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Fri, May 24, 2019

Rumors Swirl Concerning Boeing's New Midsize Airplane

Some Believe It Will Be Designed To Be Flown With A Single Pilot On Board

While Boeing is playing it close to the vest, rumors are swirling about its plans to announce its New Midsize Airplane (NMA), perhaps as soon as the Paris Air Show in June.

CNB  reports that among the biggest rumored changes in the so-called "797" is the possibility that it will be flown by a single pilot on board, with a second ground-based pilot that would be able to "monitor several aircraft" at the same time, according to the research firm Jefferies. A note from the analysts made public Sunday indicates that technology allowing for single-pilot operation is still at least 10 years in the future.

Reducing the number of pilots on staff could save airline's millions, and would be one way to address the looming pilot shortage that is a major concern for the industry.

Boeing, however, said in a statement to CNBC that the NMA would not push technological boundaries in that way. "Should we launch, the NMA flight deck is being designed for two pilots ... we don't see NMA as a technology push airplane."

It is unclear how Boeing's recent issues with the 737 MAX airplane might affect the announcement of the NMA.

FMI: Source report

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