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Airbus and Boeing - new fight looms

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posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 06:13 AM
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The two old adversaries are set to lock horns yet again, this time over certification of the 747-8. The argument centres on Boeings intention to certify the new model with an amendment to the 747-400 type certificate. Here are the two opposing views as they stand so far;

AIRBUS

The Airbus viewpoint, as voiced by John Leahy, is that the 747-8 should have to obtain a new type certificate all of its own. The reasoning behind this is that the 747-400 was only certificated with an amendment to the original 747-100 type certificate and that model was launched over forty years ago.

The point being that safety requirements for new types have evolved so much since then that the 747 fuselage does not comply with the same fatigue and structural failure tolerances and evacuation requirements that the A380 had to meet in order to get its own type certificate. In the case of evacuations it is argued that passengers must have exit doors available in both directions whereas the forward passengers in a 747 only have doors aft of them. Meeting these requirements would require a fairly major and expensive redesign of the fuselage.

BOEING

When contacted by Flight Boeing were 'unavailable for comment' but their previous statement on the subject points out that there are no significant changes from the 747-400 (which is not what the press ads have been saying) and so no new type certificate is required.

In conclusion, although Airbus clearly thinks it has sniffed out a way of slowing the competition down a bit, I must say I will be less than impressed if Boeing are seeking to avoid safety regulations on a technicality, effectively 'hiding' behind the fact that it meets 1966 standards. This is not something one would expect of them and it does appear tantamount to admitting that the 747 is not up to the modern standards that the A380 meets. Furthermore it would appear an admission that it is both structurally less sound than it should be and that it is harder to get out of in an emergency if you are near the front.

Opinions?




posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 06:20 AM
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If the 747-8 is a big change from the 747-400 and the certification that has been granted to it, then the 747-8 should be subject to re-certification.

Of course, I can see Airbus's point of view and it they can cast any doubt that must help sales.

Who decided on this? FAA??



posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 06:28 AM
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The FAA takes the lead in respect of aircraft produced in the USA, but EASA requirements also have to be taken into account, especially with the launch customer for the 747-8I being Lufthansa. This was the same for the A380 where both EASA and FAA certification rules had to be satisfied. Neither organisation has yet decided what Boeing will be required to do.



posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 06:32 AM
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And you can see why Airbus wants to sow some doubt on this. One of the biggest carriers in Europe is looking at Boeing and not Airbus.

Or are we heading to another trade battle with the FAA saying not needed and EASA saying yes it needs re-certification



posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 06:48 AM
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No, I don't think thats the case, the FAA and EASA aren't concerned with trade considerations, Lufthansa has already bought the A380 too and considers the two aircraft as complementary rather than rivals, so its not the case that they have turned away from Airbus. BA is likewise considering whether to choose one type or buy both. Airbus had been planning a smaller twinjet version of the A380 that would have directly competed with the 747-8I and larger 777 models but it was abandoned some time ago, only the stretched A380-900 remains on the drawing board for the moment.

Having said that, what with all the delays the A380 has suffered Airbus will pick up any stick they can find to try and hit Boeing with.

[edit on 23-1-2007 by waynos]



posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 02:06 PM
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I had mentined this in a blurb a while back regarding the wing size on the -8 variant.

Boeing will have to belly up tot he table if it is in the same class as the A380 in terms of size and deal with certifing it.

Also in regrads to what Waynos indicated, the 747-8 is not designed to go head to head with the A380. It will never have enough seat to compete directly with it. However it slots nicely into the small gap between the A380 and the A340-500/600 and the 777-300ER etc. Luftansa is looking for aircraft that fill that slot. ALso, I think Boeing really had eyes on the Freighter segment for the new plane and any passanger aircraft sales that take away 1 from the A380 is also gravy.



posted on Jan, 23 2007 @ 04:11 PM
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I am shocked, shocked! to think politics could enter into the certification process!

As far as being competitor aircraft, there are distictions but similarities as well, and don't doubt that they are being sold to customers with the same need requirements.


www.ft.com...



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 10:52 AM
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Originally posted by waynos

In conclusion, although Airbus clearly thinks it has sniffed out a way of slowing the competition down a bit, I must say I will be less than impressed if Boeing are seeking to avoid safety regulations on a technicality, effectively 'hiding' behind the fact that it meets 1966 standards. This is not something one would expect of them and it does appear tantamount to admitting that the 747 is not up to the modern standards that the A380 meets. Furthermore it would appear an admission that it is both structurally less sound than it should be and that it is harder to get out of in an emergency if you are near the front.

Opinions?


I agree that Boeings attempt to sidestep cert requirements to gain a business advantage is extremely unadmirable, however I don't think this will result in puting a structurally unsound air frame into service. I think the 747 airframe has proven itself.



posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 08:22 PM
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Honestly this is just what Airbus doesn't need. After the recent beating Airbus has taken in the market place coupled with the departure of BAE(throwing off the who owns what % balance)from the company. Not to mention the abismal mismanagement of the A380 many industry insiders are believe its only a matter of time before Airbus is nationalized(which I'm sure won't be pretty). Which would be a total disaster for Airbus and the aerospace industry as a whole.

The appearence of Airbus taking shelter behind protectionist measures. That delay the delivery of a rival's aircraft at the expense of not only Boeing but also the airlines(which are your costumers as well)might have future consequences when dealing with the airlines affected. Of course I am simply theorizing on that thought(but you never know).

Oh and one question does this also have to do with time of departure rules(how long an aircraft has to wait before it can take off after the one before it). I know that Airbus originally wanted the A380 to be given the same parameters as the 747-400(despite the A380 being considerably larger).


kix

posted on Jan, 24 2007 @ 10:33 PM
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Airbus has orders for aircraft till 2011, it is estimated that they have around 195 billion on the order and signed orders.... EADS wont be nationalized anytime soon.

If there is further hikes to the price of oil, I bet Airbus will sell more than the 250 estimated to 2012 they anticipated....

The reason Boeing is making a bigger 747 is enough proof that there is need for bigger loads and bigger planes....

The wake turbulence of the A380 is bigger than the 747 but has been estimated at 95 seconds, If the MTOW of the 748 is big enugh they will also have to change the timing due to wake turbulence (separation).



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 02:37 AM
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Dark blue sky, I agree that the 747 is perfectly sound and has proved itself over many years, as you say. I think its more of a perception issue and that it looks bad if Boeing are unwilling to submit the new model to safety standards that the Airbus has already been proven to meet. This hands the moral initiative to Airbus who can claim to be investing more attention to passenger safety than their rival. Maybe Boeing should bite the bullet and remove any grounds for this type of claim? I am certain that they can if they want. Of course if the FAA decides that is what must be done anyway that will be an end to the matter.

Danwild, I don't get the reference to Airbus hiding behind protectionist measures? These are passenger safety standards that are universal, not European trade protection. THe disagreement is whether the 747-8 should be classed as a 21st century airframe or a 1960's one, which would you prefer, as a passenger?



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 07:47 AM
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In other news, GE have been granted permission by the FAA to conduct what amounts to a reduced energy bladeoff test on their new GEnx engines for the 787.

GE will conduct the tests by detatching the blade further out from the blade root than historically allowed - right at the blade root.

This will result in a lower weight blade part taking part in the test, and thus a reduced energy test.

Flight International Article



posted on Jan, 25 2007 @ 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by kix
Airbus has orders for aircraft till 2011, it is estimated that they have around 195 billion on the order and signed orders.... EADS wont be nationalized anytime soon.


True however, its not like the past year's debacles won't affect future orders even those already under contract. The future competitiveness of Airbus is not certain from my POV. Boeings orders for the 787 and now the 747-8 are securing valuable sustained future market share. And even though you are correct Airbus is going to be pretty busy until 2011 I highly(and hopefully)doubt that EADS's share holders will let the clock run down before taking action.


Originally posted by kix
If there is further hikes to the price of oil, I bet Airbus will sell more than the 250 estimated to 2012 they anticipated....


A future oil price spike will hit both Airbus and Boeing hard. Why because as the price of fuel rises so of course does the cost of flying. That inevitably leads to less people flying and thus less airline orders all around. remember this little fact there is only one type of company that benefits from high oil prices. A few examples are ExxonMobil, BP, Texaco, Shell. Everyone else from Airbus and Boeing in aerospace to Ford, GM and Daimler-Chrysler in automotive to Mcdonalds in fast food won't benefit.


Originally posted by kix
The reason Boeing is making a bigger 747 is enough proof that there is need for bigger loads and bigger planes....


Absolutely... Boeing has already admitted that the superjumbo market is about twice the size they originally predicted. that is why we now have the 747-8 in addition to the A380.


Originally posted by kix
The wake turbulence of the A380 is bigger than the 747 but has been estimated at 95 seconds, If the MTOW of the 748 is big enugh they will also have to change the timing due to wake turbulence (separation).


Yeah but thats not my main concern if Boeing has to redesign the fuselage for the 747-8 it will have a nasty affect on the estimated delivery schedule.



[edit on 25-1-2007 by danwild6]



posted on Jan, 27 2007 @ 04:15 AM
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Yeah but thats not my main concern if Boeing has to redesign the fuselage for the 747-8 it will have a nasty affect on the estimated delivery schedule.


Yes, thats it in a nutshell. Let nobody kid themselves that Airbus suddenly has some altruistic concern on passenger safety in rival aircraft. The uncomfortable thing for Boeing is that Airbus actually has a very good point.







 
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