The pursuit of the Holy Grail is a much related story by classic writers and movie promoters. In that same mold came the Disney movie Finding Nemo, a story of a fish who lost his way in the deep blue ocean and searched for his home. As vast as the ocean the story had a happy ending as required by Disney productions.
The line-up of airplane classes and the much sought after market sweet spot has been discussed researched and analyzed to no real certainty so the makers of aircraft end up throwing airplane darts at the dart board as in search of the Holy bull’s eye or a Flying fish named Nemo. The makers of airplane framers set-up data sets and forecasting models aiding them in finding the bulls eye or Nemo the flying fish. A Holy Grail for which luck pours over of its edge is expected from this pursuit.
Now comes reality. The airplane wars are a competition between two mega builders vying for the title of world's largest airplane maker. All the money, profits, and riches come from that proclamation of "World’s Largest". A maker only has to make more airplanes than the other maker in any given year. The maker who finds the holy flying fish named Nemo should prevail over the other maker.
Airbus has taken the following rounds to date. The A321NEO and the A-330 tin types over the Boeing 737-900 and 767. In fact the disparity is large enough that the A-330 aircraft has attacked the Boeing 787 from its rear flank. However, Boring has a victory or two as well. It could be said the 787 family has stalled the A350 family. The 747-8i has tripped-up the A380 within a very thin market. The 777X offering has stymied the A350-1000 from making a ripple over the pond. While looking for the flying fish named Nemo both are at a grid lock and remain searching for the over-arching tie breaker. The story has not ended as the 777X has not flown. Something must give but not without a battle. Winning the battle doesn't mean winning the war. It’s so complicated writing stories becomes futile for finding an ending.
Both makers find s sustainability problem of production. The wide body orders are not coming fast enough from an exhaustion of market demand or need. The wide body mark is pausing until it finds itself again. The requiring factor for this market is a catalyst opening up the order books. It won't come from presentations nor marketing technique but will come from external conditions such fuel prices going upward and developing markets are starved of flying fish capability. Bask to the forecasting model. In the beginning was an inference it would get complicated. Both makers hope to happen upon a silver bullet shot unraveling the complexity of finding the Grail or the fish.
Forecasting again comes into play when considering firing a silver bullet. Which caliber and how many grains loaded are needed for the perfect shot at the bull’s eye? Boeing has fired a 777X and Airbus responded with the A-350-1000 and maybe more model numbers are added at the dicey end of the airplane dichotomy, called wide body.
Wide bodies have more profit dollars per frame but less future opportunity within its class. Single aisle has more opportunity as world growth expands but less profit dollars per frame. Airbus has an unwieldy single aisle backlog where Boeing can see the light at the end of its tunnel within its single aisle order book.
In order to find Nemo the Flying fish, one maker must solve the puzzle ahead of the other maker. That can be done once the Holy Grail of aviation is obtained. Then the trillion dollar question is resolved. Once again the key to all this is from forecasting and making the lucky shot before the other does make that shot. Nemo is found when success reveals its lucky character where the other has no answer.