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What Makes Airbus A320 the World's Best-Selling Narrow-Body Airplane?

The battle for a greater market share is fierce between aviation stalwarts Airbus and Boeing . Boeing leads in the wide-body segment, while Airbus is the winner in the narrow-body market. The European aero major forecasts that around 70% (20,242 planes) of the total demand for aircraft over the next two decades will be for the single-aisle variety. ( More...

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Musketeer1 9
All I want to know is when Airbus plans to fix that ridiculous set of hydraulic transfer valves in the wing box that makes it sound like a NASCAR pit crew is attempting to set records during start-up, taxi, and shut-down.
Those hydraulic transfer valves you refer to . Is a hydraulic pressure transfer pump , (PTU). It transfers pressure between the Green and Yellow hydraulic systems. It.operates during start of the second engine as a check of the system and when there is a pressure drop of 500 psi in either the green or yellow system. It's operation is inhibited when the nose wheel steering is disconnected during push back or towing. Or when the engine master switches are split and the parking brake is set. It s located in the main landing gear wheel well. So if your sitting over the wing you'll hear it, during those times I mentioned. If the crew is taxing on one engine after landing and don't have the yellow system electric pump on you'll hear it. Which depends what the airlines procedures are for that phase of operation . At the airline I flew for we operated the yellow electric pump during single engine taxi. So you won't hear the PTU. Hope this clears up why you hear that,"ridiculous set of hydraulic transfer valves". BTW the DC-9 and MD-80 have a similar pump in it's hydraulic system. It's located tail section of the aircraft. So you don't hear it when it operates.
Ashley Grant 0
What about the sound that continues for a few minutes in to the flight? That annoying sound is the first reason I avoid A320 flights when I have a choice. It's just bad design on Airbus's part to subject passengers to that noise (especially when Boeing manages to not have that noise in the 737.
It's not bad design. It's something (PTU) that needs to be part of system. When all the flight controls along with the landing gear, flaps and slats are hydraulic powered. The PTU operates when there are high demands on the hydraulic system. Such as after takeoff when the landing gear and flaps are retracted. Next time sit up front you won't hear the PTU.Your old tech. B-737 isn't fly by wire. Doesn't require a lot of hydraulic power.
Ashley Grant 0
The bad design is the fact that they didn't implement it in a way that minimized or eliminated the noise in the cabin. It makes passengers uncomfortable, whether because they don't understand what the noise is and think something is going wrong, or just because they're annoyed by the annoying sound.

Old tech or new tech, Airbus could have done a better job of designing the system.
joel wiley 1
The design goal is to make shareholders happy. Any passenger happiness is a bonus. Just like other publicly traded companies.
btweston 1
Because that has anything to with the airlines' ultimate goals, right?
joel wiley 3
Since the original article was published by the Motley Fool, I suspect this is not an Airbus astroturf blurb. It would be interesting to see the numbers behind the headline.
Best-selling at a particular point in time? Someone with great numbers for the quarter?
Hard to see that there are more A3xx's w/ Boeings 20 year lead time with 73x.

Lies, Damned lies and Statisitics....
btweston 2
See my reply above.
Dana Levin 3
As a passenger, mostly flying UA, I would much rather fly Airbus over a 737. As the article indicated, wider aisle, more overhead room for bags, and on least UA, seating is more comfortable than their 737's. That said, not bashing Boeing, my favorite model is a 757.
matt jensen 2
As a pax - I prefer the wider more comfortable seats on the Airbus, vs Boeing in that category. However, for me the most comfort is in the 747 and 707.
Jim Ries 1
You mean IS in the 747 and WAS in the 707?
Jim, Matt and John Travolta would be in disagreement with you.
Wayne Fox 2
I totally agree with you Dana. The most noticeable is the overhead baggage is deeper on the 320 and much less frustrating when the stupid ones bring oversize carry on's trying to smash the door shut for flight.
jeff slack 1
I am sure you are aware that anything that is a passenger feature or comfort is strictly determined by the airline and their required fit out.

Very nice to read a positive comment about UA though; and nice to read they have configured their interiors on their a320's to be passenger friendly.
You are right that the interior configuration is determined by the airlines, but it most certainly helps to have a wider playground to start with.
Insert "if it ain't Boeing, I ain't going" comment here.
Alden Sewell 2

God to have at least a little competition in the market .
matt jensen 2
Otherwise there'd be monopoly anti-trust lawyers all over.
Sean Holland 2
Airbus can't have allah the planes.
From my prospective as a pilot and having flown both the 737 and A-320. I like the bus better. The cockpit is far more comfortable and spacious compared to the Boeing. It's a dream and easy to fly. The only other airplane that I flew that comes close is the L-188 "Electra.
The other thing to mention here is Airbus has a better free lunch, than Boeing is you will.When you buy from them the customer receives credits for parts, and training.
Gene Nowak 2
If this article is true and not a marketing ploy, then why is Ryanair buying 100 737s?
btweston 5
Because they already run 737s and it would be cheaper to continue to fly them without having to retrain crews and change their entire maintenance infrastructure. Probably.
LGM118 3
Just because one airline is buying up 737's, doesn't mean they all are. Look at it this way: The article is pointing out how the A320 is "slightly" better, which is borne out by it getting a slightly greater share of the market overall.

Yes, airlines choose the 737 also, because the two aircraft are broadly comparable. The A320 has advantages in some areas, but the 737 has advantages in other areas.
jeff slack 1
A Google search proves this author did not do a the neccessary homework when making the claims of best selling (a320) narrow body airplane..(?)

The 737 series is the best-selling jet airliner in the history of aviation.
The 737 has been continuously manufactured by Boeing since 1967 with 8,104 aircraft delivered and 3,931 orders yet to be fulfilled as of June 2014.

As of July 2013, a total of 5,677 Airbus A320 family aircraft have been delivered, of which 5,481 are in service.
In addition, another 4,135 airliners are on firm order.
It ranked as the world's fastest-selling jet airliner family according to records from 2005 to 2007, and as the best-selling single-generation aircraft program.

Competition is the essence of business.................both are great companies and both add to the safety and advancement of the industry.

Sad today's journalism is not better.
matt jensen 4
The article was written for the Motley Fool - an online business subscription, which makes information available to investors. It has nothing to do with I'm bigger, I'm better, I sell more than you.
btweston 4
Call me crazy, but I'd guess that the author was not including the period of time before the A320 was invented in their calculations. That would make for some wildly skewed and ultimately useless data.

However I'd I'd certainly trust a cursory google search over trusted a well established media organization (with information gleaned from other trusted and well established media organizations). After all, those Seattle newspapers are known for their anti-Boeing bias...
matt jensen 3
737's have been around longer than 320's - so naturally they've sold/delivered more jets. However Airbus has delivered more since 2002 than Boeing.
steve rogers 0
I'd fly 737 over anything out there , that plane is a tank , I have landed in some of the worse Canadian weather you could imagine in the north and some of the worst runways on earth , its been around longer and proven itself more times than any other mid size plane out there , so I don't care how many airbus planes they sell , boeing will always beat them in the end .
matt jensen 2
My Electra will fly when your 37 won't
Jakob Ludwig 1
True, but not with 85 passengers onboard...
Pat Barry 0
It's simple. Airbus finances airlines that can't win conventional financing and can't buy from Boeing. Bottom feeders like Spirit Airlines couldn't qualify for much - yet they bought Airbus. Boeing didn't even try, and now Spirit is a loyal, long term Airbus customer.

It's all about financing.
And.they're (Spirit) making money. Ancillary or not , planes are full. The stock is a great buy. Their business model is working.


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