In the previous post, we talk about the WTO issue being pursued by Boeing and its supporters. In this post we ask, “Why aren’t they talking about their airplane?”
This is about the strangest marketing campaign we’ve ever seen, and one of the things we do is marketing. Boeing has a product–but it’s nowhere to be seen in the public relations campaign.
Isn’t the KC-767 worth talking about?
Boeing claims its airplane has more modern technology, uses less fuel, is better sized, is better for the pilot in combat situations, meets all the requirements and generally beats the piss out of the EADS KC-45.
But listening to Sens. Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell (both D-Boeing/WA), Sam Brownback (R-Boeing/KS) and US Reps. Norm Dicks, Rick Larson, Jay Inslee (all D-Boeing/WA) and Todd Tiahrt (R-Boeing/KS), among others, and it seems they’ve never heard of Boeing or the KC-767. It’s All Airbus, All the Time. (A bit of an exaggeration, but you get the point.)
Even Boeing CEO Jim McNerny seems focused more on Airbus than on the attributes of his own airplane.
OK, they’re all worried about the price EADS will offer and that’s why they’re on the subsidy kick. But Airbus has repaid all the loans, with interest, and is now paying royalties on the A330-200 on which the KC-45 is based.
And although the procurement is a price shoot-out, “price” is more than the airplane. It is also life-cycle cost (something Boeing and Rep. Dicks were particularly anxious to have included in the evaluation process) and the infrastruction cost, or MilCon–also boosted by Boeing and its supporters.
If, on the occasions Boeing actually talks about this, you believe what Boeing says, the KC-767 just whips the KC-45 by billions of dollars on life-cycle costs alone and some large number on MilCon. Even if EADS submits a lower airplane cost than Boeing (which may be difficult since the commercial base-line aircraft are tens of millions of dollars apart in Boeing’s favor), the life-cycle and MilCon costs are in Boeing’s favor. So they say. Or aren’t saying, as ther case may be.
Talk about the airplane. That’s what counts for the warfighter. If anybody bothers to remember them.