majano
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Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Tue May 28, 2019 4:07 pm

Good day,

This is my first attempt at starting a discussion on this forum, although I have been active for a few months now.

I have run a search using the phrase "Airbus 50 Years Celebration" with no hits, but I would not mind if the mods removed the topic if there is a discussion ongoing already.

Airbus is celebrating 50 years of existence this year. As part of the "celebrations" of the milestone, Flightglobal has an in-depth discussion of what they believe were Airbus' 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it didn't. I found the article to be informative. Mr Faury (incoming Airbus CEO) will not agree with the classification of the A380 based on recent statements, but this is only Flightglobal' opinion of which we are all entitled to.

The article is here: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... it-457499/

What are your views on the topic?

FYI: For those who are not active readers of flightglobal, it may require registration which is free of charge.

Regards
 
WA707atMSP
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Tue May 28, 2019 4:43 pm

This is an excellent article, that I totally agree with.

One "failure" that should have been included was that, although Airbus was the first company to make a twin aisle widebody, Airbus failed to anticipate ETOPS in the 1980s. The A300-B4, A310, and A300-600 were all optimized for shorter haul routes. The 767-200 and 767-300 were optimized for longer haul routes, which meant that when ETOPS became a reality, the 767 was far more appealing as a transatlantic aircraft than the A310. One prominent journalist (John Newhouse) said the 767-300 was more profitable for Boeing than the 747-400, and one of the main reasons the 767-300 was so profitable was because it was much more economical on ETOPS routes than the A310.
 
b4thefall
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Tue May 28, 2019 5:21 pm

WA707atMSP wrote:
This is an excellent article, that I totally agree with.

One "failure" that should have been included was that, although Airbus was the first company to make a twin aisle widebody, Airbus failed to anticipate ETOPS in the 1980s. The A300-B4, A310, and A300-600 were all optimized for shorter haul routes. The 767-200 and 767-300 were optimized for longer haul routes, which meant that when ETOPS became a reality, the 767 was far more appealing as a transatlantic aircraft than the A310. One prominent journalist (John Newhouse) said the 767-300 was more profitable for Boeing than the 747-400, and one of the main reasons the 767-300 was so profitable was because it was much more economical on ETOPS routes than the A310.



Yes, and incredibly, they made the exact same mistake in the 90's again! The A330s performance was deliberately handicapped for years in order to protect the sales of the A340. This was rectified somewhat with the launch of the A330-200, but the 330-300 continued to have its wings "clipped" for quite some time.
 
B777LRF
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Tue May 28, 2019 5:48 pm

WA707atMSP wrote:
Airbus failed to anticipate ETOPS in the 1980s.


Give the guys a break; nobody anticipated ETOPS in the early 80s. They were the first to try what has proved to be the winning formula: wide-body, twin engine. That should give them a bit of leeway. Besides, the A300 did exactly what it did on the tin, and nobody nicknamed it better than Lufthansa, albeit, I'm not sure they quite understood how it may sound once translated into English.

They did eventually slap a pair of longer feathers, newer engines and a spot of FBW on it, which did prove rather successful. They might've done an A300ER earlier, to give the 767 a run for its money, with a simple wing extension. But I'm not sure it wasn't better waiting a bit and reach the level of technological maturity need to make the A330 as we know it, not least the wing and engine side of the business.
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910A
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Tue May 28, 2019 5:59 pm

the 37-seat A340-600


No wonder it didn't sell better.. :banghead:
 
Etheereal
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Tue May 28, 2019 6:06 pm

910A wrote:
the 37-seat A340-600


No wonder it didn't sell better.. :banghead:

Now we're talking :lol:
JetBuddy wrote:
"737 slides off the runway" is the new "Florida man"..

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Bricktop
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Tue May 28, 2019 6:09 pm

I don't think Airbus management gets nearly enough credit for minimizing the natural friction between the major equity holders. Yeah, there are periodic poop-storms, but overall they have gotten through crises pretty well. If you asked me 30 years ago if all the European ancestors of Airbus would have become this cohesive, I would have said NFW.
 
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Revelation
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Tue May 28, 2019 6:16 pm

WA707atMSP wrote:
This is an excellent article, that I totally agree with.

One "failure" that should have been included was...

Well, I guess you didn't totally agree after all, no?

Yet we do agree it is an excellent article.

And it should be clear to one and all that the things Airbus got right vastly outweigh the things it did not.

Interestingly enough, it shows innovation didn't stop in 1987.

One area I think is questionable:

Although Enders’ proposed 2012 merger with BAE Systems failed, the recently-retired German will be remembered as the executive who turned EADS/Airbus into a single company run purely on commercial rather than political or national lines.

If it is being run on purely commercial lines, why does it keep asking for government funds in the form of "repayable launch aid"?

Even if RLA is or is not legal, and even if various competitors do or do not get various forms of government assistance, I don't think Airbus reaches the level of being "purely commercial" while receiving RLA.

Clearly Airbus is a very profitable corporation with vast assets and has no problems getting loans on purely commercial terms.

Personally I think Airbus requests RLA because it wants their host governments to have some "skin in the game".

I think Airbus values political engagement if not commitment more than it fears political interference.

So I think Airbus is largely but not purely a commercial entity.

Overall, I find it curious that the article didn't seem to make even indirect references to any world trade issues, nor the ongoing corruption investigation.
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ELBOB
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Tue May 28, 2019 7:36 pm

Another early mistake was in reducing the fuselage diameter of the A300 in panicked response to a dip in passenger numbers. Originally it was wider than the 777!

It turned-out that the fall-off was short-term, but Airbus was stuck with the narrower fuselage all the way to the A340-600. The A330 / 340 should have started from a clean sheet, but another mistake was maintaining 'commonality' with the A300 / 310 which proved to be pointless when the long-rangers quickly passed the old twins in sales.
 
flipdewaf
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Tue May 28, 2019 8:14 pm

Revelation wrote:
WA707atMSP wrote:
This is an excellent article, that I totally agree with.

One "failure" that should have been included was...

Well, I guess you didn't totally agree after all, no?

Yet we do agree it is an excellent article.

And it should be clear to one and all that the things Airbus got right vastly outweigh the things it did not.

Interestingly enough, it shows innovation didn't stop in 1987.

One area I think is questionable:

Although Enders’ proposed 2012 merger with BAE Systems failed, the recently-retired German will be remembered as the executive who turned EADS/Airbus into a single company run purely on commercial rather than political or national lines.

If it is being run on purely commercial lines, why does it keep asking for government funds in the form of "repayable launch aid"?

Even if RLA is or is not legal, and even if various competitors do or do not get various forms of government assistance, I don't think Airbus reaches the level of being "purely commercial" while receiving RLA.

Clearly Airbus is a very profitable corporation with vast assets and has no problems getting loans on purely commercial terms.

Personally I think Airbus requests RLA because it wants their host governments to have some "skin in the game".

I think Airbus values political engagement if not commitment more than it fears political interference.

So I think Airbus is largely but not purely a commercial entity.

Overall, I find it curious that the article didn't seem to make even indirect references to any world trade issues, nor the ongoing corruption investigation.

I kind of agree but then the European governments (Britain in particular) did seem bent on hobbling the aviation industries in the 50s and 60s so it’s almost like the industry needed paying back!

A very good article, I was wary it was going to simply going to say which programs failed and which were a success but it broke it down to strategy and technology and as a geek that is much more fascinating.

Fred


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Image
 
LH707330
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Tue May 28, 2019 8:37 pm

ELBOB wrote:
Another early mistake was in reducing the fuselage diameter of the A300 in panicked response to a dip in passenger numbers. Originally it was wider than the 777!

It turned-out that the fall-off was short-term, but Airbus was stuck with the narrower fuselage all the way to the A340-600. The A330 / 340 should have started from a clean sheet, but another mistake was maintaining 'commonality' with the A300 / 310 which proved to be pointless when the long-rangers quickly passed the old twins in sales.

Disagree, I think the diameter was a major win until the A345/346. The gen-1 A333/343 were lighter than the 200-series 777s in part because of their more efficient cross section with less wasted space. The 345/346 were certainly a stretch too far, that's where the 777's wider diameter paid off.

Image
 
tomcat
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Tue May 28, 2019 9:54 pm

Revelation wrote:

One area I think is questionable:

Although Enders’ proposed 2012 merger with BAE Systems failed, the recently-retired German will be remembered as the executive who turned EADS/Airbus into a single company run purely on commercial rather than political or national lines.

If it is being run on purely commercial lines, why does it keep asking for government funds in the form of "repayable launch aid"?

Even if RLA is or is not legal, and even if various competitors do or do not get various forms of government assistance, I don't think Airbus reaches the level of being "purely commercial" while receiving RLA.

Clearly Airbus is a very profitable corporation with vast assets and has no problems getting loans on purely commercial terms.

Personally I think Airbus requests RLA because it wants their host governments to have some "skin in the game".

I think Airbus values political engagement if not commitment more than it fears political interference.

So I think Airbus is largely but not purely a commercial entity.

Overall, I find it curious that the article didn't seem to make even indirect references to any world trade issues, nor the ongoing corruption investigation.


Any purely commercial company operating in a country offering RLA would request RLA if it would be in a position to do so. I cannot conceive how the Airbus management could tell their shareholders that in order to improve the "commercial profile" of the company, they would stop claiming RLA. Every day within the EU, many companies are receiving not just RLA but direct subsidies in relation with investments that they make in an EU country.

Note that RLA are also accessible to Boeing, they would just need to direct part of their future investments and manufacturing operations to the EU. Somehow, Boeing has never considered that it would make any business sense to do so. On the other hand, Airbus thought that it was a good idea to open an engineering office and a FAL in the USA. These are clear indications that the legal and fiscal environment remains more competitive in the USA than in the EU, even when RLA are accounted for. Not claiming the RLA would put Airbus at an even greater disadvantage vs Boeing. In the meantime, Airbus is moving or outsourcing outside EU (or founding countries) as much as it is politically tolerated. This is where the political interference is to be found, together with the fact that the engineering at Airbus remains spread between numerous places. This organisation is still byzantine if you compare to the Boeing equivalent.
 
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Tue May 28, 2019 10:49 pm

Bricktop wrote:
I don't think Airbus management gets nearly enough credit for minimizing the natural friction between the major equity holders. Yeah, there are periodic poop-storms, but overall they have gotten through crises pretty well. If you asked me 30 years ago if all the European ancestors of Airbus would have become this cohesive, I would have said NFW.


I agree with you. That has been an incredible accomplishment. Protectionism, Nationalism, Culture are very weighty factors to contend with in any multi-national. Airbus, especially since shedding the EADS name, has demonstrated that it can be a cohesive unit. One might argue that the distribution of assembly, done to keep all parties happy, has become a strength for the company.
learning never stops.
 
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NeBaNi
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Tue May 28, 2019 11:49 pm

majano wrote:
This is my first attempt at starting a discussion on this forum, although I have been active for a few months now.

I have run a search using the phrase "Airbus 50 Years Celebration" with no hits, but I would not mind if the mods removed the topic if there is a discussion ongoing already.

Airbus is celebrating 50 years of existence this year. As part of the "celebrations" of the milestone, Flightglobal has an in-depth discussion of what they believe were Airbus' 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it didn't. I found the article to be informative. Mr Faury (incoming Airbus CEO) will not agree with the classification of the A380 based on recent statements, but this is only Flightglobal' opinion of which we are all entitled to.

The article is here: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... it-457499/

Thanks for starting this thread. I was going to start a similar one myself, based on two interesting articles I read over the weekend, but after seeing this thread, it makes more sens to add them here:

https://aviationweek.com/airbus-50/airbus-50-humble-beginnings-world-stage
This one chronicles the history of Airbus. It's a fascinating read for the human aspects of the story - who the principal actors were, what they decided, when and how.

https://aviationweek.com/airbus-50-top-technologies-created-airbus
This one spotlights some technologies created by Airbus, not just in aircraft design, but throughout the aircraft life cycle -- manufacturing, fleet monitoring, maintenance and so on. Some of the non-obvious technologies it attributes to Airbus are:
  • High-pressure hydraulics (5000 psi on the A380 vs. 3000 psi in most civil aircraft and 4000 psi on the Concorde). I had no idea about this one!
  • Skywise data sharing and analysis platform (for both airlines AND suppliers). I knew the airline side of it, but I didn't realize it extended to suppliers as well.
 
majano
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 7:18 am

LH707330 wrote:
ELBOB wrote:
Another early mistake was in reducing the fuselage diameter of the A300 in panicked response to a dip in passenger numbers. Originally it was wider than the 777!

It turned-out that the fall-off was short-term, but Airbus was stuck with the narrower fuselage all the way to the A340-600. The A330 / 340 should have started from a clean sheet, but another mistake was maintaining 'commonality' with the A300 / 310 which proved to be pointless when the long-rangers quickly passed the old twins in sales.

Disagree, I think the diameter was a major win until the A345/346. The gen-1 A333/343 were lighter than the 200-series 777s in part because of their more efficient cross section with less wasted space. The 345/346 were certainly a stretch too far, that's where the 777's wider diameter paid off.

Image

I have to agree with this. A wider fuselage A300, stretched into an A340 two decades later might or might not have offered better competition against the 777, but that may have come at a cost of A330 and perhaps A300 / A310 efficiency. Anyway, the 777, especially the 300ER was and remains so good that even a wider A340 would have struggled.
 
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crimsonchin
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 7:35 am

Well, they were supposed to be dead after a few hundred planes according to their expert rivals in the US, so it's a miracle they even made it to 50, you know? That's one thing they did right.
 
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BobMUC
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 8:01 am

Maybe to add a 6 thing to the positive list:
Airbus is planning a formation flight for today. A380, A350, A330, A320, A220 & BelugaXL.

I think the first two aircraft are already flying:
https://www.flightradar24.com/AIB50WA/20af8527
https://www.flightradar24.com/AIB50OW/20af83d7
 
ixam500
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 8:37 am

tomcat wrote:
Revelation wrote:

One area I think is questionable:

Although Enders’ proposed 2012 merger with BAE Systems failed, the recently-retired German will be remembered as the executive who turned EADS/Airbus into a single company run purely on commercial rather than political or national lines.

If it is being run on purely commercial lines, why does it keep asking for government funds in the form of "repayable launch aid"?

Even if RLA is or is not legal, and even if various competitors do or do not get various forms of government assistance, I don't think Airbus reaches the level of being "purely commercial" while receiving RLA.

Clearly Airbus is a very profitable corporation with vast assets and has no problems getting loans on purely commercial terms.

Personally I think Airbus requests RLA because it wants their host governments to have some "skin in the game".

I think Airbus values political engagement if not commitment more than it fears political interference.

So I think Airbus is largely but not purely a commercial entity.

Overall, I find it curious that the article didn't seem to make even indirect references to any world trade issues, nor the ongoing corruption investigation.


Any purely commercial company operating in a country offering RLA would request RLA if it would be in a position to do so. I cannot conceive how the Airbus management could tell their shareholders that in order to improve the "commercial profile" of the company, they would stop claiming RLA. Every day within the EU, many companies are receiving not just RLA but direct subsidies in relation with investments that they make in an EU country.

Note that RLA are also accessible to Boeing, they would just need to direct part of their future investments and manufacturing operations to the EU. Somehow, Boeing has never considered that it would make any business sense to do so. On the other hand, Airbus thought that it was a good idea to open an engineering office and a FAL in the USA. These are clear indications that the legal and fiscal environment remains more competitive in the USA than in the EU, even when RLA are accounted for. Not claiming the RLA would put Airbus at an even greater disadvantage vs Boeing. In the meantime, Airbus is moving or outsourcing outside EU (or founding countries) as much as it is politically tolerated. This is where the political interference is to be found, together with the fact that the engineering at Airbus remains spread between numerous places. This organisation is still byzantine if you compare to the Boeing equivalent.


So what do you call all the tax breaks Boeing recieves (it is in the top spot for corporate welfare), or all the "indirect" subsidies through overpriced military projects? And the US has a debt load of 21 trillion, which has to be paid back at some point..
 
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Ty134A
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 8:41 am

B777LRF wrote:
WA707atMSP wrote:
Airbus failed to anticipate ETOPS in the 1980s.


Give the guys a break; nobody anticipated ETOPS in the early 80s. They were the first to try what has proved to be the winning formula: wide-body, twin engine. That should give them a bit of leeway. Besides, the A300 did exactly what it did on the tin, and nobody nicknamed it better than Lufthansa, albeit, I'm not sure they quite understood how it may sound once translated into English.

They did eventually slap a pair of longer feathers, newer engines and a spot of FBW on it, which did prove rather successful. They might've done an A300ER earlier, to give the 767 a run for its money, with a simple wing extension. But I'm not sure it wasn't better waiting a bit and reach the level of technological maturity need to make the A330 as we know it, not least the wing and engine side of the business.


what was LH's nick for the A300?
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mjoelnir
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 8:44 am

ELBOB wrote:
Another early mistake was in reducing the fuselage diameter of the A300 in panicked response to a dip in passenger numbers. Originally it was wider than the 777!

It turned-out that the fall-off was short-term, but Airbus was stuck with the narrower fuselage all the way to the A340-600. The A330 / 340 should have started from a clean sheet, but another mistake was maintaining 'commonality' with the A300 / 310 which proved to be pointless when the long-rangers quickly passed the old twins in sales.


When the A300 was designed, the main design limitation were available engines, EIS 1974, The A300 has a bigger fuselage diameter than the 8 years younger 767, EIS 1982. The first 777 came in 1995. So I do not really understand where your fuselage diameter comparison comes from.

Also the A330/340, EIS 1991, the most successful wide body design up to now, with all together 2,108 sold frames, predates the 777 by 4 years.


.
 
YIMBY
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 8:46 am

WA707atMSP wrote:
This is an excellent article, that I totally agree with.

One "failure" that should have been included was that, although Airbus was the first company to make a twin aisle widebody, Airbus failed to anticipate ETOPS in the 1980s. The A300-B4, A310, and A300-600 were all optimized for shorter haul routes. The 767-200 and 767-300 were optimized for longer haul routes, which meant that when ETOPS became a reality, the 767 was far more appealing as a transatlantic aircraft than the A310. One prominent journalist (John Newhouse) said the 767-300 was more profitable for Boeing than the 747-400, and one of the main reasons the 767-300 was so profitable was because it was much more economical on ETOPS routes than the A310.


How much that was the Boeing lobbying for American authorities to change the rules for their favour, also and more for 777?
 
sadiqutp
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 8:55 am

Boeing issued a weird video to congratulate Airbus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j3ob0CfH9I

Other than "I heard your plane got delayed", are there other Eastereggs I didn't notice?
 
DartHerald
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 9:36 am

Something that wasn't mentioned in the original Flight articles was the widespread use wingtip devices, which were adopted on the a320, a330 and a340 well before Boeing started (apart from the 747-400, perhaps - I'm hazy on dates)
 
DartHerald
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 9:41 am

YIMBY wrote:
WA707atMSP wrote:
This is an excellent article, that I totally agree with.

One "failure" that should have been included was that, although Airbus was the first company to make a twin aisle widebody, Airbus failed to anticipate ETOPS in the 1980s. The A300-B4, A310, and A300-600 were all optimized for shorter haul routes. The 767-200 and 767-300 were optimized for longer haul routes, which meant that when ETOPS became a reality, the 767 was far more appealing as a transatlantic aircraft than the A310. One prominent journalist (John Newhouse) said the 767-300 was more profitable for Boeing than the 747-400, and one of the main reasons the 767-300 was so profitable was because it was much more economical on ETOPS routes than the A310.


How much that was the Boeing lobbying for American authorities to change the rules for their favour, also and more for 777?


How much of it was down to the A300 being designed for short-haul trips intra-europe - as an air bus? Unlike the 767 which was designed for longer flights intra-USA and therefore had an innate but serendipitous range advantatage when it came to longer haul ETOPS.
 
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BobMUC
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 9:49 am

BobMUC wrote:
Maybe to add a 6 thing to the positive list:
Airbus is planning a formation flight for today. A380, A350, A330, A320, A220 & BelugaXL.

I think the first two aircraft are already flying:
https://www.flightradar24.com/AIB50WA/20af8527
https://www.flightradar24.com/AIB50OW/20af83d7


Lineup:
Image
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D7uDE9ZW4AE ... name=large
 
Olddog
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 9:53 am

The A220 looks like a toy put here just for the joke :)
When UK was in it wanted a lot of opt-outs, now it is out it wants opt-ins
 
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 9:57 am

Ty134A wrote:
what was LH's nick for the A300?

Kontschaufel = Continental Shovel
Shovelling large numbers of pax across Europe.

Despite some high profile missteps, Airbus has made some excellent aircraft. I like how they focus a little more on comfort while maintaining competitiveness.
 
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 10:26 am

B777LRF wrote:
Give the guys a break; nobody anticipated ETOPS in the early 80s.

That's not true at all.

In fact, Boeing was formally and actively lobbying the FAA for twin ops beyond 90min as early as 1980 itself.

And yes, Airbus, who *pioneered* the concept of twins legally operating beyond 60min diversion (they'd been using 90min since 1976) truly dropped the ball by not having an active contingency for ETOPS at that point.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
9Patch
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 10:52 am

tomcat wrote:
Note that RLA are also accessible to Boeing, they would just need to direct part of their future investments and manufacturing operations to the EU. Somehow, Boeing has never considered that it would make any business sense to do so. On the other hand, Airbus thought that it was a good idea to open an engineering office and a FAL in the USA.

Alenia builds an entire 787 section (the center fuselage) at its facility in Grottaglie, Italy.
 
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ExperimentalFTE
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 10:55 am

Olddog wrote:
The A220 looks like a toy put here just for the joke :)


Yeah, but keep in mind that it is leading the fleet during flypast.....

Looks to me more like a "tip of the spear" than a toy!

Cheers
 
RandWkop
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 11:35 am

All plastic 787 :lol:
 
WA707atMSP
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 11:48 am

YIMBY wrote:
WA707atMSP wrote:
This is an excellent article, that I totally agree with.

One "failure" that should have been included was that, although Airbus was the first company to make a twin aisle widebody, Airbus failed to anticipate ETOPS in the 1980s. The A300-B4, A310, and A300-600 were all optimized for shorter haul routes. The 767-200 and 767-300 were optimized for longer haul routes, which meant that when ETOPS became a reality, the 767 was far more appealing as a transatlantic aircraft than the A310. One prominent journalist (John Newhouse) said the 767-300 was more profitable for Boeing than the 747-400, and one of the main reasons the 767-300 was so profitable was because it was much more economical on ETOPS routes than the A310.


How much that was the Boeing lobbying for American authorities to change the rules for their favour, also and more for 777?


Boeing did aggressively lobby authorities to change the ETOPS rules. However, Boeing did so because it was what three early 767 customers, El Al, Air Canada, and TWA, wanted.

It was not a case of changing rules "in Boeing's favor", because the new rules applied to all manufacturers' aircraft, not just the 767. However, because the 767 was far more efficient on longer haul routes than the A310, Boeing knew that once ETOPS became a reality across the Atlantic, airlines flying transatlantic routes evaluating the 767 vs the A310 would be more likely to choose the 767. KLM, one of the launch customers of the A310-200, actually chose the 767-300 over the A310-300 because of the 767's superiority for transatlantic routes.
 
ORDfan101
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 12:04 pm

A380?
 
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Revelation
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 12:18 pm

tomcat wrote:
Any purely commercial company operating in a country offering RLA would request RLA if it would be in a position to do so.

Why? We are told it is granted at commercial rates so it's not economically advantageous, and comes with a lot of strings attached such as the need to pay royalties forever ala A320 presuming the program is a success.

tomcat wrote:
I cannot conceive how the Airbus management could tell their shareholders that in order to improve the "commercial profile" of the company, they would stop claiming RLA.

The issue isn't commercial purity, it is reduction of political control/influence.

As I wrote, it seems obvious that Airbus wants the government to be an investor thus prefers to not run on purely commercial basis, yet various trade magazines often suggest otherwise.

Olddog wrote:
The A220 looks like a toy put here just for the joke :)

My first impression was that it is a vivid illustration of the 'middle of the market' gap that NMA would address.

It is also an illustration of the fact that the a339 and a359 are pretty similar in size and that there is a large gap between them and a380.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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Polot
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 12:30 pm

YIMBY wrote:
WA707atMSP wrote:
This is an excellent article, that I totally agree with.

One "failure" that should have been included was that, although Airbus was the first company to make a twin aisle widebody, Airbus failed to anticipate ETOPS in the 1980s. The A300-B4, A310, and A300-600 were all optimized for shorter haul routes. The 767-200 and 767-300 were optimized for longer haul routes, which meant that when ETOPS became a reality, the 767 was far more appealing as a transatlantic aircraft than the A310. One prominent journalist (John Newhouse) said the 767-300 was more profitable for Boeing than the 747-400, and one of the main reasons the 767-300 was so profitable was because it was much more economical on ETOPS routes than the A310.


How much that was the Boeing lobbying for American authorities to change the rules for their favour, also and more for 777?

If Airbus had a long range twin engine jet coming down the pipeline they would have (successfully) lobbied the European regulators to change the rules in their favor too. They never did because even the most capable A300 (the -600R) could just barely do TATL, and the A330 had its A340 sibling for long range.
Last edited by Polot on Wed May 29, 2019 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Aither
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 12:30 pm

I would have added the commercial success despite Europe not being a political / military power like the US is. Lots of deals are/were politically motivated, or with large industrial offset. Boeing can count on the US leadership while Europe is still a non united conglomerate of secondary nations with diverging interests.
Never trust the obvious
 
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Polot
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 12:34 pm

Aither wrote:
I would have added the commercial success despite Europe not being a political / military power like the US is. Lots of deals are/were politically motivated, or with large industrial offset. Boeing can count on the US leadership while Europe is still a non united conglomerate of secondary nations with diverging interests.

??? The EU is a huge political/trade powerhouse just like the US. And Airbus can easily count on Germany/France who are powerhouses on their own and together essentially can do whatever they want in/with the EU.
 
WA707atMSP
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 12:57 pm

Polot wrote:
Aither wrote:
I would have added the commercial success despite Europe not being a political / military power like the US is. Lots of deals are/were politically motivated, or with large industrial offset. Boeing can count on the US leadership while Europe is still a non united conglomerate of secondary nations with diverging interests.

??? The EU is a huge political/trade powerhouse just like the US. And Airbus can easily count on Germany/France who are powerhouses on their own and together essentially can do whatever they want in/with the EU.


The US's political views have worked against Boeing in many sales competitions, especially in the Middle East. Aviation journalists have often said that although the US's strong support of Israel makes El Al more likely to buy Boeing, airlines based in countries hostile to Israel are more likely to buy Airbus.
 
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BobMUC
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 1:06 pm

Not the perfect thread but still impressive picture of the formation flight:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... 38eaM8_MW0
 
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william
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 1:44 pm

sadiqutp wrote:
Boeing issued a weird video to congratulate Airbus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j3ob0CfH9I

Other than "I heard your plane got delayed", are there other Eastereggs I didn't notice?


These are two corporations going at each other day after day. One has to respect their main competitor, as the Boeing CEO stated, its makes you better.

Its only on Anet where some posters treat the Boeing/ Airbus rivalry as a Games of Thrones espisode........................................................(pssst, this may shock some, but Games of Thrones is not real :shock: :o :( ).
 
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LaunchDetected
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 1:50 pm

BobMUC wrote:
Not the perfect thread but still impressive picture of the formation flight:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... 38eaM8_MW0


Unfortunately the formation flight above Toulouse was cancelled due to bad weather.

We waited 1h30 and the sole aircraft we saw was a Ryanair 737! (and the Patrouille de France)
Caravelle lover
 
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william
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 1:55 pm

And Congratulations Airbus, I remember as a kid when a new upstart company came up with a weird idea, a twin wide body. Look how far you have come.
 
triple3driver
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 2:17 pm

Something ironic is that, IIRC, Airbus named the A380 because the number 8 is a lucky number in many Asian cultures and they expected many Asian carriers to order the aircraft. The funny thing here is that the number 8 has been anything but lucky for Airbus, as the A318 only received 80 orders, the A330-800 has less than 10 orders, the A350-800 was cancelled, and the A380 failed with only about 250 deliveries when the program finishes.
If you can walk away from it intact, it was a good landing!
 
mjoelnir
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 2:49 pm

Polot wrote:
YIMBY wrote:
WA707atMSP wrote:
This is an excellent article, that I totally agree with.

One "failure" that should have been included was that, although Airbus was the first company to make a twin aisle widebody, Airbus failed to anticipate ETOPS in the 1980s. The A300-B4, A310, and A300-600 were all optimized for shorter haul routes. The 767-200 and 767-300 were optimized for longer haul routes, which meant that when ETOPS became a reality, the 767 was far more appealing as a transatlantic aircraft than the A310. One prominent journalist (John Newhouse) said the 767-300 was more profitable for Boeing than the 747-400, and one of the main reasons the 767-300 was so profitable was because it was much more economical on ETOPS routes than the A310.


How much that was the Boeing lobbying for American authorities to change the rules for their favour, also and more for 777?

If Airbus had a long range twin engine jet coming down the pipeline they would have (successfully) lobbied the European regulators to change the rules in their favor too. They never did because even the most capable A300 (the -600R) could just barely do TATL, and the A330 had its A340 sibling for long range.


Airbus lobbied enough, but the split up European agencies did not have the pull they have today.

At that time the FAA was in a completely different situation, it was the big leading certification agency, dominating in a different way than today.. Either the FAA gave you ETOPS or it was not real. It happened with the A300 also, that bird got ETOPS when the 767 was ready. The A300 was operating under 90 minutes ICAO rules since 1976, something that was not accepted by the FAA.

The 767 had EIS in 1982 and the FAA agreed to ETOPS120 in 1985 and the A300/310 could use it too.

ETOPS 180 came in 1988, only possible after extended use of the frame showed enough reliability in a full year of 120 ETOPS operation.

The 777 than got ETOPS 180 at entry into service, without needing to show reliability in service.

One can plainly see that ETOPS and ETOPS extensions were done by the FAA when USA build frames did need it. The European build frames got than the same conditions.

The A330/340 design has to be looked at as an insurance policy, offering both the twin and quad in the same fuselage.

Regarding long range twin the A330-200 had EIS in 1997, that is 2 years after the EIS of the 777 and 3 years after the EIS of the A330-300 and 4 years after the EIS of the A340. It is a myth, that Airbus crippled the A330 to sell A340.
The A330 got the biggest at that time available engine, limiting the A330-300 in range at that time.

The mistake Airbus did with the A340, was the A340-500/600. Airbus should have at that time gone to a new frame with a bigger fuselage diameter, perhaps doing again a twin/quad combination.

People always forget that Boeing had all this time the big long range quad, the 747. So when designing the 777, they could offer customers needing a quad, the 747.
The version that really sold, was the 747-400 with an EIS in 1989 a contemporary of the A340 with an EIS of 1991.
 
YIMBY
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 5:08 pm

mjoelnir wrote:
The mistake Airbus did with the A340, was the A340-500/600. Airbus should have at that time gone to a new frame with a bigger fuselage diameter, perhaps doing again a twin/quad combination.


They had essentially new engines, new wing, new mlg and whatever for A340-500/600 - could have deserved to be called 350. Would it have been a prohibitive effort to design the new wider tube as well? The tube is said to be the simplest part, after wing, engines, gears and avionics. Lengthening the tube is also non-trivial with all additional forces. There may be manufacturing issues, though, with the larger diameter that add cost? Would there had been any additional certification costs? Or would that inevitably led to mission creep with even bigger wing etc?

That would have given them A360 quad - making A380 unnecessary, and A350 twin, when engines were mature. It would have been aluminum, though, so not comparable to current A350.
 
tomcat
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 9:06 pm

Revelation wrote:
tomcat wrote:
Any purely commercial company operating in a country offering RLA would request RLA if it would be in a position to do so.

Why? We are told it is granted at commercial rates so it's not economically advantageous, and comes with a lot of strings attached such as the need to pay royalties forever ala A320 presuming the program is a success.


I'm not familiar with the details of the RLA but the fact that it won't be fully repaid in case a program is a flop is worth considering. It's reducing the risk associated with an investment, at the cost of reducing the profit in case the investment in very successful. It also allows to defer the pay back until the deliveries are starting for a marginal cost (per Wiki: "These loans are held at a minimum interest rate equal to the cost of government borrowing plus 0.25%, which would be below market rates available to Airbus without government support."), so it's reducing the burden of the long cycle time between program launch and first delivery. Last but not least, a bank loan will require to provide collateral assets and will come with strings attached as well. There is no such a thing with RLA. Again, this is according to my own understanding of the RLA, I may not be completely right about it but I can see reasons why RLA remain in use which are not related to the desire to keep politicians involved.

Revelation wrote:
tomcat wrote:
I cannot conceive how the Airbus management could tell their shareholders that in order to improve the "commercial profile" of the company, they would stop claiming RLA.

The issue isn't commercial purity, it is reduction of political control/influence.

As I wrote, it seems obvious that Airbus wants the government to be an investor thus prefers to not run on purely commercial basis, yet various trade magazines often suggest otherwise.


I'm not sure that Airbus really wants the governments on board. Airbus may just be adapting to their operating environment. The government involvement starts at the shareholding level: France, Germany and Spain own together 25% of Airbus (about 10/10/5). This is the heritage from the past and these governments haven't shown any intention to sell their shares anytime soon. Let's also consider that until recently, some people at the helm of Airbus and later on EADS were basically French public servants, like Louis Gallois (see his resume at the link below). Even though he was not a politician himself, he was deeply connected to the French politicians (this starts with his education at ENA, where many of the French politicians have studied). It's difficult in these conditions to conceive Airbus departing from political influence.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Gallois
 
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gatibosgru
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 10:36 pm

Just read on AA's twitter that with 423 buses, they're the world's largest Airbus operator! Had no clue.
https://twitter.com/AmericanAir/status/ ... 8931593216
Last edited by gatibosgru on Wed May 29, 2019 10:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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gatibosgru
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 10:47 pm

sadiqutp wrote:
Boeing issued a weird video to congratulate Airbus

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j3ob0CfH9I

Other than "I heard your plane got delayed", are there other Eastereggs I didn't notice?


That was too darn cute, happy to see a friendly rivalry!
@DadCelo
 
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gatibosgru
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Wed May 29, 2019 10:54 pm

Revelation wrote:
Olddog wrote:
The A220 looks like a toy put here just for the joke :)

My first impression was that it is a vivid illustration of the 'middle of the market' gap that NMA would address.


Something we keep hearing about while the A321NEO keep gaining orders in the 180-240 market.
@DadCelo
 
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Revelation
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Re: Airbus 50 Years Celebration - 5 things Airbus got right and 5 it did not

Thu May 30, 2019 12:20 am

gatibosgru wrote:
Revelation wrote:
Olddog wrote:
The A220 looks like a toy put here just for the joke :)

My first impression was that it is a vivid illustration of the 'middle of the market' gap that NMA would address.

Something we keep hearing about while the A321NEO keep gaining orders in the 180-240 market.

True, and the Very Large Aircraft at the back end of the lineup photo left a $25B smoking hole in Airbus's finances because they launched it based on a bunch of fair weather sailing assumptions...

One or two more "successes" like that and they'll be out of business...

It pays to stay in the listening phase till you're sure you can make money building the darn things, IMO...
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own

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