Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Boeing's Red Headed "Step Child", The 757 Replacement

Boeing has gotten itself in a fix as Ollie looks at Stanley with disdain for his latest antic. The ever popular and longed for 757 replacement would solve this Boeing fix. Let us first examine the Airbus case before going in on Boeing's fix and a solution. Airbus has a fully extended the A-321 going to places the 737-9 can't quite reach. They have sold many more A-321's then what Boeing anticipated after the 737 Max -9 was announced. Boeing's secret weapon was retired from production, the 757.

Image result for laurel and hardy
Photo Credit:http://www.rowthree.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Laural-and-Hardy-560x373.jpg

The Boeing 737-900 isn't opening new customer doors, hence comes the argument in favor of the 757 replacement. Boeing current 737 line-up has a gap in its family of aircraft. Some may say a super single aisle compliment for the Max. Others may say a corvette class duo aisle for 200+ seats. The Corvette naming convention comes from a class of fighting ship with littoral functions within its surrounding oceans. Airspace isn't much different. Boeing needs a corvette class aircraft that can span moderate sea basins with ease. The 737-9 becomes stretched out for this purpose. The 757 replacement could fly a range of four to five thousand miles solving the problem.

The argument for Boeing that would make any sense is that such an aircraft would lend into selling more "?" aisle aircraft than anticipated, closing the gap the NEO has over the MAX in total sales numbers. A 757 replacement is centered on the Max family of aircraft having a dual aisle alignment going seven across at Maximum, yet it would have more resemblance to the MAX than the 787. 

This concept would not have a 787-8 or -9 girth but a muted 787 like shape at only 15 feet across instead of about 18 feet across. Further body design could go with a slight oval shape at the passenger seating level while adjusting for more comfort than cramming in more seats. Plastic body is another discussion. However plastic wings is a must have for its engines situated further off the ground than the Max. 

The major fear for aircraft framers, is that airline customers will buy the frame that can hold more passengers than designed, or for even what the human anatomy allows.  Having an extra thousand mile range on this "Corvette" must have some standardized rules imposed, based on the single flight duration capability the aircraft can travel for everyone's health. Greed is killing the cabin space and the passengers.

However, a counter to this troublesome condition of "airline passenger cramming", is designing an aircraft holding only so many seats for its space provided, or provide a regulation based on distance an aircraft can fly per passenger space by using its time in the air. Passenger safety issues comes to mind in my former days, an associate of mine from the government of Ontario, Ca. flew to a meeting we were having in Phoenix, AZ. I came from Idaho. The problem occurred on arrival. His five hours in cramped seating on a single aisle, caused his death. He got up from his cramped 31" pitch seat and he got to the motel, and then stroked and died from a blood clot in his leg. The doctors said, "He sat too long in a cramped condition causing his medical event.

The 757 replacement could make aviation industry waves by making it more difficult to squeeze more passengers in beyond the manufacturer's recommendations. I digress, and I apologize, but the point is making a whole new passenger class of flying from the model constraints itself. If you want to fly with 199 passenger squeezed in on a single aisle then go on a Max. If you want to fly with 210 passengers spread out a little then fly on a "Corvette class". 

This duo aisle MoM concept must lead to selling more single aisles derived from commonality factors from its family of aircraft, both the 737 and 787. The Boeing class concept of aircraft starts with the single aisle class of aircraft. The "Corvette Class" is not technically a medium wide body nor a single aisle experience, but it is truly unique for the passengers, and becomes another important tool for making money without any competition in the market place. The SWA airline model is single aisle only, but this could be a SWA breaker operating like a single aisle, but giving the passenger everything it needs in duo aisle fashion for longer trips.