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Airbus A350

Old 29th Nov 2004, 21:42
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Question Airbus A350

There have been some reports, about a new Airbus A350 circulaing in the media last week. Aparentally this 'new' Plane should become Airbus answer to the 7E7 from Boeing.

Airbus set to win EADS green light for A350 project

Does anybody know more about this new plane ?
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Old 29th Nov 2004, 22:01
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"Aer Lingus said they may order the jetliner from Toulouse, France-based Airbus."

so thats what EI wants all the money for!
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Old 30th Nov 2004, 05:58
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Red face Don't hold your breath!

The new A350 sounds less and less convincing as time goes by; now, they're talking about an entry into service date of 2009/10; when you have an airplane that's basically playing catch-up - which is what the A350 is doing for the 7E7, you need to have it on the market beforehand. With a service date this late - even after the first 7E7-8s enter service, many airlines will look at both types and say "why Airbus"; the 7E7 is a generation ahead.

If Boeing brings the 7E7-9 forward, I still think it has a very good chance of getting the nod from EI.
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Old 30th Nov 2004, 06:46
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you said that the A350 would be playing catch up with the B7E7. The B7E7 is actually playing catch up with the very successfull A332 which all but ended the B767.

The A332 is quite close to the performance of the proposed B7E7 and considering Boeing are using many new technologies which haven't even been part of R&D programmes, you have to question whether the final product will be as light and as 'efficient' as it's currently being sold as.
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Old 30th Nov 2004, 08:14
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Boeing, Boeing, gone.
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Old 30th Nov 2004, 08:53
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It's not true to say that "you need to have it on the market beforehand". Playing catch-up isn't such a poor position to be in.

Given that both of these products will probably be on the market for 20 years or so, for one of them to appear a year or two after the other won't make that much of a difference. Furthermore, if you allow your competitor to go first then it sets a benchmark for you to beat. Your offering is still design flexible once your competitors is fixed. You are in a position to assess your competitors strengths and weaknesses and tailor your product to suit. It's very difficult for the company moving first to then modify their product at a later date to counter the threat. This is effectively why Airbus did so well with the A332 - Boeing struggled to compete with the earlier 767. A similar, though longer term, situation exists with the A380 - Boeing set the benchmark with the 744 and Airbus simply had to go out and better it. For Boeing to respond with a version of the 747 just wouldn't be competitive and an all new aircraft would cost a fortune to develop.

In my opinion those extra couple of years Airbus have in hand will be the reason that their offering will ultimately be the winner. Of course the 7E7 will pick up quite a few sales in the interim but in the long run these will be insignificant. The A350 simply will not be released to the market unless it betters the 7E7 and coming from behind, Airbus will be in the perfect position to ensure that it does.
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Old 30th Nov 2004, 09:16
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A persuasive case, and history has proved you right time and again about the often (but not always) illusory advantage of beating your competitor to market by a year or two.

But your assumption that "The A350 simply will not be released to the market unless it betters the 7E7 and coming from behind, Airbus will be in the perfect position to ensure that it does" presupposes that Boeing fails to build any real step-changes in the B7E7 which - unlike the engines - cannot simply be transplanted into the derivative technology A350. My guess is they will. Boeing's been through a trough, it's lost it's way for the last few years, and Airbus has done a lot right. But all things go in cycles, and don't underestimate Boeing; it's a powerhouse of technology, and the B7E7 is everything to Boeing Commercial Airplanes. My guess is that they'll succeed in placing the 7E7 beyond the reach of the A350 in terms of overall economics, but that Airbus will then exploit the massively lower non-recurring cost of the A350 programme to compete with the B7E7 on price.
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Old 30th Nov 2004, 09:21
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How I see it, Airbus has a realy good timing with the A350.
I mean, most of the developing for the A380 is now finished. Freeing up the whole desingteam for the A350 and making it also possible to use any new technology from the A380 for the A350.

The other big question is, will Boeing really be able to finish its 7E7 in 2008. Their is a lot of new and untried technology going into the 7E7.
It could be very much likely, that they could have over done themself with an unrealistic roll out date.
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Old 30th Nov 2004, 10:33
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Hear the 7e7 is on the same design and delivery schedule as the sonic cruiser, April 1 or Christmas depending on who you believe.

On a serious note they are lacking some credibility in the market with new aircraft after the sonic cruiser episode.

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Old 30th Nov 2004, 14:23
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Well, what can you say. Both sides have issues, I would think. The 7E7 has a lot of new technology and new composite materials. I'd think their timescale would be at risk, mostly in terms of certification if nothing else.

Airbus design team must be tied up with the A400M after the A380, so where are their resources?

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Old 30th Nov 2004, 14:28
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I think Thunderball 2 has it about right. The 7E7 will almost inevitably show superior economics to the A350 - it will be lighter and faster plus have superior payload-range. But the A350 will come close and having just one third the R+D should be well priced. Allied to Airbus CCQ and other commonality it will pick up some orders. However, the aircraft it will do most damage to is, of course, the A330-200. The A332 might well have finally put the 763ER out of business but it hasn't come close to matching that aircraft's sales record (265 A332 vs 514 763ER) and I doubt it has yet achieved the programme breakeven on which launch approval was based. Boeing have succeeded in forcing Airbus to spend another $3bn on an A332 derivative to maintain competition against the B763ERs successor the B7E7 well before they would otherwise have planned to. Prediction: the 7E7 will outsell the A350 3 to 1!

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Old 30th Nov 2004, 14:34
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A350 MRTT would be a perfect future tanker transport - particuarly as Boeing has already shot itself in the foot by stating that their 'plastic plane' 7E7 doesn't have the 'configuration' to be a tanker transport KC-7E7. Bit of an own goal that - no doubt done to promote the somewhat dubious KC-767 programme which is on the buffet right now....

And don't forget that common type ratings for everything from A318 to A380 (with differences courses) would probably also include A350!
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Old 30th Nov 2004, 15:31
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Qatar Airways is considering the A350, or the 7E7.
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Old 30th Nov 2004, 20:12
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In a few years Boeing will have to do something about a 737 replacement. After that, we could see Airbus strugling to sell outdated products, as Boeing are now!
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Old 30th Nov 2004, 20:26
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Stealth airplane

7E7 vs A350.

When Airbus launched the A380 several years ago, Boeing responded with Sonic Cruiser. Many people understood that SC was merely a smoke screen to hide Boeing's real intention to build the replacement of 767 and 757. While Airbus' strategy is based on hub-and-spoke air transport structure, Boeing thinks that there is a bigger market for aircraft that will serve point-to-point traffic.

During SC's short life, Boeing repeatedly said that they would build either a high speed airplane or a very efficient one. Now we know exactly which one is chosen by Boeing. They chose to build an efficient and simple airplane dubbed Dreamliner, as replacement of 76s and 75s.

When 7E7-Dreamliner was launched, Airbus prefered not to respond because its management thought that 7E7 was yet another Boeing's bluff. It was said that the A330 was competitive enough against 7E7. Many people thought that Boeing's share holders wouldn't ever let it make any investment in an all new airplane.

Every airplane programme is a risky investment. But, Boeing has learnt, probably from Airbus, that risk can be shared. Airbus shares risk with its suppliers in A380 programme. There is not any reason why Boeing cannot do the same and this is exactly what Boeing does with 7E7.

Airbus' opinion on 7E7 seems to change today. They now offer an airplane called A350 to compete against 7E. But go to Airbus' web site and you won' t find anything about A350. You can find speculations about this airplane in the press, but no clear definition can be found. Some of the descriptions mention an aircraft based on the A330 with much longer range than that of the current A330.

The question is if the A350 will cannibalize A340-300 and A330. If Airbus' share holders give go-ahead to A350 then you can expect that A330 and A340-300 production will stop. One strong reason why A330 and A340-300 will stop if A350 goes ahead is because Airbus just cannot afford keeping several plants for A330/A340-300 and A350 unless the manufacturing techniques are almost identical. The point is that A350 manufacturing cannot be similar to A330/A340 if Airbus wants to make A350 competitive enough against 7E7.

If Airbus' objective is to slow down 7E7 sales by introducing A350 then this move is not worthwhile for the simple and single reason that 7E7 is the replacement for 757 and 767.
Please remember that the cumulative orders of both 767 and 757 exceeds 1900 airplane, meaning that the potential market of the 7E7 is about 2000 units during the next 20 years. The wildest estimate tops 3000 aircraft in the next 20 years.
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Old 30th Nov 2004, 21:08
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The United States is in a fairly horrible financial fix. Basically, private and public debt continues to grow at a staggering and unsustainable rate. Presently, eighty percent of the entire world's annual savings is being used to help finance America's annual government deficits and its imbalances in international trade and financial transactions.

Putting aside the reasons for this, different solutions -- none of them easy or painless -- are being proposed. One suggested solution is, in part, to continue deflating the dollar against other foreign currencies. (This is paired with a proposal to increase the annual inflation rate in the U.S. to 7 percent or more, thus depreciating, over a period of some years, the value of dollar-based financial instruments currently held by others; e.g., central banks throughout the world.)

I understand that all major airplane sales are priced in dollars, and assuming that continues to be the case, I am wondering if, for example, the $-Euro exchange rates continued rising so that it took $1.50 or $1.60 to buy one Euro (up from the current $1.33 or so) a year or two from now, what would that do to the competitive position, from a pricing standpoint, of a 7E7 versus a Airbus 350? Anybody who crunches the numbers have an idea about that?

Thanks in advance. (And I realize the proposals above are an [whatever adjective you want] example of America screwing the rest of the world, but trying to move past that into just how Toulouse competes pricing-wise with the $ and Euro moving so far out of the previous range of equilibrium.)
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Old 30th Nov 2004, 22:17
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I'm by no means an economic expert (I did Politics for chrissake!) but I would imagine that, seeing as Boeing's business is global in that a large proportion of their components come from abroad, the weak dollar is hurting them as much as it is 'hurting' Airbus.

I think Boeing are hoping for the majority of 7E7 orders from the US market, after all theirs is the most optimised for such a size of aircraft and it's where the majority of the early model 757/767s are approaching retirement.

Those bleedless Trent 1000s are going to be very expensive in dollar terms for US airlines if the greenback falls further.
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Old 1st Dec 2004, 21:32
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I personally think Airbus have got it spot on.

The 7E7 looks good and is attracting lots of airline attention BUT, just as the orders could have 'took off' airbus have started offering their version which is going to at the very least delay the orders for Boeing.

The 7E7 is at the moment a stand alone project, whilst the A350 will probably share similar properties to its smaller counterparts giving airlines who already operate the A320/21/30/40 a good oppurtunity.

The 7E7 is good, very good but I think Airbus are a little smarter!!

P.S Its obvious which direction this topic is going to go, how long before the moderators step in!
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Old 2nd Dec 2004, 06:30
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Believe me, Airbus haven't got the engineering resource to develop the A350 yet, and they won't until the A380 has completed the majority of it's flight testing and development. Then there's the A400M........

At the moment it's a paper aeroplane and a marketing issue. Even so, a shrewd move to give the illusion of competing with the 7E7 (which, by the way is still a paper aeroplane, but a lot more trees have been felled in the name of the 7E7, I should know, I'm sitting under some of it!)
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Old 2nd Dec 2004, 06:35
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Good comment

Windsheer said:
I personally think Airbus have got it spot on.
giving airlines who already operate the A320/21/30/40 a good oppurtunity
You are absolutely right if you consider the positioning aspects of the A350.

The consequences of A350 launch will be vast. Airbus will have to consider to close A330 and A340-300 production lines. Leasing companies will have to cope with plummeting A330 and A340-300 residual values.

Let' s wait and see what EADS will decide this month.
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