Conklin & de Decker: Don’t be First To Buy New Design

 - December 19, 2006, 12:37 PM

According to David Wyndham, an owning partner of Orleans, Mass.-based aircraft cost data analyst Conklin & de Decker, there are five reasons why a buyer should wait until “around S/N 75 or later” to buy a “full clean-sheet design.” Reason one is that the new design might have “unproven new technologies” that can “delay certification or cause structural changes in the design.” Reason two is that “integrating new systems can cause difficulties in getting everything to work together.” Reason three is “spares support might not be ready when the aircraft is.” Reason four is the “preliminary design specifications might not be met in the final certified aircraft.” And reason five is “due to reason one through four, your delivery date is very likely to slip.” By waiting until S/N 75 (typically the second year of production), buyers “let the first few dozen owners deal with all the new-model teething issues and then you can grab the polished product.”