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Topic: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: delta88
Posted 2013-08-10 21:12:33 and read 5030 times.

I was just thinking about this while in a summer Economics class. What would the commercial airplane be like if Boeing and Airbus had failed. Suppose lets say Boeing failed with the 707 and Douglas(later McDonnell Douglas) had succeeded with the DC-8, DC-9 and onward. What if Airbus's new A300 simply didnt get enough orders and it wasnt financially viable to keep the Airbus Consortium alive. What would the industry be like if Boeing and Airbus were not the manufacturers of todays airliners? Would McDonnell Douglas and even a company like Fokker have been more successful and dominated the Market? Would the MD-8X series be the most common aircraft in service, and Fokker 100s on regional flights alone side Embraers? Please let everyone have their own opionions.

Topic: RE: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: BMI727
Posted 2013-08-10 21:24:40 and read 5002 times.

Quoting delta88 (Thread starter):
What would the industry be like if Boeing and Airbus were not the manufacturers of todays airliners?

Same as it is now, just with different names. None of what those, or any other, companies did changes the course of economics or physics.

Quoting delta88 (Thread starter):
Suppose lets say Boeing failed with the 707 and Douglas(later McDonnell Douglas) had succeeded with the DC-8, DC-9 and onward.

You mean just like the DeHavilland Comet failed?

Quoting delta88 (Thread starter):
What if Airbus's new A300 simply didnt get enough orders and it wasnt financially viable to keep the Airbus Consortium alive.

You mean just like the Concorde didn't?

We know exactly what would happen because that's exactly how we got where we are now. It just happened to others.

[Edited 2013-08-10 21:27:50]

Topic: RE: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: United1
Posted 2013-08-10 21:54:09 and read 4934 times.

Quoting delta88 (Thread starter):
Please let everyone have their own opionions.

I would enjoy flying my IL-96 between JFK and SFO.... 

Someone else would have stepped in and while the manufacturers would have had different names I think the industry would look much the same as it does now. If there is a void someone is going to step in to fill it...

Topic: RE: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: flyingclrs727
Posted 2013-08-10 21:55:30 and read 4929 times.

Maybe there wouldn't have been a 747 sized plane in the early 70's.

Topic: RE: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: DeltaMD90
Posted 2013-08-10 22:00:59 and read 4917 times.

There are too many what ifs and some of these events happened way too long ago to get a clear picture on what we'd have today. I'd be willing to bet we'd have 2 or 3 large manufacturers, not too different from what we'd have today. It would be interesting to see what all the different, alternate universe aircraft looked like. Not saying we'd have space ships or anything, but maybe T tailed 4 engined planes, a 727 sized 3-holer but with engines on the wings instead, kinda like a mini L-1011. It would be interesting. Might not have seen a 747 like aircraft, that's for sure

Topic: RE: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: BMI727
Posted 2013-08-10 22:12:53 and read 4887 times.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 4):
but maybe T tailed 4 engined planes, a 727 sized 3-holer but with engines on the wings instead, kinda like a mini L-1011. It would be interesting.

For the most part there wouldn't be. All of this goes back to physics and engineering, and that works pretty much the same for everyone. The best and most efficient ways to do things is for the most part not dependent on which company does it. It's just a matter of who gets it right and who makes missteps and when, plus a few other outside factors which may lead someone down the wrong or right path.

One thing I will say is that if there hadn't been the false start of the Concorde, there wouldn't be a hump on the 747.

Topic: RE: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: DeltaMD90
Posted 2013-08-10 22:24:15 and read 4865 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 5):
For the most part there wouldn't be. All of this goes back to physics and engineering, and that works pretty much the same for everyone. The best and most efficient ways to do things is for the most part not dependent on which company does it. It's just a matter of who gets it right and who makes missteps and when, plus a few other outside factors which may lead someone down the wrong or right path.

To an extent, yeah. But look at the DC-9 and the 737. I know the 737 ended up being more successful, but the DC-9 sold well and pretend it was 3-3. You have 2 similar cost aircraft but one is a T tail with 2 engines on the back and the other is the opposite. The 757 was almost a T tail. That's what I mean. I'm not saying anything crazy, I'm just saying we might have seen the Lockheed 2011, a huge airline with a hump that was small enough to be a tri-engined airplane... basically a bigger Tristar

It would be a bit different. I think we'd end up where we are now though, twins, engines on the wings, not T tails, etc

Topic: RE: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: FSXJunkie
Posted 2013-08-10 23:14:03 and read 4776 times.

Quoting delta88 (Thread starter):
Boeing failed with the 707 and Douglas(later McDonnell Douglas) had succeeded with the DC-8

The only way this could happen is if WW2 never happened.

Boeing's empire was built from the C-135 and the close relationship they developed with the Air Force during the war and the immediate postwar period. With that inside track the C-135's civilian counterpart..the 707 was guaranteed success.

Douglas didn't have any inside tracks to get the jump on the jetliner market. Boeing was building the prototype when the Air Force issued the contract bid, the DC-8 wasn't even a rough sketch, and Boeing knew that the Air Force wanted a jet tanker/transport ASAP so having a flying example at the ready was an automatic win.

A lot of history has to go differently for the 707 to fail, it's not like the L-1011 where the flunking of the one and only engine manufacturer would crucify it on the marketplace.

The only way Boeing loses is if there's no WW2.

Topic: RE: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: DeltaMD90
Posted 2013-08-10 23:35:36 and read 4737 times.

Quoting FSXJunkie (Reply 7):
The only way Boeing loses is if there's no WW2.

IDK. you seem to be much more familiar with the history than I am, but suppose the 707/C-135s suffered from fatigue and many aircraft when down in flames. The source wasn't found quickly enough, and the AF got frustrated and jumped on the DC-8.

A few things had to change for that to happen, but it's less drastic than WWII not happening  

Topic: RE: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: BMI727
Posted 2013-08-10 23:57:41 and read 4695 times.

Quoting FSXJunkie (Reply 7):
The only way Boeing loses is if there's no WW2.

I'm not sure that's the only way Boeing loses, but that would have been the only way Airbus didn't happen. Once Europe got thoroughly smashed up the only way the European aerospace could match that in America was collaboration.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 8):
A few things had to change for that to happen, but it's less drastic than WWII not happening

A lot of nice German technology and the smart guys that came up with it would have stayed in Germany for one thing.

Topic: RE: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: TheCheese
Posted 2013-08-11 00:09:04 and read 4652 times.

Say, for example, there were several high-profile accidents right at the beginning of the 707's flight-test program; sales are not forthcoming, and (with the KC135 contract locked up, along with the lucrative B-52 contract bringing plenty of income) the Boeing board of directors decides not to proceed with the 707 program, instead focusing on KC135 development.

When the DC-8 came out it would be competing against an improved Comet and to a lesser extent the Convair 880. DC-8 and Comet would've split the 707s sales, likely with more Comets to European, Middle-East and African nations, with Douglas getting most all of its prop customers to convert to Douglas Jets.

I imagine we might've seen the DC-9 as a 2-aisle, 4-engine intercontinental plane, bigger than a DC-10 but not as big as the 747; about 250-325 seats. In the mid-1970s Douglas would've come out with a 2-engine DC-10 that would have competed directly with the A300 and any Lockheed L-1011 follow on aircraft. In the mid-1980s Douglas would've started production of the DC-11, a 2-deck, 4-engine plane about 2/3rds the size of the A380.

Lockheed would've sewn up the mid-sized market with the L-1011 without the other wide-body tri-holer to compete against, and Airbus likely would have come on strong with the A300 earlier without the added competition, at least until Douglas came along with the 2-engine DC-10 I mentioned before. Maybe Lockheed would've gotten into the smaller jet market with a bigger version of the Jetstar, or come up with a clean-sheet 2-engine wide-body to compete against the Douglas big twin and the A300?

Convair's 880 would've soaked up more orders for operators that would've used the 720. Maybe they would've gone with a smaller, fast 100+ seater, maybe Convair would've been the first to build a really big 400-seat jet?

Caravelle would've seen far more orders, especially in North America. A lot more sales in le Monde Francophone, for sure, and probably the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

The VC-10 would've definitely seen more adopters, especially because of its hot-and-high performance without the competing 727. The developments from Vickers might also have produced a big twin.

Oh, the Trident! Even the H.S. Trident would've been more successful... I would imagine. Maybe. Okay, I really don't see it. I like the Trident, but for the love of Mike it just wasn't very good.

But the real winner, I think, could have been the BAC 1-11. Without the 737 and DC-9 to compete with (barring a miracle to give it more range the Dassault Mercure just isn't in this league) the One-Eleven would probably have sold like hotcakes as a short-range jet (as did the 737) then developmentally stretched out into a longer-ranged plane carrying more passengers. Airbus would naturally start cutting into that market with the A320, but it would be interesting to think of what a successful BAC could've produced post-1-11.

[Edited 2013-08-11 00:11:29]

[Edited 2013-08-11 00:57:10]

Topic: RE: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: flyingclrs727
Posted 2013-08-11 08:02:59 and read 4198 times.

Quoting FSXJunkie (Reply 7):
Boeing's empire was built from the C-135 and the close relationship they developed with the Air Force during the war and the immediate postwar period. With that inside track the C-135's civilian counterpart..the 707 was guaranteed success.

The C-135 has a narrower fuselage than the 707. Boeing bit the bullet and increased the fuselage width after Douglas sold airlines on the concept of 6-abreast economy seating on their DC-8. Would all the 707 derivatives like the 727, 737, and 757 been successful using the C-135 fuselage?

Topic: RE: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: LH707330
Posted 2013-08-11 11:01:17 and read 4002 times.

Quoting flyingclrs727 (Reply 11):
The C-135 has a narrower fuselage than the 707. Boeing bit the bullet and increased the fuselage width after Douglas sold airlines on the concept of 6-abreast economy seating on their DC-8. Would all the 707 derivatives like the 727, 737, and 757 been successful using the C-135 fuselage?

They would surely not have sold as well as 5-across with that diameter. What I think FSXjunkie was getting at is the advantages the C-135 started out with guaranteed the 707's success. I'd sayhe most important of these were:
1.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 9):
A lot of nice German technology and the smart guys that came up with it would have stayed in Germany for one thing.


Boeing had a bunch of good research and aero guys join their team for the B-47
2. Building their own transonic wind tunnel (was this funded by DoD through the bomber programs?) paid off as well, as they had much more tunnel testing time than the DC-8 did.
3. The lessons learned from the B-47 and B-52, including the option to have a thicker root chord without a drag penalty, were fed into the C-135 and 707.

All this helped Boeing get the 35-degree sweep right, while Douglas ended up going for a shallower angle and having a lower cruise speed.

Topic: RE: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: Flighty
Posted 2013-08-12 06:44:56 and read 2743 times.

Without knowing anything about airplane engineering, it probably would have been extremely similar.

One thing is that passenger demand naturally emerges from global culture and the economy. We wouldn't see 1,000 seat airliners, because the demand structure never supported that, and still would not.

As another poster said, economics wouldn't change and neither would physics / engineering. Boeing and Airbus made many innovations, but still, let's be honest. The 787 and A350 are nearly THE SAME airliner. Lockheed or Dassault would have made virtually the exact same aircraft.

Sure, we could have flying wings by now... willing to entertain that. But the forces of competition are sooo harsh on this. The designs such as A350 are more or less inevitable outgrowths of need vs. technological possibility, with heritage going straight back to WWII.

Topic: RE: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: Carpethead
Posted 2013-08-12 06:50:00 and read 2727 times.

Either way there would at least be one large jetliner manufacturer in the US: Boeing, McDonnell Douglas or Lockheed.
Had the Airbus experiment gone wrong, perhaps a Japanese company put its foot forward as the 1970s & 1980s were a boom period. The large Japanese aerospace manufacturers may have gotten together and not collaborated with Boeing that started around that period.

Topic: RE: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: kanban
Posted 2013-08-12 09:20:07 and read 2498 times.

Never understood the need for "what if .. failed" discussions.. they didn't.. others did and someone picked up the pieces (or hired the brains) and moved on. Airbus having government monies would have mustered on on the dole until they found the right combination.. The 707 wasn't a big risk for Boeing (nor the 727 and 737).. the 747 was, and everybody says they bet the company.. but that is more of a myth and good PR than fact.. the 737 and 747 were just a couple years premature.

Topic: RE: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: spacecadet
Posted 2013-08-12 12:44:37 and read 2308 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 5):
The best and most efficient ways to do things is for the most part not dependent on which company does it.

The thing is, modern airliners are not the best and most efficient way of doing things. They are the way they are because of customer preference (both the airlines and passengers). The most efficient way of doing things is blended wing body, and we've had BWB's flying around since at least the 1940's, so it's not like this is unproven technology.

If we're talking about a world in which neither Airbus nor Boeing were successful, then we're talking about a world where airliner/passenger preferences are necessarily different than what they are - because it would be a world where airlines and passengers had rejected Boeing's and Airbus's designs. In that case, airliners could very well look much different than they do today. We may not be flying in "cigars with wings" as we still are today.

I think we'll eventually be flying in BWB's anyway because eventually the economics are going to overcome the desire by airlines not to freak out passengers with windowless cabins, but it may have already happened by now without Boeing and Airbus in the picture and with different passenger preferences.

Also, if we're talking about passenger/airline preference being different (as it would have to be), then it's possible that commercial supersonic flight would still be viable. Maybe in such a world, there's more of a premium on speed than there is in our world.

Of course, it's all wild speculation, but you're free to make up your own rules for a world where you're playing "what if" about the two dominant companies in any industry having failed in the marketplace, because the rules of our current world wouldn't apply.

Topic: RE: What If Boeing And Airbus Had Failed As Companies?
Username: airmagnac
Posted 2013-08-12 14:14:49 and read 2176 times.

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 16):
The most efficient way of doing things is blended wing body

That's only true if you merely look at lift-to-drag ratio, in isolation of all other design parameters.
Airliners are a compromise between many many more items, apart from L/D : structural loads, control & stability, aircraft survivability requirements (uncontained engine failure, wheel burst, etc), evacuation requirements, reliability/ETOPS, maintainability, serviceability (load/unload the passengers/cargo, food etc...), compatibility with existing ground infrastructure (taxiway/runway loading, boarding bridges, etc...), visibility, manufacturability & assembly, disassembly at end of life, noise, system installation constraints (for example length limits due to voltage drop in electrical wires, pressure drop in ducts, latency times for data communication, etc...), ability to design & test (if aerodynamics are too complicated for either CFD or wind tunnels, you're stuck), pressure and temperature control, and those are just the ones I can think of right now.
And transporting passengers is the primary purpose of an airliner after all, so passenger comfort is kind of important too  

There may be a better solution than a tube-with-wings that balances out all those things, but no one has found it yet. A BWB certainly does not meet all the criteria, at least for the time being.
So it's not so much an issue of being called Airbus or Boeing, or Bombardier or Tupolev or Curtiss or Bleriot or...
in the end it's just physics, or more precisely our limited understanding of physics.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
Same as it is now, just with different names. None of what those, or any other, companies did changes the course of economics or physics.

  


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