Monday, February 14, 2011

Would you buy a used plane from this man?

Being a bit of a closet plane geek, I enjoyed reading about the launch of the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental. As the BBC article implies, this is not a whole new aeroplane, but an evolution of a type which has been around since the 1960s. "Features of the Intercontinental include new wings, a new tail, a sharper nose, state-of-the-art engines and a new cockpit." - but it's still a 747.

If you were actually at the launch, depicted in this video, however, you may have come away with a very different impression.  The woman suggests that not only is it a completely new aircraft, but a new aircraft which will change the world. Really? Will it get me to Australia in an hour? Will it get me across the Atlantic for a pound? Will it reverse the effects of deforestation?

No, I thought not.  And the airlines seem to agree, because only two of them have placed an order.

Then there's the guy in the video.  One can only assume that he's trying to sell the plane to women because rather than giving us some details he just goes on about the colour.  The irony is, of course, that the airlines specify their own colour schemes, but can you imagine what would happen if airlines placed orders for planes “because the colour is nice”?  Even I could make an aeroplane someone would buy.

I know that marketing will always involve some over-embellishment, but why do companies like Boeing employ folk to chat such blatant rubbish?

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