Airbus (continued)

A letter commenting on a comment on the latest Airbus article:

The premise of this comment, "Airbus: a note of caution" I think is well understood by many in the aerospace industry, but the analysis of the situation which was presented was very short sighted.  One that only reads the journalism being published will think that Boeing's success is only based off the new design of the 787, but that is not where the company is making all of its money. 

Looking up the current orders list, one will find that the company's 737 model is by far the company's best seller.  The 737 has more orders this year than all other Boeing aircraft models combined. 

Another good seller is the 777.  This model was Boeing offering that was developed around 10 years back, but has continually been improved and is the reason the Airbus A340 has had low sales to date.  As we can see by looking at a larger picture, the 787 is only part of the success at Boeing. 

The same could be said for Airbus in the sense that the A380 and A350 are not the high volume airplanes that keep the company afloat, though the current difference between Boeing and Airbus is that Airbus has 2 designs that are floundering in the market.  Both the A380 and the A350 have yet to produce the anticipated order numbers.  This is the real story with the A380; there are very limited numbers of sales, now compounded with the possibility of the loss of orders due to project delays and a Boeing competitor with the extended 747.

Another short sighted idea presented in this article was the supposed fact that the Beech Aircraft Starship (Beech Aircraft now owned by Ratheon) was the last certified aircraft with a composite wing/fuselage combination.  This is not true at all.  There have been 2 aircraft models introduced in the general aviation market that have been fully certified; the Lancair Columbia and the Cirrus SR20/22 models. 

Futhermore, the Starship was the first all composite airframe ever certified by the FAA as well as the first Glass cockpit (meaning that it had very complex subsystems for the time).  Due to this fact, the Starship was required to have higher margins of safety than was the industry standard.  This resulted in a redesign and increase in weight. 

Since then Ratheon has designed the Primer business jet which features a Composite fuselage.  Also in the business market, the Adams A500 has been certified and its jet powered derivative, the A700, is in the certification process.  There are many other aircraft that are full composite airframes and are either certified or are in the late phases of the certification process.  Hence the mention that the Starship was the last composite airframe that was built and certified is an invalid statement.

The point of this story is a legitimate concern for those that are following the developments in the airline industry, but the supportive evidence was completely inaccurate and shown in some cases to be false.

Adam M Carlson    6 23 06

A letter commenting on a comment on the latest Airbus article:

The premise of this comment, "Airbus: a note of caution" I think is well understood by many in the aerospace industry, but the analysis of the situation which was presented was very short sighted.  One that only reads the journalism being published will think that Boeing's success is only based off the new design of the 787, but that is not where the company is making all of its money. 

Looking up the current orders list, one will find that the company's 737 model is by far the company's best seller.  The 737 has more orders this year than all other Boeing aircraft models combined. 

Another good seller is the 777.  This model was Boeing offering that was developed around 10 years back, but has continually been improved and is the reason the Airbus A340 has had low sales to date.  As we can see by looking at a larger picture, the 787 is only part of the success at Boeing. 

The same could be said for Airbus in the sense that the A380 and A350 are not the high volume airplanes that keep the company afloat, though the current difference between Boeing and Airbus is that Airbus has 2 designs that are floundering in the market.  Both the A380 and the A350 have yet to produce the anticipated order numbers.  This is the real story with the A380; there are very limited numbers of sales, now compounded with the possibility of the loss of orders due to project delays and a Boeing competitor with the extended 747.

Another short sighted idea presented in this article was the supposed fact that the Beech Aircraft Starship (Beech Aircraft now owned by Ratheon) was the last certified aircraft with a composite wing/fuselage combination.  This is not true at all.  There have been 2 aircraft models introduced in the general aviation market that have been fully certified; the Lancair Columbia and the Cirrus SR20/22 models. 

Futhermore, the Starship was the first all composite airframe ever certified by the FAA as well as the first Glass cockpit (meaning that it had very complex subsystems for the time).  Due to this fact, the Starship was required to have higher margins of safety than was the industry standard.  This resulted in a redesign and increase in weight. 

Since then Ratheon has designed the Primer business jet which features a Composite fuselage.  Also in the business market, the Adams A500 has been certified and its jet powered derivative, the A700, is in the certification process.  There are many other aircraft that are full composite airframes and are either certified or are in the late phases of the certification process.  Hence the mention that the Starship was the last composite airframe that was built and certified is an invalid statement.

The point of this story is a legitimate concern for those that are following the developments in the airline industry, but the supportive evidence was completely inaccurate and shown in some cases to be false.

Adam M Carlson    6 23 06