Airbus and Boeing are planning new narrow-body aircraft in the 2025-2030 time-frame, when new technologies could provide the substantial advantage over today’s aircraft.  New engine technologies have enabled re-engining of existing programs, which need at least 10 years of production to recover the costs.  But the question is what comes next?

There hasn’t been a breakthrough in basic aircraft design since the swept wing, with engines below the wing, was introduced with the B-47 after World War II.  While technologies have improved, the fundamental layout and look of jet aircraft hasn’t changed much since the 707, except for fewer and larger engines.

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