Re: Boeing cancels 747-500X/600X?

Date:         01 Mar 97 02:44:59 
From:         "Alvin W. Law" <>
Organization: Oracle Corporation, Redwood Shores, California
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[ Message to moderators: I'm cross-posting to m.t.a-i since I think
readers there are also interested in this topic ]

Karl Swartz wrote:
> >Fridays 16th, Le Monde had a very interesting article on the battle
> >between Boeing and Airbus for the >500 class.
> ...
> >Boeing is now offering a brand new aircraft for 2006 to avoid
> >airlines choosing the Airbus product. It is also reported that Boeing
> >is threatening it's sub-contractors if they should participate in the
> >A3XX project.
> Sounds more like propaganda than educated reporting.  Boeing people
> seem to know nothing about offering a brand new aircraft.  Quite the
> contrary, Boeing seems to be focusing its efforts on derivatives of
> its large twins, the 767 and 777.  See the current (February 17, 1997)
> Aviation Week, p. 60, for an article on the subject including several
> quotes from Michael B. Bair, Boeing's VP for Product Strategy and
> Development.
> One project, according to Bair, is a 777-200X with 720,000 lbs MGTOW,
> allowing a range of 8,500-9,000 nm.  (From Chicago, Perth is about the
> only interesting city outside that range.  New York to Singapore or
> Auckland are possible, with Sydney being within reach if the 9,000 nm
> range is achieved.  London to Perth is even possible, though the more
> commercially interesting eastern cities of Australia, and New Zealand,
> are still out of reach.)
> The article notes a Boeing market analysis that determined that most
> 747s have been purchased for range, not capacity.  Here's how they
> broke down the choices:
>    60% range
>    30% capacity
>    10% Japanese domestic (obviously capacity, albeit specialized)
> Given the dramatic shift in the trans-Atlantic market from large
> planes flying between major hubs to smaller planes linking far more
> city pairs, overflying the hubs, this shouldn't be too surprising.
> With more liberal aviation agreements in the Asia/Pacific countries
> and planes with sufficient range, the same thing is inevitable in the
> Pacific.

Isn't the -500X the longer range derivative (similar capacity to -400)
while the -600X the larger capacity derivative (similar range)?

The 777 derivative mentioned above will have a similar range compared to
the -500X but with much reduced capacity.  Assuming that the cost of
developing derivatives are roughly the same (order of magnitude).  I
have no idea about the projected operating cost of the -500X compared to
the 777 derivative, but if Boeing is willing to suspend a program which
is on the verge of launching (with enough demand), and instead opted for
more time studying a reduced capacity option, it seems Boeing is sending
a message that improved range is what the market needs.