Air Wars is now available via Barnes and Noble

Dec. 29, 2021: Air Wars, The Global Combat Between Airbus and Boeing, is now available in paperback via Barnes and Noble. It is also available via Amazon in paperback and eBook.

Air Wars is by LNA’s Scott Hamilton. It covers 35 years of the global sales and product strategy between Airbus and Boeing. John Leahy, who retired in January 2018, led Airbus’ sales teams in the US and globally for most of his 33 years at Airbus. The book covers his successes and failures, campaigns against Boeing and gets both sides of these campaigns and product strategies from key people like Leahy, Tom Enders, Kiran Rao, Tom Williams and Leahy’s successor, Christian Scherer at Airbus; and Ray Conner, Jim Albaugh, Scott Carson, Toby Bright and John Feren from Boeing. Industry players like Steven Udvar-Hazy and John Plueger are also interviewed.

Key events, scandals

The story and threat of the Bombardier C Series and why Boeing didn’t buy the program when it had the chance and why Airbus did after first passing on it.

Key events, such as the competition for the KC-X USAF tanker, the 737 MAX grounding and the COVID pandemic are also covered.

Air Wars has been termed by several readers as a “worthy successor” to 1982’s The Sporty Game by John Newhouse. This book was considered at the time to be the definitive look at the competition between Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and the upstart Airbus. Leahy joined Airbus three years later. A decade after that, McDonnell Douglas Corp tried to recruit Leahy from Airbus. One can only imagine what history might have been had Leahy gone to MDC and then to Boeing in the 1997 merger.

Find out these stories and more in Air Wars.


16 Comments on “Air Wars is now available via Barnes and Noble

  1. A great read for airplane nerds and anyone interested in a detailed look at a clash of corporate titans. Those guys play for big stakes.
    I’m glad Boeing didn’t buy the C series. They would have buried it.
    Just finished the book and loved it.

    • Don’t be so sure Airbus won’t do the same.

      Notice how Faury is still waffling on the A220-500.

      • He as been as upbeat about it as he can be prior to a formal launch. for example compare his statements with Boeings regarding any new aircraft. Boeing has not even come out and said the new 777xF is “only a matter of time”.

        Until Faury has board authority and a final decision has been made waffling is all we are going to get.

      • Airbus official statement was:
        A220 needs to be out of the red for the A220-500 to be offered. ( which seems to be sensible .. )

  2. Well done Scott-have read most of it via Kindle. On 777 Program Ray Conner was an up and coming shop manager and I had a few good dealings with him. How many remember that 777 static test of wing limit load was within 3 percent of predicted ( failed at 154 percent limit load versus 157 percent predicted and at location predicted ).

  3. Bubba2 — “How many remember that 777 static test of wing limit load … failed at 154 percent limit load versus 157 percent predicted”? Given that the target was not less than 150 percent, one might argue that the wing offered little more than half the safety margin expected. Just sayin’.

  4. OK- First the data I used-stated came from my copy of the simple handout Boeing provided at the time of the test on the 777 and the comments made in a meeting about 1/2 hour after the planned failure.

    Second I will post a copy and paste from one of many public sites the definition of Limit load and Ultimate loa.
    Limit Load
    Under both EASA Certification Aircraft Structure Specifications (CS) 23 (Small Aeroplanes) and 25 (Large Aeroplanes) and the equivalent FAA specifications under 14 CFR Section 23/25, the Limit Load is the maximum load to be expected in service (Loads – CS 25.301 and Section 25.301). Any part of the structure of an aircraft must be able to support the limit load without permanent deformation.

    Ultimate Load
    The Ultimate Load is the Limit Load multiplied by a prescribed Safety Factor of 1.5. Any part of the structure of an aircraft must be able to support the Ultimate Load and, with certain exceptions, be able to do so without failure for at least 3 seconds (Strength and deformation – CS 25.305 and Section 25.305).

    AS to the location of the failure- symetrical in location and time on both wings
    Reading-paraphrasing from my copy- with MY comments in ( )
    On Jan 14 1995 inside the 40-26 bldg- starting at 10 AM and test completion scheduled between 11:30 and 2 PM

    And for a visual example

    Have a nice year !
    (The long time had to do with the initial loading and step increase in loads- stopping to check-calibrate bucu strain gages, etc. until 100 percent load checks took about 20 minutes in each 20 percent step. At 100 percent steps were only a few minutes. )

    Failure was predicted to break between stringers 20 thru 25 on the upper surface of the wing ( a sketch of the area was provided which showed aËśmarked area between front and rear spars about 1/2 way of wing outside body )


  5. Bubba2 — Thank you for providing your source re limit (LL) and ultimate (UL) loads. My point remains that — given UL requires the structure to support 1.5 times LL — Boeing had to meet a minimum requirement for 150 percent LL. It predicted the design would demonstrate 157 percent LL (or, if you will, show a ‘safety margin’ beyond UL requirements of seven percentage points) and in the event achieved 154 percent LL. I am sure all concerned were well pleased to exceed load requirements by almost 3 percent. Thanks again.

  6. 777-9 testing: Failure in 99% of required UL, fuselage rupture in a place totally unexpected. For months B was able to keep it internally. Then FAA became more critical for reasons known, and a root cause investigation created new “insights” into the certification process. I expect TC around Q4 2024.

    I fear we might see A350-1000 orders/conversions to start dripping in from A350 customers like, SQ, LH, DL, AF and EK in 2022.

  7. @John :As stated in the title of the article: Air Wars is now available via Barnes and Noble,……

    • Bluedog – think it not impossible that John is seeking a real, live bookshop…

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