What is the future of Boeing’s fleet line up? In today’s video, we will go over the current Boeing line up, the opportunities that exist, and the future of the American aviation industry. Now, this is very much my personal opinion; strap in, and let us have a look at the three aircraft of the future.
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In a previous video, I mentioned how aircraft manufacturers have not really brought anything truly game-changing to the market in recent years. Well, now it is time for me to put my brain where my mouth is, and come up with three new aircraft for Boeing’s commercial aircraft lineup from 2030 and beyond.
To start this, let us go over the current state of things with Boeing.
What is the current state of things with Boeing?
Currently, their market can be divided into three sections, the narrow body, the short-haul market, the wide body, the medium-haul market, the long-haul, and the high-capacity market – with a few planes in each to boot. Boeing has actually done this before, with the three project yellow stones for each market segment.
Boeing 737 MAX series
Let us start with the smallest, which is the Boeing 737 MAX series, This has taken over Boeing’s short-haul market, and it is their only offering, compared to Airbus, which has two different planes in the same market, (you can see the video on it here). This plane series has also replaced the Boeing 757 in this space.
Then we have the Boeing 787, which occupies the middle of the market space for Boeing. This plane series has virtually replaced the Boeing 767, the earlier versions of the Boeing 777; it has become a very popular aircraft indeed.
Lastly, we have the long-haul, large aircraft market. Boeing had enjoyed success for a very long time in this space with the Boeing 747, but has now switched over production from the queen of the skies to the 777X. Sales have been a bit slow on the 777X; however, this is not because it is a bad plane. Rather, market forces and an overabundance of second-hand large aircraft on the market – which can only take so many big planes – have led to less sales than previous big planes. The 777X will also be a replacement for airlines looking to upgrade to larger aircraft from the previous 777-300.
Thus, that is where Boeing is, in a rough market segmentation. However, we can already see some cracks with their lineup.
The Boeing 737 series is pretty old, having first been developed well over 60 years ago and suffering for its sins. While the 737 MAX is a great plane on paper, its recent troubles have highlighted issues with its design, and these have led to calls for Boeing to come up with a true 737 successor that is a totally radical new concept.
As for the middle of the market, the Boeing 787 has held down the fort for a long time but we can see an update to the design, such as a 787X or a new plane to fill this space by 2030 or 2040, as by then, new technologies will enable even more incredible flight journeys.
Lastly, the upper market has suffered greatly in recent years with airlines shifting away from a hub-to-hub model and more to a spoke-to-spoke – by passing mega airports like London and New York. Thus, while there will be a demand for larger planes, there will be more of a focus on distance rather than size. Airlines will offer large, comfortable planes that can fly well over 20 hours to link far remote places – just like project sunrise from Qantas which will link New York and London to Sydney, Australia.
We can’t also miss out on the speed factor. With new supersonic aircraft potentially entering the market in the next decade, we might see Boeing restart research on its own concept – or perhaps more likely, buy into a successful firm for its own sales.
What does the future of Boeing look like?
Moving on, what do we imagine here at Found and Explained, concerning the future of Boeing? What would their actual lineup look like?
For the short-haul market, we have a 737 and 787 hybrid, based off the 787-3 model that would fill in the market gap. It would look like the early concept of the Boeing 797, and would fill a similar role for airlines looking for an aircraft between 150 to 250 seats. Thanks to a composite structure like the 787, it would have unmatched fuel efficiency and unmatched range. It will be a direct competitor to the A320neo market. It is likely that there would be three or four variants, a smaller one to cover the 737 Max 8 market, the most popular type, one with a longer range to compete against the A321xlr and lastly, a high-capacity aircraft to fill the middle of the market.
Double Decker 787
Next in line, Boeing would need an aircraft that is an improvement over the Boeing 787. They might find success with a project that was designed ten years ago called the Ecoliner. Essentially, by turning the 787 into a double deck, Boeing would be able to offer double the seating capacity of the 787 for roughly the same economics and greatly plunge the seat price. Or alternatively, and far more realistically I must add, Boeing would develop a twin-aisle mid-tier aircraft that is a step up from the new small plane, filling in the 250 seater market.
Lastly, Boeing would improve on the design of the Boeing 777X for its long-range ambitions, combing both the 777-8 and 777-9 together, to make the perfect, long-range, high-capacity aircraft.
Or perhaps all of this is baloney, and Elon Musk will be flying us anywhere in the world on his rocket in just 45 minutes; with a hyperloop taking us the rest of the way. Like with all things, it can be hard to predict or be sure how exactly these things will pan out, and we could very well be at the dawn of a totally new way to travel.
I am personally holding out for star trek inspired teleporters.
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