New Air Force One

Discussion in 'Politics' started by arkfarmbear, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. arkfarmbear

    arkfarmbear New Member

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    The current 747s are getting rather long in the tooth. They entered service while Bush 1 was in office.
    Of course, they've had some upgrades but most planes from that time period are either stored in the desert or were scavenged for parts.
    Dubya revealed recently that on 9/11 AF1 did not have the capability to permit him to have secure conference calls.
    Boeing's latest version of the 747 is being touted as the replacement. (an Airbus A380 is too).
    I know it likely will be a long time before a president dare even suggest replacing the current planes. It would be cannon fodder for the oposition, populists and Tea Party loons. The direct and ripple effect jobs situation is something they don't think about.
     
  2. houtx48

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    And just how well do you think a European manufactured Airbus would go over?
     
  3. hypoc8

    hypoc8 Member

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    One thing you need to relize is that these planes are maintained much better than passenger airliners are. They are constantly being torn down and tested.
     
  4. arkfarmbear

    arkfarmbear New Member

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    I'm still reeling over Boeing's current quagmire! Boeing is in a fierce battle with Airbus for the planes that will replace the aging fleet we use for air-to-air refueling. (We buy and burn a lot of fuel protecting the asses of the citzenry of NATO).
    In my opinion since Boeing is the US airplane builder then there shouldn't be a competition. If Airbus wants the job they need to move their corporate headquarters and executives to the US and become incorporated as a US company.
    Airbus has teamed up with some "new" company that will provide some of the crap and scrap work to us but the important components will be held onto for themselves.
    They've already bought a few U.S. congress persons. My suspicion is that Boehner, McConnell and more of their ilk are on the list.
     
  5. sargon20

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  6. arkfarmbear

    arkfarmbear New Member

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    I am aware of that. Still, the 747-8 is a larger plane and has room for updates that can't be retrofitted into the current planes.
    Moreover, did you hear about the Southwest plane becoming an open sunroof model recently? On their website they said the airplane had undergone all of the tests, modifications and retrofits Boeing had suggested. Pieces of skin are routinely replaced under Boeing's guidance but they had a very dangerous incident anyway.
     
  7. lesmeljos

    lesmeljos Member

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    Ummm ... Am I missing something? How does this fit into LPSG? ... unless, of course we consider the size of the 747! LOL
     
  8. vince

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    Boeing lost the contract, it was reviewed, and won the re-bid contest in February.

    As to your opinion that EADS should incorporate in the US if they want to bid on US military contracts... Do you think that Boeing and Grumman and Lockheed should move their HQs to Europe so they can sell there? Or maybe Canada or Turkey? US companies sell military equipment around the world. It's a global business and I see no reason why EADS shouldn't be allowed to fairly bid in the USA.

    Do you not think American defense companies buy US Congress persons or Members of Parliament, or various National Assembly persons? The arms trade is a dirty business that the Americans play better than anyone in the world.
     
  9. FuzzyKen

    FuzzyKen New Member

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    Boing will probably get the contract in the end. Where the real criteria should be the better plane for the better price this will not be the case. We have an election year ahead of us. Unless a number of people decide that they want to retire you can guarantee that the American Voter will be looking very hard at keeping jobs here. Any elected politician who goes along with or signs of on filling American Fleets with foreign made planes will have problems.

    The United States military does have a few Harrier jump-jets which are foreign manufactured. When those were purchased there was hell to pay and the only reason those got in was that the numbers desired were quite small and for a special purpose.

    If the United States voters find the Government to be buying foreign made goods in numbers and for high dollars I pity the politicians and the blood bath that will commence.
     
  10. midlifebear

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    One thing a Boeing 767 has over an Airbus 380 is that the Boeing aircraft is based on a standard well-tested platform with a superior safety record. Unfortunately, it's the same aerospace technology that hasn't changed for more than 40 years. When it comes for a tit for tat Aribus is better than Boeing pissing contest, Airbus produces a much more comfortable product when it comes to passenger air service. They are wider allowing for better seats in economy and tourist class. They also weigh a bit less. However, the Airbus 320 has had more in-service problems than Boeing 757s and 767s. At least three Airbus 320s have had tail rudder failures. Boeing hasn't had any. An Airbus 320 can carry more fuel to refuel aircraft in the air. The 757s and 767s aren't as large with slightly less interior space.

    The issue of the 737 that had the skin pop and depressurize recently is frightening, but the cracks in the skins on all planes are a common problem. There was the Air Hawaii flight back in the 1979s/1980s where the entire center section of the top of a Boeing 737 tore off due to excessive stress from flying over sea water from island to island 24/7 during its time in service. Still, the air frame of the 737 was (and still is) so over-engineered that the plane landed safely (minus one flight attendant).

    Despite the Airbus 380s starting to bump into other planes on airport tarmacs, Boeing has orders for extended 747s that will keep the company busy for the next 15 years. Boeing has more than 40 years of re-engineering and refining the 747 and it's still the best jumbo jet for most domestic and foreign airlines primarily because it's kept pace with modern aerospace technology. It also fits all international airports without cracking tarmacs. The Airbus 380 requires that airports do a bit of reconstruction, the most common is airports knock out two gates and convert them to one just to accommodate the 380s' wingspan. The only other jumbo jet in currently manufactured is Boeings 777, and if you've ever flown in one you quickly realize it's not the same recycled technology that was used for the 757s and 767s. Unfortunately, Boeing hasn't sold enough of them to make their money back. But they are quite remarkable. British Airways probably owns the most 777s and has had a great record of making them pay off by dedicating them to specific long-haul intercontinental routs. The same 777 flies from Sky Harbor in Phoenix every night landing 12 hours later in Heathrow while another leaves Heathrow and lands at Sky Harbor. Who knew so many folks form the UK and Phoenix had such a great need to keep two 777s in rotation? BA has similarly dedicated 777s for their England to India and Southern Africa routes.

    Whenever I have the option, I happily choose an Airbus 320 for long distance travel. All of the USA's major carriers have them in their fleet. Very comfy. And definitely more comfortable than a 757 or 767 (it's the leg room and wider seats). But within the next 20 years Boeing will give Airbus a major challenge with wider (although shorter) long distance passenger planes that will not only save 10% on fuel, but will once again fly faster and get their passengers to their destinations quicker.

    Currently, the cost of fuel has created the 757s, 767s, Airbus 320s and 380s that lumber above the clouds at 525 to 545 ground miles per hour. Old Boeing 727s and DC 9s regularly blasted along at a comfy 625 ground miles per hour. And they were even capable of going considerably faster, although not quite close to Mach I. But the issue with flying fast is that it costs more in fuel. So, passenger flight currently is limited in speed, sort of like your grandmother's old Buick, because they are fuel hogs. Flying at the equivalent of 525 ground miles is sort of the 55 mph enforced for cars in the USA during the 1970s. That, however, will change within the next 20 years.

    Personally, considering the amount of money from the US military budget that has been awarded Boeing for the development of other aircraft over the decades, I see Boeing being the recipient of the refueling aircraft a no brainer. Boeing currently maintains and retrofits old McDonald Douglas aircraft after a somewhat US Government forced stock swap in 1997. Think about that the next time you climb aboard an MD 80 or MD 90 series T-tail jet. Boeing has continuously improved the frame and safety performance of Boeing 737s since the 1970s. Instead of just hopping along on short domestic flights, Delta and American use new 737s to fly from Atlanta and Salt Lake City, respectively, to Mexico City and Guatemala City. They've done the same continuous improvement and quality assurance with all of their planes. The same constant improvement resources aren't being directed at keeping McDonnell Douglass models "new and improved." And it's the old DC-10s (remember them?) that are being replaced by the Boeing 767 as refueling jets. The DC-10s were renamed KC-10s and used to refuel other aircraft in the air for the Air Force and the Navy. Even with the new order for Boeing planes, you won't be seeing the KC-10s immediately being retired when the Boeing aircraft arrive and are put into service.

    Considering the boom or bust nature of aircraft manufacturers, kudos to Boeing for holding out and "winning" that contract.
     
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