I know this has been discussed in previous posts and threads, however this report from the well respected "Australian" has published the following.
Orders should be expected by the end of the year by All Nippon Airways, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and Qantas and leasing companies Gecas and ILFC.
Headline 7E7 Boeing's new load star
Date April 23rd, 2004
Source The Australian
Breakthroughs in design and production have helped produce a revolutionary aircraft, Geoffrey Thomas reports
WHILE the new Boeing 7E7 may lack the air show excitement of Boeing's shelved Sonic Cruiser, it has the potential to reshape the airline industry.
Boeing has been refining the design and its capabilities over the past year and this month increased the range of the aircraft and also firmed up on the short-range model.
What is exciting airlines is that for the first time an aircraft that can economically carry 217 passengers 15,700km nonstop between Sydney and New York , or London and Perth, will be a possibility.
At the same time the numbers are looking positive on the short-range version , which is being optimised for ranges such as Sydney-Perth. That aircraft would carry 289 passengers in a dual-class configuration and could fly 6500km.
Boeing expects to announce the first orders for the 7E7 shortly, with All Nippon Airways, Emirates, Singapore Airlines and leasing companies Gecas and ILFC expected to launch the aircraft. Deliveries would start in 2008.
A major attraction of the 7E7 for Qantas is its unprecedented flexibility and capability to take on Emirates and Singapore Airlines on European routes.
Qantas operates only 747-400s with 400-seat capacity to Europe, and as most of the cities in Europe cannot support a daily 747 from Australia, the airline only serves London, Frankfurt and Paris.
Emirates, on the other hand, operates to 18 destinations in Europe through its hub in Dubai, giving the airline a significant advantage.
The 7E7, with its smaller load, would change all that for Qantas. Operating through the Singapore hub, destinations such as Zurich, Rome, Munich, Athens and Amsterdam would be viable.
Qantas is not expected to be a launch customer but analysts suggest that it may order the 7E7 later this year or take some from leasing companies.
Keys to the 7E7's capability relate to the aircraft's engine, new systems, materials and revolutionary production processes.
Earlier this month Boeing selected engine offerings from General Electric Aircraft Engines and Rolls-Royce for the 7E7. GE
will supply the GE
Next Generation engine, a derivative of its GE90 engine used on the 777, while Rolls-Royce will supply the Trent 1000 -- the latest version of a family of engines powering numerous wide-body types.
This is a major step forward for leasing companies, which would be able to lease 7E7s to airlines and swap engines to suit the airline's fleet requirements. But the engine makers have a demanding set of requirements to meet.
The real surprise for airline executives is the pricing of the 7E7.
Boeing has quoted a price of just $US120 million ($165 million) -- the same as a 767-300ER -- based on massive savings from new production techniques gleaned from experience in building new military fighters.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and chief executive Alan Mulally claims that the assembly of the 7E7 could be reduced to just three days. This is a far cry from the current 10 days for the 737.
Key to that improvement is the delivery by suppliers of built-up components rather than thousands of parts -- a process that was introduced at Boeing over the past five years.
The aircraft will break new ground in simplicity of systems, saving several tonnes in weight.
The 7E7 will be the most "international" aircraft Boeing has ever built, something that has caused US unions heartache. For the first time the French will supply the undercarriage for a Boeing commercial aircraft. In a twist the US will supply the Airbus A380's undercarriage.
While simplicity is the focus on the 7E7, in the cockpit it is advanced technology that is winning.
Rockwell Collins' new MultiScan WXR-2100 weather radar, introduced by Qantas , was a major factor in winning the supply of the 7E7's cockpit displays, communications and surveillance systems.
Introduced in November 2000 by Qantas on its 747-400ERs, the radar automatically adjusts weather detection parameters for a number of variations and uses advanced radar technologies to adjust the data returns.
It also predicts how high the tops of storms will be. According to Qantas pilots, the radar is a huge improvement in protection from encounters with turbulence.
7E7 passengers will sit in a cabin that looks more like a set from Star Trek. Boeing has also added huge windows to enhance the feeling of spaciousness.
However, the best news for passengers is the increase in humidity from the current 5 per cent to 35 per cent, made possible by a revolutionary fuselage.
This, combined with a reduction in the pressurisation altitude from 8000ft to 6000ft, will result in a dramatic reduction in jetlag.