They got out of their ‘380’, the French test pilots, and cheered just under twenty years ago. I remember well. They thought they’d made those Yanks smell poetry with their old Boeing 747. But what’s worse, they said so too.
Even during the press conference afterwards, the mocking and frankly mocking transatlantic comments were not off the air. Flat jokes from CEOs and PR hotshots who should have known better. An exhibition unworthy of a pan-European company. Everyone I talked to thought so about this.
History has punished them. The A380 has failed. And the Jumbo will go down in history as the plane that brought all the peoples of the earth closer together.
If in later years they begin to be astonished to find that of the four billion people in 1970 half lived in abject poverty, but that of the eight (!) billion people now, no less than six billion have a reasonable existence, the 747 can sometimes be cited as a factor. Unfortunately, the collective penalty for all this prosperity is the total destruction of the natural world itself.
The beginning of this story reminds me of an interview I once had with a tall uncle at Boeing. Of course Airbus was mentioned there. The man said: ‘Airbus makes a wonderful product. They are formidable competitors.’ Hyper neutral. Worthy, if you will. No giggles, no bad jokes. Even in that respect, relative newcomer Airbus still has a lot to learn from the American planemaker, which is now twice its age.
Reaction Lieneke Koornstra
Arrogance is not a good quality. Blowing high from the tower, or blowing high from the cockpit, does not pay, as has been shown in this case. Not because the Airbus A380 is a bad plane, the Superjumbo has proven to be a castle in the air, both literally (the plane quickly captures its passengers) and figuratively (instead after forty years the machine is put in place). aside en masse after twenty years). How does this come about? Because the design has been overtaken by time, see my article The short life of the Airbus A380.
But in retrospect, it was no longer a good move by Boeing to come up with a new version of the 747. Only afterwards do you look at a cow in her hole or, if you like, a plane in her APU.
I don’t know when you had that little interview with the big uncle from Boeing, Fat. Perhaps long before Boeing got into serious trouble as a result of a now arrogant culture that resulted in all the misery with the 737 MAX.
In 2011 I was one of the many visitors to the Paris Airshow. When I got there, it turned out that Boeing had already removed the machines it presented there, including the Boeing 747-8. No, Boeing was only showing its latest products to its potential buyers, the airlines. Boeing didn’t care about the people who make it possible for these airlines to fill their planes. Talk about arrogance. Airbus was there with its newest members. The air show with her Airbus A380 was definitely one of the highlights of my visit. And my disappointment that Boeing had already flown was certainly great. I would have loved to see the newest Jumbojet give away a show that day.
And how sad that Boeing refused to cooperate in preserving the very last pax DC-10. I’m definitely a big fan of the 747, I still think it’s a shame that no farewell flights were organized when KLM (early) said goodbye to the aircraft that also made this airline great. But today I go for Airbus. This aircraft manufacturer provides an excellent product and is also European.
Comment from a reader
Looking at the past five years, Airbus appears to be doing much better than Boeing.
The A380 is a miss and it gets a lot of media coverage because it is such a striking aircraft. And as you say, it was introduced with great fanfare.
The mistake that Boeing has been making for years is the lack of a replacement for the 757 (aside from the quality issues with the 737 and 787).
Airbus is selling the A321 in droves and Boeing has no answer. The A380 seems broken, fine, the costs are out and soon forgotten. That the A321 will be the money maker. Nevertheless, in Boeing-loving Holland, the column will certainly be appreciated ;).
Comment Hoax: The B747 was only ‘break even’ with five hundred pieces, I sometimes understood, while part of the development was also paid for by the defense.