14 MARCH 2011
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Boeing is still playing cat and mouse with its long anticipated 737 replacement, the original single aisle aircraft having first flown in 1967, over 50 years ago. Recently the 6,600 aircraft was delivered with future confirmed orders standing at over 2,000.
Last week a Boeing spokesman said that the company was leaning towards a new version of the aircraft but the general industry view is that with the original development programmes for both the 787 and the 747 Intercontinental coming to an end it would seem likely that the company’s vast resources could be put to introducing an entirely new aircraft by 2020 using much of the experience and knowledge learnt with the Dreamliner. Large windows and a 5,000ft cabin altitude would be a must. Much more environmentally friendly and economical systems of getting aircraft to the end of the runway for take-off (and upon landing too) would also be a prerequisite. Lead competitor Airbus recently announced the Airbus New Engine Option (NEO) with an in-service date of 2016. www.boeing.com/commercial
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