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jetfuel
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What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:43 am

In the 1990's I was lucky enough to visit Renton and crawl through all the Australian Airlines (now QF) 737's that were on the production line. There were all the 737's and a heap of 757's on the line. I then visited Everrett and the 767 line and 747 line was pretty much in full swing. Soon after this was complimented with the 777.

Now since the 777 was introduced we have had a couple of (relatively) minor upgrades to a couple of aircraft. Airbus has kept moving forward with more R&D, our friends in Canada have been busy with a few new planes and Embraer were smart enough to see a few holes in the market.

Leave alone the subsidy issue and Airbus for a minute. I have to ask -

The 787 project was too long coming - thank god it's happening. Why were they so slow???

Boeing knew that the A380 was on the drawing board and we knew their agruements against it. They thought they would rely on the 744. The 744 is basically unchanged since the late 1980's. Why didn't Boeing get on with recognising the need for replacement of older 747 models a few years ago and have something to market against the A380?

With an increasing demand for smaller, longer range sub 100 seater aircraft Boeing stuck their head in the sand again. Embraer has just about got the right plane in the 190 to do some serious damage. Were Boeing so stupid to think the 717 could be a competitor??

Leaving the 757 to die and an aging 767 was also a very stupid mistake without having something concrete ready to go. Reality is this has lead to only more Airbus orders

So where were all the marketing people? How did Boeing get it so wrong and miss out on golden opportunities? I think an upgraded 744 was needed 4-5 years ago - surely it would have dealt a blow to Airbus A340 sales and also the A380. (I think Boeing thought the 777 was an unmatchable product)
 
FriendlySkies
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:20 am

Well, first off, the 777 literally killed the A340. The only reason I can see airlines having ordered A340s is for commonality, the 777 beats it in every way except price.

Second, we have no clue how long Boeing was working on the 787 (7E7). Just because they announced it last winter doesn't mean that's when they started it...the Sonic Cruiser might have just been a ploy by Boeing to keep Airbus off their trail....if so, it worked brilliantly, because now Airbus is rushing the A350.

Third, Boeing did not go forward with any 747Adv because the interest just wasn't there. You don't spend billions designing an airplane that nobody wants to buy.

Fourth, Boeing could have easily upgraded the 717 to meet and beat the performace of the E-Jets. But they pushed the 737NG instead, which has better range and performance that all competitors. This may have been a bad idea by Boeing, but they might have a 737 replacement up their sleeve that will cover the 717 market. Again, nobody buys it, why spend money keeping the line running? Same with the 757, except for minimal interest by NW and CO, nobody else wanted them. You can't justify keeping a line open for 2 customers.

Fifth, the 767 is still an excellent performer, and were it not for the lack of adequate cargo space, would be a close competitor with the newer A330. The cargo hold is really the 767s only weakness.

Last, the airline industry is falling apart. Airlines can't seem to make money, and the second hand market is growing, driving down the cost of planes and the sales of new ones. This is the main reason the 757 died, besides a lack of new customer interest.

Boeing knows what it's doing. If they know how to do anything, it's pinching pennies. They close lines that aren't making money, and pursue projects that they truly believe will sell. Not to say Airbus doesn't as well. If Boeing still had the ability to throw everything on the line to build a radical idea, like with the 747, we would see more out of them. But these days, it's too risky to do anything like that, investors would bail and it would be a huge mess.
 
moman
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:37 am

one word, COMPLACENCY

Boeing waited on the 787 for such a long time since the 757 and 767 were still selling decently. Once the aviation industry froze up and ended most demand for them, they realized that when demand returned something new had to be in the offering.

The 747-X was a half-assed attempt to counter the A380 when it was first announced but Boeing was derided for "not thinking ahead". And as we know now, the rest is history. Airbus was making the right moves at precisely the wrong time for Boeing.

I hope Boeing can turn it around. Business Week had a special report on them in 12/2003, and if there is the demand, I might post exceprts from that article here.

Moman
 
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jetfuel
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:40 am

FriendlySkies - With the greatest respect I have to think that Boeing doesn't quite know what it's doing.........

Yes, the 777 is a brilliant aircraft. But obviously still not cost effective enough to stop A340 orders. If the 777 and 767 had commonality then maybe both models may have done better.

And when you say there wasn't interest for a 744ADV I think you sound like Boeing. Hell there are umpteen dozen 747 operators - some with planes 20-30 years old that they bought new. It's not hard to work out that these operators would need replacement aircraft. What did Boeing do? Sat on their hands and waved the 777 in front of them as the only offering.

Im sorry but the 737NG just doesn't fill the sub 100 passenger operator's needs - in terms of cost efficiency. This is why the 737-600 has been pretty much a failure

Yes the cargo problems with the 767 are a major drawback for many operators.

"... the airline industry is falling apart.."' Yes it has it's ups and downs. That's part of the business (sorry for the joke) but if it was that bad there wouldn't be the number of orders on Airbus' books for the last 5 years or so.

What Airbus have done with their model range is keep to the 320/330/340 family. This has had a very positive impact on Airbus prices. Take a look at how 757 and 767 resales have dropped compared to say an A321/A330. Continuity of model helps preserve resale.

IN my opinion its the "pinching pennies" in research that has possibly let Airbus get the jump. Don't get me wrong I am a big Boeing fan and just hope that they can see the errors in their ways
 
leelaw
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:47 am

Buying back their common stock!  Wink/being sarcastic
 
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jetfuel
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:48 am

The other thing I forgot to say is that Boeing has really never had a competitor with the range of aircraft that Airbus has today

1960's-1990's

Douglas - yes there was the DC8 and the DC9 and then the DC10 and MD11. At the time Boeing had the 737,727 and 707 followed by the 747, 757 and 767.

Lockheed - L1011.

Airbus - A300 and then the A320


1990's on+

You now have Airbus with such a wide and diverse range of aircraft the like of which Boeing has never had in one competitor. Maybe Boeing had it too easy for too long?
 
Ken777
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:55 am

The airline industry has changed a lot since the 90s. No longer booming times with lots of high priced tickets sold, lots of LCCs around, etc. That's even before 9/11.

The airlines loved the Sonic Cruiser when the market was booming adn rapidly changed their minds when things turned bad. Fortunately Boeing was able to get out of the program with minimal costs and transfer a lot of the technology to the 787.

The 787 program is moving along very well and, if it exceeds expectations (something Boeing likes to do) then sales will be very significant. Airbus will have to work hard to match it and will have to cut the price to compete.

The 747 is an odd bird for a while. The 380 created a new size slot for airlines to use and what little money was available for aircraft went to this new slot. One reason is that the airlines already had 747s and didn't need to fill that slot.

The airline market is changing again and airlines are ready to look at the 747 again if it is improved significantly. Hence the 747ADV. I think it will be approved and that sales will build over time. If the 380 does not exceed expectations then 747ADV sales will grow faster.

The 737 line is doing well right now and a lot of people are anticipating that a 73E is already in the initial stages.

The 777 is also doing well and will continue to be enhanced until the time a 77E is announced.

Overall bowing is not in that bad a shape. Past management made some poor decisions in the area of R&D funding, but Boeing is not down to a 10% market share.

Personally I'll be watching both A&B to see how things go over the next few years - it's going to be an exciting time.
 
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keesje
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:57 am

1999: Stock Holder Value, the gold rush, get quick return on investment, fire the money wasting inventors at the R&D department.

The 737/ 767/ 747/ 777 are selling great, why spend? What the stockholders want is: money, ROI, EBIT whatever. nett present value in 2-3 years.

So they delayed investments for 5 years. That´s the no deliveries gab between the 767 & 787.
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 5:15 am

Why didn't Boeing get on with recognising the need for replacement of older 747 models a few years ago

They did... it's called the 773ER.




I think an upgraded 744 was needed 4-5 years ago

So did Boeing, that's why they created one.



surely it would have dealt a blow to Airbus A340 sales and also the A380.

It doesn't compete with A340s... whose sales of "classic models" already have a foot and a half in the grave

History has proven that it didn't/wouldn't have had any significant effect on A380 sales at all.



Yes, the 777 is a brilliant aircraft. But obviously still not cost effective enough to stop A340 orders.

Sh'yeah, just cost effective enough to outsell the quad 2to1 even after the Airbus' three year headstart  Insane



If the 777 and 767 had commonality then maybe both models may have done better.

The 777 was originally intended to be a 767.

Boeing chose to forfeit commonality (perhaps the most overrated concept on Earth, courtesy of "armchair airline CEOs") in exchange for increased performance capabilities.

The aircraft went on to unquestionably dominate its direct competition in performance, orders, and deliveries.... which might lead one to believe Boeing chose the expedient path  Yeah sure


What did Boeing do? Sat on their hands and waved the 777 in front of them as the only offering.

...and what did said airlines do? Make the 777 the fastest-selling widebody in history. Ain't that some'n  Wow!

 
antares
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 5:21 am

Friendlyskies,

You should have labelled your message 'humor' so they got it.

Loved the bit about the 767 only having a weakness in cargo. Duh! Talk about a fatal error just waiting for the A332 to come along.

Boeing needs to reinvent itself damn quick, and with far sighted management. It won't be helped by people saying its recent stuff ups were all a brilliant ploy to confuse Airbus.

I believe Boeing can emerge from this in great shape. Dealing with the reasons for the decline of the existing company is step number one.

It needs new thinking, new investors, and the conservation of its existing human resources in design and engineering so that the energy and brilliance of the 787 program gets tapped for further projects.

Airbus is showing signs of loosing momentum in design and initiative, in fact, the complacency a number of posters have identified at Boeing.

Now is the time for Boeing to get back on its feet and kick.

Antares
 
mham001
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 5:33 am

What others have said about compacency and mis-management. Like a large plane, a large company takes awhile for the mistakes to pile up and show their ugly head and then a long while to turn those mistakes around. Fortunately, imo, the management issue has been changed for the better. There was also a marked change of focus to defense in the 90's.

I do not work for Boeing, although my father spent his life in Renton, Seattle and Everett. I have heard that Boeing is now in the midst of re-inventing the way planes are developed, built and maintained. This process, if successful, will leave Airbus in the dirt.

excerpts of a recent email from an employee:

"Do not misunderstand the 7E7. It is not just about the use of composites and high efficieny engines. Boeing is re-writing the entire book on modern manufacturing. They are taking the design-build process beyond anything that is being done anywhere, and that includes the oprevious masters, the Japanese. This is a truly "paperless" airplane. There are no drawings. It is all MBD (Model Based Definition) based on intelligent CAD models, and PLM (Product Lifecycle Management) tools. Nobody else has this capabillity because Boeing is currently inventing it. This is the biggest revolution in aircraft manufacturing since we stopped doping fabric over wood struts. I am not exagerating.

If Boeing is sucessful in this new process, they will posess the capabillity of designing and bringing to market new aircraft in 1/2 the time and 1/2 the cost of Airbus. And for the first time in a long while, there are some people running the company that actually have a long term outlook, and are committed to spending now to get a return later (as oppossed to cut now/ save now). I believe it is called investing, and for a while I thought it was a lost art.....

So how do you do a better job of supplying the right aircraft at the right time? Better guesses? Smarter analysis of Lion breeding patterns?

Fuck that. How about we cut the time lag? Go from 6 years to three, or better yet 18 months. Go into a meeting with your customers, look at the two year forecasts, and be able to not only design, but build test and deliver the aircraft needed in 18 months. To whatever specifications your customer wants. That's the revolution. The shorter the time gap between concept and delivery, the better the product matches customer requirements.....

How? Leverage the technology, and invent the technology that does not exist yet. Without giving the whole game away, suppose you had a part. Now, suppose that part was intelligent. It knew what material it was made of, and furthermore was able to track world markets to instantly identify where it's own raw materials could be most economically obtained. Suppose this part knew when it was needed, and automatically ordered that raw material? And suppose that part also knew where the best manufacturing facilities were, and had the materials shipped there? Now suppose this part not only knew where it went on the airplane, but when it was required in the build process, and shipped itself to the job site just in time to install it? And imagine if this part understood it's relationship to every other part on the aircraft, so that if you changed it's neighbors, it would automatically re-design itself to fit the new configuration. And it remembered what aircraft had the original design, and what aircraft had the new item, and tracked how long each was used in service, and if needed ordered a replacement of itself and delivered that replacement to the airline maintenance facility exactly as needed for a scheduled overhaul?"
 
Sjoerd
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:18 am

Well, first off, the 777 literally killed the A340.

You have to include the A333 in that comparison, it's the same size as the A343. This gives : 473 (A342, A343 and A333) and 505 (B772ER and B772A).

Without the A342-3 Airbus woudn't have had the expertise to build the A345, A346 and A388. Both the A345 and A346 have outsold their direct competitors the B772LR (26 to 5) and the B773ER (104 to 99). The A388 even doesn't have competitor and probably never will.

Sjoerd
 
astuteman
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:29 am

Mham001,

I agree completely that the future belongs to the player who brings down the "time-to-market", using compter technology, standardisation etc. etc. etc.

I hope you won't be offended, though, if I challenge your view that Boeing is inventing Model-based definition, the paperless product, and Product Lifecycle Management.

I've just come off a major defence warshipbuilding programme that has been implementing these for 7 years, in the UK. That programme has also recently been receiving assistance from a Major US defence shipbuilding contractor that is 4-5 years more experienced still. Even good 'ole shipbuilding's been going at this one for a decade or so.......

Also not necessarily safe to assume that this reduces the lifecycle - the amount of data creation necessary to commence production is mind-numbingly large. Still the way to go, though......

Astuteman
 
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jetfuel
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:33 am

Copy of email from an Airbus employee

There’s no turning back now we have Boeing at their own game. The 747 is old hat like the 737 from the 1960’s. The 757 and the 767 are virtually dead and the 777 – well that thing with 2 huge big windmills that’s not safe to go across water. (you all now what out friend Sir Richard said) is not match for our product. Who’s going to buy a plane that’s almost the same price as an A380

Wait until the A350 hits and the 7e7 will be put to shame. The replacements for the A319/302/321 in the new A 324/325/326 are all strategically to be announced when the 7e7 starts production.

And we have already been offered the Long Beach plant on a brokerage deal. Just wait until we start production in the US with all the foreign investment subsidies that the fed US government has offered us.

And of course we haven’t released our new press release yet about the new 750 passenger one class configuration for the A380. That will just put any per mile costing of Boeing’s to total shame. WE are not called Air BUS for nothing

Just wait until Southwest starts with the A380 coast to coast and Northwest trade-in their Dc9 fleet for A380s
 
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N328KF
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:46 am

That email is bullshit—you can tell because of one statement:
And we have already been offered the Long Beach plant on a brokerage deal. Just wait until we start production in the US with all the foreign investment subsidies that the fed US government has offered us.

Boeing will not give up the Long Beach plant while the C-17 has perhaps a decade or more of production ahead of it. They use it for some SeaLaunch stuff too.

Now, whether or not you just pasted a document you faked, or you found it on the net somewhere, or it actually came from some overzealous Airbus employee, I don't know. But it reeks.

[Edited 2005-02-03 00:49:32]
 
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jetfuel
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:57 am

N328KF - It was my attempt at humour in response to Mham001's post above. Of course that will never happen. But of course I remember the day when no US Airline would dare buy anything but American made.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:04 am

But of course I remember the day when no US Airline would dare buy anything but American made.

You must either be really really old, or the Caravelle and BAC 1-11 were built in Long Beach and St. Louis.

Cheers.
 
B2707SST
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:51 pm

The 787 project was too long coming - thank god it's happening. Why were they so slow???

Arriving at the 787 concept took a long time. It has probably been the strangest, most circuitous development saga in Boeing history.


So did Boeing, that's why they created one.

Not one, but four! To quote Boeing 747-400:

The [747]-500X was planned as a modest 19ft 6in stretch of the basic 747-400, with three-class accomodation for about 530 passengers or high-density seating for at least 600; the target range for the aircraft was more than 7,000nm. The much bigger 747-600X was a 59ft 6in stretched version of the existing fuselage, which was designed for 650-800 seats. It later emerged that both of these projects would be fitted with a new wing -- possibly up to 259ft 1in span -- which was based on the aft-loaded aerodynamics of the 777: winglets were not included, but the wing/body centre-section was completely new. By this time the proposed range of the -500 was 9,200nm, and that of the -600 was 7,000nm.... Takeoff weights on the order of 1,130,000lb were now being discussed.
These aircraft were the most radical 747 developments ever proposed, embodying much greater changes than the -400 had, chiefly an entirely new wing. They were shelved in 1997 when no one ordered ("although several airlines had expressed considerable interest, none was willing to fully commit themselves: the price had become a major stumbling block").



We had another go-around with the 747X and 747X Stretch, which were more modest designs with a recontoured (as opposed to brand-new) wing, smaller stretches, and lower takeoff weights:

The 747X Stretch had 10.23 more meters (31.5ft) than the baseline -400 at 80.2m (263ft). The airplane had seating for up to 522 passengers in a three-class arrangement, and range for 14,075km (7,600nm). Lastly, the cruise speed was increased to M0.87, making it the fastest subsonic airplane on the market (747-400: M0.855).... Finally, the 747X combined the improvements of the Stretch with the 747-400 fuselage. That airplane was capable of flying on distances up to 16,620km (8,975nm) with a 430-passenger load. Such an airplane would have likely damaged the sales of the ultra-long-range aircraft, such as A340-500 and 777-200LR.

http://airtransportbiz.free.fr/Aircraft/747X-3.html


After the 747X bit the dust, for the same reason as its predecessor, the ill-favored Sonic Cruiser took the stage for a year or so. It would have done very well in the 1990s, when business travelers would pay anything for a last-minute ticket and speed looked like a big seller, but in the recessionary post-9/11 environment, it was obviously no longer viable. Boeing finally selected the 7E7 in 2003, more than seven years after the 747-500/600X appeared on the drawing board.

Of course, we also had the 747-400ER (finally, a 747 derivative that gets built), the 747-400XQLR, and now the 747 Advanced. It's likely that the 747ADV will be Boeing's last shot at keeping the 747 alive.

--B2707SST
 
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jetfuel
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:01 pm

B2707SST Thankyou for that information. I would have to imagine that if an affordable update of the 744 could be produced then yes the 747 may be reinjected with a second life blood

I am not so sure that the need for a stretched version is any longer needed (although the A380 is yet to be proven) but a 747 that could do sectors like SYD-LHR and LHR-SYD with lower operating costs would surely be a success. Only the Boeing engineers would know what it would take to produce such an aircraft. And we will all have to wait and see how advanced the 747ADV really is. I just hope it doesn't end up like the 747-500 and 747-600
 
Boeing7E7
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:38 pm

I love all these armchair CEO's. Fact is, Boeing is making all the right moves. While Airbus has the sales lead today, it will be short lived. Boeing while now leaving the catchup phase is poised to invest and grow, Airbus is entering the catch up mode. We'll see this cycle time and time again. Just like we did in the US with Boeing and Douglas. Too many people in here are impatient. You all want it yesterday, and if you got what you wanted, Boeing wouldn't be building the 7E7 and Airbus wouldn't have the 380. Better get used to the cycle. Just as I'm sure Boeing will take the lead in 5-7 years, Airbus will likely take the lead again in 12-15. You can't just keep putting out new aircraft after new aircraft. It's simply too expensive. You come up with the best possible product and hope you can get 20-30 years out of the program. It's the only way to recover such an investment.

Ironically, the development cycles of both companies are out of phase, which will help both survive. If they were in phase, as it was with Boeing.Douglas. One would die.

[Edited 2005-02-03 06:42:30]
 
aeroweanie
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:15 pm

I gotta agree with Boeing7E7. All of the armchair quarterbacks need to read "The Sporty Game" by John Newhouse. This will give you an idea of the huge amounts of money involved with designing, building and certifying airliners. Lockheed bailed out of the game because they couldn't afford to play any more. Douglas had to merge with McDonnell to survive. When the McDonnell family finally realized the huge amounts of money required to launch new products, they said "never!" and the writing was on the wall. From that point on, Douglas only launched derivatives (remember how the ASMR, DCXX and MD12 died before birth?).

Quite simply, Airbus has an advantage in that they had no products before 1972. For Boeing to throw away a product line and start over again from scratch would be incredibly expensive. Someday, the A320 and 330/340 will be old hat and Airbus will have to figure out how to revive them. The A300-600 is getting close - it only survives as a freighter on the production line.

The 757 died because the airlines are dying. Ditto the 767. The 737 only survives because the low cost carriers love it and the low cost carriers are thriving right now. The 747 survives on the production line mainly as a freighter. The long haul overseas routes are making money, so the 777 is in demand. To launch an all new mega airliner would probably involve more money than Boeing has or can get from the banks. Unlike Airbus, Boeing can't get "optionally repayable" loans from a government. They have to take huge risks every time they launch a new model. The 707, 747 and 757/767 were "bet the company" risks (I know the 777 wasn't - I asked a VP at the time).

The 787 is a very astute move. They are filling the 757/767 (mainly 767) niche with a new product during a down time, with the gamble that things will come back to life when the 787 enters production. The 737NG will only get replaced when sales finally slow down. For now, its Boeing's top seller (by far).

All of Airbus's gloating is arrogance. Someday, as Boeing7E7 said, the tables will be turned and then they will turn again, and again, and again. There will be new players too that will shake things up. That's life...
 
leelaw
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:44 pm

Boeing7E7:

I think your reply #19 is quite insightful. Our European friends (and many others both here in America and elsewhere) are understandably excited and proud about Airbus dethroning Boeing, the long reigning de facto king of the hill. It's quite an achievement. Unfortunately, the successful quest for market leadership is increasingly becoming a zealous lust for outright market hegemony. Regrettably, now that the "king" has been toppled, some of the zealots seek to cut his head off to consolidate their revolution. I say to them, Napoleon is a better role model than Robespierre.  Wink/being sarcastic

Regards

[Edited 2005-02-03 08:09:33]
 
Areopagus
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:00 pm

B2707SST: It's likely that the 747ADV will be Boeing's last shot at keeping the 747 alive.

Well, it appears that Boeing agrees with you. A Seattle Times story notes:
"Stonecipher said Boeing will make production line shut-down decisions in mid-2005 for both the 767 and the 747 jumbo jet, both of which are assembled in Everett."

 
aeroweanie
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Fri Feb 04, 2005 1:12 am

I thought about this some more and finally hit on the fundamental difference between Boeing and Airbus.

Boeing is a shareholder owned company. Many people (including myself) own stock in it. We expect Boeing to use our money to make money at a better rate than if we had invested our money in something else or put it in a bank account. Hence, Boeing is very careful with risks and makes sure products make money. If Boeing falters, I loose my dividends, if it fails, I loose my investment.

Airbus started out as a consortium (GIE) of three government owned companies (DASA, Aerospatiale and CASA), in alliance with a private company (Hawker Siddley). The governments' motives were to create industry that would create jobs. Only HS had to worry about shareholder return. Then, the UK government merged HS with BAC and took it over as BAe. Then, all three players were government owned. The governments didn't worry about financial return on their money. They only cared about growing industry, to create jobs which would make them look good and reassure their reelection. Even worse, if Airbus were to fail, the governments would just shrug off the losses and maybe lose the next election.

Now, Airbus is largely EADS, which is shareholder owned. The problem is that the governments are still heavily involved. They poor money in to provide launch aid. While their loans are repaid with royalties on every aircraft sold past breakeven, this is not their prime motive. Their motive is still to grow industry and create jobs. They still carry the dominate part of the risk.

This creates an imbalanced playing field. Its a wonder that Boeing survives at all. Yes, they do get some money via NASA contracts, but Airbus gets ONERA, DLR, NLR and QinteQ (what used to be RAE) support. Yes, Boeing gets money from US military contracts. EADS gets it from EU military contracts. Boeing doesn't get launch aid from the US government. Yes, the State of Washington cut Boeing's taxes. This was to get them to stay here and lowers the cost of doing business. Airbus gets similar favorable tax treatment in Europe.

How does this apply to new airliners? If an upgrade to a product or an all new product doesn't have a strong business case, Boeing won't do it. If a product is consistently loosing money (eg. the 717), they will shut it down. With Airbus, the case is judged on different grounds. An upgrade or new product has to have a business case, but the real criteria is: does it benefit the governments? If a product is consistently loosing money (ala' the A300 in the 1970s and the Concorde), the governments will keep it going to keep the jobs and create prestige.
 
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N328KF
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Fri Feb 04, 2005 1:28 am

Well, given the events of the past few months, the answer to the question in the topic is: Selling aircraft! 200 since the second week of December.
 
ConcordeBoy
Posts: 16852
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RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

Fri Feb 04, 2005 4:27 am

You have to include the A333 in that comparison, it's the same size as the A343. This gives : 473 (A342, A343 and A333) and 505 (B772ER and B772A).

If size is your basis of comparison, then you also need exclude the A342




Both the A345 and A346 have outsold their direct competitors the B772LR (26 to 5) and the B773ER (104 to 99).

Keep in mind that:
  • The A346 had a nearly three year headstart on the 773ER and it retails for tens of millions of dollars less that aircraft; yet the quad has barely managed to maintain (and at times has lost) its lead in sales over the twinjet.
  • The A345 and 772LR have both only managed to win two customers in the half-decade that both models have been offered together on the market.
  •  
    leelaw
    Posts: 4517
    Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 4:13 pm

    RE: What Have Boeing Been Doing?

    Fri Feb 04, 2005 4:59 am

    " The A345 and 772LR have both only managed to win two customers in the half-decade that both models have been offered together on the market."

    Actually, doesn't the A345 have three current operators, AC, EK, & SQ with a forth, TG, coming soon? Perhaps you're only counting ordering customers, such as a lessor?

    [Edited 2005-02-03 21:00:01]

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