Monday, June 9, 2014

Boeing's Next Big Jumbo Will Come From The Design Board

Jumbo, as defined by aviation gurus has four engines and two decks. It can carry both passengers and freight within its design constraints. A Jumbo must fit in all Airports of significant importance without having to resort to local bond issues or nationalized loans. The next Jumbo could be militarized for moving troops, equipment and cargo plus converting to medic vac and refugee missions. This Jumbo has to look the part and be admired for its design motifs.

The point is a Jumbo has to be a multi role platform or its a no go. Boeing could sell 250 or more passenger configured large Jumbos like Airbus, who has recently hit bottom in the new sales arena, or go Army Swiss Knife Ninja on a transformable design motif from the factory floor. A frame starts and then plug and play takes over for Luxury passenger, PT Barnum Freight, or GI Joe mission accomplished modes. The problem is getting the military to sign on to a concept when no money or plans are in the works. So Boeing would have to stick to what it controls, Freight and Passenger modes. They need at least another 250 orders from the super freighter customers with an equal capacity of the 747. The problem with the 747 today is the efficiency factor for both customer service and freight service. A 747-8i competes with highly efficient long haul passenger (the A380 doesn't inspire a freight role). The 747-8F is suited well for freight but has four engines. So goes the conundrum.

Problem for Boeing: How do we build an efficient passenger, right sized, Jumbo that can be sold to both passenger service and freight service, extending the order book beyond five hundred Jumbos? That is the current 747-8 conundrum. They did the 747-8 on the cheap with an existing 747 frame. Can they do it from scratch with an all new blending of  Jumbo designs and make money? Here enters the 777X10 frame. slightly widened and taller with a straight line body (no hump) and everything  in Boeing's playbook thrown at it. They don't need to be the biggest, they need to be the best for its customers. A stream-ling form fitting 777-10x could fit code E slots. The work on this convertible behemoth has started in the form of the 777-9X CAD center.

Let's put this jumbo together in a menagerie of brain storming talking points. Here goes:

From Ground-up ideas' let the brainstorming begin:
  • Strengthened under carriage.
  • Configurable landing "gear trucks" for the mission specific loads
  • Plastic interface with aluminum strengthen structures
  • Commercial Version tops off at 450 seats.
  • Cargo Version has plug and play design attributes for cargo attachments.
  • Plastic Boeing Wings (Folding Option)
  • A two engine base variant for all airplane applications

Variable deck levels within Design parameters where a framed main floor variant can drop two feet for passengers or cargo configurations, allowing room for a windowless special operations area above the normal passenger area. The floor drop allows for a 6 '6" tall  area above in the attic for rest, work stations, and special operations command center for military versions. Passenger versions would raise the floor back up two feet for a normal one level seating configuration. The Jumbo, in order to survive in sales,  must have multi tasking builds with its design features for large capacity and long range capability.

As a passenger craft, it would incorporate everything beautiful found in today's most sophisticated airline interior. The freight area and downstairs on a passenger model would complement the airline customers missions for both luggage and freight.

On the freighter version, the full range of its interior height and width is available. The aft end of the aircraft could have swinging doors opening up unloading the full length of the cargo. No hump would exist like the 747. A continuous body shape in a straight line would not have that distinctive hump. However, it would have a bigger diameter barrel than the 777-X9 and would be slightly longer depending on the aircraft application. The two GE engines would be tested to do everything that the current four 747 engines do. Only more efficiently. Fuel range could be extended on this craft by what comes out of the tricks bag . Plastic Boeing Wings would lock onto an aluminum wing box. This all purpose aircraft is Boeing's Opus from all things Boeing foot locker. Call it the 797 or  the CPM short for Cargo, Passenger and Military operations A beautiful time for passengers. A load full, for all freight and military solutions in all operations.

This is how brain storming can work. The facilitator, who has the felt tip Maker and writes down everybody chirping in all at once. Trying to beat their co-worker for attention, and getting  their ideas on the easel first. Some of these types of arguments are being made in windowless conference rooms, near a Boeing facility near you. Next year it will be a board room presentation and year following a launch party for a Mini Jumbo project.