Boeing 777x Outclasses Airbus A380 Airplane Design

    May 20, 2014
    Val Powell
    Comments are off for this post.

The Airbus A380, a double-deck four-engine jet, must keep improving its design if it wants to match the Boeing twin-aisle airplane called the 777x, which is scheduled to be used for service within the next decade.

Fabrice Bregier, CEO of Airbus, said, “After 2020, we will face the challenge of the Boeing 777X, and it is clear that as the challenges evolve, the A380 will have to evolve.”

Bregier also stated that he has a problem with the way the Boeing 777x was launched. He was referring to the tax breaks that Boeing got from Washington State. In his opinion, the tax breaks given are higher than the overall cost of the program. Bregier said that the total amount of tax breaks given amount to $8.7 billion, and that amount is more than the total amount that was used to develop the plane. He also said, “There are rules in this business and tax breaks are illegal.”

The European Commission has already voiced their concerns regarding the tax break issue with the U.S. government. However, Bregier stated that it was “not enough” and that the industry needs to look for a level playing field for both Airbus and Boeing.

Inside the Airbus A380

Since being introduced in 2000, the Airbus A380 has acquired contracts for 324 planes. Boeing 777x, however, has already acquired 300 commitments and orders since it was offered in November last year. Most of the interested parties come from the Middle East.

Introducing The Boeing 777x

The Airbus A380’s biggest customer, Emirates, has been asking for a re-engining program for the aircraft, but Airbus has not yet confirmed the project. With the entrance of Boeing 777x, Bregier remains optimistic that the A380 still has a home in the industry. “If the aircraft was obsolete, Emirates would not have ordered another 50,” he said.

Airbus is also looking into the possibility of upgrading their 20-year-old model, the A330, to make it more attractive and fuel-efficient. However, the project has not been confirmed.

Image via YouTube

  • Michael Merry

    In fact, Airbus has no answer to Boeing’s 777X. The A380 has proved a commercial failure (as Boeing predicted). Nor is the A350 family likely to pose a serious challenge to Boeing’s long-haul lineup (777-8X, -9X; 787-8, -9, -10)

  • Karl

    “In fact, Airbus has no answer to Boeing’s 777X.”

    The 777X is the second most hyped aircraft in aviation history (after the 787). Boeing is going to spend $10 billion on an Aircraft that has no further growh potential. The 777-9X is IMO going to be vulnerable to countermoves by Airbus. or exampe, it is in need of an engine (GE9X) that’s some 5 percent more efficient than the one on the A350-1000 — just in order to match the smaller Airbus aircraft in fuel burn per seat. What happens if an A350-1000neo would get an engine that’s 5 percent more efficient than the GE9X, a decade hence — and that’s not even contemplating a stretched A350-1100, or an all new, very large twin family of aircraft from Airbus.

    “The A380 has proved a commercial failure (as Boeing predicted).”

    No, it hasn’t. Looking at the backlog, It’s not difficult to see how it’s going to be produced at a rate of 30 units for the remainder of the decade. Also, do look for an A380neo version to enter into service in 2020/2021, and with Emirates ordering another 150 A380neos in adition to numerous other orders from existing A380 operators as well.

    Now, what has proved to be a commercial failure is the $5 billion 747-8 programme that was supposed to be Boein’s response to the A380.

    “Nor is the A350 family likely to pose a serious challenge to Boeing’s long-haul lineup (777-8X, -9X; 787-8, -9, -10).”

    Since the launch of the 787 programme in 2004, Airbus has soldmore than 900 A330s and 800 A350s. The inconvenient truth for the Boeing cheerleaders is the fact that the A330-300neo should be quite competitive with the 787-9, and that the A350-900 is already a resounding success.

    • guest

      “The 777X is the second most hyped aircraft in aviation history (after the 787). ” – poor silly airlines, ordered well above 1000 units of something so overhyped… Hope they change their minds after reading the comment, or disaster will strike…

      Speaking of A380, it will pay for itself with 420 orders – number issued by Airbus itself back in 2006 (quite likely, this number is noticeably higher today), and it’s far from that even today, 14 years after it was originally offered. And forget about 747-8, it will pay for itself with cargo model only, while passenger one still stole some A380 orders…

      “A330-300neo should be quite competitive with the 787-9” – then stop cheerleading for 350 being a potential killer of 777X. It will be not. As inconvenient as the truth is.

      • Karl

        “poor silly airlines, ordered well above 1000 units of something so overhyped.”

        Well, the hyping of the 787 was so successful that even after the fake and extremely dishonest 787 POTEMKIN roll-out on July 8, 2007, the 787 continued to rake in orders. By the end of 2007 more than 800 787s had been sold. However, a vast number of these aircraft were seemingly sold more as a fire sale as Boeing believed their own hype that they could produce 787s cheaply en masse. When the delays kicked in and it became apparent that it was not all hunky dory in Boeing fantasyland, they mostly stood by on the fences knowing that Boeing would have to compensate big time for an already heavily discounted product. As former former Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Jim Albaugh acknowledged in an interview: “I think we gave away
        some of the value of this airplane to a lot of our customers.”


        The 747-8 program was a casualty of the 787 production imbroglio and has cost Boeing upwards of $5 billion in R&D expenses. That mean that they will have to sell at least another couple of hundred airframes. The 747-8 Intercontinetal seems to be going nowhere and the sustained slow down in the cargo market doesn’t seem to end anytime soon. So, for Boeing the 747-8 will remain a loss-making program and is likely to end long before breaking even.

        The A330 can be re-engined on the cheap. Same thing for the A380. Why is that not possible for the 777-300ER? That’s certainly an inconvenient fact for the A-bashers. Answer: 1) The A330 has a much lower wing-loading than the 777-300ER. 2) The A330 has a very high aspect ratio wing. 3) The cross-section of the A330 is circular and smaller than the 787 cross-section, which is not the case for the 777 vs. the A350 4) The A330-300 has almost the same empty weight as that of the 787-9, while the 777-9X’s empty weight will be upwards of 35 metric tonnes heavier; or about one tonne extra per passenger. That’s why Boeing depends on GE delivering a GE9X engine that is estimated to be 5 percent more efficient than the Trent-XWB-97 engine on the A350-1000. If the a350-1000 were to receive, say, a 10 percent more efficient engine come 2025 , then I’m afraid it’s game over for the 777X.

        the more than three and a half years since its first 787 began assembly, the prevailing wisdom about B