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.