There are thousands of aircraft flying all over the world every day. These ranges from small planes that only hold a couple of people to large behemoths like the A380 that carry over 400 passengers. Since the dawn of aviation almost a century ago, dozens of manufactures have produced aircraft.
Over the past several decades, several of them have merged or gone out of business. Remaining today, there are four main manufacturers producing commercial aircraft. These include Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, and Bombardier. There are other companies including Comac, Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, and Tupolev. However, they have not produced a recent aircraft or are still in the early stages of development.
Airbus is also one of the largest aircraft manufacturers and the main competitor to Boeing. They also produce numerous types of aircraft including the A320 and the A380. The company is the result of consolidation of numerous European aerospace industry businesses. The first official Airbus model to roll-off the assembly line was the wide-body A300 which is still in limited use today.
Just recently launched, the A350 is the manufacturers first model to incorporate a large percentage of composite materials. It’s largest aircraft, the double decker A380 has allowed for new inflight amenities including duty-free shopping and onboard showers. Airbus is constantly working to design improved aircraft with great efficiency and comfort for passengers.
Boeing is one of the largest manufacturers of commercial jetliner in the world. They produce a variety of single aisle and wide-body models including the 737 and 777. The company was founded over 100 years ago and has built over 14 different aircraft types.
The 787 Dreamliner is the most recent aircraft to be introduced and has helped usher in new flight routes. Boeing was the first to build an aircraft would a double-deck configuration with the Boeing 747. Airlines around the world use a variety of Boeing models for both short flights and ultra-long international flights.
Embraer is a Brazil aerospace manufacturer that builds mainly aircraft for regional flight operations. The airline specializes in making planes that seat less than 150 passengers. Embraer’s first aircraft produced was a twin-engine turbo-prop called the EMB-110.
Today the company produces 10 commercial jetliners in either a 2×2 or 1×2 seating configuration. The aircraft are found mainly on routes to serve lower-demand markets through reasonable operating expenses. As aviation continues to grow in markets, Embraer aircraft provide a great option for expanding new service.
Bombardier is another notable aircraft manufacture with roots from many aerospace companies. Currently they only build three aircraft model, the CRJ-700/900/1000 and have a minority partnership of the A220 with Airbus. Originally, Bombardier developed a CRJ-100/200 but discontinued the model after the demand for 50-seat aircraft was found to not be very profitable.
As a competitor to Embraer, Bombardier focuses on making aircraft with less than 100 seats. They only produce models with a 2×2 seating configuration in the economy cabin and the engines are located on the aft fuselage. Bombardier has faced some financial trouble in recent years and has made numerous changes to its long-term strategy. The airline industry is constantly evolving, and plane makers must always be designing improvements to stay relevant.
Which is your favorite aircraft manufacturer?