Date: 19 Aug 98 00:57:44 From: JF Mezei <firstname.lastname@example.org> References: 1 2
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re: all the various variations on Boeing products. Boeing is in an unfortunate position of having the "legacy" syndrome. Boeing has to deal with the "upwards-compatible" expectation of its many plane types, some of which date back to the 60s. Airbus took a bold step in the 80s in "abandoning" its older types and designing a new cockpit system and even introduced it to its 310-600 model while it was building a new family. Airbus is lucky in that all of the 320,330,340 derivatives are all the "same". Boeing is stuck on the one side with airlines that want to preserve their investments in the older planes (maintenance + pilots) and on the other side, airlines wishing to have a unified family. If Boeing can wing its "virtual" cockpit onto the 777 and 737 lines, as well as the 767-400, it will help the transition from the "old Boeing" to a more unified line of aircraft. But it is stuck with most of the derivatives of planes still using the old style. Worst case is the 747 which has no new derivatives in sight so it will be quite a while before a 747 with 777 style cockpit becomes available. Assuming that any new Boeing model/derivative has a 777-style cockpit that allows similar commonality to Airbus' family, how long would it take before airlines have a fleet that operates mostly on a 777-style cockpit ? (i.e. no more a requirement to be backwards compatible) 10 ? 20 years ?