Friday, September 30, 2016

The 737 Landing Gear Is A NASCAR Restrictor Plate


The super speedways existing for stock car racing are too fast for the engineered race car. Rules came where the fuel would be governed by a restrictor plate, thus keeping the speed limit within race car's design limits for keeping the drivers and fans safer than if they didn't impose a restrictor plate. 

Image result for super speedway crashes


The landing gear on the 737 gives the airplane a ground hugging stance where Boeing has painted itself into a development hole from the Seventies. Boeing needs to break this restriction of engine size in order to compete with Airbus since they are limited by ground clearance on its 737. It has a restrictor plate of sorts from the landing gear back to the engines and it has reached its limits on the top end of performance from a Max engineered configuration.

Boeing must “go long” with a landing gear. They must build a Middle of the Market follow-on for its 737 family and having a 737-10 won't do with the current 737 landing gears. However, implementing bigger engines or a taller landing gear will take too long and too much money for meeting the Airbus challenge of its A-321 market dominance. Additionally, the market capacity is shrinking as the A-321 grows its customers and market routes are filled for this class of aircraft. It's a dilemma Boeing has long recognized and has done little addressing it when building its wide body examples, and while depending on the 757 to hold off the Airbus onslaught. 

The time has come to bite the bullet and address the market segment of the middle of the market even without a plethora of order commitments, it must have confidence to move forward not with a four year delivery window from this point forward, but maybe in six years going forward. 

A four year window says, 737-10 as its “Hail Mary” throw when it needs a robust offering with foundational aspects built for the future. It needs to address a middle of the market aircraft without regard towards any hurried 737-10 response, but instead plug the market gap with a responsible 757 replacement having a range of up to 5,000 miles. It must go white paper with a taller landing gear, bigger engines, and all new technology completing an aircraft by 2022. The Boeing parts bin and suppliers can do it once the bullet announcement is fired sooner rather than later.

A 737-10 offering is just lame with a short landing gear restricting its possibilities.