Those anticipating a brand-new single-aisle plane to challenge the Airbus A321XLR will have to hold tight for a while longer. Boeing has lately stated that no new 737-sized planes will be introduced over the next decade.
This also means that production of the 737 will continue. But should we anticipate a 737 that outshines even the 737 MAX?
According to Simple Flying reporting, Boeing CEO David Calhoun told investors last week that the company has no plans to release a new model anytime soon. He said no promising new propulsion systems would make designing a whole new airframe worthwhile.
Since planes often stay on the market for a long time, Calhoun wants the next one to be revolutionary rather than rushed through to fill a vacuum. He said that fuel economy and reducing carbon emissions are two of Boeing’s most pressing challenges.
There were rumours that Boeing was already working on a new 797 to compete with the Airbus A321XLR. However, Boeing stated earlier this year that there is currently no product development until appropriate technology breakthroughs are made.
On the other hand, Boeing anticipates that customers like airlines will desire a 20% to 30% reduction in costs compared to current aircraft. While some of this can be achieved through manufacturers’ adoption of cutting-edge innovation, the bulk will almost definitely come via reduced fuel use.
Building a new commercial plane from the ground up is a high-stakes endeavour that demands a lot of money, time, and effort. Like the recent CSeries development by Bombardier, which was hampered by delays, these occurrences are widespread. They can be financially devastating to the manufacturer.
The Canadian company’s losses were piling up, so it sold the programme to Airbus for a symbolic $1. Narrowbody plane sales have surged since Airbus acquired the company that made it, rebranding it as the A220; meanwhile, Bombardier has redirected its attention to business jets.
According to Calhoun, “there won’t be an aeroplane if it doesn’t have a sustainability wrapper around it, if it can’t meet the emissions tests if it can’t give major performance gains.”
Boeing’s newest single-aisle or narrowbody aeroplane is the 737-10, also known as the 737 MAX 10. While it has the same passenger capacity as the Airbus A321XLR, this plane can’t go as far. The MAX can travel up to 6,111 kilometres before running out of fuel, while the XLR can travel up to 8,704 kilometres. As certification for the 737-10 continues, the plane’s debut may be delayed until the summer of 2023.
The 737’s basic structure dates back to the 1960s, but it has undergone numerous upgrades since then. The good old 737 has to be improved to compete with the newer Airbus A320 models, but where and to what extent remains a mystery.
Will Airbus develop a successor to the A320 series of single-aisle planes? If they do, the A350’s technology will likely find its way into Airbus’s next midsize aircraft.