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Bloviating Zeppelin: Boeing: KATN

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Boeing: KATN

"If it's not Boeing, I'm not going."
-- Mantra from most ALPA members in the 20th Century

Boeing, like many US manufacturers, have come across more than their fair share of roadblocks, union issues, construction problems, competition snags and the like. Once an absolute and undisputed powerhouse in the world of military and commercial aircraft construction, Boeing slipped most recently to second place behind the consortium of Airbus Industries.

Except now. Boeing is back and, as exemplified above, Kicking Ass and Taking Names.

Unlike General Motors, which is bleeding customers and divisions. Recently GM divested and sold its Electo Motive Division which historically brought diesel-electric locomotive manufacturing to unprecedented levels. With the sale of EMD to a third-rate manufacturer, American locomotive construction now gets handed primarily over to General Electric -- a semi-testimony to the supremacy of 4-stroke diesels to 2-stroke diesels. EMD lagged behind, decentralized to Canada and Mexico, kept to its 2-stroke design, limited its model line, and watched as GE took revolutionary technological steps.

Like GM, Delphi entered bankruptcy in October of last year, it being the largest car parts maker in the US. Spun off from GM in 1999, GM is still its biggest customer.

But enough of the bad news.

The good news:

Boeing booked more than a thousand orders for new aircraft in 2005 and is thus certain to outsell Airbus, its European arch-rival, for the first time in years. But both planemakers have reason to celebrate, for now at least, as the airline industry emerges from its post-September 11th slump.
Whereas Airbus is putting a great deal of its thrust into the A380, a double-decker 555-passenger, two-level aircraft requiring its own separate facilities for boarding (due to size), Boeing has decided to go with the 787, a state of the art aircraft which would utilize current airport infrastructure. Some persons are theorizing that, in reality, it would take a minimum of one and possibly two hours for a full passenger manifest to board an Airbus A380.
In my opinion, this does not bode well for an emergency evacuation but, sales and time will tell. One thing is certain: the first A380 to go down will cause an upheaval in the media, the public and in the industry.


Blogger Fish said...

If I'm lucky I'll never have to board a commercial airliner again. I detest the whole experience other than the speed reaching the destination. Most major airports require a long walk, the tedious search, then boarding takes forever because too many people try to carry too much on to the plane and hold up everyone trying to reach their seats, then the reverse trying to disembark. I'm tall and unless I can get one of the seats in front of an emergency exit there's no room for my legs. I'm slender for my height but there are a lot of overweight people and I'll invariably be seated next to one. They are too wide to fit in their seat and will raise the arm so they overlap into my area.

Last time I was able to get an emergency exit seat I was reading the instructions I was to follow in the event of an emergency. it told how to unlatch the door then instructed me to lift it and set it into the seats of that row before pulling the cord to activate the emergency ramp. I thought, "Yeah, the company that owns the door wants me to save it. I would unlatch the door and drop it through the opening so it was out of the road completely"

Mon Jan 09, 07:34:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Unfortunately for the bulk of flyers your scenario is spot on. The whole flying experience before 9-11 wasn't fabulous, and it's certainly become more trying. I'm not a white-knuckle flyer per se, but I'm also no fan of a colonoscopy through the security area.

I've been lucky insofar as any post 9-11 flights have been relatively local. If I were to, say, fly entirely cross country now, or to Hawaii or Australia, I would save even more greckels to take a first class seat.

I've taken first class twice and it made all the difference, at least to me, in the world when I arrived at my destination. However, first class is astoundingly pricey and many people simply won't go there.

As to the A380, I've already decided I'll never fly on one. Too large, too long to board, too long to evac in an emergency. A 747 is bad enough.

Mon Jan 09, 07:54:00 AM PST  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

This is good news. Someday I would like to travel more and fly more.

Mon Jan 09, 09:07:00 AM PST  
Blogger TexasFred said...

I haven't flown since 9-11, hope I don't have to... On any of em...

Mon Jan 09, 10:02:00 AM PST  
Blogger bigwhitehat said...

I hate flying in airbus trash. I love boeing planes.

You know me and Jeff from think sink have a little fight now and then.

Did you know that Jeff has been getting into shape? He looks great. Go check it out here.

Mon Jan 09, 10:10:00 AM PST  
Blogger Gayle said...

I won't fly anymore either, unless there is simply no way around it. I like being the nut behind the wheel, so to speak. Hopefully I'll never have to board a commercial airplane again. Three times in my lifetime is more than enough, and that was before 9/11.

I'm not afraid of flying though. I just prefer a Cessna, or something small so I actually feel like I'm flying.

Mon Jan 09, 10:13:00 AM PST  
Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Sigh. I just get in line with the bunch. My poor wife can take longer to get through security than anyone I know. She has two knee replacements, and though she has a formal card that even has exrays of her knees, when the bell rings they do everything but a strip search. Unfortunately Boeing can't do anything about that.

Mon Jan 09, 08:13:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

3S10: Yes sir, agreed, Boeing can only go so far. At least we don't have the backgrounding of anyone flying El Al. On the other hand, after having BOARDED an El Al craft, I would be very HAPPY about the screening.

Tue Jan 10, 04:32:00 AM PST  

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