Airbus and Boeing invested heavily in research and development to push forward with these new wide-body entries, however, they then retreated to entrenched technologies when they launched the next generation of narrow-body aircraft. Airbus’ A320neo and Boeing’s 737NG and 777X have aluminum fuselage designs. These are the cornerstone aircrafts for many fleets, so the decision to proceed with aluminum fuselages casts the next 30 years as a period of continuous incremental change within our industry; not the dawn of the new age heralded by the A350 and 787.
Rather than becoming the forbearers of a new archetype, the A350 and 787 stand a greater chance of harboring multiple discontinued technologies. While the OEMs have plucked bits of the new technology for other models, the rest of the market is evolving away from some of the core features of these aircraft, and that will limit the size of aftermarket opportunities for the A350 and 787.
This piece was first published in Aircraft Technology Engineering & Maintenance http://www.mro-network.com/.