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Is it too late for Boeing to develop a mid-range aircraft?

SEATTLE — The American aircraft manufacturer may be reviving plans for a new aircraft to serve medium-haul flights, but the story of the Boeing 757 shows that timing can be everything. ( More...

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canuck44 20
At this point Boeing is unlikely to recover the development costs as Airbus skims the market width the 321 variants unless they down size the 787 model prorating their costs. New technology however will be prohibitively expensive as they recover from the double hit of COVID and the MAX grounding. They have much the same problems competing vs. the A220 products.
Serving their investors definitely paid off well, didn't it. They need to play MAJOR catch up after wasting so much time trying to kill their unions and address the 'Max issue'. They are starting with a whole list of forced errors as they trashed their corporations history. Boeing IS an engineering company. To deny it is just completely devoid of any amount of logic!

Every older Boeing plane that is still flying is a commanding indictment of the past president who patted himself on the back for killing Boeing's engineering ethic. Engineering makes planes fly! Engineering tends to cost money though. Many engineering projects end with nothing salable. Investors do not want to pay for basic research. They want to pay for The Next Big Product, because they get their money back in earnings, and if something they pay for doesn't increase earnings, it's a waste of money.

Ironically, that is why many (most?) nations actually fund basic research so that when it doesn't work out, the business just pays back some of the cost, but if it turns out to be The Next Big Product Ever, the government is a secured creditor, and is paid back over time.

So would I feel better in a new medium haul Boeing plane, or an established Airbus medium haul plane.

Airbus, hands down. (Until Boeing pulls their head out of their investors butts)
Colin Seftel 5
I agree with you. This squawk is also relevant:
And I'm stunned it's not in the negative three digits, or more. Boeing lost its mojo. It lost its way. It got distracted by the flashy lights and shiny things, and crooks realized they could make Boeing their piggy bank. They could literally 'make money' for themselves.

Bad management. They thought they could cut and paste bigger engines on an older plane design, and then bandaid it and together with a compliant regulator, pass it off as good, and ride it as a Gravy Train to the promised land of huge bonuses and more stock buy backs. Easy street...

Boeing was, in essence, mugged by Wall Street.

And now they are killing themselves. Moving all production to South Carolina is a huge mistake. But it means more money for investors and bonuses for 'management'. Sad...
ADXbear 10
They dropped a hugh ball by killing the 757 line as opposed to creation a NEO version..
I LOVE the 757! It's a great plane. I've flown is many of them over the years, and they are comfortable, and easy to fly as pilots have said over and over again. One I read said they should have cancelled the 767 instead. *shrug*

They could have shortened the 757 and saved more money than cut and pasting big engines on the 737. DOH!!!
patrick baker 17
while boeing and its board of directors fiddled and hemmed and hawed, teasing about a decision date, the clock and calandar moved ahead, airbus acted with 321XLR, and orders were taken not by boeing. Many hundreds , if not thousands of airbus orders covering this market will be be placed, many deliveries will have taken place, Jet Blue will be ready to reorder the 321XLR, and boeing is nowhere in sight, except with offerings that may be out of favor in five years, when the unicorn 797 would theoretically first fly. The notion of making a smaller 787 to counter the 321XLR still has the impediment of south carolina construction as a negative. Short the boeing stock, and watch as others get the idea and bet against boeing profitability and relevance.
Erik Radcliffe -7
You are so full of Airbus crap.
Boeing twisted in the wind, trying to find out a way to please their investors, and also coverup the massive issues with the 'Max'. Oh, and spent a lot of time trying to move production to South Carolina to screw their workers, and give the investors more cash. Airbus isn't stupid. They saw what was going on, and reacted. Boeing screwed themselves. Apparently no one can stop Boeing from screwing themselves either. Sad, but Boeing is an ENGINEERING company, and the only thing they seem to think they exist to do now is shower their investors with money made on the backs of their employees.
Phil Caron 14
Since McDonald Douglas executives are in charge of Boeing, don't bet on initiatives for producing new or improved aircraft to meet market needs. They have demonstrated their inabilities in making sound decisions in the past killing McDonald Douglas products and reputation. History is repeating itself and eventually will cause the demise of Boeing. They do not see the need for required skilled workers to perform assembly of aircraft. So what what if the assembly is faulty or tools are left behind as long as they get their bonuses. I used to say "If it ain't Boeing I ain't going", that's changed. I wonder which company aside from Airbus they'll try to take control of to increase their short term goals. Oh wait, there are none. R.I.P Boeing.
jptq63 5
Heck, guess I start with the sort of dumb comment here first, BOEING modernize (well, at least for this time period) and size adjust the 767; i.e. bring in all the composite material like the 787, or heck, maybe even better, like the - hard to say this - the A220 (ok, ok, the C-Series) to minimize new costs / utilize existing stuff and just think of this as planning 30 - 40 years in the future to replace the re-fueling and cargo needs.... Please, though, at least give us 18.5 inch wide seats / horsy saddles as I will find it uncomfortable enough with the 18 inches of row pitch; and god forebid if there is a pregnant woman or my own prostrate / bladder by this time is worn out and needs to keep slipping by someone --- seated or standing or pre-reclined / semi lay-flat in a somewhat vertical orientation -- and I have to slip by someone (man or woman) with a 53 inch waist....
jptq63 2
BTW, make sure there is enough vertical room....
Iain Maciver 4
More of a general question about boeing in Asia where this type of plane could be perfect. What impact will the chinese and russian plane manufacturers have on the market, regardless of segment? Particularly in the Asian market, where Boeing has soiled its reputation.
Derek Vaughn 4
They should have re-engined and redesigned the cabin of the 757 years ago. Wonderful airplane and they wouldn't have had to touch the landing gear. Boeing could have had a market advantage for years in the 180-220 seat category.
Chris B 3
737/800/Max is just too close in passenger capacity to the 757 to make a new aircraft worth developing. A 787 Mini would probably compromise too much to be a player. So Boeing is stuck with its current aircraft until the debt millstone is released.

Then what. 737 composite replacement providing more cargo space improving economics with better passenger profitability?
Brett Gurney 2
I'm sure there were many factors affecting the 757. For me, as configured by or acquired by Aer Lingus - Very tight seating (I'm 5-8, 165 lbs); Flight attendants seemed to struggle a bit with aisle space. So challenging to exit window seat and transit aisle for a trip to the loo, seemed more sensible to hold it than go. Not easy on long flight. So glad Aer Lingus stopped using on my itinerary!
Mike Finley 2
Is in Seattle. Boeing will completely leave Seattle if something in the state and local government doesn't change.
James Simms 2
No one in their right mind would voluntarily move there now. When I was stationed in Korea on a Hardship Tour in 1984-85, I was given a choice of assignments when I returned. Most usually choose between Forts Carson, Ord, or Lewis; I choose Lewis. Feel sorry for military people stationed @ Fort Lewis, NAS Whidby Island, or Joint Base Lewis-McChord & imagine there’s a shortage of people willing to voluntarily go there these days.
darjr26 2
It’s sounds like the article describes a 767-200. Would it make sense to build something that size again?
jhakunti 2
i would expect to see the Boeing SST before anything else new from Boeing at this point. i assume we are forced to only have the 737 Max come out from them until they get over whatever hype they are on with this model of plane.
I would expect to see the Airbus SST before Boeing gets anything new to market! Stick a fork in Boeing, .... they're beyond done, they are overdone!!
Tim Dyck 2
I am sad to say it but I think you are right. Boeing was a great designer and manufacturer of aircraft in the 20th century but we are now well into the 21st century and Boeing is not.
wiregold 2
Boeing could still pull it off if their new plane was significantly more efficient than the AB offering. But if Boeing comes along with a product that merely matches the AB plane then I fear they are too late.
Most airlines are not rushing out to order anything at the moment. But within a year or two the pendulum will swing and airlines will rushing to find planes.
Boeing needs a plane that is both extremely efficient and that has a superior range capability and that would overcome the AB head start.

s2v8377 5
I don't agree with this article that the 757 was the right plane at the wring time. The 757 program is and was a very successful program.

Boeing also certainly revive the 757 far more easily than the article implies. Some new wings, and engines, and a flight deck is far cheaper than a clean sheet design aircraft. I have to imagine being could use many of the same vendors that they use for the 787 and 777X for an updated 757.
Peter Fuller 6
The 757 was a successful program, until it wasn’t. Order volume tailed off. According to Wikipedia, it got only 7 orders over the last four years it was offered, as customers opted for the 737NG or the A320 from that other manufacturer.

A revived 757 with new wings, new engines, new cockpit would essentially be a new airplane in the view of the certification authorities. After the 737MAX debacle, I suspect they won’t easily approve adding a derivative design onto an existing type certificate.
Ren Babcock 9
The MAX was flawed from the get-go. Trying to fit the engines on an aircraft that sat too low to the ground was a fools errand, so to speak. The 757 basic design fits itself to a real makeover that will work, however you still need to consider other options. I agree certification probably won't be on an existing type certificate but from a macro standpoint it won't be the kluge the MAX is and certification should be a whole lot more straightforward.
ken young 1
I see a couple posters below that are obviously pro union. TO the extent where they believe union labor is the be all. The posts have a common and oft repeated theme that unionists have been using for 60 years.."Its management's fault" And "Blame the stock holders"....Its really quite boring.
It is as though the people who actually build and maintain the aircraft score 100% A Plus every minute of every work day.
Boeing used to have a great relationship with Seattle and the State of Washington. That all changed once the politics of the State went rogue left, Taxes skyrocketed, Smart housing" and New urbanism" made housing unaffordable to most of the rank and file workers,
Boeing was attracted to SC for the climate, the Port of Charleston the airport and the Interstate 26 corridor.
Yes Boeing was offered lucrative tax breaks and its stance as a right to work state also made it an attractive location.
cyberjet 1
Given the debacle that has been the MAX and their falling far behind the competition in terms of development, it's fair to ask only half of the original question; "Is it too late for Boeing".
patrick baker 0
boeing: a honerable tradition of making market defining transport airliners: 707, 727, 757, 747, 777, a company that was hijacked by timid executives from an outside entity,and those chickens could not pull the trigger in a timely manner, who now are irrelevant headed toward extinct. Very bad idea to move 787 to south carolina, the land of non-union, lesser competent workers making suboptimal products. Bad idea to pick fights everywhere: with their unions, with Canada, with the FAA. Boeing has a gutter level ranking for corporate competence and manufacturing vision. Wave bye-bye sometime soon...
ko25701 0
SC will end up building all Boeing aircraft. Unions are dead and South Carolina is proof that workers don't need to pay union dues to build safe, reliable aircraft.
Y'all think unions are the answer to everything but clearly it's an antiquated system that doesn't fly amore with the vast majority of Americans.
David Ingram 4
Unions aren't the magic answer. They are the only defense to heartless management decisions. SC will learn.
Alan Dahl 1
I don't think SC can deliver the quality that airlines demand. No one wants a jet that ends up being grounded for quality control issues like many of the SC-build 787s currently are.
jhakunti -3
by and large the only union that served its purpose properly was and is ALPA.
john Gargiulo 1
Boeing will go down similar to Xerox, IBM, New Coke and Kodak, they missed the market and are left with the 50 year old MAX and the 787 that has continuous problems.
Robert Cowling -1
Developing it isn't the problem, finding someone who wants to gamble on their next new plane not being a hot mess of OMG is likely the largest issue.

It will be 'Made in South Carolina', likely, and GOOD NEWS: any tools they find in the plane are a bonus! Apparently meant to offset marred, damaged, and missing parts.
ko25701 6
As if Union workers have never made any mistakes??? Really, which lost tool crashed a 787?
Alan Dahl 4
There are airlines that won't accept South Carolina-built jets and none that feel that way about ones made in Everett.
There are quite a few articles detailing airlines that ARE hesitant to take delivery of South Carolina planes.

They have to go over each plane INSIDE AND OUT, from nose to tail, and through each wing.

What do the find? Tools in compartments in the frame fuselage, and wings. Smashed and marred inside panels, doors, and ceilings. Seats loose, bolts missing, wires unplugged, insulation in places it's not supposed to be. All kinds of issues. Stuff they would expect to be found of Boeing was actually doing any quality checks before the planes leave their facilities.

But google it yourself...
paul gilpin 0
is it too late for boring to ask wall street for permission to develop a mid-range aircraft?



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