Air Transport World

Boeing continues effort to leapfrog current transport offerings; manufacturer is stressing lower unit costs and greater emphasis on passenger appeal in attempts to put program together for 1992.

Boeing continues effort to leapfrog current transport offerings Seattle--Boeing Company is moving ahead with its advanced technology 7J7 program still aiming for early 1992 delivery dates despite some disturbing events that could put a damper on sales for such a transport. James T. Johnson, Boeing's VP for new products, said during recent briefings here that the various new technologies being slated for the new 150-seat twin are progressing as well or better than expected, and most could be available for the new transport.

Meanwhile, Joseph F. Sutter, executive VP of Boeing's commercial aircraft division re-emphasized to ATW that Boeing is still aiming for 1992 deliveries of the 7J7. He said when " ... we decided we were not going to do a conventional turbofan (150-seat transport) for 1989, we committed to the UDF (powered version) for 1992."

When Boeing decided to do this in late 1984 it decided to work on an advanced technology transport using new powerplants in what it calls the "ultra bypass engine" family of proposals led by General Electric's Unducted Fan, or UDF. If all of the new technologies work out (ATW, 3/85) such a transport would leapfrog competitors in the 150-seat range.

The biggest source for tremendous cost savings for the new transport, which Boeing currently calls the 7J7, are the new powerplants which would contribute up to 43% of the 60% savings in fuel consumption per seat compared with transports like the 757. Aerodynamic refinements could provide 11% savings, structure improvements another 4% and systems another 2% bringing the total to 60%. By contrast, Boeing claims that the technology available for a similar transport for 1989 delivery would reduce fuel costs per seat only 9%, 4% from improved turbofans.

727 tests

General Electric, meanwhile, is moving along with its UDF having already conducted full scale ground test runs (cover). …

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