During the 2017 Paris Air Show, Boeing made waves when it unveiled details about its highly-anticipated midsize aircraft, which many in the industry are calling the “797.” The 797 jet would fill a gap between Boeing’s single-aisle 737 workhorse and its advanced long range 787. Like the 787 Dreamliner, the 797 will have an all-composite fuselage. Previously, Boeing had indicated that only that the 797’s wings would be composite.
Additionally, the aircraft will not have the typical airliner cross-section. Industry sources have said the fuselage will have a somewhat elliptical shape when seen from the front because the bottom of the plane will be flattened to get rid of unnecessary cargo space.
As the Seattle Times’ Dominic Gates reported, Boeing is considering all options for fabricating the carbon fiber composites for the 797, including various new out-of-autoclave and resin infusion methods. Boeing believes there could be a market for more than 4,000 such aircraft over 20 years starting around 2025 when the 797 would first fly with airlines.
Boeing also announced the launch of the 737 MAX 10 as the newest member of the 737 MAX family, which reportedly has the lowest seat-mile cost of any single-aisle airplane ever produced. The MAX family is powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1B engines, which feature Hexcel’s HexTow® IM7 carbon fiber in the fan blades and containment cases. The engine nacelles have an acoustic inner barrel that is manufactured from Hexcel’s engineered core and benefits from Hexcel’s Acousti-Cap® technology. This technology is a leading contributor to the reduction of the area of acceptable noise contour of the 737 MAX engine by 40 percent.
According to Boeing, the aircraft has gained more than 240 orders and commitments secured from more than 10 customers worldwide.