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Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:18 pm

The Economist: Technology Quarterly...and The P322

Thu Sep 26, 2002 7:03 pm


I searched for "Economist" and couldn't find anything. So here it goes: The Economist (that one and only weekly news mag worth reading) has an article called "Desperately Seeking Lightness" in its technology quarterly. It's an interesting summary of the developments in advanced materials used on modern airliners, with special focus on the A380 and more than a sneer at the hidden subsidies pumped into Airbus.

Anyway: It IS quite detailled and interesting, covering stuff not even my materials lectures mentioned. It also briefly mentions the P322 programme at Airbus, which is the reason for my post. Apparently, that is a 110-180 seat project to replace the A320 series later this decade.

My questions: Does anyone know anything about it? How serious is it? Is it just one of gazillions of shadow projects that all airplane manufacturers have, or is it more serious? Is it sort of an A320NG or a completely new design? Is there really need and demand to replace a design less than 20 years old? Where could I find out more about this programme (or any other little known Airbus/Boeing design programme)? Searching in google for "Airbus +p322" did not exactly bring me any good results....


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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: The Economist: Technology Quarterly...and The P322

Thu Sep 26, 2002 10:30 pm

I read that article. I found it interesting that the Economist described the P 322 program as a subsidy. The EU is paying for R&D that will go straight for Airbus. Ridiculous.

Ikarus asks a good question about whether the A320 has reached its product cycle limit? By the time the P322 program bears fruit, the time will probably be close. The project is as much politically driven as much as it is economically and technologically driven so it may not matter whether the A320 needs replacement or not.

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