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Future Ramifications Of US Airbus Production?  
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30908 posts, RR: 87
Posted (6 years 7 months 3 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 4109 times:
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Irregardless of it's suitability to fulfill the KC-45A RFP*, what could be possible ramifications from Airbus deciding to build commercial airliners in the United States?

Airbus has noted that a successful KC-45A bid will result in the production of the A330-200F freighter at the Mobile, Alabama plant. While initial production rates will likely be on the order of one a month (not including those frames destined to become KC-45As), it will help the TLS line continue to crank out A330s and A340s.

With A340 family sales also quite slow, might Airbus move production of those planes to Mobile, allowing the TLS line to build A330-200 and A330-300 planes to maximum efficiency (perhaps supporting a production rate greater then 10 per month)?

And could the Mobile facility allow Northrup-Grumman to enter the commercial airliner business by again teaming with Airbus to help build the A320RS? Might such a plan force Boeing to reconsider RNT as the 737RS production facility? Could Boeing move the 737RS to PAE, or seek another state to build it - one that has the room to have the fabrication facilities next door to save on all the travel the 787 parts have to do?



* - Since that topic is being discussed in the Military Aviation & Space forum as well as having been deemed off-topic and subsequently locked in this thread - It's (almost) Official: A330-200F To Build In USA (by Observer Jan 11 2008 in Civil Aviation)

29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCloudyapple From Hong Kong, joined Jul 2005, 2454 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (6 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 4006 times:



Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
With A340 family sales also quite slow, might Airbus move production of those planes to Mobile, allowing the TLS line to build A330-200 and A330-300 planes to maximum efficiency (perhaps supporting a production rate greater then 10 per month)?

There won't be any more A340s to build in about 2-3 years' time. That's roughly the same time when the KC30 is supposed to start? There might be a few outstanding ones to build and some permanent deferrals. So I don't see the point of moving A340s only.

What I do see might happen is an A320 line across the pond. 40 a month at the existing lines will struggle to cope with demand very soon.



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User currently offlinePaddy From Taiwan, joined Jul 2003, 390 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3937 times:

Regardless of the KC-45 RFP is indeed the main point here, IMO. With a top notch infrastructure/workforce available and the dollar to euro ratio being what it is, it makes serious sense for Airbus to open up some lines across the pond. I think they are trying to kill two birds with one stone by linking the almost inevitable establishment of US production lines to the KC-45 bid. I'm sure European politics could get in the way, but it makes economic sense as far as I can see. We might be surprised by the amount of EADS activity in the US over the next couple of decades. I also think that involving a US partner such as Northrup-Grumman in the development of the A320 replacement is a brilliant idea as well. With a major player in the US military-industrial complex(deep pockets!) as a major risk sharing partner, it might be just the boost the 320RS project needs to compete with the likely faster-tracked Y1 from Boeing. Transatlantic partnership might be just what the organizationally ailing Airbus needs to rectify its potentially dangerous combination of a shaky financial situation yoked to ambitious orders/production goals.

User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12499 posts, RR: 46
Reply 3, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3901 times:
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The only risk I can see with such a strategy is that, while it makes a lot of sense today, what happens if the $/€ exchange rate in five years time reverts to where it was five years ago? Airbus will have invested a huge sum of money in a new plant and "cheap" workforce, only to see it become an "expensive" workforce.


Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9030 posts, RR: 75
Reply 4, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3894 times:

The facility at Mobile is also responsible for various interior elements for the A350XWB, including design and engineering work on the cabin, crew rest, lavatories and galleys.

I am inclined to think all A330 FAL production will end up in Mobile at some stage (2014/2015 (?)), and TLS will end up with just the A350XWB and A380 FALs, with the A320 between Tianjin and Hamburg, and Hamburg with the A318/19/21 as well.

The Airbus North America Engineering facilities in Wichita and Mobile facilities presently employ engineers that are are focused on the A340, A350XWB and A380 programs.

EADS/Airbus support about 190,000 jobs in the US (Alcoa, Eaton, Goodrich, GE, Honeywell, Northrop Grumman, Rockwell Collins, United Technologies and Vought Aircraft, Faber, Electroimpact and GKN Aerospace). Airbus spends some 46 percent of its aircraft related procurement in the US, more than in any country, about 10.2 billion on parts, components, tooling and services in 2006 alone.

EADS is presently on the prowl for US companies to buy as well.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineLifelinerOne From Netherlands, joined Nov 2003, 1920 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3868 times:



Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
With A340 family sales also quite slow, might Airbus move production of those planes to Mobile, allowing the TLS line to build A330-200 and A330-300 planes to maximum efficiency (perhaps supporting a production rate greater then 10 per month)?



Quoting Cloudyapple (Reply 1):
There won't be any more A340s to build in about 2-3 years' time. That's roughly the same time when the KC30 is supposed to start? There might be a few outstanding ones to build and some permanent deferrals. So I don't see the point of moving A340s only.

With the time needed for Airbus and Northrop-Grumman to start up the new production line, I fully expect that the A340 won't be built anymore. I think we will see Airbus stop offering the A340 series around 2010, or maybe early 2009 in order to clear the backlog and free valuable human resources for the A330, A350 and A320RS. The A330 line will then be slowly moved and started up in Mobile, but I do think this will only be done if Airbus is awarded with the KC-45A contract.

Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
And could the Mobile facility allow Northrup-Grumman to enter the commercial airliner business by again teaming with Airbus to help build the A320RS? Might such a plan force Boeing to reconsider RNT as the 737RS production facility? Could Boeing move the 737RS to PAE, or seek another state to build it - one that has the room to have the fabrication facilities next door to save on all the travel the 787 parts have to do?

I think this would be a great idea, however, I think this won't be happening anytime soon. There is a gentleman agreement that Hamburg is the site where the new A320 series is to be coming off the line. I think politics are way to heavily involved to change this agreement between the largest countries in Airbus, France and Germany. France will keep the widebodies (A350/A380), Germany will get the narrowbodies (A320RS series), Spain will get the military planes (A400M), US will get the freighter/tanker line (A330F/KC-45A) and China and Russia will produce some planes as well (old A320series, maybe even A320F series).

I can see Northrop-Grumman producing large parts for the A320RS, but assembly of the plane will not take place in the US for the foreseeable future.

Cheers!  wave 



Only Those Who Sleep Don't Make Mistakes
User currently offlineR2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3794 times:

Thanks for re-starting the thread, Stitch.

Guys, please stay on topic this time! While the A332F and the KC-30 are definitely related and can be mentioned together, this is not a KC-767 vs KC-30 thread - there's plenty for that in the MilAv Forum!


User currently offlineR2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3787 times:

Last thing I was saying before the previous thread was closed:

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 79):
The Beluga has visited Mobile and did bring cargo so it certainly can be done.

I'm not saying it can't (with an intermediate stop or two). I'm saying that the existing Beluga fleet is insufficient to be hauling around parts in Europe and across the Atlantic at the same time. A Beluga can fly between any two EU Airbus sites in 2 hrs or so. Then you unload and fly to the next stop. For transatlantic, you'd need to dedicate a single Beluga for 1-2 days just to haul one pair of A330 wings.

Airbus would have to redesign its logistics network by a)converting more Belugas - Is this feasible? b)using some other aircraft -Antonov? or c) :

Quoting Trex8 (Reply 93):
why not just go by sea, the production rate for any A330s in the US will never be dozens/year

Which brings up an interesting point: anyone know what the planned delivery rate for the tankers will be? If sufficiently slow, it could work.

Airbus has A33x PAX versions (for several more years), A332F's (probably for a long time) and ?KC-30's? to produce - I wonder what the combined production rate would be for a hypothetical MOB assembly line.


User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Reply 8, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3730 times:



Quoting Paddy (Reply 2):
I'm sure European politics could get in the way, but it makes economic sense as far as I can see.

 checkmark  Regardless of the outcome of the tanker contest, I think EADS has already decided to outsource production, not only in China and Russia, but the U.S. as well. The acquisition route is the easiest way to go. They could make this work, providing they don't cut jobs in the Eurozone; of course this could mean that they won't be growing their workforce there, but that doesn't have the negative public relations impact of laying off thousands of workers.

Have the details of EADS' "Vision 2020" been released yet?



"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30908 posts, RR: 87
Reply 9, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3721 times:
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Quoting R2rho (Reply 7):
Which brings up an interesting point: anyone know what the planned delivery rate for the tankers will be? If sufficiently slow, it could work.

Last I heard, Airbus is planning one A330-200F and two KC-45As per month (at least for initial production).


User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7146 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3695 times:

I know we are talking about production facilities, but it is mainly linked to a weapon of war, the politics of which I find quite funny. Europeans and the EU in general have been complaining about the US since the end of the cold war, in particular the US military, being used as the world policeman and attempting to bring democracy to the world, the only superpower for which a European counterbalance is needed etc. etc. etc. Now we hear about all these European firms - led by BAE - who want to invest in the US to take advantage of the US military industrial complex, mainly getting their share of the pie as the US military is used to be the world policeman and bring democracy to the world, how exactly does this work?

On politics alone one would think that the European politic would be against their pride and joy - EADS / AIRBUS contributing to the US charge around the world. Unions initially did not protest the US side of production as they started doing against the Chinese line due to the fact that the a/c would be made in France, then flown over to the US for final fitting, this unfortunately, did not work for the US political climate, so what type of compromise is being worked out with the unions, they cannot be in favour of this, even if the A340 line will die shortly, a job is still a job. Unless, the pride factor kicks in, as in American's can only really produce quality European designed a/c?

The numbers thrown around are staggering, especially those by Northrop and its new partner, hopefully someone has done a study to see how real world facts and figures are, the US has outsourced a lot more of its production facilities than the Europeans, mainly due to cheaper cost outside of the US, if this works for US companies how exactly can EU firms justify expanding to the US, one would think they would better off following the US example and go elsewhere. If EU cost are higher that US cost by a factor or 1 for arguments sake, and US companies are outsoucring outside of the US to save their own factor of 1, would the EU companies not be ahead of the US if they also go where US companies are going?


User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Reply 11, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3663 times:



Quoting Par13del (Reply 10):
Unions initially did not protest the US side of production as they started doing against the Chinese line

AFAIK, the EADS unions have not complained about the Chinese line.

Quoting Par13del (Reply 10):
how exactly can EU firms justify expanding to the US, one would think they would better off following the US example and go elsewhere. If EU cost are higher that US cost by a factor or 1 for arguments sake, and US companies are outsoucring outside of the US to save their own factor of 1, would the EU companies not be ahead of the US if they also go where US companies are going?

Its relative, of course. As you note, EU costs are higher. There is the advantage of "plugging in" to the existing infrastructure and the skilled labor is available here. If they were to outsource some production to the UAE, for example, they would be starting with a clean sheet.



"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
User currently offlineFanfan From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 54 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3643 times:

Scott Hamilton's take on this is that the whole A330 program may move to Mobile.

http://airinsight.podomatic.com/entry/2008-01-11T11_39_32-08_00


User currently offlineColumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7062 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3595 times:



Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
And could the Mobile facility allow Northrup-Grumman to enter the commercial airliner business by again teaming with Airbus to help build the A320RS?



Quoting LifelinerOne (Reply 5):
I can see Northrop-Grumman producing large parts for the A320RS, but assembly of the plane will not take place in the US for the foreseeable future.

Maybe Northrop Grumman could become involved in the A350 programm. This would help selling the A350 in the US and the A350 could also be used as new military platform (AWACS, VIP transport etc....).
I would love to see Northrop-Grumman teaming up with EADS/Airbus more. They did so already with the Eurohawk and it would be nice to see more common projects.

Quoting R2rho (Reply 7):
I'm not saying it can't (with an intermediate stop or two). I'm saying that the existing Beluga fleet is insufficient to be hauling around parts in Europe and across the Atlantic at the same time. A Beluga can fly between any two EU Airbus sites in 2 hrs or so. Then you unload and fly to the next stop. For transatlantic, you'd need to dedicate a single Beluga for 1-2 days just to haul one pair of A330 wings.

A few years ago there were plans for a Beluga based on the A340. Maybe a new Beluga based on the A345/A346 could be developed and used for the flights to the new plants in China and in Mobile.



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User currently offlineColumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7062 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3579 times:



Quoting Fanfan (Reply 12):
Scott Hamilton's take on this is that the whole A330 program may move to Mobile.

http://airinsight.podomatic.com/entr...08_00

I think they just forhet to add an F. I doubt that Airbus would move the whole A330 programm to Mobile.
The only reason this would be possible is if Airbus would plan to offer the A330 side by side with the A350.
Other than the 787-3 Airbus has no medium range version of the A350 so the A330 could be still interesting for some airlines that have the A350 as their longhaul aircraft.



It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently offlineFlying-Tiger From Germany, joined Aug 1999, 4161 posts, RR: 36
Reply 15, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 3567 times:



Quoting Columba (Reply 13):
A few years ago there were plans for a Beluga based on the A340. Maybe a new Beluga based on the A345/A346 could be developed and used for the flights to the new plants in China and in Mobile.

No need to fly in all parts, Mobile has a large sea port and there shouldn´t be any issue to bring in components, especially fuselage sections and stabilizers, in by ship. The two central plants for this have access to ro-ro ramps (Hamburg and Nordenham), both already used for shipments within Airbus. St. Nazaire, building the flight deck sections, has access to a seaport as well, thus no issue here as well.

Putting the shells on a RoRo vessel and have a monthly shipping towards Mobile will solve quite a few logistics issues (you could put the engines on the vessel as well, easy to make a stop in the UK as well). You will just need to find some cargo for the backhaul, but that should be workable.

In the end: from a pure logistics point of view I can´t see any serious abstacles for not setting up a plant in Mobile - and you won´t even need expensive flying of components.

Quoting Stitch (Thread starter):
Irregardless of it's suitability to fulfill the KC-45A RFP*, what could be possible ramifications from Airbus deciding to build commercial airliners in the United States?

It would certainly put pressure on Boeing to consider an earlier B787F launch if they don´t want to loose out in the B767/A332F market. If Airbus is really able to speed up the A330-200F production by quite a margin they will be able to grab most of the B767-300F growth market, the DC-10F replacement and the lower end of the MD-11F replacement market. That would be Boeing´s to loose.



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User currently offline2175301 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1061 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3489 times:

From a business sense.... opening a major complete production line in the US makes a lot of sense (and I would argue that perhaps they need to shift an entire product line here to make it worthwhile).

However, Airbus was founded on the concept that as a European company with European production that they could be competitive with the US; and the vast majority of the government assistance that Airbus received (and the entire ownership structure) was predicated on that.

For the European owners to admit that they need to have major production facilities outside of Europe - especially in the US.... might not go down so well.

Some people indicate that their is a huge freighter market out there that Airbus could get with this production line. But, I'm not sure that Airbus has the money to start another project at the moment; and if so, I'm betting that Boeing could respond faster and grab most of the market; making Airbus's investment a poor one.

As I doubt that Airbus will win the tanker contract; I suspect that the concept is nothing more than theoretical speculation.


User currently offlineFreequentFlier From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 896 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3468 times:



Quoting Scbriml (Reply 3):
The only risk I can see with such a strategy is that, while it makes a lot of sense today, what happens if the $/€ exchange rate in five years time reverts to where it was five years ago? Airbus will have invested a huge sum of money in a new plant and "cheap" workforce, only to see it become an "expensive" workforce.

This could happen but it's unlikely. The US still has a large trade deficit with the EU. I can't find the exact figures but I believe it is in the neighborhood of about 10 billion a month - not a staggering sum compared to China, but sizable nonetheless. If anything the dollar will probably hover around the point it is currently at relative to the euro.

One topic I'm surprised hasn't been discussed more is what this does for the city of Mobile. Mobile suffers from relatively little air service to major northern metropolitan areas, such as JFK, LGA, IAD, LAX, etc where onestop service to Europe is more available. I believe AA has a single daily RJ flight to ORD but the service to MOB is quite small from the north. ATL is probably the only one stop hop to Europe that Airbus employees realistically use at this point. I wonder if the Airbus production facility will turn MOB into a bigger southern transportation hub, especially with the huge Thyssen Krupp plant (10,000 jobs) coming online as well.


User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12499 posts, RR: 46
Reply 18, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 3430 times:
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Quoting FreequentFlier (Reply 17):
This could happen but it's unlikely.

My point is that five years ago, few, if any, saw the $ being where it is today. The reverse could also happen - it may be unlikely given today's circumstances, but that doesn't mean it couldn't.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlinePaddy From Taiwan, joined Jul 2003, 390 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3429 times:



Quoting FreequentFlier (Reply 17):
ATL is probably the only one stop hop to Europe that Airbus employees realistically use at this point. I wonder if the Airbus production facility will turn MOB into a bigger southern transportation hub, especially with the huge Thyssen Krupp plant (10,000 jobs) coming online as well.

Low O&D city connecting hubs dont seem to be very popular anymore. CVG, for instance, is always being knocked for its low O&D despite a 2,000,000+ metro area population and some pretty big businesses in the area (Proctor & Gamble and our buddies at GE Aviation to name a couple).The Mobile-Daphne-Fairhope CSA is only 540,258. I don't think we'll see any type of hub activity at MOB in the forseeable future. However, if the burgeoning business environment continues to thrive we might see some sort of business-supported nonstop service ala PDX or RDU. Maybe someone will start a very ironic MOB-CDG or MOB-TLS service with the 787!


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30908 posts, RR: 87
Reply 20, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3381 times:
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Quoting Flying-Tiger (Reply 15):
It would certainly put pressure on Boeing to consider an earlier B787F launch if they don´t want to loose out in the B767/A332F market. If Airbus is really able to speed up the A330-200F production by quite a margin they will be able to grab most of the B767-300F growth market, the DC-10F replacement and the lower end of the MD-11F replacement market. That would be Boeing´s to loose.

I personally don't see the A330-200F as much of a mortal threat to Boeing's freighter market (that Airbus appears to be looking at a production rate of around one a month only reinforces that).

Absolutely nothing against the A330-200F, but with the 767-300F, 777F, and 747-8F plus the 767-300BCF and 747-400BCF, Boeing pretty much offers a holistic product line in widebody freighters. And if the 767-200LRF actually does make the market, it could become popular as a "777F light", offering excellent range for high-value, time-sensitive cargo that needs to bypass the main cargo hubs.


User currently offlineR2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 3286 times:



Quoting Cloudyapple (Reply 1):
What I do see might happen is an A320 line across the pond. 40 a month at the existing lines will struggle to cope with demand very soon.

I think it is more likely (and reasonable from a business point of view) to expand the FAL in China. Building a third FAL for the A320 is stretching it a bit too far. Now as for the NSR replacement, that could be different.

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 3):
The only risk I can see with such a strategy is that, while it makes a lot of sense today, what happens if the $/%u20AC exchange rate in five years time reverts to where it was five years ago? Airbus will have invested a huge sum of money in a new plant and "cheap" workforce, only to see it become an "expensive" workforce.

That's what some people here in France are saying. However, from a long-term, strategic point of view, it makes a lot of sense for EADS to increase its presence in the US, and have significant industrial presence and financial income on both sides of the pond. It reduces the financial risk (whatever the exchange rate, EADS wins) and it gives access to US Defense contracts. It's exactly what BAE is doing.

Quoting Fanfan (Reply 12):
Scott Hamilton's take on this is that the whole A330 program may move to Mobile.

Impossible. A332F and KC-30, maybe. In the previous thread I also suggested a green-to-freighter, pax-to-freighter or green-to-tanker facility in MOB. But there is no way that Airbus would shut down the TLS FAL and lay off the workers to move it all to MOB. The (passenger) A330s will continue to be made in TLS at least until A350 production begins (let's say 2012?), then and only then would A330PAX activity cease, with the workers moving on to the A350. By then the PAX orders will have dried up anyway and probably only freighters (and tankers?) would remain to be built.


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9030 posts, RR: 75
Reply 22, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3157 times:



Quoting Zeke (Reply 4):
EADS is presently on the prowl for US companies to buy as well.

As I mentioned previously, EADS is seeking to purchase some US companies, some details of this made the press today.

"EADS, Europe's largest aerospace and defence group, is planning to buy a mid-sized US defence company in the course of the year - a move intended to boost its presence in the sector and ease dependence on its Airbus aircraft unit."

from http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cc8b7e1c-b...2-0000779fd2ac.html?nclick_check=1



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineLifelinerOne From Netherlands, joined Nov 2003, 1920 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3131 times:



Quoting Columba (Reply 13):
Maybe Northrop Grumman could become involved in the A350 programm. This would help selling the A350 in the US and the A350 could also be used as new military platform (AWACS, VIP transport etc....).
I would love to see Northrop-Grumman teaming up with EADS/Airbus more. They did so already with the Eurohawk and it would be nice to see more common projects.

This could be a possibility, however, Russia is also becoming a big stakeholder in the A350. So, I don't know how much outsourcing Airbus is willing to do? I do think building large parts of the A350 in the US won't help sell the plane better with commercial airlines from the CONUS. The shareholders of these airlines will make sure that they buy the best planes to make profit.

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 16):
However, Airbus was founded on the concept that as a European company with European production that they could be competitive with the US; and the vast majority of the government assistance that Airbus received (and the entire ownership structure) was predicated on that.

Isn't it ironic that Airbus could be even more competitive with the US by building planes in the US?  Wink

Quoting R2rho (Reply 21):
Impossible. A332F and KC-30, maybe. In the previous thread I also suggested a green-to-freighter, pax-to-freighter or green-to-tanker facility in MOB. But there is no way that Airbus would shut down the TLS FAL and lay off the workers to move it all to MOB.

I still think Airbus should move the whole A330 line to Mobile. Airbus in Toulouse is very shorthanded with skilled aerospace workers. If the productionline is moved, these skilled workers can help to boost up the production of the A380, help develop new A380 variants (-800R, 800F, 900) and start working on the A350's. There's no way that they need to be laid off as you said. There will be plenty of work left at Toulouse when the A330 line is moved.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 20):
Absolutely nothing against the A330-200F, but with the 767-300F, 777F, and 747-8F plus the 767-300BCF and 747-400BCF, Boeing pretty much offers a holistic product line in widebody freighters. And if the 767-200LRF actually does make the market, it could become popular as a "777F light", offering excellent range for high-value, time-sensitive cargo that needs to bypass the main cargo hubs.

Agreed, Boeing historically always had a better penetration of the freighter market than Airbus had. Freighter planes are just a side product for Airbus, expanding the lifetime of a product with minimum investment. This trend was to be broken with the A380F, but we all know Airbus stalled that project. I also expect that the A350F will take a bit longer to introduce than originally planned by Airbus.

Cheers!  wave 



Only Those Who Sleep Don't Make Mistakes
User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12499 posts, RR: 46
Reply 24, posted (6 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 2953 times:
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Quoting Stitch (Reply 20):
I personally don't see the A330-200F as much of a mortal threat to Boeing's freighter market (that Airbus appears to be looking at a production rate of around one a month only reinforces that).

The A332F certainly seems a big threat to the 767F - in a year Airbus has won 66 firm orders against a 15-year total of 83 for the 767. The parcel carriers are, by many accounts, very interested in a -300F as well.

I think the only thing preventing a higher A332F production rate is the high demand for the passenger version. Interestingly, Boeing is only turning out one 767 a month anyway.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
25 Stitch : Yes, but the 767-300BCF program will kick into high gear once 787 deliveries start happening in earnest and used 767-300ERs come onto the freighter c
26 Post contains images Ikramerica : Well obviously, the USA will steal Airbus secrets and finally be able to build a widebody ourselves, and then flood the world with cheaper planes and
27 Post contains images R2rho : Let's make some numbers Airbus has an impressive A330/340 backlog of some 370 airplanes (according to Airbus in november, if you have newer numbers pl
28 Post contains images Stitch : (Visits Dictionary.com and reviews the etymology) So noted.
29 R2rho : From Airbus's press release yesterday: Mr. Enders added, "Final assembly of A330 Freighters in Mobile is conditional on a KC-30 tanker for one reason:
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