Farnborough: Boeing reconsiders metal fuselage for NMA as cost remains major challenge
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July 16, 2018 by Unnamed for Leeham News
Boeing has returned to considering a metal fuselage for the New Midmarket Aircraft as an alternative to the ovoid-based composite design that has been the focus for the past two-three years, multiple sources tell LNC.
Boeing hasn't been able to narrow the cost of the composite design to a point where selling the aircraft in the $70m-range is feasible, sources say.
Among the issues
- Composites are more expensive than metals.
- Airlines are still conflicted about what the airplane should be.
- Delta Air Lines wants a "CASM king," with little interest in cargo.
- United Airlines wants more flexibility, including cargo.
- Asian carriers are interested in cargo.
- Boeing still hasn't closed the business case for the NMA.
- The market demand remains a matter of debate. Boeing claims it's between 4,000-5,000 airplanes. Others see it as closer to 2,500, with Airbus capturing a portion of this.
- Boeing sees a major production makeover as one key to the business case, but challenges are significant.
- Tying aftermarket services to sales of the NMA is also a key element.
For more than two years, Boeing officials claimed entry-into-service will be 2024-2025 if the program was launched.
Last year, LNC reported that some airlines and suppliers were told by Boeing a 2027 EIS was ...