Re: thoughts on the A330

From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
Date:         03 Sep 95 20:45:39 
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>Do not forget that Boeing has now also learned about international "I'll
>rub your back if you rub my back". While the 777 may have the USA flag
>stamped with pride all over it, you should open its hood and look at all
>the counties that have participated in its development.

Yep, just as you'll also see many parts made outside the US in the
767, 757, and at least current versions of the 747 and 737.

>Like it or not, politics are part of "good business" today. the USA
>industries refused to admit this until they woke up and saw that Airbus
>had suddently captured a fair size of the market.

Rubbish, as usual.  From Legend and Legacy, p. 391,, Robert Serling's
excellent history of Boeing:

    The 767 was the first Boeing transport to have a truly "interna-
    tional" flavor.  About 50 Japanese engineers were involved in the
    design process, for Beoing ahd agreed to let Japan play a major
    subcontracting role; such an arrangement had worked out well with
    the 747SP.  Mitsibishi had built the SP's inboard flaps, Kawasaki
    the outboard flaps, and Fuji the vertical rudder.  Those three
    companies were given the job of manufacturing the entire 767
    fuselage with the exception of Section 41 - the cockpit.

You might somehow quibble that the foreign 747SP parts weren't very
significant contributions, or that the small number of SP sales was
not enough for this foreign contribution to amount to much, but you
would be very hard pressed to convince me that the entire fuselage
of the 767 is not a major contribution.  The 767's launch order was
placed in July of 1978, nearly two decades ago and long before Airbus
"had suddently captured a fair size (sic) of the market."  At that
time, Airbus' only offering was the A300, though the A310 was on the

Airbus certainly encouraged Boeing's inclusion of sigzable foreign
manufacturing (and engineering) on the 767 project by highlighting
the political forces, but it was a very young Airbus, one which had
not yet reached 70 deliveries, never mind a sizable market share.

>You'll notice that with the 777, Boeing finally stopped protecting itself
>by crying foul over what they see as direct subsidies to Airbus and finally
>started to compete against Airbus on features (our FBW is better than
>yours etc)

More nonsense.  In the late 1970s, Boeing was putting the 767 up
against the A310.  Fuel consumption was a major issue, and Boeing
claimed the 767 would beat the A310, and in TWA's case backed up
that claim with a penalty clause if the 767 wasn't better -- and
a bonus if it was.  TWA bought the guaranteed more fuel efficient
aircraft, and ended up paying Boeing bonus money.  Whether or not
Boeing made any claims of foul at the time, they sold TWA the 767
on technical features, not politics.

Operating costs (of which fuel costs were an exceptionally large part
during the 1970s) were a major concern for United, too.  Politics were
not -- United management had prepared their board of directors for
buying a foreign airplane if that were the technical and financial
decision.  United bought the Boeing based on features, plus financing,
not politics, and by and large that's how Boeing competed.

Karl Swartz	|Home
Moderator of sci.aeronautics.airliners -- Unix/network work pays the bills