Of course, the Model T was successful too: that doesn't mean its success enabled Ford (F) to stop innovating.
It is customers who drive commercial innovation, notes Saj Ahmad, aerospace/airline analyst for FBE Aerospace in London. "Boeing has plenty of customers in Europe like Ryanair and in the Middle East like FlyDubai who are just two of many big 737 customers who could push the move to a new jet," Ahmad said.
And while Boeing has been working with engine makers on 737 improvements, "the resources required to close the business case on re-engineering is starting to appear less compelling in contrast to an all new narrowbody solution," he said. "From a capital expenditure point of view, it makes more sense to create a clean sheet design to leverage the benefits of these new fuel efficient engines." Boeing's decision is more likely to be driven by its customers than by an effort to respond to competitor Airbus, he added.
Still, Hamilton said Boeing's consideration of a new aircraft raises a host of questions. "One of the concepts is a small twin aisle aircraft, with 2X2X2 seating: another is widening the fuselage to be like the A320 to give more space," he said. Others: Would the plane be built primarily of composites, or of a lighter aluminum? And where would it be built?Production could begin in five years, Hamilton said. Throughout that period, it is safe to say, development of the Boeing 838 -- if that is what the new airplane is called -- would be among the most closely watched stories in aviation. -- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV