Monday, June 27, 2005


It’s already again some ten days behind us, but from June 13th – June 19th the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget airport took place, Europes Mecca for the Aeronautics and Aviation industry where thousands of companies and customers, military and civilian alike, meet. As it happened, the Outlaw Dad was there, since he could hike a ride on a SABCA bus. SABCA is a leading Belgian aeronautical manufacturing company, and although it is not a part of Airbus Industrie, some work regarding the fuselage is being done by them, a.o. the construction of the so-called Rear Center Lower Shell. Anyway, SABCA workers had the chance to go to Le Bourget by bus and via an acquaintance my dad managed to hop onto it. Below are some pics he took, using a Nikon Coolpix 4800: Boeing 777-240LR Worldliner

Boeings 777 Worldliner, with a range of almost 17,500 kilometers, and its future 787 Dreamliner, with a slightly less range of maximum 15,700 kilometres, are the workhorses that will have to make Boeings strategy for 21st Century Passenger Air Transportation work. I suppose most of you know that Boeing placed its bets on passenger transport becoming more of point-to-point travel in smaller, large-range aircraft, given the growth of dozens more of cities with several million inhabitants. Airbus, on the other hand, believes air transport will become a matter of gathering large numbers of passengers in hubs on designated main airports on the respective continents, and then fly them across. This view resulted in the birth of the A380, capable of ferrying 555 passengers at ranges up to 15,000 kilometers. Personally, I think the next decade will be Airbus’, as not only the A380 has the range of Boeings 787 but can transport more than twice its number of passengers, but also since, no matter how many new big cities emerge, large (ever larger) crowds will always want to fly to London, Paris, Washington or Shanghai. Plus, Airbus has plans to directly compete with the 787 with yet another aircraft of its own, the A350.

Airbus A380 Superjumbo To be sure, in recent months Boeing has had some reason for optimism, since sales for the 787 have soared. Indeed, 787 Project Manager Mike Bair could proudly announce that Boeing has signed up 266 orders from 21 airline companies. After all the A380 publicity of this spring, the fuss caused by Harry Stoneciphers sudden departure and a looming legal clash with Airbus in the WTO arena, I can imagine the promising sales come as a relief. Still, I can’t help but think that by refusing to produce a successor to the 747, Boeing has shot itself in the foot. More on that later.

By any standard, the Paris Air Show 2005 was a great success. There were 1,924 exhibitors, 137,000 trade visitors and 257,000 visitors from the general public. Star of the show was, for Europeans of course, the A380 Superjumbo, see in flight pic above.

As you may recall from an earlier post, Airbus Industrie is a part of EADS, or European Aeronautical Defence and Space Company. Do me a favor and forget for a moment the grudges you possibly bear towards Airbus (like I said, more on that later), since EADS has an American branch, called EADS North America. Whilst directly employing only some 2,600 people as of now, it is estimated EADS North America supports already up to 100,000 American jobs. Capitalism and free markets at its best:

EADS North America is the U.S. holding company for the North American activities of EADS, the world’s second largest aerospace and defense company, and the largest in Europe. As a leading supplier and industrial partner in defense and homeland security, commercial aviation, helicopters, telecommunications and services, EADS North America – together with its parent company, EADS – contribute more than $6 billion to the U.S. economy annually, supporting 100,000 American jobs.


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