LH707330
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:45 pm

In absolute terms, I bet the 380 could be the biggest boondoggle. In relative terms, though, this poster's got some good candidates:

drdisque wrote:
I think the only fair way to look at this would be margin. The programs I'd like to compare it to:

1. CV-880/-990 (expensive development, abysmal sales, drove Convair out of jet airliner business)
2. Concorde (very expensive development, few sales)
3. L1011 (very expensive lengthy development, mediocre sales, drove Lockheed out of civilian market)
4. Dassault Mercure (I honestly don't know about its development, but had ridiculously poor sales, so it's a candidate)

It's obviously unfair to compare it to aircraft that were never built/sold.


To add to that list:

1. Tu-144
2. Boeing 377 (maybe?)
3. DH Comet (maybe?)
 
drdisque
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:54 pm

LH707330 wrote:
In absolute terms, I bet the 380 could be the biggest boondoggle. In relative terms, though, this poster's got some good candidates:

drdisque wrote:
I think the only fair way to look at this would be margin. The programs I'd like to compare it to:

1. CV-880/-990 (expensive development, abysmal sales, drove Convair out of jet airliner business)
2. Concorde (very expensive development, few sales)
3. L1011 (very expensive lengthy development, mediocre sales, drove Lockheed out of civilian market)
4. Dassault Mercure (I honestly don't know about its development, but had ridiculously poor sales, so it's a candidate)

It's obviously unfair to compare it to aircraft that were never built/sold.


To add to that list:

1. Tu-144
2. Boeing 377 (maybe?)
3. DH Comet (maybe?)


I don't think you can compare any Soviet aircraft since they weren't produced for profit.
 
RobertS975
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:58 pm

Although not charged to Airbus, what do you think the world's airport authorities spent in infrastructure changes and improvements to ready their airports for the A380? What percentage of that outlay will never be recovered by landing fees, passenger taxes etc?
 
nycbjr
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:05 pm

LH707330 wrote:
In absolute terms, I bet the 380 could be the biggest boondoggle. In relative terms, though, this poster's got some good candidates:

To add to that list:

1. Tu-144
2. Boeing 377 (maybe?)
3. DH Comet (maybe?)



The 377 was based on the C-97/KC-97 (which took much design from the B-29) which sold over 800 copies so it might not have been a commercial success certainly the entire program made Boeing money.
 
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Veigar
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:08 pm

nycbjr wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
In absolute terms, I bet the 380 could be the biggest boondoggle. In relative terms, though, this poster's got some good candidates:

To add to that list:

1. Tu-144
2. Boeing 377 (maybe?)
3. DH Comet (maybe?)



The 377 was based on the C-97/KC-97 (which took much design from the B-29) which sold over 800 copies so it might not have been a commercial success certainly the entire program made Boeing money.


To add to this, I recall reading a while ago about the 377 being unusually expensive to maintain compared to say, the Lockheed Constellation. A clear example of this is how all 377's were retired by the time the Boeing 727 was rolled out, but some Lockheed Constellations are still buzzing around even today.

Although this would be a particularly awkward comparison. This is about the A380 and comparing it to the 377 is surely going to make some dudes scratch their heads.
 
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Finn350
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:20 pm

sciing wrote:
Finn350 wrote:
Max Q wrote:


Didn’t mean to imply that, not even close, I think the 787 will eventually be a profitable program for Boeing


The 787 development cost is at least $15 billion and then there is the deferred production cost of around $30 billion. By that standard the 787 program has made even greater loss of around $45 billion than the A380. The difference to the A380 is that now Boeing is slowly generating positive cash flow to offset the cost, but as a whole, the 787 is never going to be a profitable program.


Deffered COST is not LOSS.
I wonder why such complete nonsens is repeated here again and again.
What is the next step. Sum up all production cost as loss, forget any revenue? Ups sorry this the idea of this stupid thread!


Deferred production cost is the production cost exceeding revenue. Of course it is a loss that must be recovered of the production profit of the later frames.
 
SkyVoice
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:34 pm

LH707330 wrote:
In absolute terms, I bet the 380 could be the biggest boondoggle. In relative terms, though, this poster's got some good candidates:

drdisque wrote:
I think the only fair way to look at this would be margin. The programs I'd like to compare it to:

1. CV-880/-990 (expensive development, abysmal sales, drove Convair out of jet airliner business)
2. Concorde (very expensive development, few sales)
3. L1011 (very expensive lengthy development, mediocre sales, drove Lockheed out of civilian market)
4. Dassault Mercure (I honestly don't know about its development, but had ridiculously poor sales, so it's a candidate)

It's obviously unfair to compare it to aircraft that were never built/sold.


To add to that list:

1. Tu-144
2. Boeing 377 (maybe?)
3. DH Comet (maybe?)


The Convair 990 Coronado certainly qualifies. And, I agree with the good dr. about the Dassault Mercure. Dassault only made six, and sold them all to Air Inter, for which the planes gave years of dependable service, but nobody else would buy even one!

Here's a few of my own that I'd like everyone's comments about: Airbus A318, Airbus A340 Series, Boeing 737-600, Fokker 50, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-20 & -40 Series, McDonnell Douglas MD-90, Saab 2000, and finally, VFW-Fokker 614.

Thank you all & have a great weekend! SkyVoice
"Your talents may take you where your character can not keep you." - Terry Nelson
 
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Veigar
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:48 pm

SkyVoice wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
In absolute terms, I bet the 380 could be the biggest boondoggle. In relative terms, though, this poster's got some good candidates:

drdisque wrote:
I think the only fair way to look at this would be margin. The programs I'd like to compare it to:

1. CV-880/-990 (expensive development, abysmal sales, drove Convair out of jet airliner business)
2. Concorde (very expensive development, few sales)
3. L1011 (very expensive lengthy development, mediocre sales, drove Lockheed out of civilian market)
4. Dassault Mercure (I honestly don't know about its development, but had ridiculously poor sales, so it's a candidate)

It's obviously unfair to compare it to aircraft that were never built/sold.


To add to that list:

1. Tu-144
2. Boeing 377 (maybe?)
3. DH Comet (maybe?)


The Convair 990 Coronado certainly qualifies. And, I agree with the good dr. about the Dassault Mercure. Dassault only made six, and sold them all to Air Inter, for which the planes gave years of dependable service, but nobody else would buy even one!

Here's a few of my own that I'd like everyone's comments about: Airbus A318, Airbus A340 Series, Boeing 737-600, Fokker 50, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-20 & -40 Series, McDonnell Douglas MD-90, Saab 2000, and finally, VFW-Fokker 614.

Thank you all & have a great weekend! SkyVoice


I don't think it's fair to lump in the branches of aircraft from a successful family. The main issue in this list you gave is the A340 SERIES, not just a specific variant of an airplane from a popular family of airplanes.
 
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N328KF
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:48 pm

SkyVoice wrote:
Here's a few of my own that I'd like everyone's comments about: Airbus A318, Airbus A340 Series, Boeing 737-600, Fokker 50, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-20 & -40 Series, McDonnell Douglas MD-90, Saab 2000, and finally, VFW-Fokker 614.

Thank you all & have a great weekend! SkyVoice


Anything that shared a development program with another (successful) product doesn't fall under this discussion. In that case, what would matter would be a) the added development cost for that variant and b) the opportunity cost for engaging in that variant.
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
-Donny Miller
 
nycbjr
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:59 pm

Veigar wrote:
nycbjr wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
In absolute terms, I bet the 380 could be the biggest boondoggle. In relative terms, though, this poster's got some good candidates:

To add to that list:

1. Tu-144
2. Boeing 377 (maybe?)
3. DH Comet (maybe?)



The 377 was based on the C-97/KC-97 (which took much design from the B-29) which sold over 800 copies so it might not have been a commercial success certainly the entire program made Boeing money.


To add to this, I recall reading a while ago about the 377 being unusually expensive to maintain compared to say, the Lockheed Constellation. A clear example of this is how all 377's were retired by the time the Boeing 727 was rolled out, but some Lockheed Constellations are still buzzing around even today.

Although this would be a particularly awkward comparison. This is about the A380 and comparing it to the 377 is surely going to make some dudes scratch their heads.


I bet it was, the Wright R-3350's were certainly problematic.

There are still 377/C-97/KC-97 flying in the form of the Super Guppy, though modified to use turbo props.

Sorry if we are getting off topic! I just love history esp #avgeek!
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:00 pm

All that really matters is whether Airbus can survive it, which they will. Now they have a lot of planning on how to ramp it down, what new work packages to get to suppliers to make up for the lost work and/or negotiate the termination costs. Ramp downs can be painful, as worker morale tends to tank. It may be better for Airbus to not ramp down from 8 to 6 per year, which was probably to sync with EK's delivery requirements, at least for the structures and other major assembly. Once to fitout and interiors a slower pace works provided that there is enough parking.

Engineering marvel but financial disaster.
 
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N328KF
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:04 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
Engineering marvel but financial disaster.
Engineering marvel, except that whole bit about needign both teams working on the same version of the CAD software.
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
-Donny Miller
 
JayinKitsap
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:07 pm

N328KF wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
Engineering marvel but financial disaster.
Engineering marvel, except that whole bit about needign both teams working on the same version of the CAD software.


I was trying to be polite on this day of mourning. :idea:
 
B2707SST
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:25 pm

Finn350 wrote:
Deferred production cost is the production cost exceeding revenue. Of course it is a loss that must be recovered of the production profit of the later frames.


Deferred production cost has nothing to do with revenue. It is the difference between actual production cost and the long-term estimated average production cost, summed up over every aircraft produced. Early aircraft are more expensive to build than average and increased the deferred cost balance. Later aircraft are less expensive than average and reduce the deferred cost balance.

If sales price > actual production cost > long-term average cost for a particular frame, Boeing would be cash flow positive and yet the deferred production cost balance would still increase. If sales price < actual production cost < long-term average cost, Boeing would lose money and yet the deferred production cost balance would still fall.

Although Boeing books deferred cost as an asset , it is better thought of as a liability in the sense that it represents cash that has been spent but not expensed against earnings.
Keynes is dead and we are living in his long run.
 
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hippogryphe
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:28 pm

The A380's failure really speaks to the overall health of Airbus. The original 747 development almost brought Boeing down in the late sixties. If the plane had gone on to sell only two hundred-some units, would the company have survived? I think it's an open question but no one doubts that Airbus will dust this off with relatively little trouble. Likewise Boeing survived the 787 debacle; would it have in a different decade? It really is a different world now concerning the ability to leverage gigantic cash cows and make massive speculative investments.
 
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kjeld0d
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:38 pm

Max Q wrote:
The Concorde was cheap by comparison,
even in today’s dollars


Looking at the A380 as giant exercise in branding and marketing.... It would have been cheaper and just as attention getting if Airbus had brought back Concorde. And they wouldn't have enabled Emirates capacity dumping.
 
sabenapilot
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:40 pm

All the money invested on the A380 is spent already long time ago, so closing the program 'just' cost some 500M in it winding down and for that price Airbus actually recovers a lot of facilities which is urgently needs to up its production output even more, so it's actually a good investment in a way, which is why their shareprice went up by 5% upon announcing their decision.
That alone should tell you how big of a financial loss it only just is in relative terms to them...

Besides, regardless how much money was spent in total on the A380 program, let's remember that *a lot* of money was actually spent on:
- Industrial infrastructure like a production facility which can just as well be used for future A320/A350 production increases in future
(and which will thus finally be used more productive than to produce just 6 planes a year!)
- Research and development on materials, techniques, systems and manufacturing procedures which can, will and in fact are already used on other programs like the A350
- Fixing the 'loss of configuration' fuck up which held back the program almost 2 years and which was bound to happen on any Airbus program
- Training engineers and mechanics which can now use many of their skills on other programs for which they will need minimal training only
etc etc

How much money was actually spent on things only useful for the A380 alone, nobody knows... probably just a fraction.

Will Airbus make money on the program? No
Will they suffer from it in future still? Clearly not, because all the money is sunk already, something the stockmarket fully understands too.

The reality is that tthey've cleared a liablity from the past off their books for very few money in fact, and they regain full freedom to move ahead in future with new products, all while regaining quite a lot of production facilies and capacity to do so: investors just love the opportunity they have given themself here, so no wonder the stock market is very happy with their decision and their likely future financial performance as a consequence.

As to the question of the biggest manufacturing loss, that's title undoubtably goes to Concorde: nobody really knows how much that program costed both governments who funded it, but by today's standards it must have been a multitude of what the A380 costed Airbus, for only a fraction of its sales. The saying goes that the Americans went to the moon, while the Europeans built Concorde... Maybe a good indication of its cost?
 
thevery
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:52 pm

CSeries wasn't a huge success for BBD, too.
 
sciing
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:54 pm

Finn350 wrote:
sciing wrote:
Finn350 wrote:

The 787 development cost is at least $15 billion and then there is the deferred production cost of around $30 billion. By that standard the 787 program has made even greater loss of around $45 billion than the A380. The difference to the A380 is that now Boeing is slowly generating positive cash flow to offset the cost, but as a whole, the 787 is never going to be a profitable program.


Deffered COST is not LOSS.
I wonder why such complete nonsens is repeated here again and again.
What is the next step. Sum up all production cost as loss, forget any revenue? Ups sorry this the idea of this stupid thread!


Deferred production cost is the production cost exceeding revenue

Sorry but this is pure BS. Where did you get such nonsense and why don‘t you inform yourself before you try to post „facts“.
It is the difference between real and a mean planned cost!
Revenue should be much higher, because revenue minus planned cost is something like planned profit! And I guess Boeing planned one.So deffered cost says nothing about profits! Like cost say nothing about profit!
For the thread itself I have to remind that the A380 was cash positive since 2015! So every frame delivered produced more cash when it needs to build it since that time.
 
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Finn350
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:05 pm

B2707SST wrote:
Finn350 wrote:
Deferred production cost is the production cost exceeding revenue. Of course it is a loss that must be recovered of the production profit of the later frames.


Deferred production cost has nothing to do with revenue. It is the difference between actual production cost and the long-term estimated average production cost, summed up over every aircraft produced. Early aircraft are more expensive to build than average and increased the deferred cost balance. Later aircraft are less expensive than average and reduce the deferred cost balance.

If sales price > actual production cost > long-term average cost for a particular frame, Boeing would be cash flow positive and yet the deferred production cost balance would still increase. If sales price < actual production cost < long-term average cost, Boeing would lose money and yet the deferred production cost balance would still fall.

Although Boeing books deferred cost as an asset , it is better thought of as a liability in the sense that it represents cash that has been spent but not expensed against earnings.


Your definitions are correct.

The 787 deferred production cost was $23.584 billion end of Q3/2018 and $22.967 billion end of Q4/2018 with 39 deliveries in Q4/2018. The average production cost in Q4/2018 was $15 million less than the average production cost of the accounting block.

If the 787 program margin is near break-even as a whole, average production cost is almost equal to average sales price (the difference being the average margin). Therefore I assumed average sales price approximately equals average production cost, and $15 million approximately presents positive cash flow per frame.

I have to admit I hadn't looked at Boeing financials for a while. Previously they stated that "The 787 program continues to have near breakeven gross margins". In their latest filings they say "The increase in operating margins is primarily due to higher 787 margins, improved cost performance and favorable delivery mix."
 
emuwarveteran
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:17 pm

drdisque wrote:
3. DH Comet (maybe?)


The Comet was actually a pretty successful plane apart from the, well, metal fatigue-related mishaps of the first model. It did lose a lot of traction after the crashes even though the 2, 3 and 4 variants were much safer but airlines were buying it. Sort of a DC-10 situation.
CL CRJ9, W6 A320
 
dtw9
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:21 pm

Seeing as Singapore used to call there 747’s Megatop will they now name their A380’s Megaflop
 
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ACCS300
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:37 pm

wawaman wrote:
Surely the question here is 'and what will Airbus do next'. What is the market opportunity created by removing the a380 at the top of the lineup, and how will they see the future. In that context we can judge the A380 decision. I guarantee you Airbus will be well ahead of us in this thinking, and not spending a lot of time looking back 2 decades or more when A380 decisions were made. The Emirates decision to take the Neo and A350 combo may give us some clues.


Couldn't agree more, Anet gets downright depressing especially re: the repetitive A380 bashing. The A380 served it's purpose, massive changes have occurred in the market since it's conception, Airbus has responded with different product and now with many A380 orders shifting to the A350 and A330neo, Airbus made a wise and calculated decision to pull the plug and focus it's resources on the remainder of their very success commercial lineup.
 
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zeke
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:41 pm

Max Q wrote:
With development costs of over $25 Billion the A380 must be the most expensive mistake ever undertaken by a civilian aircraft manufacturer, even more than the 787


Airbus didn’t even spend 10 billion developing the A380, only around 1/3 of the funds were internally generated, the rest from risk sharing partners.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
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tjcab
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:56 pm

aaexecplat wrote:
These threads are just all so sad. There are now 5+ threads open and more opening every few hours to mostly $hit on Airbus. Is all this really necessary? And very little facts are presented along the way. Mostly personal opinions, and in many cases provable falsehoods (some clearly intentional). It honestly doesn't speak highly of this community, it doesn't encourage participation and it just isn't much fun to hang around here anymore among all this hatred and animosity.


...especially when we are supposedly aviation lovers. The more diverse the sky, the better for me. I was not happy when the 787 was going through a very rough period, as I am with the SSJ situation and now the 380. What an outstanding aircraft, and achievement. Not that our opinions on this platform matter whatsoever, but, and i may be wrong here, always felt that there was so much hate for the a380, then wet dreams about the 787. Not sure what it is. As a passenger, without bias, which would be your preferred aircraft for a long-haul flight, in economy class?

Sad
 
SC430
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:23 pm

sciing wrote:
Finn350 wrote:
sciing wrote:

Deffered COST is not LOSS.
I wonder why such complete nonsens is repeated here again and again.
What is the next step. Sum up all production cost as loss, forget any revenue? Ups sorry this the idea of this stupid thread!


Deferred production cost is the production cost exceeding revenue

Sorry but this is pure BS. Where did you get such nonsense and why don‘t you inform yourself before you try to post „facts“.
It is the difference between real and a mean planned cost!
Revenue should be much higher, because revenue minus planned cost is something like planned profit! And I guess Boeing planned one.So deffered cost says nothing about profits! Like cost say nothing about profit!
For the thread itself I have to remind that the A380 was cash positive since 2015! So every frame delivered produced more cash when it needs to build it since that time.



Not ONE A380 has been delivered in an above cost position. Airbus has admitted it was losing money on the program every year.
 
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Slug71
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:31 pm

SC430 wrote:
sciing wrote:
Finn350 wrote:

Deferred production cost is the production cost exceeding revenue

Sorry but this is pure BS. Where did you get such nonsense and why don‘t you inform yourself before you try to post „facts“.
It is the difference between real and a mean planned cost!
Revenue should be much higher, because revenue minus planned cost is something like planned profit! And I guess Boeing planned one.So deffered cost says nothing about profits! Like cost say nothing about profit!
For the thread itself I have to remind that the A380 was cash positive since 2015! So every frame delivered produced more cash when it needs to build it since that time.



Not ONE A380 has been delivered in an above cost position. Airbus has admitted it was losing money on the program every year.


It was cash positive in 2015.
 
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PW100
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:36 pm

musman9853 wrote:
dredgy wrote:
It wouldn’t be the biggest loss I think (though might be).

They’ve delivered 234 aircraft (plus more still to come)
Let’s assume that the program cost was $25bn which is unlikely.
25billion divided by 234 means they would have needed to sell each plane for an average of $107million to break even on the program.
The list price for an A380 was about $445m, so the $107m seems achievable - even conservative. I would be surprised iff they were selling all A380s for a quarter of list price - Emirates maybe got prices that low but nobody else surely.

Of course that’s a broadly simplistic view, but there’s a good chance Airbus haven’t actually lost any money on the program (though since their resources were tied up in it, lost opportunity could be argued).



they'd have to sell each a380 at 100M+ above production cost just to break even. considering airbus is losing money on each a380 they build, they're not even recouping production costs, let alone development costs


Well, part of that $25bn is embedded in the per frame production cost. Further, as Airbus has to repay royalties to the RLI providers (my estimation 10 - 15M per frame), they may very well embed that cost in the production cost. Therefore calculations for recouping production cost are iffy at best, and utter rubbish at worst - unless one has access to Airbus accounting numbers beyond their published data, but I sincerely doubt those will spew numbers on forums like this.

Unfortunately, that won't stop folks from ignoring such and colouring the picture to their likes, bashers and fanboys alike.
Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
 
LH707330
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:48 pm

I'll concede the 377 and Coment, those were a stretch.

SkyVoice wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
In absolute terms, I bet the 380 could be the biggest boondoggle. In relative terms, though, this poster's got some good candidates:

drdisque wrote:
I think the only fair way to look at this would be margin. The programs I'd like to compare it to:

1. CV-880/-990 (expensive development, abysmal sales, drove Convair out of jet airliner business)
2. Concorde (very expensive development, few sales)
3. L1011 (very expensive lengthy development, mediocre sales, drove Lockheed out of civilian market)
4. Dassault Mercure (I honestly don't know about its development, but had ridiculously poor sales, so it's a candidate)

It's obviously unfair to compare it to aircraft that were never built/sold.


To add to that list:

1. Tu-144
2. Boeing 377 (maybe?)
3. DH Comet (maybe?)


The Convair 990 Coronado certainly qualifies. And, I agree with the good dr. about the Dassault Mercure. Dassault only made six, and sold them all to Air Inter, for which the planes gave years of dependable service, but nobody else would buy even one!

Here's a few of my own that I'd like everyone's comments about: Airbus A318, Airbus A340 Series, Boeing 737-600, Fokker 50, McDonnell Douglas DC-9-20 & -40 Series, McDonnell Douglas MD-90, Saab 2000, and finally, VFW-Fokker 614.

Thank you all & have a great weekend! SkyVoice


Regarding your list, I'll bucket them:
Low-impact flop: A318, 736, DC-9-20/40 (cheaply-developed derivatives that didn't sell well)
A340-200/300: moderate success; they spent $3.5B on the joint 330/340 development and built 246 of them
A340-500/600: flop, but not on the order of the A380
MD90: hard to say, it was a cheap derivative and they sold 116. Not a win, but not a major flop either
Saab 2000: wrong market timing, definitely a big swing and miss given the size of the company
Fokker 50: decent idea overall but poor cost control
614: flop
 
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kitplane01
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:52 pm

JayinKitsap wrote:
All that really matters is whether Airbus can survive it, which they will.


That seems false.

Imagine a world where Airbus spent the development money on something more economically correct. They could have an all-new A320, a 767 replacement, or even invest in an upgrade of the ATR-72.

The A380 represents a huge opportunity loss for Airbus.
 
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N328KF
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 10:57 pm

kitplane01 wrote:
JayinKitsap wrote:
All that really matters is whether Airbus can survive it, which they will.


That seems false.

Imagine a world where Airbus spent the development money on something more economically correct. They could have an all-new A320, a 767 replacement, or even invest in an upgrade of the ATR-72.

The A380 represents a huge opportunity loss for Airbus.


Agreed; And while not a disaster on the same scale: If Boeing had kept the 787 on-time (or at least close to it), they would have had years of effort back which could have been applied to, say, a new single-aisle aircraft, and allowed Boeing to stay ahead of the A320neo. As someone else mentioned here, it's poker.
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
-Donny Miller
 
brindabella
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:11 pm

Finn350 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
DLASFlyer wrote:
The 787 was a mistake?



Didn’t mean to imply that, not even close, I think the 787 will eventually be a profitable program for Boeing


The 787 development cost is at least $15 billion and then there is the deferred production cost of around $30 billion. By that standard the 787 program has made even greater loss of around $45 billion than the A380. The difference to the A380 is that now Boeing is slowly generating positive cash flow to offset the cost, but as a whole, the 787 is never going to be a profitable program.


Never say "never"! :D
cheers
Billy
 
brindabella
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:52 pm

777PHX wrote:
I'm not sure why this is considered a sad thing. Minus the costs involved in shutting down production, they're all sunk costs. With this move, Airbus can utilize those resources for something else more lucrative and the company and its shareholders will be better off for it.


Unfortunately, it can all get very messy from here - and may well do so:

1) Google "Seattle Times" + "Boeing".
2) read the piece from 15th Feb. by Dominic Gates.
3) then absorb the history and analysis of the use/misuse of "RLI" and the likely content of the final WTO judgement due this year on the AB vs BA case.
4) note the previous highly-critical comments about the WTO already uttered by the President of the USA elsewhere.
5) then recall that there is a Trade War against China currently under way initiated by that same President. The grounds for the action is on the basis of China;s perceived violation of WTO trading and IP rules, among other damaging activities.
6) and now read the Gates piece again.

I think it is perfectly possible that this all has the potential to get very nasty between USA and the European countries who so readily accommodated AB's many requests for capital.

:worried:

I really wish that AB had just paid the RLI back and so put a final stop to it all.

cheers (I hope).
Billy
 
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HighBypass
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:04 am

To have an honest discussion, we should be talking in actual figures and not uninformed estimates. Much of the talk here is far too general to carry any weight in a serious debate. Without the solid support of real figures, how can we reasonably debate this?

There are figures available on both the A380 and 787 programs that come close to reality and are generally accepted as the truth if anyone among us cares to do some serious research.

zeke wrote:
Max Q wrote:
With development costs of over $25 Billion the A380 must be the most expensive mistake ever undertaken by a civilian aircraft manufacturer, even more than the 787


Airbus didn’t even spend 10 billion developing the A380, only around 1/3 of the funds were internally generated, the rest from risk sharing partners.


"Risk sharing partners" is largely a euphemism for the taxpayers of France and Germany, and to a lesser extent, Spain, and the UK.
 
rbavfan
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:58 am

dredgy wrote:
It wouldn’t be the biggest loss I think (though might be).

They’ve delivered 234 aircraft (plus more still to come)
Let’s assume that the program cost was $25bn which is unlikely.
25billion divided by 234 means they would have needed to sell each plane for an average of $107million to break even on the program.
The list price for an A380 was about $445m, so the $107m seems achievable - even conservative. I would be surprised iff they were selling all A380s for a quarter of list price - Emirates maybe got prices that low but nobody else surely.

Of course that’s a broadly simplistic view, but there’s a good chance Airbus haven’t actually lost any money on the program (though since their resources were tied up in it, lost opportunity could be argued).


The development cost have to have production cost added to get a real price anyway. You can't just post development cast to figure profit per unit.Especially a number thats been disputed for years.
 
lat41
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:57 am

aaexecplat wrote:
These threads are just all so sad. There are now 5+ threads open and more opening every few hours to mostly $hit on Airbus. Is all this really necessary? And very little facts are presented along the way. Mostly personal opinions, and in many cases provable falsehoods (some clearly intentional). It honestly doesn't speak highly of this community, it doesn't encourage participation and it just isn't much fun to hang around here anymore among all this hatred and animosity.

Thank You for your sensibility. Let's go way back for an example. The Lockheed Constellation L1649 Starliner, the Douglas DC7-C, The Bristol Brittania, The Boeing Stratocruiser were all viable, excellent aircraft in their day but were mistimed and their makers did not anticipate the changing market conditions or see ahead to impending aeronautical developments which would take these aircraft out of play earlier than expected. Does this invalidate them as stupid ideas or lousy planes? Of course not, yet it is strange to read some posters, whatever motives, doing the happy dance that production of the A380 is ending. The A380 did/is doing its job quite well. That it will have a shorter career or fewer sales is the way of the aeronautical world.
 
jetblueguy22
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:00 am

VV wrote:
Bongodog49 wrote:
The A380's ability to burn cash is minute compared to the Boeing 2707 SST, just remember that not a single SST flew, so there's not even a single airframe to allocate the cost to. Even Concorde had better economics with 14 production examples.
Yes the A380 is a classic case of getting carried away with the "mine's bigger than yours" attitude, but it has still produced a fair number of successful airframes. It certainly should never feature on a top 10 of disastrous airliners.


What does this even mean?

It was a poor attempt at trying to make Boeing look dumber than airbus.

Only problem is Boeing wasn’t dumb enough to build the damn thing, Airbus was.
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
Elementalism
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:15 am

N328KF wrote:
SEPilot wrote:
It may well rank as the biggest money losing commercial project of all time, period.


It may, but there are some very notable flops in contention: For example, the Intel Itanium product line, which costs tens of billions of dollars (not just Intel's money) and got nowhere in the marketplace. That's just in products. If you stretch the definition of "commercial project" to "investment" failures, there are quite a number of doozies (AOL Time Warner, for example.)



Ahh the ole Itanic.
 
Antarius
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 2:47 am

Elementalism wrote:
N328KF wrote:
SEPilot wrote:
It may well rank as the biggest money losing commercial project of all time, period.


It may, but there are some very notable flops in contention: For example, the Intel Itanium product line, which costs tens of billions of dollars (not just Intel's money) and got nowhere in the marketplace. That's just in products. If you stretch the definition of "commercial project" to "investment" failures, there are quite a number of doozies (AOL Time Warner, for example.)



Ahh the ole Itanic.


Nothing, IMO, tops HP spending billions on Autonomy.
2019: SIN HKG NRT DFW IAH HOU CLT LGA JFK SFO SJC EWR SNA EYW MIA BOG LAX ORD DTW OAK PVG BOS DCA IAD ATL LAS BIS CUN PHX OAK SYD MEL DEN BLR MAA DEL KTM YYZ MEX
 
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N328KF
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:02 am

Antarius wrote:
Elementalism wrote:
N328KF wrote:

It may, but there are some very notable flops in contention: For example, the Intel Itanium product line, which costs tens of billions of dollars (not just Intel's money) and got nowhere in the marketplace. That's just in products. If you stretch the definition of "commercial project" to "investment" failures, there are quite a number of doozies (AOL Time Warner, for example.)



Ahh the ole Itanic.


Nothing, IMO, tops HP spending billions on Autonomy.


Except for HP paying Intel billions, who between them and a few other partners, spent tens of billions on an architecture that was slower than the one it was intended to replace. Intel gets double points here for simultaneously pursuing NetBurst (itself a multi-billion dollar sinkhole) at the same time.
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
-Donny Miller
 
justloveplanes
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:07 am

777PHX wrote:
I'm not sure why this is considered a sad thing. Minus the costs involved in shutting down production, they're all sunk costs. With this move, Airbus can utilize those resources for something else more lucrative and the company and its shareholders will be better off for it.


Well, there may have been a bit of "go-fever" in the decision to build the A380, but there was logic to it.

A) Boeing had the top end all to itself.
B) Slot restriction did make some sense, just didn't turn out that way AB hoped.

So as AB, do you leave the top end all to Boeing? They almost had to do it for defending their market share, and in that regard, they had some success. The 77W was the biggest reason it didn't sell, same as the 748i, I don't think anyone saw that coming, including Boeing.

In retrospect as discussed in the other thread, it seems maybe the overwinged design was the critical mistake... who knows what would have happened if breakeven was 65 to 70 LF like a 77W.
 
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ssteve
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:18 am

It's kind of like the Edsel, or New Coke. It transcends talking about airplanes (it is a neat airplane after all) and jumps into the pantheon of spectacular business failures. And so does the 787 supply chain.
 
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N328KF
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:33 am

ssteve wrote:
It's kind of like the Edsel, or New Coke. It transcends talking about airplanes (it is a neat airplane after all) and jumps into the pantheon of spectacular business failures. And so does the 787 supply chain.


Edsel wasn’t half as bad as is reputed. Ford lost face, but much of the development and infrastructure went into the Ford Falcon and Mercury Comet, which became the baseline for several other important products, including the Mustang.
“In the age of information, ignorance is a choice.”
-Donny Miller
 
LAXLHR
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 3:50 am

Max Q wrote:
With development costs of over $25 Billion
the A380 must be the most expensive mistake ever undertaken by a civilian aircraft manufacturer, even more than the
787



The Concorde was cheap by comparison,
even in today’s dollars




Sad to see it go but it must be a painful
subject for Airbus


The A380 was not a mistake. Neither was the Concorde. The 787? lol. I can't even be bothered with this... Free energy up until the 1800s?
BA JM EA GK PA VS AA SN HP CO W7 WN NW DL QQ UA AC US LH LX OS JL QF QR PG MH CX U2 EK 9W UK TP VY VN PC LO OK OZ UL SQ LA

707 727 L10 732-NG 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 772 773 787 DC8 DC9 DC10 M80 M11 100 AB3 310 318 319 320 321 332 333 342 343 380
 
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kitplane01
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:49 am

LAXLHR wrote:

The A380 was not a mistake. Neither was the Concorde.


OMG please rethink.

The purpose of Airbus is (in large part) to make money. The A380 lost a zillion $$.
The other purpose of Airbus is to create economical travel systems. The A380 failed at this too.

What the heck do you think Airbus is *for*?

Do you think it's for European pride (then spend money making more Eiffel towers or CERN atom-smashers).
Do you think it's for job creation (then don't do loss making projects .. that reduces future employment.)
Do you think it's to improve technology (then spend more than 5% of Airbus revenue on R&D. Don't spend it making additional copies of loss making aircraft)

What goal can Airbus possibly have such that the A380 was the optimal way to achieve it?
 
ThomasCook
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:59 am

After observing this thread and many other A380 related posts not just in recent weeks but in general, it really shocks me about how much joy a large number of members are taking from seeing the A380 line close. Every opportunity some get, they will say the most ridiculously negative things about what is essentially a marvel of engineering and a truly inconic aircraft that should be celebrated and appreciated and truly deserving of a place in the aviation hall of fame. I’ve worked on the A380 for 10 years now, over 630 sectors, and let me tell you, I’m delighted everytime I step back onboard. I see the customers satisfaction and excitement about flying on it. I enjoy the incredible quietness, the smooth ride, the space, the ingenuity and its intelligence in cabin systems. The aircraft is very deserving of praise so I find it really quite sad to read ‘enthusiasts’ taking such joy in stating continually that the aircraft is ‘dead’, a ‘flop’, a ‘failiure’ etc etc. Why the negatively? If you want to talk about the A380s commercial success and viability, do it in a constructive manner rather than resorting to paltry terms to describe what has come to be with the announcement of the closure of the line.

I really hate this term but ‘fanboyism’ is truly rife on this forum from all angles and it is truly ridiculous to read the posts of so called enthusiasts adding nothing to worthy of reading to thread after thread of Boeing vs Airbus posts.

Seriously, if all you’re going to post are unconstructive statements or make up some fluff with nothing to back it up in order to big up your preferred manufacturer or vice versa, just don’t bother, I’m sure myself and others are very much bored of reading it. This forum was very different when I first joined. Now...well, you get the gist.
 
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hvusslax
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:31 am

kitplane01 wrote:
Do you think it's to improve technology (then spend more than 5% of Airbus revenue on R&D. Don't spend it making additional copies of loss making aircraft)


As far as I understand, the production of additional A380 frames has been cash positive for Airbus since 2015. The problem is that with the low production rate, there is little hope that R&D costs will ever be fully recouped.

People are being a bit dramatic about the whole thing. Airbus took a chance, they sunk a lot of money in R&D to build a brilliant machine. It wasn't what the market needed. That's business, you win some and lose some.
 
c933103
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:45 am

nikeherc wrote:
The A380 may be the biggest loss in current dollars, but it won't bring Airbus down. In aviation, the biggest disaster was the DC-8, which started Douglas on a downhill slide from which it never recovered. The DC-8 used up all of Douglas' cash flow impacted the efficiency of manufacture for the DC-9 and caused them to scrimp on the DC-10. The flub on the DC-8 caused the merger with McDonnell and made the most successful civil manufacturer into a basket case. The defense business kept McDonnell Douglas going for quite a few years, but when the feds decided that there were too many defense contractors after the A-12 fiasco McDonnell Douglas was beaten down to the point that the merger with Boeing was inevitable.

Was DC8 worse than what companies like BAC or Convair released back then? How about more recently things like IL96 or so?
This is a placeholder.
 
c933103
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation to date?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:52 am

ThomasCook wrote:
After observing this thread and many other A380 related posts not just in recent weeks but in general, it really shocks me about how much joy a large number of members are taking from seeing the A380 line close. Every opportunity some get, they will say the most ridiculously negative things about what is essentially a marvel of engineering and a truly inconic aircraft that should be celebrated and appreciated and truly deserving of a place in the aviation hall of fame. I’ve worked on the A380 for 10 years now, over 630 sectors, and let me tell you, I’m delighted everytime I step back onboard. I see the customers satisfaction and excitement about flying on it. I enjoy the incredible quietness, the smooth ride, the space, the ingenuity and its intelligence in cabin systems. The aircraft is very deserving of praise so I find it really quite sad to read ‘enthusiasts’ taking such joy in stating continually that the aircraft is ‘dead’, a ‘flop’, a ‘failiure’ etc etc. Why the negatively? If you want to talk about the A380s commercial success and viability, do it in a constructive manner rather than resorting to paltry terms to describe what has come to be with the announcement of the closure of the line.

I really hate this term but ‘fanboyism’ is truly rife on this forum from all angles and it is truly ridiculous to read the posts of so called enthusiasts adding nothing to worthy of reading to thread after thread of Boeing vs Airbus posts.

Seriously, if all you’re going to post are unconstructive statements or make up some fluff with nothing to back it up in order to big up your preferred manufacturer or vice versa, just don’t bother, I’m sure myself and others are very much bored of reading it. This forum was very different when I first joined. Now...well, you get the gist.

I think the behavior cannot be explained by merely "fanboyism". To me, it seems like there are some individuals who think the success of others (companies/countries/etc) are unwarranted, and that what appears to be the achievement of others must be supported by something breaking the rules in their eyes. Only that can explain why they're so cheerful about something that doesn't go right at other places, as they think anything who're superior to what themselves support must have gained unfair advantages somewhere like ignoring business case or whatever, and those things that go wrong so that only those products/companies they support are the one true way of making a product and others cannot surpass them. You can see these comments about Airbus, you can see these comments about Bombardier, and you can see these comments about Norwegian.
This is a placeholder.
 
TTailedTiger
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Re: A380 Biggest manufacturing loss in civil aviation ?

Sat Feb 16, 2019 6:56 am

slider wrote:
the reality of it is, yes, it probably is the losingest commercial aircraft program in history.

But that means little. Hey, Airbus swang for the fences and I can't blame them for that. Given the usual rancor on this board about A vs B and the A380 in general, I think we'll have a better postmortem only through the lens of time.

I mentioned yesterday that perhaps it was just ahead of its time; this may still be the case, we'll see. If I were Airbus, I wouldn't trash the tooling and jigs.


It was simply arrogance. Airbus laughed at Boeing, a company with far more experience building aircraft and a lot more historical data, and proceeded to build an aircraft that wasn't needed in anywhere near the numbers they predicted.

What's worse is that Boeing made the correct predictions but the 787 nearly did Boeing in. If they hadn't been pumping out 737's they would have likely gone under. Airbus took out government loans and now they don't even have to pay them back.

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