SIA, B777 vs A340, GE

Date:         22 Jul 99 23:30:44 
From:         Arne Stuermer <>
Organization: Student @ RWTH Aachen
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The recent activities over at Boeing on the 777 derivatives and SIAs
exercising of options with Boeing on the twin jet while phasing out the
A340s are indeed very significant actions. After all it was SIA that
canceled its MD-11 orders a little less than a decade ago and went with
the Airbus A340 instead, after the McDonnell Douglas tri-jet turned out
to be somewhat overweight and under performing. With the current rumors
of A340-500/-600 weight problems, Im sure Im not the only one
remembering this... This time around fleet commonality could be a factor
for SIA. Since most aircraft suffer from weight problems at some stage
during their development Im sure Airbus will be able to shave off much
of extra tonnage on their A340NGs, but with the performance margins so
tight on SIAs SIN to LAX routes much work needs to be done. An
interesting new twist to this story is the talks between Airbus and
Pratt on potentially offering the geared fan PW8160 engine on the
aircraft as early as 2003, despite the exclusivity agreement with Rolls
Royce for the Trent 500. This engine would bring A340-500/-600
performance back on par with the 777Xs. Definitely will be interesting
to see how this situation develops...
On the related topic of Boeing going with GE as the exclusive engine
supplier on all 777s with 318,000kg (700,000lbs) gross weight and up:
According to articles in Flight International, GE was only going to
develop an engine for the 777Xs if it was selected as sole source
supplier. This and the offer of  financial support towards the
development of the airframe is certain to have played a role in Boeings
decision to drop Pratt and Rolls' bids to power the 777 in addition to
the technical and timing issues posted here previously.

Arne Stuermer
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