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Old 06-12-2007, 09:49 PM   #1  
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Default 737 Replacement Moves to the Right

10 June 2007 - Boeing says 737 replacement not expected before 2015

Boeing expects airframe technology will play as crucial a role as new clean-burning engines in developing a replacement for its best-selling 737, providing a potential advantage over Airbus in the race to design the next generation of single-aisle aircraft.

The two rivals are developing replacements for their 737 and A320 families, which are the workhorses of global airline fleets and account for half of the $3,200bn in aircraft deliveries forecast between now and 2025.

Engine manufacturers are struggling to develop new power plants to meet ever more exacting efficiency standards, as well as tighter emission and environmental demands. Over the past two decades, in contrast, improvements in engine technology have led the way in developing quieter, more fuel-efficient aircraft.

Boeing now believes the new airframe technology, using composite carbon-fibre pioneered on its 787 widebody jet, will be just as important as the engines. The 787 is due to enter service next year but the 737 and A320 replacements are not expected before the middle of the next decade at the earliest.

"I think the introduction of composites has raised the ability of the airframe to make a difference . . . and really puts it on a par with the engine development," said Jim McNerney, chairman and chief executive of Boeing.

Boeing and its partners in the 787 programme already have an advantage over Airbus in building airframes using composites, which replace most of the traditional aluminium structures. The materials are lighter and more durable, and can be assembled faster.

Mr McNerney admitted in an interview with the Financial Times that the American company had yet to finalise the transfer of the 787 technology to developing a replacement for the 737, the world's best-selling commercial aircraft.

The FT revealed last year that Boeing was working with key 737 customers including Southwest, Ryanair and Gol on the replacement, dubbed the 797. "I think the market knows what it wants," said Mr McNerney, pointing to a 20-25 per cent improvement in the operating costs and environmental footprint compared with the existing 737 family.

"The technology component will be slightly different than for the 787. We haven't totally figured that out," he said.



I find this to be an interesting subject since SWA, who has been the icon of the single-type airline has been faced with the 737 going away as early as 2012. Looks like this adds a little more breathing room to this transition.
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Old 06-13-2007, 05:59 AM   #2  
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I'm glad they are finally thinking about stopping the 737 after what will be a 50 year run. They already stopped the 757 line without a replacement in sight. The 757's are getting old. At least the 737's are still being made "new" - if you can call 50's-60's technology "new".
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Old 06-13-2007, 06:21 AM   #3  
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I'm glad they are finally thinking about stopping the 737 after what will be a 50 year run. They already stopped the 757 line without a replacement in sight. The 757's are getting old. At least the 737's are still being made "new" - if you can call 50's-60's technology "new".
50's-60's technology? Good grief man, have you looked inside a 737NG lately? While not on the same level as a 777 it's sure a long way from the eras of Jerry Lee Lewis and the Doors.
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:36 AM   #4  
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Post made by me in April.

The 737/A320 replacement is still about 10 years from entering service. There are several reasons for this. First, the 737/A320 were by far the best selling commercial aircraft of all time. So it is crucial for Boeing and Airbus to get it right. Not only will the 737/A320 replacement have to cover the midsized 737 sized market (about 150 seats), but it will need to cover both the 757/A321/737-900 on the upper end (around 200 seats) and cover the EMB-190, 737-500, A318, DC-9, 717 on the lower end (around 100 seats).

An obvious feature which you will see on both of these aircraft is a lightweight composite structure. Since Boeing is doing this for the first time (on a commercial aircraft) for the 787, if would be in their interest to let the 787 fly for 2-3 years to see what, if any bugs need to be worked out. The other improvement is going to have to be the engines! Weight and engine efficiency are by far the two most important parameters that affect an airplanes efficiency. The field of aerodynamics is already very advanced, and the only significant improvement that can really be made is to use a flying wing body. So while there has been a breakthrough in weight, there has not been a major breakthrough in engine technology. A major advance in engine efficiency is going to be the driver for the launch of the 737/A320 replacement aircraft. Boeing is envisioning a 2015 timeline when this new technology can become available.

This new 737/A320 replacement aircraft is very important for both Airbus and Boeing. Also, expect Bombardier and Embraer to creep in on the lower end of the market. This will be a hard faught competition for this new generation aircraft. This is good news for the airlines, but they need to be patient. Expect about 10 years before they start flying scheduled service.
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Old 06-14-2007, 09:15 AM   #5  
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50's-60's technology? Good grief man, have you looked inside a 737NG lately? While not on the same level as a 777 it's sure a long way from the eras of Jerry Lee Lewis and the Doors.
It's still 60s technology. The overhead panel is almost identical to the -200. Why do I still have to turn off/on the packs manually to start the engines? Why doesn't the fuel balance itself? There are caution lights scattered all over the place, instead of on an EICAS. The temperature probe for the cabin is located inside an overhead bin, good luck trying to keep the F/A's happy...and what's with the "OFF" position on the gear lever?

It is fun to fly though.
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Old 06-14-2007, 11:58 AM   #6  
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It's still 60s technology. The overhead panel is almost identical to the -200. Why do I still have to turn off/on the packs manually to start the engines? Why doesn't the fuel balance itself? There are caution lights scattered all over the place, instead of on an EICAS. The temperature probe for the cabin is located inside an overhead bin, good luck trying to keep the F/A's happy...and what's with the "OFF" position on the gear lever?

It is fun to fly though.
I agree with you.

I've flown the 737-300, -500, -700, -800, & -900. They all suck. Putting "glass" in an old crappy airplane gives you an old crappy airplane with glass. The 757767 is a lot better and it is still old 70's technology. The 767-400 is better (it's basically a 777). The 777 is good, and I hope the 787 is even better.
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Old 06-14-2007, 01:01 PM   #7  
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I agree with you.

I've flown the 737-300, -500, -700, -800, & -900. They all suck. Putting "glass" in an old crappy airplane gives you an old crappy airplane with glass. The 757767 is a lot better and it is still old 70's technology. The 767-400 is better (it's basically a 777). The 777 is good, and I hope the 787 is even better.
Yeah, I guess it is a crappy airplane. That's why Boeing has a backlog of only 1589 737s on order.
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Old 06-14-2007, 01:51 PM   #8  
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Pilots tell me the 73 flies well but the cockpit was and is poorly laid out. From a business perspective, an aircraft that makes money is not likely to be curbed before a really good replacement is ready, as ryane946 says above (nice post). I personally work on systems for this airplane, and I would say from where I am that it will be in production for at least ten more years, and even then, the airframes will remain in service for many additional years.

Last edited by Cubdriver; 06-14-2007 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:45 PM   #9  
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Yeah, I guess it is a crappy airplane. That's why Boeing has a backlog of only 1589 737s on order.

How many of those orders are from pilots? Companies order them because they are the cheapest Boeing available. What is the next size Boeing available? No more 757's. No more 767's. That leaves the 747, 777, & 787. It's easy for Boeing to sell a plane that holds from 112 to 170 people, when they don't offer any other choice. The 737-800's and -900's can make money. The 737's are cheap to operate because the companies have been operating them for decades (parts, pilots, mechanics, training, etc). Pilots can fly 9 different models on one type rating. Not one of those reasons will change my mind that it is a crappy airplane (compared to newer planes). Like I've said, I've flown 5 models of the 737, 2 models of the 757, and 2 models of the 767. In comparison the 737 is crappy.

I don't mind the 737, it's fun to fly, but like its been said, it is an old design in the cockpit. I'll be 737 Captain soon, so I'll have to fly the crappy thing. My other choice is to be a 777/787 FO. Tempting.
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Old 06-14-2007, 10:18 PM   #10  
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Is the 37 really a flying turd? Or are you comparing a pretty good product to a far superior one? Just curious, most of my family has a hand in building the 37's.
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