The Sporty Game -- Boeing 757

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works
Date:         Tue, 24 Nov 1992 11:50:42 GMT
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In article <airliners.1992.15@ohare.Chicago.COM> Christopher Davis <ckd@eff.org> writes:
>Karl> == Karl Swartz <kls@ohare.Chicago.COM> 

> Karl> Probably the best general interest discussion of the DC-10 and
> Karl> all its problems is in The Sporty Game, by John Newhouse (Alfred
> Karl> A. Knopf, New York, 1982).

>_The Sporty Game_ tends to show its age in other areas as well; the dire
>predictions of market failure for the 747, 757, and 767 have not quite
>been borne out by intervening events :)

The 757 was doing rather weakly for quite a while, however.  The huge
orders in the past few years from American, United, and United Parcel
have contributed mightily to the 757's success.

I recently re-read this book and one thing I found fascinating was the
discussion of the 757 and how it was the wrong aircraft -- it should
have had about 30 fewer seats, which is what everyone wanted.  Everone
except British Airways, that is, and Boeing wanted desperately to sell
to BA in the hopes of keeping the UK out of Airbus.  They won the
battle, as it were, but lost the war.  In more ways than one, since
not only did the UK link up with Airbus (despite BA's purchase of the
757) but Boeing was left without a well-positioned replacement for the
727 ... and Airbus *did* develop one, in the form of the A-320.

All of this was particularly interesting as I was reading it right as
United announced their A-320 order, rejecting Boeing's offerings as
either too big (the 757) or inadequate on a variety of counts (the
737-400) for the intended job of replacing the 727-200.  Fascinating
to see how decisions made 15 years ago are still so clearly relected
in today's market.

I'm *still* surprised that Boeing hasn't made much noise (maybe none)
about plugging this obvious hole by offering a 757-100 or whatever --
a shortened 757 like the original proposal and a real replacement for
the 727-200.  Even with United it never seemed to come up, instead all
the discussion focussing on a massively stretched and pulled and re-
designed 737-600.  True, a 757 is more expensive (~ $45 million versus
$30 - 35 million) but the changes embodied in the 737-600 would surely
have added tremendously to the price.

-- 
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