The battle continues to rage between Boeing and Airbus!
While this ongoing story is not really the focus of this blog, I just find it very interesting and have always enjoyed business war stories. Check PlanetNation often for the full and ongoing story.
First off, PlanetNation links to an article that reports that the launch of Airbus’ A350 – the main competition to Boeing’s 787 “Dreamliner” – may be delayed because their new chief executive needs time to approve the venture. If this happens, it could further anger and alienate Airbus customers around the world, giving Boeing further edge for their 787, provided Boeing does not encounter delays or problems.
Secondly, PlanetNation reports that construction of the center wing section for the 787 has begun in Japan.
In yet another possible blow to Airbus, GE-Aviation is considering whether they want to go forward with the estimated $1 billion dollar investment required to design the new engine that would power the revised A350:
GE-Aviation CEO Scott Donnelly said on the sidelines of a Wings Club speech in New York that GE was in talks with Airbus about the A350 and a possible new engine, but that no decision had been made. He said GE “would love to be on the plane,” but he had to weigh that desire against the large economic investment in a new powerplant.
Donnelly said the motor on the new engine would probably need to be about 10% larger than the GEnx that will power the Boeing 787 and the current A350 design. Other components, including the fan blades and combustors, would also be bigger, he said.
Rolls-Royce has offered their own engine for use in the A350 so Airbus could very well just go with Rolls-Royce, however if GE’s engine was to be superior then Airbus could lose out on that end of the deal as well.
While it’s mostly bad news for Airbus recently don’t count them out of the picture yet. They have an excellent line of aircraft and have shown creative and imaginative development. It was Boeing’s problems in the past that allowed Airbus to overtake them as the number 1 aircraft manufacturer in the world. While Boeing may very well take the lead once again, they must be careful to avoid the same problems and delays that Airbus has had in the development of the A380 and A350.
A big hat tip to PlanetNation.