greatansett
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McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Mon Aug 07, 2006 6:44 pm

Im was just thinking, could MDC have survived if it didn't merge with Boeing? MDC had a strong military operation so why was the commercial division always second to Boeing? If it didn't merge, would the market have seen new versions of the MD90 or MD11 series, or even the MD12? Did the company have big plans that it was about to embark on?

Thankyou for replies in advanced.
Ron Paul 2012
 
Magyarorszag
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:00 pm

Quoting GREATANSETT (Thread starter):
Im was just thinking, could MDC have survived if it didn't merge with Boeing?

No! MDC was simply loosing its share of the cilivian aircraft market as their last all new plane was the DC-10, compared to what Airbus and Boeing were and are still offering. On the military side, it wasn't that bright either. They lost the JSF contract to their competitors. To stay in the air, MDC would have needed a huge injection of billions of  dollarsign  Would have any financial institution been ready to lend them that money ?
 
columba
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:22 pm

There were plans of a "twin" engine plane similar to the 767/A310 which could have been a good airplane for MDD.
Also the MD 95 maybe would have seen more customers as the step-child 717 because MDD would have offered a "717-300" version. But I doubt that they would have gained much market share in comparison with Airbus and Boeing.
It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
 
lat41
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Mon Aug 07, 2006 8:22 pm

$$$ is what it's all about. The MD-11 would have needed a costly modernized wing designed from scratch,, not a DC-10 updated wing, in order to compete and fulfill the range and performance promised during development. The MD-90 also needed a new, larger high tech wing design to improve range and ceiling capabilities. Then perhaps, the MD-95 or 717 with other horses in the stable, might have it's own development fleshed out including the 200 series which would have been the 717-300. The funds were not around at that time.
MD still might have been eclipsed but might have had a lot more life and sales before that happened.
 
chiad
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:53 pm

How did MDC get into this situation?
I mean ... the DC-9/MD-80 and DC-10 series was extremely successful ... I think?!?
And the MD-11 was not a disaster ... was it?
And as far as I remember the DC-8 series did quite well.

How did MDC fall behind on the commercial market?


Now I only wait for a Chinese manufacture to start building big planes, but not until at least 2015.
 
Magyarorszag
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:28 pm

Quoting Chiad (Reply 4):
How did MDC get into this situation?
I mean ... the DC-9/MD-80 and DC-10 series was extremely successful ... I think?!?
And the MD-11 was not a disaster ... was it?
And as far as I remember the DC-8 series did quite well.

How did MDC fall behind on the commercial market?

We may say that everything started at the time of transition from propliners to jetliners. Then Boeing was well ahead with its 707. Douglas had to rush to fill the gap, helped in it by the order from Pan Am.

The DC-8 is a good plane as we can still see it around in commercial services. But, the last one was built in 1972 while the 707 lastest up to the '80s in its commercial version. (corect me if wrong). And, the DC-8 wouldn't have been produced that long if MDC didn't went ahead with the Super 60s version, which accounted for about half the production.

At the time of the DC-10 maiden flight, MDC expected to sell something like 1000 of them. When the production line closed in 1988 or 89, only 446 DC-10 & KC-10A were built. About 300 of them were ordered druring the 1970s, and what helped to keep the production line open was the USAF order for 60 KC-10A. The DC-10 was plagued by some designing problems and a lot of very bad advertisment from the medias, even when the aircraft wasn't at fault, i.e. American crash at ORD in 1979.

The DC-9/MD-80/MD-90 line was the most successful jet product for the company. in all, 2287 were produced. In that case, MDC took the lead over Boeing, when it produced the MD-80 from then end of the '70s, while the 737-300 came a while later. MDC tried to do it a second time when they decided to do the MD-90. But compared to the A320 family and B737NG, it was too little too late, and only 100 plus were built.

The MD-11 could have been a success if produced earlier with a lot more money for its designing. In ten years, only 200 of them were built when LH Cargo received the last one at the beginning of 2001. Compared to the 570 B777 delivered in eleven years or the 740 A330/340 in fourteen years, he numbers speak for themself!

MDC bosses were mostly from McDonnell, the military company, and lacked of commercial vision. During the 1970s, the CEO would have said about the DC-10: "Take of leave it!" to an airline asking for some kind of discount. If true, is that a way to be economically successful ?

[Edited 2006-08-07 15:30:36]
 
boeingbus
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:41 pm

Look, this may cause a A vs M war....

But the subsidies that A was getting pretty much bankrupt the MD commerical business. Very good example of market manipulation by governments at its best. But the US was at fault, as they agreed to Airbus getting loans.

Airbus just had money to spend on R&D where MD did not. MD did neglect its commercial division to some degree. But it's hard to face a competitor that gets pretty much free loans for new products. So Boeing purchased their defense business, which happen to include the commerical airplanes.

Cheers,
Airbus or Boeing - it's all good to me!
 
N231YE
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:51 pm

Quoting Magyarorszag (Reply 5):
The DC-9/MD-80/MD-90 line was the most successful jet product for the company. in all, 2287 were produced.

The funny thing was...the then Douglas Aircraft Company originally thought the DC-9 would be a flop.

History would have it otherwise, the Great Douglas company went bankrupt because of too much demand...too little resources (can you believe that?), and then merged with the McDonnell company in 1968 to form McDonnell Douglas. Hence the DC-1,2,3...10 and then to MD-11, MD-80 series (DC-9-80), MD-90...
 
MCIGuy
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Mon Aug 07, 2006 10:56 pm

This would have happened:
Airliners.net Moderator Team
 
ksupilot
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:17 pm

Did the different aircraft configuration after the DC-8 have an effect on MD as well? Boeing and Airbus stuck to the wing mounted engines for the most part (727 is an exception), however, most MD aircraft were t-tailed aircraft with tail mounted engines or tri-jets.

Boeing dumped the tri-jet after the 727, however MD held on longer. While the tri-jet design mades the DC-10 and MD-11 interesting aircraft, I wonder what would have been had they used your everyday twin-jet configuration.

The aircraft that would have seen the largest benefit from MD staying alive would be the MD-80/90/95 line. I believe we would have seen more efficient engine options for the MD-80 (thus keeping AA MD-80s alive a bit longer) We would have seen an MD-95 stretch that AirTran and AA might have been interested in.

The battle that I would have loved to see is over the narrow-bodies.
Imagine in 2008 when Boeing and Airbus start gearing up their narrow replacement programs if you had MD thrown in and let's throw Embraer in there for good luck as well.

Boeing: 737-RS
Airbus: Airbus NSR (New Short Range)
Embraer: E-200
MD: MD-XX (maybe 98? We're talking a composite, super-efficient, T-Tailed rear mounted aircraft, 787 shaped fuselage, maybe they'd even dust off the MD-94X UDF technology)
 
ksupilot
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:22 pm

Quoting MCIGuy (Reply 8):
This would have happened:

I wonder how that would have fared against the A380 and the 747-8I. If both Airbus and MD were coming out with superjumbos, I think Boeing would have to look into a superjumbo of their own. Boeing is doing well against just Airbus, however, had there been two superjumbos, that would have left them in third place.

And here is the biggest tragedy of the MD-Boeing merger. It killed all the competition. We have already shown here that if MD were still around we would have had a 3 way battle for a Superjumbo, and a 3, possibly 4 way battle over the narrowbody market as well.
 
deltadc9
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:29 pm

I have posted this before, but this diagram shows how the consolidation panned out except for one merger that was to happen but did not, that being the Northrup Grumman - Lockheed Martin merger. This merger was killed because LM was already #1 in military contracts by a substantial margin and just two biggies was not seen as ideal IIRC.

I believe that if Boeing did not scoop up MD, Northrup would have. MD civil was financially crippled but they had a few first rate military assets and contracts.

MDs fate was sealed, BUT if Northrup would have taken it would Northrup have juiced up the civil side and become a solid third player in the civil market? That is the question I wonder about.

MD just wasn't viable on its own anymore, just like most of the others on this chart, without huge cold war contracts to provide stability. My point being that you cannot ignore the driving force of the military sides of these companies and how it affects the civil side with regard to mergers and acquisitions.

Big version: Width: 432 Height: 384 File size: 69kb
American Aircraft Companies Family Tree
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desertjets
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:50 pm

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 11):
I have posted this before, but this diagram shows how the consolidation panned out except for one merger that was to happen but did not,

What he said. The Boeing/MDC merger was part of a longer pattern of consolidation in the American (and global) aerospace industry. Which was hastened by the end of the Cold War and reduction in military sizes by the US and other major powers.

Basically over the span of 5 decades you have an industry w/ several dozen players (probably a good 5-10 major ones) to an industry dominated by 5-6 firms (Boeing, L-M, Northrup-Gruman, Raytheon, and Honeywell).



If the merger didn't happen, I agree that somebody else would have scouped MD up, and even then I doubt the commercial side would have lasted very long. The main weakness of the final MDC product was a lack of money to invest in the designs... hence the underperformance of the MD-11 and MD-90. Both Airbus and Boeing had the $$$ to develop new product and to market/sell their aircraft. As large as the commercial aviation market is, it doesn't seem to be big enough to have more than 2-3 major players.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
LMP737
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:52 pm

Quoting BoeingBus (Reply 6):
But the subsidies that A was getting pretty much bankrupt the MD commerical business. Very good example of market manipulation by governments at its best. But the US was at fault, as they agreed to Airbus getting loans.

Airbus just had money to spend on R&D where MD did not. MD did neglect its commercial division to some degree. But it's hard to face a competitor that gets pretty much free loans for new products. So Boeing purchased their defense business, which happen to include the commerical airplanes.

Airbus really did not "bankrupt" the MD commercial business. That happened pretty much in house. Th original mistake was Douglas sitting on it's hands while Boeing developed the 707. Once the McDonnell and Douglas merger occurred it was the lack of will by the folks in St. Louis to invest in the commercial side that put the nails in the coffin.

There is case after case of where MD could have put money into the commercial side but instead choose to put it back into the military side, fat bonus checks for executives etc. When MD launched the MD-11 they could have spent the extra money and put a new wing on it. Instead they went the cheap route and put winglets on it instead. We all know the end result. Imagine if they had put a new wing on the eleven and it met performance goals. Maybe airlines like Singapore would not have cancelled their orders. Or if they had gone through with the plan to make a twin out of it.

When time came to replace the MD-80 MD could have come out with an entirely new design. SInce they did not want to pound the pavement for financing instead they came out with the lemon with wings, the MD-90. Then there were the facilities in Long Beach. While MD sunk money into the defense side Long Beach was forgotten. By the time I went to work there in the late nineties the place was practically falling apart. When I first showed up I thought it was going to be a high tech marvel. Instead it was like working in a ship yard.

So it's more than a case of neglecting to "some" degree. It was a case of neglect to a large degree.

[Edited 2006-08-07 16:56:33]

[Edited 2006-08-07 16:58:57]
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
boeingbus
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Mon Aug 07, 2006 11:53 pm

The question is now whether Boeing realized a gain or a loss of its MD investment.

I bet it was a huge loss.
Airbus or Boeing - it's all good to me!
 
deltadc9
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:14 am

Quoting BoeingBus (Reply 14):
I bet it was a huge loss.

Define loss.

What were the opportunity costs involved? How much effort and money would it have taken to develop a Boeing version of Phantom Works? Could Boeing have secured a larger share in the F-22 and F-35 without MD assets? Smaller?
What about the Super Hornet, a highly profitable program as is the F-15 and C-17.

This was not about civil aviation, it was about making Boeing more of a player on the military side in the areas that still exist. They lost the lion share of the F-22 and F-35 due to their weakness in the modern fighter arena, now they look to dominate the sixth generation UAV fighter market.

Without MD I think their share of military contracts would erode, and LM and Northrup would dominate. It is a lot more complicated than a simple did they make more money last year because of the MD acquisition.
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
PHLBOS
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:45 am

Quoting KSUpilot (Reply 9):
We would have seen an MD-95 stretch that AirTran and AA might have been interested in.

If that were the case, one of FL's bragging advertising slogans would have been having the youngest All McDonnell-Douglas fleet.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
boeingbus
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:55 am

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 15):
Define loss.

A return on it's investment. Not, too sure if they reached that yet. anyone know?

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 15):
Boeing version of Phantom Works? Could Boeing have secured a larger share in the F-22 and F-35 without MD assets? Smaller?
What about the Super Hornet, a highly profitable program as is the F-15 and C-17.

Oh, so that is why they bought MD? I mentioned that in my first post. The commercial lines came with what they really wanted to buy.

From your post, you agree with this merger?
Airbus or Boeing - it's all good to me!
 
lijnden
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:33 am

Cargo:
I still think that the C-17 modified as a civilian cargo hauler would have been a great success. This modern transporter must be one of the strongest and toughest planes around. Easy access and quick turn arounds are some of the strong points. I am not sure about the fuel consumption, but I always think of it as the T7 (B777) of the military transporters. Imagine one of these beasts in the c/s of FedEx, Lufthansa Cargo, KLM, Atlas, DHL or UPS!

On the civilian side I would liked to have seen Fokker and MD work together on making a 'family' from the F-100/MD-90. Seating ranging from 50 - 150 with ranges from 1500 NM to 3500 NM. Unfortunately Fokker was killed by DASA and MD became Boeing and lost all of its identity.
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gregtx
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:54 am

MacDac never made a nickel on any commercial jet aircraft program.
If you have the tenacity, check the purchase agreement between Boeing--it's a huge document--but very telling.

Due to accounting methods used, most R&D expenses were allocated to airframes and not written off in the period incurred as done with 80% or more of development at Boeing, Airbus, etc(the rest being allocated to airframes). This is likely a holdover from the military programs when cost overruns were readily paid.

From a commercial standpoint they could never sell an aircraft above breakeven--which is pretty amazing when you consider the number of MD-8X's that were sold. However, the constant development of new models kept the debt servicing amounts increasing at alarming rates into the 90's.

I understand to a certain degree this is 'paper money'--not actual cash. However, the expenditure has to be accounted for---no aircraft (from the first DC-8 to the last MD-90) was ever sold above cost. The 717 could not be profitable since Boeing had to write off the previous MD-95 debt (which inherited a portion of the MD-80/90 debt)

This does not tarnish the great work they did---just a rather interesting accounting anomaly that may have accelerated their demise.

I was surprised as heck when I read about this.

Brgds,
Greg/
 
AirEMS
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:58 am

Quoting Lijnden (Reply 18):
I still think that the C-17 modified as a civilian cargo hauler would have been a great success

I thought they did offer the C-17 as the MD-17 and there were no takers due to high cost?

I have a question... Can you tie a A/C builder to their # 1 airline customer? (if their customer book is small) if that airline goes down will the builder also? example.. Lockheed
If Your Dying Were Flying
 
desertjets
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 3:10 am

Quoting AirEMS (Reply 20):
Quoting Lijnden (Reply 18):
I still think that the C-17 modified as a civilian cargo hauler would have been a great success

I thought they did offer the C-17 as the MD-17 and there were no takers due to high cost?

I would say your thought is incorrect. For one the oversized air freight market is pretty small. You don't need an aircraft like the C-17 to haul envelopes or standard sized boxes like FedEx, UPS, DHL, et al do. Most oversized stuff gets moved around by rail, ship, truck. For the stuff that is time sensitive there are enough AN-124s, IL-76s, etc available to meet demand.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
AirbusA6
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 3:25 am

Well after the DC10 of 1970odd, MD launched no all new aircraft in the next 30 years, so it's perhaps not surprising that they struggled to compete, you can only get by on derivatives for so long.

Clearly there was a massive hole in their portfolio between the DC9/MD80 and the DC10, which Boeing filled very nicely with the 757 and 767 both of which sold about 1000 units - the Airbus rivals from the 70s, the A300 and A310 were far less successful. A modern MD plane in this category could perhaps have sold 500-1000 units?
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chiad
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 3:33 am

Magyarorszag ... thank you!
 bigthumbsup 
 
D950
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 3:50 am

Quoting PHLBOS (Reply 16):
Quoting KSUpilot (Reply 9):
We would have seen an MD-95 stretch that AirTran and AA might have been interested in.

If that were the case, one of FL's bragging advertising slogans would have been having the youngest All McDonnell-Douglas fleet.

Joe Leonard begged Boeing for a 717-300, and the deaf ear kept leaning toward the 737-700's we now see, I believe a technically advanced MD90 or 717-300 would have sold decently, especially among LCC's.
Resting on your laurels is a synonym for flirting with disaster
 
deltadc9
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 3:57 am

Quoting BoeingBus (Reply 17):
buy.

Disagree, the commercial lines came with what they really wanted to snuff out.

Quoting BoeingBus (Reply 17):
From your post, you agree with this merger?

Absolutely, look at what it has done on the military side, and it removed a civil competitor on top of it. Also, the opportunity costs of MD going to another military contractor and relegating Boeing to an endless fight just to maintain its #2 position instead of it being secure with a chance of going for #1. How has it hurt them?

Quoting BoeingBus (Reply 17):
Not, too sure if they reached that yet. anyone know?

The whole point of my post is that on an acquisition such as this, ROI is not the only factor. Much of the benefit is not quantifiable.
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
PHLBOS
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:01 am

Quoting D950 (Reply 24):
Joe Leonard begged Boeing for a 717-300, and the deaf ear kept leaning toward the 737-700's we now see, I believe a technically advanced MD90 or 717-300 would have sold decently, especially among LCC's.

The original MDD designation for the proposed-but-never-built 717-300 was the MD-95-50, I believe. The current 717-200 was originally the MD-95-30. One thing's for sure, had the MD-95 did indeed entered service as the MD-95 (as opposed to the 717); an optional longer range engine would've been more likely made available.
"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
 
Magyarorszag
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:41 am

Quoting Chiad (Reply 23):
Magyarorszag ... thank you!

My pleasure. Cheers.
 
LMP737
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:49 am

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 15):
Could Boeing have secured a larger share in the F-22 and F-35 without MD assets?

Boeing secured it's place with the F-22 before the merger. As for the JSF they don't much of a share to speak of anymore.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
deltadc9
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:54 am

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 28):
Boeing secured it's place with the F-22 before the merger.

Quite true, my mistake. I guess the question is do they think they might have actually won the lion share if it happened after the acquisition?

My impression is that Boeing saw itself as weak in the fighter market (and they were) and a few other military areas, and MD solved that in a big way. The elimination of the civil programs was just icing on the cake.

Now they produce more fighters than Lockheed (or anyone else AFAIK) and will remain competitive after the F-35 ramps up but most likely sink to #2. Their UAV program is going to be big, and Phantom Works is behind a lot of big deals in the future. The Delta IV program is now theirs putting them on the same footing as Lockheed also (if they can kick the corporate espionage habit).

I cant see how ROI could possibly be negative if they manage what they acquired well.
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
lehpron
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 5:55 am

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 21):
For one the oversized air freight market is pretty small. You don't need an aircraft like the C-17 to haul envelopes or standard sized boxes like FedEx, UPS, DHL, et al do. Most oversized stuff gets moved around by rail, ship, truck. For the stuff that is time sensitive there are enough AN-124s, IL-76s, etc available to meet demand.

Might I ask what do 747 freighters haul then?
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
deltadc9
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:01 am

Quoting Lehpron (Reply 30):
Might I ask what do 747 freighters haul then?

All 250 or so of them.....
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:07 am

I'm surprised no one mentioned the DC-10/L-1011 rivalry, which effectively drove Lockheed out commercial aircraft production and basically neutralized MDD.

While certainly not the only factor in the demise of MDD, the commercial division never really recovered from that, and everything that followed out of LGB from that point on was a derivitave, or a derivitave of a derivitave etc...
Next up: STL-OAK-RNO-LAS-ICT-STL
 
md80fanatic
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:34 am

Quoting Chiad (Reply 4):
How did MDC fall behind on the commercial market?

It's really simple, MD was not willing to build cheapazz tinfoil airplanes like it's competitors. The same way cheaper, flimsier Chinese goods have prospered in markets once dominated by high-quality, long lasting American made products....it is the same with commerical airliners. No one can debate that MD made quality airframes made to L*A*S*T. Basically we have now a competition to see who can be the best of the worst, A or B?

Truth hurts.  Smile
 
LMP737
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 6:38 am

Quoting MD80fanatic (Reply 33):
It's really simple, MD was not willing to build cheapazz tinfoil airplanes like it's competitors.

It's simple as MD not willing to spend the money on their commercial line. End of story. This coming from an MD fan and someone who used to work in Long Beach.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
md80fanatic
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:35 am

Quoting LMP737 (Reply 34):
Quoting MD80fanatic (Reply 33):
It's really simple, MD was not willing to build cheapazz tinfoil airplanes like it's competitors.

It's simple as MD not willing to spend the money on their commercial line. End of story. This coming from an MD fan and someone who used to work in Long Beach.

AWWWE, you're ruining all the fun. You are implying that the MD product was somwhow not up to par with it's competition. This is clearly not the case....as anyone who lives within visual range of any airport around the world can see. There are MadDogs everywhere and will be for quite a long time to come.

Thanks though for making a really solid product while you were there. It is because of your (and thousands of others) dedication to quality that these fine birds will be making A and B lovers cringe for decades to come....I love it!!!!!  Wink
 
Bohlman
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:28 am

Quoting KSUpilot (Reply 10):

I wonder how that would have fared against the A380 and the 747-8I. If both Airbus and MD were coming out with superjumbos, I think Boeing would have to look into a superjumbo of their own. Boeing is doing well against just Airbus, however, had there been two superjumbos, that would have left them in third place.

And here is the biggest tragedy of the MD-Boeing merger. It killed all the competition. We have already shown here that if MD were still around we would have had a 3 way battle for a Superjumbo, and a 3, possibly 4 way battle over the narrowbody market as well.

I fail to see how there would have been a three way battle for a Superjumbo. Boeing does not feel there is enough of a market demand to warrant the full scale development of a superjumbo, why would they feel that it warranted it if there were already two full scale contenders in the market? If the leftovers from one manufacturer doesn't spur Boeing to take full scale action, why should the left over of a two manufacturers in full scale development in a market with an optimistic size of 750 frames?

And I also don't know how adding one manufacturer would turn a two way battle into a (possibly) four way battle.

No, I think that things would look similar, except that MD would have come out with the MD12 earlier, had the same initial excitement as the A380 got, and then fizzled a little, to have, in the end (I think) a lukewarm arrival. The only thing different in this situation is that it would have allowed Airbus to see the problems in the large aircraft segment and concentrate its efforts elsewhere.
I'm not pro-Boeing or pro-Airbus, I'm pro-crew all the way.
 
RC135U
Posts: 278
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 9:41 am

Didn't Boeing have some real concerns about a possible Airbus interest in MD,
thus buying MD so Airbus couldn't?
 
AirbusA6
Posts: 1484
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2005 5:53 am

RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:01 am

Quoting RC135U (Reply 37):
Didn't Boeing have some real concerns about a possible Airbus interest in MD,
thus buying MD so Airbus couldn't?

MD and Airbus were pondering at one stage coordinating their A330 and MD11, this was dumped when Airbus went ahead with it's MD11 rival A340...

Would Airbus really have wanted the MD civil line? I'm sure the US DOD would have blocked a foreign takeover of the military part, whereas Boeing could buy the lot.

Quoting MD80fanatic (Reply 33):
No one can debate that MD made quality airframes made to L*A*S*T

Not much use if newer jets are far more fuel efficient and quiet...otherwise the sky would be full of DC10s and MD11s instead of A330s and 777s...
it's the bus to stansted (now renamed National Express a6 to ruin my username)
 
greasespot
Posts: 2955
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 10:48 am

RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:13 am

Quoting DeltaDC9 (Reply 31):
Quoting Lehpron (Reply 30):
Might I ask what do 747 freighters haul then?

All 250 or so of them.....

That is just it.....a B747F carries the standard freight...

A C-17 or MD/BC-17 is designed for oversized freight.....The collapse of the USSR has provided a much cheaper oversize freight hauler......Pretty hard to compete with a c-17 at roughly 250 million a copy (say 200 with discounts) versus under a hundred mil for a IL78 or AN 124( plus the bunch that showed up on the civillian market after the collapse that may or may not have been paid for)...

GS
Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
 
ksupilot
Posts: 635
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:27 am

RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 10:23 am

Quoting Bohlman (Reply 36):
And I also don't know how adding one manufacturer would turn a two way battle into a (possibly) four way battle.

I'm talking about today and the next 6 years. Say if MD were still around when it comes time for the Narrow-Body battle.

Quoting KSUpilot (Reply 9):
Boeing: 737-RS
Airbus: Airbus NSR (New Short Range)
Embraer: E-200 (Assuming Embraer gets in on the narrow-body action)
MD: MD-XX (maybe 98? We're talking a composite, super-efficient, T-Tailed rear mounted aircraft, 787 shaped fuselage, maybe they'd even dust off the MD-94X UDF technology)

And there is your four-way battle.

I agree with you about the superjumbo. Boeing would probably still stay out of it. It would still be interesting to see the 747-8I vs A380 vs MD-12
 
md80fanatic
Posts: 2365
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:29 pm

RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:21 am

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 38):
Quoting MD80fanatic (Reply 33):
No one can debate that MD made quality airframes made to L*A*S*T

Not much use if newer jets are far more fuel efficient and quiet...otherwise the sky would be full of DC10s and MD11s instead of A330s and 777s...

Fuel burn and sound were not such big matters back when these babies (10s and 11s) were being built. The 330 and T7 are not FAR more efficient (fuel burned per pound of thrust), nor are they significantly quieter, than the MD-11, they just have one less engine to maintain.

One day, you ETOPS fanboys will be wishing you had a third engine. The odds are not in your favor.
 
User avatar
LTU932
Posts: 13069
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 12:34 am

RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:33 am

Here's a question to think about: we're all discussing what could have happened if McDonnell Douglas didn't merge with Boeing. But what could have happened if Douglas didn't merge with McDonnell? Where would Douglas stand if they hadn't merged with McDonnell, what could have been the possibilities for them?
 
aerodog
Posts: 109
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:48 am

RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 11:36 am

No one has mentioned the mediocre management at the very top of M-D.

You may be the major shareholder but that does not mean you are qualified to lead the company.
 
baron95
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RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:14 pm

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 12):
Both Airbus and Boeing had the $$$ to develop new product and to market/sell their aircraft.

I still think that if a company produces the right product at the right time for the right price they can ahd probably will be successful.

Look at Embraer, a poorly funded airplane manufacturer from a third-world country, that comes out with an inovative plane E170/E190 and starts selling them successfully where MD-95s and B717s and A318s and B736s failed.

Particularly with oil at US$75, the right product with the right economics will have a good chance of succeeding, even if it is not A nor B.

MD lacked vision, more than money. They kept the engines on the wrong end of the MD-90 (Embraer had no such problems moving them from the tail in the ERJs to the wings in the Ejets). They insisted on tail mounted engines on MD11 when the whole world was going to very high bypass engines with huge fans that are incompatible with tail mounting. They failed to develop their narrowbodies for transcon range. Mistake after mistake, due to lack of vision.
Killer Fleet: E190, 737-900ER, 777-300ER
 
masseybrown
Posts: 4410
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2002 2:40 pm

RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:02 pm

One thing Douglas taught everybody: how to build rubber airplanes. From the DC-4 on, everything was stretchable. The DC-8 60 series caused huge frustration at Boeing, according to reports at the time.
 
707lvr
Posts: 457
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:41 am

RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:56 pm

Boeing bought out a struggling competitor, that's all. How many years has it been now with all those potential billions of new revenue and profit? It looks on paper as if it never happened. The opposing corporate cultures clashed and corrupted each other. This year we saw just how much that cost them, whoosh - profits gone, again.
 
deltadc9
Posts: 2788
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2006 10:00 pm

RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:10 am

Quoting RC135U (Reply 37):
Didn't Boeing have some real concerns about a possible Airbus interest in MD,
thus buying MD so Airbus couldn't?

This is the opportunity costs that people forget about. What would it have "cost" Boeing if Airbus got MD civil and someone else got MD Military?(because there is no way in hell Congress would allow the sale of the F-15 and F-18 to EADS much less the C-17 and not the Delta either).

That would mean two of Boeings competitors at least would be benefiting from MD's scraps and not Boeing. How can you even quantify the costs of that happening?

Quoting 707lvr (Reply 46):
Boeing bought out a struggling competitor, that's all.

You are not looking at the big picture at all.

They were not struggling in any area besides civil aviation and corporate finance and governance. The Delta program and space program in general, the fighter program, the military transport program, Phantom Works, and other jewels were not struggling at all.
Dont take life too seriously because you will never get out of it alive - Bugs Bunny
 
desertjets
Posts: 7563
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 3:12 pm

RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:47 am

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 44):
I still think that if a company produces the right product at the right time for the right price they can ahd probably will be successful.

That's a lot of ifs to be honest. What the past 10 years has shown is that in order to be competitive and win major orders both Airbus and Boeing had to be aggressive in offering attractive pricing/lease deals to sell their aircraft. That's where having a stronger financial footing helps. If your product is more or less comparable than your competitors, then what it going to seal the deal is the cost . From some of the previous postings it appears that the neglect of MDC made the margins razor slim, so in today's hyper competitive market they'd have less room to discount than the competion.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
texfly101
Posts: 343
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2006 6:42 am

RE: McDonnell Douglas, If It Didn't Merge?

Wed Aug 09, 2006 5:15 am

Quoting Aerodog (Reply 43):
No one has mentioned the mediocre management at the very top of M-D.

This is very true. I know that while working there, the bean counters were definitely in charge, making all the decisions about planning and programs. Engineers had no voice other than to make schedules. If it didn't represent a quick ROI, then it didn't get done. Hence, there was very little development work towards risk based opportunities. Add in that they always would backcharge their customers for any changes and you get a bunch of unhappy military and commercial customers who grew tired of the constant stream of add on charges. McD grew a rep for figuring out a way to make any change the responsibility of the customer and then work up a charge amount. That ended up ultimately cancelling the A-12 and almost cancelling the C-17 due to cost over runs and underperformance on schedule and price.
The old timers I worked with always talked about the change when Mr. Mac Sr left the company. They said it was great place to work and loved the old man who was an airplane person first, treated his workers as family, and ran the business from no production airframes in WWII to the pre-eminent jet manufactor in the decades to follow. Quite an accomplishment given the lead that North American, Douglas, Boeing, Convair, and Lockheed had built in the world of aviation . His son, being a business type rather than an engineer, after taking over for Mr Mac, put in place a management structure that was all about nickles and dimes, not airplanes. Where the old man would make a change that was asked for, he did it with minimal fuss and got his money back when he got more contracts. The son made a business in change orders and haggling over the fine print. I know that McD lost the Tomohawk contract due to the military sending a message to McD that this would no longer be tolerated. Add in the cancellation of the A-12 with the lawsuits and the poor sales of the commercial line and the handwriting was on the wall. That was the situation in 1996 and the merger talks were conducted in earnest after this telling event.
I have to agree that it was poor upper level management that ran that proud company into the ground. One thing that you might look at is the pedigree of Boeing managers that have been in the news lately. Remember that Delta IV was McD. The fines and penalties were from pre-Boeing days, Boeing agreed to pick up that tab as a part of the merger. When I see Boeing blamed for that, it makes me cringe.

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