Sunday, March 13, 2016

Bracketed Airbus Ponders the A350-8000

Airbus thinks to offer a super jumbo Twin engine duo aisle aircraft because it finds itself bracketed by Boeing up and down the Twin Aisle battle. Bracketing fire is an old war term where artillery targeting follows towards an ultimate target with successive rounds walking forward until it destroys its intended goal. One round goes long then one goes short in a sequence until a round lands just right.

Bracketing definition:

(*) A method of adjusting fire in which a bracket is established by obtaining an over and a short along the spotting line, and then successively splitting the bracket in half until a target hit or desired bracket is obtained.

Airbus has found itself in a countering position by reacting against what Boeing has positioned itself, in the duo aisle twin engine battle. The first round by Boeing was the 787-8 and Airbus tried a counter with its A350-800. Boeing production has blown the A350-800 out of the water with only 16 of Airbus A350-800's on the books and none built. Boeing then rolled out the 787-9 bracketing against the Airbus A350-900. It has been been an equal order book match with Airbus, as it hold a slight lead with its A350-900 over the 787-9. Then comes the A350-1000 not yet built against the not yet built 787-10 with similar sales amounts. Boeing has now bracketed Airbus into a corner.

Boeing didn't stop at the 787-10, it proceeded forward with its 777-300ER with a refreshed and updated version for its customers, and then announced the 777-8 and 777-9, while bracketing Airbus further into a dismal position. It now is scrambling on point by considering a second stretch for its A350 family with a A350-8000 consideration, where it will may be announced at the next big airshow in 2016. 

The prototypical thinking by Airbus has finally sunk all its chips on the A350 for saving the dying A380 orders as the 777-9 may undercut the A380 market entirely. Emirates made a huge 777-9 order when it plans on retiring of some of its A380's when it receives the newly minted 777-9's in 2019.

The counter by Airbus is an A350-8000 for saving its own wide body episode from Boeing's long planned bracketing with its family of aircraft. First type dying will be the A380 and then any forlorn attempt by Airbus countermeasure is for making an A350-8000. The 8,000 would not beat the 777-9 but it would beat the 777-8 seat count. However, with a distancing measure, Boeing would win over any A350-8000, but Airbus only wants a place at the table and would concede distance battle to Boeing. There are other obstacles confronting Airbus such as Boeing's patented folding wing.

Boeing long ago planned the war against Airbus and made plans with proprietary design points. Airbus could not match or even use it for engineering a long distance wing. 

An Airbus A350-8000 wing would not be a folding wing. A wing of this type allows its 777's to slot into airports as before they would not have to modify any jet ways. Airbus would have to slot its A350-8000 into the same slots built for its A380 causing a problem with airport congestion, if Airbus reaches any sales orders for its proposal. They would definitely not have a folding wing which would open up all the world routes flown by the 777-300ER and future 777-9's. 

Not having a folding wing could be an Airbus show stopper, as Boeing had to conceive and patent the folding wing, as it knew from studies, it could not change customer airports just because of the 777X family of aircraft large wing configurations. The A350-8000 must have an “airport compliant wing” not limiting where it could dock its aircraft. The A350-8000 becomes a desperate effort by Airbus to save both its A350 family and A380 stand-alone, and that is asking too much out of its one underperforming aircraft and not having a wing to go the distance against the 777-9's entry into service during 2019.