Big vs small, Europe vs United States, Airbus vs Boeing
The battle is still there: Europe and the United States permanently fight to be better than the other one and they keep a pacific struggle that involves agreements, money, power and technology... even in the air.
It is very notorious that this is exactly the kind of struggle that we can notice between Boeing and Airbus. The latter, is very proud of producing and launching the biggest airplane in the world, which is able to carry 555 passengers and can fly for 15,000 km (this means, approximately the distance between New York, USA, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) without the need of refueling. Immense, surprising. In fact, the biggest commercial aircraft in the world. But what is Boeing doing in the meanwhile? Just stand back, watch and try not to get involved?
I don't think that's the case. Boeing is already assembling a new generation of commercial jets, which are slightly different than the A380: I'm talking about the Boeing 787-Dreamliner family, from which, for example, the 787-9 Dreamliner, scheduled for its first flight in 2007, will be a medium sized aircraft designed to carry a maximum of 290 passengers and to fly about 16,000 km (like about the distance between New York City, USA, and Jakarta, Indonesia) without refueling. According to Boieng, an important advantage that this airliner offers is the fuel efficiency, as this airplane utilizes 20% less fuel compared to other "similar missions", being also able to fly as fast as 0.85 mach (similar to the fastest jets available).
So what do you think is best? medium size, high fuel efficiency; or more passenger capacity to fly less flights? Your choice!
More information about these models in the following links: