Re: 737-plus?

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works
Date:         08 Jul 93 01:27:43 PDT
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>News report just mentioned that Boeing plans to create a new 737
>derivative to compete with the Airbus. Anybody have any meaningful
>details?

Boeing has referred to it (them) as the 737-X for some time now, but
only recently received board approval to begin offering it to the
airlines and other customers.  This doesn't constitute a launch of the
program, just the start of the sales effort, though apparently some
recent 737-TBD (series To Be Determined) orders and options include
the 737-X amongst the alternatives.  If launched, initial deliveries
of the 737-X would be in 1997.

The 737-X being offered is actually a family of three aircraft.  The
108-seat version would presumably replace the 737-500 while a larger
version would be comparable in size to the 737-300.  The largest, at
157 seats, would be larger than the 737-400 and would more directly
compete with the Airbus A320.  (At least one report I've seen said
there are four versions, but there were no details on where the 4th
model fit into the lineup.)

While the fuselage would remain a derivative of the existing 737, the
wing would be an entirely new design with greater area and fuel
capacity as well as improved aerodynamics.  These changes would help
the 737-X go both faster (Mach 0.80 vs. 0.78) and farther (2,900 nm
(5,200 km), slightly greater than the A320's range and sufficient to fly
from one coast of the U.S. to the other) than the existing 737 family.

Engines are the other major change, and were at least a bit of a
surprise, at least to me.  Based on past reports I had expected the
IAE V2500 to at least be an option but apparently the engine will be
the CFM56-3XS, which offers lower fuel burn, emissions, and noise than
the current generation CFM56.

Boeing has also announced several other proposals and improvements
recently.  A 767-300ERX, with 6,800 nm (12,200 km) range had been
proposed but has been revised to a 767-300ERY with 7,200 nm (13,000
km) range.  MTOW increases to 441,000 lbs (200,000 kg) vs. 400,000 lbs
for the current 767-300(ER) with 62,000 lb thrust engines vs. 60,000
lb thust from the current plane.  The 767-300ERY also includes a wing
chord extension and increased span and other aerodynamic improvements
allowing an increase in speed from Mach 0.82 to 0.84 in addition to
the range improvements.

Meanwhile, the 747-400 is receiving modifications including a
redesigned composite dorsal fin fairing and fuel distribution system
which will allow a 2,000 lb increas in MTOW.  The changes will be
integrated into new production 747-400s and will be available as a
retrofit for existing 747-400s.

According to Airliners Monthly News, "a more extremem modification
[to the 747-400] is planned for 1996, which would offer a 60,000 lb
(27,215 kg) increase in MTOW, additional fuel, and a range of 8,000
nm (14,400 km)."

And if that wasn't enough, the first 747-400F made its first flight
on May 4th.

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