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      06-09-2006, 09:36 AM   #1
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Boeing vs. Airbus > Airbus Has A Bad Case Of Jet Lag



Airbus Has A Bad Case Of Jet Lag
Its redesigned, lightweight plane will still trail Boeing's Dreamliner by years

BusinessWeek 5/16/006

Plastics. They really are the future. More precisely, the carbon-fiber-reinforced plastics known as composites are reshaping the rivalry between Airbus and Boeing Co. (BA ), and the European planemaker has a lot of catching up to do.

With oil prices soaring, airlines are flocking to Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner, which promises to burn 20% less fuel than conventional planes. The 787 is made mostly of composites, which weigh half as much as aluminum, but are stronger so that wings and other parts can be made slimmer and more aerodynamic. Airbus is countering with the A350, a planned aircraft with one-third less composite content than the 787. But most carriers are snubbing it. Small wonder, then, that Airbus Chief Executive Gustav Humbert confirmed at the Berlin Air Show on May 17 that the company will unveil a revamped design for the A350 by July. "The game is not over," he said.

Seems like it should be a cinch for Airbus to up its composite content in a new A350. The company has been building composite parts since the 1980s. The expected $10 billion price shouldn't be a problem, either. Airbus has already overtaken Boeing as the world's top jetmaker. Its parent, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. (EADS), on May 16 reported first-quarter profits up 26%, to $665 million, on sales up 30%, to $11.7 billion.

But Boeing has a big head start. True, Airbus had been a pacesetter when it introduced composites on tail stabilizers. But Boeing has since leaped ahead with its work on military contracts such as the B-2 bomber and its use of composites on civilian jets such as the 777. Airbus' much smaller composites program lags Boeing's on almost every front, from design to manufacturing to multiyear supply deals for carbon fiber. "All Airbus' engineers and all their factories are working in aluminum," says Andrew Walker, a former top Airbus engineer who now teaches in the materials program at the University of Manchester.

To close the gap with Boeing, Airbus will pour $580 million into research over the next few years. "Their lead will not be for long," says Airbus' Humbert. But Airbus can't get an all-composite plane into service before 2012, four years after the 787. Even then, most industry experts say it's unlikely the Airbus plane would be significantly better than the 787. "It's four years too late with a me-too airplane," crows Randy Baseler, Boeing's vice-president for marketing.

Airbus has plenty of talented engineers, but they're stretched thin. They're wrapping up work on the A380 megaplane, set to enter service at the end of this year, while also developing a new military-transport plane and an air- refueling tanker aircraft. Overall, Airbus spent $2.1 billion on research and development last year, only slightly below 2003, when A380 spending peaked.

STUMBLING BLOCKS

Boeing could still stumble. Some 70% of production work on the 787 has been farmed out to contractors worldwide. Even minor glitches could delay the launch. Airbus also knows airlines will keep steering orders its way to prevent Boeing from gaining market dominance. "They don't want to be subject to higher prices," says George Hamlin, the head of Hamlin Transportation Consulting in Fairfax, Va.

The Europeans say they're up to the challenge. "Airbus has a history of successfully managing a steep ramp-up," Humbert says. Indeed, for most of Airbus' 36-year history, its newer aircraft designs and more modern factories gave it an edge over its older U.S. rival. But now, Boeing looks set to invade that comfort zone.
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      06-09-2006, 09:41 AM   #2
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A comparison of materials used in Boeing 787 and the Airbus 350.
Check it out- the 787's fuselage is almost entirely carbon-fiber.
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      06-09-2006, 08:10 PM   #3
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Boeing and Airbus are two entirely different types of manufacturers of aviation aircraft.
Boeing is a business- in the sense that it is a publicly traded company built on profitability and sustainability.
Without innovation it goes under.
Airbus is a technocracy- a symbol of the new European model of governance and business
funded by European countries and a coalition of European aviation companies.
If Airbus slips in profitability it can be propped up by government funds.

Boeing is a leader in aviation, with a long history going back to the beginnings of commercial jet manufacturing...something that Airbus can't claim.
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      06-15-2006, 06:53 AM   #4
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Singapore Air to Buy Boeing Over Airbus

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: June 14, 2006



Singapore Airlines said Wednesday it will buy 20 Boeing 787-9 aircraft for $4.52 billion, hours after it expressed unhappiness about delays in Airbus' delivery of its A380 superjumbo.

In a statement, the carrier said it has purchase rights for another 20 aircraft from Chicago-based Boeing.

The decision is a stinging blow for Airbus, which hoped Singapore Airlines would be one of the first and biggest customers for another new model, the A350, that would compete directly with Boeing's 787. But airline and leasing company dissatisfaction with the design of the A350 has led Airbus to consider a costly redesign of the plane, delaying its launch for several years.
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      06-16-2006, 02:53 PM   #5
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And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'

Airbus executive defends stock sales
PARIS (AP) — The embattled co-chief executive of Airbus parent EADS on Friday (June 16) defended his sale of shares in the company before news of delays to Airbus' A-380 superjumbo sent the stock tumbling, even as France's market regulator confirmed that it would look into the transactions.

European Aeronautics Defence & Space's French co-CEO, Noel Forgeard, described as an "unfortunate coincidence" the stock sales in March on which he earned 2.5 million euros ($3.1 million) in profits.

He also sought to play down the importance of the costly production backlog affecting the world's largest passenger plane, and said none of the 16 airlines that placed orders for a total of 159 A-380 planes has canceled.

"It's a glitch," Forgeard said on Europe-1 radio. "All aircraft programs have suffered delays."

Wiring problems with the much-touted double-decker A-380 announced this week incensed airlines worldwide and ballooned into a debacle that prompted questions about the leadership of EADS, a European showcase project run by French-German management.

One key question surrounds large stock sales by Forgeard, three of his children and other top EADS managers in mid-March — three months before the A-380 delays were announced.

French stock market regulator AMF said in a brief statement that it has been conducting a probe of EADS transactions for the past several weeks. "The recent events will be examined in the framework of this probe," it said. It said it will study Forgeard's sale.

Germany's securities regulator BaFin, meanwhile, said Friday that it would investigate the sharp drop in EADS stock this week as part of a routine study of unusual market movements
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      06-25-2006, 07:01 AM   #6
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Airbus chief Noël Forgeard’s job is on the line but the embattled French prime minister is unlikely to help.

Airbus In A Tailspin
Members of French Government, Board Members of Diamler-Chrysler Implicated in Questionable Airbus Stock Sales.

By Richard Northedge/the Telegraph/UK (Filed: 06/25/2006)


One of the chief executives of the Franco-German defence group, Noel Forgeard, has landed himself in hot water by selling £4m worth of shares just weeks before its share price collapsed.

And Noël Forgeard should not rely on being thrown a lifeline by Dominique de Villepin, the French prime minister; the politician has no wish to be pulled down with the Airbus chief.Forgeard, the chief executive of the French Airbus group until last year, when he took the same position with its parent, Eads, is under fire for selling £4m of Eads shares in March, just weeks before the company revealed that technical problems on building the new Airbus A380 would severely delay deliveries.

The news caused Eads's share price to collapse by 26 per cent, reducing the company's value by more than £4bn.


Last week, as French insider dealing investigators arrived at Airbus's Toulouse plant, Forgeard, 58, was called to an uncomfortable meeting in Munich with his co-chief executive, Tom Enders, and Eads's two chairmen, Arnaud Lagardère and Manfred Bischoff. But while Forgeard is being blamed for France's latest scandal, his two chairmen may yet be his saviours.

Forgeard was not alone in selling Eads shares before the price collapsed: DaimlerChrysler, represented on the Eads board by Bischoff, and media group Lagardère, whose chief executive is Arnaud Lagardère, did the same thing.Together, the two companies disposed of 15 per cent of Airbus's parent company, realising £1.3bn each.


There is no suggestion that either company had inside information on Airbus's troubles before selling - on the contrary, their lack of knowledge of the subsidiary's problems is the embarrassment - but the two chairmen find themselves tarred with the brush that has blackened their beleaguered chief executive.

Indeed, the links between the participants are as tangled as the wiring that is delaying the A380 superjumbo. Forgeard was Lagardère's managing director for six years before joining Airbus; his successor at Airbus, Gustav Humbert, previously worked at Daimler Benz Aerospace; and fellow director Rüdiger Grube sits on the DaimlerChrysler management board.

Eads's marketing director came from Lagardère and the head of defence previously worked at DaimlerChrysler - and both those directors exercised options and sold the shares at the same time as Forgeard.

Enders did not sell, however, and has undermined his co-chief by criticising the timing of his sale.
Last week Thierry Breton, the French finance minister, met the two chairmen to discuss the situation, concerned at the fall in value of the Paris administration's 15 per cent stake in Eads. But it was Breton's boss, de Villepin, who had to answer to the National Assembly.

Forgeard is a former adviser to President Chirac, who backed his promotion to head the Franco-German Eads last year.
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      07-17-2006, 02:49 PM   #7
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The Airbus A350XWB

Airbus Introduces the A350 XWB at Britain's Farnborough Air Show

July, 17th, 2006. The A350 XWB (extra wide-body) is Airbus’ response to market demand for a medium capacity long range wide-body family. Available from 2012, it will have an entirely new, uncompromised, 21st Century design with a new and wider fuselage for extra space and passenger comfort. It will also be extra efficient, extra environmentally friendly and quiet, as it will feature all the advanced technologies available in the first part of the 21st century, bringing the A380 experience to a new level.

Conceived from the outset to form a complete family of airliners, three basic passenger versions are being offered. They include the –800, -900 and the –1000 accommodating between 250 and 375 passengers in a range of different configurations to suit airline needs. An ultra long range version, the –900R, and a freighter –900F complete the family. Each basic model will have a range of 8,500 nm/15,800 km, the longest of any aircraft in this size category. The A350 XWB will also offer the lowest operating cost per seat of any aircraft in this size category.

Whilst the Airbus product family covers all market segments, the A350 XWB is the most advanced aircraft family in its segment, thus significantly enhancing the overall Airbus product range. The A350 XWB is able to provide economically viable service on long-range markets and is equally attractive as a route opener or as a part of a multi-type Airbus fleet offering optimized network solutions. Airbus forecasts a demand for this product range, which covers a wide range of market applications, at some 4,600 aircraft over the next 20 years.


The copy above and image are from Airbus' website. The actual airplane on view at Farnborough is a prototype.
You have to hand it to Airbus...they played catch-up on this in a hurry.
Time will tell if this is a real competitior to Boeing's Dreamliner and if Airbus can put it's financial house in order.
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      07-18-2006, 06:35 AM   #8
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A worker prepared a fuselage Friday for a Sukhoi aircraft at the Farnborough air show.
For Airbus, which has faltered as a rival, Boeing, has recovered, the show could not come at a worse time.
Rogan Macdonald for The New York Times
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      07-18-2006, 06:38 AM   #9
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The Airbus A380 lands at Britain's Farnborough Air Show outside of London.
The doubledecker superjumbo jet has been dogged by production delays.

Wolfgang Kumm/European Pressphoto Agency

London/NewYorkTimes No matter where it goes, the Airbus A380, a double-decker superjumbo jet so big that it has been called the Whale, turns heads. As the world’s leaders in aviation gather at the Farnborough International Airshow, which opens Monday about 30 miles southwest of here, the A380 will be on center stage as it makes its Farnborough debut.

But the plane is also an outsize reminder of the problems facing Airbus and its parent company, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company.

For Airbus, the show could not come at a worse time. Against a backdrop of a booming demand for air travel, Airbus has faltered as its rival, Boeing, has soared. The only good news coming from EADS is the inroads it has made in gaining Pentagon contracts — a symbol of stronger trans-Atlantic relations that the United States hopes to display.

Delays in the delivery schedule for the A380, and questions about the timing of stock sales by EADS’s French co-chief executive, Noël Forgeard, led to his dismissal two weeks ago. Some have said Mr. Forgeard’s departure was accelerated by the show since it would have been awkward for him to represent a company he was about to leave.

Another big question is what Airbus will announce about its redesign for its new midsize plane, the A350, which is lagging behind Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner in the race for orders.

Potential A350 buyers have so roundly criticized the new craft that Airbus is in the middle of a nose-to-tail redesign. Estimates are that Airbus is spending $10 billion on the redesign — which it may call the A370 — and it may introduce the redesign at Farnborough.


More >http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/15/business/15airshow.html?ex=1168747200&en=1fe7c0df72226b3e&e i=5087&mkt=bizlink1
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      07-20-2006, 02:17 PM   #10
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The V-22 Osprey, part airplane, part helicopter, after its public debut Tuesday at the International Air Show in Farnborough, England.

Rogan Macdonald for The New York Times

The Long Flight of the Osprey
FARNBOROUGH, England, July 18 — For its debut at the international air show, the V-22 Osprey danced in the sky. It flew straight up, then forward. It twirled and dove down. It flew sideways and even took a bow in midair.

The first squadron of V-22’s is scheduled to be deployed next fall and, at the moment, the Marines have been promised 360 of these planes. At a cost of about $70 million each — the total program cost is $49 billion — the Osprey is one of the Marines’ most expensive weapons. The Marines have staked their future on this craft, and have about 40 flying today at various American bases, but none overseas or in combat.

Bell Helicopter and Boeing are hoping to drum up foreign sales to keep the Osprey’s costs down, and perhaps extend its life. To that end, the company sponsored a lavish dinner during the show at Kensington Palace, the former home of Princess Diana, to woo prospective international clients.

The Marine Corps had made a big show of announcing it would fly two Ospreys over the Atlantic to arrive before the show — for the first time — to demonstrate its long-range capability. But, on the way over, one of the planes developed engine problems in bad weather and made an unplanned landing in Iceland, where a $2 million engine was replaced before it could continue on its way.

Gen. Michael W. Hagee, commandant of the Marine Corps, said in a news conference Monday that the craft was so safe that he had taken his wife up in an Osprey.

“It will be faster, more agile and it will be safer than any craft today,” the general said. “Whether it is earthquakes, flood relief or on a mission, it can take us anywhere in the world without a permission slip.”

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