Boeing Giving Up On Airliners?

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A new study has aviation industry analysts buzzing and Boeing furiously denying the conclusions it reaches. According to the study, done by Prof. Alan MacPherson, of State University of New York at Buffalo, and David Pritchard, Boeing will be out of the airliner business within 10 years and will be concentrating on military and special aircraft. "This report is riddled with factual inaccuracies and mistaken conclusions," protested Boeing spokesman Todd Becher, who said Boeing is in the airliner business "for the long term." (more)MacPherson said there might still be Boeing-brand jets being made (probably just the 777 and 737), but they'll be manufactured under license in Asia or Russia. MacPherson postulates that it's just too expensive and too risky to keep making airliners in the U.S., where labor costs are much higher. He claims there are bigger profits to be made in consulting and technical services than in manufacturing and the company will follow the money. He said the real bellwether will be Boeing's decision on whether to develop the 7E7, a super-efficient replacement for the 767, which has lost considerable market share to Airbus. If Boeing drops the 7E7 it will be the third recent initiative to go in the circular file behind a super-sized 747 and the Sonic Cruiser, a fast but less efficient aircraft that airlines didn't want.