What does that say about Boeing's game on the big stage? It says the 797 will not be built until all options are vetted and all show stoppers mitigated when introducing the next big thing such as a complete 797 proposal. In comparison, the 787 program was a "damn the torpedo full steam ahead" project having a "we will invent any solution when needed" approach to airplane building. After all it got Boeing from 2nd to first place in the great airplane war over its arch rival Airbus. McAllister recognizes with opportunity must come a flexibility to adapt and focus on timeliness to make it ahead of the competition.
Under McAllister's watch expect a deep reach into Boeing's playbook pulling out items more intriguing than just a folding wing. How quickly can Boeing make a clean sheet airplane enter service? How adaptable is that airplane for changing from one capability to another? Most aviation geeks won't have long to wait since the 797 vetting process has endured customer survey after survey these last five years.
What Boeing has learned from its customers is every customer wants what it wants and nothing else. What McAllister proposes is a nimbler response giving every customer what it wants from a gap range aircraft holding between 220-270 passengers. The customer will have to ask what Boeing can do for them in this Boeing faster-nimbler world.
McAllister wants all options or possibilities on the table with a timeline to get it done. His timeline becomes the control point for any new program. Divisions, such as R&D, will have to become nimbler and think beyond the concrete blocks holding the corporation up. To become nimbler any Boeing sub organization must have a road map through or around corporate road blocks, challenges and innovations where it must produce results or become a modern relic.
The other denominator in this formula, is speed with validation. New concepts will have to use everything in Boeing's box already developed and proven before even plugging it into the Boeing concept. The 797 must have an engine family capable of addressing the various customer needs. It stands to reason a one engine maker offering will be applied to a 797 once an engine is chosen. A gear driven engine option would not of been available with a McAllister plan. Airbus is paying for that side bar with PW woes on its gear driven example.
Therefore, the usual suspects are what's for diner at a Boeing board room for an engine choice. GE and Rolls will have to come up with nimble option before hanging an engine on a customer's wing. What an engine maker will need to know is weight and distance required for a 797 order from the customer. The customer orders a 240 seat 797 for 5,000 miles an engine is available for that purpose. The customer may want a 270 seat version, hence another engine pairing is for the 270 seat and range purpose. What if a current 797 service frame changes its use for customer's new purpose? Out comes the seats and on comes new engines for a range and weight change of an in-service aircraft.
That sounds like a nimbler idea in the above scenarios mentioned. The other item is how fast could these plug and play options be developed within a clean sheet design? Boeing is almost there for the 797, except waiting for more data on what it customers want in a 797. McAllister steps in again and smirks about a plug and play concept aircraft within its range of operation and for what a particular customer wants. The "what ifs" becomes a Boeing design motif.
The 797 must transform as the need changes for its customers. The ability to radically reconfigured a 797 is a selling point for each airline to consider. Boeing can make it faster and nimbler for each customer.