Round And Round

A few years ago, a friend of mine was having a beer with a very senior Air Force official, and asked what said official thought about the Boeing/Airbus tanker competition, which at that time was still out for bids. Paraphrasing the hearsay mightily, this was the response:

“The quickest thing would have just been to turn Boeing on for the 767 lease conversion contract. But McCain wants to be president, and he’s got a mad-on for Boeing, so he raised a stink. So they weren’t able to get the easy deal. It was their own fault; they got greedy and overpriced the bid (besides which, Boeing got caught cheating, and were really lucky that they got to bid at all).

“Now they’re probably going to lose to Airbus. What’ll happen after that is, everybody will freak out because an American company didn’t get the contract, and it’ll go back to selection, and this time Boeing will win. And all we’ll have accomplished is, it’ll be five or six years later, we still won’t have any new tankers yet, and it’ll cost a lot more.”

Judging by today’s news that Boeing succeeded in its protest over the Airbus team’s contract win, that prediction remains right on target.


3 Responses to “Round And Round”

  1. rosignol Says:

    But McCain wants to be president, and he’s got a mad-on for Boeing, so he raised a stink.

    Does anyone have any idea why McCain has a mad-on for Boeing? Is it related to the tanker deal, or something else?

  2. John Thacker Says:

    Disagree with this bit: “and it’ll cost a lot more.”

    It’ll still cost a lot less than the ridiculous lease contract that Boeing bribed their way to in the first place.

  3. Brickle Says:

    John Thacker – I worked on the original 767 proposal, and I now work for the competition. Boeing would have made a *litte* money on the lease if the AF had kept flying them beyond 20 years, and they will take a small loss on this sale, if they get it. Airbus will also take a loss on the sale, if they get it. They’re counting on the servicing of the fleet over a long, long time for the profit.

    McCain hates Boeing because they wouldn’t hire him as a pilot after he retired from the Navy, because of his POW disabilities, before he went into politics. Boeing could have hired him, legally, but there were a LOT of separated military pilots at the time and his disabilities meant there were things he could not physically do.

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