19 April 2009

How About Some Thinking Out Of The Box - A Light Long Legged Twin?

(Picture Courtesy of Flight Global.com)

The great Herb Kelleher is loudly demanding a next aircraft of 120 seats for the short/medium haul market. (Read a replacement for the 737-500, despite the less than happy career of the A318)

I am going to go a little further and state what is really required for the development of International Air Transport is a Light Twin with a range of 7,000 miles or further.

Conventional Wisdom says that you cannot get a small aircraft to have the right set of economics under say around 160 seats. However consider what could happen if we had a seat mile cost of a B777ER/A330-300 but in a smaller size.

As we see traffic falling dramatically across the world - the need for a route development and thin market product is needed.

We are seeing both Seattle and Toulouse balk at developing their next gen narrow body twins. So I say - what about a long haul 120-180 seat puppy but with seat mile costs that are comparable to long legged players?

Clearly conventional technology will not deliver such an aircraft. But blended wing unducted fans and other technologies could bring the price point of the DOC of such a plane within reach making the aircraft both green and long legged.

If Obama is keen on restoring some technology impetus (read stimulus) to the US Aerospace industry - this should be something he should push out there. With effectively the US having only a single supplier in the airframe market - its time to inject some lifeblood into the market. Ditto to the Europeans.

For some more interesting pics courtesy of our friends over at Flight Global go here:

Also check out the interview with EasyJet's Andy Harrison:

Good to think out it... now is a good time

1 comment:

Tor Hershman said...