Thursday, March 28, 2013

Aspire's Aviation, Boeing 777X Analysis


Aspires Aviation Featured Points of Interest: 

(Everything below the ("cut") and above the ("paste") is Aspire Aviation's clips from its Article) please read the article for additional information.
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  • GE9X to feature 16 blades, versus 18 on GEnx engines
  • Folding wingtip to be operated hydraulically
  • Folding wingtip to improve lift-to-drag by 12%
  • Folding wingtip 800lbs weight penalty, against 777-200′s 3,200lbs
  • 777X to remain ICAO Code E aircraft on aprons
  • 787-styled tail fin, elimination of overwing exit confirmed
  • Elimination of overwing exit saves 1,000lbs of weight
  • 787-styled larger dimmable windows, lower cabin altitude being studied
  • 777-8X & -9X range boosted to around 8,100nm
  • 777-8X to compete with A350-1000, banks on commonality advantages
Read full article on Link:

“I think they are ready to go on that. I am hoping that within the next two or three weeks, we will engage with Boeing almost on a formal basis,” Emirates president Tim Clark was quoted as saying.
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Boeing is getting ready reach an important moment on the 777X. What is happening on the 787 affects the 777X program. Case in point, The 787 ETOPS will be resolved shortly with the assurance of the FAA after its testing and validation. A required step for full 787 functionality, stating the 787 is fit for service. 

Why the hesitation? Simplistic answer is that the FAA, NTSB and others must show its done its due diligence in certifying a troubled system. Before releasing the 787 back to its pre battery fire status. They must take Boeing to the brink and back again in the sweat box of examinations and posturing to appease all critics of Boeing's 787. Boeing is sweating and is scrambling and they will pass. 

The 777X is on because Boeing has the assurance that the 787 solution will pass an ETOP's review, IF they complete another ETOP's battery of tests. The caveat is found in the word, "If".

So with that in mind what has Boeing and Aspire wrought for the 777X? 

LiftnDrag summy of  Aspire Article in Bullet Points:

  • Acceleration of 777X program during March 2013
  • Movement of VP's, Best fit for specific project maturations such as for 737 Max, 787 and 777X
  • 777X incorporates more 787 features for commonalities, linkage to Battery solution and ETOPs
  • Carbon Fiber Wings not necessarily folding!
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This folding wingtip, along with a 787-styled wing, is going to enable Boeing to achieve a 12% improvement in lift-to-drag (L/D) ratio with a minimal weight penalty at 800lbs (362.8kg), compared to the 3,200lbs (1.45 tonnes) weight penalty associated with the original folding wingtip design studied on the 777-200, while adding 30m² (322.9ft²) wing area added to the 777-300ER’s one of 436.8m² (“Boeing 777X & 787-10X unfazed by 787 battery woes“, 14th Feb, 13).
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  • Skin Technology is changing, 12% weight savings:
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"On the other hand, while the fuselage material choice remains wide open in selecting either the traditional aluminium or 3rd-generation aluminium-lithium for the 777X, Aspire Aviation believes choosing Alcoa’s 3rd-generation aluminium-lithium that will reduce weight by 12% and 6% reduction in skin friction is pivotal to providing a larger window size and lowering the cabin altitude despite the higher cost involved.
Crucially, 3rd-generation aluminium-lithium technology is a proven and mature one that is readily available today, such as Alcoa’s Al-Li 2060-T8E30 product has an around 16.7% higher specific strength than the Al 2524-T3 used on today’s 777 to around 175 MPa/(gm/cm³) from its predecessor’s 150 MPa/(gm/cm³), with a higher stretch form-ability  Moreover, choosing the aluminium-lithium for the 777X will require no change in production tooling but only a change in coating, a misconception disproved by Spirit AeroSystems’ 737 rear fuselage panel using the Al-Li 2060 material with existing production tooling."
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  • 787 like flight surfaces note: Vertical stabilizer like 787
So  lets call the 777X another Max aircraft. They are stripping technology off the 787 like its a pick-apart jalopy salvage yard. Nothing is wrong with that approach, and Boeing is doing something sensible by building on technology paid for with money lost on the 787 project. Its the lessons learned jalopy going from the yard to formula one racing. A very crude analogy but the description shows a transition from the 787, back to an upgraded 777X,  without starting with a clean chalkboard for its all new 777X designs. Jeep came out with a badge on its 4x4 Jeeps as "Trail Rated".  The Max and the 777X should wear a Badge on its hull as "787 Optimized".

However, that should wait about two years until the battery problem is discharged. ETOPs restriction is not a bluff, or will it not really become an implementation of the FAA. The Boeing company will fiercely do its job and get the 787 to ETOPs certification once again, through a demonstration over the next six months on no Battery issues. Even if it has to buy the battery company and do it right. Shared technology risks are a bugger too, it can bit back if your supplier fails to execute when depending on that execution. Risks are called risks because of the uncertainty of absolutes.  Nothing is absolute and everything is risky. The closer Boeing diminishes risks and defines absolutes by intersecting at the FAA, the better Boeing becomes.
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A350-900
A350-1000
777-300ER
777-8X
777-9X
3-class pax no.
314
350
365
353
407
Range (nm)
8,100
8,400
7,825
8,100
8,100
MTOW (kg)
268,000
308,000
351,530
315,000
344,000
MLW (kg)
205,000
233,000
251,290
n/a
n/a
MZFW (kg)
192,000
220,000
237,683
n/a
n/a
MEW/MWE (kg)
115,700
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
OEW (kg)
n/a
n/a
167,829
n/a
n/a
Overall length (m)
66.89
73.88
73.9
69.55
76.48
Wingspan (m)
64.75
64.75
64.8
71.1
71.1
Diameter (m)
5.96
5.96
6.19
6.19
6.19
Cabin Width (m)
5.61
5.61
5.86
n/a
n/a
Engines
Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-84
Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97
General Electric GE90-115B
General Electric GE9X
General Electric GE9X
Thrust (lbs)
84,000
97,000
115,300
~90,000
~100,000

Sources: Airbus, Boeing, Aspire Aviation estimates
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