Thursday, December 18, 2014

Before Confusion-Seeking Alpha Part II

Boeing: How The 777X Will Beat The Brand New Airbus A350 (Part 2)

Opening with Seeking Alpha 777X vs the A350-1000 report part II. The article whether it is speculative from Airbus development claims or actual supported data, demonstrates that Boeing wouldn't put out billions of $dollars  on an aircraft, after going second in the design mode when Airbus freezes the A350 design. It is a correct conclusion taking current information as presented by what is known on the 777-8 and 777-9. 

It will fall into a conservative estimate, and even in fact, as both the A350 and777X "paper" starting points will acheive significant improvements over the evolution of its individual development. Whatever Airbus acheives with its Aircraft proposal, Boeing has set itself to not only match but exceed the Airbus proposal with improved effciency, sieze, and scope that may even impede the survival of the A380 and 747-8i. 

In order for Boeing making a program killing stamp on Airbus, they must narrow the 747-8F as the only super Boeing Jumbo, and replace passenger service with th 777-9 in that class. It just fits where the 777-300-ER fits.



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  • Boeing 777X concept seems to be slightly better than the A350.
  • To compete with the lower segment of the 777-9X market, Airbus has to stretch the A350.
  • In the end both aircraft are good fleet members.
In my previous article, I compared the Airbus (OTCPK:OTCPK:EADSF/OTCPK:OTCPK:EADSY) A350-1000 and Boeing (NYSE:BA) 777-9X and concluded that although the Boeing 777-9X is more fuel efficient, the difference in capacity does not justify the 2 aircraft to be compared to each other.
In this article, I will compare the Boeing 777-8X that can transport similar passenger numbers as the Airbus A350-1000, but has a far bigger range.
The Boeing 777-8X features the same optimizations as lined out in part 1 of this series.
The empty weight for the Boeing 777-8X is not yet known, so has been estimated. I expect the empty weight to decrease due to the use of lighter engines and wings. The folding wing tip system probably will add some weight. With the wings being considerably bigger, but lighter overall, I expect that the weight of the Boeing 777-8X will be close to that of the Airbus A350-1000.

Figure 8: Comparison general characteristics Boeing 777-8X and Airbus A350-1000 (Source: Dhierin-Perkash Bechai)
Figure 8 shows that the general characteristics are similar to that of the Boeing 777-9X, with the only differences being that the Boeing 777-8X transports about 1% more passengers compared to the Airbus A350-1000 and has about equal weight.
For a 4000 nm trip, this gives the following results:
Figure 8: Results for a 4000 nm trip for Boeing 777-8X compared to the Airbus A350-1000 (Source: Dhierin-Perkash Bechai)
The figure quite clearly shows that also the Boeing 777-8X has an advantage over the Airbus A350-1000. The fuel costs per seat-mile are $0.042 for the Airbus A350-1000 and $0.038 for the Boeing 777-8X, both in 3-class maximum configuration.
Looking at the performance over a wider range also shows superiority of the Boeing 777-8X:
Figure 9: Comparing the Boeing 777-8X and Airbus A350-1000 on a wider range (Source: Dhierin-Perkash Bechai)
Boeing claimed 12% lower fuel consumption than the competition. Although the Boeing 777-8X has a significant advantage, it does not get anywhere near the 12% in my analysis. On the longer routes, the advantage tends to be about 10%, which still is significant when comparing an all new aircraft family with an optimized airframe.
Since part of my analysis is based on an assumed weight I will also include numbers for a higher empty weight for the Boeing 777-8X:
165 tonnes gives an advantage between 1 and 6%.
When more accurate numbers become available, this analysis will be enhanced or an update will be published. This article features a very preliminary and should be treated as such.


  • Both members of the 777X Family beat the Airbus A350-1000 in terms of efficiency
  • The Boeing 777X offers airlines the highest efficiency from 2020, obsoleting the all-new Airbus A350-1000
  • Boeing squeezed the Airbus A350-1000 in a difficult position, making a stretched A350 necessary
  • This stretched version will have lower range, but can compete with the Boeing 777-9X on the shorter routes
  • The Boeing 777-8X is superior while the Boeing 777-9X does not have any competitor at all
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