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The End Of An Industry As We Know It  
User currently offlineBlackKnight From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 241 posts, RR: 0
Posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 9349 times:

First I would like to introduce myself. I have been a Airliners.net ghost for years downloading,watching and reading. My love of aviation is deep and my life is spent in it's web. My career and hobbies reflect it. I have wanted to join many times but have not due to the often non-factual, funny yet emotional comments. As an Engineer I seek to learn and understand. It is for this reason I suggest this topic.

In my career I have worked on parts for both Airbus and Boeing. I have been in numerous meeting with both. Today the competition between the two is at an all time high. Regardless of personal emotional opinions the aviation industry is at a crossroads. Many of my colleges where I work and at both Airbus and Boeing feel the same way. Airbus has an ability to turn out new or modified models faster than Boeing. The truth is the lack of fear in funding and sale price which even Airbus Purchasing Agents admit.

Regardless of emotional favoritism an industry without competition is on a downward trend. Would Airbus turn out additional models as fast without Boeing? True lovers of the aviation world as with the sport world have their favorites. The game though if not played fair and with an opponent is dull and boring. You may hate Airbus or Boeing but what would the industry be like without Boeing? Can both surrvive with the rules as they are? Where will we be in 5 years? 15 years?

This is not a red flag to a bull to start a fight but an attempt for all of us to review the facts.

P.S. Having dealt with the quality requirements and demands of both they are very similar and demanding. I hope the industry can work out it's issues so we can be fans of the game for a very long time.





BK
44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJetMechMD80 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 380 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 9265 times:

BlackKnight

You make some good points, It was a sad day when McDonald Douglas was bought by Boeing. But, and I feel that if there was only one builder of airframes left, that the innovation would cease. I don't feel however that this would happen should Boeing or Airbus go out of business. I hope nether do, but if one did, I think someone else would step in to fill the void. The Russians maybe? Or maybe Bombardier, or Embraer would step in. It would not take much for ether to build a larger airliner. Just my opinion.



"I get along great with nobody"~ Billy Idol
User currently offlineZippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5478 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 9232 times:

A One World Monopoly would be counter productive. Competition breeds innovation and evolution. I feel if both Boeing and Airbus can hang on through what I feel will be a period of economic funk then, they will both fare for the better. Both company's are betting a lot on their latest new projects which are more evolutionary than revolutionary. The 7E7 and the giant Airbus A380 are variations on rather proven technology. In Boeing's case, leaner with long range capability and for Airbus, bigger is better. I hope they both fill their niche in the changing airline industry. With a stronger Airbus and Boeing, then maybe the next time around will be that step toward the frontier of hypersonic commercial air travel on a large and economical scale and not just a frivolous novelty for rich money men and show business divas.


I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlinePlaneSmart From New Zealand, joined Dec 2004, 893 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 9188 times:

No-one in the aviation business would want to see one major western civil aircraft manufacturer, even A & B, and especially a.netters (no spirited A v B discussions).

If it looked on the cards, some airlines would take a strategic position and support the underdog, in much the same way Microsoft has supported Apple.

Does B need a White Knight now?

In contrast, A is on a roll. I'm not saying A models are better, but they are good with outsourcing, production scheduling, selling, product range, etc.

Another thread discusses flight deck commonality, yet there is far more behind the scenes commonality at A, like fuselage plugs and sections, doors, glass, etc.

It has taken A 30yrs to get where it is today, so there are no quick fixes for B.

One way the US Govt could assist B, is by requiring consistency between the armed forces. If the military could adopt the 'family' concept of aircraft solutions, it would be much easier for B to extend this into it's civil range.


User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 9159 times:

McDonald Douglas

Not to nitpick, but it's McDonell Douglas



User currently offlineStickShaker From Australia, joined Sep 2004, 753 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 9111 times:

Hi BlackNight, welcome to A.net

You have raised some very pertinent issues.
I think the industry is on the threshold of some very interesting changes - particularly with the launch of the 7e7. Previously, manufacturers would introduce new technologies and materials gradually with each model but the 7e7 represents a quantum leap with its all composite construction. The result is Airbus had to respond with its 358/9 thus prematurely ending the careers of 2 models that were still relatively young - the 332/3. The 343 and 772 may suffer the same fate.
A similar process may occur when Boeing launches the new composite 737 replacement.

Would Airbus turn out additional models as fast without Boeing?
No - Airbus probably had no intentions of replacing the 332 until the 7e7 came along, the 350 is the direct result of strong competition.

Cheers
StickShaker


User currently offlineM404 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2225 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 9068 times:
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Blackknight

I agree wholeheartedly and have said so several times. Your point The truth is the lack of fear in funding and sale price... must be addressed by American citizens and the government. Why is this so at Airbus? Can it be that the form of backing, some here call it subsidy, could actually be the real way to bring back an industry vital to our debt, foreign trade, academic health, and even simple pride? Instead of attacking what some say is an unfair advantage should not we simply give our own industries the same rules. We keep screaming about an unlevel playing field SO why not stop butting into others systems and adopt what seems to be working. I dare say if it was a new proven aircraft design we would not hesitate but even try and adapt and improve it.



Less sarcasm and more thought equal better understanding
User currently offlineRichierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4247 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 8923 times:

McDonald Douglas

Not to nitpick, but it's McDonell Douglas


Actually, its "McDonnell-Douglas" but at least you had the right name even if the spelling was wrong.



None shall pass!!!!
User currently offlineRwylie77 From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 367 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 8873 times:

I have never been able to understand the A vs. B on A.net....

In my opinion the strong competition in the market place between the two companies is superb for every one of us - it forces both to be innovative and constantly trying to improve their products so we can all travel across the globe in more safety, comfort and at a lower price.

We see new and interesting planes being developed - the A350 wouldn't be being developed if it was not for the 7e7 and the 7e7 might not have been developed if the A330 wasn't taking away sales from the 767. The 747 Advanced wouldn't even be thought about at Boeing if it was not for the A380 development.

So having two strong companies like Airbus and Boeing competing as they are is great for all of us as consumers and also as plane spotters - we get to see new aircraft being developed which are faster, more economical, safer and more comfortable. Everyone is a winner - the only reason anybody would want one of the two companies to dissappear is if you have an awful lot of shares/stocks in one of them and want to see a monopoly.


User currently offlineSebolino From France, joined May 2001, 3681 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 8840 times:

It was a sad day when McDonald Douglas was bought by Boeing

Happy meal for everybody in flight !  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


User currently offlineGreaser From Bahamas, joined Jan 2004, 1101 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 8782 times:

We see new and interesting planes being developed - the A350 wouldn't be being developed if it was not for the 7e7 and the 7e7 might not have been developed if the A330 wasn't taking away sales from the 767. The 747 Advanced wouldn't even be thought about at Boeing if it was not for the A380 development.

Competition does spark off many new things in business, but one has to know that Boeing did actually plan a replacement for every aircraft type, including the 777, it's only the dates that are very often changed. It just depends on current and future market conditions. Airbus also planned the A350 before they started saying it, as said before i'd bet they'd starting talking about one in July-August, maybe even as early as January



Now you're really flying
User currently offlineNa From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 10677 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 8681 times:

I´m not afraid Boeing is in any danger to go under facing Airbus on a run.
As both are the only survivors currently able to build big airliners it can´t be in the interest of any airline to favour just one of them for 100%. Its the fierce competition that leads to great products. Unfortunately "war" is most fertile in terms of advancement.

Both manufacturers products have reached an admirable quality unequalled in any market I can think of. The differences are so marginal that they create these sometimes funny A vs.B wars here who in the end are mostly based on emotions rather than facts. The development in the direction of increased safety are as stunning as in Formula 1 racing. Of the types developed in the last 20 years almost none have crashed, or in so low numbers it is neglegible.


User currently offlineBlackKnight From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 8634 times:


.......I have never been able to understand the A vs. B on A.net....

This not an A vs. B in fact it is about keep both A and B. What would we all do with our time if the game did not exist?

.......Competition does spark off many new things in business, but one has to know that Boeing did actually plan a replacement for every aircraft type, including the 777, it's only the dates that are very often changed. It just depends on current and future market conditions. Airbus also planned the A350 before they started saying it, as said before I'd bet they'd starting talking about one in July-August, maybe even as early as January

Yes I am very aware of future aircraft on the horizon. In fact the rush is on for the 737/A320 replacement. The problem is getting the design to the real world. Can any current manufacturer complete with Airbus without help? I am asking what will the landscape been in 25 years? In 50 years? Will aircraft manufacturers be paired with the countries which support them? Will sales reflect this? Will Airbus be left alone in the 200 + seat category?

I am a big fan of competition and enjoy the game. That is the point, please read my first post. It will not be as it is now in the future. If things stay the same I know from personal experience Boeing will not be able to compete. So where will we be?

If you must get out your crystal balls.



BK
User currently offlineFlyabunch From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 517 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 8602 times:

Another factor in the competitive nature of the business is that it is much easier for a well funded new market entry (ie. Airbus) to setup an efficient operation. Boeing and MD are and were working with a long established routine, workforce, labor agreements, and plants. Airbus was able for the most part to start with a clean sheet of paper and build an efficent operation based on the building of commercial jetliners.

One only needs to look at a well-funded example in the airline business for comparisons. Jet Blue has racked up an enviable record of profit and expansion based on starting clean and with new equipment. They were able to control MX costs and build a great LCC airline.

I know it is not a direct comparison but it does have its similarities. Boeing has a heavier apparatus to get moving. They have made great strides in recent years. I think that they will do fine and I do not think there is any reason to fear that they will fail...the airlines themselves would not want to see it.

Mike


User currently offlineRwylie77 From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 367 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 8535 times:

Flyabunch - sorry, but I have to disagree...setting up a manufacturing company like Airbus is very different to setting up an airline. JetBlue have no R&D team, long and expensive product development cycles, factories etc etc...there are huge barriers to entry to starting a company to compete with Airbus and Boeing while you can set up an airline relatively quickly with much less capital.

Your comment is comparable to saying it is just as easy to set up a company building big ships as it is to set up a cruise company like Princess...they are completely different businesses.


User currently offlineNwa1978 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 66 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 8487 times:

Rwylie77,

Your missing the point. He is not saying they are the same type of company he is saying that a LCC is doing much better than the legacy airlines because they (legacy) have the expensive labor contracts and things of this nature where airtran or jetblue do not. This is why airtran is pulling in profits when delta is screaming. Boeing has been around just like the legacy carriers and airbus is fairly new like airtran. Hope that helps!!


[Edited 2004-12-15 18:41:18]

User currently offlineBlackKnight From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 8437 times:

Interesting articles:

http://www.resourceinvestor.com/pebble.asp?relid=7428

http://www.techcentralstation.com/121304A.html

Sorry still new and learning how to post links.



BK
User currently offlineFlyabunch From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 517 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 8354 times:

NWA1978 is correct. My point was that it is much easier to start with a clean slate in any industry. I realize that an airplane manufacturing company is much more complex than an airline, but a lot of the factors are comparable, just not on the same scale.

I would much rather start with a "well financed" clean setup than to have to deal with all of the old company traditions, work rules, unions, plants, and so on.

My grandfather ran a large manufacturing company in California when I was young. He had an opportunity come his way when the company decided to move locations to make way for a freeway. 1. stay with the existing company and move everything, workers, equipment, tools, rules, etc. in a new building. Or two, manage a brand new company in the same industry with good funding. He took the second option. He was able to setup a state of the art facility with much better productivity. They hit the ground running, had a great product with better margins and quickly became an industry leader.

mike


User currently offlinePlaneSmart From New Zealand, joined Dec 2004, 893 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 8197 times:

Flyabunch
"NWA1978 is correct. My point was that it is much easier to start with a clean slate in any industry. I realize that an airplane manufacturing company is much more complex than an airline, but a lot of the factors are comparable, just not on the same scale."

Agree

"I would much rather start with a "well financed" clean setup than to have to deal with all of the old company traditions, work rules, unions, plants, and so on."

Agree.

But, this is not how Airbus started. It was a collaboration of existing aerospace businesses, with existing labour contracts, existing factories and equipment, with Govts thrown into the pot as well.

Different parts of a/c construction were sub-contracted around Europe, partly to satisfy nationalistic pride and partly to keep employees working. Now of course it's called risk sharing, and has other spin-offs like natural exchange rate hedging.

Think back 20 years. How difficult would it have been to have B, McD and L working in a strategic alliance together, designing and building parts of aircraft, sharing the risks and rewards. Mission impossible, but thats what they did in Europe.

When B acquired McD, airlines waited with baited breath to see if this was simply taking out a competitor, or an acquisition to obtain expertise & resources. Regretably it seems to have been the former, and the opportunities have been squandered.

B would have been better off to keep their $'s for future a/c development, & not had the distraction of merging / managing facilities and staff. But a key motivation was to prevent A from acquiring an assembly capability in the US.

In hindsight perhaps B won the proverbial battle, but lost the war.


User currently offlineJetMechMD80 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 380 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 8139 times:

"Think back 20 years. How difficult would it have been to have B, McD and L working in a strategic alliance together, designing and building parts of aircraft, sharing the risks and rewards. Mission impossible, but thats what they did in Europe."


Sorry, it was done in America also. It was called project Apollo.

[Edited 2004-12-15 20:29:21]


"I get along great with nobody"~ Billy Idol
User currently offlinePlaneSmart From New Zealand, joined Dec 2004, 893 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 8010 times:

Not quite the same JetMechMD80.

How many customers did Project Apollo have?
Were foreign manufacturers & governments involved as shareholders or contractors?
Did it involve alliances for civil and military applications?
Did they have to re-organise / close manufacturing plants, lay-off staff & agree shareholdings?
Did they have to agree which markets to target and which to drop?

As the title states, Project Apollo was a finite project, for one customer. It was very big, but at the end of the day, they were delivering one product, to one customer.


User currently offlineJetMechMD80 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 380 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7931 times:

My point was that almost the entire US Aerospace Industry came together to build project Apollo. I believe there were over 50,000 venders. And they all shared the risks, which were many, along with the rewards.


"I get along great with nobody"~ Billy Idol
User currently offlineLtbewr From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13073 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7868 times:

It takes big companies to do make big things. Airbus is essentially the merger of a number of European aircraft and componet manufactures. Boeing took over McDonell-Douglas (which in turn was a merger of 2 companies). We see it in other industries like (in the USA) of the merger of Sears & K-mart, and as announced today, Sprint and Nextel. Both A & B make very similar specification products and some products with certain advantages over the other co's. Political and economic pressures are also factors too. You have Candair and Embraer making a/c that A & B really do not make and I see them moving into the market for the smaller A-319/737 range of a/c's. All business evolve and change as the markets, needs and technology changes. Some that do change and evolve will stay in business a long time (like DuPont from the early 1800's mainly in gunpowder to chemicals today). Maybe the aircraft and airline industries have reached the end of a sorts in recent years, but they are starting a new business model now.

User currently offlineDayflyer From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 3807 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 7363 times:

Great subject, and I have to admit both companies manufacture and sell great airplanes. I just want a level playing field where Airbus gets 0 subsidies (tax breaks are fine with me) so that they compete on a level playing field.

The competition is fierce, as it should be. It does bring out the best and worst on both sides. And yes, I agree again that Airbus does make a good product, although I do always hope Boeing wins it's fair share of the market in a level playing field.

Where will we be in 15 years? Right where we are right now: Boeing and Airbus going at each other full steam ahead, competing over every possible order and duking it out!!!  Smile



One Nation Under God
User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8216 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (9 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 7260 times:

While the industry for large planes is basically down to 2 companies the loss of one would probably generate development of a new company. A sole maker would increase prices, have problems with delivery times and, in general, make it attractive for someone to enter the market.

If one of the two gets too large a share there will probably be a tendency for them to develop a high level of arrogance, which is a good way to loose customer support very quickly.

If one of the two reaches a market share level where the word "monopoly" comes into play then legal battles (and related costs, fines, restrictions, etc.) would change the game dramatically. The costs associated with being a monopoly can make it desirable to return to a balanced market.

In any of these situations I see neither company wanting the whole market, no matter what they say.


25 M27 : To all that have posted in this and other posts in regards to, airlines will make sure there are two manufactures because they see that if there is on
26 BlackKnight : I hope they both are around for some time to come but I am sorry to say I don't think they will be under current conditions. (Unless things change) To
27 KFLLCFII : I'm curious...Where do Antonov, Ilyushin, and Tupolev fit into this equation?
28 CXA330300 : Its bound to happen. Oil also plays a role.
29 Katanapilot : i often forget about the russians....although they are still churning out full size planes...and some aren't all that bad, either! are they about to d
30 Atmx2000 : We keep screaming about an unlevel playing field SO why not stop butting into others systems and adopt what seems to be working. I dare say if it was
31 UAcsOKC : I think the big heated discussions over A vs. B has more to do with emotion than practicality. Both manufacturers offer excellent aircraft that perfor
32 GuitrThree : First off, I agree that the topic is correct, it is going to change, however, I don't agree with how. A isn't going anywhere. Neither is B. However, t
33 M404 : M27 Beautifully stated. Atmx2000 Thanks for addressing the idea. You highlight the problem nicely but part of my view point was the hesitation to dev
34 Boo25 : Both Airbus and Boeing have some very good products. It is the intense competition between the two that keeps the industry at the edge, otherwise ther
35 Dc10guy : Boeing is the dinosaur. I am always amazed at the mudd Boeing fans sling at Airbus. "Airbuses are built cheap" "Airbuses won't last" The fact is Airbu
36 MERSPACE : My personal compliments to ALL the posters on this thread ! I have never seen a thread on this forum with NO flaming (maybe a couple of very minor spa
37 PlaneSmart : A lot of constructive threads running at present. Are we in Xmas mode, or is this the start of our new years resolutions? The world has changed enormo
38 Carpethead : GuitrThree, You've mentioned good ideas but that model doesn't apply every where in the world. It certainly won't work on transpac flights. Commercial
39 BlackKnight : Another question from my colleges @ work: How does the airline down turn in the USA play in this role? Could it be actually helping Boeing by giving t
40 Greaser : There is the possibility that Embraer, Bombardier, or other third party joining to start offering an aircraft in the upwards of 200 seat range but not
41 BlackKnight : Let me clarify the question: If Airbus can turn out new models more quickly than Boeing and sell them at better prices. The only hope Boeing has is be
42 AZjetgeek : Competition is what drives the marketplace and has played the major role in the development and evolution of the commercial airliner. In the 30's, the
43 HAWK21M : Competition is what has encouraged these Model Productions. It would be a sad day if one of these operators were to sink. The competitor taking its pl
44 Buckieboy : All, Like BlackNight I 'lurked' for a while before parting with my 25 bucks. Unlike, BlackNight, I did not introduce myself. However, read my posts an
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