Boeing intends to employ “proven and understood” technologies, rather than radical new ones, on its proposed New Mid-market Airplane (NMA).
Randy Tinseth, marketing vice-president for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Industrials Conference in London today that the airframer envisioned, at present, an aircraft that would be “a little innovative” in terms of its configuration.
But he added: “We [would] wrap around this aircraft technologies that are proven and understood today – so no big technology push as we saw on [the] 787.”
Boeing is getting its “arms around the configuration” of the aircraft, which is to carry 220-270 passengers and have a range of 5,000nm (9,270km), says Tinseth.
He expects demand to come from operators of large single- and small twin-aisle aircraft. “We know that dynamic,” he says.
However, he foresees that the NMA will provide lower trip costs than existing widebodies – which are designed to carry heavy cargo loads as belly freight – with “almost” as many passengers.
Meanwhile, airport turnaround times will be closer to those of short-haul aircraft.
More than 50 international operators have participated in Boeing’s NMA studies, and the airframer forecasts demand for at least 4,000 units over the next two decades.
Tinseth notes that the manufacturer is not yet committed to the project and that “more work” is required to ensure “we have a business case that closes”.