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Frontiers November 2012 Issue

paired with today’s latest developments in “In the end, design will be driven by Rhodri Thomas, who leads advanced technology, are shaping current 777X efforts. what customers tell us they need more projects and analysis for Commercial Air- “It’s a very iterative process,” he said. than anything else,” VerWey said. planes’ product strategy team. It starts with a basic concept and gets After the 777, Boeing proposed what “How we get there is an evolutionary pro- more complex with each level. Three key it called the Sonic Cruiser, a radically de- cess. That’s how this business works.” n questions must be answered: What does signed commercial airplane that would fly karen.r.crabtree@boeing.com the market want, will the technology exist at nearly the speed of sound. But custom- to meet that need, and will the airplane be ers told Boeing they valued efficiency over financially viable, VerWey said. speed. So the Boeing airplane that followed PHOTOS: (Above) One design for the Trade studies, named for the trade-offs the 777 into the marketplace was the more 767X was nicknamed the “hunchback when making a change in airplane definition, conventionally shaped 787 Dreamliner. of Mukilteo.” MARIAN LOCKHART/BOEING (Inset) A blueprint of an early design of the 767. can require hundreds of resources and Boeing continues to study the needs BOEING ARCHIVES take months, sometimes years, to com- of the future markets, verifying designs plete. A tweak or change to a proposed and requirements of the new airplanes— configuration can impact range, perfor- all the while working closely with airlines. mance, producibility and cost. And several “What we say we are going to deliver configurations move through the design to the marketplace—a superior airplane process at the same time to narrow the that provides unmatched value to our scope to the right idea, VerWey said. customers—doesn’t change,” said BOEING FRONTIERS / NOVEMBER 2012 37


Frontiers November 2012 Issue
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