Re: A3XX vs B747-600 (was: Airbus lawsuit coming?)

From: (Michael Jennings)
Organization: University of Cambridge DAMTP
Date:         03 Sep 96 01:16:52 
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In article <airliners.1996.1697@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
Karl Swartz <kls@ohare.Chicago.COM> wrote:
>>It is my understanding that only charters are interested in a B757-300X,
>>and that not enough would be ordered to justify the required R&D.
>At least one major US carrier was very interested in the 757-300X a
>few years ago.  From what I've heard, I'd be surprised if the 757-300X
>is *not* launched by the end of 1997.

	Quite. There have been rumours that it is about to be launched
for a few months now. The latest reports in Flight International suggest
that we may get the 757-200X launched this year as well. Apparently the
new models will be as similar to the existing version as possible, in order
to cut down development costs.
>>BA and Qantas would love to fly SYD-LHR nonstop, and the B747-500X appears to
>>have insufficient range to do so with a full payload. Perhaps a 777-100X
>>could be built to fly the 10500mi between Sydney and London.
>Unfortunately, such a plane would have a very small market, yet
>would require a lot of development cost.  I think it's more likely
>to see a trick like UA's ORD-HKG non-stop, which is limited to only
>260 pax to keep the weight down -- fly a 747-500X SYD-LHR but don't
>sell all the seats.  With a light load, perhaps the -500X can do it.

	Does it really matter that much? It might cut a 23 hour journey
time to 20 or 21 hours perhaps, but it isn't going to do much better than
that. That doesn't reduce the degree of hideousness by much, IMO.

>>Boeing decided to build the B777 because airlines rejected every Boeing
>>proposal for a B767-400X. If Boeing builds a plane larger than the B767-300
>>and smaller than the B777-200, it will be the B777-100X.
>Good point, though a stretched 767 should be cheaper to buy and to
>operate than a shrunken 777, though it most likely wouldn't have
>the same range.  When it comes down to putting money on the table,
>airlines often change their minds at the last minute, sometimes in
>rather perplexing ways.

	Boeing sources insist that the 767-400X is still under active
consideration and that there is a team working on it. On top of that,
the 777-100X does not appear as attractive to airlines as it did
a year ago. I'd rate this one a 50-50 proposition to be built. It
isn't first on their list of priorities (the 747-500/600 and the
757-300 appear to be that for the moment), but I think it may be
launched next year.

>>A B777-200X with greater range than the B777-200IGW any time soon?
>>I doubt it.
>Folks at Boeing seem to think the engines are growing fast enough to
>make an even longer range 777-200 a reasonable prospect much sooner
>than they thought.  The latest proposals Boeing has been presenting
>suggest the very long-range 777 will be much closer to the -200 in
>size than the original 777-100X proposals.  That makes the airlines
>much happier because they were worried about the -100X not giving
>them enough capacity on the long routes.

	I keep hearing about this one. At the end of last year, it seemed
that the 747-500/600 and the 777-100X were almost certain to be launched
this year. The 777-100X now seems much less discussed and this new,
long range 777-200X keeps being discussed. The 777-100X was in some sense
an attempt to counter the A340-8000. Nobody seems to be buying the A340-8000,
so Boeing is probably less concerned about having something to compete
with it than they were. If Boeing does launch the 777-200X instead of
the -100X, that of course makes the 767-400X much more likely.
(One wonders if it means that something like the 767-300ERY is on
the cards again, too).


Michael Jennings
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
The University of Cambridge.