Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
DTWPurserBoy
Topic Author
Posts: 2374
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:33 pm

Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:50 pm

I realize that Boeing was afraid that the B717 would be competing with B737 sales but from many threads on here it sure sounds like they could make some money by restarting the B717 production line.

By now all of the jigs may have been destroyed and it may be cost prohibitive to restart. But then look at the success of the "new" Twin Otter.
Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
 
rta
Posts: 1414
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:01 am

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Mon Dec 28, 2015 1:57 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Thread starter):
But then look at the success of the "new" Twin Otter.

I think its current success is largely driven by its low price in the used market and, in some cases, the niche it fills in some other markets.

I don't think there would have been much money (if any) to be made by not phasing it out in favor of the 737.

[Edited 2015-12-28 05:58:34]
 
Mortyman
Posts: 5888
Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2006 8:26 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:05 pm

There are perhaps a few operators today that could make good use of such an aircraft, but not enough operators to justify opening the line again.
 
DfwRevolution
Posts: 9307
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:31 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:16 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Thread starter):
I realize that Boeing was afraid that the B717 would be competing with B737 sales but from many threads on here it sure sounds like they could make some money by restarting the B717 production line.

That is because many people start threads with no basis in reality.

No one is selling boatloads of 100-125 seaters
It was a slow seller for its entire life.
It lost to the 737-600 or A318 in several head-to-head competitions.
It's main operator defected to the 737-700 series when it needed a bigger, longer-range model.

Killing a product can be difficult for many businesses, but it can be a smart thing to do. Boeing has done extremely well by shutting down both the 717 and 757 to focus on the 737. In some months, Boeing has sold more 737s than they did in the best years of 717 and 757 run.
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.
 
apfpilot
Posts: 742
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:19 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:31 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Thread starter):

By now all of the jigs may have been destroyed and it may be cost prohibitive to restart.

There is also the issue of space. Where would they put production? With the other new aircraft in that size class and the fact that I'm sure Bombardier would be willing to cut some deals I don't know that it would make economic sense anyone at this point.

To answer your original question, maybe. I personally really like the 717 having had many flight on them and having seen them in heavy check they are beastly aircraft and those that have them, love them. But at the time that production was shut down I don't think any of the operators loved them enough to make it viable for Boeing to continue production.
Opinions are my own and do not reflect an endorsement or position of my employer.
 
User avatar
lightsaber
Moderator
Posts: 20931
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:55 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:40 pm

It costs money to keep production going. There is a minimum rate to keep the supply chain viable. If Boeing could have kept the line going, they would have.

Quoting rta (Reply 1):
I think its current success is largely driven by its low price in the used market

Exactly. If the 717 was so fantastic, WN wouldn't have had to *pay* DL to take the leases off their books.


Lightsaber
I cannot wait to get vaccinated to live again! Warning: I simulated that it takes 50%+ vaccinated to protect the vaccinated and 75%+ vaccinated to protect the vac-hesitant.
 
md80fanatic
Posts: 2365
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:29 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:48 pm

Of course they did, the MD95 is awesome.
 
ahmetdouas
Posts: 310
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:23 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Mon Dec 28, 2015 2:51 pm

Quoting md80fanatic (Reply 6):

No it isn't its really not powerful and has an awful service ceiling for such a modern jet.
 
apfpilot
Posts: 742
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:19 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:19 pm

Quoting ahmetdouas (Reply 7):

No it isn't its really not powerful and has an awful service ceiling for such a modern jet.

Is that your opinion or do you have some basis for saying it is underpowered and service ceiling isn't adequate? For example some flights that it is payload limited on due to thrust?
Opinions are my own and do not reflect an endorsement or position of my employer.
 
lat41
Posts: 646
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 12:23 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Mon Dec 28, 2015 5:51 pm

The 717 would have needed a -300 model with a more modern higher tech wing as a further development which MD could not afford to do and Boeing with its 737-600 was just happy to let the candle go out for the 717-200 instead of taking the next step with the 717. As was already pointed out, the market for 100-125 seaters was soft at the time. Otherwise you would see 717s in the hundreds, not dozens flying around today. The same thing could well be said for the earlier MD-90,a nice plane with not only a low tech wing but not enough wing.
 
DTWPurserBoy
Topic Author
Posts: 2374
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:33 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:14 pm

Quoting apfpilot (Reply 4):
There is also the issue of space. Where would they put production? With the other new aircraft in that size class and the fact that I'm sure Bombardier would be willing to cut some deals I don't know that it would make economic sense anyone at this point.

The MD95/B717 was originally assembled at Long Beach, California, the last production line of the venerable Douglas airliners. The hangar is currently empty.
Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
 
KELPkid
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:33 am

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:22 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Thread starter):
By now all of the jigs may have been destroyed and it may be cost prohibitive to restart. But then look at the success of the "new" Twin Otter.

I'm sure the Chinese would sell their MD-80/-90 fuselage jigs (used for the ARJ-21, which appears to be going nowhere) back for a song  
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
Burkhard
Posts: 1916
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:34 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:44 pm

The market for 100-125 seaters was small back than, and ain't bigger today. Boeing tried to rescue the 736 by killing the 717, that failed. Today the 717 would have no chance against the E195 and the CS100, which would be selling well - if there were a market for 100-125 seaters.
 
User avatar
MD80
Posts: 768
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2014 3:29 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:54 pm

Quoting lat41 (Reply 9):
The 717 would have needed a -300 model with a more modern higher tech wing...

One of the ideas was the possible transfer of the MD-80-wing for a stretched Boeing 717.

Btw. on some old renderings of the MD-95, you can see that McDonnell Douglas earmarked an "MD-80-style" wing:

Big version: Width: 496 Height: 345 File size: 44kb


[Edited 2015-12-28 13:57:37]
Dedicated to the MD-80, MD-90, MD-95, and DC-9: www.MD-80.com
 
UA444
Posts: 3002
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:03 am

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:19 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 3):
It lost to the 737-600 or A318 in several head-to-head competitions.
It's main operator defected to the 737-700 series when it needed a bigger, longer-range model.

It outsold the 736 and 318 combine and AirTran bought the 73G because Boeing wouldn't build them the 717-300 they wanted. Boeing is 100% responsible for not selling more 717s. They made no effort to sell more, made no effort to lower lease rates for AA after taking TWA's, and didn't develop a longer range model for several carriers who wanted it.
 
deltaflyertoo
Posts: 1501
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 3:18 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:54 am

People on here say that there is not a huge market for 100 seaters-however isn't a 717 cheaper to operate on flights from say Detroit to PHL/DCA/PIT/ORD than a 737-700/A319 or 737-800/A320? It seems like it would be (the latter seem much heavier, and powerful and meant for long thin transcons)....but I could be wrong?
 
MSPNWA
Posts: 3698
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:48 am

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:09 am

If anything, the 717 wasn't killed off quickly enough. Whether it was the manufacturer, the airlines, the customers, or the financial companies, somebody lost of a lot of money on the 717. It just wasn't very economical, and it had limited ability. That MD airframe's time had long come.

Quoting deltaflyertoo (Reply 15):

People on here say that there is not a huge market for 100 seaters-however isn't a 717 cheaper to operate on flights from say Detroit to PHL/DCA/PIT/ORD than a 737-700/A319 or 737-800/A320? It seems like it would be (the latter seem much heavier, and powerful and meant for long thin transcons)....but I could be wrong?

For a short answer, not really. If there are markets out there that the 717 is superior, it's very few. It gets beat in the majority.
 
micstatic
Posts: 777
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2001 10:07 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:15 am

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 16):
For a short answer, not really. If there are markets out there that the 717 is superior, it's very few. It gets beat in the majority.

I don't think you are right. Do you have data? I mean even if they got a good deal, why would delta take them on in bulk like they did from southwest?
S340,DH8,AT7,CR2/7,E135/45/170/190,319,320,717,732,733,734,735,737,738,744,752,762,763,764,772,M80,M90
 
MSPNWA
Posts: 3698
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:48 am

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:23 am

Quoting micstatic (Reply 17):
I don't think you are right. Do you have data? I mean even if they got a good deal, why would delta take them on in bulk like they did from southwest?

About every year the operating costs for airplane types are posted on this site. The 2013 thread by LAXintl was a good one:

2013 US Airline Operating Cost Report

What happened with 717 values is directly related to the inferior economics and limited ability. In 10 years they were worth practically zero.

[Edited 2015-12-28 17:25:02]
 
micstatic
Posts: 777
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2001 10:07 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:28 am

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 18):
About every year the operating costs for airplane types are posted on this site. The 2013 thread by LAXintl was a good one:

But of course you have to factor in ownership costs which are very low on the 717.
S340,DH8,AT7,CR2/7,E135/45/170/190,319,320,717,732,733,734,735,737,738,744,752,762,763,764,772,M80,M90
 
PGNCS
Posts: 2262
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:07 am

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:36 am

Quoting ahmetdouas (Reply 7):
No it isn't its really not powerful and has an awful service ceiling for such a modern jet.

Please cite a source and cite specific examples of operational restrictions to support your claim.

Quoting apfpilot (Reply 8):
Quoting ahmetdouas (Reply 7):
No it isn't its really not powerful and has an awful service ceiling for such a modern jet.

Is that your opinion or do you have some basis for saying it is underpowered and service ceiling isn't adequate? For example some flights that it is payload limited on due to thrust?

Great question, apfpilot. I too am very interested in this documentation.

Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 16):
Quoting deltaflyertoo (Reply 15):
People on here say that there is not a huge market for 100 seaters-however isn't a 717 cheaper to operate on flights from say Detroit to PHL/DCA/PIT/ORD than a 737-700/A319 or 737-800/A320? It seems like it would be (the latter seem much heavier, and powerful and meant for long thin transcons)....but I could be wrong?
For a short answer, not really. If there are markets out there that the 717 is superior, it's very few. It gets beat in the majority.

Define your terms. Beat how? Trip cost? Seat-mile cost? I'm actually not saying you are incorrect, but I would be highly surprised if it had higher trip costs than a 737 or a 320-series in the DL operation, although it may or may not have higher seat-mile costs (I have no relevant data, and I am unsure any other posters here do either). The 100-seat market is fairly limited, but much of Delta's 717 use has been as RJ replacements. In that arena the 717 likely has higher trip costs but lower seat-mile costs.

Quoting micstatic (Reply 17):
Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 16):For a short answer, not really. If there are markets out there that the 717 is superior, it's very few. It gets beat in the majority.
I don't think you are right. Do you have data? I mean even if they got a good deal, why would delta take them on in bulk like they did from southwest?

Well that is the question. From Southwest's perspective, I do understand the desire to stay a single type airline, but your point is well taken that if they had not been good for Delta's bottom line they certainly wouldn't have sought out additional examples. Micstatic, your question about data is supremely relevant. There is a lot of assertion here and little to none of it is actually corroborated with any hard data. That makes it speculative opinion.
 
Beatyair
Posts: 856
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:09 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:40 am

No, few where buying this aircraft. An old design pull out of the drawer, with newer components on it. Boeing could not pull the wool over any airlines eyes. Look at Boeings line up: 737(same old design), 747(same old design), and the 717(DC9) same old design. Development is expensive and they have done well with the 757,767,777,and now the 787.
Let it die and let others fill the void. Stick with the bigger stuff. A new 757 replacement is there for the taking.
 
Okie
Posts: 4188
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2003 11:30 am

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:45 am

Quoting UA444 (Reply 14):
They made no effort to sell more, made no effort to lower lease rates for AA after taking TWA's, and didn't develop a longer range model for several carriers who wanted it.

They could not even get interest of NW a well known DC9 operator.
AA had absolutely no need for the 717. The airline business was not good at that time. AA had the F100 operating on mainline pilot scope clause and 97 seats only required 2 FA's. It just did not make sense to operate a 106 seat aircraft requiring 3 FA's when you are hauling around a bunch of empty seats.
Good business sense or not AA eventually shifted the less than 100 seat market to their SJP's and dumped the F100 as well.

Okie
 
DfwRevolution
Posts: 9307
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:31 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:44 am

Quoting UA444 (Reply 14):
It outsold the 736 and 318 combine and AirTran bought the 73G because Boeing wouldn't build them the 717-300 they wanted.

By a difference of seven units? That is nothing. And the comparison itself is meaningless. The 736 and A318 are minor models that share costs with mega-hit airplane programs. The 717 had to cover all of the costs for an airplane program. To be successful, it needed to be selling in the hundreds per year.

And if you were Boeing, why would you spend the R&D to develop a new model when the target customer will buy your existing product? Building the 717-300 would have given Boeing zero incremental sales!

Quoting UA444 (Reply 14):
Boeing is 100% responsible for not selling more 717s. They made no effort to sell more.

Of course Boeing is "responsible for not selling more 717s." They chose to stop selling them. Are you criticizing the merits of their business decision? It was clearly justified in hindsight.

The 737NG and 737MAX has often sold more units in a single month than the 717 sold in its entire life. There is no point pushing a product customers don't want when you can barely keep up with demand for another product.

The 717 was just dead weight on Boeing's product line.
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.
 
F9Animal
Posts: 4480
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:37 am

Boeing did indeed make some pretty poor calls by ending 717 and 757 production. Hindsight is 20/20 though. I do think these 2 programs have had lessons learned by Boeing. Keep the tooling and options open, as airlines tend to be very fluid in needs. When fuel fluctuates, wars being hard to predict, it makes forecasting what airlines will shop for in the future difficult. I am certain a few execs wish the 2 types were still available, as it would be 2 hot products to offer at the moment.
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
User avatar
usair330
Posts: 705
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2002 12:48 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:15 am

Quoting lat41 (Reply 9):
The 717 would have needed a -300 model
http://www.amazingpaperairplanes.com/Boeing717.htm

Boeing actually considered it and announced it. Not sure if it was no orders or if it competed with the 737 that it was never finalized.
 
md80fanatic
Posts: 2365
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:29 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:55 am

The wing is fine ... cleaner flow than any other in it's class. It's high loading provides a softer ride in turbulence.

The "needed a new wing" angle pops up in every MD discussion, and it has no real basis in fact ... just a talking point that
reinforces the silent anti-maddog sentiment of a small contingent that can't wait for them to disappear. They're here to stay.
Equivalent aged Bs and As lie in pieces in the desert.

This was a plane designed to make money, for the airline, long after it's been paid off. Might not have been the most
profitable for MD but it's ultimate return on investment for the customer is hard to compete with.
 
User avatar
seahawk
Posts: 9856
Joined: Fri May 27, 2005 1:29 am

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:38 am

Imho the 717 could have survived as a high cycle workhorse for short routes.
 
ahmetdouas
Posts: 310
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:23 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:34 pm

Quoting apfpilot (Reply 8):

Ceiling 37,100 feet (11,300 m) maximum altitude
34,100 feet (10,400 m) typical altitude

Thats what i saw on Wiki.

All small jets now have 41,000 ceiling, so for the 717 to have such a low one means it is seriously lacking in performance as it simply does not have the power to fly higher.
 
User avatar
lightsaber
Moderator
Posts: 20931
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:55 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:56 pm

Quoting md80fanatic (Reply 26):
The wing is fine ... cleaner flow than any other in it's class. It's high loading provides a softer ride in turbulence.

Higher loading means higher fuel burn on missions greater than 1 hour. It limits the applications for the airframe.

736: 69
A318: 80
717: 155

Not exactly a huge niche. Once the E-jets hit the market in 2004, the 717 was done (hence the line shutdown in 2006). The E-jets had the lower empty weight (hence lower wing loading for a given payload).

There was no extending the production run after the E-jets. While the A318 and 736 competed with the 717, the E-jets came in and finished it off. The two competing models (E-190/E-195) outsold the 717 4:1.

Lightsaber
I cannot wait to get vaccinated to live again! Warning: I simulated that it takes 50%+ vaccinated to protect the vaccinated and 75%+ vaccinated to protect the vac-hesitant.
 
apfpilot
Posts: 742
Joined: Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:19 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:28 pm

Quoting ahmetdouas (Reply 28):
Ceiling 37,100 feet (11,300 m) maximum altitude
34,100 feet (10,400 m) typical altitude

Thats what i saw on Wiki.

All small jets now have 41,000 ceiling, so for the 717 to have such a low one means it is seriously lacking in performance as it simply does not have the power to fly higher.

But why is that a bad thing, you haven't provided any evidence.
Opinions are my own and do not reflect an endorsement or position of my employer.
 
User avatar
vhqpa
Posts: 1723
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 8:21 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 2:19 pm

Quoting ahmetdouas (Reply 28):
so for the 717 to have such a low one means it is seriously lacking in performance as it simply does not have the power to fly higher.

Not necessarily. The MD-80/90 also had a ceiling of FL370 it's quite possible being a short range airliner McDD/Boeing saw no value in increasing the service ceiling any higher.

Looking at Wikipedia its thrust to weight ratio at is very similar to the E190 and CS100 and superior to both the CRJ1000 and E195.

I've flown on a few 717s and one thing that it isn't is underpowered.
"There you go ladies and gentleman we're through Mach 1 the speed of sound no bumps no bangs... CONCORDE"
 
RDUDDJI
Posts: 2241
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2004 4:42 am

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 3:50 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 10):

The MD95/B717 was originally assembled at Long Beach, California, the last production line of the venerable Douglas airliners. The hangar is currently empty.

MBUSA (Mercedes-Benz USA) signed a 15 year lease for the site to use for essentially a West Coast distribution center (Long Beach is a major import/export port). According to this article they broke ground about a year and a half ago, so I'm not sure it's still empty. Even if it is, it won't be for long.

http://www.presstelegram.com/busines...n-as-economic-boost-for-long-beach
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
User avatar
LAXintl
Posts: 24966
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:06 pm

Boeing ended the 717 for good reason.

The type was neither a great seller nor had good prospects. The frame was heavy, and it had relative high operating cost including an engine that was costly to overhaul.

Pretty damming insight to the 717 was provided by its largest client - AirTran which found it could operate larger 737-700 for the same cost as the 717 with much more revenue potential.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
User avatar
hOMSaR
Moderator
Posts: 2363
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:47 am

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:07 pm

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 24):
Boeing did indeed make some pretty poor calls by ending 717 and 757 production. Hindsight is 20/20 though. I do think these 2 programs have had lessons learned by Boeing. Keep the tooling and options open, as airlines tend to be very fluid in needs. When fuel fluctuates, wars being hard to predict, it makes forecasting what airlines will shop for in the future difficult. I am certain a few execs wish the 2 types were still available, as it would be 2 hot products to offer at the moment.

Hindsight hasn't changed anything. If the 717 were in production today, nobody would be buying them at new-build prices (Delta getting 88 jets from Southwest for a song, sorry for the pun, does not translate to demand for new-build planes). What evidence do you have that any executives are interested in buying new-build 717s (or 757s, for that matter) at new-build prices? Other than constant a.net speculation, I haven't seen any. As of of the end of September (according to wikipedia), the E190/195 have a backlog of 92 orders for the old generation jets, and 175 orders for the E2 jets. The CS100 has a grand total of 53 orders. And these are for planes that are (or presumably will be) much cheaper and more efficient to operate. How much of that order book do you think the 717 would get, given that it couldn't even compete with the E190/195 10 years ago?

If "keep the tooling and options open" was as easy as writing it on a page, everybody would keep production lines open. You can't just put the "tooling" in the corner of a warehouse somewhere waiting to dust it off when someone places an order. You have to maintain a global supply chain of custom-designed parts from hundreds of suppliers around the world, and they have to keep their production lines open, which costs them money. Plus, the longer it has been since something was built, the more the knowledge of the process is lost by the people that used to work on it. Sure, it's all documented, but it still would take a while for new folks to learn the process, which means higher costs for initial production.

So, you have an older design that is not economically competitive with newer designs, in a market that already has very little overall demand, high costs of maintaining a supply chain on standby, spending a bunch more to bring the production lines up-to-speed, and try and recoup all of those costs in new-build sales at new-build prices? It would literally be cheaper for Boeing to give Delta a handful of 737-700s for free than to have gone through all that mess (especially since Delta almost certainly wouldn't be interested in the 717 if they had to spend $60 million for each plane). Who else really wants 717s? Hawaiian?

Does anyone outside of a small group of people on a.net honestly believe Boeing regrets not keeping the 717 line open for 10 more years just to maybe get an extra 30-40 orders?

No point in rehashing the 757 part of the argument, because, other than a plentiful supply of used frames available and a once-strong cargo conversion market, the overall market for the 757 is almost the same as the 717.
I was raised by a cup of coffee.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
Posts: 8404
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 11:45 am

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:01 pm

Exactly! All of the above are very true.

Boeing wasn't going to wait around for non-existant interest 10 years down the road to hope to sell some additional 717s as the customers pondered replacement to 50 seat RJs and now to feed merged networks and route structures with larger-gauge aircraft.

The cost to maintain minimum production rate to keep the supply chain intact was not there and was not going to be there.
 
dkramer7
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:06 am

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:26 pm

Hi All

Not exactly on topic but still related and I didn't want to start a new thread.

It seems that with the newer aircraft becoming available these days (A380, A350, A330neo, B787, B777X etc etc) that the focus seems to be on building as much range and payload capacity into the design as possible. I know this may seem obvious to you "professionals" but to the rest of us amateurs who are simply curious does this design of maximum range and payload come at the expense of reduced ability to handle short cycles?

This seems to be the issue facing HA at the moment as although there are plenty of narrow body options for them to choose from in the B737/A320/E190 etc, none of those seem useful to them.

Is this a design philosophy, or is it simply market forces at work? (That is, most people want more range and payload, so that is what is being made).

Thanks in advance for your kind, patient and educational responses.
 
DfwRevolution
Posts: 9307
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:31 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:43 pm

Quoting dkramer7 (Reply 36):
This seems to be the issue facing HA at the moment as although there are plenty of narrow body options for them to choose from in the B737/A320/E190 etc, none of those seem useful to them.

As discussed on the current HA thread, Hawaiian has a very unique set of circumstances. They are looking to cycle turbofan aircraft at a higher rate than perhaps anyone else in the world. They are not representative of the broader market.

In general....

Quoting dkramer7 (Reply 36):
It seems that with the newer aircraft becoming available these days (A380, A350, A330neo, B787, B777X etc etc) that the focus seems to be on building as much range and payload capacity into the design as possible. I know this may seem obvious to you "professionals" but to the rest of us amateurs who are simply curious does this design of maximum range and payload come at the expense of reduced ability to handle short cycles?

There is a general trend towards heavier payload and range in the long-haul sector. I think people forget or overlook how often the A330 and 767 are payload restricted even on trans-Atlantic flights. The latest generation of aircraft is bringing significantly more operational flexibility to the real-world.

I also think A.netters make way more fuss about "abusing" the latest generation of long-haul aircraft on short/medium haul than is merited. I think these people just want more airplane types to photograph and put in their trip reports. The physics of airplane construction often means that what helps you add range/payload for long-haul either helps, doesn't hurt, or is offset by other factors. For example, higher bypass ratio engines improve fuel economy at all stages of flight, but they are heavier. However, would you rather operate a new 737-200 or a new 737-700? The -700 is heavier and has far more range, but the total trip cost favors the -700 even on short hops like DAL-HOU.

This trend is also apparent in the widebody market where operational data shows the 787-8 has an advantage over the 767-300 on even the shortest domestic hops flown in Japan.
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.
 
User avatar
lightsaber
Moderator
Posts: 20931
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:55 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 9:47 pm

Quoting vhqpa (Reply 31):
Not necessarily. The MD-80/90 also had a ceiling of FL370 it's quite possible being a short range airliner McDD/Boeing saw no value in increasing the service ceiling any higher.

That became a competitive disadvantage. It is difficult to increase MTOW and achieve those marginal additional sales with high wing loading.

High wing loading killed the MD-90. It didn't help the 717. High wing loading and ocer-powered engines hurts cruise fuel burn. With engines that had shorter overhaul intervals, the market voted for the E-190/E-195.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 37):
However, would you rather operate a new 737-200 or a new 737-700? The -700 is heavier and has far more range, but the total trip cost favors the -700 even on short hops like DAL-HOU.

Agreed. The issue for the 717 is that at a profitable sales price, there was no business case for the airlines.


The C-series and E2-190/195 will now compete for the niche.

Lightsaber
I cannot wait to get vaccinated to live again! Warning: I simulated that it takes 50%+ vaccinated to protect the vaccinated and 75%+ vaccinated to protect the vac-hesitant.
 
beeweel15
Posts: 1021
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2003 12:59 am

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:53 pm

The ARJ21 built by COMAC is basically the MD95 edited. Could Boeing have them build it possibly as a BBJ aircraft primarily but still offer a commercial version if requested.
 
User avatar
lightsaber
Moderator
Posts: 20931
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:55 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:08 am

Quoting beeweel15 (Reply 39):

The ARJ21 built by COMAC is basically the MD95 edited. Could Boeing have them build it possibly as a BBJ aircraft primarily but still offer a commercial version if requested.

Business jets have higher per part costs and shorter warranty durations. The Douglas contracts were for airliner parts. If Douglas had met their minimum volume, the vendors would have been obligated by the 'tail' portion of the contract. Instead, Boeing had to buy out vendors.

Paying vendors who set up for volume to retool for low production rates? Ugh.. What a contract nightmare!

Boeing paid penalties so that the 717 would get refurbished part availability. For example, after AA announced their MD-80 fleet retirement, DL ordered/refurbished parts for their MD-80 fleet. Then, part refurbishment dropped below contract minimums, so vendors tripled (or worse) prices. Vendors are on small enough margins, low volume doesn't interest them.

True business jets often use either 'hand me down' parts made to work or the vendor fronts the development costs with low promised delivery rates. For example Gulfstream is having trouble getting above 65 G650 per year. Vendors are locked into other contracts they *must* ramp up on (NEO, MAX, A350, and soon E2/MRJ).



Lightsaber
I cannot wait to get vaccinated to live again! Warning: I simulated that it takes 50%+ vaccinated to protect the vaccinated and 75%+ vaccinated to protect the vac-hesitant.
 
strfyr51
Posts: 5106
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:16 am

Quoting ahmetdouas (Reply 28):
All small jets now have 41,000 ceiling, so for the 717 to have such a low one means it is seriously lacking in performance as it simply does not have the power to fly higher.

the service ceiling has nothing to DO with the airplane's performance.
It's the internals like pressurization and just how high you can maintain an 8 psi cabin differential.
So it's the air cycle machines and the cabin differential pressure system architecture that would basically determine the service ceiling of the airplane.
That is unless passengers would mean NOTHING to you??
 
strfyr51
Posts: 5106
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 5:04 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:18 am

Boeing ended the race Before the competition was really Over!!
 
ahmetdouas
Posts: 310
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:23 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:18 am

Maybe Boeing should renter the regional market with a new design to compete with the Embarers and Bombardiers. There again, there is a lot of competition in that sector so will be hard to make money at least in the short term!
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 24994
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:42 pm

Quoting ahmetdouas (Reply 43):
Maybe Boeing should renter the regional market with a new design to compete with the Embarers and Bombardiers.

When you look at the EJet/CJet market size compared to A320/B737 you can see who is in the right market.

IIRC Airbus was just asked to invest in the CSeries and had a good look at the books and decided to pass.

The fact that the only one who did invest was the highly motivated local government should tell us something about their market at this point in time.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
ltbewr
Posts: 15461
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Thu Dec 31, 2015 4:10 pm

The 717 was basically a rehash of a 1960's base engineering.
It wasn't small enough (under 100) for many 'commuter' airlines so could be operated by lower tier non-mainline (and cheaper) crews.
It was heavier than needed due to it older base engineering for its capacity so not as fuel efficient as 737's/318's.
It was close to some then current versions of the 737 (the weak selling -600) so didn't need the competition.
Many airlines wanted to limit the different types of models of a/c they have. The 717 was just one model too many for airlines.
Boeing wanted to cut costs of continuing to make an airplane of limited value in the high-cost Los Angeles.
 
DTWPurserBoy
Topic Author
Posts: 2374
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:33 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Thu Dec 31, 2015 4:27 pm

Quoting ahmetdouas (Reply 43):
Maybe Boeing should renter the regional market with a new design to compete with the Embarers and Bombardiers. There again, there is a lot of competition in that sector so will be hard to make money at least in the short term!

Would it not be cheaper for Boeing to purchase Embraer or Bombardier outright rather than ramp up and design new regional jets? I seem to recall hearing Boeing state that they had no such interest in RJ's and the 737 would be the small end of their builds.
Qualified on Concorde/B707/B720/B727/B737/B747/B757/B767/B777/DC-8/DC-9/DC-10/A319/A320/A330/MD-88-90
 
User avatar
pu
Posts: 1364
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:08 am

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:09 pm

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Thread starter):
s afraid that the B717 would be competing with B737 sales

No doubt this was a a fear; also there is always a strong impulse in any kind of merger/acquisition to kill off the ideas of the weaker partner to prevent anyone who might start to argue that the weaker player was actually the smarter player. It's the same concept borrowed from male lions in the wild who take over a new wife and promptly kill off their stepchildren from a previous marriage. There is apparently a multi-species imperative to promote one's own ideas and offspring even if someone else's are better.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 3):

No one is selling boatloads of 100-125 seaters

Bombardier and Embraer received orders for 1200+ 100 seaters (CRJ900/1000; EMB190/195). Do you not consider this boatloads or do you only consider A & B in your analysis?

Part of this 717 story plays into how A & B completely ignored the regional market, thus creating two competitors who are now poaching into the territory of "mainline" size aircraft. I suppose Boeing might buy Bombardier and Airbus might by Embraer to ensure the little brothers don't poach to much on the favoured product lines of the Seattle and Toulouse executives...





Pu.
 
User avatar
TZTriStar500
Posts: 891
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 1:33 am

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:14 pm

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 41):
the service ceiling has nothing to DO with the airplane's performance.
It's the internals like pressurization and just how high you can maintain an 8 psi cabin differential.
So it's the air cycle machines and the cabin differential pressure system architecture that would basically determine the service ceiling of the airplane.

This is completely false. The aircraft service ceiling has everything to do with performance and a calculation based off of aircraft weight, thrust, and wing lift. Its generally set when the max rate of climb is .5 m/s or 100 ft/min. What you are talking about is cabin ceiling which is determined by pressurization system performance and the pressure differential the fuselage pressure shell can handle and a trade off with fatigue life. The 737BBJ has a mod that allows a higher cabin pressure differential but with a commensurate lowering of SRM limitations.
35 years of American Trans Air/ATA Airlines, 1973-2008. A great little airline that will not be soon forgotten.
 
DfwRevolution
Posts: 9307
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 7:31 pm

RE: Did Boeing Stop B717 Production Too Early?

Thu Dec 31, 2015 9:05 pm

Quoting Pu (Reply 47):
Bombardier and Embraer received orders for 1200+ 100 seaters (CRJ900/1000; EMB190/195). Do you not consider this boatloads or do you only consider A & B in your analysis?

No, I don't because the CRJ-900/1000 and E190 are all 80-100 seat aircraft in the real-world. Only the E195 is in the same class as the 100-125 seat 717-200. Embraer has sold a whopping 165 of the E195. Not much better than the 717-200 itself.

Quoting Pu (Reply 47):
Part of this 717 story plays into how A & B completely ignored the regional market, thus creating two competitors who are now poaching into the territory of "mainline" size aircraft. I suppose Boeing might buy Bombardier and Airbus might by Embraer to ensure the little brothers don't poach to much on the favoured product lines of the Seattle and Toulouse executives...

Businesses cannot be everything to everyone.

Neither Airbus nor Boeing has "ignored" the regional market. They have both considered the regional market from time-to-time and decided it isn't worth their while. Both of their market studies show growing regional demand.

But in general, the regional market is less favorable than the mainline market. If you can choose which to serve - and you must choose - then why serve the less profitable sector?

Look at development cost per airplane, for instance. Development costs do not scale linearly to airplane size. The E2 program will cost an estimated $1.7 billion. The A320NEO and 737MAX will cost about $2-3 billion each. Granted, some variation is explained by differences in project scope. However, the market for the E2 is smaller than the combine A320+737 market. Since the E2 was offered for sale, Embraer has sold 325 aircraft versus Boeing's 1,574 737MAX aircraft.

Even though the E2 development cost is 67% of the 737MAX, Embraer is only selling 20% as many airplanes. Yikes. Now do that across all of the fixed costs that are relatively invariant to airplane size: sales, general administration, aftermarket services, non-program technology development, etc. Your profit margin per airplane just isn't as good.

There are other factors to consider and sometimes squashing a future competitor does sway directors into funding less profitable (or even unprofitable) ventures. However, when the marketing team is presenting their thousands of hours of research to the Board of Directors, the board members are penciling through the basic calculations I just gave to sanity check their projections and poke holes in overly optimistic forecasts.
I have a three post per topic limit. You're welcome to have the last word.

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos