Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Misc. Forums > Aviation History and Nostalgia
Reload this Page >

British aircraft by profitability

Aviation History and Nostalgia Whether working in aviation, retired, wannabee or just plain fascinated this forum welcomes all with a love of flight.

British aircraft by profitability

Old 7th Feb 2018, 13:29
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 1,085
British aircraft by profitability

Does anyone have any information about which British aircraft have had the greatest commercial success as measured by profitability to the maker?

Also of interest would be the data on profitability on the initial unit verse ongoing service / spares.
Pittsextra is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2018, 14:26
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Hertfordshire
Posts: 350
I think you are on a lost cause with this as the data would not be available. Even the revenue from sales would be hard to assess, bearing in mind offsets, leases, trade-ins and commercial confidence.
As for cost, that is and was a matter of complex accountancy when it came/comes to determining which costs are allocated to what aeroplane - e.g. even when only one aeroplane type is being produced the R&D for the next one may be significant and there would be product support cost for the previous types.
There have been many claims but they are not necessarily anything but guesswork. e.g. it has been claimed that we made no money from the sale of DH Doves/Devons but made a good living from their product support.

Last edited by Allan Lupton; 7th Feb 2018 at 16:02.
Allan Lupton is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2018, 15:03
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Ashwell
Posts: 301
I was told that product support for the B.Ae 146/RJ series was profitable if not the airframes themselves. But as you say that would depend on how they do the accouinting.
VictorGolf is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2018, 15:31
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: South East of Penge
Age: 69
Posts: 1,376
I understood that normally no profit was normally made on the original sale of the aeroplane being sold at cost (or less) this coming ( hopefully ) over the pricing of spares etc. over its service life.
Even with claimed profits from sales of the Viscount, apparently it was a different story when the development costs of the Dart were also factored in.
Haraka is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2018, 17:09
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Derbyshire
Age: 67
Posts: 208
Considering the numbers built - and having no idea of accounting procedures in the 20s or 30s (or now actually) - I would guess one or more of the DH Moth series is a good bet. Not in hard cash by today's standards but as a percentage profit that is.
DHfan is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2018, 17:36
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: se england
Posts: 1,126
Profitable British airliners
just one -Viscount all the others barring 146 and spin offs and 1-11s which didnt lose that much or make much of a profit were unmitigated disasters
pax britanica is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2018, 18:19
  #7 (permalink)  
TCU
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: On BA58/59
Posts: 143
380 HS748's built (incl Andovers and HAL's) can't have been an unmitigated disaster

I imagine the HS125 also paid its way (1,600+)
TCU is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2018, 19:06
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: South Africa
Age: 82
Posts: 1,318
Seeing as the thread starter specified aircraft, not airliners, surely the English Electric Canberra should be mentioned.
ian16th is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2018, 19:21
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reading, UK
Posts: 10,471
Originally Posted by ian16th View Post
Seeing as the thread starter specified aircraft, not airliners, surely the English Electric Canberra should be mentioned.
Not to mention the Hunter.
DaveReidUK is online now  
Old 7th Feb 2018, 19:31
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Cotswolds
Posts: 97
Hawker Hunter? HS Hawk? Westland Lynx?

Nobody said civil...

(took a Skype call between typing and posting so others have hit the military corner too!!)
Kemble Pitts is offline  
Old 7th Feb 2018, 22:10
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 266
BN-2 Islander?
Liffy 1M is online now  
Old 7th Feb 2018, 23:05
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Derbyshire
Age: 67
Posts: 208
Banging the DH drum again, 3,000 plus Vampires were presumably profitable.
DHfan is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2018, 01:25
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Australia
Posts: 59
Not to mention Concorde.

I said not to mention Concorde!
Rodney Rotorslap is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2018, 08:50
  #14 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 1,085
Thanks for the thoughts / facts. Yes my thoughts were turned to this after the recent A380 order and I just wondered how we faired over the years.

Numbers wise I was musing over were Design/ development cost v revenues at list price. I think I'm right in saying that a TV program that is downloaded on YouTube suggested that BAe's 146 needed to sell circa 240 units to break even? I think on that basis the 146 would have been viewed as a sales success and I wondered if there was a view or data on other UK aircraft - civil or military would make a good comparison.
Pittsextra is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2018, 09:40
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Hertfordshire
Posts: 350
The 1981 Nationwide TV series on the 146 that's on youtube has a lot of good stuff in it, mainly the significant people who tell us about it (e.g. Chief Designer Bob Grigg
), but opinions aired by presenters should be treated with some reserve.
Allan Lupton is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2018, 14:00
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: UK
Posts: 3,336
Concorde made a lot of money... for BA! ;-)
Shaggy Sheep Driver is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2018, 14:51
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: South Africa
Age: 82
Posts: 1,318
Anyone know how much Martin paid EE for each B-57 they built?
ian16th is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2018, 15:52
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 1,518
Whilst a lot of BN-2 Islanders were made, the numbers weren't enough to keep Britten Norman afloat and several companies have kept the design going including the latest consortium at Lee-on-Solent.
Around 1280 have been sold over the 53 years since its first flight, which is around only 24 per annum.
surely not is offline  
Old 8th Feb 2018, 18:56
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Cambridge
Posts: 717
I think I'm right in saying that a TV program that is downloaded on YouTube suggested that BAe's 146 needed to sell circa 240 units to break even? I think on that basis the 146 would have been viewed as a sales success and I wondered if there was a view or data on other UK aircraft - civil or military would make a good comparison.
Back in the 80s I knew one of the Hatfield sales team. He said that the more airframes they sold, the more money the company lost - they were going for below cost, as alluded to in a previous post.
kenparry is offline  
Old 9th Feb 2018, 08:47
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: london
Posts: 378
Quite properly... not in the public domain. Buyers do not wish to know that the price they are about to pay...causes a loss, thus imperilling long-term ownership/future asset value, or is nicely profitable, thus overpriced.

Is it sufficient to know that UK Aerospace industry is more profitable today, making bits and bobs, than ever when delivering complete aircraft? We, UK taxpayers, funded most Aero products, in part or in full, until very recently. Visibly, on Project Accounts, only Viscount yielded a profit to Treasury (£1.5Mn. Launch Aid, £3Mn. Levy yield). Corelli Barnett,Verdict of Peace,P609: “more profitable (if the taxpayer had invested in) plastic garden gnomes.”

So why, I hear you say, do Nations spend taxpayers' money on loss-making durables? Prestige, independence, commercial spin-off from high value-added technology...

This affliction is neither UK-centric, nor airliner-centric. Many/most manufacturers of complete aircraft have suffered financial pain.
tornadoken is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.