Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 27, 2005

Bye-bye 747

The latest tool for the most inconvenient way to travel comes down at a list price of some $270 million.

On your flight to that "lonely spot" the travel agent envisioned, you will be joined by up to 839 fellows in being immobilized, dehydrated and deprived of oxygen.

Having arrived you will just forget about peak oil, global warming, uncontrolled development and all the other menaces your unreasonable fellow humans bring about.

Okay, apart from that depression, congrats to the Airbus folks who did get this hydrocarbon eating bird up and down without trouble.

Posted by b on April 27, 2005 at 17:26 UTC | Permalink


Airbus carries 800 passengers - Wow, a flying long before xUSgov. buys 'em to pack us off more efficiently to concentration camps? Can't imagine why anyone would voluntarily venture aboard such a monstrosity. Congratulations to Europeans for finally doing something to make US pirates look intelligent - I know it wasn't easy...

Posted by: jj | Apr 27 2005 18:57 utc | 1

Sigh. Can we call you xjj?

More usefully, if you assume that large numbers of people will want to be moved large distances, is this a more or less efficient way of doing it? Do bigger planes cost less fuel per passenger per mile or not. Is this environmentally worse or better than a 747 or other planes, assuming reasonably full planes.

Posted by: Colman | Apr 27 2005 19:03 utc | 2

Bernhard - thanks. Was it big new in Hamburg as well? Did they have 50,000 people in the streets to celebrate like in Toulouse?

Oddly, I find the images of the transportation of the various parts of the plane on roads or barges even more impressive than the take off. You don't really have an impression of its size when it flies.

It's been interesting to see all the attacks from Boeing in recent times. Did they also stop work to watch take off in Seattle?

Posted by: Jérôme | Apr 27 2005 19:30 utc | 3

I prefer that my country spends euros on technology like the A380. OK, it might be harmful in the long run but invading Iraq in the short run?

Posted by: Friendly Fire | Apr 27 2005 20:48 utc | 4

@Jérôme - no - I guess the folks at the Airbus factory had a party (though there are soem reasons not to have one - the software for production controlling the A380 is a serious, very serious mess). We are waiting for the first one to land in Hamburg. I am slightly off the landing path but some people will have more noise than before.

Posted by: b | Apr 27 2005 21:15 utc | 5

Bernhard, I know your last msg was to Jerome, and that he probably understood it fine. But I want to know more detail on how and why the software is such a serious mess, and what the software is supposed to do that it is not doing.

Just curious.

Posted by: rapt | Apr 28 2005 1:01 utc | 6

@rapt - there was a new system to come into place for the A380 production to handle all the myriad parts and the production timing and quality control for just-in-time production. The old system is just to small to keep up with a high production rate of 380s. When building such planes you have to document (for at least 25 years) the quality control of even the smallest screw that goes into the plane - lots of data of complicate structure.

Well - the new stuff didn´t work, so now they had to put the 380 stuff into the old system and are resetting the process for the new system. The reasons are bad planing, interference from dumb higher ups and some national competition issues between French/German/British engineers. Just a normal international software project screwup, but with dire consequences because eventually everything must expensivly be migrated to the new system and some doubt that the move will ever be really possible.

Posted by: b | Apr 28 2005 8:22 utc | 7

I liked the Concorde better. At least it LOOKED cool.

Posted by: Billmon | Apr 28 2005 15:48 utc | 8

In fifth grade my friends an I had a lunch time converstation about building a plane so large that it wrapped all the way around the world and never took off, instead the seats would be on rails and passangers could get off at their stop.

Which company do you think will be the first to build it, Boeing or Airbus?

Posted by: stoy | Apr 28 2005 22:32 utc | 9


Posted by: DeAnander | Apr 28 2005 22:48 utc | 10

The one thing that bothers me most about this airplane is 800 people will die when it smashes into the earth. Every make and model of aircraft has and will crash. What a perfect target for a terrorist!

It would be smart for Boeing to focus on a super effecient, 300 passenger aircraft that costs 1/4 the price.

The super jumbo is a bad idea.

Posted by: Chuck | Apr 29 2005 15:14 utc | 11

Because of the logistics entailed, and the time spent in both boarding and disembarking the Airbus 380 (carrying 550-800 passengers) its destination is likely that of a ghastly financial disaster.

Airport real estate is already at a premium and priced out of sight. Yet Airbus feels that the tax payers, in all the countries it plans to serve, are going to be willing to disgorge millions and billions of $$ in airport renovation cost thus increased fees in order to service this monstrosity. I don't think so.

Posted by: Lamorial | May 1 2005 4:16 utc | 12


- The same argument came up when the 747 was introduced. It didn´t matter.

Posted by: b | May 1 2005 10:12 utc | 13

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