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Roger Beteille RIP


Senior Member
Oct 18, 2006
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Question: has anyone had a greater impact on the modern commercial aircraft industry than Roger Beteille?

- He instigated and led the campaign, not officially approved by the sponsoring governments, to right-size the A300 as a 250-seater powered by the CF6-50, rather than a 300-seater with the doomed RB.207, after he realized that RR was in trouble and spending UKG's RB.207 money on the RB.211. Had they stayed with the RB.207, Airbus would have sunk without trace in the RR bankruptcy.
- He quietly created and advocated for the vision that unlike Concorde or Transall or Panavia, Airbus needed to be a multi-product company and that it needed a 30% market share to be self-sustaining. Beteille sketched the concept that became the A330/340, and the vision also headed off the idea of a separate single-aisle company.
- Beteille's last assignment before Airbus was a supersonic, ramjet-powered, low-level GLCM, and he once explained that he wasn't afraid of automation. Seeing that a "me-too" response to the 737-300 wouldn't be enough, Beteille pushed for fly-by-wire in the A320 - which also enabled a common cockpit for the A330/340. Today, every bigger-than-regional jet in production is FBW, except the... errm... you know.

A true gent, too, and a great interview...
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