wchu94

Motor Coach Industries general discussion

125 posts in this topic

11 hours ago, Swadian said:

That proves my point because you can still see differences and anything that you can't see probably isn't a major change anyway, so the wrap does not conceal "anything of importance". At most the wrap may conceal a minor change to the lower front nose.

Why don't they just take off the wrap?

I get your point, that in the day of high resolution photography and photo manipulation ability, the wrap does not do much. It is a common practice for car manufacturers to do this with new models when they test new prototypes.

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8 hours ago, A. Wong said:

I get your point, that in the day of high resolution photography and photo manipulation ability, the wrap does not do much. It is a common practice for car manufacturers to do this with new models when they test new prototypes.

Not true - the wrap still does lots.

 

Moreso with larger details, it makes it quite a bit harder to make out things like character lines and panel creases on new bodywork. Little things like lights or handles it won't make a difference, because they need to be kept largely exposed anyways.

 

Dan

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9 hours ago, smallspy said:

Not true - the wrap still does lots.

 

Moreso with larger details, it makes it quite a bit harder to make out things like character lines and panel creases on new bodywork. Little things like lights or handles it won't make a difference, because they need to be kept largely exposed anyways.

 

Dan

Well, I still don't see the point; it's not like a J4500 is a M1A3 Abrams or something like that. Airbus doesn't have to play hide-and-seek when testing the A350-1000.

Looks like MCI modified the upper front cap as well as the lower front cap.

Did MCI do this with the original 102EL3 in 1996 or the 96A3 in 1984?

Speaking of the headlight frames, what is the official name for that part?

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13 hours ago, Swadian said:

Well, I still don't see the point; it's not like a J4500 is a M1A3 Abrams or something like that. Airbus doesn't have to play hide-and-seek when testing the A350-1000.

Looks like MCI modified the upper front cap as well as the lower front cap.

Did MCI do this with the original 102EL3 in 1996 or the 96A3 in 1984?

Speaking of the headlight frames, what is the official name for that part?

Of course Airbus kept hide and seek with the A350-1000 until it was public knowledge. Same thing is happening here with the new MCI model, give it time and you will be able to see clear pics of it unwrapped.

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14 hours ago, Swadian said:

Well, I still don't see the point; it's not like a J4500 is a M1A3 Abrams or something like that. Airbus doesn't have to play hide-and-seek when testing the A350-1000.

Looks like MCI modified the upper front cap as well as the lower front cap.

Did MCI do this with the original 102EL3 in 1996 or the 96A3 in 1984?

Speaking of the headlight frames, what is the official name for that part?

You may not see the point, but then again the point isn't directed at you.

 

Who do you think is in competition with MCI? That's why they do this.

 

Dan

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9 hours ago, smallspy said:

You may not see the point, but then again the point isn't directed at you.

 

Who do you think is in competition with MCI? That's why they do this.

 

Dan

Actually, the point is directed at me, though I will not elaborate how or why. The A350-1000 was announced and receiving orders well before its prototype first flew. This prototype is already on the road and MCI has not explained what the heck it is. This is to the detriment of MCI as their backlog will be delayed unless they already secretly told certain operators. The big question is whether MCI also did it for the 102A3 and 102EL3 launches.

Perhaps this is a new electric J4500? Does anyone know what the frames around the headlights are officially called now?

 

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15 hours ago, Swadian said:

Actually, the point is directed at me, though I will not elaborate how or why. The A350-1000 was announced and receiving orders well before its prototype first flew. This prototype is already on the road and MCI has not explained what the heck it is. This is to the detriment of MCI as their backlog will be delayed unless they already secretly told certain operators. The big question is whether MCI also did it for the 102A3 and 102EL3 launches.

Perhaps this is a new electric J4500? Does anyone know what the frames around the headlights are officially called now?

 

You're trying to compare an aircraft, which requires untold billions of dollars in development, and therefore a very solid order book with which to justify those enormous development costs, with a bus which has development costs that are fractions of a percent of the costs of developing an airliner? No, a much more appropriate comparison is with that of a car - where you may have some advance orders, but all of the development costs are made well upfront, and before any monies changes hands between the manufacturer and purchaser.

 

Dan

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8 hours ago, smallspy said:

You're trying to compare an aircraft, which requires untold billions of dollars in development, and therefore a very solid order book with which to justify those enormous development costs, with a bus which has development costs that are fractions of a percent of the costs of developing an airliner? No, a much more appropriate comparison is with that of a car - where you may have some advance orders, but all of the development costs are made well upfront, and before any monies changes hands between the manufacturer and purchaser.

 

Dan

But a motorcoach is designed for commercial use and is ordered by companies, so is more appropriately a "land airliner" than a "big car".

We will have to agree to disagree.

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14 hours ago, Swadian said:

But a motorcoach is designed for commercial use and is ordered by companies, so is more appropriately a "land airliner" than a "big car".

We will have to agree to disagree.

A motorcoach is designed well in advance of when orders are taken, just like a car.

 

You can disagree all you want, but you're still wrong.

 

Dan

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15 hours ago, Swadian said:

But a motorcoach is designed for commercial use and is ordered by companies, so is more appropriately a "land airliner" than a "big car".

We will have to agree to disagree.

I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, but MCI will sell their motor coaches, in almost any configuration, to anyone who has the cash. If you want to buy a shell for conversion, Sold! custom interior package, Sold!, you want one built as a freighter, Sold!

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On ‎3‎/‎9‎/‎2017 at 6:33 AM, smallspy said:

A motorcoach is designed well in advance of when orders are taken, just like a car.

 

You can disagree all you want, but you're still wrong.

 

Dan

And so is an airplane, to a certain degree (emphasis on "to a certain degree"). Plus, if an airplane is more expensive, shouldn't it be more secretive?

You have conveniently ignored my question about whether MCI also wrapped their 102A3 and 102EL3 prototypes, both of which introduced new styling for their time.

You're not wrong, but I'm not wrong either. I would be wrong if I ever claimed that a motorcoach always receives orders before it is designed, which I never did. I said "a motorcoach is designed for commercial use and is ordered by companies", both of which are true. A motorcoach requires a CDL to drive and most are used in commercial service. Just because I said a motorcoach is ordered by companies, does not mean I am claiming an individual cannot order a motorcoach, just like how an individual can order a private airplane or order a 747-8F.

I also claimed that MCI delaying their announcement will delay their own backlog. The earlier they announce, the earlier they can receive orders, so my statement, in and of itself, is not wrong. Whether it is in MCI's best interest to delay their backlog in order to keep secrets from competitors and whether this is best practice in the motorcoach industry, as compared to the aviation industry, is debatable, but not necessarily wrong. I do believe in keeping secrets from competitors - I just don't think that a wrap is the best way to do it.

You think the wrap is useful, I think it's not. You think a motorcoach is a big car, I think a motorcoach is a land airliner. This is subjective. A motorcoach can be considered either a "big car" or a "land airliner". I just prefer the latter. But hey, wearing red trousers into combat is a bad idea!

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On 3/9/2017 at 9:33 AM, smallspy said:

A motorcoach is designed well in advance of when orders are taken, just like a car.

 

You can disagree all you want, but you're still wrong.

 

Dan

I agree with you, that's the way it is in industries like bus manufacturing (or cars, other commercial vehicles, and even some trains). The only industry I can think of where orders are placed before testing takes place is the airliner market, which was already mentioned (think about how many airlines have ordered the 787 before it first flew). MCI customers interested in a design will likely want to see data on reliability and testing performed on prototypes before they sign any contracts. I don't think that big motor coach buyers don't know about this new design either, they probably do (via MCI), and are awaiting the results of testing before placing orders.    

3 hours ago, Swadian said:

You think the wrap is useful, I think it's not.

As for the wrap, it doesn't conceal the major changes to the bus, but it will make the official launch/reveal of the new bus at a transit expo (if thats where they do these things) a little more grand and interesting. So its not absolutely necessary, but its a common practice.

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15 hours ago, WMATAC40LF said:

I agree with you, that's the way it is in industries like bus manufacturing (or cars, other commercial vehicles, and even some trains). The only industry I can think of where orders are placed before testing takes place is the airliner market, which was already mentioned (think about how many airlines have ordered the 787 before it first flew). MCI customers interested in a design will likely want to see data on reliability and testing performed on prototypes before they sign any contracts. I don't think that big motor coach buyers don't know about this new design either, they probably do (via MCI), and are awaiting the results of testing before placing orders.    

As for the wrap, it doesn't conceal the major changes to the bus, but it will make the official launch/reveal of the new bus at a transit expo (if thats where they do these things) a little more grand and interesting. So its not absolutely necessary, but its a common practice.

Right, and so it's just subjective. We have a disagreement about a wrap, and that's what forums are for. There would be no interesting discussion if everyone agreed with everyone else. There is not necessarily a right or wrong. We can have a civil discussion and get along without fighting about a piece of vinyl.

Ships are also ordered before construction is started. That's why there were incidents like the Reşadiye.

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On 2017-03-10 at 7:06 PM, Swadian said:

And so is an airplane, to a certain degree (emphasis on "to a certain degree"). Plus, if an airplane is more expensive, shouldn't it be more secretive?

The secretive part of the aircraft design process is the actual design process before they bring it to market. Once they've announced it, what's the point of keeping it a secret? They need to take orders on it to recoup the billions of dollars spent on designing the thing, and they take deposits on those orders in order to help pay for beginning the manufacturing process.

 

Again on a motorcoach, the design process is involved, but not billions of dollars involved. MCI and Prevost, as small as they are when compared to a lot of other manufacturing companies, can afford to float the couple of million required to design and tool prior to launching it to market.

 

On 2017-03-10 at 7:06 PM, Swadian said:

You have conveniently ignored my question about whether MCI also wrapped their 102A3 and 102EL3 prototypes, both of which introduced new styling for their time.

I haven't conveniently ignored anything. I don't know the answer, so why would I address it?

 

I could have make up some bullshit that you would have almost certainly believed, but the fact of the matter is that I don't know the answer to your question.

 

On 2017-03-10 at 7:06 PM, Swadian said:

You're not wrong, but I'm not wrong either. I would be wrong if I ever claimed that a motorcoach always receives orders before it is designed, which I never did. I said "a motorcoach is designed for commercial use and is ordered by companies", both of which are true. A motorcoach requires a CDL to drive and most are used in commercial service. Just because I said a motorcoach is ordered by companies, does not mean I am claiming an individual cannot order a motorcoach, just like how an individual can order a private airplane or order a 747-8F.

Are there some parallels between aircraft and motorcoaches? Sure.

 

But your contention that the manufacturing and selling process is similar is way off base, and greatly undervalues just how great the difference in scale there is in design, manufacturing and selling of commercial aircraft versus motorcoaches. If they were remotely comparable, Prevost and MCI would be multi-billion dollar companies - and they are not.

 

Ultimately this goes all the way back to that MCI test mule wearing a wrap. There are all sorts of reasons why it may be. It may have design cues that they are looking at introducing in the future. It may have features that they are still testing. It may be that it doesn't represent what the future of MCI design is at all. But for whatever the reasons, they have to test it in the real world, and they want to hide it while testing. That's why they do it.

 

Dan

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2 hours ago, smallspy said:

I haven't conveniently ignored anything. I don't know the answer, so why would I address it?

 

I could have make up some bullshit that you would have almost certainly believed, but the fact of the matter is that I don't know the answer to your question.

So, you don't know. Well, if wrapping a prototype is really a "common practice", then shouldn't you know the answer? After all, you seem to support wrapping prototypes, so shouldn't you know whether MCI has done it before or be able to find out? Even if not for the 102A3 or 102EL3, even if for any other previous MCI prototype - you don't know.

Or perhaps it isn't common practice. Perhaps MCI has never done it in the past and are only doing it now.

"You may not see the point, but then again the point is not directed at you."

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1 hour ago, Swadian said:

So, you don't know. Well, if wrapping a prototype is really a "common practice", then shouldn't you know the answer? After all, you seem to support wrapping prototypes, so shouldn't you know whether MCI has done it before or be able to find out? Even if not for the 102A3 or 102EL3, even if for any other previous MCI prototype - you don't know.

Or perhaps it isn't common practice. Perhaps MCI has never done it in the past and are only doing it now.

"You may not see the point, but then again the point is not directed at you."

Do you know the answer? Or are you just spitballing?

 

Actually, don't bother answering that. It really doesn't matter.

 

I don't support it or not support it. I frankly don't give a shit whether they do or not. What I do know is WHY they do it.

 

Dan

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On ‎3‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 0:58 PM, smallspy said:

Do you know the answer? Or are you just spitballing?

 

Actually, don't bother answering that. It really doesn't matter.

 

I don't support it or not support it. I frankly don't give a shit whether they do or not. What I do know is WHY they do it.

 

Dan

Of course I know why they do it, it's already been said many times on this thread. Like politics, knowing why doesn't mean I agree. That is all.

I do not support the use of wraps so there is no reason for me to discover whether MCI used them in the past. If I wanted to, I am in the position to find out, but it is not worth my time.

If you want the last word, you may have it. But, for your own safety, I would not recommend wearing red trousers into combat.

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3 hours ago, Swadian said:

I do not support the use of wraps so there is no reason for me to discover whether MCI used them in the past. If I wanted to, I am in the position to find out, but it is not worth my time.

Excuse me, what? 

You have asked, repeatedly, whether MCI had wrapped prototype coaches in the past. Other members of this board have said they don't know.

Now your response is that if you wanted to know, you could find out, but it is not worth your time.

Why did you even ask the question?

 

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2 hours ago, northwesterner said:

Excuse me, what? 

You have asked, repeatedly, whether MCI had wrapped prototype coaches in the past. Other members of this board have said they don't know.

Now your response is that if you wanted to know, you could find out, but it is not worth your time.

Why did you even ask the question?

 

Because in a court of law, the defendant is either found guilty or found not guilty. In no case is the defendant found "innocent", but rather can be found not guilty due to lack of evidence (or guilty based on the evidence presented). If there is no evidence that MCI has ever used a wrap on a prototype, then it is reasonable to assume that MCI has never used a wrap on a prototype, which would mean that this is MCI's first time using a wrap on a prototype, which is in turn reasonable cause to doubt whether it is in MCI's best interest to wrap this prototype.

And all I have casted is doubt. I have not said it was definitively wrong to use a wrap. If MCI had been using wraps for years and years and years, then perhaps there is no justification for my doubt. But there is no recorded evidence of such, so I am justified in my doubts. If there is no evidence presented, it is not necessary for the defendant to find proof of lack of evidence. However, controversially casting doubt on mainstream opinion has been under attack recently.

By the way, you can have the last word as well, if you want it. I am blocking you, too. If you wish to continue arguing, I kindly and sincerely request the basic courtesy of meeting me at McDonald's.

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It seems like they were just trying to answer your (repeated) questions, Swadian.

In any case, this thread has veered off course. There was some good discussion but now it's not heading anywhere productive. Let's steer it back on topic. :)

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On 13/03/2017 at 10:11 PM, Swadian said:

Because in a court of law, the defendant is either found guilty or found not guilty. 

Well, this discussion board isn't a court of law. However, board members can pass judgement on how board members conduct themselves to the rest of the board. I think it's clear from some of the "likes" where certain members stand in their view of other members.

Anyways, I digress. On to the topic at hand.

I think that there's are a few points that haven't been covered in regards to the wrapping of this MCI bus with the low floor section that are worth exploring.

First thing I would like to discuss is the practicality of the wrap.
The wrap covers practically every surface that could have been painted. That makes me wonder how much of the bus is even painted? Being perhaps an engineering prototype (the fact MCI hasn't slapped a single logo on it make me think they want to keep it low key right now), who knows what sort of combination of parts they bolted together to build this bus. Indeed, since you've noted that there's been some styling changes, I would almost expect that these are handmade/ low production run pieces to confirm fit, finish, and function before investments are made in tooling and what not.
As a result, why paint it? The wrap solves that problem. 

Taking that thought a step further, this could even be some old demo/ engineering bus which has these different designs that was simply selected for this low floor modification just because it was sitting around and available for the engineering department to fiddle with. The different styling might not be representative of what the final product which might well look like any standard, currently produced, MCI coach.

You suggest that maybe it's an electric J4500 at one point, and that got me thinking. The less the weight of the bus body/ frame the more weight the bus can carry in batteries (theoretically). Perhaps there's some different materials for body panels MCI is experimenting with? The wrap would certainly hide that. Especially that particular design that was chosen for the wrap. The design on the wrap certainly looks like it's meant to break up any features of the bus body it's applied to. Hell, for all we know, they could even be wood panels employed on this bus if they needed to come up with something quick to fit a panel design just for this specific bus.

I would suspect that there's been some frame changes. Minor possibility, but, with the right atmospheric conditions frames can show through to the outside of a bus. I can't say I've seen it on a highway coach, but, I've certainly seen it on transit buses. Case in point: ets0256ac.jpg
This could be the type of thing that MCI might want to not risk having a competitor able to see. It looks like the wrap could help break that up.

Now, the second thing I would ilke to discuss is the repeated questing about whether or not the 96A3 or 102EL3 prototypes were wrapped. 
A lot has changed since the 102EL3 was released.
Today, it doesn't take much for practically anyone to upload a photo on to the internet of a bus within seconds pf taking a photo. 
Today, you could have a coach driver come across a bus like that MCI, think to themselves "hey! That's cool, I'm going to take a photo and put that on Facebook". Pull out their phone, take a picture on the cell phone and upload it to a Facebook group.

Back in 1996, even a small film camera would have been buiky to the extent that most people didn't carry cameras with them. And even if someone did come across something like that MCI, and had a camera, they would then need to finish the roll of film. get it developed, get it scanned, upload it somewhere onto the internet, and then somehow share it with other like minded people. Back when I had my first internet presence, that meant building my own website with HTML code or building it on Geocities. This wasn't a time of dumping the image onto Flickr or other services and sharing a link. 

The communities also didn't exist on the internet that exist today. Back then it was things like email lists that were used, you had to be on a computer to access them... not just open up an app on a phone and be instantly connected to like minded people like today.

It took me a long time in the 1990's to meet like minded people, and hell, it took effort. Now, anyone can sign up anywhere and anytime they want and join discussion boards, chat rooms, social media sites etc. 

Long-winded perhaps, but, getting to my point now. Back in 1996 and certainly back in the 1980's there was probably less of a concern among bus builders when it came to keeping things like the test of a bus design quiet. Today however, there is a much greater concern among companies about what can surface on the internet, in particular, social media sites. Hence, I think it's much more likely a bus manufacturer would go to the lengths like MCI did by wrapping a bus in 2017 than they would have in 1996. It's an apples to oranges comparison between the thinking back then to the thinking today. 

Lastly, you have this holier-than-thou attitude and repeatedly suggest that you can get the information on whether or not an engineering/ prototype bus back in the 1980's was wrapped. Then why the hell are you repeatedly asking a board composed of mostly bus fans what the official name for the headlight frames are?

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5 hours ago, M. Parsons said:

First thing I would like to discuss is the practicality of the wrap.

The wrap covers practically every surface that could have been painted. That makes me wonder how much of the bus is even painted? Being perhaps an engineering prototype (the fact MCI hasn't slapped a single logo on it make me think they want to keep it low key right now), who knows what sort of combination of parts they bolted together to build this bus. Indeed, since you've noted that there's been some styling changes, I would almost expect that these are handmade/ low production run pieces to confirm fit, finish, and function before investments are made in tooling and what not.
As a result, why paint it? The wrap solves that problem.

Unless they are using composite panels - and even then, that's only some very specific composites - the bus is almost certainly painted. (And judging from the photos that I've seen that show folded exterior panels in off-white, that's appears to be correct correct.) As much as anything else, paint is used as a surface treatment to prolong the life of the components that its on - usually from oxidation. A wrap will not protect the panels in the same way.

 

Dan

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Why so guarded, Swadian?

I've about 5 years hands on experience with mostly MCI products... Tell us, what puts you in such a knowledgable position?

You can choose to remain as anonymous as you like, but information and credibility are often linked.

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On 3/15/2017 at 2:01 AM, M. Parsons said:

Minor possibility, but, with the right atmospheric conditions frames can show through to the outside of a bus. I can't say I've seen it on a highway coach, but, I've certainly seen it on transit buses.

I have seen this, funnily enough on a MCI E-Series... usually it is dirty too.

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I think MCI should put the Detroit  Diesel DD13 for MCI D series option.

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