Airliner Crashes Before Takeoff

Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Tens of millions of Americans were impressed at a very early age with the story of The Little Engine That Could in one of its many iterations. There is something intrinsically American in the phrase "I Think I Can" that has resonated with four generations over the past hundred years. After all, if you think you can't, you won't.

Will the huge jobs program known as the Airbus A380 be enshrined in the European consciousness as "The Great Big Plane That Couldn't"? One might note that Telegraph article is totally focused on potential job loss rather upon any analysis of the systemic planning failure (a hallmark of socialist governance) which is the central cause of the disaster. There is a bit of analysis of the 'beggar thy neighbor' fight to maintain job levels rather than to seek the lowest cost for any part or assemblage and there is just a whiff of the 'we're all responsible so no one in particular should be singled out for blame' that is so well beloved by socialists.

Will the EU make it to the NIE estimate of 2020 prior to collapsing? Possibly, for as Adam Smith noted a little while ago "There is much ruin in a nation". How much more so there must be in an ill conceived agglomeration of nations afflicted with systemic progressive rot.

It is little wonder that Europe and America's progressives share the same demographic tendencies. Nature is very unkind to losers without the will to even strive.


Skookumchuk said...

Ah, socialism. Boeing's 787 is a kind of Pacific Rim Airbus-type effort in that the aircraft is truly a joint effort among US, Japanese, Australian and some European firms. But that is where the similarity to Airbus begins and ends.

Now, up here in Boeing Land, the few engineers I know say the A380 case also appears to them as a classic case of "let's sell it before we finish engineering it" and that this fate is always a possibility for any program of this type.

However, in addition to the usual socialist nonsense I detect the old Gaullist folie de grandeur thing at work here where everything has to be the biggest and the fastest. Shades of Concorde.

Barry Dauphin said...

Wait a minute. I thought we are supposed to have high paying jobs for everybody, gov't sponsored price controls so that nothing we buy is too expensive, free education, healthcare and retirement, an infintie supply of resources that are completely friendly to any and all environments, and gov't sponsored sex on demand. You mean we can't?

Skookumchuk said...


Yeah, socialism as opposed to this for example.

This is enough to make Hillary's head swivel 360 degrees.

Knucklehead said...

They'll shift and dillute blame for the engineering and production problems. In other words they won't blame themselves or their systems.

But they know already and to the very core of their being where the real blame lies - savage, Yankee-style capitalism. If we were weren't such savages our gummints would have negotiated the market split and when the A380 ran into trouble a corresponding delay would have developed at Boeing to keep the keep the marketplace managed and sustainable.

It just pains me to read that the French government is throwing money at the problem. I bleed for the poor dears. Now we'll see if the Germans are also willing to do so.

David Thomson said...

The first rule of the free enterprise system is this: you must focus on satisfying the needs and desires of your potential customers. Keeping one’s workers gainfully employed can never be a goal---only an indirect result. This whole Airbus A380 enterprise seemed to be primarily a job creations project. That is analogous to playing basketball with both your hands tied behind your back.

Morgan said...

Airbus is in trouble. What I find astonishing is how quickly this has happened. Two years ago it was Boeing that was in trouble. Now the A380 is probably a third over budget (and there were already rumors that the price was being slashed to encourage buyers - what does that combination do to breakeven?) and two years behind schedule. Emirates airline, the biggest customer for the A380, is "considering its options" (so is Virgin), and orders had already stalled.

Orders for the A350 are miniscule - buyers see it as simply uncompetitive with the 787 - forcing a multi-billion dollar redesign.

Politics have so thoroughly infused Airbus that it can no longer change its operations to allow it to remain profitable. Apparently its purpose now is to provide high-paying manufacturing jobs and national prestige. Profit is secondary.

Meanwhile, if Boeing can pull off the 787 without similar major problems (not a sure thing, by any means), it is looking at leadership in the industry for the forseeable future. For a while, it might be the only company capable of building the next generation of planes.

Not that Airbus will go away. By sucking up capital from the European economy it increases unemployment and lowers national prestige, thereby making itself even more vital.