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 Post subject: The not-so-free market
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:20 am 
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There was a time when we were following every twist and turn in the ongoing Airbus saga and the dispute with Boeing, but it is simply one of those issues that do not excite that much interest, so it is very hard to keep up the narrative.

However, as the story runs into its eighth year, things are beginning to come to a head. The scale of the subsidies involved, in the order of $18 billion, is so huge that the story will not die, and even the Daily Mail is taking an interest.

Alongside Bloomberg and others, it is reporting that the Obama administration has requested that the World Trade Organisation set up a compliance panel to deal with what it is calling the "inconsistent" subsidies from the EU member states, paid over to Airbus.

View full article here

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 Post subject: Re: The not-so-free market
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:19 am 

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Quote:
Nevertheless, one is tempted to wish a plague on both houses. Cumulatively – on both sides of the Atlantic, we are looking at $25 billion of taxpayers' money handed over to aircraft makers, to keep them competing with each other. Whatever happened to the free market, where the best product was supposed to prevail?

The conflict between globalised bureaucracy and local politics always trips them up.

It'd be terribly handy for the US if China cancels their Airbus orders.


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 Post subject: Re: The not-so-free market
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:29 am 

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Quote:
The conflict between globalised bureaucracy and local politics always trips them up.


Good summation,local politics does tend to grip policy makers where there are large or to big to fail industries.The shut down of huge plants/businesses causes regional devastation that blots the record of any government.


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 Post subject: Re: The not-so-free market
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:46 am 
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gareth wrote:
Quote:
Nevertheless, one is tempted to wish a plague on both houses. Cumulatively – on both sides of the Atlantic, we are looking at $25 billion of taxpayers' money handed over to aircraft makers, to keep them competing with each other. Whatever happened to the free market, where the best product was supposed to prevail?

The conflict between globalised bureaucracy and local politics always trips them up.

It'd be terribly handy for the US if China cancels their Airbus orders.


Soon enough Chinese orders will dry up .. once the technology has been copied and mastered. Then we will be competing with Chinese-made versions of the aircraft we have sold them.

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 Post subject: Re: The not-so-free market
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 8:48 am 
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Quote:
RAENorth wrote "......Nevertheless, one is tempted to wish a plague on both houses. Cumulatively – on both sides of the Atlantic, we are looking at $25 billion of taxpayers' money handed over to aircraft makers, to keep them competing with each other. Whatever happened to the free market, where the best product was supposed to prevail?........."


The whole aviation industry is a huge racket. Subsidies for building aircraft, subsidised fuel and all kinds of 'Spanish' practices re routes and airport slots. However I don't suppose it'll be cleaned up any time soon. So I agree with the sentiment expressed above in fact " A plague on all their houses"


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 Post subject: Re: The not-so-free market
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:23 pm 
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What is being alleged by the US is that the subsidies have cost American aerospace companies tens of billions of dollars in lost revenue, which in turn "has cost American workers their jobs and hurt their families and communities".


Well that is really a bit rich Richard…

Remind me, but which nation was it that put De Havilland and the Comet, and consequently the entire British commercial aircraft industry out of business?

Whilst I am no fan of the EU and its shenanigans, I am feeling a little warmer about it, when I see that the USA does not understand that the biter has been bit.

Though why aviation projects have to be run by states and superstates, rather than co-operative deals between private companies any more than other big projects is a moot point.


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 Post subject: Re: The not-so-free market
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:48 pm 
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Stephen Jenner wrote:
Quote:
What is being alleged by the US is that the subsidies have cost American aerospace companies tens of billions of dollars in lost revenue, which in turn "has cost American workers their jobs and hurt their families and communities".


Well that is really a bit rich Richard…

Remind me, but which nation was it that put De Havilland and the Comet, and consequently the entire British commercial aircraft industry out of business?

Whilst I am no fan of the EU and its shenanigans, I am feeling a little warmer about it, when I see that the USA does not understand that the biter has been bit.

Though why aviation projects have to be run by states and superstates, rather than co-operative deals between private companies any more than other big projects is a moot point.


Yes, that did cross my mind ... predatory pricing, sweetheart deals, low-cost credit and all sorts of other inducements did for the Comet ... and don't even start on the BAC 111.

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 Post subject: Re: The not-so-free market
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:27 pm 
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RAENORTH wrote:
Yes, that did cross my mind ... predatory pricing, sweetheart deals, low-cost credit and all sorts of other inducements did for the Comet ... and don't even start on the BAC 111.


BOAC did for the comet by demanding square windows the source of the fatigue cracking which did for the Comet 1.


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 Post subject: Re: The not-so-free market
PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:09 pm 
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Jazz606 wrote:
RAENORTH wrote:
Yes, that did cross my mind ... predatory pricing, sweetheart deals, low-cost credit and all sorts of other inducements did for the Comet ... and don't even start on the BAC 111.


BOAC did for the comet by demanding square windows the source of the fatigue cracking which did for the Comet 1.


Nooooo ... the 4b and 4c were fine aeroplanes.

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 Post subject: Re: The not-so-free market
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:50 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:09 pm
Posts: 95
Location: Stroud Gloucestershire UK
RAENORTH wrote:
gareth wrote:
Quote:
Nevertheless, one is tempted to wish a plague on both houses. Cumulatively – on both sides of the Atlantic, we are looking at $25 billion of taxpayers' money handed over to aircraft makers, to keep them competing with each other. Whatever happened to the free market, where the best product was supposed to prevail?

The conflict between globalised bureaucracy and local politics always trips them up.

It'd be terribly handy for the US if China cancels their Airbus orders.


Soon enough Chinese orders will dry up .. once the technology has been copied and mastered. Then we will be competing with Chinese-made versions of the aircraft we have sold them.


Commenting as an engineer I can say that this is not proving so easy for the Chinese. The manufacturing processes are often beyond them as they don't have the years of accumulated knowledge. Knowing what something is is one thing, figuring how to make is quiet another.

Wind turbine gearboxes are a case in point. Even when they are given the design and the "recipe" for the materials they still don't understand the discipline necessary in producing something exactly every time to ensure 20 years of reliable operation. When it comes to something such as the turbine blades of modern high bypass turbo fan such as the RR Trent then they haven't a clue.

Even something taken for granted such as heavy duty diesel engines that are now certified as zero emissions are only produced in the US UK Europe and Japan. Consumer goods such as the iPad may be high technology, but are often far easier to produce, with key components coming from the west and and the real key being the software. No I'm not worried about the Chinese steeling a march on us. I'm more worried about the incompetents on both sides of the Atlantic doing the opposite of what they should do.


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 Post subject: Re: The not-so-free market
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:56 pm 
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PeterMG wrote:
RAENORTH wrote:
gareth wrote:
Quote:
Nevertheless, one is tempted to wish a plague on both houses. Cumulatively – on both sides of the Atlantic, we are looking at $25 billion of taxpayers' money handed over to aircraft makers, to keep them competing with each other. Whatever happened to the free market, where the best product was supposed to prevail?

The conflict between globalised bureaucracy and local politics always trips them up.

It'd be terribly handy for the US if China cancels their Airbus orders.


Soon enough Chinese orders will dry up .. once the technology has been copied and mastered. Then we will be competing with Chinese-made versions of the aircraft we have sold them.


Commenting as an engineer I can say that this is not proving so easy for the Chinese. The manufacturing processes are often beyond them as they don't have the years of accumulated knowledge. Knowing what something is is one thing, figuring how to make is quiet another.

Wind turbine gearboxes are a case in point. Even when they are given the design and the "recipe" for the materials they still don't understand the discipline necessary in producing something exactly every time to ensure 20 years of reliable operation. When it comes to something such as the turbine blades of modern high bypass turbo fan such as the RR Trent then they haven't a clue.

Even something taken for granted such as heavy duty diesel engines that are now certified as zero emissions are only produced in the US UK Europe and Japan. Consumer goods such as the iPad may be high technology, but are often far easier to produce, with key components coming from the west and and the real key being the software. No I'm not worried about the Chinese steeling a march on us. I'm more worried about the incompetents on both sides of the Atlantic doing the opposite of what they should do.


Give them time ... the Japanese were there once ... now we are building their cars.

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 Post subject: Re: The not-so-free market
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:58 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:09 pm
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Location: Stroud Gloucestershire UK
RAENORTH wrote:
Jazz606 wrote:
RAENORTH wrote:
Yes, that did cross my mind ... predatory pricing, sweetheart deals, low-cost credit and all sorts of other inducements did for the Comet ... and don't even start on the BAC 111.


BOAC did for the comet by demanding square windows the source of the fatigue cracking which did for the Comet 1.


Nooooo ... the 4b and 4c were fine aeroplanes.


BOAC also kept changing the requirement of the VC10, insisting that it operate the Hot and High routes from short airfields. So a powerful hotrod was produced that could operate from short fields. The 707 came out and needed 10,000 ft to get airborne and everyone built larger fields. At a stroke the VC10 was uneconomic. We are often the best at shooting ourselves in the foot.


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 Post subject: Re: The not-so-free market
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:13 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:09 pm
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Location: Stroud Gloucestershire UK
RAENORTH wrote:
PeterMG wrote:
RAENORTH wrote:
gareth wrote:
Quote:
Nevertheless, one is tempted to wish a plague on both houses. Cumulatively – on both sides of the Atlantic, we are looking at $25 billion of taxpayers' money handed over to aircraft makers, to keep them competing with each other. Whatever happened to the free market, where the best product was supposed to prevail?

The conflict between globalised bureaucracy and local politics always trips them up.

It'd be terribly handy for the US if China cancels their Airbus orders.


Soon enough Chinese orders will dry up .. once the technology has been copied and mastered. Then we will be competing with Chinese-made versions of the aircraft we have sold them.


Commenting as an engineer I can say that this is not proving so easy for the Chinese. The manufacturing processes are often beyond them as they don't have the years of accumulated knowledge. Knowing what something is is one thing, figuring how to make is quiet another.

Wind turbine gearboxes are a case in point. Even when they are given the design and the "recipe" for the materials they still don't understand the discipline necessary in producing something exactly every time to ensure 20 years of reliable operation. When it comes to something such as the turbine blades of modern high bypass turbo fan such as the RR Trent then they haven't a clue.

Even something taken for granted such as heavy duty diesel engines that are now certified as zero emissions are only produced in the US UK Europe and Japan. Consumer goods such as the iPad may be high technology, but are often far easier to produce, with key components coming from the west and and the real key being the software. No I'm not worried about the Chinese steeling a march on us. I'm more worried about the incompetents on both sides of the Atlantic doing the opposite of what they should do.


Give them time ... the Japanese were there once ... now we are building their cars.


Indeed they were, and are still not up with the US or UK believe it or not when it come to producing say diesel engines. Komatsu uses Cummins engines in all their heavy duty equipment, irrespective of how they badge them, and many of those engines are produced in here in Daventry. The jap truck manufactures are slowly becoming part of a US or European groups. Anyone can produce a diesel engine, but making one that only emits only CO2 and H2O and N2 out the exhaust is the tricky bit. And making it reliable for a million miles is very tricky, and something taken for granted. These things get very little publicity as they are too hard to understand and not very "sexy".


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 Post subject: Re: The not-so-free market
PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:15 pm 
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PeterMG wrote:
Indeed they were, and are still not up with the US or UK believe it or not when it come to producing say diesel engines. Komatsu uses Cummins engines in all their heavy duty equipment, irrespective of how they badge them, and many of those engines are produced in here in Daventry. The jap truck manufactures are slowly becoming part of a US or European groups. Anyone can produce a diesel engine, but making one that only emits only CO2 and H2O and N2 out the exhaust is the tricky bit. And making it reliable for a million miles is very tricky, and something taken for granted. These things get very little publicity as they are too hard to understand and not very "sexy".


Point taken.

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 Post subject: Re: The not-so-free market
PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:17 am 

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Also; the Nissan Micra AND the Renault Clio were designed in Sunderland, sharing a large number of major components.

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