Odds and Ends: Airbus takes a look at the future; Air India gets 787 Saturday; John Leahy

Looking at the future: Airbus takes a look at the future in this company-issued document. Airbus discusses the environment, Air Traffic Management and more. This link has more information about how Airbus looks at the future.

Air India: We’ll still believe it when we see it but Air India is supposed to take delivery of its first 787 Saturday. (This is skepticism about the airline, not Boeing, for clarity….) Here is a microsite from Boeing. The best part is the construction of the airplane.

John Leahy: The COO-Customers at Airbus got a promotion of sorts. See this Bloomberg article. It’s well deserved.

Boeing and SPEEA: Things aren’t going at all well in the contract negotiations between Boeing and SPEEA.

18 Comments on “Odds and Ends: Airbus takes a look at the future; Air India gets 787 Saturday; John Leahy

  1. Leahy’s “promotion” may not be great for Airbus. Spending more time on EADS other BU’s takes time away from selling airbus plains. Leahy is at his best when rolling up his sleaves and negotiating hands on with big customers. a real salesman… not the typical “executive”.
    The upside may be that this keeps him longer in the company. Hopefully just a bigger title and more money… but no real change in how he spends his day.

    • Perhaps Tom Enders is leading from the front by hinting A needs to think about succession before he enforces it. Bloomberg says Leahy saw off eight BCA sales managers during almost 20 years. Probably many Airbus salesmen departed in the same timeframe, some perhaps as frustrated No 2s who saw no prospect of advancement.

    • Yep, this morning in Charleston. They didn’t make a big deal about it because, well, it was already kind of a mess.

  2. This “Future by Airbus” is funny. Apparently written by somebody not directly familiar with physics. But that fits well to the Airbus vision of the company in 2050: a management organisation, where engineering is a service you better buy somewhere in India and which could equally sell typewriters if market conditions demand (or because the Indians have finally managed to builkd there own aircraft – possessing all the engineering skill anyways, and just need to add the management thing).

    • true enough – what’s worse, it’s true for all (or at least the vast majority of) aerospace engineering companies.
      Boeing tried it with the 787, and walked into a few brick walls. Airbus proposed a few years ago to sell most of their parts production plants and has been sub-contracting engineering for years.
      I understand the real value adding is the final bolt to be installed – all previous bolts are useless without the final bolt – and I understand managers are less willing to outsource their own work, but I think the trend is a problem.

    • Airbus exchanged the article after you found it wanting?
      I am unable to match your report to the content of those two links.

  3. Engineering is about getting the right mix of skills and experience, feed them with the right information and keeping them motivated while cooperating. They don’t have to be in big hierarchical structures at the home land, like 40-50 yrs ago.

    India is a miracle indeed, so many skilled engineers helping out Airbus and Boeing, but not being able to build a decent aircraft themselves within reasonable budget/ time..

  4. Uwe :
    Airbus exchanged the article after you found it wanting?
    I am unable to match your report to the content of those two links.

    Try the one with the “continuous descent approach” day-dreaming. In one sentence, a complete contradicting set of requirements/physical relationsships.

    • http://www.google.de/search?q=continuous+descent+approach

      It is a pretty popular concept here. uk and de research abounds.
      it could clash with TOGA requirements and the nimbys under the approach path.

      Some of the other stuff they mention sounds like going towards hybrid drive concepts.
      Main engines off taxi solutions are “in view”. I would not be surprised if (parallel) hybrid electric main propulsion goes into testing in the next decade.

      To summ it up the concepts presented may actually be more realistic than Boeing’s sugar liner or their wings on struts concept. I have no feeling about BWB concepts finding their way into pax or freight transport. The concept is so old ( Junkers, functional merge of airplane parts, 1910 ) that one wonders why it hasn’t been taken up already.

      Apropos Airbus:
      I find it interesting that the engine installation concept shown seems to be a constant in these presentation. The Real Thing or distraction ?

  5. “I have no feeling about BWB concepts finding their way into pax or freight transport. The concept is so old ( Junkers, functional merge of airplane parts, 1910 ) that one wonders why it hasn’t been taken up already. ”

    One should consider that an efficiently designed BWB passenger compartment puts outboard pax much farther from the roll axis, and thus greater/quicker passenger displacement in a roll maneuver – probably not a pleasant experience for the average passenger.

    Also, 90 s. emergency egress is complicated by exit doors probably being further away than in a conventional passenger compartment.

    Finally, BWB would require airport gate interface to change radically with attendant high costs – and remember the gate would still have to accomodate present aircraft for a long time into the future.

    • It will be fuel economy that brings the BWB to the passenger market, its the last low hanging fruit to pick now. Maybe not in this decade but could be 2 decades away. All depends on the trend in energy cost, looking back over the last 10 years I see a clear trend here. Every saving will conut in the end.

  6. Regarding the funny Airbus “concept” with the engines at the fuselage: to my information, it is a rendered picture, no concept. Real concepts are never shown. Same with Boeing. What you in patents is dead ideas.

  7. No doubt John Leahy will dive into one of the bigger challenges in the coming years, bringing Airbus militairy’s biggest project into the biggest market.. Enormous potential but a political-industrial minefield. Remember the tanker..

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