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At present, in the U.S. air carrier fleet there are approximately 500 twin-engine jet aircraft, the DC-9, Boeing 737; 646 three-engine jets, which are the Boeing 727's; and 671 four-engine DC-8's and Boeing 707 planes.
The figures by 1975, according to Department of Transportation, will be 473 twin-engine—these are all Ú.S.-built planes 622 threeengine, 457 four-engine, 135 737's, 297 three-engine wide-bodied jets-DC-10, Lockheed 1011. Of course, no Boeing SST's, because they will not be built in any event by 1975, and if the Concorde succeeds, Mr. Magruder was unable a little while ago to give me a figure for 1975, because that is a touch-and-go situation.
By 1980 the figures are 502 twin-engine planes, 465 three-engine, 391 four-engine planes, 177 747's, 560—this is the largest figure, nową three-engine wide-bodied jets, and using Mr. Magruder's best assumptions, approximately 50 Boeing SST's, and 60 Concordes.
That is in the U.S. fleets.
FOREIGN BUILT AIRCRAFT
The projections for 1975 and 1980 for all air carriers in the world, for foreign-built planes, are for 1975–392 twin-engine jets, 52 threeengine, 94 four-engine. By 1980, 246 twin-engine and 101 three-engine, and the same 94 four-engine planes.
These are figures supplied to me over the last 2 days by the Department of Transportation.
Chairman ELLENDER. What is the purpose of citing those figures?
Mr. Soucie. The purpose of citing those figures is to show that, based on today's projections, the United States, over the next 10 years, through 1980, is going to be building this many planes. Based on today's figures ours far outnumber the foreign-built, to be flown by all carriers in the world.
Chairman ELLENDER. Well, it was testified this morning that in order for us to keep our worldwide supremacy in building airplanes
, that we should not let Russia and England and France and others get ahead of us.
What do you say about that?
For one thing, I think that it is a fallacy, when you are talking about families of airplanes, to talk about the U.S. family of airplanes, and then the rest of the world's family of airplanes. The people in charge of aircraft procurement for the world's airlines are not going to consider all non-U.S. planes as one family.
In other words, the Concorde is being built by France and Great Britain. The A-300B is being built by a consortium of France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, The Mercure is another consortium project.
But the point is, the builder of each of these airplanes is a different combine. And so I think it is fallacious to identify all non-U.S. planes as one family.
U.S. COMMERCIAL SALES VIS-A-VIS OTHER COUNTRIES
Chairman ELLENDER. But if those planes turn out to be much better than ours, don't you think it will have some effect on our air supremacy in the sale of planes throughout the world?
Mr. SOUCIE. Yes, sir; that is a very big “if.” I don't think they are going to turn out to be better than ours.
Already the British have scrapped their Airbus project, which was to be built by British Aircraft Corp. That leaves three wide-bodied airbus projects in the world: the Continental one, the A-300D; the Lockheed 1011; and the Douglas DC-10. Since Douglas and Lockheed already have been selling airplanes to the airlines, they are going to continue to enjoy a certain amount of loyalty.
Chairman ÉLLENDER. But we have been told this morning by Mr. Neil Armstrong, who was the first man to go on the moon, that Russia had made quite an advance in the production of supersonic planes. Would you want Russia to go ahead of us in that field?
Mr. Soucie. Well, it depends how you define “ahead of us,” because in one sense they are already ahead of us. They were the first supersonic civil plane flying, the first one to exceed mach II, so they are already ahead of us.
But on the other hand, they have also built some incredibly good airplanes in the past and found themselves unable to sell them to the Western World.
One of the problems is that in the Soviet system, every element of their society can be, and usually is, used as an instrument of state policy. Therefore, since we don't operate that way, our commercial airlines really don't want to be caught waiting for parts or replacement planes from the Soviet Union if they are going to be held up on the other end as part of the gambit in dealing with the U.S. State Department.
But at any rate, the Russians have been unable to sell their airplanes in the Western World in the past, and they have built some really good ones, that I think are quite comparable to our DC-9 and Boeing 737.
Chairman ELLENDER. Are there any further questions?
RUSSIAN INCENTIVE AND SALE POTENTIAL: AIRCRAFT ROLE
Supposing that the United States did not go ahead with this supersonic plane, and supposing further the British and French did not go ahead with theirs. Don't you think that would be an incentive for the Russians to move faster on theirs? You think they would quit just because we quit?
Mr. Soucie. I am not sure that you can take these sets of assumptions and link them up.
In the first place, i don't think that it is a lead-pipe cinch that the Concorde is going to succeed.
Doubtless, the French and British Governments can force Air France and BOAC to buy them, just as the British Government forced BOAC to buy the super VC-10, which from the passengers' point of view was a distinct improvement over the Boeing 707 and the DC-8, because it was quieter and roomier. And yet, because the airlines could not operate it at a profit, no one bought it. And BOAC was saddled with it, much to their dismay.
And for the past 2 years BOAC has, within the constrictions of its role within the society over there, tried desperately not to be the first airline to buy the Concorde.
NONPURCHASE OF RUSSIAN AIRCRAFT BY U.S. AND
OTHER FREE-WORLD NATIONS
Senator Young. You say that our airlines and other free world nations have not been buying Russian planes, even though they have had some good ones.
Mr. Soucie. That is right.
Senator Young. And if they have the only supersonic plane in the world, and supposing we don't give them landing rights, but that they have landing right with Canada, Mexico, and Cuba. Don't they would do quite a business!
Mr. SOUCIE. No, sir; I don't think they would, because there is not that much traffic to justify it. One could assume they could sell at a loss, because there is no such thing as profit in their system, and so they could, maybe, sell it for $1.98 or something, which means the airlines could afford to buy it.
To operate it is something else again, and the airlines simply cannot afford to have on hand a great number of airplanes which have restricted routes.
RELATIVELY LOW AIRCRAFT REQUIREMENT OF INTERNATIONAL AIR CARRIERS
It is a great surprise to find out how relatively few airplanes an international air carrier actually needs to fly around.
In the 2 years that I worked for Swissair, which is an international air carrier, in 1965, 1966, and 1967, they operated 22 flights a week between Europe and the United States with four DC-8's, because the big improvement with jets has not been the speed. The big improvement of jets has been their ability to stay in the air, the lower maintenance
. That has been the real improvement. You can keep a subsonic in the air 13 hours a day, and you cannot do that with a prop plane.
DESIRE OF U.S. AIR CARRIERS FOR SUPERSONIC DEVELOPMENT
Senator Young. How do you account for the fact that practically all of the American carriers want the supersonic transport built? How do
you account for that? Mr. SOUCIE. Pardon?
Senator Young. How do you account for the fact that practically all of the American airlines want our supersonic plane built, as testified to this morning by Mr. Halaby? How do you account for that?
Mr. Soucie. Well, I think there are a number of hypotheses to account for that, but since they are hypotheses, I would rather not explore them at this point.
Mr. GODFREY. If the Chair please-
Mr. GODFREY. I cannot speak for the airlines officially, but through my very close, friendly, personal contacts with some of the airlines, I
am inclined to doubt that they want the supersonic transports very soon, Senator Young, for the reason that they have already overexpanded, that they are having great trouble now filling the seats of the airplanes that are now available. Of course, it is due to the so-called recession, that is true, but may I add this, please, sir?
UTIILIZATION OF OTHER AIRPORTS IN EVENT ACCESS IS DENIED BY
Supposing nobody built one but Russia. If we do not permit that SST to operate out of our airports, that will be the end of that one.
Senator Young. I don't think you are correct.
Supposing that they have landing rights in Winnipeg and Ottawa, Canada, as well as in Mexico, or Cuba?
Millions of Americans in the future years would go there to fly to a foreign country. I, for one, if it was a good plane, would rather go by supersonic plane than I would a subsonic plane.
Mr. GODFREY. Could I ask the Senator if you would really do that, sir, going through all that you have to go through to get on an airplane and get your baggage? You would do that in order to ride one of those things?
Senator Young. Certainly. That is a plane of the future. Every airline testifies to that, and 99 percent of the pilots, regardless of what you say.
Chairman ELLENDER. Senator Proxmire.
RUSSIAN AND FRENCH AND BRITISH DEVELOPMENTS
Senator PROXMIRE, I would like to ask Mr. Godfrey: What do you think of the argument that has been made, that the SST's are here, anyway, the British and French have their Concorde, the Russians are flying their plane, we just have to recognize we are up against this competition, and whether we like an SST or not, we have to get into the ball game!
Mr. GODFREY. I think in 15 or 16 States, as I understand it, there is legislation now in the mill outlawing their using the airports of those States including New York. I don't quite agree with the alleged fact that the SST is here. I don't think it is here. We don't have the airplane here, anywhere, but on paper. What is flying over there, at least what I saw, is far below the standards of our fastest military planes today, with no room, no accommodations or anything.
U.S. TECHNICOLOGICAL SUPREMACY
The technology of American airplane builders today, as manifester in the 747, the DC-10, is the most sophisticated, farthest advanced, way beyond the dreams of any of us who have been flying all these years. The inertial guidance systems, and the accommodations for passengers, the comfort-I don't think anybody outside of the United States has that kind of experience, has that kind of knowledge, has that kind of technology available.
I believe that if the airplane is built, it will be built here, and it will be accepted by all the other countries as the best of them, but it is just something that I don't think enjoys a proper priority at this time.
Senator PROXMIRE. You think that if it is to be built, it will be built here, on the basis of private capital? Do you think this is practical and possible in view of the tremendous amount of money required! Is this a practical solution?
Mr. GODFREY. I think when Americans want an airplane like that, they will finance it themselves; yes, sir.
CONCERN OF PRIOR WITNESSES OF U.S. AIRCRAFT LEADERSHIP IN 1980's
Senator PROXMIRE. Now let me ask Mr. Soucie: You had some very impressive statistics and you responded to the Chairman when he asked your interpretation of their significance in saying that they showed, in your view, that the United States is pretty sure to dominate the aircraft manufacturing industry, internationally, in the 1970's.
Now I think the point that Mr, Magruder and Mr. Halaby made well this morning, and that other witnesses made, Mr. Halaby, is that they are worried about the 1980's. This is going to go into operation in 1978, 1979—or production, I should say, in a big way, and we have to look ahead to the 1980's.
Now what is your answer about that problem?
Mr. Soucie. Senator Proxmire, the way I got started on these figures at all is that yesterday morning, I attended a meeting of the President's Aviation Advisory Commission. The way these figures started coming to me is that we were discussing the problem of aircraft noise, and what can be done about it, and something has got to be done in a hurry. We were talking about the composition of the fleet, and the projections for the fleet for 1975 and 1980. The reason any of these figures started developing at all was to show that we are going to the quieter airplanes. In other words, the DC-10, the Lockheed 1011, the Boeing 747, are all relatively quiet airplanes, and so the marketplace alone is going to begin quieting down the aircraft fleets.
And then when they said, “Well, beyond 1980,” then the discussion went to short takeoff and landing aircraft. That is the 1980's. Senator PROXMIRE. The STOL, or whatever they call it ! Mr. SOUCIE. Yes, sir.
Senator PROXMIRE. The plane that would permit the commercial competition by aircraft between Providence and New York, as Senator Pastore said this morning, that kind of plane.