Found this book just by chance in a bookstore in garuda mall in bangalore. Its really interesting and for any aircraft enthusiast its a very good read. I am a big fan of Air Crash Investigations in NGC and also any other program related to aircraft manufacturing, etc. Now I even got two small toys….one is a space shuttle and another one is an airplane that I always have in my backpack 🙂 (You can see the pics below).
This book has given me a good insight into the aviation business and how the two aircraft manufacturing biggies (Boeing & Airbus) compete in getting the deals. It also talks about the effects of the engine manufacturers, the wing designers, government aid, political influences that go into the making of a single aircraft. I could know about what other players existed before and how only two of the companies ended up being on the field.
The chapters that interested me the most were the ones with the details of engine makers, toyota manufacturing techniques, how airbus competed boeing with its A320….. the equivalent of Boeing 737, the Airbus A380, etc. One of the most interesting parts in the book was the one about the potential challenge from Asia especially China. I was surprised to know how Chinese government tries to get its political interests in any commercial deal with other countries. Also the japanese market scenario was quite interesting. It also mentions about the Indian market and the huge growth that is expected in the Indian aviation industry. The emirates case was also a good one. Finally, the book ends with the different scandals that Boeing was involved with in the military segment aircrafts. I was really surprised to know about corruption at such a high level even in US defence sector.
One point worth mentioning here is that Boeing definitely has the advantage of US government support in selling its aircrafts. This is definitely evident considering the Japanese market where Airbus has got just about 1% market share. And in the Indian context this is evident from the purchase of 68 Boeing planes (that includes 23 777’s and 27 787’s apart from other smaller aircrafts) in 2006 just after President Bush agreed to sell civil nuclear technology to India in July 2005. Same is the case with Chinese market as well. And just after reading this book my respect for SIA (Singapore Airlines) has further increased 🙂 . I would always personally rank SIA in first position.
The way Boeing has made many mistakes like taking the markets for granted and being stubborn has helped Airbus a lot in grabbing the market share. But ofcourse now its the same scenario in the Airbus stable as well 😀 . Boeing has also the advantage of using the latest technology developed by US military research, thereby reducing its costs in coming out with newer aircrafts. But at the same time even Airbus has got a lot of government aids from the European Union that helps it in getting the launch aid for any new aircrafts that it comes out with.
There are quite a few other interesting points in the book but that would make this post too long 🙂 . I would definitely suggest anyone interested in aircrafts to read this book.