Originally posted by kilcoo316
But Airbus have a few distractions, such as A380, and the A320 replacement.
Boeing have, Y1? or has it been scrapped?
Both Airbus and Boeing have said that their narrowbody replacements will not be available until the latter half of the next decade, so 2015 onward.
They are also hinting that it will be toward the end of that period as well.
Boeing has the 787-8 to get into the air, then it has to solve the design and weight issues with the basic airframe before the 787-9 is scheduled to
go into production in 2012 (three years later than scheduled). Boeing also has to solve the '787-3 question' - are they going to produce it or not,
and if not, then what else are they going to offer?
Boeing has the 747-8 to get into the air, they also have the 777 refresh to bring to the table which is not going to be trivial if they wish for it to
compete against the A350 in any decent form.
Boeing has stated that the 777 replacement won't be happening for the forseeable future - they are sticking with a 777 upgrade.
Boeing also has the 787-10 to sort out - a lot of airlines are asking for something in that area, and currently only Airbus have an offering.
Airbus, on the other hand, have the A380 production to ramp up - this is largely on its way and any minor hiccups won't massively affect anything as
they will be contained within the current A380 workforce.
The A330F program is little more than a refresh of Airbuses 2001 program, meaning the engineering work is pretty much done. I don't forsee any
issues here at all, especially as Airbus already have experience through their MRTT offerings to the Australian Airforce and others - its almost the
Airbus also have the A350XWB to design, and bring all three variants to fruition - I feel that Airbus have the upper hand here, because they are
designing the A350 with the -900 variant as the base, while Boeing has the 787-8 as their base in the family. This means that the 'double stretch'
787-10 will be more of an engineering issue than the A350-1000 as Airbus are doing it straight from the word go.
Airbus are solving the '787-3' issue from the very start as well - they aren't offering any specialised variant of the A350 range in any mechanical
form, but they *are* offering a software restricted version of all three models for a lower MTOW for shorter routes etc. This means parts can be
managed differently (rather than simply using a standard A350 and jsut not loading it to MTOW) and maintenance is reduced.
Airbus are also improving the A330 using the original A350s proposed design enhancements - there was recently a weight increase offered to improve the
range (bringing it very close the 787-800s design range), and with the probability of putting the GEnx or TrentXWB onto the airframe (or even a GTF)
it means that the, already very competitive, offering will be made much more competitive.
The KC-X will affect Boeing more than Airbus - Boeing needs to get the USAF to accept the 767 as the prime aircraft, because the civilian 767
production is pretty much dead at the moment (one airframe a month on average). If, as has happened, the USAF want a bigger aircraft, then Boeing
have a problem.
Both the 777 and 787 lines are full, which means investment to bring second lines to the table would be needed - also, both aircraft are bigger than
the A330, which may actually act against Boeings offering (sure, the USAF wants more capability, but theres a reason they aren't going for the
biggest aircraft anyone in the world can offer... theres a fine line between 'more' and 'too much' and in a lot of peoples opinions the 767
doesn't suffice for 'more' and the 777 is past the line of 'too much'). If Boeing can't get the 767 accepted for the KC-X, it means they have
to close down that line.
Airbus are in a much better position, because they already have experience with setting up production lines in other countries (the China FAL just
came online - theres not much difference logistically between assembling A320s in China and A330s in America) and the airframe is based off an
evolving product rather than a product at the end of its civil life.
Hope that all makes sense.