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CX747
Topic Author
Posts: 6291
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

Lockheed Needs To Build Large Aircraft Again.

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:09 am

It has just been announced that Lockheed Martin has decided to use the Embraer 145 airframe as its choice for supplying the United States Military with surveilance aircraft.

Why doesn't Lockheed Martin manufacture its own aircraft for this competition? The company continues to get hit by not having American airframes for these competitions. The company has made aircraft in the past specifically for the U.S. military. In order to make money you have to spend money. While I understand that it may be more cost benenfical for them to use the Embraer airframe, building their own would allow them to control the profits and possible sales in both the military and civilian world.

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
Ikarus
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Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:18 pm

RE: Lockheed Needs To Build Large Aircraft Again.

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:12 am

Yup. And with a total production run of probably <100 they could make so much profit as well....


Any aircraft manufacturer trying to enter the (big, civil aircraft alike plane)game now would have to be seriously insane, or incredibly well-funded, or, more likely, both.

Regards

Ikarus
 
Matt D
Posts: 8907
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

RE: Lockheed Needs To Build Large Aircraft Again.

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:14 am

Before we go any further, let's clarify:

Is this a POTENTIAL PROFIT issue, or an IMAGE issue?
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: Lockheed Needs To Build Large Aircraft Again.

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:19 am

If a cost-effective platform already exists, why re-invent the wheel? Designing and building a whole new airframe just to support a surveillance system would render the whole contract unprofitable.

I would say that Lockheed is rolling overall mostly because of the JSF
 
CX747
Topic Author
Posts: 6291
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

RE: Lockheed Needs To Build Large Aircraft Again.

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:20 am

Both in my opinion. Lockheed has no "horse" of its own in many of these competitions. This hinders their ability to win as they end up mounting their electronics etc on a foreigner aircraft. I understand the economics side of it makes little sense, but they manufactured large aircraft before and could do it again. Congress is looking for competition in these contracts but has a hard time dealing with Airbus products. Lockheed makes fine aircraft and I'm sure they could produce fine large civil aircraft again.

Just think if they had put together a proposal for the tanker program. Offer a brand new aircraft that could be custom manufactured for the militarys need. Lockheed could have used that as a springboard. Use the same airframe for different missions. Tanker, Surveillance, J-Stars replacement, etc.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: Lockheed Needs To Build Large Aircraft Again.

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:28 am

CX747,

Lockheed has to make economically sensible decisions otherwise their profitable business units will go the way of the L1011. I am sure if Lockheed believed that it could make good money on what you are suggesting, they would pursue it.

Personally I think their decision is wise. Why invest billions to compete with Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, or Bombardier which have to discount heavily to move their products? Those companies are also hugely exposed to business cycles. It would be a black hole for Lockheed to develop a new airframe.

I think it wise for another reason. The airframe mfrs are like PC manufactures while Lockheed is like Microsoft in this market. The airplane platforms are near commodities while the surveillance system is probably a much a higher margin business.
 
Jaws707
Posts: 667
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2001 10:45 am

RE: Lockheed Needs To Build Large Aircraft Again.

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:29 am

I think the title of the post is a little misleading as Lockheed does still build the C-130J which is definatley a large aircraft. I guess everything else they build including F16's, F22's and the JSF are just small fighters. The C-27J fits somewhere in between as it is basically a shrunk C-130, but I think Alenia might actually be building the planes. I think a company this size of Lockheed can and should definatley be building larger airplanes, including passenger planes. One market where there could be a large opportunity is to build a competitor to the 7E7, that could simoultaneously be market to the Air Force for replacing the old KC-135's.
 
CX747
Topic Author
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:54 am

RE: Lockheed Needs To Build Large Aircraft Again.

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:29 am

First off, I'm not a loon. I understand that it would be a tremendous expenditure on Lockheed's part to undertake my idea. But if you think about it. One airframe could serve as a tanker (500+ airframes), surveillance (100+ airframes) along with other potential uses like Maritme (P-3 replacement) etc. Maybe two airframes that differ in size ala A320/A318.

It just seems to me that if Lockheed wants to win these competitions, they have one of two choices. Put their products in a Boeing or build their own. When Boeing is the competition on certain products, that leaves little choice!
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
 
F4N
Posts: 507
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2000 11:37 pm

RE: Lockheed Needs To Build Large Aircraft Again.

Thu Jul 10, 2003 8:18 am

CX747:

In trying to justify a commercial aviation business model in what is essentially an exclusive defense contractor would require (aside from capital expenditure, facilities, product R&D, staffing, administration, ect.) an entirely different corporate culture for dealing with the non-military side, something which is very difficult for a manufacturer acquire, develop and balance. MDD had that same problem. Boeing could very well run into the same problem when trying to decide how to allocate resources between a profitable military side in an era of big military budgets and competing against Airbus when Airbus is on the upside of their product cycle and are argueably more efficient at producing a/c, something Boeing has only begun to address in the last few years.

Contary to your suggestion that Lockheed could begin to use their own designs for tanking, note that the KC767 is already designed and available. I assume that the USAF will buy this a/c however the lease/buy controversy is resolved. I can safely assume that the USAF will also have many in service before Lockheed could even begin to formulate any kind of design. I won't even consider any cost comparisons since the KC767 design or variants of it are already developed, certified and "in-service" in Japan and possibly Italy. And just as the 707 metamorphised into numerous variants, expect the 767 to do so also, leaving Lockheed with little to strive for.

Lockheed is also pushing its own P3 update for the long-range maritime patrol requirement. While your enthusiasm for the idea of another commercial frame-maker is understandable, Lockheed has all of its' collective fingers in the Pentagon pie. There will probably never be another Lockheed civil airlines unless it is in conjunction with Airbus.

regards,

F4N
 
elwood64151
Posts: 2410
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2002 10:22 am

RE: Lockheed Needs To Build Large Aircraft Again.

Thu Jul 10, 2003 10:07 am

As a side note, prior to 9/11 and with the downfall of MDD, Lockheed had been making grumblings of building civil aircraft again. This went away hard on the heels of the attacks.

Obviously, they just don't see a market for it.

They could, over course, buy the 717 from Boeing, but I doubt that B would be willing to give that away and create a new competitor in the small-medium narrowbody market.
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: Lockheed Needs To Build Large Aircraft Again.

Thu Jul 10, 2003 10:26 am

You have to remember the last time that Lockheed tried to run a civilian aircraft program they lost something like 3 million dollars on each L1011 they built.

That being said, it is too bad they didn't try and buy out Doinker when they went under.

That would have been a ready made airframe.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
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STT757
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RE: Lockheed Needs To Build Large Aircraft Again.

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:11 pm

"if Lockheed wants to win these competitions"

Lockheed/Martin is the largest defense contractor in the World, they recently won the largest defense contract ever with the JSF.

They also won a multi-Billion dollar contract to up grade the Coast Guards Deep Water fleet and air components.

They are doing fine, I agree however about the missed opportunity with Doinker .
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
Matt D
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

RE: Lockheed Needs To Build Large Aircraft Again.

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:38 pm

"Doinker"????????????


'splain please!!!

 
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STT757
Posts: 14151
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2000 1:14 am

RE: Lockheed Needs To Build Large Aircraft Again.

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:47 pm

Donier
Etc
Etc
etc
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
Trvlr
Posts: 4251
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2000 9:58 am

RE: Lockheed Needs To Build Large Aircraft Again.

Thu Jul 10, 2003 4:39 pm

Dornier Big grin

Dornier
Dornier
Dornier...

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