Re: Subsidies ...

From: (Jim Tilbey)
Date:         29 Feb 96 02:04:12 
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In message <airliners.1996.160@ohare.Chicago.COM> (Robert Dorsett) writes:

> One thing the Europeans never were very good at, though, was selling
> airliners.  The Comet flopped.  The Trident was sunk by the 727 (on the
> 727's own merits).  The Caravelle never really sold well.  What was
> really going on in the late 1960s was a bad case of airliner envy.

The problem has never really been the ability to sell airliners, it
was more a problem of making a product to sell. While Boeing et al
were producing mass market airliners with worldwide appeal here in
Britain the industry was making aircraft to individual airline
specifications. The Trident was an aircraft that was well ahead of
its time with cruise speeds and autoland capabilities that most of
todays modern airliners find hard to beat. This was great for BEA who
got everything they wanted and the aircraft served them well for 20
years in weather conditions you only seem to find on a regular basis
in Northern Europe. Unfortunately BEA's needs did not mirror other
airlines needs and the aircraft hardly sold outside Britain. The VC10
suffered a similar fate, basically a good aircraft which is still in
service with the Royal Air Force, but built on a spec from BOAC for
an aircraft that could operate in and out of high altitude, small
strip length airports. Once again no one else was interested. The
BAC1-11 was about the only success story, because although built on
the same principal, for BEA once again, it took a lot of people by
suprise when it broke into the US market, especially since there was
strong competition from the DC-9.

Jim Tilbey
Kirkwall, Orkney, UK