Airbus is potentially developing an A370. The information is from secondary and tertiary sources so it may be inaccurate – essentially a paper plane at this stage. It appears the 370 is a follow on to the 350.
The A370 appears to be targeted at Emirates and Singapore, to forestall 787 orders. Other airlines probably have been contacted. The information suggests Airbus will keep the current A350-800. The A370 would come in two sizes; approximately sized like the A350-900 and A340-600.
The A370 would feature an all new Al-Li fuselage with a ~236 inch (5.99m) cross-section that would allow 9-abreast seating in coach. This compares to the 5.28m cabin width on the current 330 and what is expected on the 350.
There is an all new wing planned which is not based on that of the 330/340/350. This is good news because there has always been talk of the current wing being “slow”. Of course, losing the BAE-based wing manufacturing knowledge base must hurt more than ever.
The smaller A370 (A350-900 size) requires two engines of ~85klb thrust class, whereas the larger A370 (A340-600 size) requires two engines of ~100klb thrust class. If no suitable power plant is available for the larger A370, then an option exists for four engines. (Although theGE90 might fit this requirement) Entry into service is estimated late 2012. Production could be in Hamburg instead of Toulouse.
Clearly there are concerns over how Airbus can finance another project. The 370 appears to be the A350 v3. There is by now no doubt that Airbus’ 340 program is in tatters. Its 350 program is getting hammered, too. So a reaction was expected. But based on this information, it appears to us, the anticipated reaction demonstrates, perhaps, growing desperation within Airbus.
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