|Quoting Widebodyphotog (Reply 90):
I believe Airbus is taking a "stretch too far" approach with the A350 or dooming the A350-800 to permanent inferiority before it is even built.
From the numbers we already have (789 carries 20 more pax than the 358 for the same range)
it is pretty clear it is the latter. And it is the best course of action in the current (not the best) circumstances.
Since the launching of the Dreamliner programme we have been witnessing a strategy war between
A and B and that is pretty much what is missing from the discussion by a.net members.
By the early 2000's A dominated the low end of the mid-size widebody market with the 330 and
B dominated the upper end of that market with the triple 7.
When Boeing launched the 787 they tried take over the whole market, but without canibalizing
any of the 777 variants, which makes it pretty clear for me that a 787-10 variant was never
considered in the initial plan. Boeing didn't change this strategy while it's prospective rival was
a re-engined 330.
Then came the Al-Li 5.64 m cross-section 350. This proposal was also a strategic move -
- the 359 targgeted the 772ER and the technology could be introduced in A340 derivatives.
Boeing adjusted its own strategy by modifying the 789 wing and proposing a 787-10 that~
would turn the tables on the 359. After this fine tunning arlines looked at the current and future
product lineups from both companies and told Airbus to get back to the drawing board.
After this Airbus knew the 340 was dead and that a new strategy would have to include the
replacement of this family. More than that, they knew that optimizing the new family for targgeting
the 77W (with a 20% efficiency gain) would force Boeing to rethink it's long term product replacement
strategy in terms of Y1 vs. Y3 launch priority. That's what the XWB is all about. The current
777 replacement dilemma is revealing about the impact of Airbus new strategy.
[Edited 2007-08-09 19:47:17]