There is a hole in the family left by the Boeing 757. Airbus seeks interloping into Boeing's family lineup with its A321 Neo. Boeing has stretched R&D through its simultaneous projects for the 777X and the 737 Max, now forming on deck in the prototype barn.
Back to the board room as VP's examining the charts, graphs, and slick videos on what a Tweener could do.
- It must not encroach on the 787-8 market
- It must not resemble the now defunct 787-300
- It must be wider than the 757
- It must look different than the Max
- The Tweener may have twin aisle sensibility
- The range is for any "Continentals traveling" provides 4500 to 5000 miles of connectivity
- The Tweener-Twin purpose gains an Island access sensibility
- The Tweener-Twin takes on the best of Boeing for an aircraft holding up to 250 passengers
In order to meet these ideals, it would be limited to seven across seating within a body approximately 48 inches narrower than the 787. It could utilize production infrastructure already in place for the 787, using the transportation systems used for shipping 787 body parts, assuming this would be an all plastic body and wing concept aircraft.
Where it will assemble is probably a difficult decision not yet determined. Introducing a new type in Everett is a complex problem of space and not labor. Going to Charleston for assembly is a question of labor and not space. Either way this is not a split assembly location issue, but will be a sole source assembly decision within Boeing's plant structure.
This is the game changer, when making a plant decision, and could be Boeing's hesitation point before going forward. All the data has not been presented in order to make a best decision even while having labor not yet bidding for the honors of building Boeing's next aircraft.
If Boeing takes labor out of the equation, there could be problems on all its programs except the 787-10 program going forward. Boeing could shop another location for building the Tweener-Twin, and solve several questions. In that case, during a community bidding war having Boeing select it as the new plant location, would benefit Boeing once again for cheaper land and an available labor pool. Many cities in the Northwest could supply Boeing a convenient opportunity.