Date: 27 Aug 99 03:08:31 From: JF Mezei <firstname.lastname@example.org> Followups: 1 2 3 4 5
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Over the time I have participated in many never-ending Airbus vs Boeing debates in and in other news: forums. What I have realised is that there is a lack of hard factual information and this results in a lot of speculation and rumours and statements based on incomplete information. This may be undesirable but inevitable in newsgroups. However, when I see stories such as Singapore being unhappy about the speed of its A340s, or that the fact that the A340 *may* not fly as high as the 777, it makes me wonder if airlines make aircraft choices with about as much hard information as what we see in these newsgroups ? In the heydays of the mini-computers, I saw how 2 manufacturers competed for a sale by smearing the other manufacturer with all sorts of stories, most of which were not true. I found both sides lacking any real understanding of the other side's products. When Singapore bought its 340s, is it conceivable that it was not aware of the true characteristics of the A340 such as "efficient" and "max" cruising speeds, as well as information such as fuel costs when flying at max speed ? Would they not have real formulas to calculate operating costs for a flight depending on its load of pax and cargo and required range? I suspect that an airline will get a bunch of its engineers to learn about each potential plane. How much do these engineers get to know about the plane ? Would Singapore engineers have known about the true speed of the A340 and any range/cost penalty if they flew it faster ? I also suspect that accountants get a bigger say than engineers and put little weight on the engineering aspects and a lot more weight on financing/acquisition costs, delivery schedules, availability of a plane that fits their capacity needs and perhaps maintance/commonality issues. I also have a feeling that political aspects are also given heavy weight in the decisions. So my question is: Considering the information that is publicly available on the net from both manufacturers, how much more performance/technical information do airlines get when they consider a purchase ? Doe airlines get to calculate real numbers on performance/costs, or do they just get "ballpark" numbers from the manufacturer (ex: " our aircraft costs 1.2% less to operate than our competitor") and beleive those numbers ? Also, in the Singapore example, if the 340s did not perform as advertised, wouldn't Singapore get financially compensated for this ? Wouldn't such compensation make the accountants happy with the financial performance of the aircraft ?