Boeing Has Decided To Replace Their Infamous 737 MAX by 2030
Boeing is currently hard-pressed to contain the fallout caused by two recent fatal crashes of its short-haul plane 737 MAX. Many experts believe that the problem with this plane is that, though it is fitted with modern technology, its basic design is from the 1960s.
Industry experts, including many in Boeing, acknowledged that the design was becoming economically and technologically obsolete. The company, therefore, commissioned the design and scheduled release of the new plane for 2030. Boeing acquired a patent for this design as far back as 2009.
The intervening crisis has made Boeing consider pushing the launch forward to help it shore up its reputation and remain competitive against Airbus and other competitors.
Features of the Replacement Plane
The design that was patented in 2009 will have gone through some modifications by the time the plane is launched.
It will be a narrow body composite plane, meaning the plane will be lighter than other Boeing manufactured planes. A lighter plane has its advantages in as far as speed, and fuel consumption is concerned.
The aircraft will also be bigger than 737, and its engines will be a new design. The bigger size of the plane will be due to its cross-section that will be ellipse shaped. The ellipse-shaped cross-section will make it different from the 737 MAX that has a circular shape. The additional space availed by the elliptical cross-section will allow for the inclusion of a twin-aisle design as part of the improvements.
The target market for these twin-aisle planes is budget airlines that try to have as many daily flights over short distances as possible.
Seeing that the plane was designed and patented in 2009, the other general shape similarities of the aircraft would likely not be too different from that of 737. This information is according to Jim McNerney, the former CEO in an interview with Reuters.
Challenges with the Replacement
While Boeing is under pressure to gain back it’s reputation, there are many challenges it must overcome before it can conclude the replacement.
For starters, the company still has four thousand five hundred orders for MAX. The 737 is highly unlikely to be grounded entirely, but with the current hit on its reputation, there are bound to be some order cancellations.
The replacement plane will be equipped with the latest technology, and it will have all the other advantages. It will be difficult for people to buy the older while there is a newer option.
The other challenge is the fact that Airbus will be releasing a plane in the same range a few years from now. If Boeing is unable to get ahead of Airbus’ new plane release early enough, “new” plane will quickly be older technology by the time Airbus releases theirs.