By Scott Hamilton
November 4, 2022 © Leeham News: David Calhoun’s decision to halt development of an all-new aircraft nullifies the direct replacement for the Boeing 767-300ERF under development. It also challenges the development of the 787F.
Calhoun, Boeing’s CEO, said on Nov. 2 that Boeing will not launch any new aircraft until mid-decade 2030.
Boeing’s Product Development (PD) division was working on a 767-size aircraft that would start with the freighter. For lack of a better term, we have called it NMA-F in previous articles. The NMA-F would then be followed by passenger models for an entire family of aircraft.
PD was also working on a derivative freighter for the 787, the 787F. Internally, the two teams competed, as is the case with Boeing.
Killing all new aircraft kills the NMA-F. Funding for the 787F has been reduced LNA is told. But there is no certainty that the 787F will be launched. If so, its launch as a derivative would not be considered a “new aircraft” program.
While not the primary reason for Calhoun’s move, killing the NMA-F and doubting the 787F could help Boeing in its efforts to exempt the 767 from the strict standards adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2017 . The Federal Aviation Administration announced earlier this year that it plans to adopt ICAO standards. The emission standards cannot be met by the 767. (The 777 Classic Freighter, the 777-200LRF, also failed to meet them. Boeing has embarked on the 777-8F program, which will meet the standards.)
According to ICAO standards, production of the 767-300ERF (and 777-200LRF) must end in 2028. Boeing is already seeking an exemption should the FAA’s plan become US policy.
Large fleets at FedEx and UPS
With no alternative to the 767-300ERF, Boeing can argue that continuing production of the 767-300ERF, barring the rules, is in the best interests of commercial aviation. FedEx and UPS each have large 767F fleets and continue to order new production models. FedEx Chairman Fred Smith said LNA In a September interview, he would like to see production continue.
Smith also noted that continued production of the civilian 767 is helping to contain the cost of the Boeing KC-46A air refueling aircraft that will become the mainstay of the US Air Force fleet. The KC-46A is based on the 767-200ER. Both models will be built on the same assembly line at Boeing’s Everett (WA) facility.
FedEx and UPS fly the 767-300ERF on average route lengths of 2,000 to 3,000 miles or mostly on US domestic routes. It is not known whether the European EASA would grant an exemption for use there, since there is no medium-sized alternative. Europe tends to be more aggressive than the US on environmental issues.
Before Calhoun’s move, it was expected that Boeing might be ready to announce an NMA-F or 787F launch at next year’s Paris Air Show.