09 November 2006
The White Elephant versus the Dreamliner
Brian Micklethwait

Time to kill off the A-380? - asks the New York Times blog.

Floyd Norris briefly lays out the pros and cons of this “overpriced white elephant”, i.e. he’s con.

Personally I like flying but hate all the hideous delays before and after.  So anything that minimises the number of airports you go through – the Boeing Dreamliner goes from anywhere to anywhere and always cuts it to two – is good.  Plus, delays are less horrendous at small airports than at big ones.  The Deamliner connects all small airports to all other small airports.  No days wasted at “hubs”.

Or, as Norris puts it:

How would you like to line up at customs having just gotten off the back of the second or third A-380 to arrive? Would passport control take longer than the flight?

Incidentally, the NYT calls it the A-380, but in the picture they show, it’s A380, minus the hyphen.  Odd.

Being anti-EU, I want the A380 to be a disaster, because if an air of disaster settles upon “Europe”, my country is more likely to free itself from “Europe”, which I would like.

Ooh, Instapundit links to a Popular Mechanics report on the same topic.  They call it the A380.

On the other hand, these two media organs are both American, and as such the hired lackeys of Boeing.  I wish I was a hired lackey of Boeing.

Final thought: I have long noticed that whenever a company is trying to interest actual people in a piece of electronic gadgetry, as opposed to merely trying to interest other companies, they stop calling it the PQ9132X(2) and instead call it the Zippopod, or some such.  That Airbus call their bus the A380, while Boeing calls theirs the “Dreamliner”, says to me that Airbus reckons that other companies will decide this thing, while Boeing reckons it will be people who ultimately settle it.  Speaking as a person, I hope that Boeing is right.

Final final thought: Maybe they’ll change the A380’s name to “While Elephant”.