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By H. Wittenberg

Plane layout four (2001) seventy nine - eighty

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The manufacturers helped themselves enormously by developing enviable production, marketing and support services. American firms Aerospace Industries in Europe and America 29 gained an early and well deserved reputation for developing quality products and this fostered a level of customer loyalty that Airbus had to work hard to overcome. These firms were aggressively managed and executives of several firms seemed quite willing to commit their companies to very risky projects. Boeing for instance, literally 'bet the company' to develop the 747.

Second, it noted that aircraft markets outside the US were growing much faster than the domestic American market. 56 To remedy this, the Action Programme advocated measures to further rationalize the European industry. 57 This was taken to mean that all major policy decisions, including approval of aircraft programmes, would go through the Council via the Commission. 58 While Community control over the industry would be achieved through the most decentralized means possible, it was clear that national governments would be relieved of the responsibility for managing their aerospace industries.

In both countries, this meant the virtual disappearance of the small, independent aircraft builder. In Britain, this process of combining manufacturers culminated in the creation of British Aerospace (BAe) in 1977. 31 The French had been committed to a highly dirigiste strategy since the first years after World War Two. 32 Aerospatiale has developed into the major civil airframe manufacturer in France. In this respect, it Aerospace Industries in Europe and America 35 leaves virtually all military airframe development and production (with the notable exception of helicopters) to another firm, Dassault, which, while privately owned, had close links with the French state.

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