Re: B767 design fault (feature?)

Date:         13 Jul 97 01:25:54 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.NOSPAM.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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>Don't know if it is the case now but when my father represented BA at
>Lockheed for the purchase of the Tristars, the planes were not in general
>delivered with seats. BA's planes used American built First class seats, and
>those were fitted. The economy seats (no business class seats then) were
>made in Britain, and were fitted after the plane was delivered back to
>the UK.

I'm surprised that it would be cost-effective to do it that way.  One
of the inefficiencies in the politically-drive production arrangements
Airbus uses is that their final assembly is at Toulouse (except for
the A319 and A321, which are built in Hamburg).  The "green" planes
are then flown to Germany for painting and interior outfitting.  The
problem with this is that the engines -- very expensive items! -- are
necessarily mounted to the airframe several weeks earlier in the
production process than for a Boeing or McDonnell Douglas airliner.
On the 737 lines, the interior is done before the engines are hung at
the very last station before being pushed out the door.

This might seem like an inconsequential detail, but the larger engines
are worth ~$10 million or more apiece.  If one manufacturer needs the
engines two weeks earlier in the production cycle than another, then
one way or another that manufacturer is going to pay extra interet as
a result.  Two weeks' interest at prime rate (8.5%) on $20 million is
about $65,000.

Similarly, if it takes a week to outfit the interiors, BA is paying
a week's interest on an aircraft which is not producing revenue.  If
they let Boeing install the seats, they wouldn't incur that cost.
(Perhaps Boeing's charge for seat installation, or the shipping cost
for seats made in Europe, outweighs this cost.)

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