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Guest Shalomar

Airbus and Boeing

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Donny AKA ShalomarFly 2 ROCKS!!!There have been some strong opinions and feelings have been running high for years, which came to the surface as Airbus rolled out the A380. You know, government subsidised versus free enterprise. Airbus doesn't have to pay back loans to develop the A380 etc... First off, did Chrysler have to pay back their bailout loan? They did, but how many American corporations haven't? The government giving money to corporations is not just an EU phenomenom. And what about tax breaks/economic development incentives on the federal, state and local level in the U.S.?? And suppose Airbus doesn't pay back a cent of the taxpayers money? They will almost certainly not escape unscathed, the EU is a democracy and votes still count. How long can the situation of perpetual development without recompense possibly last? Secondly, what about military contracts? Boeing, along with other companies, did well with technology developed while fulfilling WWII era military contracts. Boeing got an even bigger boost during the Cold War when they rolled out the first passenger jet. Had there been no KC-135 contract, airlines would have had to pay more for the 707, it prolly couldn't have been developed as fast, and the Comet or a development from someone else could very well had been first and garnered more sales. That momentum carried carried Boeing further than they would have gotten otherwise, to the point they rolled all their dice on the 747. How can you really divorce technological expertise earned at a profit by spending taxpayer's money from development loans? Boeing got to the finals of the JSF you know, and (not to get off the subject) don't you think Lockheed might just roll some of their gains to a new civil platform?Philosophies: Well, now that Boeing is upgrading their lineup to incorporate much of the same kind of technology found in Airbuses, was all that talk about "we want to let pilots be pilots, to be fully in the loop" a smokescreen for "We don't want to admit we might be behind in ways"?Yes, some countries industry got a boost with all new plants cuz their old ones were in ashes. But that was decades ago, the plain truth is many industries in the U.S. just didn't bother with infrastructure upgrades.Boeing now says they see the future as airplanes servicing more, prolly smaller size airports and are steering their development efforts in that direction. Airbus has developed the largest passenger jetliner the world has ever seen. But think about it: What is the capacity of the largest Airbus before the A380? I admit I don't know the numbers, but why should Boeing spend billions to develop an aircraft that would probably have a smaller percent increase in capacity relative to the 747 that they have already and can upgrade for much less?Not just airplane manufacterers, but airlines are directly subsidized in the EU. While there are bailouts of ailing airlines and no charge is applied for ATC etc, air travel is not directly subsidized in the U.S.. Passenger train service is heavily subsidised, and still losing money. A study reached the surprising finding that the average train traveler in the U.S. has income three times that of the typical domestic airline passenger. There are flights out of KABE to Philly International. By the time you get thru security and get there in marginal weather, you could probably be in Philly by ground. The money spent on train passengers would be much more intelligently applied to bus service and domestic flights over, say, 250 miles. That would take some stress off the air system, and some traffic might be reduced on the roads too. I think more planes at smaller airports is a trend started that will continue.In short, I think Boeing and Airbus are both following sound policies and both may prosper. Just cuz they built the A380 doesn't mean Airbus is abandoning the regional market, and just cuz Boeing doesn't intend to scratchbuild a 747 replacement doesn't mean they are abandoning the heavy load/long haul market. Boeing is smart to hue and cry about subsidised Airbus, every other American corporation is grabbing what they can from their favorite Uncle and they just might wind up with more too.Without delving into politics, I want to make clear I am a U.S. citizen and not a fan of corporate welfare in an era when just about every source of aid to individuals is being "reformed" here. Facts are facts, and perhaps being lost in the spin of Boeing versus Airbus is the pot calling the kettle black.Best Regards, Donny:-wave

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