
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CarlosSi
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 5:17 am

This is very much just an opinion without any factual-basis, but I always thought the 787 was too "elegant" to be hauling boxes. "Dreamliner" and cargo don't really go hand-in-hand either.

How "pretty" an airplane is doesn't make it a better or worse freighter, although the 757 surely is great at it regardless!
 
AngMoh
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 5:54 am

iamlucky13 wrote:
Hopefully it's obvious to everyone that adding a cargo involves more than just cutting a hole in the fuselage. There would be a fairly stout frame installed at that location to transfer loads across the door opening, just like with a passenger door, but larger. There might be an increase in the number of plies of carbon fiber in that area to help loads transfer into frame. They might identify some changes to be made to their carbon fiber layup and cure tools to facilitate those changes.

The problem is that the barrel design gives far less opportunity to locally strengthen the structure. It is either the whole barrel section to be made thicker or nothing. And more importantly: you can not change the direction of the fibres. The fiber laying machine winds a barrel and the direction is given by this process. I have seen the process in action and my company made 18m long barrel sections (and btw we had a joint R&D program with Boeing on CFRP technology) and in our product, no drilling was allowed in the barrel at all after curing. Everything was glued. The only machining done was flattening the end of the barrel. Production rates significantly higher than what Boeing is using now (we were the biggest user of CFRP in the world at that time). Airbus chose the panel construction: their management wanted a barrel like the 787 but engineers convinced management that there were more cons than pros and they should stick to panels. Engineers won out.
 
LTEN11
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 6:39 am

AngMoh wrote:
iamlucky13 wrote:
Hopefully it's obvious to everyone that adding a cargo involves more than just cutting a hole in the fuselage. There would be a fairly stout frame installed at that location to transfer loads across the door opening, just like with a passenger door, but larger. There might be an increase in the number of plies of carbon fiber in that area to help loads transfer into frame. They might identify some changes to be made to their carbon fiber layup and cure tools to facilitate those changes.

The problem is that the barrel design gives far less opportunity to locally strengthen the structure. It is either the whole barrel section to be made thicker or nothing. And more importantly: you can not change the direction of the fibres. The fiber laying machine winds a barrel and the direction is given by this process. I have seen the process in action and my company made 18m long barrel sections (and btw we had a joint R&D program with Boeing on CFRP technology) and in our product, no drilling was allowed in the barrel at all after curing. Everything was glued. The only machining done was flattening the end of the barrel. Production rates significantly higher than what Boeing is using now (we were the biggest user of CFRP in the world at that time). Airbus chose the panel construction: their management wanted a barrel like the 787 but engineers convinced management that there were more cons than pros and they should stick to panels. Engineers won out.


So what's the difference between cutting the holes for passenger doors and the cargo doors, windows, vents, inlets and cutting a hole for a main deck cargo door ?
 
Opus99
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 6:53 am

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/jenny-da ... 05216-NPP2

I think this LinkedIn post tells you all you need to know about that article
 
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Chipmunk1973
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 7:33 am

Revelation wrote:
I don't know if it's just a.net folklore, but we have had posts here saying 787 is designed with a cargo door location already determined, and wiring and systems are routed around that opening. Presumably this means Boeing knows a 787F is going to happen some day. I presume they'd have to design it in to allow the planes to have an afterlife. Without this, financing rates are much higher. So, I'm calling BS on this report. It could be that cutting the cargo door is more difficult or more costly, but IMO it's already planned out how to do it.

One such post is in viewtopic.php?t=1415567 ...


Do you actually have to cut into the carbon fibre or are they capable of laying the tape so that they’re, for all intents and purposes, “leaving a hole”?

Whether you’re taping a barrel or a panel, you’re still taping a 3 dimensional surface, so you should be able to accommodate a simple cut out or hole. Well that’s my understanding of it.

Cheers.
 
smartplane
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 8:35 am

Boeing clearly has the skill set when it comes to building successful freighters, but perhaps not the management structure for the future.

With the demise of the A380, all Airbus WB are under the control of a single management group, including freight derivatives.

In contrast, Boeing has separate 777, 787 and 767 teams, with military factors stirring the pot in respect to the latter.

So while Boeing start very much in control of the freight market, where do they head next?

The Board want the X to achieve critical mass in terms of volume, so it has a chance of breakeven or better. 787F versions could be built, but will presumably 'steal' from both the 777 and 767 families. The 767 is icing on the cake, generating profits well beyond it's expected RIP date, but following MAX, there is no longer such a thing as a 'simple' re-engine.

Without Covid and MAX issues, Boeing would probably have progressed all three, but now...... The 787 will play the eternal bridesmaid, not unlike the A330NEO.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 8:42 am

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
Of course the head of freighter marketing at Airbus is going to say the 787 doesn’t lend itself well to being a freighter.

Who cares what Airbus is saying about the 787? I simply can’t imagine that those who need to now -the decision makers at potential customers- aren’t fully aware about the 787 potential of being a good platform for a freighter. Or the head of freighter marketing at Airbus is right and is telling an inconvenient truth….
Last edited by marcelh on Fri Nov 12, 2021 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 8:43 am

Hamlet69 wrote:
Taxi645 wrote:
Unfortunately since Trump the concept of disqualifying media or reports as fake or biased if what being said is not to one's liking, has become quite mainstream.


As has the opposite - if what is being said IS to one's liking, then never question it.


Very true. Just to make clear, I very much appreciate people being critical of statements without much foundation. I'm not criticizing people questioning the notion that a freighter version will be difficult for the 787. Actually I very much welcome it because it could be of critical strategic importance if a freighter version of the 787 is economically feasible. Even more so if things go a certain way in the future let's say. So to dive deeper into that subject is very interesting and useful. I feel it's more useful to reply to the article and ask critical questions about that statement than to just call them biased on here.

My remark is more pointed to people who can't differentiate between caring for and being critical of. Boeing gets more criticism at Leehamnews lately because it has done a poor job the last 10 years in many critical areas. Many observers and stakeholders agree on that (see the interview with one of the largest lease corporation for instance). If Airbus does a poor job, they'll hear it too. See the A380plus piece for example or the piece where they as one of the first stated that the days of the A380 (and VLA success in general) are over.

Perhaps, some of there vocal criticism of Boeing might be due to:

1 An anger about what multiple management choices have done to a wonderful aircraft company that many aviation enthusiasts hold close to their harts.
2 An agenda for change to make many of those choices and/or their effects undone.

I don't know.

I have no reason to question what the authors state about the potential A350F, with one exception.* If what the Airbus heads say in the interview actually comes to pass, it will be a tremendous aircraft, just like the pax aircraft it's based on.


I think the specs of the aircraft are indeed extremely strong. I think the two main issues with it would be:

1 Limited engine choice
2 Aircraft price till 2027 (also in relation to conversions).

I DO take what they say about the Boeing products with a HUGE grain of salt:

Saying that the 787 doesn't lend itself well to a freighter, despite ample reports over the last decade plus that they did design work with a freighter in mind. Note that, beyond a not-subtle reference to barrel vs. panel approach, the article does nothing to suggest WHY. Hmmm. . .


Well, I think they indeed would do well to dive a bit deeper into that subject. Personally I'm inclined to trust someone who does a 30 article piece on aircraft design more than someone who just dismisses an article because it's a "biased website" . On the other hand, when I was a soccer defender as a kid I soon learned to watch the ball (the reasoning) in stead of the attackers moves (the statement). So I try to keep an open mind on it.

Even more beyond the pale is the talk of the 777XF. First they state that Boeing's plan was always to do a freighter. Then they imply that the only reason Boeing is moving ahead with a freighter is a knee-jerk reaction to the 'launch' of the A350F. But wait, it gets better. They finally state 'market intelligence' tells them that Boeing won't have the freighter EIS until 2029. In other words, what is going to take Airbus 3-4 years to do, Boeing is going to need 7+. Yeah right.

I actually get Boeing delaying EIS for as long as they financially can. They have (or I should say, HAD until ~2 years ago) the single most profitable per-unit airframe on the market. Why upset the apple cart if you don't need to. But by 2025, they WILL need to. Hence pushing the XF forward. But 2029? That's stretching it by anyone's imagination. (now watch, Boeing will announce the launch of the XF with EIS in 2029 and make me eat my words, along with my shoes and hat! LOL!)


Well the A350 is a certified and well known in service aircraft. That does tend to make a difference. They claim to be forwarding "market intelligence" regarding the 2029 date. Now they could be lying or their sources are lying or it's true. I have no idea.

* - here's my exception: In the interview, Airbus talks about how they launched the A350F because, basically, the 'market' DEMANDED it! Sounds great! Yet months on, that same market hasn't actually been willing to order the thing. If they had left that quote out, I'd have no problem buying what they said. With it and some critical thinking, it comes across as an Airbus PR marketing piece.


In the next few days, weeks, months we will know how much real demand there is for the A350F, I don't really see the need to now declare that statement true or false when the evidence will be available within a reasonably short time. Personally I think cornering the 777-X program even more is also a strategic consideration for Airbus.
Last edited by Taxi645 on Fri Nov 12, 2021 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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keesje
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 8:59 am

I don't know the details, but te 787 structure and plating are melted together. Cutting the door is possible, strenghtening, adding structure seems less easy. Adding plating thickness, reenforcing beams seem easier when you can remove, replace panels, opening up everthing around the structure. But as said I haven't seen anything on a 787 Freighter.
 
JonesNL
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 9:47 am

Does newly build 787F even make sense market segmentation wise?

I guess it wouldn't work as 767F replacement because of bigger wings and too much range and the 787F would probably eat too much of the 777XF sales. Technical challenges aside, I am not sure a 787F makes sense for Boeing. Maybe a newer 787XF with folding wings would make sense to replace the 767F's, but it would probably still have too much range built-in...
 
Noshow
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 10:19 am

Some 787F or BCF is needed in any way to strengthen the 787 use case, customers can resell it after flying in passenger service. Yes it has too much span compared to a 767 but it has modern engines. Boeing might still have prefered to sell a 777F to any potential 787F customer.

All those cheap used 777-300ER ready for conversion might be a tad too much airframe for general cargo.
 
LTEN11
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 10:35 am

Why would anybody think that a theoretical 787F, with a payload of 50-60 metric ton, eat into the market of a 777XF with a payload of twice that weight ? They would complement each other if anything.
 
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SEPilot
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 10:39 am

Seeing how Boeing has dominated the freighter market for decades, both new built and conversion, and that the 787 was supposed to replace the 767, which has been very popular in both freighter roles, I cannot imagine that Boeing would not have given a lot of thought in the design of the 787 to both how they would build a freighter variant and to how it could be converted.
 
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 10:40 am

(Duplicate)
 
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keesje
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 10:46 am

JonesNL wrote:
Does newly build 787F even make sense market segmentation wise?

I guess it wouldn't work as 767F replacement because of bigger wings and too much range and the 787F would probably eat too much of the 777XF sales. Technical challenges aside, I am not sure a 787F makes sense for Boeing. Maybe a newer 787XF with folding wings would make sense to replace the 767F's, but it would probably still have too much range built-in...



Using 764 landing gears, wings, 204t MTOW, KC46/767F cockpit/system upgrades, mated with 767-300ERF fuselage and GENX engines seems like a combi ticking many boxes for operators, still Boeing felt not so, chasing other goals. https://www.flightglobal.com/programmes ... 57.article

Image
767F glass cockpit, as Fedex flies them. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... ockpit.jpg
 
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zkojq
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 11:09 am

At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding; Boeing keeps talking about a 777XF not a 787F. If it's a 787F that gets launched by Boeing at the Dubai Airshow then we can all eat our collective hats.

Taxi645 wrote:
Hmmm, the very same website and authors that shot down the A380plus while Airbus was still pitching it....

Unfortunately since Trump the concept of disqualifying media or reports as fake or biased if what being said is not to one's liking, has become quite mainstream.


Indeed. You'll likely find the same people who attack Leeham's credibility also suggesting that Richard Aboulafia is somehow a paragon of objectivity. I remember too how in the wake of the 737MAX crashes, some on this site were railing against Dominic Gates of the Seattle Times and suggesting that he had an axe to grind against Boeing.

Hamlet69 wrote:
They finally state 'market intelligence' tells them that Boeing won't have the freighter EIS until 2029. In other words, what is going to take Airbus 3-4 years to do, Boeing is going to need 7+. Yeah right.


Boeing has yet to get the 777-9X certified. With certification delayed by multiple years, contractual obligations to fulfill and their number one 777X customer regularly negotiating through the media about how he won't accept any aircraft until they meet all performance guarentees, I would think that this would be the number one priority for the medium term, even if the 777XF is launched imminently.
 
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Momo1435
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 11:13 am

keesje wrote:
Using 764 landing gears, wings, 204t MTOW, KC46/767F cockpit/system upgrades, mated with 767-300ERF fuselage and GENX engines seems like a combi ticking many boxes for operators, still Boeing felt not so, chasing other goals. https://www.flightglobal.com/programmes ... 57.article

Image
767F glass cockpit, as Fedex flies them. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... ockpit.jpg

How do you come to the conclusion that Boeing is not looking at an engine upgrade for the 767F anymore? I would not be so certain about that, even with the current silence around that possible project right now.

Considering the limited number of customers for the 767F it's probably a matter of what UPS & Fedex want of such an aircraft and how much they want to invest in such a program (in other words, how much they want to pay for these planes). If they are happy with the current 767F they can still take delivery of this version until 2028.

That's a completely different situation then for example the 777XF or the A350F which have a much broader client base, so there will be more info coming out from customers and

As for the 787 freighter, is there actually demand right now in the market? Are customers actively asking for an 787F. This Leeham article with the opinion from Airbus might actually suggest that customers are interested and maybe already talking with Boeing. But with Boeing having enough issues right now with their existing portfolio they might not want to dive into a 787F, especially if they are much further ahead in the development of the 777FX.
 
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Momo1435
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 11:19 am

JonesNL wrote:
Does newly build 787F even make sense market segmentation wise?

I guess it wouldn't work as 767F replacement because of bigger wings and too much range and the 787F would probably eat too much of the 777XF sales. Technical challenges aside, I am not sure a 787F makes sense for Boeing. Maybe a newer 787XF with folding wings would make sense to replace the 767F's, but it would probably still have too much range built-in...

Keep in mind that the folding wingtips have now only been used for making the wingspan bigger -> 777X. If they want to use the same technology on the 787 to replace the 767F or as a MD-11 replacement then they will use it to keep the same wingspan as the passenger wingspan during flight but shorter on the ground. Is this possible without limiting the overall efficiency of the wings?
 
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keesje
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 11:22 am

zkojq wrote:
At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding; Boeing keeps talking about a 777XF not a 787F. If it's a 787F that gets launched by Boeing at the Dubai Airshow then we can all eat our collective hats.

Taxi645 wrote:
Hmmm, the very same website and authors that shot down the A380plus while Airbus was still pitching it....

Unfortunately since Trump the concept of disqualifying media or reports as fake or biased if what being said is not to one's liking, has become quite mainstream.


Indeed. You'll likely find the same people who attack Leeham's credibility also suggesting that Richard Aboulafia is somehow a paragon of objectivity. I remember too how in the wake of the 737MAX crashes, some on this site were railing against Dominic Gates of the Seattle Times and suggesting that he had an axe to grind against Boeing.

Hamlet69 wrote:
They finally state 'market intelligence' tells them that Boeing won't have the freighter EIS until 2029. In other words, what is going to take Airbus 3-4 years to do, Boeing is going to need 7+. Yeah right.


Boeing has yet to get the 777-9X certified. With certification delayed by multiple years, contractual obligations to fulfill and their number one 777X customer regularly negotiating through the media about how he won't accept any aircraft until they meet all performance guarentees, I would think that this would be the number one priority for the medium term, even if the 777XF is launched imminently.


It slightly amazes me how people having access to all that is being discovered, published and confirmed on 777-9 certification issues, feel Boeing can easily launch a derivative. It seems Tim Clark & Steve Dixon were again loud & clear last week, but somehow it doesn't seem to sink in.
- Clark (#1 customer) https://www.airlineratings.com/news/emi ... -problems/
- Dixon (#1 regulator) https://styleheavens.com/faa-questions- ... y-reuters/
 
Noshow
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 11:22 am

It doesn't make sense to change the 787-wings later on. It would require some new wing and new certification. Look at the industrial suppliers and their complex global structure.
 
Opus99
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 11:28 am

keesje wrote:
zkojq wrote:
At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding; Boeing keeps talking about a 777XF not a 787F. If it's a 787F that gets launched by Boeing at the Dubai Airshow then we can all eat our collective hats.

Taxi645 wrote:
Hmmm, the very same website and authors that shot down the A380plus while Airbus was still pitching it....

Unfortunately since Trump the concept of disqualifying media or reports as fake or biased if what being said is not to one's liking, has become quite mainstream.


Indeed. You'll likely find the same people who attack Leeham's credibility also suggesting that Richard Aboulafia is somehow a paragon of objectivity. I remember too how in the wake of the 737MAX crashes, some on this site were railing against Dominic Gates of the Seattle Times and suggesting that he had an axe to grind against Boeing.

Hamlet69 wrote:
They finally state 'market intelligence' tells them that Boeing won't have the freighter EIS until 2029. In other words, what is going to take Airbus 3-4 years to do, Boeing is going to need 7+. Yeah right.


Boeing has yet to get the 777-9X certified. With certification delayed by multiple years, contractual obligations to fulfill and their number one 777X customer regularly negotiating through the media about how he won't accept any aircraft until they meet all performance guarentees, I would think that this would be the number one priority for the medium term, even if the 777XF is launched imminently.


It slightly amazes me how people having access to all that is being discovered, published and confirmed on 777-9 certification issues, feel Boeing can easily launch a derivative. It seems Tim Clark & Steve Dixon were again loud & clear last week, but somehow it doesn't seem to sink in.
- Clark (#1 customer) https://www.airlineratings.com/news/emi ... -problems/
- Dixon (#1 regulator) https://styleheavens.com/faa-questions- ... y-reuters/

You can launch whatever you want if people will order it. Tim Clark doesn’t determine what Boeing launch or doesn’t launch. If he did they will be making full double decker 777s.

Boeing can launch whatever the hell they like, whenever they like
 
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keesje
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 11:33 am

Opus99 wrote:
keesje wrote:
zkojq wrote:
At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding; Boeing keeps talking about a 777XF not a 787F. If it's a 787F that gets launched by Boeing at the Dubai Airshow then we can all eat our collective hats.



Indeed. You'll likely find the same people who attack Leeham's credibility also suggesting that Richard Aboulafia is somehow a paragon of objectivity. I remember too how in the wake of the 737MAX crashes, some on this site were railing against Dominic Gates of the Seattle Times and suggesting that he had an axe to grind against Boeing.



Boeing has yet to get the 777-9X certified. With certification delayed by multiple years, contractual obligations to fulfill and their number one 777X customer regularly negotiating through the media about how he won't accept any aircraft until they meet all performance guarentees, I would think that this would be the number one priority for the medium term, even if the 777XF is launched imminently.


It slightly amazes me how people having access to all that is being discovered, published and confirmed on 777-9 certification issues, feel Boeing can easily launch a derivative. It seems Tim Clark & Steve Dixon were again loud & clear last week, but somehow it doesn't seem to sink in.
- Clark (#1 customer) https://www.airlineratings.com/news/emi ... -problems/
- Dixon (#1 regulator) https://styleheavens.com/faa-questions- ... y-reuters/

You can launch whatever you want if people will order it. Tim Clark doesn’t determine what Boeing launch or doesn’t launch. If he did they will be making full double decker 777s.

Boeing can launch whatever the hell they like, whenever they like


You are correct, but it won't be certified if it doesn't meet requirements set by FAA, EASA and other customer autorities.
And that proves a problem that doesn't go away. Unfortunately there's hundreds of undelivered aircraft in the inventory already.
Customers aren't stupid either..
 
Opus99
Posts: 2999
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 12:05 pm

keesje wrote:
Opus99 wrote:
keesje wrote:

It slightly amazes me how people having access to all that is being discovered, published and confirmed on 777-9 certification issues, feel Boeing can easily launch a derivative. It seems Tim Clark & Steve Dixon were again loud & clear last week, but somehow it doesn't seem to sink in.
- Clark (#1 customer) https://www.airlineratings.com/news/emi ... -problems/
- Dixon (#1 regulator) https://styleheavens.com/faa-questions- ... y-reuters/

You can launch whatever you want if people will order it. Tim Clark doesn’t determine what Boeing launch or doesn’t launch. If he did they will be making full double decker 777s.

Boeing can launch whatever the hell they like, whenever they like


You are correct, but it won't be certified if it doesn't meet requirements set by FAA, EASA and other customer autorities.
And that proves a problem that doesn't go away. Unfortunately there's hundreds of undelivered aircraft in the inventory already.
Customers aren't stupid either..

Well, when the aircraft launches you can voice your concerns to them
 
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keesje
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 1:22 pm

Opus99 wrote:
keesje wrote:
Opus99 wrote:
You can launch whatever you want if people will order it. Tim Clark doesn’t determine what Boeing launch or doesn’t launch. If he did they will be making full double decker 777s.

Boeing can launch whatever the hell they like, whenever they like


You are correct, but it won't be certified if it doesn't meet requirements set by FAA, EASA and other customer autorities.
And that proves a problem that doesn't go away. Unfortunately there's hundreds of undelivered aircraft in the inventory already.
Customers aren't stupid either..

Well, when the aircraft launches you can voice your concerns to them


No need for that. https://www.google.com/search?q=777-9+c ... e&ie=UTF-8

We are drifting away from the topic though, a 787 freighter. Doing a small search we see the topic surface 2012-2016, but at this time ramping up 787 production was the #1,2,3, priority. If a 787 freighter would be build it would probably have to be new build, where a dedicated fuselage section would be developed to include the large cargo door and floor structure would be optimized for cargo. Conversions certification of a 787 P2F might be a bridge to far for conversion specialists, now focused on 777s and A330s P2F programs. I expect them to keep A350 P2F away for as long as possible too.

Image
http://qwsim.flight1.net/forums/7879-fr ... 10636.html
 
Hamlet69
Posts: 2555
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 3:59 pm

Taxi645 wrote:
Perhaps, some of there vocal criticism of Boeing might be due to:

1 An anger about what multiple management choices have done to a wonderful aircraft company that many aviation enthusiasts hold close to their harts.
2 An agenda for change to make many of those choices and/or their effects undone.


I certainly can agree to that. It's been downright shameful what Boeing management has done. While things look like they are improving (from the outside), they do deserve the attention they are getting.


Taxi645 wrote:
Well, I think they indeed would do well to dive a bit deeper into that subject. Personally I'm inclined to trust someone who does a 30 article piece on aircraft design more than someone who just dismisses an article because it's a "biased website" . On the other hand, when I was a soccer defender as a kid I soon learned to watch the ball (the reasoning) in stead of the attackers moves (the statement). So I try to keep an open mind on it.


I certainly don't question Bjorn's knowledge or understanding. Back in the day when he was a poster on this site, we took part in many good discussions. And Scott used to be very well informed, indeed. However, being informed requires sources. What I've gleamed over the last several years is his sources at Boeing have dried up (retired, quit, etc.). So if your sources are all coming from the same place, it inherently makes you biased, even if you don't intend to be.

Taxi645 wrote:
Well the A350 is a certified and well known in service aircraft. That does tend to make a difference.


No, it doesn't actually. Think about this - what you're suggesting is that ANY derivative would need to wait until the original model is designed, built, certified and EIS. Now tell me of an aircraft program from either Airbus or Boeing in the last 40+ years where that has been the case. Even the A380 had the Freighter launched before certification, even tho it was eventually cancelled leaving the original model as the only one.


Taxi646 wrote:
In the next few days, weeks, months we will know how much real demand there is for the A350F, I don't really see the need to now declare that statement true or false when the evidence will be available within a reasonably short time. Personally I think cornering the 777-X program even more is also a strategic consideration for Airbus.


True. And maybe it's just my old-school mind having a hard time with the unconventional 'launch' of the A350F. I'm used to OEM's doing preliminary designs, seeing what customers think, then getting approval to actually shop it. Only once they had a few or several customers actually signed on would the program be 'launched.'

- Hamlet69
 
Hamlet69
Posts: 2555
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 4:17 pm

zkojq wrote:
At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding; Boeing keeps talking about a 777XF not a 787F. If it's a 787F that gets launched by Boeing at the Dubai Airshow then we can all eat our collective hats.


Let me be clear - I'm not suggesting Boeing launch an 787F. The issue is in the author making such an off-hand remark with very little factual basis to it, that one must then question everything else the author writes. Many of his points may indeed be very spot on. But that does not mean you don't question it.



zkojq wrote:
Boeing has yet to get the 777-9X certified. With certification delayed by multiple years, contractual obligations to fulfill and their number one 777X customer regularly negotiating through the media about how he won't accept any aircraft until they meet all performance guarentees, I would think that this would be the number one priority for the medium term, even if the 777XF is launched imminently.


Of course. And it would be extremely ignorant to think that Boeing ISN'T doing that. But suggesting that they can't launch the Freighter until the -9 gets Certified is simply ignoring how the market has worked for the last 40+ years.

Or, to flip what you said around: the A350's number one customer is grounding parts of his fleet and regularly negotiating through the media about how the aircraft has a problem and he won't accept any more aircraft until they meet his criteria for repairs. I would think this would be the number one priority before launching a new derivative. :spin:

- Hamlet69
 
planecane
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 4:37 pm

Chipmunk1973 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
I don't know if it's just a.net folklore, but we have had posts here saying 787 is designed with a cargo door location already determined, and wiring and systems are routed around that opening. Presumably this means Boeing knows a 787F is going to happen some day. I presume they'd have to design it in to allow the planes to have an afterlife. Without this, financing rates are much higher. So, I'm calling BS on this report. It could be that cutting the cargo door is more difficult or more costly, but IMO it's already planned out how to do it.

One such post is in viewtopic.php?t=1415567 ...


Do you actually have to cut into the carbon fibre or are they capable of laying the tape so that they’re, for all intents and purposes, “leaving a hole”?

Whether you’re taping a barrel or a panel, you’re still taping a 3 dimensional surface, so you should be able to accommodate a simple cut out or hole. Well that’s my understanding of it.

Cheers.


The way they lay the tape with automated machines for the barrels I don't think it would be very easy to leave holes. If they laid the tape by hand on a mold it would be possible but I'd imagine far less efficient.

The way it is now, a machine wraps tape around a form. They cook it. After it is cured another machine cuts holes out.
 
tomcat
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 4:57 pm

planecane wrote:
Chipmunk1973 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
I don't know if it's just a.net folklore, but we have had posts here saying 787 is designed with a cargo door location already determined, and wiring and systems are routed around that opening. Presumably this means Boeing knows a 787F is going to happen some day. I presume they'd have to design it in to allow the planes to have an afterlife. Without this, financing rates are much higher. So, I'm calling BS on this report. It could be that cutting the cargo door is more difficult or more costly, but IMO it's already planned out how to do it.

One such post is in viewtopic.php?t=1415567 ...


Do you actually have to cut into the carbon fibre or are they capable of laying the tape so that they’re, for all intents and purposes, “leaving a hole”?

Whether you’re taping a barrel or a panel, you’re still taping a 3 dimensional surface, so you should be able to accommodate a simple cut out or hole. Well that’s my understanding of it.

Cheers.


The way they lay the tape with automated machines for the barrels I don't think it would be very easy to leave holes. If they laid the tape by hand on a mold it would be possible but I'd imagine far less efficient.

The way it is now, a machine wraps tape around a form. They cook it. After it is cured another machine cuts holes out.


This article provides a good overview on how the fuselage barrels are manufactured. There are no holes in it before curing. All the holes, cut outs and trimmings are made once the barrel has been cured. See the "Post-process finishing" paragraph for more details but here is the main process:
This includes a visit to an MTorres (Torres de Elorz, Spain) Torresmill 5-axis gantry routing and drilling machine, which drills holes for the fuselage frames and other interior structures, as well as door openings, windows and front landing gear opening.


https://www.compositesworld.com/articles/the-first-composite-fuselage-section-for-the-first-composite-commercial-jet
 
texl1649
Posts: 1987
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 6:11 pm

I’m fairly certain there isn’t a less credible news source vs. Airbus/Leeham in analyzing Boeing’s ability to produce a cargo 787. That this will involve not the Pacific Northwest, but a Spanish subcontractor is perhaps a bit ironic. It’s just not as complicated as many wish it were, imho. Leeham has long liked to deploy their ‘cloak of unbiased news’ vs. Boeing of ‘Scott is from the pacific northwest’ but in truth…well anyway.

The 787 could clearly be a great freighter. It was somewhat over-built as the first carbon fiber wide body (particularly the 788), and future iterations I am sure are planned, but why would Boeing launch/hint at them while securing 767F orders/deliveries until ICAO (driven by the EU) limits/eliminates that product line. The idea that a cargo door in a carbon fiber barrel frame is an impossibility in an era when we have things like starship/centrifugal satellite launches are planned in aerospace is…kind of preposterous.
 
jeffrey0032j
Posts: 1111
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Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 6:18 pm

Someone definitely doesn't want a 787F replacing their relatively new A330P2F program, and squeezing from the bottom their A350F with the 777XF on top.
 
9Patch
Topic Author
Posts: 689
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:38 pm

Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 6:40 pm

planecane wrote:
Chipmunk1973 wrote:
Revelation wrote:
I don't know if it's just a.net folklore, but we have had posts here saying 787 is designed with a cargo door location already determined, and wiring and systems are routed around that opening. Presumably this means Boeing knows a 787F is going to happen some day. I presume they'd have to design it in to allow the planes to have an afterlife. Without this, financing rates are much higher. So, I'm calling BS on this report. It could be that cutting the cargo door is more difficult or more costly, but IMO it's already planned out how to do it.

One such post is in viewtopic.php?t=1415567 ...


Do you actually have to cut into the carbon fibre or are they capable of laying the tape so that they’re, for all intents and purposes, “leaving a hole”?

Whether you’re taping a barrel or a panel, you’re still taping a 3 dimensional surface, so you should be able to accommodate a simple cut out or hole. Well that’s my understanding of it.

Cheers.


The way they lay the tape with automated machines for the barrels I don't think it would be very easy to leave holes. If they laid the tape by hand on a mold it would be possible but I'd imagine far less efficient.

The way it is now, a machine wraps tape around a form. They cook it. After it is cured another machine cuts holes out.


I may be missing something, but where does Revelation say they can leave holes in the fuselage when they lay down carbon fiber tape on the mandrill?
He said Boeing designed the 787 with a cargo door location already determined, and planned how to cut a cargo door.
 
Weatherwatcher1
Posts: 1020
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:14 pm

Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 7:33 pm

jeffrey0032j wrote:
Someone definitely doesn't want a 787F replacing their relatively new A330P2F program, and squeezing from the bottom their A350F with the 777XF on top.


I think that is true although Airbus shouldn’t have to worry for a while and I don’t think it is because Boeing can’t make a cargo door.

When we look at how much payload a 787-9 can carry versus the price that it sells for, it is easy to see why there isn’t a freighter version yet. A new 767F is worth about $70 Million and a new 787-9 is about $140 million. There is no way a freight operator like FedEx can afford to buy a 787-9F and use it on domestic express freight routes with 4-5 hours of utilization a day. A 787-9F would likely have 30% higher payload but costs twice as much.

Now if we compare a 777F vs a 787-9, the new airplane values are also pretty close at $150 million vs $140 million, but a 777-200LR can carry about 40-50% more payload than a 787-9. Recognizing that the 787 requires less fuel, it still carries far less payload. That means for essentially the same price the 787-9F would probably carry less freight by weight.

All we have to do is look at purchase price to understand why the 767F and 777F dominate the widebody freight market.

Red viewtopic.php?t=1460947
 
BoeingGuy
Posts: 6753
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:01 pm

Re: The 787 doesn’t lend itself well to a freighter says Leeham News

Fri Nov 12, 2021 7:40 pm

Noshow wrote:
Every big program of every manufacturer is made with freighter variants and conversions in mind from the very beginning. So Boeing has considered this when defining the production system and structure without question.


Do you know this for a fact or just speculating?

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