Re: Airbus A3XX---vapor plane?

From:         Alain.Deckers@man.ac.uk (Alain Deckers)
Organization: Sirius Cybernetics Corporation
Date:         19 Mar 96 00:44:05 
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On 29 Feb 96 01:24:25 , carvalho@phoenix.Princeton.EDU (Tassio A.
Carvalho) wrote:

>>It's also hard to justify even from a industrial policy viewpoint.
>>Even if you accept that Europe "must" have the capability to build
>>transport aircraft, that's been achieved with the A330/340 program.

>There is also the A300 ST, which has a huge fuselage but very
>likely limited range and is being pushed as a military transport.

This thread has been dead for some time, but just as a matter of
record, I understand that the A300 ST is only being produced in
limited numbers (at least initially) for internal Airbus use. It is
also called the "Super Flipper" and will replace the "Super Guppy"
that are currently (or have until recently? I'm not sure when the ST
has gone/is supposed to go into service) used to ferry outsize
structural components between Airbus locations. I would imagine that
the economics of the A300 ST wouldn't be particularly good.

As for Airbus's ambitions in the military field, they certainly seem
to have taken a hit with the cancellation of the Future Large Aircraft
(FLA). I read in a recent issue of AW&ST that the French have dropped
the FLA for budgetary reasons, though its prospects never seemed
particularly brilliant after the Royal Air Force decided to purchase
the C-130J. The plan had at one point been to bring the FLA under the
Airbus umbrella, though in a newly created military aircraft division
that would have included the Italian firm Alenia, which participated
in the preliminary phases of the FLA programme.

British Aerospace (BAe) has in the past been rather worried about the
British government's lack commitment to the FLA, arguing that if they
didn't get in on the act, the Germans would get to make the wing for
the FLA and that this would threaten BAe's position in future Airbus
programmes (if I remember correctly, BAe actually had to compete with
DASA to get the wing contract for the A330/340; the Germans have
always been unhappy with their share of the Airbus work, rightly so to
a large extent. Hence the A321 final assembly line in Hamburg). I
remember talking to a guy in BAe's FLA office about this at the time.
I swallowed their story and wrote a letter to the Financial Times
saying that the UK govt. should stop messing around and commit to the
FLA (bit of self-promotion: they published it). Clearly I hadn't
considered the wider picture of the FLA's place in everyone else's
list of priorities. Anyway, BAe did give me the other info I needed.
;-)

Cheers,

A.

--

Alain Deckers				Tel: +44 (0)161 275 5943
PREST, The Universiy of Manchester	Fax: +44 (0)161 273 1123
Manchester M13 9PL			Email: Alain.Deckers@man.ac.uk
United Kingdom				<URL:http://www.man.ac.uk/~mbzalgd/>