Author Topic: Aerospace Industry Rebounding from Effects of Sept. 11  (Read 2386 times)

Offline Chris Bergin



ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Five years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and subsequent economic downturn, the aerospace and defense industry has battled back and eclipsed pre-incident levels in several areas.


According to statistics compiled by AIA's Aerospace Research Center, the industry took a marked economic hit after the attacks, mainly from delayed or cancelled jetliner orders from airlines as travel slowed. But today key economic indicators, including commercial airliner deliveries and orders, show the manufacturing sector has come back and surpassed levels before 2001.


AIA President and CEO John Douglass said the turnaround has implications beyond economics.


"Our industry's recovery is a reflection of the strong will of the American people, who refused to let the terrorists prevail," Douglass said. "As we healed as a nation, we decided that returning to normal activities like traveling was a way to show the terrorists they would not change our way of life."


Aerospace overall sales were $152 billion in 2001 and increased less than 1 percent in 2002, much less than expected. The full effect of the attacks came in 2003, when sales dropped to $147 billion. But it increased in 2004 and 2005, reaching $170 billion. AIA estimates put the figure at about $184 billion by the end of this year.


Orders of new airliners -- perhaps the best way to gauge the industry -- plummeted after the attacks, falling from 585 in 2000 to 174 in 2002. It trended upward in 2003 and 2004, then skyrocketed in 2005, reaching a remarkable 1,004. Airliner deliveries fell from 526 in 2001 to a low of 281 in 2003. That number has started increasing again, with 400 expected in 2006. General aviation aircraft deliveries dipped by 488 planes between 2001 and 2003, but have increased by 723 over the following two years.


The value of U.S. commercial airliners delivered dropped from $34 billion in 2001 to $20 billion in 2004 -- a total loss of $14 billion. But the value grew from 2004 to 2005, increasing $1.6 billion, and it is expected to climb further this year.


Aerospace accounts for the single largest positive trade balance of any U.S. manufacturing sector, but that measure saw a reduction after the attacks. Exports dropped $6 billion between 2001 and 2003, but have rebounded by $15 billion since to reach a record $67 billion in 2005. The total surplus last year was $40 billion.


Employment in aerospace fell from 665,800 in September 2001 to 579,700 in February of 2004. Since then it has been trending upward, hitting 634,700 in June 2006.


"We expect the aerospace industry to continue rebounding from these attacks, helping bolster our national security and economic prosperity," Douglass said.


For more statistics visit http://www.aia-aerospace.org/stats/aero_stats/aero_stats.cfm.



Offline vt_hokie

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RE: Aerospace Industry Rebounding from Effects of Sept. 11
« Reply #1 on: 09/07/2006 04:36 PM »
I wonder if Boeing's "Sonic Cruiser" might have survived had it not been for the terrorist attacks, or if maybe Boeing never had any intention of building the aircraft.  I was disappointed when the SC was officially cancelled in favor of the boring, conventional 787 "Dreamliner" design.

Offline astrobrian

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Re: Aerospace Industry Rebounding from Effects of Sept. 11
« Reply #2 on: 09/07/2006 05:06 PM »
I wonder if this means that carriers that were always held back by bankruptcy will finally be able to break free of that and start turning profits again

Offline dbhyslop

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RE: Aerospace Industry Rebounding from Effects of Sept. 11
« Reply #3 on: 09/07/2006 06:03 PM »
Quote
vt_hokie - 7/9/2006  12:23 PM

I wonder if Boeing's "Sonic Cruiser" might have survived had it not been for the terrorist attacks, or if maybe Boeing never had any intention of building the aircraft.  I was disappointed when the SC was officially cancelled in favor of the boring, conventional 787 "Dreamliner" design.

Boeing went to the airlines and said they wanted to make a next-gen composite airframe.  They could use the weight savings to build either a plane that would go faster or a plane that would be more efficient.  The airlines liked the former at first (I've been told that Donald Carty, then-head of American offered to buy the first three years of production upon being shown the model).  After fuel prices doubled a couple times the latter started looking real good, hence the death of the Sonic Cruiser.

Building a faster, less efficient airliner would be corporate suicide when oil costs $70 a barrel, regardless of whether or not you think its boring or not.  Likewise the CEV may seem boring, but IMO astronauts' lives are more important than a sexy vehicle.

I think the 787 is the first airliner in decades that isn't boring!

Offline vt_hokie

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RE: Aerospace Industry Rebounding from Effects of Sept. 11
« Reply #4 on: 09/07/2006 07:03 PM »
So, will I be stuck at Mach 0.85 for the rest of my life?  What about the next generation, or the one after that?  At what point do we break that barrier?  

I wish I had flown on the Concorde before it was retired.  If only it had lasted a couple more years...I'd probably spend the money to fly on it today!

Offline dbhyslop

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RE: Aerospace Industry Rebounding from Effects of Sept. 11
« Reply #5 on: 09/07/2006 08:00 PM »
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vt_hokie - 7/9/2006  2:50 PM

So, will I be stuck at Mach 0.85 for the rest of my life?  What about the next generation, or the one after that?  At what point do we break that barrier?  

I wish I had flown on the Concorde before it was retired.  If only it had lasted a couple more years...I'd probably spend the money to fly on it today!

If you could afford a Concorde flight you might be able to afford a supersonic bizjet flight in 10 or 15 years.  Besides, the sonic cruiser wasn't supersonic--it would have cruised between .95 and .97.  Just isn't worth it for a tenth of a mach number!  Especially when the alternative project has truly revitalized the company.

The airlines might never break that barrier.  Do you think oil will ever be $15 a barrel again?  The Concorde wasn't profitable even at that price--its extended existence was ego welfare.

Dan

Offline vt_hokie

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RE: Aerospace Industry Rebounding from Effects of Sept. 11
« Reply #6 on: 09/07/2006 09:23 PM »
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dbhyslop - 7/9/2006  3:47 PM

Besides, the sonic cruiser wasn't supersonic--it would have cruised between .95 and .97.  Just isn't worth it for a tenth of a mach number!  Especially when the alternative project has truly revitalized the company.

Yeah, but 0.95 Mach is at least a slight improvement.  If Boeing was correct in its claim that SC could fly at that Mach number with fuel consumption equivalent to existing aircraft at Mach 0.85, I think it would be worthwhile.

Quote
The airlines might never break that barrier.  Do you think oil will ever be $15 a barrel again?  The Concorde wasn't profitable even at that price--its extended existence was ego welfare.

I think it's time to get serious about alternate forms of energy, but I simply cannot believe that humanity has peaked technologically, and that 100 years from now people will still be flying aboard ~Mach 0.85 707 style airframes.

Offline dbhyslop

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RE: Aerospace Industry Rebounding from Effects of Sept. 11
« Reply #7 on: 09/07/2006 09:34 PM »
IIRC it wasn't equivalent fuel consumption, it was a bit more.  It would have been a 767 with a fuel burn more like a 777.  An excess only warranted by times of cheap and plenty gas.

Offline vt_hokie

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RE: Aerospace Industry Rebounding from Effects of Sept. 11
« Reply #8 on: 09/15/2006 09:50 PM »
I just dug up an old Sonic Cruiser article that I printed out a few years ago entitled "They said it would never fly, but Boeing's "Engineer X" proved them wrong."  Looks like the bean counters proved "Engineer X" wrong in the end.   :(

Offline vt_hokie

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RE: Aerospace Industry Rebounding from Effects of Sept. 11
« Reply #9 on: 09/25/2006 03:18 PM »
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dbhyslop - 7/9/2006  5:17 PM

IIRC it wasn't equivalent fuel consumption, it was a bit more.  It would have been a 767 with a fuel burn more like a 777.  An excess only warranted by times of cheap and plenty gas.

How's the fuel consumption on the Cessna Citation X?

Offline dbhyslop

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Re: Aerospace Industry Rebounding from Effects of Sept. 11
« Reply #10 on: 09/25/2006 03:48 PM »
I don't understand where your "beancounters versus engineers" mentality comes from: If you surveyed the engineers at the company I think you'd find they're pretty darn happy that they went for the more efficient design because they're selling a whole lot of them.  If you're the kind of engineer who likes to build something big and exciting even if the market doesn't want it and you'll never break even, maybe you should put in an application in Toulouse :)

Its easier to make a fast bizjet simply because of the point-to-point economics.  The reason any bizjet exists is because a company or person is willing to pay a premium to get somewhere faster than the airlines.  Since these are your customers to begin with, its not hard to find some willing to pay a bit more of a premium to go .90 with RJ engines.  This is also why its likely we'll see a supersonic business jet in our lifetimes but not another supersonic airliner.

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