Boeing 797: Rumor or Reality? Here's What You Need to Know

Boeing 797: Rumor or Reality? Here's What You Need to Know

You’ve likely heard about the Boeing 797, a rumored project that was supposed to be Boeing’s next big aircraft. The Boeing 797 was expected to be a game-changer in the aviation industry, with two aircraft models that could carry up to 275 passengers and fly up to 5,000 nautical miles. However, the project has been shrouded in mystery, with conflicting reports about its status.

Some sources claim the Boeing 797 project has been canceled indefinitely, while others suggest it’s still on the cards. The confusion surrounding the project has left many wondering what’s happening with the Boeing 797. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Boeing 797 project and try to answer the question: is the Boeing 797 plan canceled, or is it just a rumor?

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Introduction to Boeing 797

The Boeing 797, also known as the New Midsize Airplane (NMA), was a proposed aircraft by Boeing that aimed to fill the gap between narrow-body and wide-body planes. The idea behind the 797 was to create an aircraft that could carry between 225 to 275 passengers and fly up to 5,000 nautical miles. The development of the 797 was intended to replace the aging Boeing 757 and Boeing 767 models and compete with the Airbus A321neo and A330neo.

Seats: 225 seater (two-class) and 275 seater (single class)
Range: 5,000 nmi (9,300 km) and 4,500 nmi (8,300 km) respectively.

What’s The Need to Develop a New Midsize Airplane (NMA)?

Why would Boeing want to develop this new aircraft line? Will airlines buy an aircraft in this segment?

Yes, Boeing wanted to develop a new NMA aircraft segment because the company currently has no aircraft segment that can carry between 225 and 275 passengers.

Also, airlines would love this aircraft. The operational cost of NMA would be lower than the widebody aircraft whereas the revenue potential increases by up to 30% in comparison to narrowbodies. Thus, Boeing 797 would greatly suit airlines that want to replace their existing fleet with newer, more efficient aircraft in short-haul routes.

797 Design

The 797 was envisioned to have a composite, seven-abreast twin-aisle with an elliptical cross-section. The use of composites reduces the plane’s weight and improves fuel efficiency.

The plane’s design was also intended to provide passengers with a more comfortable flying experience, with larger windows and more space for carry-on luggage. The 797 was also expected to feature a quieter cabin and improved fuel efficiency compared to its predecessors.

797 Features

The 797 was expected to have a more advanced cockpit, with state-of-the-art avionics and flight control systems. Another feature rumored to be included in the 797 was a hybrid-electric propulsion system, which would further improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

However, despite the hype surrounding the Boeing 797, the project was never officially launched, and the plane never entered production. While Boeing had expressed interest in developing the 797, the company ultimately focused on other projects, such as the 737 MAX and 777X. As of now, it remains unclear whether the Boeing 797 will ever become a reality.

Estimated Demand for Boeing 797

According to various news stories and market estimates, the demand for such aircraft is between 2,000 to 4,000 aircraft.

Boeing 797 Price Estimate

Boeing 797 is estimated to be priced between $100-105 million.

The Rumors

Boeing was expected to announce the 797 during the 2019 Paris Airshow. However, amidst the Boeing 737 MAX crisis, Kevin McAllister, then President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said there would be no such announcement.

As per several news, Boeing was expected to make the final decision about the 797 in 2019, with a target to launch the aircraft into service by 2025. Instead, Airbus A321XLR, which is touted as the competitor to Boeing’s 797 plan, was announced at the 2019 Paris Airshow.

Sources of the Rumors

Rumors about the cancellation of the Boeing 797 plan have been circulating for some time. According to several sources, Boeing was considering canceling the project due to the financial and reputational damage caused by the 737 MAX crisis. Some industry experts also claimed that Boeing was facing difficulties securing enough orders for the new aircraft, making the project less viable.

However, it is important to note that Boeing did not confirm these rumors, and the company has not officially announced any cancellation of the 797 program.

Initial Denials from Boeing

When the rumors about the cancellation of the 797 plan first emerged, Boeing denied them. In a statement released in 2019, the company said it was still committed to the NMA project and working on finalizing the design and specifications of the new aircraft. Boeing also stated that it was in talks with several airlines to secure orders for the 797.

Despite these denials, the rumors continued to persist, and some industry experts speculated that Boeing might be delaying the project or scaling it down to reduce costs.

It is worth noting that Boeing has faced significant challenges in recent years, including the 737 MAX crisis, which led to the grounding of the aircraft and caused significant financial losses for the company. As a result, some analysts have suggested that Boeing may be more cautious in launching new projects, such as the 797 until it has fully recovered from the crisis.

797 Cancelled or Postponed?

Now, let’s talk more about the 797 cancelation. Despite the hype and anticipation surrounding the Boeing 797, rumors have been circulating about its cancellation. So, what is the truth? Has the Boeing 797 plan been canceled?

Official Statement from Boeing

Boeing has not officially canceled the 797 plan. However, the program has been put on hold as the company focuses on resolving the ongoing issues with the 737 MAX and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation industry.

According to a statement made by Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun:

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“We won’t contemplate a new airplane; we won’t even put it on the drawing board until we know we’re capable of doing that.” “And then there’ll be a moment in time where we’ll pull the rabbit out of the hat and introduce a new airplane sometime in the middle of next decade.”
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These statements suggest that while the plan is not canceled, it is not a priority for the company now.

Impact on the Industry

The potential delay or eventual cancelation of the Boeing 797 plan has significant implications for Boeing. The 797 was intended to fill a gap in the market between narrow-body and wide-body aircraft, offering airlines a more efficient and cost-effective option for medium-haul flights.

If the plan is delayed or canceled, it would weaken the dominance of Boeing and strengthen Airbus’ capabilities to capture more market share in that segment.

It could also lead to increased demand for Boeing’s existing aircraft models while limiting airlines’ fleet renewal and expansion options. It also takes away a new opportunity for Boeing suppliers and parts manufacturers, which would benefit from the development of new aircraft.

However, it is worth noting that while the cancellation of the 797 plan would be a setback for Boeing, it is unlikely to have a significant long-term impact on the industry as a whole as competitors will try to fill any void in the aircraft segment and capture the market opportunity.

Final Thoughts: What’s Next for Boeing?

Boeing has been around for over a century and has been through many ups and downs. It’s moving forward with other projects and plans while trying to tackle the 737 Max and 787 issues.

One of the most significant projects that Boeing is working on is the 777X. This is a new version of the popular 777 aircraft, and it is expected to enter service in 2025. The 777X will be the world’s largest and most efficient twin-engine jet, and it can carry up to 425 passengers.

Boeing is also looking into developing electric and hybrid-electric aircraft. These aircraft would be more environmentally friendly and would have lower operating costs than the current-generation passenger planes. However, these projects are still in the early stages of development, and it will be several years before we see any electric or hybrid-electric planes in commercial service.

Overall, despite the setbacks they have faced, they are still moving forward with new projects and plans. Only time will tell what the future holds for Boeing, but it is clear that they are committed to innovation and progress.

Note: All these information are based on media reports and market speculations.