Boeing names senior engineer to new small airplane project team: report

Boeing corporate logo. (Boeing)

Although Boeing’s mooted new mid-sized airplane (NMA) is yet to be formally offered for sale, the aerospace giant appears a step closer to a formal launch after the appointment of a senior executive to the internal team studying the development of the aircraft, media reports say.

The CNN Money website reported on Tuesday 777X chief project engineer Terry Beezhold had joined the team looking at the NMA project, which some have informally dubbed the “797”. The report said Beezhold was the second senior executive to be tapped on the shoulder to join the NMA team, which was first established in September.

Boeing has previously said the NMA would be a twin-aisle aircraft capable of flying 5,000nm when carrying 225-270 passengers, which puts the aircraft in between its 737 MAX 10 narrowbody and 787-8 widebody currently on offer.

It would feature a composite wing and fuselage.

Boeing said at the Paris Airshow in June the aircraft could fly in 2023 and enter service in 2025. It has forecast a market demand for as many as 4,000 aircraft in this market segment.

Among those keen on the NMA is Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, who suggested the aircraft would be ideally suited on trans-continental flights between Perth and Australia’s east coast capitals, as well as to upgauge existing flights at the busy Sydney Airport.

“The economics of that on paper look good,” Joyce told reporters in Seattle in mid-October.

“This is where Qantas is probably unique because we want ultra long-range but we also have a huge domestic network, so you want an aircraft unlike the 787s and the A330s which are designed for long range and are heavier than what we want [for domestic flying] so the economics on domestic takes a hit, whereas this aircraft could be the perfect vehicle east-west, into South-East Asia and leveraging the [available] slots [at Sydney].

“And that is something that we are very keen on and are working through.”

Comments

  1. Lechuga says

    The best description of it so far is a long range composite 767-200.

    Would be prefect size for places like Gold Coast, Adelaide & possibly even Perth if more 787s are based out of there.

  2. Craigy says

    Boeing have done this before with the predecessor to the B787 but killed the project due to a lack of interest in the end. Will be interesting what design concepts are released into the public domain as part of the marketing strategy to gain greater interest from lessors and airlines. Question is: Will it be B798 for 225 and a longer B799 for upt0 270. Time will tell I guess

  3. Holden says

    I note the pax spread of 225-270 in the article – is this correct? Only recently it has been listed as 250-270 which always seemed on the larger side, and even at 225-270 pax it’s still big given that some 2 class B772 are only 260 pax.

    As mentioned in previous comments, it still seems however that the actual market-void is a small wide-body that sits in between the sizes offered by B752 and B762.

    That size would effectively provide the North American and European carriers the right low capacity platform across the Atlantic, and similarly would provide carrier like Qantas or Air NZ with the right capacity to target new regional-international services from smaller Australian or NZ centres that are currently un-serviced or under-serviced – like Hobart, Canberra, Newcastle, Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Wellington or Queenstown – either directly in combinations (akin to the SQ service connecting Canberra and Wellington).

    Any larger and the NMA aircraft would seem to be missing the very market it seems to be originally pitched at.

  4. AlanH says

    There’s bound to be some overlap in capacity between the 737 MAX 10 and the 787-8 and -9, but from a pax perspective the widebody would be much more preferable to a long narrowbody on transcontinental and regional flights into SE Asia surely. Bring it on!

  5. Red Barron says

    Could this be a good chance of Qantas being the first operator of a new type to enter service? We saw how yell they generated a buzz around the 787-9 they received yet yrs after so many others were already flying them here.

  6. ESLowe says

    How ironic that such a aeroplane existed in the Boeing production lines until 2004 only to be dropped for lack of demand. Why? – because it had only two engines. And, twin engined aeroplanes were forbidden by government regulations to be more than 60 minutes flying-time from an airport in case engine failure required an emergency landing. Yet these Boeings had a range of 5,000 miles and could, and when the regulations changed DID cross the Atlantic with 250 passengers to secondary airports.