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Is Boeing finished?

 
 
Reply Thu 28 Apr, 2005 04:01 am
Airbus A380 takes to the skies. If we are going to shift people around the planet we have to do it in the most environmentally friendly way...that's not Boeings way as far as I can tell.

http://travel.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,7445,1472056,00.html
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 6,729 • Replies: 62
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07s
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Apr, 2005 11:12 pm
787 would fly in another two years and Boeing has taken 237 orders already. In the last fortnight, 787 got 80 orders. Not bad eh.
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timberlandko
 
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Reply Thu 2 Jun, 2005 12:49 pm
Well, it looks as though Airbus isn't having quite the success they'd anticipated: the A380's first deliveries are now pushed back to Q3 '06, the break-even point for the plane has moved into the 300-unit range, ebgineeering problems abound, the airframe has become - depending on configuration - 7 to 10 tons heavier than originally announced (cutting payload), sales have been dismal, and rumors are that some prospective purchasers are looking at the delivery delay and airframe weight over-run as reasons to cancel their orders. It is possible the A350 may never get built; firm orders in sufficient quantity to go to production simply aren't there (though that may change following the Paris Air Show in a few weeks). Airbus/EAD's management is in turmpoil, the stock is plunging, and no bright side is in sight. In the meanwhile, Boeing has regained 1st place in the sales race.
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Steve 41oo
 
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Reply Mon 6 Jun, 2005 12:59 pm
so thats a no then
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McTag
 
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Reply Sat 11 Jun, 2005 03:44 pm
Boeing can't compete with the plane so they try to torpedo the company.
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timberlandko
 
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Reply Sat 11 Jun, 2005 03:51 pm
McTag wrote:
Boeing can't compete with the plane so they try to torpedo the company.

Given that Boeing's orderbook continues to increase, with hundreds of firm commitments, while Airbus languishes, complete with engineering problems, weight and cost over-runs and delivery postponements, that strikes me as a rather disingenuous statement, McT.
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McTag
 
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Reply Sat 11 Jun, 2005 03:54 pm
Yeah why would they bother to attack the company about subsidies and government aid then, not like they got any of that in Seattle. Disingenuate that.
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georgeob1
 
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Reply Sat 11 Jun, 2005 10:52 pm
The Boeing Airbus competition will be very interesting to watch. Both companies are heavily dependent on government procurements, and Airbus is partly governed by government managers & capital. I have great faith in the ability of governments anywhere to screw up even simple things and, most importantly destroy the focus of what should be a profitable enterprise. The much greater involvement of government in Airbus, gives Boeing a great long-term advantage, in my view.

The partial capitalization of the Airbus parent companies by their respective governments and the presence of government representatives as voting members of the management boards of these companies, creates an entirely different situation for Airbus - it is in effect virtually a government agency. Boeing, on the other hand is a privately owned company whose stock is publicly traded on the NYSE. The government owns none of its stock and exercises no management control of the company whatever. Overall I consider this as yet another advantage for Boeing.

Airbus leapt ahead 15 years ago by accelerating the application of lightweight structures and electronic flight controls, both of which innovations yielded larger than anticipated performance benefits with new engine technologies and higher fuel costs. (It also helped that Boeing was undergoing a period of relative stagnation.) I have little doubt that the A380 will be a good aircraft, and I agree there is a clear market segment for it, including the terminal facilities required. However I believe the market segment for 747 and smaller sized aircraft will, in the long run, be much larger. More importantly the inescapable Airbus heavy investment in the A380 development reduces their agility precisely at the moment Boeing needs an opening to overcome the advantage Airbus gained a decade ago. If Boeing is smart they will leap forward in even lighter weight structures and coordinated improvements in flight programming, engine design and aerodynamics - all of which they can later, and with relative ease, apply to a second generation super jumbo competitor to the A380.

There is an alternate scenario to all this however. Many of these same arguments were put forward 35 years ago when Boeing introduced the then revolutionary 747.

It is an intersting game. It is worth remembering that both Britain and France were ahead of the U.S. in the introduction of both turboprop and jet passenger aircraft. Moreover both the old Comet and Caravelle used superior aerodynamic design (from a drag perspective) for engine placement in the wing roots. However Boeing later trumped that with the 707 which used far more practical nacelle placement for the engines, and figured out how to position them on the wing at key points to reduce flutter, thereby significantly increasing attainable wing span aerodynamic efficiency, and load capacity. Nacelles also later facilitated the use of bypass engines which wouldn't fit in the European designs. Sometimes advantages in round 1 turn out to be disadvantages in round 2.
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georgeob1
 
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Reply Sat 11 Jun, 2005 11:01 pm
McTag wrote:
Boeing can't compete with the plane so they try to torpedo the company.


Business is war.

As Sun Tsu said - it is important to choose the field and the moment of battle carefully.

By the way the British & the French did precisely that in the early '50s with their initial investment in turboprop and later jet passenger planes. The United States was awash in large piston engined propeller-driven aircraft left over from wartime production and couldn't compete in the domestic market with new designs due to the flood of available, cheap large conventional aircraft. (Perhaps we should have whined about the ingratitude of our allies whose chestnuts we had once again pulled out of the fire. - Happily we didn't do that, but simply got back to business.) Ten years later we came up with better designs for jet transports which brought the prize back home. The game never ends. Competition is the key to progress.
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JustWonders
 
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Reply Sun 12 Jun, 2005 11:45 am
[quote="georgeob1"[(Perhaps we should have whined about the ingratitude of our allies whose chestnuts we had once again pulled out of the fire. - Happily we didn't do that, but simply got back to business.)[/quote]

I think there are still a few outstanding payments on the Marshall plan loans the US and Europe might want to discuss. Smile
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Steve 41oo
 
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Reply Sun 12 Jun, 2005 04:18 pm
wow you guys too a long time getting going


my interest is really the competing views of hub to hub or local local

comments gentleman (and ladies, which I regret are few)
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jun, 2005 04:30 pm
Hub & Spoke, vs. direct network.

I suspect this will continue to be a complex matter. Before the advent of competitive low cost airlines here the economics favored hub & spoke as each major airline attempted to saturate its market and tie up its main customers with frequent flyer programs and like incentives. Now the market in this country (and Europe as well) has been invaded by low cost carriers, often favoring secondary airports, which are competing effectively with the major airlines, which as a whole are not doiing very well. The low cost carriers concentrate on lucrative routes, and, in the process more or less destroy the economic model that has so far sustained the major carriers with their hub and spoke networks. Thius competition drains revenues from the major airlines, leaving them stuck with expensive, inelastic hub & spoke networks, and a rapid downward spiral. I don't see these factors changing anytime soon.

There will still, of necessity be a hub & spoke network of sorts on long distance transoceanic travel, and this will be the market niche the A380 will serve. However I doubt seriously that it will ever suceed in capturing a major part of our domestic market. Hence my belief that Boeing has made the right strategic choice.
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Steve 41oo
 
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Reply Tue 14 Jun, 2005 06:51 am
Well this is really getting to the crux. The niche market will be point to point imo. More expensive too. For environmental reasons if nothing else the A38O is the taking the lead. I think Boeing called it wrong, this is why I ask if they have a future.
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Jun, 2005 07:09 am
Taking the lead in what? Both the Airbus and Boeing aircraft in this supposed competition have enough confirmed orders for the respective companies to begin production. It is far too early for anyone to delare any outcome.

I do believe there will be a market for the Airbus A350 - I have already indicated that. The market will be primarily long range international travel on high density routes. However, I also believe that the concentration of resurces required will give Boeing an opening to forge ahead in both that and in much larger market with the several aircraft models they have both under development and in production.

It will be interesting to see what comes out of the forthcoming WTO dispute. I believe the U.S. will be quite stubborn in this one.
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Jun, 2005 07:33 am
I'm sure they will be stubborn. Strikes me there is a hint of desperation about it. Boeing really do not like being number 2 to Airbus.

also just a minor point but it is the A380 and not 350 we are talking about?

What I meant about taking a lead is that A380 shifts people with lower environmental costs than any other plane.
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georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Jun, 2005 08:51 am
Now I'm confused - is it A380 or A350??? Very Happy

"Desperation" - perhaps on both sides - the stakes are high and business is like war. However I believe the Boeing decision to step aside from th super jumbo transport race was a wise one. Their investment will be better spent elsewhere. (We did a similar thing in the late '60s with the SST).

Depends on how you measure "environmental costs". Presumably the biggest single factor is exhaust gas deposits in the upper atmosphere. Basically that equates to fuel costs per passenger seat mile.

In general, from a purely aerodynamic perspective, the bigger an aircraft gets, the more efficient it gets - provided structural weight increases only proportionately to size. The problem is that from a structural perspective the bigger the structure the weaker it is at proportional structural weight. Much depends on the tradeoffs here. There have been great improvements in engine technology, but they are readily transferrable as aircraft can be re engined with relative ease. The A380 may be more fuel efficient than many contemporary aircraft bit is not likely to be relative to other new aircraft.
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timberlandko
 
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Reply Wed 14 Jun, 2006 06:08 pm
Update:


___
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georgeob1
 
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Reply Wed 14 Jun, 2006 06:48 pm
Timber,

Thanks for resurrecting this thread. Very interesting to read comments posted a year ago in the light of subsequent events. Increasingly it appears that Airbus has indeed reduced its flexibility and adaptability by a very large investment (and bet) in a single, very large aircraft development, one that is advantageous only in a single market segment (long range, hub-to-hub). Moreover, the difficulty they are having meeting both performance commitments and production schedules could very seriously injure the economics of their introduction of the new aircraft.

I am confident that after some delays Airbus will deliver the new aircraft and that they will eventually meet most or all of their promised performance goals. However, Boeing has clearly used the time and market opportunity to develop new aerodynamic and structural efficiencies that will enable them to quickly field a series of new high fuel efficiency models over the entire spectrum of aircraft classes - 120 passengers to 500. Moreover they will have equalled or beaten Airbus' promised fuel efficiency per passenger on nearly the whole range of models - and all without the requirement for new airport facilities.

If rapid cost reductions are required to preserve capital for added investment the attitudes of the owner governments on Airbus' management board are not likely to benefit that company. The political imperatives arising from highly regulated labor markets and protected employment are not beneficial influences on the management of the company under the current circumstances.

It doesn't look at all as though Boeing "is finished" as some Airbus advocates somewhat condescendingly predicted. On the contrary it appears that Airbus faces a period of struggle and, perhaps restructuring.. I don't think that Airbus "is finished" at all. However, it does appear that the next round will be dominated by Boeing, not Airbus.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jun, 2006 07:24 pm
I expect Airbus will survive, though I expect also their difficulties and setbacks are far from behind them. The BAE pullout goes well beyond mere economic impact; EADS faces the very real, and relatively near-term, prospect of major reorganization. The production problems, and the consequent delivery delays, which already have occasioned renegotiations and placed some signed and several anticipated contracts in jeopardy, have negatively impacted both mid and long term profit potential and, of more immediate concern, cashflow impairments and credit downgrades must now be accommodated. Airbus hasn't been killed by all of this by any means, but its sure hurt itself badly. Boeing has won the last couple rounds, and appears to be getting stronger, while Airbus seems able to manage only to stay in the fight.
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Jun, 2006 08:28 pm
Why is there even a poll? As a small business , I have a stake in the location and production of Titanium metal, which Boeing has produced in Russia but from ore sources all over the world. The Ti and Graphite composite wings are a lighter , stronger wing structure that is presently used in B-2's. Id like to see everyone develop their markets and win. Like Tony Soprano said
"theres enough garbage for allof us"

Im sure Airbus is gonna retool that big load to make it ligter without discovering what we discovered with the C-5 dihedral, it fatigues .
Titanium graphite composite (TiGR) is, pound for pound way stronger and therefore increases fuel efficiency for the entire p[lane.
Boeing has gone for the smaller 7E7 and its through engine efficiency and weight savings by using more exotic metals and composites that this plane will base its sales future.

When SST was developed I was a small kid and my older cousin said that "this would revolutionize travel" Boy was he wrong.
Everything a company does in adjusting fora market that isnt even living yet, is a gamble. I'd really hate to see AIrbus tank because of dumb design moves and wire harness delays, but , being a War Bird appreciator (I do a lot of watercolors of warbirds after I took a ride in an old restored B-17), I recall from my reading about how the US P-38 was originally an underpowered mis balanced death trap. Look what they did with that thing in less than 18 months of "tweaking"
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