Re: A3XX vs B747-600 (was: Airbus lawsuit coming?)

Date:         08 Dec 96 04:12:30 
From: (Michael Jennings)
Organization: University of Cambridge DAMTP
References:   1 2 3 4
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In article <airliners.1996.2498@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
Stefano Pagiola  <> wrote:
>RD Rick wrote:
>> There may be more A320's built than Comets, but the A320 may still have
>> a worse accident record, which at one time was the worst since the
>> beginning of the jet age.
>Worse by what criteria?  There have been 4 A320 hull losses (AF, Indian,
>IT, Lufthansa) out of 600-some built so far.  There were also at least 4
>Comet hull losses (the 2 in-flight disintegrations, plus landing accidents
>at Karachi and Rome), out of a much smaller number built.  More passengers
>may have died, but normalize by passengers carried and that's no longer
>true.  Besides, more passengers have died on 737s and 747s too, although
>again once you normalize that may no longer be true.  The A320 may well
>have the worst record among new-generation aircraft, but claiming it has
>the worst record "since the beginning of the jet age" is nonsense unless
>you use some really bizarre criterion.

	The situation has undoubtedly improved, anyway. There were
several hull-losses shortly after the aircraft went into service,
when the total number of aircraft in service was small and when
the total number of passenger miles carried by the type was small.
The fleet is now a lot bigger and significantly older, so the number
of passenger miles per hull loss must have increased enormously.
I am far less worried by the A320 from a safety perspective than
I was.

Michael Jennings
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
The University of Cambridge.