Air Transport World

Boeing's plan for the 80's. (longer, lighter versions)

Boeing's plan for the 80's

Renton--Airlines still are not willing to commit to a 150-seat aircraft, and until that happens Boeing will continue to weigh its options in that size class while it plans improvements of its existing products. Those improvements generally include making everything lighter and, with one exception, flying longer distances. That exception is the 737 Lite.

Joseph F. Sutter, Boeing Commercial Aircraft Co. VP, told ATW that Boeing is considering two answers to the 150seat question: a further stretch of the 737 powered by either the CFM-56-3B2 or the IAE V2500, or a completely new 7-7 using a great deal of updated 757 technology and the V2500.

"Nobody is willing to buy anything new in that area (150-seat) now, they are not willing to sign a piece of paper,' Sutter said. "Until that happens no one is serious about what they want. The only thing we have that defines the product is the engine, the V2500.

Now (International Aero Engines) has got to get going, and make some firm decisions in the next few months on their choice of size and dimensions. We need that first before we can design an aircraft.'

737 commonality

The decision on whether to make the Boeing 150-seater a derivative or a new airplane depends upon who wants it, Sutter said, "If our customers are looking for 20 years of use and commonality with 757s and 767s, it would cause us to lean toward a new aircraft. But a lot of customers use 737s, and they may want 737 commonality.'

The 737-400, the derivative 150-seat option, would have an additional 120-in. fuselage extension on top of the 104-in. …

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