Saturday, September 23, 2017

The A-350-1100 Must Beat The New 777X Proposals In order to Fly.

Qatar recently indicated it would consider an A-350-1100 if it would beat the new 777X proposition. Looking at the statement suggests Airbus would have to build a super efficient twin engine behemoth. 

There are the normal metrics such as seat mile efficiency, Big body pricing, and capacity for the airplane propose. Currently, Airbus has several models in this arena as shown below in the bullet points. Customer's final configuration requirements will affect both seats and range capability.

  • A-350-900  325 seats, range- 8,100 miles
  • A-350-1000 366 seats,  range 8,000 miles
  • 777-8  350 seats, range 8,700 miles est.
  • 777-9  400 seats, range 7,700 est.

If both are proposing unannounced models then that proposal targets where the final battle will occur and what Airbus must do in order to beat is the theoretical 777-10X. It's a thin market for the 777-10X capability based on seats alone. The range becomes a big item for both makers for these ultimate types.

  • 777-10X  450 seats, range unannounced
  • Wing Length for 7778X & 7779X(unfolded) 235 ft
  • A-350-1100X must jump-up with 80-100 seats from its A-350-1000 standard 366 seating.
  • Wing length for current A-350's is 212.4 feet
Boeing won't announce a 777 10X until its proof of concept (777-9X) goes to market in 2020. The answer with this competition comes as several more airshows pass through without an ultimate twin engine announcement. 

Expect Boeing to go for a new GE engine performance for its 777-10X, before selling the concept to customers. The thin market for super-big aircraft with long range is only for several hundred aircraft and a few customers that may want it. 

Airbus will have to address its wing length for an A-350-1100 as it will be confined with its current A-350 terminal slots. If expands the wing length, it will have to find different parking spaces that would allow longer wings. Boeing thought this problem through as it earlier patented a folding wing tip.

A folding wing tip is the new norm for getting into every substantial airport available with a very big duo aisle aircraft. Airbus will have to come out with a telescoping wing tip for its A-350-1100 unless Boeing already patented such technology😉.

The 777X wing stands at 467 sq. meters and could go longer within an extended folding tip portion by several feet of length if it needs for a proposed 777-10X. The Airbus wing currently has 442 sq. meters, leaving the Boeing 777X wing 5% larger. When Airbus decides if it will go with an 1100 it will need to add some sq. meters to its current wing for meeting flying specifications for something so large. 

The A-380 has a wing area of 845 sq. meters as a comparison. It gains fuel burn efficiency from a massive wing area. Airbus must go large-wing with a A350-1100 if it wants to remain competitive with the 777X regarding fuel burn efficiency.

Having a 212 foot long wing won't cut it for hauling 450 passengers as it needs to compete with a 777-10X. The A-350-900-1000 wings have maximized the engineering in the current models offered. The cost of scaling upward for an 1100 type would not allow Airbus enough worthwhile profit, if they could even sell 200 frames for this type.