AIRticulate

Key Takeaways After 4 Days of the Dubai Air Show…

We’re one day away from the conclusion of the 2011 Dubai Air Show, and I’ve managed to come up with a few conclusions, for those of you who couldn’t make it (or for those who could, but were too distracted with jet noises to think straight).

1) The airline industry, despite all of the doom and gloom forecasts of recent years, seems to be in good shape. Emirates Airlines, with it’s $18 billion order of 50 773-ER’s, gave us reassurance of that. (Qatar Airways later followed up with a 55-aircraft order of it’s own with Airbus, see #2).

2) It still drives QR CEO Akbar Al Baker insane to be second to anyone, especially Emirates, as he had to one-up their 50 aircraft order with one of his own for 55. And he’s just as looney and comical as ever, making comments at an awards ceremony chastising every one of the other, oh, four hundred some-odd airlines in the world, for having “no direction” and their governments for treating them like “cash cows.” News for you, Mr. Akbar: First, most airlines in the real world are not owned by their governments and given unlimited state funding without any responsibility for turning a profit, and secondly, most airlines that have continuously been unprofitable would not be criticizing others for a lack of direction. Perhaps he should brush up on the definition of “cash cow” to begin with.

3) Finally, while the fighter jets on display have been impressive in all of their loopy, Emirati-flag colored vapor trail, deafeningly loud glory, I have realized once and for all that “defense spending” is to grown men what Farmville is to kids. I usually don’t get political in these posts, but it’s very strange to me that trying to cut defense spending is political suicide in the US, and yet much of this defense budget goes towards a fleet of planes that can flip, loop, duck and impress audiences at air shows–which is essentially all they will ever do. Let’s face it, the wars of tomorrow are not going to be won or lost Luftwaffe-style like a Top Gun video game. They are going to be won or lost behind computer screens, which makes it very ironic to me that we cannot ever touch defense spending, but making cuts in education is no problem at all. Is having a fleet of aircraft that can do flips really essential to “national security”? Of course not…these are just toys for grown up men to play with, to brag about, and to show off to their peers.

The Emirati Flag in Motion!

Dubai Airshow 2011

More designs in the sky...

Fighter jet something or other...

Another big kid toy....

Even more sky patterns!

Ascending in unison...

Big kid toy in blue...

Flying high...

The nose of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner!

Another Dreamliner shot...

787 Side View....

Qatar Airways Boeing 777-200...

 

Boeing 777-200 engine up close...

Underbelly of a QR Boeing 777-200...

777 Wheels

Boeing 777 wheels to my chest!

 

 

 

 

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