"If Airbus can count on government "Loans" to fund full-scale development of a new airliner, Boeing might have a problem. There is no way that Boeing can compete with the EU governments, in terms of R&D funding."
Good point, particularly in a scenario where they may ultimately not be "loans", after all. I refer to an excerpt from the article "America Helps Build the 'Bus" posted by N79969 in last week's heated 'Air India' thread:
"Based in Toulouse, France, Airbus is jointly owned by two private aerospace companies, European Aeronautic Defense & Space Co. and BAE Systems, but is receiving subsidies from European governments in the form of $3 billion in loans that don't have to be repaid if the A380 fails to turn a profit. Boeing gets indirect handouts through its lucrative defense contracts, but critics say they aren't sufficient to level the playing field, and U.S. officials occasionally threaten to punish Airbus".
My post was ignored there because it wasn't central to the prime debate at hand. But I do wonder why the loans would not be repayable, even if the A380 program wasn't profitable. This was certainly not the case with other loans granted to Airbus since 1992, was it?
"If this is true and Airbus goes ahead with their 3E3, the A380 looks all of a sudden even more attractive to potential customers. Provided that the new aircraft will be a family member of Airbus' existing products."
A "3E3" will do nothing for A380 sales, regardless of the 'family' concept. I wouldn't expect the existence of the 7E7 to increase a revised 747's sales, even if uses 7E7 engines and systems. If an airline needs a superjumbo, they'll buy the A380. If they don't, they won't buy it.
"did someone mention vaporware? I'd say the 7E7, 747-500 and 747-600 are pretty good examples of that."
Not quite. While Boeing's marketing arm may have used them in that fashion, all were (in the case of the 7E7 - "IS
") serious candidates for launch. Extensive design work went into the 747-500/600X but no airline then (in 1996-7) wanted to pay over $200 million USD for a design based on a 30-year old model.
"Airbus has lost about a year or so maybe two on the 7E7. That's a while."
It's longer than than that. Boeing was conducting the basic R&D that led to both the Sonic Cruiser and the 7E7 (Project Yellowstone) since the mid-90's, about the same time Airbus started serious work on the A3XX.
"Airbus is already outselling Boeing and they having a very comprehensive lineup, so why would they need to design a rival for the 7E7? The 7E7 is about as big as their A330."
Airways6max, obviously, you've read next to nothing about the 7E7.
"I'm not sure Airbus needs to respond just yet to the 7E7. The 332 is selling very well and the detailed performance stats of the 7E7 suggest that 7E7 & 332 might be competitive with the 7E7 having a slight edge. Airbus might do well to milk 332 sales in the meantime."
True in part. The A332 will continue to sell for a time, based on commonality and if/when Airbus cuts its' price relative to the 7E7. But are you referring to the 7E7 performance stats as quoted by Airbus? I think you may be. Their spin shows only a slight 7E7 advantage but you've got to wonder how true that can be when:
1. The A332's over 15 year old airframe, based largely on the much older A300's, has vastly less composite construction than the all-new 7E7 and should be a lot heavier.
2. If Boeing adopts the 'bleedless' engines talked about, it will likely be difficult to adapt to the A330 without systems revisions, according to prior threads.
Boeing's gunning for a 15-20% improvement over the 767, which was roughly comparable to A330 economics. So I'd think the 7E7 will have a significant advantage if it meets projections. I think Airbus must design an all-new airplane, as well.