The Economist gets Vicious

From the Department of Oww:

The super-super-jumbo Airbus 380 makes its maiden voyage to New York’s JFK airport today, in the hopes that the sight of its awesome mass landing on American tarmac will cause US airlines to overlook the plane’s massive production problems and delays.  Meanwhile, China is announcing that it wants to lose money on a national champion airframe manufacturer too.  Time for a seminar on minimum efficient scales?

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10 Comments

  1. Makes sense, honestly, for China to build their own. That way they can steer the contracts to their friends, make lots of money, and if it starts failing either socialize it or assign it to a political enemy. Take as directed for internal use only. 🙂

    Although, honestly, they do have enough competant engineers; the question is do they have sufficiently non-corrupt managers?

    Reply
  2. Happycrow

     /  March 20, 2007

    That’s kind of what the Economist said… “losing money” is an inevitability: there aren’t enough customers for flagship aircraft of that scale any more… not unless they’re exploiting one heck of a niche.

    Reply
  3. Happycrow

     /  March 20, 2007

    (one not defined as “aging Tupelov”)

    Reply
  4. blackpine

     /  March 20, 2007

    Strategic industry. They want a work horse to allow them to build their own aircraft in a complete cycle instead of glomming someone else’s designs and riding them like a pretty pony into the sunset of obsolescence. How long did they hold onto the Mig 21?

    Reply
  5. happycrow

     /  March 20, 2007

    Yes, but this is the country that recently admitted failure in designing its own car… you really think they’re going to come up with a competitive airplane?

    Nope.

    But then, competitive is a null term, ain’t it?
    How ya been, dude? We missed ya.

    Reply
  6. Mike

     /  March 22, 2007

    The guys who make the AIRBUS would have done better focusing more on their Tanker plane. Its the only serious competitor to the Boeing model to Replace the KC-135. This will be a HUGE contract for whomever gets it, the USAF entire Tanker fleet needs to be replaced over the next 5 to 7 years and Boeing and Airbus/whoever makes it are the only 2 in the running. Airbus’s version is more expensive but carries more and has a slightly longer range. Boeing is more reliable (based on there most successful medium sized airliners), cheaper and the parts are already being built so quicker fielding and easier to repair.

    This will be the biggest airplane contract this decade other than the F-35.

    Reply
  7. happycrow

     /  March 22, 2007

    Yeah, and every time I hear some uneducated hippy NPR caller talking about how we don’t need the F-22 and F-35, I just want to reach through the radio and smack them in the mouth with a mailed gauntlet… why DON’T we need a fighter than can go 6-to-1 against the enemy’s best air units and win? It’s not like our entire military machine is oriented towards possessing air superiority, after all…

    ::rolls eyes::

    Reply
  8. Mike

     /  March 23, 2007

    Yeah. I can’t stand people who don’t get the Military/Industrial Complex correctly. I.E. the military will make things that the civilian economy can use (medicine, vehicles, inventions, the INTERNET, etc), and Industry will make things the military can use (also vehicles, clothing, materials technology, electronics (big one there)), everyone is getting stuff and keeping everyone employed and the country is kept strong and safe. Do we really need a new jetliner? No. Should we keep working on one? Yes, building aircraft is a strategic industry that has much more to it than just “weapons” such as material technology, avionics, electronics, rescue equipment, etc. Never mind the jobs it provides and the other industries it helps out.

    But Boeing remembers the key rule: Strategic or not, you can’t produce crap. You have to be workable and somewhat affordable.

    Reply
  9. Yes, because all strategic crapping does is spread crap across large areas…

    Reply
  10. Mike

     /  March 23, 2007

    Yes, just ask the many users of the MIG 21…

    Reply

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