It hasn’t been a good couple of weeks for either of the major airline manufacturers. After incidents with several of Airbus’ new A380s, forcing Singapore Airlines and Qantas to both ground their A380 fleets, it’s going to take some serious resourcefulness in their respective PR departments to restore faith in the airplanes. And even though the issue revolved more around the Rolls Royce engines than the airplane’s design, it’ll be hard for them to separate the two.
While the A380s are slowly returning to service, the damage has been done to both the Airbus’ lofty aspirations and the future of giant airplanes overall.
On the Boeing side, the newest problem for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane has since pushed the project’s completion date another step toward infinity, grounding future test flights after as smoke was detected in the cockpit a couple weeks ago. For the record, smoke in the cockpit usually equals “back to the drawing board” for engineers until the problem can be identified and corrected.
All this certainly doesn’t mean that airline makers will get soft on dreaming big, but it does show that no matter how much they want their giant dreams to become reality, reality will inevitably strike back it its own elevated way.