Wednesday, February 28, 2007

It's Official: Four to Go at Airbus, More to Follow UPDATE 1

The Associated Press reports today that Airbus has confirmed it will sell four plants-two in France and two in Germany as part of its much ballyhooed Power8 restructuring plan. Meaulte and St. Nazaire in France are gone, as are Nordenham and Varel in Germany. Part of St. Nazaire will be closed.

Further details are to be announced as the day wears on, but from this place it looks as if Airbus is balancing the books on the backs of working stiffs, tank rats, rivet smashers, painters, tug drivers and wash rack hose artists. Thus is it ever with management.


Reuters reports that the A350 will be built exclusively in Toulouse and Hamburg will build whatever replaces the A320. In addition partners will be sought for Nordenham, Meaulte and Filton in the UK , while Varel and Laupheim in Germany and Saint Nazaire Ville in France will be sold. According to a union representative 5,000 casualties will be Airbus employees and 5,000 casualties will be at suppliers. This will be done, so 'tis said, without layoffs.

And I'm the Tooth Fairy.

Back in the day of Imperial Rome, there was a Senator, name of Cato the Elder.

Cato was the original single issue politician, and his single issue was the destruction of Carthage, over on the other side of the Mediterranean. Cato would make sure that his message Cartago delenda est!-Carthage must be destroyed! was heard in every speech, in every conversation at a party, in his goings out and his comings in, as the Book says. Eventually, Rome got the message.

What Airbus needs is a Cato the Elder to rid it of the cement overcoat, in Jersey parlance, that the A380 has become. Instead, they're burning the furniture to heat the house.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Hard Times At Airbus

It's being widely reported ahead of tomorrow morning's announcement of Power8 job cuts at Airbus that 4,200 French, 4,000 German, 1,500 British and 500 Spanish jobs are to be cut, divided equally between contract workers and direct employees.

The Meaulte and St. Nazaire plants in France may get the chop as well as Nordenham in Germany and Filton in the U.K.

If they're dividing the cuts between the contract hires and the direct workers, then the effective number of job cuts is only one half the quoted number, because contract workers are temporary help anyway. I saw a lot of them get let go at Douglas and nobody gave it a second thought. It's part of the development cycle as you transition from design into production as Airbus is allegedly doing on the A380.

Rather than being the clear the decks, take no prisoners restructuring that is needed here, this is but a dog and pony show to stifle the dissenters, a Potemkin Village of a performance that will, unfortunately, demand that some highly visible sacrifices be made.

It's not enough by half, and it's in the wrong place as usual. The bloodletting should have started in mahogany row-but it never ever does.

Stay tuned.

Monday, February 26, 2007

BOHICA: Coming to an Airbus Near You?

Business Week announced late today that the board of EADS has approved a restructuring plan, details to be released to the public on Wednesday after the worker bees are notified.

This looks to be the long awaited unveiling of Power8 version 2.0 or thereabouts.

Folks, I went down this road once myself. It was tough. I, along with about 35,000 other Dougloids, took it in the shorts because of mismanagement, sacrificial victims on the altar of globalization. My sympathies have always been with the rivet smashers and the tank rats and all the people who do the hard dirty work of actually building airplanes instead of riding in them.

The people who depend on those Airbus paychecks to put gas in the Peugeot and food on the table are going to take a shellacking, mark my words. It's always depressing when people on the lower rungs of the ladder have to pay the price for mismanagement, but there it is.

Remember Orwell's maxim: All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Obsolete Technology, Part II

When I blogged about my recently acquired Spotmatic II that looked like it could replace Old Number 1, the only thing that was missing was a test run. So on the way out of Walgreens I grabbed a roll of film-the good stuff from Kodak-and proceeded to load it up. We had a rainstorm that turned into an ice storm that turned into a snowstorm, so when I looked out the door I knew that no better tableau would be presenting itself.
The heft and k'clak! as the mirror cycled was as I remembered it, and the procedure of focus-check the exposure-stop down and adjust was something stored in some dusty archive inside my mind.
Well-there you have it. If we ever needed a reminder of the difference between photography and taking snapshots, there it is. Don't even get me started about grain structure, clarity and resolution. It's there, for all the world to see, and I'm starting to think that there's going to be a darkroom in my future very soon.
When you get tired of digital snaps of the kids and the dog, and you need to answer the question: "What WAS it about film?", then you're ready to start learning the craft and art and precision that's found in film.

Der Spiegel on Airbus and Germany

Today's Der Spiegel has an interesting article which seems to suggest that rather than being a nexus of advanced CFRP composite technology as Herr Bischoff has asserted, Germany is lagging seriously behind France and Spain on the expertise front. And it's no holds barred, scorched earth, no quarter given warfare between Germany and France-again.

The folks at Der Spiegel are pulling no punches-the technology gap that's opened up between the partners of Airbus is most evident in-you guessed it-CFRP composite technology. By comparison, the Airbus plant in Nordenham, which once produced CFRP panels, lost the work and is now likely to lose all work except to function as a home for pigeons, stray cats, and weeds..

Hundreds of jobs in Nordenham which applied these CFRP manufacturing skills were lost in an earlier Airbus predecessor to the much ballyhooed Power8-the "Dolores" program-which was headed by none other than Herr Bischoff.

Vilsack Bows Out of Presidential Race

Nearly everyone knows by now that Iowa's own Tom Vilsack has bowed out of the pursuit of the presidency, mostly because he couldn't raise the kind of serious jack required to mount an effective campaign.

What people don't know is what we here in Iowa do know, and that is, he may very well have been the pick of the litter. However, in the era of rock star politics and election by popular acclaim, competence may well be irrelevant to the process of getting elected.

We here know our former governor quite well. I've met him a couple times (once in the back room of Winston's, a bar on Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines) and he has had a great reputation as a solid leader, administrator, lawyer, and conciliator. He came into office after 16 years of Governor For Life Terry Branstad, and did a fine job managing the state's finances and its factious interest groups.

Perhaps it was too much to hope for, that midwestern sensibility and restraint and consensus building could have a role in the next election. It was not, however, to be-not this time.

Well, one thing's for sure. Tom will always be one of us, and when we need a friend, he'll be there for us.

Which is a lot more than the folks allegedly represented by carpetbagging social climbers can say.

The American Thinker on What Ails Airbus

Tom Lifson over at the American Thinker blog has an interesting and thought provoking piece this morning that's worth a look see,

He discusses the A380F program (you know, the freighter) that people, as Yogi Berra once said, are staying away in droves from. He suggests that the recent announcements concerning the UPS order are a sign that both parties may be ready to abandon the A380F. That's bad, because it is an important part of the project. Tom thinks that a cancellation could set a precedent for cancelling the entire A380 program.

I'm not so sure about that myself. I think that it was an afterthought to scoop up a few orders from cash rich package haulers. The aircraft never really made sense as a cargo hauler to begin with.

However, what Tom does point to is an increasing sense of crisis and confrontation at all levels: Germany v. France, France v. the unions,and Germany throwing the U.K. off the sled (although he doesn't mention it here) and possible capital realignment if Russia and/or middle eastern financial interests get involved in Airbus in a substantial way.

It's well worth a peek.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Memo to Britain: All Animals Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others

The Telegraph reports today that Germany has demanded future wing programs as the price that Airbus will pay to go ahead with the restructuring that everyone knows is coming.

Herr Bischoff of EADS has said that Britain has not invested in the composite technology necessary to build the next generation of aircraft and has lost its place in the queue as a result.

According to reports ,the work will be taken from Broughton and the A350 wingset program will be shifted to Germany.

Apparently, it has occurred to the Germans that the way that they can save jobs and paper over their screwups on the A380 program (which precipitated the crisis within Airbus in the first place) and their general lack of productivity is by making war on Britons-again.

This should have a lot of appeal to the French as well. It offers a resolution to the problem of implementing the restructuring program that everyone except three guys up on the polar icecap know is necessary for Airbus to survive as more than a maker of single aisle aircraft. It also offers a resolution that is without pain for Germany or France, and it's payback of a sort for BAE dumping its chunk of EADS last year.

In short it is the easy way out for France. Whether it would be the smart way out remains to be seen.

One wonders whether Herr Bischoff has any real understanding of the business of making wings and implementing composite technology or whether he is merely bloviating and posturing.

Stade, the German Airbus plant that produces composites for Airbus is, according to Airbus, building airfoils and skin although there's a lot of self promotion going on. The composite center wing structure for the A380 is produced in Nantes, which, as we are reliably informed, flies the Tricolor. And the A400M wing. containing significant composite structure, is being manufactured in BAE's Filton plant-still under the Union Jack, we hear.

The fact is, the center point of excellence and technology in the production of composite aerostructures is right where it has been for the last 20 years-in the United States. Airbus, for whatever reasons, did not believe in the technology, attacked it when it was being adopted by the competition, and has now adopted a watered down version that surrenders much of the rationale for using the technology in the first place, for an aircraft that won't fly for six or seven years, if ever-the A350XWB. It sounds like NIH-not invented here to me.

As a famous Briton once observed in a little book called Animal Farm, "All animals are equal-only some are more equal than others."

Stay tuned.

Friday, February 23, 2007

News From UPS and Airbus UPDATE

Bloomberg reports this morning that UPS and Airbus have agreed that either can cancel the order for 10 A380F freighters previously announced and/or set a new delivery date for the contracted aircraft. UPS will decide later this year whether it will retain the order.

The original order was placed in 2005 with delivery to take place 2009-12. Because that schedule was to be delayed at least 8 months the companies went into negotiation over the future of the order.

UPS recently ordered 27 B767-300 ER freighters and says they are for short haul routes only.

Nick Jones, my pal who sells pigs doesn't know anything about aircraft, but he does know a fair amount about transportation and logistics, having a degree in the field. He tells me that unlike airlines, air freight companies deal in two things: cubic feet and pounds, and they do one thing only which is move those cubic feet and pounds from the point of origin to the point of delivery.

It stands to reason, therefore, that any addition of cubic feet and poundage capacity to the fleet anywhere in the system is just that much less that will be purchased elsewhere. That's not good for Airbus. It also may mean that UPS is getting ready to retire a lot of those lovely Cammacorp DC8 conversions and other fleet units that are getting long in the tooth.

Time will tell. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: I guess I was a little closer than I thought, because it's being rumored that UPS is going to retire all of its B727 three holers, which would explain the need for some new short to medium haul freighters. Apparently the DC8s are so useful they'll stay on for a while.

First 787 Forward Hull Section Pics

Randy Baseler's Blog has a nice picture of the first production forward hull section for the B787 and he remarks that the program is moving forward nicely.

Well, Randy, there's one thing you didn't mention that this old rivet smasher noticed right away.

That's right, folks.

No seams, splices, lap joints, scab plates, or rivet heads anywhere to be seen.

And that is truly an astounding and revolutionary sea change, the like of which hasn't been seen since the changeover to metal monocoque aircraft from the old dope and fab Curtiss Condors and the toolshed corrugated metal Ford Trimotor.

There's been much talk about game changers in this industry of late, but let me say it here and now:

This changes everything.

Lest I incur the wrath of the copyright Gods, you should go over to his Nibs' blog and see for yourself.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Finding Your First Love, or, You Can Go Home Again

I can remember the exact moment it happened. I was on my way back from New York state in a blinding snowstorm and I had been heading up to see my kids when the weather got so bad I turned around and headed back to Jersey. Somewhere on the highway I took a pretty good ass end shot from somebody in a Chevelle and we ended up in Cortland under the supervision of a very bored New York State troop.

It had done a pretty good number on the rear of my Ford Fairlane-which I hated with a passion, it being something of a symbol of my failed marriage. So home we went, this time on state roads because the highway was closed down and we ended up back in South Plainfield about 20 hours later.

Sometime that spring, an insurance check arrived in the mail and my firend at the body shop told me "Forget about this car and do something nice for yourself."

Not long after that I went with Richie to one of the photo shops in Manhattan, laid out a couple hundred bucks, and took home the Honeywell Pentax Spotmatic II, which was to be my constant companion for ten years until someone decided they needed it more than me.

Thus began a 20 year search for my soulmate....a Nikon FM was not the answer, although it is exquisite. Another Spotmatic II, although quite usable, was scraped enough that it was fatally flawed. A Canon AE1 Program came and went at a time of economic need, and another Canon AE1 Program arrived and it too is lovely. But nothing really filled the hole in my heart.

Until yesterday, when the Spotmatic II I'd bought on eBay arrived, fresh from the closet shelf of a little old man who'd loved it and left it to his daughter. It is as sweet, and fresh, and chunky, and spotless and good in the hands as I remembered number 1 to be.

The moral of the story is, it's never too late to have a happy childhood, and you can find lost loves.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Dark Days at the House of Chrysler; What Goes Around Comes Around

The business press is abuzz with rumors concerning the pending demise of Daimler Benz's flirtation with owning a domestic car maker-in this case, what was left of the empire that Walter Chrysler created.

Daniel Howes has an interesting column with the local perspective from the Motor City. What he points to is the real possibility of a Douglas style meltdown where Chrysler gets bought by someone for salvage value or to idle productive capacity.

That's a common gambit in industry that we see here on the prairie. The large packers come in and buy up and idle productive capacity, like the Jimmy Dean plant in Osceola a few years back. Any time a bunch of local farmers and businessmen start making noises about becoming more independent, the big packers make some noises about reopening the plant until things quiet down again and people learn their place.

This accomplishes two things. First, it idles the productive capacity of potential competitors and it raises the bar for anyone wanting a turnkey foothold in the relevant industry.

On the other hand, lest we forget, it was Chrysler that bought and scrapped American Motors, once the pride of Kenosha. They bought it for the Jeep plant in Toledo, which had formerly been the Kaiser Willys, Willys Overland and Overland Car Company factory. The stack still said Overland when I briefly lived in Toledo in the eighties. The rest of American Motors went in the crapper and the same fate may be in store for the House of Chrysler as well. One might well hear the oldsters in the bars near the old AM plants mutter "What goes around, comes around!" into their Stroh's.

Make no mistake about it. The sharks smell blood in the water and are circling hungrily. Daimler Benz, having failed to graft its business model onto its fractious and contentious American partner, is getting ready to cut the cord and bid Chrysler adieu.

Stay tuned. This could get ugly, especially in Michigan where getting laid off is a way of life.

Power8 Delay on Rollout: Who'da Thunk It?

It's reported today by the wire services that the long awaited, much heralded, Power8 restructuring program from da Festung is, of course, going to be delayed. Louis Gallois observed that his proposals were not accepted by the full board of EADS.

It is stated that the board was not able to reach a consensus over which facility will manufacture composite panels for the A350XWB, although this seems to be a bald and unconvincing narrative lacking in verisimilitude, as the saying goes.

Think about it. Airbus can't make the moves to save itself from sinking because of an argument over something that's not going to be manufactured for five years? I don't think so.

Why am I so not surprised?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Power 8 Looms: Kool Aid For Airbus? UPDATE

There's a fresh article on Reuters this afternoon that talks about Power8 in some detail. The stage is set for a throwdown with union representatives and local officials who don't want their towns to turn into another Flint, Michigan.

One thought that occurs to me is, can Airbus squeeze the kind of savings that it needs out of reorganization and revamping to fund the development of the A350XWB? Because that's where a large chunk of the seed money's supposed to come from. One analyst from Goldman Sachs suggests that Airbus could dump 7 of 16 main facilities including four in Germany and two in France.

The 800 pound gorilla on the coffee table, however, is the dry hole that the A380 has become. It's not selling, it's overweight, it's at least two years behind schedule, and every one that's been 'sold' is a cash hemorrhage as customers line up for deep discounts and rebates on other products as the price for not jumping ship. How long can this go on?

-end update-

There's an interesting take on IAGblog about the upcoming launch of the Airbus restructuring project, euphemistically called "Power8" by the folks whose job it is to coin new ways to package disaster for worker bees.

My pal Addison Schonland opines therein that Louis Gallois, CEO of Airbus is not going to have an easy time of it next week, because there's going to be a lot of hurt passed around that is going to shake some deeply held ideas about the social contract in Europe and what's involved. Chrysler and Ford style bloodletting is unthinkable in Europe, so Addison says.

On the other hand, we here in the states may not like this sort of thing any more than anyone else, but we're resigned to it and are learning to survive it-partially because our labor unions are not terribly influential any more. We also have internalized on an individual level that we're only as good as our last performance, and we realize that there's life after Flint, and Detroit, and Kalamazoo, and Long Beach, and Gary, and Newton, and all the other places where working stiffs once had a say in their futures.

Thomas Lifson, over at American Thinker opines that substantive change of the sort that will be required of Louis Gallois was what cost Christian Streiff his job. He suggests that the problem at Airbus is that it is a state controlled enterprise which chose to bet the ranch on a symbol of the Newer and Much Better Than You Europe-and that symbol is dragging Airbus down the chutes and draining it of the money that's required to invest in newer products for the segments of the market that are growing.

So, because Addison scoops us on a regular basis here at the Dougloid Papers (I don't know, maybe he never sleeps or it's the time difference or something)I figured out I best build a better mousetrap.

That mousetrap, posted early in the day today, suggests that the weight problem with the A380 may still be there.

And that, my friends is news.

More News on A380 Weights

Like an overflowing tub in your upstairs neighbor's bathroom, a few details of what the production A380 may look like are starting to seep out from da Festung.

There was a much ballyhooed media joyride in Toulouse not too long ago and some interesting details have emerged, mostly from Flight International.

Flight International tells us that the joyride aircraft (MSN007) had 215 people on board which included 170 press people. It took off at a gross weight of 361 tonnes (808,640 pounds) which included 48 tonnes (107,520 pounds) of fuel. It is also said that the aircraft has 519 seats-although BBC reporter Tom Symonds who was on the flight, says there are 443 seats and The Nation says there are 507 and TOW was 364 tonnes (815,360 pounds), but nevermind. We'll go with Flight International's numbers and seat count.

MSN007 is one of two aircraft configured with a passenger interior, and it was used for the emergency evacuation test last year.

Let's do the math.

808,640 GW
- 107,520 fuel
- 43,000 bodies
- 10,000 incidentals (meals, lav service)
648,120 Basic Operating Weight, this flight.

As this is a passenger demonstrator aircraft, it is unlikely that there is a lot of extra instrumentation on board. Likewise, we don't know whether it has been ballasted for some reason.

Even so, the BOW figure thus derived is food for serious thought and it is 40,000 pounds more than the Airbus BOW that has been circulating this last year or so.

Stay tuned

Thursday, February 15, 2007

UPS Rumors Swirling

Folks, it's rumored that there is going to be a major announcement from the UPS people with respect to their A380 acquisitions in the next day or two.

It could be relative to the recent confirmation of a 27 unit order for B767 freighters, or it could be a cnacellation, or a reaffirmation of their confidence in da Festung.

Stay tuned.

Cheating: It's As American As Apple Pie

It's reported that the widely trumpeted entry of Team Toyota in formerly All American NASCAR racing has been hammered in a cheating scandal.

I know, I know, this is supposed to be an aviation blog.....but this stuff is interesting.

Michael Waltrip's Camry failed inspection when a mystery substance was found in the intake manifold and the fuel. Speculation's rife as to what the mystery substance is. Waltrip's crew chief was ejected from the Daytona speedway grounds, and the team director was suspended indefinitely. The car was confiscated, which is most unusual.

According to Waltrip, Toyota had nothing to do with all this, and it was an unidentified person on the team who was responsible. Mike, watch that nose and if you have problems check with Pinocchio.

What this suggests, of course, is that the performance isn't there.


Guys who don't have ED don't need Viagra to perform. Neither do racing teams.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Big Noise From Toulouse

Da Festung's chief il Duce John Leahy announced the other day that there were two potential new customers for the A380 and that they'd sign for 20 before the end of the year. In connection with a media event for the press, the A380 managed to capture the attention of the jaded masses for half an hour or so.

Reality check: United Parcel Service announced an order for 27 B767 freighters, which suggests that their confidence in the ability of Airbus to deliver the A380 could be waning. Oh, I know, they didn't exactly say that, but they're betting on a different horse.

In addition, it was announced by the Independent that British Airways is set to announce an order for 10 B777s for its long haul fleet. Yet, Airbus is in competition for the BIG BA order later this year which may be in the neighborhood of $10 billion USD, and it is pitching the A380 and the A350XWB against the B787 and B747-8. That would appear to be an uphill battle as the Airbus offerings either aren't going to be available for a number of years or don't even exist except in some artist's renderings. There are problems doing business from an empty wagon.

There are a couple of snippets of information that came out of all this that are interesting.

The seat count on the media flight that took place yesterday was about 436, if I recall correctly, far from the 555 seat ubercarrier that was pitched to the world. That's a sort of admission that the weight problem is still around, clanking its chains like Marley's Ghost.

The second interesting point of information is Leahy's attempt at pseudocandor, "This is going to be a game changing airplane, the only minor problem was that we couldn't build it on time."

I'm glad that the ongoing hassles with the A380, which still isn't being delivered to the customers and hasn't had a new order from a new customer since 2005 are a "minor problem". I'm sure the people who have ordered the A380 will take mighty comfort from that.

Take a peek at the Independent article. It's interesting reading.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

More Gas from the Gas Works: John Leahy Speaks

It's widely reported this morning that John Leahy, mouthpiece extraordinaire for Festung Airbus, opines that there will be no more cancellations in the A380 program, and that he expects orders for 20 more aircraft this year.

Well. As we say here in the states, "I may be an Okie, but I've been to town a few times."

Twenty new orders this season are not nearly enough to repair the program's fortunes, in view of the fact there have been no new customers since 2005 and a substantial cancellation by one. Customers who have stayed the course thus far are visiting ruinous exactions on the firm, which Airbus has been paying in cash and kind to stem any more defections.

Power8 Plans To Be Unveiled Feb. 20: B.O.H.I.C.A.

France 24 is reporting that Festung Airbus is ready to unveil the crappy end of the stick to workers on the 20th of the month as part of the much ballyhooed "Power8" restructuring program meant to restore financial health to the troubled aerospace company.

Dark rumors have been emerging from the German side of the Festung that suggest that if there are massive and unequal layoffs on the German side, Germany may well rethink its commitments to EADS on the defense side.

Also, Louis Gallois told Die Welt there's no doubt, plants are going to be sold or spun off.

It's quite clear that the guilty party is the A380 program that's turned into a money pit. One might also conclude that the problems with the A380 meltdown have tanked any chance of building the A350XWB in any kind of a competitive time frame.

For the worker bees, this can't be good. Let's hope that some of them are readers of The Dougloid Papers and took to heart the lessons I learned in the last aerospace downsizing in 1992.

Stay tuned.....this could get ugly.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Memo to Self: Some Customers Are More Expensive Than Sales

It's reported that Thai Airways is going to maintain its order for six A380 large wide body aircraft, and that Thai has scored an extra $10 million per copy discount on 8 A330-300 airliners as fallout from the A380 meltdown.

And it doesn't end there. According to Thai Airways, the compensation for late deliveries story doesn't end there. Further talks on the subject are requested.

I away clear profit made on one product line to bankroll your defalcations in another strikes me as the very legerdemain. Keeping the customers from bolting en masse is proving to be a very expensive project for Toulouse.

Stay tuned.

Is It Barrels or Panels? Coming to an Airbus Showroom Near You

It was recently reported in ATW that Airbus was studying the idea of producing a monolithic fuselage for the proposed A350XWB, as a counterpoise to its earlier idea of using CFRP panels riveted or otherwise attached over traditional airframe structure. No doubt the studies have been ongoing.

Once the word was on the grapevine that there was going to be yet another product definition sea change in the checkered history of the A350 program, word came from on high that a monolithic fuselage structure was not going to happen. The rumors were squelched.

So it seems at this juncture, that Airbus is wedded to a more labor intensive, heavier, and somewhat weaker structure, consistent with its earlier jabs at Boeing about the effects of ramp rash. Which of course was malarkey to begin with and they knew it.

There isn't much doubt that here in the states we have a decided edge in the manufacture and design of CFRP aerostructures on a large scale, and there isn't that history in Europe. Or, let it be said, special purpose infrastructure to support it.

The real takehome for me is that Airbus either a) can't build it, b) doesn't trust it or c) not invented here. I suspect that a "composite" of B and C is more likely if I may be permitted a small pun.

I'm wondering at this point if there ever will be an A350 , XWB or otherwise. The original met with a lukewarm reception, and there sure aren't any orders in the book for the new, better than ever version.

Stay tuned.

German Worker Bees Protest Looming Pink Slip Avalanche at Airbus

The International Herald Tribune reports today that several thousand German Airbus worker bees are starting to get a hint of what the much-ballyhooed Airbus "Power8" restructuring plan is going to mean for them. And it isn't good.

There's going to be an avalanche of pink slips before this is all over.

It's quite likely that a lot of people are going to lose their jobs in Germany as well as in France and Britain if the Airbus program goal to squeeze out several billion euros worth of savings is to be met.

A lot of people who were apologists for fascism years ago always said " can't make an omelet without breaking eggs!"

Which is all very well until you're the egg, and that's the lesson here.