Following 40 years of success, 6 000 planes sold, Boeing is planning the replacement of the famous Boeing 737. Sandy Anger, a Boeing spokeswoman, said the company “must ensure it has the right set of breakthrough technologies in engines, aerodynamics, materials and other systems” to top the 737’s efficiency.
Anger said Boeing estimates it will be ready with a replacement for the 737 “sometime in the middle of the next decade — give or take a couple of years.”
The B 737 family is one of the most successful, most sold plane in aviation history. The earlier 737 family was completely renewed and redesigned in 1993, when Boeing launched its Next Geration series with the 737-600s, 737-700s and 737-800s and 737-900s, again with much success.
Marketing professionals would say that a life cycle of 40 years is perfect and time has come to stop the production of a 40 year-old product. However somehow we have the feeling that there is something else in the background. Our assumption is that Boeing would like to create a narrow body carbon aircraft being the first with it in the market. That would strengthen its position against Airbus.
Boeing is having a bad year. Airbus could finally launch the A380 that brought a lot of media attention and trust for the company, while Boeing had to announce a half-year delay with the B787, the Dreamliner. This situation is reflected in their sales numbers as well. According to planenews.com “Airbus is expected to beat Boeing in this year’s race for jet sales. That outcome now hinges on the European jet maker finalizing its massive Chinese order announced two weeks ago.”
It is not just the 737 Boeing is redesigning. They are thinking about a new wide body aircraft as well. According to the company’s officials the priority might change along with demand on the market. But first Boeing has a huge goal to achieve: to be on shcedule with the delivery of Dreamliner to its first customer, All Nippon Airways. All the next steps can come later.