Saturday, December 7, 2013

When The MAX Flies Will The NEO Flee?

It’s coming to the point of Boeing's pre-flight (fight) bravado will soon enter the ring for the knock down drag out fight for single aisle supremacy of the world. As the Max enters the market ring, it will have to demonstrate to its customers if it has the chops to defeat the NEO. In a knock down drag out fight to the bitter end. Its own customers are the fans around the flight ring. The ring announcer is now reciting the exploits of each contender. Boeing has announced its "Tale of the Tape".

In this corner is the MAX:

  • The Boeing Max has 13% better fuel than current or similar models flying
  • The Boeing Max carries more seats than its competitors.
  • The Boeing Max has the "Edge Program".
  • The MAX new CFM, is a purpose built high efficiency engine.
  • The MAX has dual feathers that will take where you need and want to go.
  • The MAX commonalities sync with the worlds most advanced aircraft.
  • The support staff can do its job quicker and more effectively with the MAX.  

And in this corner is the NEO:
  • The NEO is a New Engineered Offering.
  • It has the majority of the fans in the house at 60%
  • It is 5% more efficient than current models flying
  • It doesn't have the Boeing Edge
  • It holds less seats than the MAX.
  • It maintains commonalities with the A-350 that hasn't reached the market.
  • The support staff cannot train it to keep up with its competitor. 

This fight will not allow price gouging, no order holds, and finally no grounding biting. Shake hands and may the best single aisle win! The is the preview for the fight during the next 20 years for certainly something new will come of age by 2030 as manufacturing technology catches up with today's plastic designs. 

The brave new world of Boeing took the first big step in making an all plastic hull. Even though other airplane makers made smaller versions of plastic aircraft, but not on this scale or technological enhancements. 

The problems that the 787 have become lessons learned. While other airplane makers try to avoid by not installing that technology. Making those competitors airplanes less robust, but more manageable during operations. Once the 787 matures (it’s almost there in that maturity) it will be light years ahead of its competitor. The year 2014 promises full maturation for the 787. 

The maturation of the 787 transcends to the MAX and  the 777. The full circle of Boeing's goals will be achieved in 2014 through a 787 completeness process during operational cycles. Always improving will not retire, but makes its original vision achieved for the Boeing's aircraft family during 2014. 

Much work remains, but the "much work" is more purpose directed through its retired risks from its most advanced program. That completeness process will continue until that day the 787 receives its championship heavy weight belt. 

The coming of the MAX is bringing forward what really exceptionally works from all of Boeing's programs. The funnel of Boeing's intellectual capital flows down to its multi funneled tips, whether it’s the MAX program, 787 or 777. 

I don't mention the 747-8i, because it’s a forgone conclusion that Boeing is waiting on the market development, before it tries its next big Jumbo project. The 747-8i is just a sponge, in that it sponges off from everything from Boeing’s project to keep it relevant and operational. 

There is not enough market remaining to go all-in and battle the A-380's share of the market. However, it is a staunch niche airplane type that has a shelf life within that its special market. Keeping the 747 alive is a strategy that maybe the market will come back to it as the A-380 flounders eventually. I would expect a 747 class twin as the next right sized Jumbo. The 777-9 is a progression towards that end. A 450 seat Jumbo twin with a 747 moniker is a possibility today but will wait after they 777 is relaunched.

Boeing can only make the 787-8i better as each new proven technology can advance to it. The 777 is really the big player, more than the supersized A-380 play. The A-380 has to redesign airports as they proudly clog terminal areas. The 777 dual engines will retire the Jumbos from passenger use. 

The 747- 8F can reconfigure to haul basketball gym size cargo loads as exampled by the 747-400 dream lifting mission for the 787 project. The 747 has a future with a specific purpose. The A-380 future is in question by its customers. The Middle East has a scheme that desires nothing but capacity for people.

The world cannot accommodate a wide spread use of the A-380 with its current airports unless those airports expand. Doing so would literally scatter traffic in its wake on final approach. Not a happy proposition for airports that has heavy traffic. London Heathrow and LAX to name a few, wedge those flights in. It isn't for the likes of San Diego or the Caribbean. 

This article is about the fly and the flea. The Max will fly as the NEO will flee in time. The early orders for the NEO during its inception, did not have a MAX as a contender. So loyalty customers for Airbus poured in the orders. Even some new customers were septet-up in that first year. 

The MAX arrived 18 months later and has been on a steady march forward and is closing the gap. What will be interesting are those neutral customers in a head to head sales competition, for which type they will choose. I admit I haven't looked at those types of competition at this time, but is a worthy project to do so. 

My next 737 vs the NEO project is to look at the split order sales and try to look at the customer on how they ordered and for what reason.

Looking at the pre-flight Boeing Bravado, makes me feel they actually have a winner. However, I never underestimate a worthy contender like Airbus. If what Boeing says about the MAX, if in fact is not fiction about the MAX, then the Market place will validate the MAX with follow-on orders after both airplanes are in operation. 

Right now it’s a loyalty battle and a curiosity endeavor for those who are unsure, but want to find out. The NEO has a strong order book from loyal customers, the curious and bargain hunters. Even though Boeing was late into the game they have made up substantial ground, and have saved its single aisle program from the flight of the Do-Do Bird. The Max will in deed fly, and the NEO will take its respectful place in the market when all is finished.