There has been talk ongoing for years regarding the future of the narrowbody market. While predicted uptick in passenger traffic had driven a desire for a new midsize airplane, there is actually a strong need for a clean sheet narrowbody workhorse. The current situation and its impact on future travel demand has only served to exacerbate that need.
During the virtual Farnborough Airshow last week, we heard from some of the world’s biggest aviation heavyweights about their predictions for future aircraft design. Steve Udvar–Házy, current CEO of Air Lease Corporation (ALC) and former CEO of International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), was joined by Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates, in a discussion facilitated by FlightGlobal and Embraer. Here’s why they think we desperately need a new small airplane.
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Dicing with derivatives
In the decades of aircraft design gone by, there has been a penchant for designing derivatives rather than creating new. The 747 went through multiple iterations, as has the Airbus A320 family of jets. However, one type stands out as being the most re-iterated aircraft on the planet – the Boeing 737.
Certified in 1967, the 737 has been around since shortly after the dawn of the jet age. More than 50 years later, and we’re still flying in something that is largely the same as it was. More than a dozen variations have been produced, from the original -100 all the way up to