Re: What's in a model number? (MD-95 Structural Specs)

From:         news@goodnet.com (News Administrator)
Organization: GoodNet
Date:         04 Dec 95 01:14:53 
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In article <airliners.1995.1853@ohare.Chicago.COM>, Don.Stokes@vuw.ac.nz
says...
>Is there enough in common (avionics etc) to swing a decision
>from running a mixed fleet?

Generally speaking, the answer is "YES". But, of course, it's more
complicated than that.

Buying from one manufacturer ensures a common "philosophy" of design of
aircraft subsystems and a single way of cataloging parts, arranging
drawings, performing maintenance procedures, etc. Sub-system spare parts
commonality also helps.

Speaking "big business", however, you don't want to put yourself in a
"hostage" situation where the manufacturer has you over a barrel. Small
airlines often feel they have this problem. Whether or not it's just a
perceived problem or a real one, well, who knows. I suspect that if you
operate an all Boeing fleet, Boeing sales knows you probably don't want
to throw an odd type into the mix and so may feel they are in a stronger
bargaining position.

On the other hand, if your airline is big enough, you can order what you
want (witness Southwest and United here in the states).

But market forces also may force an airline's hand. A few years back,
America West was looking to increase capacity. They were flying 737's
(-100, -200, -300) and 757's. The 757 was bigger than was needed so it
looked like the then new 737-400 would fit the bill. The only problem was
the 737 production line was backed up for a couple of years and -400's
would be a long wait.

Lo and behold, Guiness Peat had 16 A320's sitting in the desert (ex-Braniff
II and originally ordered by Pan Am) that were just the right size. A deal
was struck and spare parts and training be damned, the A320 entered the
HP fleet.

See? Never simple.

Cheers!

JD