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Boeing's Product Development Stumble Essay

1368 words - 5 pages

IntroductionThe Boeing Company is the world's largest aerospace company. It is neck-and-neck with Airbus as the #1 maker of large commercial jets, and is the #3 defense contractor behind Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman. Boeing's commercial aircraft include the 7E7 Dreamliner, 767, 747, and the 737; military aircraft include the F/A-18 Hornet, the F-15 Eagle, the C-17 Globemaster III transport, and the AH-64D Apache helicopter. Boeing's space operations include communications satellites, Delta rockets, missiles, the International Space Station, and the Space Shuttle.Firm AnalysisWith a heritage that mirrors the first 100 years of flight, The Boeing Company provides products and services to customers in 145 countries. Boeing has been the premier manufacturer of commercial jetliners for more than 40 years, and is a global market leader in military aircraft, satellites, missile defense, human space flight, and launch systems and services. Total company revenues for 2003 were $50.5 billion (WSJ.com)Boeing seems to have many problems with the commercial airplanes as Airbus not only had more orders last year, but also delivered more planes (Airbus). The question that still remains is if Boeing is able to compete with the successful A340/330 and if the 7E7 will be a competitive enough product.Certainly Airbus has gained ground and even surpassed Boeing for the past couple of years. Yet it is still not too late for Boeing. After all, it has survived Lockheed, Douglas, and McDonell. The company has been in the business too long for it to give up its dominant position in the aerospace industry.Boeing's CEO, Harry Stonecipher, plans to step up complaints over what he says are government subsidies given to Airbus. Boeing and Airbus have been in a long dispute over which company is taking more advantage of government money, as Boeing is using government-funded Japanese suppliers to build its new 7E7 plane while Airbus gets loans from European governments. (Hassler)Sonic CruiserAbout 3 years ago, Boeing introduced its new airplane model, the Sonic Cruiser. It was faster and covered a longer range than any of its other airplanes. It flew at almost the speed of sound, between Mach .95 and .98. The new plane will meet tough noise control measures; landings and takeoffs will be quieter than other planes while still maintaining the same fuel burn.The Sonic Cruiser does not look like any other commercial airplane. It is the first original jetliner design in fifty years. Behind the cockpit are two small wings. There is a large delta wing in the rear, which provides more fuel volume for longer non-stop trips and also reduces drag. The engines are blended into the back of the wing for aerodynamic efficiency. There also two vertical fins in the back, replacing the tail and rudder.Boeing was confident that the Sonic Cruiser was going to be a success. It would be 15-20% faster than any other airplane. The company targeted business travelers since time was more...

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