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tortugamon
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 5:55 am

Here is a moderator-approved thread title coupled with words from a Telegraph article that I am submitting without comment:

Quote:
"The decision to go ahead with the A380, which Williams admits “he was part of”, may have been a mistake. The company is breaking even on each one it makes but after multi-billion development costs Williams admits the programme “will never be profitable”. However, he notes the decision more than a decade ago to make the giant jet came at a time when Airbus saw “Boeing making a ton of money on the 747, exchange rates were different, the oil price was different”.
Things have changed at Airbus since the company was set up in the Sixties with backing from European governments to take on US dominance in aerospace, Williams claims. “The days when we did some projects for ego, valour or pride are gone,” he says.
Was the A380 done for these reasons? “I don’t know but it was probably on the cusp,” he says."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/n...Tom-Williams-Airbuss-Mr-Fixit.html

Lets try to have a responsible conversation

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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:17 am

Here is part 1: Airbus COO: A380 May Have Been A Mistake (by tortugamon Feb 20 2016 in Civil Aviation)

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zckls04
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:18 am

I don't wish to be rude, but what kind of conversation are you expecting exactly? How is this going to be different from the previous thread?

Mayb it's time you just let the A380 go.
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:22 am

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 2):
I don't wish to be rude, but what kind of conversation are you expecting exactly? How is this going to be different from the previous thread?

People are just not thinking before clicking "post."

We're all adults here, just mind yourselves.

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 2):
Mayb it's time you just let the A380 go.

Like this for example. This is flame bait.
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:23 am

Part 1 plausibly showed that you have taken the words of the article's author and twisted them into the words of the COO. Why do you want to continue that debate??

That is the general consensus of the last thread.
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:31 am

Quoting Boeing778X (Reply 3):
People are just not thinking before clicking "post."

We're all adults here, just mind yourselves.

Yes, see part one for how that went. Let's see in 100 posts who is right.
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:44 am

From the OP's last contribution to the previous thread:


"And I welcome that conversation as well. I would love entertaining what circumstances could have changed things or what Airbus can do to try to salvage it going forward or..."

- Then why not start a thread on that rather than the Part 2 of a derailed thread?

" I have very little respect for anyone that favors ignoring the details over discussing them regardless of your beliefs."

- The COO did NOT say that it was a mistake, or that it may have been a mistake or anything like that! You yourself ignore the details.

He says he was 'part of' something the author believes may have been a mistake. Perhaps it is implied in his words but you link them directly and that, sir, is just wrong and is 'ignoring the details over discussing them regardless of your beliefs'.
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:51 am

Quoting tortugamon (Thread starter):
conversation

Lemme pose a few questions:

1. Do you believe there is any market for a plane larger than a 777-9?

2. Do you believe the A380 accurately reflects "The Market" for VLA's?

3. What do you believe determines the size of the market for a plane of a certain size?

Perhaps answers to these questions will clarify what we mean by:

4. Was the A380 a mistake?

My answers:

1. Yes. It could be quite large, depending on the plane (see #3)

2. No. The A380 is very inefficient for a VLA. I recognize that the A380 is the current CASM king, it's just that it beats the 77W by an insufficient margin. It's only has parity on fuel per seat, has to gain the rest of the difference in capital, crew, fees, and maintenance.

3. [TL;DR: Capacity/efficiency tradeoff. Bigger must be more efficient; much bigger much more efficient]
At a fundamental level, it's a capacity/efficiency tradeoff that mirrors the RASM/CASM curve. To increase capacity is to decrease RASM. This is tautologically true from the belief that modern yield management software price-discriminates efficiently such that higher-paying pax board while lower-paying pax are outbid. In broad terms, I believe this is correct. Because airlines operate with slim profit margins, there is very little room for RASM decrease at equal cost: marginal passengers will be paying less than their marginal cost. Profit maximization usually* occurs at greater capacity only when the bigger plane is more efficient. Thus we see that bigger planes facing smaller, more efficient, competition always lose. But smaller, less efficient, planes can succeed because of the positive RASM effect.

To decrease frequency is also to decrease RASM. At the most abstract level*, suppose it's possible always to keep capacity on a route constant while varying frequency. This is almost precisely true of 3x744 vs. 2xA380, for example. In this stylized treatment, decreasing frequency is only profitable if cost decreases more than does RASM.

So I don't believe there is a strict "THE Market" for a plane of a given size: it all depends on the economics of the particular product. In the '90's the 300-seat 77E dominated, in the '00's the 350-seat 77W dominated, now we're back to 300-seat 789's and A359's. Traffic didn't grow, then shrink. The products offered just changed in attractiveness.

*Before the hordes of pedantry pounce - yes, I recognize that sometimes an airline needs X% more (profitable) capacity, and that in these circumstances a bigger, less efficient plane can be profit-maximizing. The 748, for example, is less efficient than the smaller 77W. LH, inter alia, judged it best for certain routes. Its few orders are the exceptions that prove the rule.

4. The A380 was a mistake. Not because it's a VLA or 4-holer, but because it's a too-large, too-inefficient VLA. The 650-seat optimization strategy was insanely wrong. The 80m box hurt efficiency - especially given the already too-heavy frame that carried the -900's wing area.
If Airbus had designed a ~450-seat double decker (think EcoLiner but probably still a quad), it would have had decent success so far IMO. A 2-decker provides a step-change in structural and aerodynamic efficiency at ~450 seats; Airbus just overshot on capacity and underdelivered on execution (due to 650-seat strategy and 80m box).

...which is not to say that an alternate reality Ecoliner380 would have made program profit so far... But with an update (new engines and/or wing) it would have been poised for great success in the 2020's.

[Edited 2016-02-21 23:11:03]
 
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:56 am

So far it sounds like we can't have a responsible conversation on the subject. I propose we step up the dialogue. If you disagree with the author lets debate that. Did he break journalistic integrity?

But I would prefer debating the subject and the point that this is quite different for an executive at Airbus to speak out like this. I think that is an interesting conversation. If you don't think so, please ignore the thread. That would be great.

If you guys prefer to just attack me because I posted the article that seems largely supportive of this Airbus exec and which I largely agree/support that same Airbus exec...that's cool too. Go for yours. I can take it.

I don't think stopping the conversation is healthy or free. Lets step up the dialogue...

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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:59 am

Quoting Boeing778X (Reply 3):
Like this for example. This is flame bait.

Not really, that's a valid question:

While I think the A380 definitely has some sales life left to it (Airbus just has to figure out how), the suggestion is even more applicable to the 748i, which at this point, is essentially D.O.A.
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:00 am

For us here who (presumably) are aviation enthusiasts for reasons that cannot be entirely rationally explained, the only question can be - has our world been made a better place by the A380's existence? I would argue unequivocally that without it, the aviation scene today would be a far blander 777 and other twinjet dominated landscape of humdrum.

NASA and Concorde haven't provided much return on capital investment either, but my world is made richer by their legacy.

So I applaud the A380. There are plenty of them flying and making money for airlines so that's all the success I need.
 
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:26 am

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 4):
Part 1 plausibly showed that you have taken the words of the article's author and twisted them into the words of the COO. Why do you want to continue that debate??

  

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 8):
So far it sounds like we can't have a responsible conversation on the subject.

Because the Airbus COO _NEVER_ said what the thread title says he says!! You're hiding behind "moderator approval," but that still does not fix the problem -- that the Airbus COO never said the A380 may have been a mistake. I really do not get why you would post this again.


If you want to have a thread about whether or not the A380 was a mistake, why don't you post that?
 
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:31 am

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 7):
If Airbus had designed a ~450-seat double decker

For those interested in substantive discussion... Here's a link to a PDF showing Airbus' consideration, and rejection, of a 8-6 double decker due to its unsuitability for 650 seats: http://www.icas.org/ICAS_ARCHIVE/ICAS2006/PAPERS/806.PDF (page 4)

Such a missed opportunity IMO. A ~450 seat 8-6 2-decker would probably have been a great plane.
 
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:35 am

Quoting gasman (Reply 10):
For us here who (presumably) are aviation enthusiasts for reasons that cannot be entirely rationally explained, the only question can be - has our world been made a better place by the A380's existence?

Absolutely. I've stated many times that commercial aviation is a better world having the A380 in it. I have chosen to leave my destination earlier then I wanted to just so I can fly the A380 vs other aircraft.

Quoting gasman (Reply 10):
NASA and Concorde haven't provided much return on capital investment either, but my world is made richer by their legacy.

Agreed. NASA has to be one of the worst government program investments ever! And I am so happy that it is  
Quoting zckls04 (Reply 2):
I don't wish to be rude, but what kind of conversation are you expecting exactly? How is this going to be different from the previous thread?

I withdrew my contribution to the thread and left it up to the moderator (title of thread) and article author (body of thread) to provide conversation about content here. I hope to take me out of it. My 'hope' is irrelevant.

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 4):
Part 1 plausibly showed that you have taken the words of the article's author and twisted them into the words of the COO. Why do you want to continue that debate??

I simply present the article. Debate the content what you will.

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 6):
"And I welcome that conversation as well. I would love entertaining what circumstances could have changed things or what Airbus can do to try to salvage it going forward or..."
- Then why not start a thread on that rather than the Part 2 of a derailed thread?

I would love to! Maybe a thread about what could have saved the A380 is premature when even mention of its evidently-debatable-failure results in a locked thread?

Quoting D L X (Reply 11):
Because the Airbus COO _NEVER_ said what the thread title says he says!! You're hiding behind "moderator approval," but that still does not fix the problem -- that the Airbus COO never said the A380 may have been a mistake. I really do not get why you would post this again.

It has nothing to do with me. Though I think so many posters feeling uncomfortable with the posting more so than the topic or even the article is weird. Is Mr Williams wrong or the author wrong. I am Mr Irrelevant.

I would love to know how an aircraft that “will never be profitable” (Mr Williams' words) was not a mistake.

Quoting D L X (Reply 11):
If you want to have a thread about whether or not the A380 was a mistake, why don't you post that?

Honestly, isn't that what this is?

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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:47 am

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 9):
While I think the A380 definitely has some sales life left to it (Airbus just has to figure out how), the suggestion is even more applicable to the 748i, which at this point, is essentially D.O.A.

Was there ever a time when the 748i wasn't D.O.A.???  
Quoting gasman (Reply 10):
For us here who (presumably) are aviation enthusiasts for reasons that cannot be entirely rationally explained, the only question can be - has our world been made a better place by the A380's existence? I would argue unequivocally that without it, the aviation scene today would be a far blander 777 and other twinjet dominated landscape of humdrum.

There would indeed be more beautiful 777s flying around if there was no A380.

There would also be more 748i's flying around too so life wouldn't be that bad.

Even the production life of the A340-600 might have been extended by a frame or so without the A380 in existence  
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:48 am

Thanks Matt6461
Off to work now so can't give it a good read but interesting piece indeed!
8-6 indeed or that they should never have built it with a 900 stretch in mind.One or the other.
As for the thread title.
Any clean sheet project that doesn't or cannot return a profit is (by my definition)a mistake.
 
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:59 am

Airbus made a cloudy decision that wasn't optimal, that is both obvious and understandable. My feeling is that brand parity with Boeing was also a valid reason for building this airplane (the proper business justification of 'ego') as well as a defensive move on the high end. All within limits of course, which is the rub.

Whether it was a mistake is yet to be seen and Mr. Williams isn't sure of that either. The airframe has so much life in it still, it is wrong to write it off prematurely give what the economics of the world may enable 10 or 20 years down the road. What seems for certain is it will need to grow at some point to fill the wingloading where it was designed, and wing mods a la 777X to break that 80m box. Else twins will overtake it, which they might in any case. Global Fragmentation is happening IMHO (another LOONNNG discussion) that will de-emphasize the superhub.
 
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:04 am

Quoting parapente (Reply 15):
Off to work now so can't give it a good read but interesting piece indeed!

Thanks!

Quoting parapente (Reply 15):
Any clean sheet project that doesn't or cannot return a profit is (by my definition)a mistake.

I disagree with "Doesn't," agree with "Cannot."

"Doesn't" can occur when the OEM's program management is at fault. This is clearly the case with the 787 execution. It would have been profitable if delivered on a reasonable timeline, with reasonable unexpected charges. Like the A350. Not perfect execution but pretty darn good by contemporary standards. Analysts expect the 787 to print $5bn in cash/year for Boeing by 2020. This is a program that should have worked well financially but for some terrible business school fads (outsourcing, risk sharing, etc.).

"Cannot" implies that there is no expectation of program profit even with good program management. I don't think the A380 would be significantly more successful had it delivered on time, and had the wiring/wing issues not occurred. As is, it only works on a few routes outside EK. Timely production may have exhausted the world backlog already.

The commonness of "Doesn't" shouldn't, in the long run, imply "Cannot." Otherwise the OEM's need to just cease all R&D. They'll figure this out; the NEO's/MAX seem to be going well. Maybe it's baby steps back to organizational competence.
 
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:51 am

Quote from previous thread: tortugamon reply 152

Quote:
All you have to do is type 'Boeing 787 cash positive' into Google and read for yourself. If you are going to be critical you should at least be informed.

I did that, the first article stated Boeing is trying to be cash positive (that was the plan for 2015). The other article quoted the next result, which stated that the 787 was opening new long haul routes like the new Dubai to Panama City route for EK. Excuse me if I don't take it too seriously after that point.

I am not disputing that Boeing may have reached their goal, I am only looking for 100% confirmation that they have. Airbus have stated the A380 is at least breaking even on every delivery, I was hoping for a quote from the CEO stating this as well for Boeing. Maybe the accounting is making a statement like this more difficult for them to confirm this. If the deferred cost is going up still and will only come down in mid-2016 it seems to me it hasn't reached that point yet.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 13):
I withdrew my contribution to the thread and left it up to the moderator (title of thread) and article author (body of thread) to provide conversation about content here. I hope to take me out of it. My 'hope' is irrelevant.

You decided the thread title (original) and the part of the article to highlight. See how much we are discussing the work of Tom Williams in sorting out the wing crack mess? Or how about his work with other suppliers? That is more interesting than the journalists views on the A380 and what he thinks Tom Williams means. Don't try to run away from it now.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 13):
I simply present the article. Debate the content what you will.

Debate the content you decided to highlight. Care to highlight some other debatable aspects in the article? Or did you only focus in the one part that piqued your interest?
 
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:00 am

Quoting 777Jet (Reply 14):
There would indeed be more beautiful 777s flying around if there was no A380.

I haven't yet seen the beautiful 777. What's its rego??  

Quoting 777Jet (Reply 14):
There would also be more 748i's flying around too so life wouldn't be that bad.

Possibly........ although it could be asked if Boeing would have even developed the 748i if the A380 had not been developed. The 77W would still have killed the 744 in seat mile costs, so without the A380 it's entirely possible we could be in a world nearly devoid of double-decker aircraft. I for one think that would be a bad thing.

Quoting parapente (Reply 15):
Any clean sheet project that doesn't or cannot return a profit is (by my definition)a mistake.

I don't really see how anyone can argue against this, if you're looking at the manufacturer in isolation. But I'd argue that EK, SQ and millions of aviation enthusiasts would consider the A380 anything but a mistake and are grateful to Airbus for its existence.
 
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 9:17 am

Quoting gasman (Reply 10):
I would argue unequivocally that without it, the aviation scene today would be a far blander 777 and other twinjet dominated landscape of humdrum.

That's basically what it is now. Airlines don't pay for "sexy" they pay for efficiency/flexibility/utility.... the midcapacity twinjets are what offer that, so they're what sell. Simple concept.

Quoting 777Jet (Reply 14):
There would also be more 748i's flying around

What evidence is there of that?

Ordering A380s was not a deterrent to 748is, as 3 of the 4 airlines who ordered the 748i had, or was due to receive, the A380 either. There's also essentially no evidence to show that not ordering the A380 encouraged 748i orders either.
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:02 am

In retrospect in the late 90s if Airbus had skipped the A340-500/600 AND A380 and instead gone for a new (proper) 10Y big twin, they would have had exactly the right product the market needed.

However at the time this would have seen an odd decision, why go to all that effort when for less money an A340 stretch could cover much of that market, and the A380 can occupy its own market niche
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 10:38 am

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 8):
So far it sounds like we can't have a responsible conversation on the subject. I propose we step up the dialogue. If you disagree with the author lets debate that. Did he break journalistic integrity?

How can we possibly know if he broke "journalistic integrity"? We don't know - verbatim - what was asked and what was answered. We only have the reporter's version of it.

I would suggest, for example, that the reporter's use of the word "admits" (admits "he was part of") is a loaded word within the context, because "admits" usually implies there is guilt - "he admits to the offence" - but I accept others may see it differently.

So that:

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 8):
But I would prefer debating the subject and the point that this is quite different for an executive at Airbus to speak out like this. I think that is an interesting conversation. If you don't think so, please ignore the thread. That would be great.


If the reporter's question involved ego, valour, pride, it would place the executive in an impossible situation, because yes, there is always some ego. valour, pride in any major project.

You can't really believe that the 748i - for example - was entirely free of ego, valour and pride, and that there was absolutely no sense of Boeing trying to kick the A380 in the nuts, to deliberately put at least some dent in its sales.

And why would he lie and say no? Ego, valour and pride are nothing of which to be ashamed.

So he simply told the truth, that yes, ego valour pride were present, but it is wrong to suggest - as you seem determined that he did by your title(s) - that was all was to it.

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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:34 am

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 21):

In retrospect in the late 90s if Airbus had skipped the A340-500/600 AND A380 and instead gone for a new (proper) 10Y big twin, they would have had exactly the right product the market needed.

Great. Then they would have had the perfect aircraft. And no engines to put under the wing.

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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:31 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 8):
If you disagree with the author lets debate that.

It does not matter what the author has said. There are dozens of authors who have written worse stuff about the A380.
It would matter if an Airbus COO would say something along these lines (A380=mistake, motivation was ego). But Tom Williams did not say that. You are just making up something which reflects your preoccupation.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 8):
If you guys prefer to just attack me because I posted the article that seems largely supportive of this Airbus exec and which I largely agree/support that same Airbus exec...that's cool too. Go for yours. I can take it.

Your headline is and offensive and wrong interpretation of an article. A lot of ugly Anet "truths" mostly about Airbus have been born by such biased interpretations of articles. Therefore you rightfully are facing users who insist on being precise and not bluntly attributing quotes to the wrong speaker.

About journalists who think like that we had many threads and the case has been settled a long time ago. This thread would be boring and nearly irrelevant if just another journalist would have elaborated. It is your claim, that this time an Airbus executive has critisized the A380, which would be highly relevant. If the claim would not be wrong.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 13):
It has nothing to do with me. Though I think so many posters feeling uncomfortable with the posting more so than the topic or even the article is weird. Is Mr Williams wrong or the author wrong. I am Mr Irrelevant.

Mr. Irrelevant took words from the mouth of "who cares", has put them into the mouth of an Airbus executive and fabricated that way the most biased thread since a long time. Show me an equally biased thread about Boeing.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 13):
I would love to know how an aircraft that “will never be profitable” (Mr Williams' words) was not a mistake.

That's your opinion now, right? That's fine, we have been at this point many times. There is a completely different relevance however, whether you say that or Tom Williams. And the latter did not say that.

We can easily understand how impossible your interpretation actually is, if we ask the question how the article would be written, if Tom Williams would really have said "the A380 was a mistake". In that case I can tell you the exact words, how they would appear in the article:

... Tom Williams said, "the A380 was a mistake"....

And not only that,
- The article would be rather short and about nothing else
- The article would be titled "Airbus admits that the A380 was a big mistake"
- The news would be spread across all the news portals
- The Airbus shares would be down 20..30%, giving us another opportunity to (re-)win 20% within a month or two
- This thread would be part 5.

As not a single one of these points is true, it is impossible, that he said what you claim.
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:58 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Thread starter):
Here is a moderator-approved thread title

The title may have been approved by the moderators or by the Holy Trinity itself, but it is still wrong: Williams did not say that! But, of course, this is still better that your original title: "Airbus COO: The A380 was a mistake," which was wrong on two counts.

Quoting tortugamon (Thread starter):
Lets try to have a responsible conversation

Yeah, sure.  
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 12:59 pm

Quoting mariner (Reply 22):
How can we possibly know if he broke "journalistic integrity"? We don't know - verbatim - what was asked and what was answered. We only have the reporter's version of it.

I think even trying to move the discussion to the journalist's integrity is completely beside the point.
The problem isn't with the article but with what some people insist on reading into this bit:

Quote:
The decision to go ahead with the A380, which Williams admits “he was part of”, may have been a mistake.

With that sentence structure and the commas set the way they are, one must have failed 2nd or 3rd level English to interpret it as meaning that Williams himself said going ahead with the the A380 may have been a mistake.

To illustrate:
Quote:
The decision to start this thread, which tortugamon admits he took to "present the article", may have been a mistake.

This sentence only says that starting this thread may have been a mistake.
It also draws a connection to the person that started the thread.
However, at no point does it imply that tortugamon himself admits that startig this thread may have been a mistake. His own opinion on the matter is not something that sentence touches upon.

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 4):
Part 1 plausibly showed that you have taken the words of the article's author and twisted them into the words of the COO.

  

Quoting captainmeeerkat (Reply 4):
Yes, see part one for how that went. Let's see in 100 posts who is right.

  

Quoting UALWN (Reply 25):
The title may have been approved by the moderators or by the Holy Trinity itself, but it is still wrong: Williams did not say that! But, of course, this is still better that your original title: "Airbus COO: The A380 was a mistake," which was wrong on two counts.

 checkmark 

[Edited 2016-02-22 05:01:59]
42
 
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777Jet
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:08 pm

Quoting gasman (Reply 19):
I haven't yet seen the beautiful 777. What's its rego??

9M-MRD Heliconia blue / 'Freedom of space' livery - (sadly no longer with us)

Air New Zealand has a few beauties, Cathay Pacific has one beauty, and the first few EVA Air 77W's in the '777-300ER ribbon' special livery were beautiful IMHO.

I could list more but if you haven't seen a beautiful 777 over the past few decades I'm obviously wasting my time  
Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 20):
Quoting 777Jet (Reply 14):
There would also be more 748i's flying around

What evidence is there of that?

Ordering A380s was not a deterrent to 748is, as 3 of the 4 airlines who ordered the 748i had, or was due to receive, the A380 either. There's also essentially no evidence to show that not ordering the A380 encouraged 748i orders either.

There is no evidence that more 748i's would be flying around if there was no A380 because the A380 happened so that opinion can't be tested, just as there is also no evidence to back up opinions like; "more MD-11s or A340s would have been flying if there was no 777" etc.

If the A380 was not around and airlines needed a larger plane with more seating capacity than the 777-300ER then I have no doubt that there would be more 748i's flying around if Boeing still went ahead with the 748i in a A380-less world - who knows how many more though.
DC10-10/30,MD82/88/90, 717,727,732/3/4/5/7/8/9ER,742/4,752/3,763/ER,772/E/L/3/W,788/9, 306,320,321,332/3,346,359,388
 
mjoelnir
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:32 pm

If we go straight to the plan set up for the A380. We can disregard all the talk about prognosis here and prognosis there, but the planing done was in regards to 250 sold frames.

All the development, production start and return of investment was planned inside of 250 frames. Everything above that should have been gravy. So even if somebody did have hopes of huge sales, the planing was done for a low volume frame.
It compares to developing the A330/340, calculating with the sales of 400 and 200 respectively. The A340-500/600 was not a success, but neither a mess.

Than comes the A380 and Airbus gets serious overruns in development and the first production frames are a mess mainly due to the wiring of the frames. That two different versions of the same software (catia 4 and catia 5) behave differently can be acceptable, that they give different physical measurement of the same drawings is really a scandal. That would mean that you have to redo all electrical drawings in your company each time you upgrade your software, or keep all old versions of the software around.

I completely agree that the A380 as the program has been run has no hope ever to return the outlay for Airbus by itself.

But was the main failure to start the program or were made mistakes in the execution that doomed the program.

First mistake, too many versions planed into the first version. Instead of first developing the A380-800 and the A380F and -900 later, everything was pushed into that one design, the money for the A380F and preparation for the -900 down the drain as it is.
Second mistake, having a free for all for all customers how they would like their frames, adding huge unnecessary cost first to the development and later to production cost.
Third mistake, using different versions of the same software in different departments.
We will find a long row of further mistakes.

Would Airbus stand worse or better if they never had touched the A380, that is also not as easy a point as many believe.
Airbus learned from the mistakes doing the A380. Airbus developed new technologies with the A380 and we see a lot of that in the A350 and all the other frames, using the hard won technologies in new frames or updating the old ones.
Airbus keeps to a tightly controlled list of options with the A350 keeping completely differently equipped frames for different airlines from happening.

So Airbus took out their war wounds with the A380 program, learning from that and did the next one on budget. They lost on the A380, but subsequently will earn money much faster on the A350.
 
BHXLOVER
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:35 pm

May have been a mistake. Or by inference (may not have been a mistake)
 
WIederling
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The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 1:39 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 13):
Quoting D L X (Reply 11):
If you want to have a thread about whether or not the A380 was a mistake, why don't you post that?

Honestly, isn't that what this is?

No, definitely not.

.. And that is the disparity you have been chided over in the previous thread.

You present yourself as messenger of what TW has purportedly said.
But you have to put words in his mouth to come to the message you want to "work on".

This is modus operandi of most religions. ( effective but unfair.)
"The boss said... I am only messenger. now jump!"

Obviously readers will attack you on that rhetoric gimmick.

A fairer approach would have been to come up front as the originator of the thread title.
Obviously you are back in flamebate water with that.

the discussion thus is moot.
TW apparently did never say what you said he said.
Tortugamon saying that the A380 was a dumb decission isn't new either.
Murphy is an optimist
 
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scbriml
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:42 pm

Quoting WIederling (Reply 30):
.. And that is the disparity you have been chided over in the previous thread.

Well, the moderators have now fixed the thread title.

Was the A380 a mistake? It may have been, but it's too late to change it now if it was. Would Airbus have done some different things if they had the chance again? I suspect they would - just as Boeing would do some different things on the 787 if they had the chance again.

Was me marrying my wife 30+ years ago a mistake? It may have been, but it's too late to change it now if it was. Meanwhile, I'm busy making lemonade from that particular lemon.     
Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana!
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m1m2
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:52 pm

Whether or not the A380 was a mistake or not can't be fortold at this point, not until the last one is sold and the sales program has ended. That's my opinion on the matter.

As a further to that, I think "mistake" is a relative term, it may have been a mistake financially, but may have pushed us ahead leaps-and-bounds in other respects. (I'm not saying it'll be a mistake financially either).

Either way, I think it's Airbus who ultimately has to ultimately make this decision.

I have flown on the A380, thought it was a great flight, so from that perspective it's a winner.
 
AirbusA6
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:56 pm

Quoting tommy1808 (Reply 23):

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 21):

In retrospect in the late 90s if Airbus had skipped the A340-500/600 AND A380 and instead gone for a new (proper) 10Y big twin, they would have had exactly the right product the market needed.

Great. Then they would have had the perfect aircraft. And no engines to put under the wing.

Best regards
Thomas

The GE90-115 was being developed around this time. RR had the Trent 8104 which lost out on the 77W. The A380 entered service after the 77W, if Airbus had launched a similarly sized to the 77W or slightly larger twin instead of the A380, it could have used this generation of engines, maybe with slightly more thrust. A tough challenge for the engine manufacturers yes, but not impossible
it's the bus to stansted (now renamed National Express a6 to ruin my username)
 
parapente
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:57 pm

Reply 17
I disagree with "Doesn't," agree with "Cannot."

I see where you are coming from, particularly the 787 point. But this is also true to a lesser extent, of the A380.
Whilst yes, it was built too darn big and with eyes on 'even bigger' (total madness) it too also overran badly on costs.I believe that B/E point was originally scheduled to be around 300/350 if I recall.But of course like the 787 the B/E nowhere near that now.But as you say at least the 787 has the opportunity to redress this position over (a long) time.

But from a marginal costing POV the whole plane may have many hidden company wide benefits (but obviously I am not on their accounting team!)

But the first slides were interesting as they looked at all the different possible configurations.This and the huge amount of customer research conducted does suggest (to me) that they saw a real opportunity (rather than vanity).
But I will never 'get' the -900 part and find it hard to believe that research suggested that this was a real and possible segment.This is what sent them down the wrong initial path IMHO.

Without that they could have (better) right sized the wing.Still they didn't and are stuck with 'wot they got'.

Sometimes things 'come to you' sometimes they don't.The real issue (for me) is whether the existing customers will be happy with an A380-850 ( the small stretch they have spoken of).
From a technical POV it has technical merits.
Since the plane was built there has been.
10 years development and understanding in blended winglets that both reduce drag and increase aspect ratio
A new 'right sized' engine developed (XWB) now with first PiP and more to come (plus 'Advance fan?)
No/little other changes required- for an aircraft designed to be even bigger than this.


Not perfect by any means but I think the best they can do (cost effectively) frankly.
 
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TheRedBaron
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:02 pm

Quoting mariner (Reply 22):
How can we possibly know if he broke "journalistic integrity"? We don't know - verbatim - what was asked and what was answered. We only have the reporter's version of it.

   That was said on last thread, we kept waiting for the transcript.... but its clear its only an interpretation.

Quoting mariner (Reply 22):
And why would he lie and say no? Ego, valour and pride are nothing of which to be ashamed.

Ego, valour and pride, put us on the Moon, gave us the Concorde and a cumulus of other "failures" that have made the world a wonderful place to behold.   

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 24):
Therefore you rightfully are facing users who insist on being precise and not bluntly attributing quotes to the wrong speaker.

I agree, we could argue and destroy a lot of Boeing products, in the end a company that has 50% of the market can't be that bad, and the same could be argued about Boeing. but its the same old same old her on Anet, the A380 the Horse that want to be put down and then beaten.... LOL

Quoting anfromme (Reply 26):

Agree, well said.

Moderator can we close this thread please? We all know that the A380 will never recoup the money for development. Its not selling in droves, but its still in production (and in my view has a bright future), and Airbus learned a lot from it. End of story.

Regards

TRB
The best seat in a Plane is the Jumpseat.
 
slider
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 7):
So I don't believe there is a strict "THE Market" for a plane of a given size: it all depends on the economics of the particular product.

I didn't read the first part of this thread, so apologies if someone did mention it, although I hadn't seen it mentioned herein yet: airport capacity and air traffic issues.

Those constraints impact "the market" as you mention in other ways. Yes, everyone would love high frequency on major routes, but LHR is always our poster child here (along with a slew of other congested international major airports) for what the congestion problem is.

The A380 was meant, expressly stated as such, as a relief valve for what was at the time forecast to be major aeronautical gridlock in some of the most significant and crucial flying markets. By creating a massive VLA, the conventional wisdom stated you could increase traffic without adding more slots, more metal, more airplanes.

Is that market guidance accurate now? Yes and no. Congestion is still a problem. Frequency still rules. And the basic law of economic scarcity continues to apply.

So the definition of what market the 380 serves is a dynamic question and answer.
 
SelseyBill
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:22 pm

Quoting gasman (Reply 10):
For us here who (presumably) are aviation enthusiasts for reasons that cannot be entirely rationally explained, the only question can be - has our world been made a better place by the A380's existence? I would argue unequivocally that without it, the aviation scene today would be a far blander 777 and other twinjet dominated landscape of humdrum.
NASA and Concorde haven't provided much return on capital investment either, but my world is made richer by their legacy. So I applaud the A380. There are plenty of them flying and making money for airlines so that's all the success I need.

I often think as aviation enthusiasts we largely miss one of the major plus points about the A380; it is in my opinion the best flying experience many passengers have ever had. Its light, roomy, quiet and; (depending on seating config.); the best ride in the sky.

Most passengers don't care about the 'aviation scene'; they care about the general pleasantness of their flight, and it is my experience and that of many airlines and its customers that the A380 has definitely improved flying experiences.
 
mjoelnir
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:30 pm

Quoting parapente (Reply 34):
I believe that B/E point was originally scheduled to be around 300/350 if I recall

Program break even was originally scheduled at 250 frames.
 
frmrCapCadet
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:48 pm

Just a note that challenging the business plan for the 380 is not an attack on the 380. Most everyone agrees it is a great plane.
Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
 
D L X
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:57 pm

Quoting scbriml (Reply 31):
Well, the moderators have now fixed the thread title.

  

Attributing those comments to the COO was arguably libelous. I'm glad someone had the sense to change it, for the sake of the site.
 
tommy1808
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 4:30 pm

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 33):
The GE90-115 was being developed around this time. RR had the Trent 8104 which lost out on the 77W.

And with Hindsight, knowing that the GE90-115 (or Trent 8104) would be working so fine, and knowing that fuel prices would skyrocket, that may have been a good idea.

Airbus has been screwed over by a single source engine before, on the A340, and until the A350 resisted to have a single engine supplier after that. So a big risky twin with two big, risky engines and only one supplier: a big no go.
And when those programs got the go-ahead a 15% higher fuel burn on a longer ranged, higher payload Aircraft was of no concern to anyone really.
There is no reason to suspect that Airbus with its structure back then would not have screwed up an early, bigger A350 just as much as they did the A345/346 and A380. If it is just late and more expensive, but on spec, not too bad, if it is, like the A340NG was, much over weight with engines under spec, not so much.

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 33):
maybe with slightly more thrust.

More thrust then the still most powerful jet engine in the world?

They may have been able to do it, but there was zero incentive in going big-twin A330-500/600 so to say, since that would have been significantly more costly than the A340NG. The different bending moments of a twin would have made the lead-wing even heavier, two big ones would have required a new, heavier, landing gear.....

If both the 77W and the A346 would have been on Spec, the A346 would have:

- burned around 15% more fuel (peanuts at 35$ a barrel)
- carry 10% or so more payload
- fly 5% further
- be a league of its own in Hot and High performance.
- no ETOPS restrictions whatsoever

Unless they already knew how bad they would miss the Spec on the A346 a clean sheet was not attractive. But, with the available information at the time, including oil price outlook, there was no reason to suspect that the A346 wouldn´t hold its own vs. the 77W.
But then the GE90 was better, the 77W frame was better than Spec, and well.. the A345/6.....

Somewhere on my hard drive i have a fairly long analysis between A346 and 77W published back in 2002, and conclusion wise they both had a performance area where one beat the other, but only few where one frame really kills the other. Funny enough, that was the A346. What comes to mind was their comparison of 20 or so popular city pairs, one JFK-JNB-JFK stood out, the 77W got already massacred on the way to JNB, and could be happy to make the return leg as a non-stop - and basically as a ferry flight with whooping 15.000 lbs of payload.

So, back then it seemed like a "like 77W" Twin, would perform not a bit better than the four-holer, have more operational restrictions, needing about 3 times the investment and that for some 10%-15% fuel savings that would perhaps mean 3-4% lower operating costs

best regards
Thomas
Well, there is prophecy in the bible after all: 2 Timothy 3:1-6
 
racercoup
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:01 pm

Quoting slider (Reply 36):
By creating a massive VLA, the conventional wisdom stated you could increase traffic without adding more slots, more metal, more airplanes

It may have been the "conventional" wisdom at Airbus. It certainly was not the conventional wisdom at Boeing.
 
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zckls04
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:25 pm

Quoting m1m2 (Reply 32):
Whether or not the A380 was a mistake or not can't be fortold at this point, not until the last one is sold and the sales program has ended. That's my opinion on the matter.

Probably even then it will be tricky to tell. Woolly things like its effect on Airbus's image, or how much was learned for the A350 program, are incredibly hard to quantify.

A much more perceptive and interesting question would be "what should Airbus have done instead"? Knowing what we know now, what strategy should Airbus have taken that would have provided them a better outlook today? Maybe gotten the A350 to market earlier? Or a clean-sheet A330-sized plane? Or something different? Or perhaps just held onto the cash and used it to undercut Boeing even more?
Four Granavox Turbines!
 
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Matt6461
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:40 pm

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 43):
A much more perceptive and interesting question would be "what should Airbus have done instead"?

Agreed. That's the conversation I tried to start in Reply 7.

Assuming Airbus felt the need to move in the VLA sector, they should have built a smaller, optimized VLA of ~450 seats.

Airbus considered several fuselage designs, including an 8-6 arrangement. It rejected this arrangement because it didn't do well when stretched to 650 seats. http://www.icas.org/ICAS_ARCHIVE/ICAS2006/PAPERS/806.PDF (Page 4)

An optimized ~450 seater would have done well IMJ. It wouldn't have had a problem with the 80m box, would have had much lower trip costs, and probably would have at least as efficient as the -800 on unit costs. Think EcoLiner but probably a quad - and a quad is probably just as good as a twin at this size.

[Edited 2016-02-22 11:06:34]
 
WIederling
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:56 pm

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 44):

The Airbus VLA needed to be bigger than what was extrapolated Twin growth over its expected lifetime.

LH a couple of years offered that they would be interested in an even bigger VLA : 1000 pax.
( But LH is the airline that is fond of a finely capabilities grained fleet which again is seen as faint by the
airliners.net professional crowd  

We are well served to keep in mind that Boeing seems to have spent much money and effort to push their future airtraffic meme using smaller frames. ( think of another druglike rush floated on emotionalities and misstatements.)
With more congestion this will wear off to a part.
Murphy is an optimist
 
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zckls04
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:08 pm

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 44):
An optimized ~450 seater would have done well IMJ. It wouldn't have had a problem with the 80m box, would have had much lower trip costs, and probably would have at least as efficient as the -800 on unit costs. Think EcoLiner but probably a quad - and a quad is probably just as good as a twin at this size.

I would have thought that section of the market was already fairly saturated though after the success of the 777. Would Airbus have been able to create something with a sufficient economic advantage

Quoting Matt6461 (Reply 44):
Airbus considered several fuselage designs, including an 8-6 arrangement. It rejected this arrangement because it didn't do well when stretched to 650 seats.

I love some of the fuselage designs. Kind of a shame we didn't get one of the stranger ones.

[Edited 2016-02-22 11:08:40]
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Matt6461
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:10 pm

Quoting WIederling (Reply 45):
The Airbus VLA needed to be bigger than what was extrapolated Twin growth over its expected lifetime.

Why? If the A380 were better than the extrapolated twin, those hypothetical twins simply wouldn't compete and wouldn't have been built.

And it should be far, far better. A double decker is just more efficient, a quad isn't much - if any - liability for a big plane.
 
mjoelnir
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:01 pm

Quoting racercoup (Reply 42):
Quoting slider (Reply 36):
By creating a massive VLA, the conventional wisdom stated you could increase traffic without adding more slots, more metal, more airplanes

It may have been the "conventional" wisdom at Airbus. It certainly was not the conventional wisdom at Boeing.

O Yes, Boeing just offered first the 747-500/600 and than offered and build some ten years later the 747-8, but that was never build on the viability of a VLA of course.   
 
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scbriml
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RE: The Telegraph: A380 May Have Been A Mistake Part 2

Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:07 pm

Quoting racercoup (Reply 42):
It may have been the "conventional" wisdom at Airbus. It certainly was not the conventional wisdom at Boeing.

So what happened to Boeing's wisdom when they decided to launch the 748 after Airbus launched the A380?  
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