AirBusted

Tuesday, November 07, 2006
The EU jobs program known as the AirBus 380 suffered a setback today when FedEx canceled an order for 10 planes and shifted to the Boeing 777. FedEx even upped the order to 15 for the Boeing plane.

The shrewd managers of the AirBus fiasco knocked 2,500 vendors from its supplier list of 3,000 for the 380.

Three thousand vendors! The miracle of central planning in action.

13 comments:

Knucklehead said...

One has to wonder how many vendors were "dropped" and how many walked away to start searching out other customers who might actually buy something from them sometime soon. It ain't easy working with a buyer who drops another one year delay on you every six months or so.

BTW, and completely OT, but it was so odd (to me anyway) that I can't help mentioning it. I just picked up the ringing phone and listened to a canned message from Joe Piscopo, urging me to get out and vote, then telling me that he's a Dem but is voting for Kean.

Nice to know I have more in common with the guy than just wiseguy good looks and a snappy sense of humor!

David Thomson said...

Another nail in the coffin of the EU. The situation is getting desperate. Time for those desiring a hopeful future to be heading for the exits.

Skookumchuk said...

I count 48 "top tier" vendors in the 787 program. Of course, there are subs under each of them, but are there 3,000? Tough to say.

Now, the 787 isn't quite out of the woods yet. The local airplane geeks here in Boeingland say there may still be unknowns regarding the behavior of composites - in both the A380 and the 787. And the 787 is also just a bit overweight, which must be corrected but which is often the case at this point in a complex program. The new Lockheed-Martin F35 fighter had to go on a diet before it reached production, too. But all this should happen and be corrected in the design phase. In contrast, the A380 is fully designed and flying, which makes retroactive design to lose the weight and all the testing of new structures much more complex and expensive. You never know, but the lights are pretty much all green for Boeing at the moment.

Sidelight. At Paine Field where they assemble the 787, there is an aviation museum where they have among other things a restored de Havilland Comet. Paine Field is also home to Stormbirds - which is restoring three Messerschmitt Me262s to flying condition.

John Lynch said...

Rick,

Many corporations have thousands, even tens of thousands of "approved vendors." Trimming the roles from time to time is a favorite move of purchasing managers in the pursuit of visibly "getting costs under control." Of course, individualistic managers soon begin adding their favorites back to the roles as soon as the purge is done.

Still the cancelation, and the booking with Boeing, that's gotta smart!

Rick Ballard said...

John,

The cut from 3,000 to 500 must indicate something, no?

Knucklehead said...

Skook,

Haven't passed it in many years... (18, 20?) but back then there was a military airfield of some sort in the Doylestown, PA area that kept an Me262 on display just inside a fence near where I had to make a turn when I went there. I used to stop and park.

That darned thing is STILL a beautiful airplane. What on earth made the Germans think hooking up with the Phwench for aircraft design was a good idea?

Knucklehead said...

Skook,

I'll be a monkey's uncle! From Air & Space Stormbird article:

Hammer and his team took over the Me 262 project in late 1998, and their the first task was to finish Vera, a derelict Me 262 that Steve Snyder had found sitting outside the Willow Grove Naval Air Station near Philadelphia.

That's the bird I was talkin' 'bout! I used to sit there as long as I could just admiring that thing. Some nutbar took it and made it fly again.

Skookumchuk said...

Knuck:

Wow. And now I've seen one of them fly over my house.

Les grenouilles have made some attractive looking aircraft from time to time. I didn't say anything about their being the acme of reliability...

I know there is a Sud Caravelle parked at the Pima museum in Arizona. Quite pretty .

All that is rather beside the point. Nothing like the dead hand of statism - imagine the US Postal Service designing airliners. Same deal as Airbus.

Pastorius said...

As sad as this is, in a way it is a good thing. It is a blow against the French unions and against the French political establishment. It paves the way for more conservative leadership in the future.

Knucklehead said...

Well, as long as we're admiring aircraft that were and never will be...

On the deck of the USS Intrepid (which, BTW, is stuck in the mud and going nowhere fast - it was supposed to go to spa), there's an example of the Most Beautiful Plane Ever.

Skookumchuk said...

Knuck:

I'll have you know that when they came out with the first plastic model of the SR-71, I built it and it was placed in the hobby shop window, where it remained for many years. Ah, youthful fame is a heady thing...

Luther McLeod said...

Knuck, just for the record, I agree with you on your "most beautiful airplane" selection. An airplane that looks like what it is, the fastest 'real' aircraft to ever fly. If you are ever near Lincoln NE, there is the;

Strategic Air and Space Museum"

about 25 miles east. Many great airplanes, B-29?, B-36, B-47, B-58...
and the SR-71 hanging off the ceiling.

The only comment I will make about Boeing and Airbus. I had the opportunity to work on both. I'm just reminded of the difference between a German tank and a Russian tank. They both do the job, but one is so much more elegant than the other. The European engineering had me cussing more than a few times.

Luther McLeod said...

Upon reflection I realize my analogy of German and Russian tanks makes no sense without substantial explantory text. Instead of that, I am heading off to 'result's of election land'.