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Uh oh! Airbus jabs Boeing with ad that looks like a Canberra caricature

Airbus loses its cool with Boeing over allegedly misleading claims, and borrows it seems from the art of Australian political caricature

Disclaimer: The current smear campaign against Julia Gillard is an abuse of the patience and expectations of thinking people of any political persuasion

Airbus has lost its cool with Boeing over claims that its 737 MAX series will be better than its A320 NEO series.

In a disconcertingly similar caricature to those regularly directed at the PM the European aircraft maker has hit, make that pierced, the US aviation media with an ad in which a Boeing 737 has grown a Pinocchio style nose.

The Airbus ad, as published by Bloomberg, no higher definition available

In this delicately balanced report Bloomberg says both manufacturers game their statistics in at times dubious ways.

As an observer of such claims over many, many years, it is also worth asking why Airbus and Boeing ever play the game, since there wouldn’t be an airline of size on the planet that would take advice or be in any way influenced as to the competitive advantages of any airliner from public or technical media reports.

In terms of airline needs, there are always going to be Airbuses and Boeings that are better or worse than their nearest equivalent for a particular carrier, because of the matrix of critical factors which varies from carrier to carrier and route to route.

Such decisions are based on tightly argued issues, including in no particular order, finance, price, relevant range/payload performance, and such unique issues as how a particular airframe will handle the long taxiways at a particular airport, or the gate sizes at a major hub, as well as past experiences with product support and reliability, and how well the aircraft are actually assembled in terms of quality and tolerances.

It’s not about Carlton v Collingwood, or Ford v Holden, or given the tenor of the Airbus ad, Celtic v Rangers.

It’s about what machine does the job best for each unique set of needs, and it is telling that the aircraft leasing companies, who these days own at least 40% of the airliners being made, make sure they have plenty of the most popular airliners, the 737s and A320s, on their books.

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  • 1
    fredex
    Posted November 27, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Disclaimer: The current smear campaign against Julia Gillard is an abuse of the patience and expectations of thinking people of any political persuasion

    Nicely put.

  • 2
    Uwe
    Posted November 27, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    Well, imho it _is_ balanced:
    Airbus has the fleshier belly fairing and Boeing the longer nose.

    Whatever, imho Boeing ( US in general ) communications needs a lot more despin than what we get from anywhere else.
    Or is it the Shaw Trap : same words but nonetheless two different languages ?

  • 3
    Mark Burns
    Posted November 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    “given the tenor of the Airbus ad, Celtic v Rangers.”

    Both Airbus, Boeing and Celtic are very much alive. Rangers are dead.

  • 4
    SBH
    Posted November 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I’ve always wondered about elaborate and expensive adds for multi-million dollar military hardware in aeroplane mags. It could be that even buyers with big bucks are people influenced by gloss and that it can be hard to make a right choice when the variables start to stack up.

    What avionics do you think are in the nose?

  • 5
    Uwe
    Posted November 28, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    What avionics do you think are in the nose?

    ( Sidescanning ) Radar? Volcanic Ash Detector in the very front?

    Though I think it is similar to the Skval torpedo “supercavitation plate”.
    It creates a vacuum bubble for moving the fuselage mostly frictionless ;-)

  • 6
    Posted November 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Initially I though it was a Pitot Proboscis, but now I suspect it is an add-on designed to improve on-time arrival statistics… This airliner will arrive at the terminal 5 seconds earlier that it would without the snout.

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