jingoism and plane ignorance (pun intended)
folks, there seems to be a lot of confusion and just plain (plane) ignorance here. i can't do anything about the jingoism but here are a few facts ( don't take my word for it, check 'em out) to chew on:
there is basically no difference between Boeing and Airbus aircraft as far as safety features. any commercial aircraft operating in US airspace must pass the same certification process - some find it easy, others, the concord for example don't, but all must eventually pass. exceptions can be made, again for the concord, the remaining fuel requirement was reduced so it could meet the requirements. at that, many concord flights from france and the uk to jfk were forced to land for refueling at bangor - played hell with their on-time performance. i was once riding the jump seat in an AF concord, on approach to 17L at JFK - i leaned forward and asked the captain, " what's out alternate", he replied, with a smile, 17R.
in fact, there are very few differences between these two manufactures at all - both build good, safe, reliable aircraft. each of them tries to add their own particularly twist, some of which work out and some don't, but the differences are mainly marketing hype. fuel efficiency and noise are the current hot buttons!
the cabin interior, the power plant (engines) and the avionics are specified by the air carrier, and purchased separately - they are not specified or provided by the aircraft manufacturer.
carriers buy aircraft for a variety of reasons, mostly concerning costs. if you have an all Boeing fleet, why buy an Airbus aircraft and create a maintenance and service nightmare for yourself.
Airbus has aggressively priced their product and has had considerable success selling them. given that there isn't really much difference between them, isn't that the way it should be? what idiot would tell their stockholders they were going to spend that amount of money just because it was manufactured by a US or European manufacturer - the answer is none - i've been there when these decisions were made and i can tell you it's all about price.
ram air turbines have been standard equipment on all jet aircraft since the 1960s, i recall having one on the f-105, a lot of years ago. more importantly, all commercial jet aircraft have an auxiliary power units (APU) which provides electrical power to start the engines, and can be used in flight to provide electrical power for the hydraulic systems. modern turbine aircraft require the engines to be spun at a very high speed in order to achieve the compression necessary to sustain power - batteries just wouldn't do it. interesting to hear if the APU did cycle on and if not, why not? don't know how long it might take to spool the thing up, perhaps 10-15 seconds. BTW, almost all modern jet aircraft are "fly by wire", and that has nothing to do with anything here.
as to who made these particularly engines, an interesting data point but not really a factor. in these circumstances, all engines will respond the same - none of them will survive bits of titanium impeller blades whirling around loose inside the engine. as for one of the engines separating, that's a feature of the airframe, again mandated by the certification process. one really doesn't want an engine spewing metal parts at high speed in close proximity to a tube full of live people - get rid of the thing when it becomes a danger. there is some idea that it separated on landing but it seems to me that if one had gone on landing the asymmetrical drag would have been so great as to have skewed the path considerably, given that at that point there was very little aerodynamic control of the aircraft so no way to compensate. i don't recall seeing any signs of anything but a more or less, straight path down the river.
as for the benefits of being a glider pilot, "give us a break" !
the sum of it all is:
the aircraft performed as was expected and the flight crew, including the cabin attendants performed as was expected and they all lived. the crew deserves the praise here, any modern commercial turbine aircraft would have performed in the same fashion. too bad the crew wouldn't receive anything other that a pat on the back - i told you air carriers only think of the price (-: