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Il futuro Boeing 777x

Inviato: sab 30 mar 2013, 07:43:58
da belumosi
Aspire Aviation ha pubblicato un dettagliato articolo sul futuro Boeing 777x. Suggerisco di guardare l'articolo originale al link postato in fondo, dove ci sono foto, diagrammi e tabelle comparative.
Boeing ha anche diffuso un rendering del 777-9, che a me sembra davvero molto bello.



By Daniel Tsang March 28, 2013 2 Comments 9

GE9X to feature 16 blades, versus 18 on GEnx engines
Folding wingtip to be operated hydraulically
Folding wingtip to improve lift-to-drag by 12%
Folding wingtip 800lbs weight penalty, against 777-200′s 3,200lbs
777X to remain ICAO Code E aircraft on aprons
787-styled tail fin, elimination of overwing exit confirmed
Elimination of overwing exit saves 1,000lbs of weight
787-styled larger dimmable windows, lower cabin altitude being studied
777-8X & -9X range boosted to around 8,100nm
777-8X to compete with A350-1000, banks on commonality advantages
Now that the development of the 787-10X has slowed owing to the worldwide grounding resulting from a fire onboard a parked Japan Airlines (JAL) 787′s lithium-ion battery in Boston Logan International Airport on January 7 and another smouldering one on an All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight on 16 January, the proposed highly fuel efficient A330-300 replacement may now be eclipsed by its bigger siblings, a major revamp to Boeing’s hot-selling long-haul twin-engine 777 family. As the upgraded big twin, dubbed the 777X, edges closer to obtaining authority to offer (ATO) from the Chicago-based plane-maker’s board of directors as early as its next meeting in April according to an Aviation Week report, a mini-jumbo war looms over the horizon with its arch-rival Toulouse, France-based Airbus offering its 350-seat A350-1000 aircraft.

“I think they are ready to go on that. I am hoping that within the next two or three weeks, we will engage with Boeing almost on a formal basis,” Emirates president Tim Clark was quoted as saying.

As the beleaguered 787 Dreamliner programme is currently squarely focused on returning the 50 delivered examples to commercial service, of which the game-changing aircraft’s three-layered permanent battery fix has enabled line number (LN) 83, an example destined for LOT Polish Airlines, to return to test flight this Monday which is due to perform a US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification flight later this week, the progress being shown on the 777X programme is in stark contrast to the relatively slow one at the 787-10X development effort.

For instance, Boeing has appointed Bob Feldmann as vice president (VP) and general manager (GM) of the 777X on 9th March, who is succeeded by Keith Leverkuhn on the re-engined 737 MAX narrowbody aircraft programme as vice president (VP) and general manager (GM), while General Electric’s (GE) proposed GE9X engine offering has been selected to be the sole-source engine supplier to the aircraft, extending an exclusivity contract the world’s largest engine manufacturer has had with Boeing since 1999.

“On the 777X, things are accelerating. The configuration is looking good. The big question is affordability and the business case, making it affordable for us to build and the airlines to buy,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) vice president (VP) of marketing Randy Tinseth said at the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) conference in mid-March.

777X looks to adopt more 787 features
A selection of the General Electric GE9X as the sole-source engine supplier of the 777X is a long-time coming, after Pratt & Whitney (P&W) pulled out from the competition this January. Pratt & Whitney (P&W) offered a scaled-up 100,000lbs version of its geared turbofan (GTF) engine featuring a groundbreaking fan-drive gear consisting of 7 moving parts with journal bearings that allows the engine fan to rotate at a speed 3 times slower than the low-pressure turbine (LPT), thus maximising propulsive efficiency.

For Rolls-Royce, while being dealt with a blow on the engine decision, the loss is arguably limited as the competitive landscape in the widebody engine market has in fact changed little with its exclusivity on the A350-1000 over its Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engine and its virtual monopolistic position on the smaller -800 and -900 variants with Trent XWB-75 and -79 for the smallest shrunk variant and Trent XWB-84 for the baseline -900 variant.

“This decision simply maintains the existing situation in the widebody market in which we are the market leader with over 50% share. We are confident that the proposal we put forward was extremely competitive,” a Rolls-Royce spokesman asserted to Reuters.

Rolls-Royce offered a 337cm (132.5in) RB3025 engine that will slash the engine specific fuel consumption (SFC) by around 10% against the GE90-115B engine on the existing Boeing 777-300ER and provide 99,500lbs of thrust with a bypass ratio of 12:1 and an overall pressure ratio (OPR) of 60:1; while the GE9X will have a fan diameter of 131.5in and a third-generation twin-annual pre-mixing swirler (TAPS III) which will see the high pressure compressor ratio boosted from 23:1 to 27:1 and the overall pressure ratio to 61:1 from 42:1 and feature a 10.3:1 bypass ratio. The GE9X will have 16 blades compared to GEnx’s 18 blades while featuring improved fibre and resin system, which includes the use of ceramic matrix composite (CMC). These will make the GE9X having a 10% lower engine specific fuel consumption (SFC) than the GE90-115B engine.

The new core of the slightly more than 100,000lbs GE9X powering the 407-seat 777-9X will have its first test run as early as 2014 and a final design freeze known as “Toll Gate 6″ will take place in 2015 and its first engine to test (FETT) in 2016, flight tests aboard the engine-maker’s Boeing 747-400 flying testbed in 2017 and engine certification in May 2018, Aviation Week and flightglobal have reported.

In nailing down its engine choice and being very close to “Toll Gate 3″ authority to offer (ATO), Boeing has reached significant milestones in bringing the 777-9X to the market and upping the ante which is going to spark a new mini-jumbo war.

“This decision to work with GE going forward reflects the best match to the development programme, schedule and airplane performance. We are studying airplane improvements that will extend today’s 777 efficiencies and reliability for the next two decades or longer, and the engines are a significant part of that effort. Our focus is on providing the most competitive offering to our customers in the large twin aisle market,” Boeing 777X development vice president (VP) and general manager (GM) Bob Feldmann commented.

Meanwhile, the Boeing 777X looks to adopt more 787 features in ways more than one, starting from its signature supercritical carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) wings.

The 71.1m (233.4ft) “4th-generation” carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) wings are going to feature a folding wingtip on its outermost 11ft (3.35m) with a hydraulics actuator and a piano-type topside hinge. Two hinges will be located at where the front and rear wing spars meet the top wing cover and locking pins are going to be featured where the spars meet the lower wing cover. This design, Aspire Aviation‘s multiple sources at Boeing say, remains very similar to a “major scaled-up” version of the CFRP replacement wings for the Northrop Grumman A-6E Intruder fighter jet in the 1980s with “no moveable parts” and excludes the ailerons, although there appears to be an “alternate design” lately. The hydraulics mechanism of the folding wingtip, the sources insist, is “so simple” and “proven” that there is unlikely to be any implications on maintenance cost, while claiming the folding wingtip is of an “acceptance issue”, not a technological one. The folding wing will be certified in the “folded-up” position, with the deflection of ailerons and spoilers easily compensating the imbalance of lift should a folding wingtip ever fail in flight.

This folding wingtip, along with a 787-styled wing, is going to enable Boeing to achieve a 12% improvement in lift-to-drag (L/D) ratio with a minimal weight penalty at 800lbs (362.8kg), compared to the 3,200lbs (1.45 tonnes) weight penalty associated with the original folding wingtip design studied on the 777-200, while adding 30m² (322.9ft²) wing area added to the 777-300ER’s one of 436.8m² (“Boeing 777X & 787-10X unfazed by 787 battery woes“, 14th Feb, 13).

A noteworthy point is, while there have been suggestions that the 777X does not require a folding wingtip at all recently citing the preparations airports around the world have already made for International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Code F aircraft such as the Airbus A380 superjumbo and Boeing 747-8I Intercontinental, which includes airplanes with a wingspan between 65m (213.3ft) and 80m (262.5ft) whereas the ICAO Code E category to which today’s 777-300ER belongs includes those planes with wingspans between 52m (170.6ft) and 65m (213.3ft), the folding wingtip design is deemed as “central” to the 777X’s business case in Boeing’s view, Aspire Aviation‘s sources at the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer say.

Serving a large number of airports, including those smaller ones served by the 777-300ERs such as Seattle Tacoma International Airport, Glasgow and Newcastle in the United Kingdom, Dublin airport in Ireland is crucial to maintaining the appeal of the 777X and that while airports have widened taxiways and added A380-compatible gates such as Dubai International’s dedicated A380 terminal at Terminal 3 with 20 gates, the expected large number of 777X at airports such as Los Angeles International Airport’s Tom Bradley International Terminal and Hong Kong International Airport where there are 9 and 5 A380-compatible gates, respectively, will render the accommodation of numerous Code F 777X aircraft, rather than a Code E one, relatively difficult.

As it currently stands, the 777-9X and -8X will have the same wingspan as today’s 777-300ER and -200LR at 64.8m (212.7ft) and be categorised as Code E aircraft on the tarmac and taxiways while becoming a Code F aircraft once it is on the runway.

Besides the 787-styled wing, however, several 787 features being studied may ultimately find their ways onto the 777X subtly.

Among the likely features being sold to airlines’ 2 customer working groups, which feature Dubai-based Emirates Airline, International Airlines Group (IAG) subsidiary British Airways (BA) and Japan Airlines (JAL) and more, one to be held in June and another in October or November, are 787-styled displays in the cockpit featuring large liquid crystal display (LCD) panels and an electro-chromatic dimmable windows identical to those featured on the 787 Dreamliner.

Other features being borrowed from the 787 include larger windows and a lower cabin altitude, although these concepts appear to be at an earlier stage than the 787-styled cockpit displays and internal widening by a thinner cabin wall to accommodate a 10-abreast cabin configuration more comfortably.

“We think there’re ways to provide more space and a bigger cabin for the customer without changing the outside dimensions of the airplane. We’re looking for a more comfortable 10-abreast,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) vice president (VP) in marketing Randy Tinseth said on the sidelines of the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading (ISTAT) conference in March.

On the other hand, while the fuselage material choice remains wide open in selecting either the traditional aluminium or 3rd-generation aluminium-lithium for the 777X, Aspire Aviation believes choosing Alcoa’s 3rd-generation aluminium-lithium that will reduce weight by 12% and 6% reduction in skin friction is pivotal to providing a larger window size and lowering the cabin altitude despite the higher cost involved.

Crucially, 3rd-generation aluminium-lithium technology is a proven and mature one that is readily available today, such as Alcoa’s Al-Li 2060-T8E30 product has an around 16.7% higher specific strength than the Al 2524-T3 used on today’s 777 to around 175 MPa/(gm/cm³) from its predecessor’s 150 MPa/(gm/cm³), with a higher stretch formability. Moreover, choosing the aluminium-lithium for the 777X will require no change in production tooling but only a change in coating, a misconception disproved by Spirit AeroSystems’ 737 rear fuselage panel using the Al-Li 2060 material with existing production tooling.

Besides, an artist’s rendering of the 777-9X recently released by Boeing shows a 787-styled vertical stabiliser in addition to featuring 4 Type A doors, thereby confirming Aspire Aviation‘s previous report that eliminating the overwing exit will save 1,000lbs (453.6kg) while stretching the separation between the exit doors to a maximum of 60ft (“Boeing chooses largest wingspan for 777X“, 26th Jul, 12).

A350-1000 competition: Will the market move on?
These innovative features adopted from the 787 Dreamliner will, when combined, make the 76.48m long 407-seat 777-9X an unparalleled aircraft with an unbeatable seat-mile costs in the 350-400 seat segment, while burning 21% less fuel per seat and having a 16% lower cash operating cost (COC) than the 365-seat Boeing 777-300ER.

With a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 344,000kg, the 777-9X is going to create a new niche in the marketplace. It also symbolises Boeing’s belief that sustained growth in long-haul international traffic will lead to the market moving onto a new niche which is a notch above today’s 350-seat segment while a notch below the very large airplane (VLA) segment such as its 467-seat Boeing 747-8I Intercontinental.

This big bet could make or break the success of the 777-9X, which increasingly looks similar to a one-to-one replacement for the ageing global fuel guzzling 416-seat 747-400 fleet while offering growth opportunities for airlines by up-gauging modestly from the 777-300ER without compromising either flight frequency, a criterion underpinning premium airlines’ business model, nor the capability of carrying a large amount of underbelly revenue cargo.

The stakes are high – long-haul traffic is forecast to grow by 5.2% a year over the next 20 years, representing 7,950 twin-aisle airplanes at US$2.1 trillion that will be contested by both the Airbus A350 XWB (Extra Wide Body) aircraft family, the 787 and the 777X families.

In particular, the market which both of the A350-1000 and 777-300ER are in, is highly lucrative, with the 777-300ER variant accounting for 152 of 202 orders in the best-ever year for the 777 programme in 2011, when Emirates announced an additional order for 50 777-300ERs. In 2012, the 777-300ER accounted for 73 out of 75 sales of the long-haul big-twin and it has won an order for 10 777-300ERs from Air Lease Corporation (ALC) and 1 from American Airlines (AA) this year. Since its launch in February 2000 as yet another “777X” back then, the 777-300ER has racked up 687 orders with 303 unfilled orders at press time.

In response, Airbus redesigned its 350-seat A350-1000 with a larger engine core producing 97,000lbs of thrust instead of the 93,000lbs originally envisaged, a larger wing and a higher maximum take-off weight (MTOW) from 298 tonnes to 308 tonnes which saw its range being increased to 8,400nm (nautical miles) while boasting a 25% fuel saving over the 365-seat 777-300ER with 53% of its airframe being carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP). Entry into service (EIS), however, was postponed to 2017 from 2015 as a result.

The European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. (EADS) wholly-owned subsidiary is also mulling a second final assembly line (FAL) to boost the A350-1000 output specifically in order to satisfy anticipated customer demand, declaring that it now expects to garner 70-80 A350-1000 sales per year versus the 40-50 previously assumed. The A350-1000 has won significant customer endorsements recently, first from Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways ordering 24 A350-1000s, then Qatar Airways switching 20 A350-800 orders for 3 additional A350-900s and 17 additional A350-1000s of which the latter has boosted its order total for the largest A350 XWB variant to 37, and Air Lease Corporation (ALC) ordering 5 A350-1000s this February.

“I would like to believe that sometime this year we’ll be able to make a decision to do that,” Airbus chief operating officer (COO) customers John Leahy said in a Bloomberg interview.

Interestingly, initially the business case of the 353-seat 777-8X is thought to be considerably less robust than that of the -9X, with the lower-end segment below the 7,100nm range being cannibalised and undermined by the proposed 323-seat 787-10X aircraft (“Launch of Boeing 787-10X has implications on 777X“, 22nd Oct, 12). However, Aspire Aviation understands that Boeing is now going to utilise the 777-8X to compete head-to-head with the A350-1000 while its 777-9X will reflect shifting market dynamics and create a new market in its own.

The 69.55m long 353-seat 777-8X is going to be powered by a derated around 90,000lbs General Electric GE9X engine and has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 315,000kg, which will have an around 14-16% lower block fuel burn per seat absent the higher seat count on its bigger sibling that shaved 5% off the block fuel burn per seat measure alone.

Make no mistake, while the 777-8X will have a considerably heavier airframe and hence structural weight and that the Airbus A350-1000 is going to have the lowest block fuel burn per seat on 350-seaters, the 777-8X nonetheless has a higher maximum take-off weight (MTOW) at 315t against the A350-1000′s 308t providing more uplift and carrying more passengers and revenue cargoes despite its shorter range along with the 777-9X at 8,100nm (nautical miles), upped from 8,000nm recently, according to Aspire Aviation‘s multiple sources at the Chicago-based airframer.

Despite a higher block fuel burn per seat, one advantage the 777-8X holds over the A350-1000 is commonality among its family members, as the 777-8X shares the same carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) wing with the -9X of a wing area of 466.8m² compared to the 777-300ER’s 436.8m², whereas the A350-1000′s wing area is 4% larger than that of -800 and -900 at 460.7m² against the smaller variants’ 443m² through an extension of trailing edges and high-lift devices. In addition, Boeing contends that each A350 variant is now an individually optimised platform, which will lead to a lower commonality across the variants, especially after adopting a larger engine core notwithstanding the 80% commonality in line replaceable unit (LRU) between Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 and XWB-84, XWB-79 which will inevitably push up maintenance cost.

With the Asia/Pacific region driving future growth, in which traffic, measured in terms of revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), for the region is expected to grow by 6.4% annually, outpacing the expected fleet size growth of 5.5% per year, that implies the average number of seats per airplane is going to grow, according to Boeing’s latest 2012-2031 current market outlook (CMO) forecast.

This trend is already becoming more pronounced, with airlines worldwide reporting a 1% increase in the number of flights leading to a 3% increase in seats in March 2013 year-over-year, according to an OAG Facts report. Airbus also predicted in its global market forecast (GMF) 2012 that between 2012 and 2031 passenger traffic will grow by 150% from 5.1 trillion revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) to 12.8 trillion RPKs whereas passenger aircraft fleet will only grow by 109% during the same period.

This will bode well for the business case of the 777-9X, which will build on the strong customer base the 777-300ER already has, and be particularly attractive for airlines seeking a direct 747-400 replacement and those who seek to tap into the growing markets of the Asia/Pacific and Latin America regions such as China, India, Indonesia and Brazil.

Customers are already clamouring for the 777-9X, with Dubai-based Emirates Airline operating 86 Boeing 777-300ERs as of end-January and has another 66 on backlog at press time. By the time the 777-9X enters into service in mid-2019, Emirates says it will have some 40 examples to be phased out.

“If you look at the total number, it is 175 that have got to go out. Boeing is looking at a long delivery stream of [777] replacements. But by the time it comes to market there will be 40 or 50 Emirates aircraft which will have been [ready for retirement], so they are obviously identifying that as an initial order,” Emirates president Tim Clark said in Reuters interview.

International Airlines Group (IAG) subsidiary British Airways (BA) is also enthusiastic about a potential 777-9X order, given its 12 Airbus A380s will not be sufficient to replace all of its ageing 54 fuel-guzzling Boeing 747-400 fleet, which would entail the having 777-9X replacing around 30 747-400s.

“Based on what I have seen, it is almost inevitable that it is an aircraft that we will have in our fleet at some stage. It looks like a perfect fit for some of what British Airways (BA) would require. We don’t have an immediate issue, but given the delivery timeframes, we are not looking to delay [the decision],” International Airlines Group (IAG) chief executive Willie Walsh told Aviation Week.

“We have been in detailed discussions with both manufacturers and the engine suppliers in recent months, and we have as much visibility at this stage about what options are available to us as we are likely to get,” Walsh commented.

In the meantime, Japan Airlines (JAL) is reported to be studying an order for 20 A350-1000s, despite being an active participant in the 777X customer working group and operating 13 Boeing 777-300ERs, while Philippine Airlines is eyeing an order for 20 777-9Xs.

“It depends on the price. We are looking at the new Boeing 777X. We may buy 10 and, if it performs well, we’ll exercise an option for 10 more. That’s larger, can carry 400 passengers with longer range. The new 777, they call it X because it’s lightweight, has bigger wings, newer engine,” Philippine Airlines president Ramon Ang was quoted by Reuters as saying.

While such a Japan Airlines (JAL) order would be a significant endorsement for the A350-1000 and a severe blow to Boeing, Aspire Aviation thinks it makes more sense for JAL to operate both the 353-seat 777-8X and the 407-seat 777-9X in light of commonality consideration, which reduces maintenance and training costs, as well as securing Japanese suppliers’ work share on the upcoming 777X. Indeed, the need for diversifying its supplier base to include Airbus in its fleet is highlighted by the recent 787 groundings, but the marginal benefit of operating such a small fleet of A350-1000s remains questionable given the significant investment required to train and switch its allegiance to Airbus.

Other potential 777X operators include Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific Airways, which will eventually has a 50 unit strong 777-300ER fleet and a 26 unit A350-1000 fleet alongside 22 A350-900s as Asia’s largest international carrier pursues growth in the key China market and North American market.

A closer look at today’s 777-300ER order book reveals how bright the market potential of the 777-9X is, with Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) having 19 777-300ERs in its fleet, American Airlines (AA) 20, Etihad Airways 18, Eva Air 18, General Electric Capital Aviation Service (GECAS) 47, International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) 28, Singapore Airlines (SIA) 27, just to name a few. It would fit into Air China’s fleet ideally, which has ordered 2 additional 747-8I Intercontinentals this month in addition to the original order for 5 examples.

Separately, Pratt & Whitney (P&W) is reportedly looking to build a 100,000lbs geared turbofan (GTF) engine for the A350-800s and -900s, which will challenge Rolls-Royce on the aircraft and enable the A350 to have the potential to reap the benefits from a technological breakthrough.

“As Pratt & Whitney looks ahead to powering future widebody applications, we will scale the geared turbofan architecture to the required thrust levels. We continue to keep all airframers informed of our progress on the PW1000G family, including studies with Airbus for potential widebody applications,” a Pratt & Whitney (P&W) company spokesman was quoted as saying.

“One should not walk away saying Pratt has focused on being only a single-aisle manufacturer. We are heavily investing in technology for the widebody thrust class and we continue to be very positive on taking a geared turbofan architecture up to 100,000 pounds of thrust,” Pratt & Whitney (P&W) vice president (VP), next generation product family Bob Saia said.

“The decision that we made on the 777X is that it didn’t meet our base criteria for us to be able to go forward and be able to submit a proposal. That’s not to say that if something changed, or if another widebody application were to come up with the right timing, that Pratt would take the same position,” Saia explained.

Though Aspire Aviation thinks it is too little, too late for Pratt & Whitney to break into Rolls-Royce’s stranglehold on every A350-800, -900 orders as well as its exclusivity on the -1000 variant, since it would be considerably easier for airlines to maintain a common engine supplier across different members of an aircraft family to save maintenance cost by maintaining a common spool of spare parts, let alone its financial resources would be strained by the development of a series of narrowbody GTF engines, including the PW1700G and PW1900G designed for Embraer’s re-engined and re-winged second-generation E-Jets.

777-9X undermines VLAs’ business cases
One might wonder whether or not with the growth in the number of seats outpacing the growth in the number of flights, as well as Airbus’ forecast that the number of aviation mega-cities will grow from 42 in 2011 to 92 by 2031 where 95% of long-haul traffic will pass through, that ordering the Airbus A380 superjumbo or 747-8I Intercontinental would make commercial sense.

However, Aspire Aviation firmly believes that the 777-9X will invariably undermine the business cases of both the Airbus A380 and 747-8I Intercontinental and operating such a type will bring several significant benefits to airlines.

First of all, very large airplanes (VLAs) are arguably more susceptible to uncertainties and volatility, more than aircraft of other sizes, thereby carrying significantly higher risks. Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) A380 Suite was reported to have been suffering from poor loads during the 2007-2009 global financial crisis which prompted the carrier to heavily discount its fares, thus diluting yields.

Worse yet, the fact that airlines are making their A380s the flagship of their fleets, by adopting a comfortable configuration such as Korean Air’s 407-seat configuration, the lowest of any A380 seat count and equipped with an all-business class upper deck that is also found on Singapore Airlines’ 409-seat A380s and SIA’s 471-seat A380s and British Airways’ 469-seat ones, may have inadvertently lowered the cost per available seat kilometre (CASK) unit cost advantage that a 525-seat A380s would otherwise hold, since CASK generally decreases as the seat count increases.

Coupled with the discounting involved in order to fill the A380 should seasonal, economic and other factors affect the demand for a particular flight adversely, this will lead to a higher break-even load factor (BELF) as BELF = cost per available seat kilometre (CASK) / yield, of which the yield is defined as revenue per revenue passenger kilometre (RPK).

“We don’t need to make a decision about [our 6 A380 orders] now, it very much depends on the state of the global economy and the oil price. It’s a lovely quiet aircraft but it’s very big and you need to operate it on some very big trunks and you need to have a big enough fleet – we always knew we’d have a small fleet and is that fleet too small? And that is a challenge for Virgin Atlantic but it’s not something we need to worry about right now,” then Virgin Atlantic chief executive Steve Ridgeway said in an Airline Business interview.

Next, the flexibility that the 407-seat 777-9X offers is unmatchable by its VLA peers, especially for carriers based on a frequency business model such as Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific. Airbus countered that examples shown by Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Air France have demonstrated the A380 can save airlines dollars by, in SIA’s case, substituting 10 278-seat Boeing 777-300ER flights per week on the Singapore-Paris Charles de Gaulle airport route for 7 471-seat A380 flights per week will lead to a 3% lower cash operating cost (COC) per week and a 21% lower COC per seat, thereby saving US$7.9 million a year while offering 27,000 additional seats. Similarly, the example with Air France showed a saving of 18% in COC by substituting 1 777-200ER and 1 A340-300 flights with an A380 flight on the Paris Charles de Gaulle airport-New York John F. Kennedy airport route.

Such a saving, proponents of the superjumbo argue, could be made on Cathay Pacific’s 5 daily flights to London Heathrow, where a pair of 2 flights, CX255 and CX251, depart 1 hour after each other and another pair of 2 flights, CX239 and CX237, depart in 20 minutes of each other.

Yet such an analysis conveniently ignores the revenue foregone in spillover demand, where price-inelastic last-minute walk-up business travellers pay the full face value of the airfares, i.e. at a premium, as economic theories state that closer the actual departure time to the preferred departure time, the more likely it is a carrier is able to command a premium and convert potential demand into actual demand. This takes place on the Hong Kong-Sydney route, where Cathay Pacific offers 4 daily flights while Qantas has trimmed its flights from twice-daily to single-daily, Hong Kong-New York John F. Kennedy where Cathay Pacific flies 3 daily non-stop flights while its closet competitor United Airlines flies single-daily to Newark. Other examples include its Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver routes, just to name a few.

Furthermore, the 777-9X is going to offer unprecedented revenue cargo volume, the sellable remaining cargo space after fully loading passengers’ luggage where profit margin could be as high as 60%-70% as fixed costs are shared with the passengers. Today’s 777-300ER already offers superior revenue cargo volume of 5,200ft³ out of a total cargo volume of 7,120ft³, compared to the 747-8I Intercontinental’s revenue cargo volume of 3,895ft³ out of a total cargo volume of 6,345ft³, whereas the A380 has the smallest revenue cargo volume of 2,995ft³ from a total cargo volume of 5,875ft³. This is crucial as Cathay Pacific carries 70% of its cargo in the underbellies of passenger aircraft.

Therefore, it is not inconceivable that the 777-9X is going to put further pressure on both the A380 and 747-8I to further improve their performance since the 777-9X strikes the “sweet spot” between growth opportunities, revenue cargo-carrying capability, frequency in one fell swoop with a better seat-mile costs than the 747-8I or even the A380 while minimising the risks of having to dilute its yields to fill up its aircraft and the substantial macroeconomic risks.

In conclusion, the 777X has made significant progress lately with its business case strengthening continuously. The 777-8X will take on the A350-1000 fiercely with an advantage in commonality and having a common wing and engine core with its bigger sibling despite the latter will nevertheless be the most fuel efficient 350-seat aircraft. Yet Boeing is betting on a market shift where the 407-seat 777-9X will be the new norm satisfying the growing needs of airlines to carry more passengers and cargoes over a longer distance at 8,100nm using 21% less fuel. With a strong customer base and 787-styled features such as 787-styled large displays cockpit, larger dimmable windows and a lower cabin altitude, the 777-9X is going to lure airlines with growth potential, minimised risks and maximised profits – and magnificence that features a novelty folding wingtip.

As of this writing, the roll-out of the 777-9X is scheduled to take place in the fourth quarter of 2017, followed by a 9-month flight test programme which ends in late third-quarter 2018 and an entry into service (EIS) in mid-2019. The service entry of the 777-8X is being envisaged in 2021-22, while the 9,480nm 777-8LX is still of a low priority at this point.

“We have had strong and productive engagement with a broad set of customers in the marketplace to understand their future needs. We are pleased with where we are in the process. We are aggressively moving forward on our plan and will continue to refine requirements with customers,” Boeing 777X development vice president (VP) and general manager (GM) Bob Feldmann said.

With an imminent authority to offer (ATO) on the 777X, now the race is officially on – both with the 787-10X on launch timing and the A350-1000. Only time can tell if the market will move on or not. ... jumbo-war/

Re: Il futuro Boeing 777x

Inviato: sab 30 mar 2013, 10:11:00
da I-Alex
Interessante, ho letto un po velocemente ma non ho capito quando ci sarà il primo test flight delle versioni x8 e x9...
Comunque a vedere la comparazione con il 773er la versione x8 non mi sembra chissà quale novità

Re: Il futuro Boeing 777x

Inviato: sab 30 mar 2013, 10:34:44
da malpensante
Grazie della segnalazione.

Re: Il futuro Boeing 777x

Inviato: sab 30 mar 2013, 15:49:04
da belumosi
I-Alex ha scritto:Interessante, ho letto un po velocemente ma non ho capito quando ci sarà il primo test flight delle versioni x8 e x9...
Comunque a vedere la comparazione con il 773er la versione x8 non mi sembra chissà quale novità
Se, come sembra, il 777-9 verrà lanciato entro l'anno (qualcuno parla di Aprile...), dovrebbe entrare in servizio intorno al 2019. Immagino i test flight inizieranno circa 18-24 mesi prima.
Il 777-8 lascia un po' perplesso anche me. Anche se avrà un MTOW minore del 777-9, è indubbio che parecchie parti saranno sovradimensionate in quanto in comune con il fratello maggiore (e più pesante).
Potrebbe darsi che il 778 sia pensato anche per ricavarne la futura versione merci e/o quella pax a lunghissimo raggio. In quel caso i pesi sarebbero probabilmente simili a quelli del 779, permettendo uno sfruttamento completo delle potenzialità strutturali.
malpensante ha scritto:Grazie della segnalazione.
E' sempre un piacere. :ciao:

Re: Il futuro Boeing 777x

Inviato: dom 08 set 2019, 19:00:30
da I-Alex
Problemi per i test statici di carico al 777X ... ssion=true

Re: Il futuro Boeing 777x

Inviato: lun 09 set 2019, 17:36:08
da kco ... ng-460729/

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Re: Il futuro Boeing 777x

Inviato: lun 09 set 2019, 17:39:28
da malpensante
kco ha scritto:Boeing stated that development of the ultra-long-range 777-8 will be put on hold, after a review of development schedules and customer needs.
E chissà se riprenderà mai.

Re: Il futuro Boeing 777x

Inviato: lun 09 set 2019, 17:53:41
da kco
malpensante ha scritto:
kco ha scritto:Boeing stated that development of the ultra-long-range 777-8 will be put on hold, after a review of development schedules and customer needs.
E chissà se riprenderà mai.
Si vocifera una versione 10 in luogo della 8

Inviato dal mio WAS-LX1A utilizzando Tapatalk

Re: Il futuro Boeing 777x

Inviato: mar 10 set 2019, 08:32:41
da kco
Da copia di flight international in mio possesso

Boeing's decision to shelve development of the 777-8 while it focuses on recovering the schedule of the baseline -9 variant is unlikely to have a significant impact on the overall programme. However, the move raises questions about the future of the smaller model and could allow the company to refocus the 777X line-up.

Cirium fleets data shows that at 53 orders, the 777-8 represents just 15% of the total 777X backlog. Only three customers - all of whom have all also ordered -9s - have signed for the smaller, ultra-long-range (ULR) variant: Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. This compares with eight buyers for a combined 281 -9s, plus one undisclosed customer for 10, with the variant unannounced.

This year's Cirium Fleet Forecast predicted that 190 777-8s would be delivered through 2038, from 2022. This was when the -8 was originally due to debut - two years after the -9, but both these schedules have slipped.

The 777X family is a major derivative of Boeing's current big twinjet, with fuselage extensions, an enlarged composite wing and new GE Aviation GE9X engines. The -9 had been due to fly earlier this year and enter service in the first half of 2020, and while issues with the GE9X have forced Boeing to push back both milestones, it maintains that it will hand the first over by the end of next year.

With pressure building on the 777-9, Boeing confirmed in August its plan to shelve the smaller variant in the near-term, saying the move to "adjust" the schedule "[reduces] risk in our development programme, ensuring a seamless transition to the 777-8".

But could the -8's shelving become permanent? It certainly cannot be ruled out, says Ascend by Cirium senior consultant Richard Evans.

"The 777-8 arose from the specific need for an aircraft that could carry full payload on routes from the Gulf hubs to the US West Coast. Whilst an important market, it is a relatively small niche," says Evans. "If the airlines concerned see the payload offered by the 777-9 or Airbus A350-1000 as acceptable on these routes, it is certainly possible the 777-8 may be permanently cancelled."

Despite its small orderbook, the -8 offers several crucial future opportunities for Boeing. It is the airframe with which it intended to compete for Qantas's "Project Sunrise" 2023 requirement: an airliner capable of serving London direct from Australia's east coast, with an economical payload. It is also seen as the path to a freighter variant of the 777X, much like the niche-selling 777-200LR was for today's 777F.

While there is no direct competitor to the 777-8 in the Airbus product line, its short-term (or potentially longer) absence "gives Airbus some opportunities to fill slots in 2021-2023", says Evans.

The shelving of the -8 appears to present Airbus an open goal with respect to Qantas, but Boeing has pitched a "compelling option" to the carrier intended to "help manage potential timing issues".

This is rumoured to involve an interim solution using the larger -9 airframe with reduced capacity to around 300 passengers and range extended by incorporating auxiliary fuel tanks, with the optimised -8 version following later.

"I would also assume Boeing is offering a very attractive price," Evans adds.


The development of a 777X freighter is less pressing, but Boeing is already talking about the new model to replace the 777F. Although it is expected to end production of the current 777-300ER next year, 777F deliveries will continue alongside the 777X.

To date, Boeing has delivered 168 777Fs and has 59 on backlog extending out through 2023, according to Cirium.

Speaking at the Paris air show in June, Ihssane Mounir, Boeing's vice-president commercial sales and marketing, said development of a 777X freighter was "the natural progression of the family and then have one production line that has three [777X] models".

"We're talking to our 777F customers in terms of when they would like to us to bring that composite-wing freighter [to the market]," Mounir said.

Ascend's global head of consultancy, Rob Morris, says that according to its Fleet Forecast "a '777-8F' is expected to arrive around the 2025 timeframe, and we see demand for around 290 through 2038".

As Boeing evaluates the revival of the passenger 777-8, it may choose to focus its next efforts on on an even larger "-10" model. When asked about the prospect of another 777X variant by FlightGlobal at Paris, Mounir was guarded, saying: "if it makes sense, we'll look at it".

"In the long run, a bigger variant is more attractive than a niche ULR design with very high empty weight," says Evans. "But it would need to demonstrate lower direct operating cost per seat than the largest 787 and A350 variants to be successful - otherwise airlines will stick with the low-risk option of smaller 300-350-seat types."

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Re: Il futuro Boeing 777x

Inviato: sab 25 gen 2020, 22:32:15
da I-Alex
Finalmente è decollato il primo Flight test dopo il rinvio di ieri per meteo avverso ... d7Cj4AHe50

Re: Il futuro Boeing 777x

Inviato: gio 18 nov 2021, 23:39:04
da belumosi
Esibizione al Dubai Airshow. L'aereo è bellissimo, molto proporzionato nelle varie componenti e con un ala da 72m strepitosa. Sarà la regina degli anni 2030.
PS Non riesco a incorporare il video.


Il futuro Boeing 777x

Inviato: ven 19 nov 2021, 10:31:14
da malpensante
Bellissimo, ma è soltanto troppo grosso per questi tempi, con oltre 400 sedili da riempire, senza un significativo vantaggio di costi rispetto al B787 e all’A350 e dovendo pure fare i conti con i l traffico che non passerà più dagli hub, perché sarà drenato dall’A321XLR.

Può servire a Emirates e a chi ha pochi slot a Heathrow, ma temo che avrà un successo non più che discreto per molto tempo. Dimenticato il Covid, cresciuto il traffico, relegata Greta in Antartide, potrebbe andare per la maggiore dopo, come il 321, che fino a pochi anni fa era un prodotto di nicchia.

Sicuramente avrà successo la versione cargo, quando la faranno e sarà finalmente una bella gara con il nuovo prodotto di Airbus, ma non ho ancora capito come si rimedierà, fra un paio di decenni, alla mancanza della porta frontale dei ritirati 747.

Re: Il futuro Boeing 777x

Inviato: ven 19 nov 2021, 11:05:16
da D960
Concordo con le discussioni sulla quantità di passeggeri trasportati. La cerniera nelle estremità alari può essere una soluzione per occupare meno stand.

Re: Il futuro Boeing 777x

Inviato: ven 19 nov 2021, 13:57:03
da KittyHawk
D960 ha scritto: ven 19 nov 2021, 11:05:16 Concordo con le discussioni sulla quantità di passeggeri trasportati. La cerniera nelle estremità alari può essere una soluzione per occupare meno stand.
È la soluzione, non nuova perché adottata negli aerei imbarcati ancora diversi decenni fa.

Re: Il futuro Boeing 777x

Inviato: ven 19 nov 2021, 14:03:03
da KittyHawk
malpensante ha scritto: ven 19 nov 2021, 10:31:14 Sicuramente avrà successo la versione cargo, quando la faranno e sarà finalmente una bella gara con il nuovo prodotto di Airbus, ma non ho ancora capito come si rimedierà, fra un paio di decenni, alla mancanza della porta frontale dei ritirati 747.
Potrebbero aprire l'intera coda, come nel Boeing 747 LCF Dreamlifter. Resta da vedere se l'aggravio di peso non sarà troppo penalizzante (ci vorrà anche un "puntello" sul retro per evitare i problemi del DC10).

Re: Il futuro Boeing 777x

Inviato: mar 23 nov 2021, 18:22:20
da Tropicalista
Anche io mi chiedo cosa ne sarà nel futuro dopo il 747, per il cargo è un bel punto di riferimento.