Boeing says turn time is a key consideration in narrowbody replacement

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Boeing management believes that turn time ability of future narrowbody designs will play a prominent role in developing a 737 replacement.

During a recent interview with ATI, Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP marketing Randy Tinseth said turn time is "incredibly important".

Recently Pratt & Whitney said a growing interest by airlines in a new lightweight twin-aisle narrowbody was an element driving its decision to offer a 40,000lb (178kN) thrust on its PW1000G geared turbofan.

Tinseth says a twin aisle might allow for an improved aircraft turn time, but "with the twin aisle you pay a price in terms of efficiency. So it is just one of the things we have to think about".

Tinseth also sees the possibility of a second generation technology of composites for the narrowbody replacement. "You will probably have to go to some sort of nanofibre technology," he says.

The majority-composite 787 scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of this year has a different flight profile than the 737 narrowbody, says Tinseth. The 787 is designed for flights of 14-16h with 95% of its time spent in cruise, whereas the 737 spends 25% of its time getting to altitude and 25% of time in the landing process.

"In some ways we think long-term composites are the way to go," says Tinseth. "But when you have different design criteria, different segmentsat this point it is very clear we that need a next generation of composites to make it work on a single aisle."