planemaker
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Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 1:24 pm

I just received my November copy of the Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine and was surprised by the cover - a rear shot of Airbus' A330 on climb out with the following title:

AIRBUS PULLS AHEAD
How'd they do that?

The 10 page story inside (with pics) is titled "The Contender, How Airbus got to be number one." An interesting account of the history of Airbus from its varied roots.

Nice to see that, like most Airline.net members, the Smithsonian Air&Space Magazine supports all of aviation without a "them" vs "us" mentality.

Unfortunately, at times there have been some pretty bitter and outrageous statements and comments in the A vs B dialogue - but some have also been pretty funny. One, which is in the magazine article, is Airbus' test pilot commenting on the 777 FBW system: "Like putting a steering wheel on a horse."
Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
CanadianNorth
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 1:29 pm

How'd Airbus pull ahead? I would imagine my selling more aircraft...

CanadianNorth
What could possibly go wrong?
 
aerobalance
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 1:41 pm

BY...

Being Supported by outrageous Government Subsidies for both their civil and government programs, thus offering their product at considerably lower prices than the competition.

Add to this their attractive (scrupulous) financing arrangements and thus airlines will take their product.

I can say more but everybody knows their business practices already, ho-hum.

"Sing a song, play guitar, make it snappy..."
 
airxliban
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 3:34 pm

discarding any of the personal feelings I might have for Boeing or for Airbus and not taking into account business strategies or the like, Airbus has superior product offerings than they did in the past.

They now have a product to compete with every single Boeing commercial jetliner...and then some.

737 family? A318/19/20/21
747 family? The A340-600 already in service and upcoming A380.
757/767 family? Some overlap, but the A321 is available and so is the A330 and A340.
777? Several variants of A340s exist, a case can even be made for the A330-300.

In addition, where is the 777-200LR boeing? Not that the A340-500 salesbook is running out of pages, but still.

Just my two cents. They both offer fantastic airliners, but Airbus is definitely in a much better competitive position than they were in a long time ago. Boeing hasn't come up with anything breathtaking recently. They canceled the sonic cruiser and the 7E7 project is still in its infancy.
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
MITaero
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 3:45 pm

>the 7E7 project is still in its infancy.

I would not say this, a great deal of design work is done.
 
airxliban
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 3:47 pm

i suppose this is true, but what i meant is that the 7E7 will not be coming to a sky near you anytime soon, unlike the Airbus offerings which are set to go (except the A380, which isnt ready just yet).
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
geg2rap
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 3:53 pm

How did airbus do it cause everyone in washington talks about subsidizing Boeing but no one does anything about it. Airbus is practically giving the planes away because the countries sponsoring Airbus feed them full of government money ( I am not saying this is bad it creates tons of jobs) but it allows Airbus to sell them cheap cheap cheap (airbus is a good brand) but as an American I tend to think Boeing should be the only thing America's airlines fly (no scientific basis for that just economics, if Americans have jobs they have money to fly on America's airlines, if Europenans have jobs, well it's affect on America's airlines are marginal)
GEG2RAP (on 757's  Smile
 
airxliban
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 3:59 pm

on the other hand, why can't they just choose whichever product suits their needs?

What if NWA really needed A330s for their fleet but had to buy 767 or 777s for the route instead?

Same with US Airways, United and the like. Although I really can't understand why AA has those A300-605R's. Do they really provide something over 767-200s or 757s or what have you?
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
'Longreach'
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RE: AIrbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 4:06 pm

I was watching a Boeing video once, and there was a huge banner in the factory saying something along the lines of 'avoid foreign parts'.

This could be a reason why their product is so expensive(?)

And give some credit to Airbus, they may have got this 'money' as you all say, but its what they have done with this cash which makes them number one!

They have built a quality line up, several plane designs yet only two different cockpit families. Someone had the lights switched on.
 
geg2rap
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 5:37 pm

Alll I was saying was a lot lot more Boeing employees (and people who make their living indirectly from Boeing employees) fly say NWA US Airways United than Airbus employees kinda nice to keep cash in your customers/market base pockets, and let's face it for every product Airbus and Boeing have the other has a direct competitor for or something so close it is hard to tell ie 737-319/320 757-321 767-330 777-340 747-380 I know there is a 100 pax difference there but don't be expecting to be seeing many of those parked at American airports as soon as they come out. Lot of proving for that plane to do first before it is in the same credibility as the 747.
GEG2RAP
 
B2707SST
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 5:48 pm

That banner was probably "Avoid Foreign Object Debris," a reminder that stray loose objects in and around aircraft are not good, and not a political statement about component sourcing. This is the reason no purses or cameras are allowed on the Everett factory tour.

On the whole, Airbus has newer facilities and a younger aircraft fleet. The 737NG and A320 are fighting to a draw, while Boeing once dominated that market segment, and the A330-200 has recently eclipsed the 767 family. The A380 has sold better than I expected, mostly due to an obsessive/compulsive mideast carrier, blunting the 777's defeat of the early A340s. Neither the 777LR airplanes or the A340NGs are selling too well at present. Several of Boeing's aircraft are hitting turbulence: 757 production is almost certainly coming to an end, the 717 is dependent on a major order to survive, and 747 sales are slow due to recession and uncertainty about the family's future.

For whatever reason - newer infrastructure, lower labor costs, subsidies, accounting differences, etc. - Airbus has also been able to discount its products more heavily. Airbus is chasing market share, which its executives have openly admitted, and Boeing is not. Boeing stopped targeting market share several years ago, at which point the Commercial division's bottom line began a marked climb. This strategy is not without its dangers, though, as Airbus rapidly gains a larger customer base. In addition, geopolitical factors have not been working in Boeing's favor lately.

Airbus and Boeing will probably continue a 50/50 market share split for the foreseeable future, with fluctuations from year to year. The US economy seems poised for faster growth than the Eurozone, which will give Boeing a boost over Airbus. Boeing may well have the advantage in 10-20 years, when the A330 and A340 will need simultaneous replacement, as well as the A320 if nothing is done earlier.

--B2707SST
Keynes is dead and we are living in his long run.
 
Dionysus
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 6:14 pm

Aerobalance

You sounded like those Big Three executives during the 80s. Never accept the fact that foreign competitors are ahead.

What about these facts that made Airbus ahead?
More efficient manufacturing system = lower cost.
Commonality along the product line.
 
osteogenesis
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 6:22 pm

B2707SST

The US economy seems poised for faster growth than the Eurozone, which will give Boeing a boost over Airbus.

I agree with almost everything you wrote. It is also true that the US economy may grow faster the the European economy. But most studies predict that the US airline industry wont be growing significantly over the next 30 years. The biggest growth will be in the middle and far east. And those are markets where Airbus is very well positioned.


 
FlySSC
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:26 pm

Come on Guys...! Boeing is getting as much money from the US government, and maybe more, (officially for its "military program"...  Innocent ) as Airbus is getting from European Gov.
so please, STOP with this quite old and outdated argument.
 
osteogenesis
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:35 pm

FLYSSC,

Come on Guys...! Boeing is getting as much money from the US government, and maybe more, (officially for its "military program"... ) as Airbus is getting from European Gov.
so please, STOP with this quite old and outdated argument.


I doubt they stop using this argument its the only one they have.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

 
FlySSC
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:37 pm

Now, to answer the topic question : Just, maybe, because Airbus makes good aircrafts that me the needs of Airlines in today's world.... Is it too simple to understand ?


GEG2RAP, the world is not only US and Europe.
Strange, but classical American vision of world trade : US must buy US products, and the rest of the world... must also buy American !!!

US airlines must buy US aircrafts. SO it seems logical to me that European Airlines should only buy European planes...Too bad for Boeing... they would have sold just a few of their B744 to NW and UA in that case....

And what about Asia ? Africa ? South America ? should they also have their own aviation industry or simple ride...trains ?
 
cfalk
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 11:13 pm

I don't know the September deliveries for Boeing, but as of August 31st, Boeing has delivered 184 aircraft and Airbus has delivered 181, so Boeing is still ahead, but by, as we say, only a c&nt's hair.

As far as orders go, Airbus has beaten Boeing this year, without question.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
cedarjet
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Sun Oct 05, 2003 11:19 pm

This 'subsidy' thing is absolute bollocks for three important reasons that no-one on these boards ever seems able to grasp.

For one thing, Europe was never far behind Boeing and the Americans, especially on the high-tech front. Just look at Britain alone: the first jetliner (Comet 1), first trans-Atlantic jetliner (Comet 4), the nicest longhaul liner ever (VC10), the highly successful BAC111 (a major hit in the US btw), and of course the only successful supersonic jetliner (Concorde)...which brings us to the French: first short-haul jetliner (Caravelle), first supersonic jetliner (Concorde), and didn't they also invent the whole concept of manned flight with balloons? So it didn't take a huge leap to regain their position.*

I would argue that without MASSIVE gov't subsidy, Boeing would never have taken the commercial lead that it enjoyed from the late 50s to the 90s - do you really think the 707 would have been possible without the Bs 47 and 52? So to pretend Airbus are the only beneficiaries of massive gov't largesse in the aerospace business is absolute nonsense; and it goes on to this day, ie the 767 tanker deal, all the military programs, space programs...as though the billions and billions of dollars of R&D feedback from these programs doesn't benefit the commercial product line in any way? Insane! Also insane is the idea that the British / German / French gov'ts can afford to lose billions of dollars just to rob the hated Yanks of their precious commercial aeroplane industry. If they wanted to put one over on the Americans there are easier and cheaper ways of doing it. Airbus exists to make money and make money it most certainly does.

And finally, here's how it makes money: it's products are up-to-date and do what they're needed to. All this 'boo-hoo, I can't believe Boeing are closing the 757 line' shit really gets on my nerves! It's a 20 year old design that is way too much plane for the job. The A321 weighs a lot less (compare the main gears just for starters) and is much more advanced in every way (which, given it's youth, is inevitable). Airbus customers are in this business to make money and if the planes aren't right for the job it simply doesn't matter how cheap the planes are. Come on, does anyone believe Airbus planes are dogs? If you were starting an airline, would you buy 20 A320s for $100m each or 20 Tupolevs for $250,000 each?

(*: Speaking of Tupolevs, I have left the Russians out of my 'first this' and 'first that' honours list, I don't know if the Caravelle beat the Tu104 into service, I'm just comparing Airbus' ancestors to Boeing. And the Caravelle beat the 737 and DC9 by quite a few years.)
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
delta-flyer
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 12:50 am

Planemaker ..... great thread, but ....

How about sharing with us what the Smithsonian said? We already know the A.net members' opnions, we see them every day. Can we see something new for a change?

As far as US subsidies are concerned, there is an important element that escapes most of its critics ... when the US government funds a program at Boeing (or Lockheed, or anyone) the bulk of the effort is done by the lower tier aerospace supply base. The prime only does the integration, where there is not a great deal (relatively) of prorietary knowledge. Most of that rests with the suppliers. And that knowledge and technology, for the most part, is available to all airframers, not just the prime contractor, as the same supply base sells essentially the same products to Airbus.

For example, our company won the 5000 psi hydraulic pumps on the A380. Guess who funded that technology - the US government! We are using our lessons learned on the V-22 and F/A-18E/F (the only 5000 psi aircraft today) to design the best 5000 psi pumps possible for Airbus.

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
RickB
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 1:30 am

Question for the anti-Airbus people.

The Europeans on here openly admit that Airbus receives subsidies - (now here is the tricky part) - do you admit that Boeing receives any subsidies?

Simple question - a Yes or No answer will suffice

RickB
 
bobrayner
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 1:41 am

The economics of some of the more extreme claims puzzles me.

Why would any European governments want to spend billions cutting back the price tags on airliners sold to other people? It seems unusually generous, and altruistic.
Cunning linguist
 
gigneil
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 1:57 am

This thread is nothing more than the same "blah blah blah" from both sides of the Atlantic.

Nobody is going to convince anybody of anything, so why try?

N
 
RickB
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 2:26 am

Gigneil,

Well said !!!

RickB
 
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solnabo
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 3:01 am

All I gotta say is:
Read and weap..
 Big thumbs up
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GoAibusGo
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 4:20 am

It was only a matter of time, but it is FINALLY here : Airbus pulls ahead !

"IF your product is superior, it is natural that you will be nr. 1, even if you weren't the first"

 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 4:24 am

Although I really can't understand why AA has those A300-605R's. Do they really provide something over 767-200s or 757s or what have you?

They certainly do... two words: "cargo payload"

Which is why AA refuses to divest them, despite the wishes of its pilots and despite AA587. The Caribbean routes that the AB6s fly perform well for AA mostly due to the sheer cargo it carries on them.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
A340600
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 4:42 am

"but don't be expecting to be seeing many of those parked at American airports as soon as they come out. Lot of proving for that plane to do first before it is in the same credibility as the 747."
Well i don't exactly see many 747s in the US either
GEG2RAP
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Sorry that sounded harsher than i meant
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futureualpilot
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 4:48 am

I personally dont think Airbus is "ahead" of Boeing. They just have gotten much more publicity than Boeing because of the recent success of their delieveries and such.
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emiratesa345
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 5:03 am

What you personally think, means nothing. Facts are facts.

EmiratesA345 Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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B2707SST
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 5:25 am

Osteogenesis:

Undoubtedly the biggest growth will continue to be in Asia, but improving financial health among the US carriers will enable them to begin replace aging 757s and 767s, even if passenger-mile growth remains relatively small. UA, AA, and DL alone have huge numbers of 767s, some of which are nearing the end of their life cycles and will need replacement. The 737-900X, if it ever gets launched, is an only slightly smaller 757 replacement for many domestic routes, especially if an additional seat row is freed up by a flat pressure bulkhead. The 7E7 variants should take care of 767s and higher-density 757 routes. The US and Japanese markets alone could generate hundreds of 7E7 sales.

--B2707SST
Keynes is dead and we are living in his long run.
 
planemaker
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:08 am

Delta-flyer:

The article gives an overview of the history and progress of Airbus starting from its origins within the context of European aviation:

Dassault Mercure
Sud-Aviation Caravelle (The article says that there was almost a deal for Douglas to build them.)
VFW-Fokker 614
BAC One-Eleven
Hawker Siddeley Trident
Concorde

The early politics and differing cultures of the companies make for interesting reading. It is indeed almost a miracle that Airbus survived, and that the different companies (and their governments) were able to reach some sort of working agreement. Some excerpts from the article that caught my eye:

"In 1974, Boeing vice president Jim Austin described the first Airbus product as "a typical government airplane. They'll build a dozen or so and then go out of business." He was almost right."

"Europe's national aircraft carriers started to work together (early 60's), but jealousies prevailed. The Germans had the money, but the English and French treated them like as metal benders, not partners."

"The name "Airbus" came from the Germans. The 300 matching the vehicle's seat capacity."

"Rolls-Royce backed out of the original engine specs for the larger RB.207 (for the A300) to concentrate on the RB.211 betting everything, including the UK government funding for the RB.207, on the RB.211 to win the TriStar business. This forced Sud to downsize the aircraft and use a spec written in 1966 by Frank Kolk, Chief Engineer at American Airlines. This resulted in the 250-seat airplane with 8 abreast instead of the original 300 seats with 9 abreast."

"The British Government walked out, but Hawker Siddeley remained as a subcontractor, and the French and German governments agreed to split the costs."

"Management was organized according to the same principle: Look at Concorde and do the opposite."

"The British encountered a different culture at the Airbus facility. At de Havilland's Hatfield division there were six levels of company dining. Airbus people took lunch in an all-ranks cafe. One senior executive stomped out in disgust."

"Before Airbus, the typical GIE was a wine-producing cooperative."

The article focuses a lot on Sud-Aviation engineer Roger Beteille who led the A300 design team and assembled the multi-nation team. He is credited with having the vision of an Airbus family of aircaft.

"When Beteille saw, after the A310, that the next European smaller jet would be an Airbus, he saw a problem with the new project: "I was so convinced that the 737 was so good there was no wasy to compete with it by doing the same thing." This led to his "very gutsy decision": The A320 would have fly-by-wire flight controls." The rest is history.

As stated originally, the article is a short history of Airbus and its aircraft, and not an A vs B analysis. There is only passing mention of Lockheed and Douglas. Naturally, the subsidy issues are discussed from both points of view. And the eventual development of the Airbus GIE into a listed company with transparent financials is described.

It is only on the last page near the end that the article finally says: "This year, Airbus, for the first time, is set to deliver more airplanes than Boeing. The U.S. company maintains that the A380 will be a flop and that the market for passenger versions of the aircraft is no more than 320 airplanes over 20 years."

Following is a link to the picture of the November cover:

http://www.airandspacemagazine.com/ASM/Mag/latest.html





Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind. - A. Einstein
 
futureualpilot
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:16 am

Somebody in this post said that Boeing has delievered 184 a/c to Airbuses 181.....facts are facts....
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RickB
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:20 am

Airbus website is now saying 2003 deliveries = 199

Guess facts are facts after all

http://www.airbus.com/doc/media/ordersndeliveries/od_sep03.xls

Checkout the deliveries tab

RickB
 
futureualpilot
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:22 am

Ok, I was wrong, I apologize, I was just goin off what somebody said earlier this post.
(I didnt mean to be rude to anybody if I was)
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RickB
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:24 am

Futureualpilot,

No worries - you weren't rude - I thought you where right - I had the spreadsheet open from another topic for someone who wanted to know who had ordered the A380 - I noticed a delivery tab and checked it out - looks like Airbus have been shifting some tin in the last few days !!

RickB
 
futureualpilot
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:25 am

http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/2003/q4/nr_031002a.html

facts are facts, check out the totals....
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futureualpilot
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:28 am

Haha, ok RickB I think we need to get our facts straight...lol
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RickB
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:30 am

Futureualpilot - who knows - neither side seems that keen on updating their website :-

http://active.boeing.com/commercial/orders/displaystandardreport.cfm?flash=n&optReportType=CurYrDelv

RickB
 
RickB
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:32 am

Futureualpilot,

I think our only option is to count them leaving the factory...lol

RickB
 
futureualpilot
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:34 am

Good point, I say we wait till december and both companies put out their totals publicly! But that link you gave does say deliveries through Aug. 2003, so its a little over a month old....oh well.

Have a good one RickB, Im off to eat dinner Laugh out loud
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n844aa
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:48 am

These types of threads depress me. So much wasted energy, so many cheap shots, so many out of context statistics. So much wasted time.

Here are the facts, as far as I can see 'em: Boeing has delivered more 737's than Airbus has planes. Airbus has done phenomenally well in terms of high-margin orders the last several years. Both make excellent products, with Airbus currently holding an edge in technological advancement. The competing design philosophies embodied by the A380 and the 7E7 will be on display the next couple of decades and certainly worth watching. Continued success on the parts of both companies will be in our benefit, ensuring healthy competition and advancement.

Anything beyond that seems (to me anyway) to be supporters of one company making the other out to be some sort of bogeyman.
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
RickB
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:50 am

N844AA,

Excellent points !! and I can't disagree with a single one !!

RickB

[Edited 2003-10-06 01:50:52]
 
n844aa
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 8:53 am

Rickb -- I just find it so frustrating when people drag down these discussions with mindless dogma. Like Boeing supporters ascribe all of Airbus's success to government subsidies -- well, no. Obviously not. Airbus makes safe, efficient, economical planes, which is why so many of them are selling right now. Or Airbus supporters who can't (or won't) tell the difference between defense contracts and the division of Boeing known as Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

I think you and I agree that the big picture is a hell of a lot more complex than a lot of folks make it out to seem!

[Edited 2003-10-06 02:03:01]
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
 
delta-flyer
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RE: Airbus Pulls Ahead: How'd They Do That?

Mon Oct 06, 2003 9:04 am

Planemaker ... thanks for the excellent synopsis. I was quite an aviation fan growing up in the 60's and vaguely remember those early days that you describe.

Pete  Smile
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