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Boeing vs. Airbus

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One pilot's take on the old argument... (www.salon.com) Más...

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99NY
99NY 0
Good article - Its been said here before though that these days the pilots are probably the last people consulted about aircraft design. Bean-counters first, then the passengers, then maybe the pilots.
preacher1
preacher1 0
And as the article says, the Aircraft type is more of a personal preference than anything. An Airline pilot does make choices more based on seniority and the runs themselves and doesn't have any choice in the Aircraft that is assigned to it, so it's to their advantage to qualify in all types that they can. As a semi-retired corporate pilot, I had the advantage of the same aircraft most of the time. I did, and still prefer Boeing and am not typed in an Airbus.
sheka
mark tufts 0
i have never flown in an airbus so i don't know anything as i have alaways flown in a boeing aircraft
preacher1
preacher1 0
Being very honest, flying commercial, unless you are real picky and looking, most PAX either can't tell or don't care what they are on, as long as it takes off and lands and they don't spill a drink on their trip. with most loading/unloading done on jetways now, you don't get a chance to look the plane over that close. The main difference is in the cockpit.
BoeingFan59
Troy Raiteri 0
I've never flown on a jet in my life. Only in a C172 but when I do start flying (or if I will) I will definitely go with Boeing.
onjuku20
onjuku20 0
I've flown the 747, DC-8 and now the A-300. We rarely ever have any mechanical problems. It's slow and makes you a little uneasy in turbulence. People say it's the first airplane to fly like the simulator. I really like it.
preacher1
preacher1 0
onjuku20: and as I said earlier, personal preference is a big part of it, and the general apprehension of something new. Just like a kid not wanting to try something new; afraid they might like it.lol
yasyunono
yasyunono 0
It's a difference in thinking,cultural differences,the metric system and Yard-Pound system.
slgordon3
slgordon3 0
Wayne- you are absolutely correct about typical pax. The average traveler doesn't know, notice, or care whether they are flying in a 738 or an A320. Of course, the people on FlightAware aren't the average traveler lol.
preacher1
preacher1 0
slgordon3: we are a picky dang bunch, aren't we?lol
slgordon3
slgordon3 0
Haha yes we are, but the ordinary "civilian" passengers don't know what they're missing.
thunderland2
al fredericks 0
after all is said an done, in the things that are reliable (UNLIMITED CERTIFICATION), safe, forgiving, the pilot feeling the a/c responses. i'll take the old DC-3 over any a/c to-day. it has never been replaced. can the same be said of to-days a/c?. douglas got it right!
Av8nut
Michael Fuquay 0
As has been pointed out, the common passenger never knows the difference. Which is why many of them will probably be disappointed when the 787 takes the skies commercially. All the hype of it through the years, with it's advancements over previous models and cutting-edge technology - the common passenger will not see it. What a shame. Go Boeing!
PHXPhoto
Dan Mitchell 0
For me, Boeings always felt like a big car from Detroit in its heydey. Big, powerful, and comfortable, with plenty of sound deadening material to isolate you from all the little noises; on the other hand, the Airbus were like a '90s-era Honda Accord. Fuel-efficient and reliable, but bland, utilitarian, and lightweight, lacking a lot of the sound-deadening material, so you feel bumps more and hear more of the noise.

This isn't meant to be an accurate comparison of the two, it's just how I feel when I fly on a Boeing versus on an Airbus.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Well Dan, it all goes back to preference and what you're used to I guess. When you look all the way back in the jet age, and you find the 707 and Boeing went from there. But even long before that, there was a long history of building good Airplanes. Others came along with what later became ICON's ala the DC-3, but by and large we all grew up with the Boeing name. It is just like any other war torn or underdeveloped nation; we liberated them or helped them out on rebuilding and now they turn around and are trying to kick our butts. We need to buy American.
skipreb
Skip Wood 0
What a totally useless article. It said nothing useful. Their are tremendous differences between these aircraft builders and how they approach the flying characteristics and safety. Their are several books and many articles on their differences. Most importantly are the current safety records. Boeing wins, hands down.
chalet
chalet 0
@ thunderland2, you seem to be a fan of the DC-3, me too, unfortunately there are not that many around to fly. If you like the sound of the wonderful P&W R-1830s at full bore on take off go to You tube and type in Take off DC-3, there are videos a-plenty. I listen to that music at least once a week.
preacher1
preacher1 0
To Dan Mitchell/Skip Wood /onjuku20 - you are all very correct in what you say and feel.But Dan, as the Hondas go, they progressed as they learned what worked and what didn't plus what consumers wanted. As the years go by, so will Airbus. They already are and will be more of a formidable competitor as times go on and Boeing just needs to shake off the dust, accept it, and go on. I think all the electronics and in some cases, less than instantaneous response, give experienced pilots cause for concern at times and but like anything new, they will get used to it. In time Airbus will overcome and correct these problems. I think the fly by wire is a big hangup right now but Boeing is already there too, with the 777 and 87. It is just a matter of that joystick vs a yoke that all are used to. Boeing just goes about theirs a little different and still gives more control to the pilot and to an older pilot, it has a better feel.Flight assignments being made on seniority and all, a pilot doesn't have any choice on the Aricraft type assigned to that run and best be typed in all available AC's whether he likes it or not if he wants to maximize his $.
CessnaPilot10
Boeing no contest
RGibson259
Robert Gibson` 0
Remember, Guys, the cost of construction will be the primary decision maker supplimented by cost of operation. If Boeing continues to be built in a labor controlled environment they will, like the auto industry, go to a more favorable environment (like China) or fall behind in the market place.
thunderland2
al fredericks 0
to chalet - you betcha - i used to fix & run them, it was like loving a wholesome women. could feel her mood, feed back from treating her gently, never says no, never complains. but more than able to take care of herself. always bought you home. to-days planes are teasers only. who will remember them or find their unlimited air certifacations.
chalet
chalet 0
The Airbus vs. Boeing comparison will never end, it is already akin to the comparison as to which was the best car in the mid-50s Ford or the Chevy. Actually both were wonderful cars in all aspects.
whester
walker hester 0
No, this is not a difference like Ford vs. Chevy. This is a difference that is completely pervasive because it involves design philosophy. This isn't who makes a better, wing, or better landing gear. What this comes down to again and again is the interface between machine and pilot. Boeing believes the pilot needs to be the final arbiter of all decisions. Airbus feels differently and that they can design a machine to prevent pilots from crashing it. Unfortunately the engineers can't forsee every possibility and at times the complex interface lets the pilots down as it did in the Air France crash. Sidestick controllers and thrust control levers that don't move on the flight deck when the computer is controlling thrust are not intuitive and while they'll work fine in day to day operations, may induce additional problems in an emergency
thunderland2
al fredericks 0
i used to work with the asr-803 italian airport ground radar. it was designed using the S-1 METRIC SYSTEM. we could not put it to- gether as nothing would fit. too many compermizes. so we spent a lot of funds converting to the U.S/ decimal system. the metric system is good for oxe- carts, wheel barrels, paper airplanes.
chalet
chalet 0
@ Walker I was referring to the quality of the end product but I agree with you in that the pilot has to have the final decison powers, not the computers and this has been proved in unfortunately a number of fatal accidents.
thunderland2
al fredericks 0
just a question to all you gents - why build all these new a/c's.why not make the exsisting a/c such as the current 747, 737,DC-9,ETC GIVE THEM BETTER AN BETTER ENGINES.better avonics but the basic a/c remains the same. all the bugs have been worked out over the years of use. prettier, more complexity, more an more pilot out of the senorery loop etc. all else like speed, sevice ceiling,etc remains the same. 580 mph, 40,000 ft, r.o.c. why do we need something new, other than greed
chalet
chalet 0
@ thunderland2 the specialists and knowledgeable people can tell you in detail that you can not "refurbish" a 40-year old Buick and make it a 2011 Mercedes even if you re-engine it and install all the latest bells and whistles. The 747 has been modified over and over again and the original version 747-100 can not compare to the latest version the 747-8 as the later is a completely new from the ground up. The DC-9 is even older, Northwest spent a lot of money on its old and reliable hull to keep it flying, I guess some of them are still around but soon will head west to the desert, but it can not match say a 737-800.
preacher1
preacher1 0
Al: That is kinda what is being done, with so much hype. The 747-800 is pretty much as it was with a few upgrades, and now they finally get around, with the AMR order, to saying they are going to re-engine the 737. DC-9's have been lone gone, replaced by by the MD series but now they are getting old and will be replaced, at least at AAL, by a mix of the newer 737's and A-320's. That is why Airbus is bringing out the A320neo. It's a reengined version. BUT, to do that just plain jane as you say, you would have to do without the hooplah and hype and that can't happen cause that ain't the way you sell airplanes and get your name in the spotlight. If you advertise a crappy product enough, people will buy it, regardless of how good the competition is.lol
thunderland2
al fredericks 0
TO CHALET - i do not mean re- furbish! build them new, as they were last built. a known airframe, performance. with all the traits that the pilots held in regard. ex- i loved the 1965 chevelle, high performance 283, 4 speed etc. i wouldn't keep rebuilding it, but build it new as it was at first. i would buy it in a moment as i know its qualities, performance, reliability etc. by the way, i really enjoy conversing with you gents
swafav
Billy Holley 0
Boeing all the way...737 A+!
captainjman
Jason Feldman 0
Pilots should have final decision
Boeing would mean a better American economy
Airbus is inferior - end of discussion
preacher1
preacher1 0
Jason: you are absolutely correct and I agree with you 100%. Unfortunately that ain't the way the real world is. The only place I have heard lately where the pilots had any say was at FedEx.
Jeraboam
Jeraboam 0
As a passenger on many different types of Airbuses and Boeings flying across Canada and to Europe, I have come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter who makes the plane, it's how it is configured inside. A 777 is a piece of crap when one is jammed into a money-making 31 inch pitch seat and a delight when it is extended to 34 inches. An A320 is hell with a 31 inch pitch and pleasant with 34 inches. A Boeing with a 3-3-3 set-up is awful but enjoyable when 2-4-2. An Airbus with two washrooms for 240 people is a disaster; the same plane with three sets of washrooms is civilised. I would feel better with six engines for crossing the ocean but trust both makers with two! I hate both makes when there is turbulence but trust their integrity! I can't tell a Pratt and Whitney from a Rolls Royce from an Orenda but i am eternally grateful that none of them have ever let me down. And... contrary to their bad press, I find that the airline food from the galleys of both planes is usally quite warm and edible so now lets concentrate our energies on the real issues: improving the security process and the baggage handling, the planes are fine.
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 0
Lousy article that blunders around with not much new to say.
chalet
chalet 0
yasyunono will you STOP that nonsense of a entry and let serious people to write important things, same silly message over and over!!
CF104STARFIGHTER
Aafter over 42 years in the military and airlines, I never flew an aircraft that I didn't like. My favorite commercial aircraft was the B767, but the Airbus was a close second and as Denis says, you can make any tube fit for a king with configuration changes.
thunderland2
al fredericks 0
o.k children, settle down an get along, to each his own.
captainjman
Jason Feldman 0
As far as amenities for the passengers. It's about quality. It's about maintenance and it's about control over what the airplane does - who has ultimate say - pilot vs computer.

That plus the economic impact, it's a done deal. There is no debate. The only reason the airlines buy airbus is cost - which is artificially lowered by the manufacturing COUNTRIES while the USA is not allowed to do the same for some stupid Beaumcratic BS.

So really this is a financial war, and all the discussion of seat pitch etc etc is designed to distract from the real issues.

They are using money to destroy us. Period. Oh. And it's a subpar product.
thunderland2
al fredericks 0
of course its all about money, always was, is, will be.we sell our souls to oversea workforce. we owe money to the chineese, in most respects, north america has been out flanked by smarter, no holds bard foreign nations. our fault. we place our best technoligies in the hands of others and their devolpment is bought with our money. this also includes the N.A. aircraft industry.
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 0
personally, I have been a paying customer (no allusions to being at the pointy end of the tube) for about 35 years and have flown everything as a passenger from a Navaho to a 747 which in its span includes Boeings 727,37,47,67,77), Airbus 310,18,19,20,21,30,34), Fokkers, McDonald Douglas (8 ad 9) deHavillands (otter, twotter, dash 7,8), Lockheeds, Beechcraft (King Airs), Convairs, Hawkers (748) and I am certain a few others in there somewhere. When I stop for a second over a dram and reflected, the pause at the moment reflects that ABaB and BOEING at the comforts between Boeing vs Airbus, I must say from a passenger perspective and some reflection- wow can I say this that things being generally qeual in terms of leg room and seruve eing equal with leg room being equal and evive a presant as laeyas b boy airlied , how can I say this, but Boeings seem to have more "substance". Perhaps other terms that could be used are sturdier, solid, etc. Don't get me wrong, Airbus make some good aircraft but they don't seem to have the guts / feel that a Boeing has. Analogy? Toyota vs Lexus - same approach, different feel. Just my opinion.
alierkanozsoy
erkan ozsoy 0
I prefer airbus for comfort and boeing for safety
zulu44
zulu44 0
All I know and all I will say is 'I'm going Boeing.' I love the U.S. and I will keep my money here as much as I can.
thunderland2
al fredericks 0
with respect - i am glad in knowing, if (i hope not)you have a flight demize, that you can be in your comfort zone.
Galland
No mention of the Junkers airplane? The argument that Airbus is successful because it is subsidizes one way or another is rubbish. Anyhow the European manufacturer/states do not threaten to economically strangle any states that do not buy US airplanes. US has for decades forced overpriced unsuitable military airplanes down the throats of NATO members and Non-NATO members. The number one fighter pilot in the world with over 300 planes downed including 5 Mustangs advise the German Government against buying American fighter planes and was sacked, no doubt after American pressure. The Swedish inventor was cheated out of his invention for enhanced AIS which was blocked by USA FAA to protect the American Radar Industries, but was against US objection adopted by large majority in UN to be world standard for shipping. AIS is also used by Airlines despite all US efforts to stop H. Lanz invention. Lanz is treated just as shoddy as Alfred Nobel was when his patent for dynamite was stolen in the 19th century. The FAA even planted an American shyster in Stockholm which was introduced to Lanz and he offered to protect his case at a reasonable cost in US. This was bungled on purpose no doubt and the American Judge throw out Lanz case and concluded that he would have to pay the other parties legal cost around 300 million dollars.















faa
preacher1
preacher1 0
Arthur: I don't think you will get much argument going back to WW2 era because a lot of readers hear just flatly won't remember it.I'm not saying that AB is a crappy product or unsuccessful because of the subsidies but it is MORE sucessful because of them. If theirs was pulled down to the level of Boeing, it would be more difficult for them to compete as their production costs are higher. As time goes, those will probably come down.As far as the fighters, in the era in which you speak, there were no European manufacturers from which they could buy. As time went on, France&England started coming around but, quite honestly, the US did carry a big stick at that time and we had leaders that had the balls to use it. Too bad we don't today but that's another issue. I will not argue the radar issue as I really don't know anything about it. I did not know about the patent theft on the dynamite. I always thought Nobel invented/manufactured/got rich off the stuff; because that's where the money for the annual Nobel Peace Prize came from.
Galland
It is correct that Alfred Nobel made his money of of dynamite and the important ignition part just like Watt is remembered for the steam engine while the real invention/improvement was the condenser that cooled the steam and allowed the steam/lukewarm water to be recycled. Nobel family in Russia was also heavily involved in oil at Baku ans producing mines as a weapon for naval warfare. A.Nobel was however not in any sense a militarist and was worried about dynamite being used in harms way.
yasyunono
yasyunono 0
To Chalet-I'm sorry...I study English very hard! But,I like aircraft very much.
alistairm
alistairm 0
I love competition and Boeing vs Airbus is competition at it's best!! I really don't think anyone can say that one is better than the other. They are both great products and both have their pros and cons, just like any other product on the market today. I have flown in both Boeing and Airbus products and as a passenger, i don't think you can really make any serious or informative conclusions about the aircrafts performance. I think all we as passengers can say is, "i got plenty of leg room". Of course, you won't be saying that when you fly in economy with JAL... trust me! My 6 foot 4 inch frame has been there and done that! I am sure that Airbus and Boeing look at each other's designs and try to be similar, while being different. This is the only way two products can compete head to head like this. Further, all pilots are different, for they are only human. I suppose it would depend on their style and personality and what they find important in regards to flight systems and cockpit layout, to where they would lean towards: Boeing or Airbus. My buddy is a first officer for Air Transat and flys the A330 out of Montreal and he prefers Boeing. As he puts it, "Boeing makes aircraft for pilots". I prefer Boeing myself just because of their long aviation history and i have also fallen in love with the 777. Anyhow, there is really no ultimate authority on this subject who can say that Boeing is the best or Airbus is the best. Each to their own

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