Transportation Deployment Casebook/2018/Airplanes in USA

Quantitative AnalysisEdit

Air Transport:AirplanesEdit

An aeroplane or airplane is fixed – wing aircraft which is propeller by thrust of a high – velocity jet or a propeller. It is a heavier – than - air vehicle for flight and driven by upward thrust which is exerted by the passing air on the fixed wings through jet propulsion. Planes have various shapes, sizes and wing configurations depending on the jobs of the aircraft. The important components of an aeroplane are wings, fuselage, tail assembly, landing gear, control surfaces and powerplants. To fly any airplanes, the power must be able to lift the whole weight of the plane, including its fuel, all passengers and the cargo.

Technological characteristicsEdit

The wings provide most lift forces to keep the airplane in the air. It must be pushed through the air to generate lift forces. The engines are always located under the wings, providing the thrust to push the plane forward in the air. In addition, the propeller converts the energy pf an alternating engines’ rotating crankshaft into a thrust force. [1]The fuselage of the airplane is generally streamlined in order to reduce drag forces. It is the body of the whole airplane. The wings provide the main lift forces for the airplanes. Flaps are pivoted or hinged part of the trailing edges of the wings that increases lift forces while reducing the airspeeds, mainly at landing and takeoff stage. Slats Spoilers are used to disrupt the flow over the wings so lift forces acting on the airplanes’ wings can be reduced quickly. The control surfaces contain all moving surfaces of an airplane which is used for the control of lift, attitude and drag. This structure includes the tail assembly which can serve to maneuver and control the aircraft. The tail has the vertical and horizontal stabilizer. They are used to provide stability for the plane to fight straightly. The horizontal stabilizer prevents an up – and – down motion. The vertical stabilizer prevents the plane from swing side to side. Trim tabs are attached at the rear of the aileron surfaces and rudders. The function of them is to make sure the plane is flying in a stable and balanced condition. They help to move the rudder, elevators and ailerons without the pilot and remain the settings. The landing gear supports the plane to rest in water or on the ground and during the landing and takeoff. Most aeroplanes’ wheels are attached to shock – absorbing struts.

Main advantagesEdit

  • Aeroplanes are the fastest transport mode and it is very useful for long – distant travel which saves a lot of time. If travelling by car or ship, it may take a few days. But, aeroplane only needs several hours.
  • Both goods and passengers can be easily to any places.
  • Aeroplanes are free from physical barriers such as mountains, river and valleys.
  • Aeroplanes offer comfort and convenience which make customers satisfied. A plane ticket can be purchased online, even using a smartphone.

Main marketEdit

The airplane industry generated nearly 0.5 trillion in U.S. dollars during 2015 with main markets of United States, Russia, Canada and Europe. Airbus and Beoing are the two largest aerospace and defense manufactures with revenues of 67 billion euros and 93.4 billion U.S. dollars respectively. In November 2017, Boeing Company committed that Fly Dubai bought 175 jets and Indigo Partners ordered 430 aircraft which was valued at 50 billion U.S. dollars from Airbus Group (Statista, 2017). Figure 2 shows the revenue of the leading aircraft suppliers and manufacturers in the world in 2016. The unit is million U.S. dollars.

Invention and shift designsEdit

The concept of the plane has risen by people for around two centuries. Firstly, people tried to imitate the wings of birds to navigate the air. The plan worked better at bird- scale than it at a larger scale. Then Ornithopters were the first prototype built with flapping wings. At the beginning of 1783, an uncontrolled flight filled in hydrogen gas or hot air in lighter – than – air balloons were created but the wind did not always blow in the desired direction. In 1799, Sir George Cayley defined the lift and drag forces and presented 1st scientific design for an aircraft with fixed wings. In the 19th century, a flying machine with a propulsion system, fixed wings and movable control surfaces are conceived. That prototype was the fundamental concept of the aeroplane. The Wright Brothers made 1st powered flights in 1903. Then pilots started to introduce flying boats, float planes, passenger aircraft. As the World War I approaches, nations developed the airplane into a weapon. [2]


The American government heavily subsidized airmail. Airmail was one of the earliest avenues through air transportation because it helped to increase the velocity of money supply and facilitate the emergence of intercontinental and continental enterprises.

Other modesEdit

The different modes of transport involve water, land and air transport, including railways, off – road and road transport. Sometimes animal – powered and human – powered transports are regarded as a mode. Transportation is generally used for the movement of animals, people and other goods. Each mode has a different fundamental technological solution which owns different vehicles, operations and infrastructures. For instance, land transport covers 2 kinds: rail and road. They are both based on land transportation systems which links communities together.

Land TransportEdit

Rail transport is wheeled vehicles running on railways or rail tracks or railroads which carry both passengers and goods. The rail is driven by a locomotive which is powered by steam, electricity or diesel, and also can be powered by cables, gravity, horses and gas turbines. The railed vehicles move with less friction on paved roads which make the trains more energy efficient. In 1960s, container trains were the dominant transport tool for general freight because large quantities of goods could be transported by them. Nowadays, trains become a major public transport in the city for carrying passengers.

Roads are usually constructed by materials of gravel, bitumen, concrete or asphalt which are used to support a number of vehicles and land passage. Automobile is the most common road vehicle with wheels and own motors. Others are motorcars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians. The specified cycle lands are provided as special areas for bicycles to use and bus lanes give priority to public transport.

Water TransportEdit

Water transport relate to watercraft such as boat, ship, barge and sailboat, making over a sea, lake, ocean, river or canal. The first steamboats were developed in 1800s which was using a steam engine to drive the propeller for the movement of the ship. Submarines use nuclear power to produce the steam. The modern sea transport is a highly effective transport tool which is able to carry goods with large quantities. The main advantage of water transport is less costly than air transport in coastal areas.


Limitations for rail transport:

  • High capital investment - The railway needs large investment because the cost of construction, maintenance and overhead expenses are relatively high compared to other transport modes [3]
  • Inflexibility – rails’ timings and routes cannot adjust to individual uses.
  • Monopoly – railways are controlled and managed by the government.
  • Not suitable and uneconomical for small loads and short distance
  • Slow speed compared to air transport – it takes too much time and labour when delivering goods

Limitations for water transport

  • Very slow speed – water transport takes long time to do the delivery
  • Limited in area of operation – water transport requires canals, seas or rivers to operate
  • It is affected adversely by weather conditions


Markets for railways For freight rail, over 80% of total land-freight task on the East – West Corridor is moved by rail. For passenger rail, Australian light and heavy rail operates 2.3 million passengers every day in average of the year. Sydney has the busiest rail network that is moving over 300 million people in a year. The Federal Government has invested $1,648 million from 2013 to 2014 in rail funding and $319 million in 2017 – 2018. There is a decrease of 80% and Figure 3 well explains the investment by the Federal Government in railways. [4]

Markets for water transport In global scale, the busiest ports are in Asia and the largest ones are located in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore. Outside the Asia, the port of Los Angeles is the largest one.

Early market Development (1st Century)Edit

The history of air transport lasts over 2000 years from the earliest flying machines such as kites, tower jumping, powered hypersonic flights and jets. In 15th Century, Leonardo da Vinci's dreamed an unscientific flight designs. Then in 18th century, the discovery of hydrogen gas led to the invention of balloon. By the beginning of 20th century, engine technology developed and the powered flight became possible to be created. The modern airplanes with fixed wings and tails were established until 1909. After World War II, land planes replaced the flying boats and the revolution of more powerful jet engines started.

Initial niche marketsEdit

The Wright Brothers made 1st powered flights in 1903 and tried to make their aircraft into a marketable product.

Functional enhancementEdit

The Wright Brothers designed and used a wind tunnel to test the tails of the gliders and the shapes of wings. Then in 1902, after making a perfect shape for the gliders, they put their attention to how to build a propulsion system which might create the thrust for flying.

Functional discoveryEdit

First flightEdit

Air travel has a long period of change. The first flight went off in 1914 and about 3,000 people watched as the first ticket was auctioned off. The world’s first commercial airline carried more than 1,200 passengers. The airline made 2 flights a day and operated for 4 months. The regular fare was $5 per person and tickets sold out for 16 weeks. [5]

Policies in birthing phaseEdit

Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB)Edit

In 1938, the U.S. Government regulated many areas of commercial aviation in routes, schedules, fares and other aspects through the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

Airline Deregulation Act (1978)Edit

The Airline Deregulation Act is made by United States Federal Government to deregulate the airline industry in U.S. It removes the control of fares, market entry of new airlines and routes from U.S Federal Government. It introduces a free market in the commercial airline industry and leads to a large increase in the number of flights, passengers and miles flown and a decrease in the fares. The CAB's powers on regulation were phased out but that Act did not diminish the powers of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on regulation of all aspects of aviation safety.

The growth of the mode (19th century)Edit

Air transportation was developing slowly after the Wright Brothers breakthrough at Kitty Hawk in 1903. In 1914, the world’s first flight was scheduled with a paying passenger for a fare of $10 per person across Florida and the bay separating Tampa and St. Petersburg. Then World War I began a few months after the first flight, the development of the commercial aviation as the power began and better aircrafts were designed. In 1941, 80% of the commercial aircraft in the U.S. were DC – 3s which were land planes. Commercial jets have not improved speed since their introduction in the late 1950s.

Policy issuesEdit

Aircraft noise issuesEdit

The aircraft and airport noise issue have been noticed for decades. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pursues the control for the aircraft noise control in cooperation with all aviation communities. Noise control relates noise reduction at the original source, develop a quieter aircraft, buyouts and soundproofing of buildings near airports, land use planning strategies and operational flight control measures. In 2013, the International Civil Aviation Organizations’ Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) agreed to a new noise reduction standard in the global areas. Then The Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise (CLEEN) program which belongs to the FAA wants to develop new technology to reduce aircraft noise.[6]

Development during mature phase ( 19th century to now)Edit

The period of the air transport began to be mature was during 1920s and 1930s. The development of airports became formal with essential buildings, service and runways. During that period, more companies started to carry passengers, mails and even freight on the flights. The government used aeroplanes for military purposes, as well as aerial surveys such as mineral exploration and mapping. The expansion of air transport systems in British and Canada was very rapid.

Adaptions to changes[7]Edit

Changing marketsEdit

The global trends are re-shaping travels and threaten to weaken the connection between airlines and customers. The trends include:

  • Changing dynamics within direct and indirect sales channels
  • Shifting customer behaviours on business and retail sides
  • The rise of digital technologies

Air companies take strategies enabled by technology:

  • Managing digital innovation and improve business areas in direct channel marketing, sales and dynamic pricing
  • Pursuing closer partnerships with content, channel and technology players.
  • Enhancing internal capabilities to focus on customers in organisational setup

Changing competitive conditionsEdit

It is not unusual to open a new route which is already flown by another air carriers because there are tens of thousands of airlines are operating every day all over the world. Starting a new routine is a challenge for an airline. However, flying to a small city will be a better choice due to no airline competitions.

Changing policy valuesEdit

The air transport systems in U.S. is changing and changes will continue. It is not easy for the public to assess risks in air transportation systems, especially after 9/11. To ensure safety, the Government was put on tremendous pressure from the public and political. For the air transportation systems, the performance is measured, including comfort, convenience, social impact and costs.

Lock - inEdit

An airline is a source of an aircraft when it decides to fly to new destinations. A major airline with a large fleet of aircraft may be able to find a spare aircraft and assign it to the new route. However, not all aircraft can fly on a specified routine. Aircraft limitations restrains the aircraft to assign a route.

Opportunity to re-invent the modeEdit

To better serve the requirements now, innovations are undertaken as a sign of generational shifts. Like Business Insider Australia mentions that ‘a major industry – wide overhaul to passenger experience happens once every decade or two. We are currently in such a generational shift.’ Numerous innovations of air transport come to mind. For example, new composited – bodies airliners of the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 and the technologies of geared turbofan engines and satellite-based internet. The airplane makers and pilots understand the importance of unpegging both the developments of the aircraft hardware and software. An industry is once bounded by the restrains of flying metals will be head towards a future where ‘software is growing in importance’. Now, the aircraft industries are working on many potentially changing innovations which will find their own way into common airline uses in the next decades.


S - curveEdit

Below shows a lifecycle for the mode. S - curves are used to identify the status of the mode which includes the birthing, growth and maturity phase.


The data found is used to estimate three parameter logistic function whose equation is:



  • S(t) is the status measure, (e.g. Passenger-km traveled)
  • t is time (usually in years),
  • t0 is the inflection time (year in which 1/2 K is achieved),
  • K is saturation status level,
  • b is a coefficient.
  • b and K need to be estimated

The regression results generated by Data Analysis in Excel are shown below:

Regression Results
K 18000000 19000000 20000000 21000000 22000000 23000000 24000000 25000000
R square 0.835022905 0.84020001 0.842448954 0.843399881 0.843719119 0.843714421 0.843540045 0.843277833

The value of K = 2200000 is chosen because its corresponding R - squared value is the closest to 1. Then K = 2200000 is used to find and then plot the data to form a S - curve.

Coefficients Standard Error t Stat P-value Lower 95% Upper 95% Lower 95.0% Upper 95.0%
Intercept -6923967 34035.443 -203.43402 3.689E-24 -6997496.1 -6850437.8 -6997496.1 -6850437.8
X variable 3531.350902 16.94144564 208.4444845 2.68901E-24 3494.751134 3567.95067 3494.751134 3567.95067