Posts: 295
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:15 am

Airlines Gambling Too Much?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:23 pm

I was wondering if the airlines nowadays aren't building their fleets too much on 'vapor-ware'?!
I see them buying like nuts planes that haven't even lifted on wheel in the air yet. They seem to believe anything A or B promise.

How can they have so much confidence? How was this dealt with before, in the 70's, 80's, 90's. I thought at that time they (most of them) first waited to see how a plane really flies before ordering 50 pcs.

Am I the only one who thinks that way?
Like most of life's problems, this one can be solved with bending -- Bender Unit 22
Posts: 575
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2005 3:27 pm

RE: Airlines Gambling Too Much?

Wed Jan 04, 2006 11:46 pm

For transport-category jets I think it's always been the case that an aircraft manufacturer will wait to get a "launch customer" before committing to build a certain type of airplane. Part of that is the manufacturer working with the airline to design a plane around the airline's needs, and part is just some risk-sharing on the part of the manufacturer.

In the past this strategy has come back to bite manufacturers whose airplanes haven't met their promised design specifications - see Convair 990 (too slow), L-1011 (too late), MD-11 (too short range). But these days with advanced computer-based design, modeling, and simulation, manufacturers can be quite accurate in knowing how their designs will perform before they're built.

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