N62NA
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Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:28 am

I was doing a google search on the 757 and came across this fantastic feature article by the Seattle Times on the conception, design and launch of the 757. The article was written in 1983.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/news/business/757/
 
atlantaflyboy
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:41 am

Could we dare call the 757 the "787 of it's time"? Great read, really enjoyed that bit of aviation history!!!!!
 
baron95
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Sun Aug 19, 2007 4:06 pm

From the article...

[In fact, of all the jetliners ever made in Europe or the United States, only two, the Boeing 707 and 727, are said certainly to have made a profit. The DC-9 and 747 may yet become profitable. The DC-8, the DC-10, the L-1011, even the 737...all these airplanes, and more, have lost money for their manufacturers. ]

I find that interesting that even in 1983 they claim the DC-9, DC-8 and 737 were money losers. Could that be? I find it hard to believe that after 15-20 years in the market those planes had not reached break even.

Any thoughts?

P.S. Great Article. Thanks for posting.
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AviationNut
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:27 pm

Quoting N62NA (Thread starter):
I was doing a google search on the 757 and came across this fantastic feature article by the Seattle Times on the conception, design and launch of the 757. The article was written in 1983.

I have only skipped over the top of this very involved article and it looks a great read. I will certainly take some time to read it properly, and once again thanks for alerting us to it.

Kind Regards

AviationNut  Big grin
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PC12Fan
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:37 pm

Quoting AviationNut (Reply 3):
I have only skipped over the top of this very involved article and it looks a great read.

It is a great read. Thanks for posting this gem!
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mrcomet
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Sun Aug 19, 2007 10:45 pm

It is funny that many of the same issues of the 787 were alive and well then -- new technology, fuel eficiency driving the design, the demand to scale up airplanes, dirty tricks by rivals, etc.

I alwasy though the 757 is the nicest plane to fly on if you are going economy. It's roomy, fast and solid. It is hugely better than the A320 or 737NG series to fly on. I wish there were more of them out there.
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tdscanuck
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:27 am

Quoting MrComet (Reply 5):
It's roomy, fast and solid. It is hugely better than the A320 or 737NG series to fly on.

Why roomier? The 737NG and 757 have the same cabin dimensions.

Tom.
 
IAD787
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:31 am

Also, Peter Rinearson won a Pulitzer Prize for this series. It pretty much set the benchmark for aviation reporting.
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skibum9
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:36 am

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 6):
Why roomier? The 737NG and 757 have the same cabin dimensions.

The 757 and 737 have the same cabin dimensions, however the overhead bins are 3 inches higher in the 757, giving one the perception that it is roomier.
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:46 am

Quoting N62NA (Thread starter):
The DC-9 and 747 may yet become profitable. The DC-8, the DC-10, the L-1011, even the 737...all these airplanes, and more, have lost money for their manufacturers. ]

If memory serves, the 747 went into service in the early 70's, so it's hard for me to imagine that after ten years of production the airplane still wasn't making a profit for Boeing. I can't see maintaining a production run for that long if the company is loosing money.
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JAAlbert
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:50 am

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 6):
Why roomier? The 737NG and 757 have the same cabin dimensions.

Plus, it's longer. I always liked that model of the 757 that had the small rear cabin. It makes you feel that you are on a large plane. I get so tired of those little 737s/320s -- I sometimes think they are just greyhound buses, with wings.
 
texl1649
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:10 am

Quoting IAD787 (Reply 7):

It probably set the benchmark for aviation reporting, I agree. I don't know that the benchmark has been reached since.
 
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TheRedBaron
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:13 am

Quoting MrComet (Reply 5):
It is hugely better than the A320 or 737NG series to fly on. I wish there were more of them out there.

my thoughts exactly.....very good article btw..
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lightsaber
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:15 am

What I like from this article is the perspective that only the 707 and 727 had been the only profitable jets of the time. When this article was written, the 737 had not yet broken even.  wideeyed 

Its why each and every airframe (and engine) launch must be taken very seriously.

E.g., it wasn't until the late 1990's that the JT9D broke even.  wideeyed  Partly due to the huge launch expenses and EIS "teething" issues (recall, Pratt was basically bankrupt due to the engine). Long afterwards, engineers there knew the JT8D paid for salaries (not the PW2000 or PW4000, yet).

The article also talks about fuel going from 9 cents per gallon to 35 cents. This is why Pratt killed the JT10D.  cry  They mistakenly thought "point-to-point" was dead with the new permanent high energy costs. Oops!

The politics of the wing manufacturing was very interesting. Thanks for the link.

Lightsaber
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BoomBoom
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:27 am

This is more like a history book than a article. But these passages caught my eye:

Quote:
But the world airline industry is volatile, and unexpected developments can destroy the best-laid plans. An airplane concept that is promising one year may be pointless the next, ruined by the changing needs of the industry. There's a saying in the airplane-manufacturing industry: "Long-range forecasting is the day after tomorrow."

Unless a sufficient number of airplanes is sold in the first few years of a program, interest costs and other expenses make it almost impossible for the program ever to make money — no matter how many planes are sold in the long run.
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PlaneHunter
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:42 am

Quoting MrComet (Reply 5):
It's roomy, fast and solid. It is hugely better than the A320 or 737NG series to fly on. I wish there were more of them out there.

The B757 and the B737 share the same cabin dimension - and the A320 is even wider. It mostly depends on the operator whether a flight is comfortable.


PH
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vv701
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:06 am

Am I missing something? Are we being serious? Is it 1 April or something?

Could someone correct me where I am wrong. As I see it the article says that Boeing, EA and BA had sat down at technical and commercial negotiations and agreed that Boeing would build a 160 passenger airline for which EA and BA would be the launch customers. Then the CEOs of Boeing and EA have a two and a half mile, 4 minute car journey in Miami. During that journey they tare up the original plans and agree that instead Boeing will build a 175 passenger aircraft. And in those two and a half miles and four minutes it is all signed, sealed and settled.

Little old BA who have had no input into these sudden, quick and pretty significant changes has one reaction. No, perhaps two. It says 'Great' and places its order.

Now where did I go wrong. Yes its a great yarn. But is it anything other than a piece of very imaginative newspaper reporting?
 
AirEMS
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:30 am

Was it just me or were there tons of typos in this article?

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BoomBoom
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:44 am

Quoting AirEMS (Reply 17):
Was it just me or were there tons of typos in this article?

I noticed that too. It looks like it was a hard copy that was scanned, but the original or OCR software wasn't very good and they didn't do a very good job of cleaning up the mistakes.
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lightsaber
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:02 am

Quoting BoomBoom (Reply 14):
Unless a sufficient number of airplanes is sold in the first few years of a program, interest costs and other expenses make it almost impossible for the program ever to make money — no matter how many planes are sold in the long run.

 Sad Sad but true. Time value of money is critical. Once you start spending hundreds of millions, the interest piles up fast. Unless that debt can be paid off quickly, it becomes a beast that is tough to feed.

Then there is the flip side, once the engineering is paid off, the profit margins go up quickly. Not to mention, often most of the profit is the support contract/parts.

Then there is the third bit, the more of an airframe/engine that sells, the more airframes to amortize improvements. Examples, JT8D-217 to -219 and the tail cone changes on the MD-82 to 83. More on topic, the winglets for the 757.  spin 

Volume is critical. Early volume is sweet.

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grantcv
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:07 am

Quoting VV701 (Reply 16):
Could someone correct me where I am wrong. As I see it the article says that Boeing, EA and BA had sat down at technical and commercial negotiations and agreed that Boeing would build a 160 passenger airline for which EA and BA would be the launch customers. Then the CEOs of Boeing and EA have a two and a half mile, 4 minute car journey in Miami. During that journey they tare up the original plans and agree that instead Boeing will build a 175 passenger aircraft. And in those two and a half miles and four minutes it is all signed, sealed and settled.

I don't know how much of those details are true, but I remember at the time a lot of criticism that Boeing had buckled to Eastern pressure and the result was a plane that was too big for the larger market. What's more - the ability to shrink to fit wasn't there. That created the opening in the 150 seat market that Boeing had to fill with the 737-300 (which initially was to be a rather awkward and sub-optimal stretch with odd counter-weights at the end of the wings) and created the opening for the A320. If the 757 had initially been created for the smaller market, it might have become the success the 737 has become, would still be in production today, and could have blunted Airbus' success with the A320.
 
moek2000
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:43 am

Great article! I personally think the 757 is one of the best aircrafts ever produced (in terms of efficiency, power, looks, etc.) and it's really sad that these birds are no longer produced.
 
EI321
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:50 am

Why is the 757 cockpit at a different height to the 737 cockpit?
 
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ClassicLover
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:54 am

Quoting EI321 (Reply 22):
Why is the 757 cockpit at a different height to the 737 cockpit?

The 757 and 767 have the same cockpit. It's higher because the 757 is a lot higher off the ground  Smile

Great article - thoroughly enjoyed the read! Be nice if someone did something similar for the 787 once it's going into service...
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
Rj111
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 5:02 am

Quoting EI321 (Reply 22):
Why is the 757 cockpit at a different height to the 737 cockpit?

To reinforce the 757-767 common type rating the 757 has the same window design as the 767.

Also the 757 sits a lot higher on the ground vs the 737 to avoid tail strike.
 
nwafflyer
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 5:43 am

Completely agree about the spelling erros - that makes no sense for a reasonably large newspaper article. Now, the 757 is a great plane, and has been under utilized for years. Funny, but there is also a post on here about BA's use of the 757, and of course we all know about CO and NW with the 757 across the atlantic (pond if you prefer)
 
Beeski
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:25 am

Great Article, thanks for the link.
 
gunsontheroof
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:36 am

Quoting AirEMS (Reply 17):
Was it just me or were there tons of typos in this article?



Quoting Nwafflyer (Reply 25):
Completely agree about the spelling erros - that makes no sense for a reasonably large newspaper article.

It was probably transcribed (hastily by someone low on the totem pole I'd imagine) from an original, error-free hard copy relatively recently since the Seattle Times' website wasn't up and running in the early 1980s.  Wink

Great article, thanks for posting!
 
atmx2000
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:47 am

Quoting N62NA (Thread starter):
I was doing a google search on the 757 and came across this fantastic feature article by the Seattle Times on the conception, design and launch of the 757. The article was written in 1983.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/new.../757/

I've posted this article before....

Quoting Lightsaber (Reply 13):
The politics of the wing manufacturing was very interesting. Thanks for the link.

Yup, evidence that Boeing was willing to outsource long ago.

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 27):
It was probably transcribed (hastily by someone low on the totem pole I'd imagine) from an original, error-free hard copy relatively recently since the Seattle Times' website wasn't up and running in the early 1980s.  

Or OCRed. Oh, and I don't think any websites were up at the time, as the Internet was just a twinkle in Al Gore's eye.  Wink And probably the article was written or typed on a typewriter as opposed to a computer.
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cjbmibe
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:16 am

I read an interesting article in a local paper (The Belfast Telegraph) in Northern Ireland a while ago.

It talked about the Boeing 757 and BAe 146. Both of them allow toxins into the cabin and over time poison the crews. Something to do with the air conditioning units. If I come across it I'll post it or scan it.

About a month ago G-JEBG, a British European 146 returned to base because some of the cabin crew fainted due to toxins in the air. Not too sure if it was one or two of them that fainted, I was on the other end of the ramp. It was found that a faulty air unit was to blame, spent a while on the ground.
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ContnlEliteCMH
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:45 am

How about this one:

Airbus Industrie, a consortium of plane-makers backed by European governments, already has announced its 150-seater, called the A-320. But the announcement was made at the Paris Air Show two years ago, and though the announcement has been periodically and dramatically renewed, the engineering and construction program still hasn't been launched.

A much ballyhooed new airliner whose announcement has been periodically and dramatically renewed, but which doesn't even seem to exist on paper? No silly! Not the A350! Behold, the A320!

The good news for Airbus is that if history repeats itself, Airbus has nothing to worry about. Of course, Boeing didn't have a good competitor to the A320 at the time...
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jacobin777
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:50 am

....great article...thanks for the link.. thumbsup ...while at one time I wasn't the biggest fan of the B757, it is probably one of my all-time favourite birds...simply a masterpiece.... yes ...what a rocket!  bigthumbsup 

..the photo of former Boeing Chairman Phil Condit on the BA-757 is kind of funny....even though people ridicule him for making bad business not too many years ago, he was instrumental to the Boeing company.


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cjbmibe
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:56 am

(Request Deletion - Accidental Double Post)

[Edited 2007-08-20 00:59:13]
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tdscanuck
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 8:06 am

Quoting Cjbmibe (Reply 29):
It talked about the Boeing 757 and BAe 146. Both of them allow toxins into the cabin and over time poison the crews.

As much as that issue exists (it's somewhat in dispute), it's common to all airliners. As far as I know, the theory is that it's oil and other ingested fluids coming from the engines in the bleed air. That would happen on any aircraft that used bleed air for pressurization; I'm not aware of any systems differences that would single out the 757 or BAe 146.

Tom.
 
centrair
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:10 am

Quoting VV701 (Reply 16):

Frank Borman: Known to almost everyone at the time from farmers to leaders of foreign countries. Hard Nosed business man and engineer. He always went with a "I am the Colenel and in charge, final is final" attitude. Was already friends with most aerospace CEOs before even becoming a CEO himself. The Apollo program would have died if it wasn't for his guidance in the review of the Apollo 1 Accident and the redesign of the spaccraft for Apollo 7 and his Apollo 8.

Never know, maybe his little 4 minute deal helped make the 757 into the aircraft it became. Maybe if it had stayed at the smaller size it would have sold more? Maybe less?

Great article. Got to love Aerospace history.
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brettbrett21
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:40 am

"In the fall of 1981, an anesthetized 4-pound chicken was loaded in a pneumatic gun and fired at 360 knots head-on into a stationary 757 cab.

The expectation was that the chicken would deflect off the cabin's sloping metal roof. Instead, it pierced the airplane's skin.

"It looked like you had thrown a shot put through it," said Ed Pottenger, a Boeing engineer. "


I sure hope it was pre-dead?!
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ebs757
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:07 am

Quoting Brettbrett21 (Reply 35):
an anesthetized 4-pound chicken was loaded in a pneumatic gun and fired at 360 knots head-on into a stationary 757 cab.

I sure hope there aren't any Peta members reading! but yeah if thats true it sounds pretty cruel
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flylku
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:56 am

Quoting Grantcv (Reply 20):
If the 757 had initially been created for the smaller market, it might have become the success the 737 has become, would still be in production today, and could have blunted Airbus' success with the A320.

Perhaps, but I believe the production run ended at just north of 1000 airframes and I doubt a 757 sale ever cannibalized a 737 sale. Smart strategists realize that "you can't win them all," so you pick your battles. This is especially true in the high stake s airframer's game.
...are we there yet?
 
Molykote
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:06 am

"In 1978 Tex Boullioun, left, president of the Boeing Commercial Airplane Co."

What a badass name!

Quoting IAD787 (Reply 7):
Also, Peter Rinearson won a Pulitzer Prize for this series. It pretty much set the benchmark for aviation reporting.



Quoting TexL1649 (Reply 11):
It probably set the benchmark for aviation reporting, I agree. I don't know that the benchmark has been reached since.

I had exactly the same thoughts as I read these articles. It is clearly evident that the time was taken to do this series right rather than patch together bits and pieces of spotty information (which seems to common today).
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boo25
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 11:23 am

Excellent plane! I have been lucky enough to fly as crew on the 757 for the best part of 21 years!

Outstanding design and power - nothing like the sound of a Rolls Royce RB211 on take-off!

Shame about the more recent toxins issue which has blighted it more recently  Sad i have been unlucky enough to suffer one of these 'events'.

Still love the plane though..streets ahead of it's time  Smile
 
A346Dude
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 1:40 pm

Awesome article, thanks for the link. Meticulously researched and well told, unlike most of the drivel we get today.
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mrcomet
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 2:32 pm

In the "where are they now" category, sadly, Tex passed away last year.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...es/2003280667_boulliounobit29.html
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TWAtwaTWA
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:26 pm

What a fantastic series of articles! Really gives an appreciation of the complexity involved in a new airplane project. International politics, business strategy, deal-making, pushing technology, and the hard work of thousands of engineers. Thanks to all of you who are involved in this process.
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tdscanuck
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 6:29 pm

Quoting Brettbrett21 (Reply 35):
I sure hope it was pre-dead?!

Why would you anesthetize a dead chicken?

They don't do this anymore...they use a dead bird.

Tom.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Mon Aug 20, 2007 9:53 pm

Great Article.Thanks.
Plan to share this with the gang at work.
regds
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mrcomet
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RE: Incredibly Interesting Article On The 757

Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:02 am

From the obituary linked to above, this interesting tidbit:

"In December 1979, Mr. Boullioun learned that Trans World Airlines was set to choose the Airbus A310 over Boeing's 767, based on better fuel efficiency, recalled Joe Sutter, lead engineer on the 747 program. Neither airplane had flown yet. Mr. Boullioun, armed with data from his engineers, flew to New York and told TWA's president that Boeing would compensate TWA if his plane wasn't superior. TWA switched the order to 767s. Later data proved the Boeing engineers right. His wins were more than luck, Sutter said. "He knew what Boeing knew. He gambled from strength. It was educated risk."

Was this the invention of the compensation for performance deals that Airbus uses so liberally now?
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