Saturday, 19 December 2009

Two well-deserved congratulations

I have written on a couple of occasions about Airbus's and Boeing's inability to get a couple of major projects into the air - Airbus's military freightlifter the A400M and Boeing's next-generation passenger airliner the 787.

Well, on the morning of the 1th the A400M made its first flight. Then, five days later, I set up my laptop to watch the first flight of the 787 unfold in front of me live.

So Airbus beat Boeing by a few days in this particular battle. Both projects are in trouble - the 787 is reportedly overweight, and the long delays in the A400M project is causing countries to pull out - but I send heartfelt congratulations to all the teams involved.

There is a long way to go before they can go into full production, and as the A380 projects showed, first flight is not a guarantee that the project will not hit other hurdles. Yet it is an important milestone. Well done to Boeing and Airbus.

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