Boeing Looks to Old 777 Model in Airbus Battle

Will re-tool tanker to compete for Pentagon refueling contract
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 16, 2009 11:57 AM CDT
In this Jan. 30, 2009 file photo, the Boeing 777 line is shown at Boeing Co.'s airplane assembly plant in Everett, Wash.    (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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(Newser) – With its 787 Dreamliner delayed, Boeing is turning to its 14-year-old 777 to compete with Airbus’ next plane, Bloomberg reports. At the Paris Air Show today, Boeing said it may make a new wing for the 777 in an effort to boost fuel efficiency, and will also showcase a 777-based tanker to rejoin the battle with Airbus for a Pentagon contract.

Airbus’ next plane, the A350, boasts 350 seats, beating out the 787’s 290—but a 777 with wing improvements could offer fuel efficiency with 370 seats. Another possibility: a 310-seat Dreamliner. Looking forward, Boeing’s plans depend “a lot on what the A350 really produces,” said the firm’s commercial planes head. The next plane “could be a re-winged 777, it could be an all-new airplane, and it could be the 777 is fine the way it is.”
(Read more Boeing stories.)