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Who "buys" The A380 Or The 787?  
User currently offlineMBJ2000 From Germany, joined Dec 2005, 426 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3998 times:

I couldn't find a related topic so I'm starting a new thread.

Does anyone know who is sitting in the decision making board when an airline buys new planes? Are there only bean counters or also some pilots, technical people, engineers etc participating who see more than kg meat*nm/l fuel?

Has someone had insight in something like this, e.g. when Qantas made their decision etc?

If I look at my company (semiconductor industry) and how multi-million $ decisions are made I expect the worst, very little participation from the technical side only suit and tie wearing managers with dollar signs in the eyes who believe anything the sales people promise - if the price is right.

So I wouldn't put that much confidence in their oh so rational decisions when comparing aircrafts. I guess that's why you need an excellent salesmen team for this task...

What do you think?

Like most of life's problems, this one can be solved with bending -- Bender Unit 22
4 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10512 posts, RR: 63
Reply 1, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3946 times:

It's not that the financial analysts necessarily believe Airbus or Boeing. Rather, they write penalties into the contracts to protect themselves against non-performance. Having engineers and pilots involved in fleet planning evaluating the B787 can help, but they cannot confirm or refute Boeing's claims of speed, fuel consumption, range, payload, weight, etc.

User currently offlineOldAeroGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3821 posts, RR: 66
Reply 2, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3882 times:

It varies from airline to airline. Some have competent engineering staffs that can do a comprehensive technical analysis of the Airbus/Boeing claims so risk can be assessed. As Zvezda says, it's difficult for them to assess the manufacturer' claims in absolute terms but they can give an opinion on how achieveable the claims are.

Other airlines are don't have the engineering staffs to do the assessments themselves so they hire consultants (ahem) to help them do the evaluations. Many low-cost and/or new airlines fit into this category.

While guarantees do give some assurance the airplane will turn out as sold, there have been instances where the manufacturer has given a guarantee they have little chance of making in order to "buy" the contract. This has led to situations where the manufacturer pays the guarantee penalties, which in the past have been rather low value, and the airline is stuck with an airplane that won't do the mission(s) it was sold to do.

Savvy airlines are well aware of this situation. Over the past five years guarantees have become much more comprehensive and the penalties for non-performance have escalated significantly.

Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
User currently offlineShenzhen From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 1717 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3846 times:

I would say that in years gone past, an airplanes technical/operational ability was cosidered much more then what it is today. Today people running most airlines have financial back grounds, therefore are more of a "bean counter". Back when, airlines had people in charge that were from technical and operational type back grounds (grew up in the airline) and took an airplanes merit into consideration much more then what is done today.

Sad but IMO true.


User currently offlineTrex8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 5531 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3641 times:
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Quoting Zvezda (Reply 1):
Having engineers and pilots involved in fleet planning evaluating the B787 can help, but they cannot confirm or refute Boeing's claims of speed, fuel consumption, range, payload, weight, etc.

its too bad they cannot independently test those figures, it reminds me of what happened when a major corporation tried to sell medical equipment to the DoD/VA and claimed their tech specs were X. While any other customer would just accept it, the Feds sent the equipment to Los Alamos to check it out and found they were fibbing and padding the numbers to make their equipment look better than the competition. But their competitors specs were exactly as advertised. That major corporation , who make everything from fridges to aeroengines, was banned from further Federal government bids for that type of equipment for a few years.

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