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The Escalating Woes at Airbus

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posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 08:01 AM
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and the hits just keep comming

this hanging breaking ball brought to you by:

Singapore Airlines.

Redesign A350, Airbus told


no it's a great time for BAE to sell.




posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 11:55 AM
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I'm not sure how seriously I can take the reporting of this story, is the fact that it is a report is from a US based agency relevant at all? Not being funny about it, I genuinely cannot decide due to the spin that appears to be put on it.

For example, this, and preceding reports, continue to refer to the A350 as 'being based on' or being a development of' the A330.

While it is true that this is indeed how the A350 programme started out, subsequent rethinks and redesigns mean that there is only 5% commonality between the A330 and A350, and this relates to the fuselage cross section and wing box. Would there really be any pressing need to change these?

Why do these reports seemingly ignore this and continue to report on the A350 as some sort of A330 derivative?

likewise this quote;


Udvar-Hazy said at an industry conference in Florida last week that Airbus should scrap its current design for the aircraft and design an all-new fuselage and wing to make it bigger and faster


You see, in the report in this weeks Flight International, this was not actually what was said, according to that report Udvar Hadzy said that the A350 was 'already excellent' and that Airbus needed to decide whether to base its next generation aircrasft upon it, or go for an all new design.

You see, the meaning there is quite different and that is where my doubts spring from, not from any general distrust of the source.



posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 12:46 PM
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or like this quote



In remarks at the same conference, Henry Hubschmann, president of General Electric Co.'s (GE) aircraft-leasing unit, GECAS, said he agreed with Udvar-Hazy. GECAS has ordered 10 A350s. Neither executive said whether they might cancel their orders if the changes weren't made.

BusinessWeek Online was unable to reach either Udvar-Hazy or Hubschmann for this story, but their comments were confirmed by participants at the conference, organized by the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading.




Yet industry watchers say Airbus will probably be forced to revamp the plane, even though the changes suggested by Udvar-Hazy would boost development costs from $5.3 billion to as much as $10 billion. Airbus' current design is based on its existing A330 widebody plane, with the addition of more fuel-efficient engines and increased use of lightweight composites.

At the conference, Udvar-Hazy said that a design based on "leftovers" would sell poorly against the 787, perhaps winning as little as 25% of the market. "Airbus has boxed themselves in on the A350," he told BusinessWeek Online earlier in March. "Airbus has to make some changes."


Source: Yahoo Finance UK & Ireland


or this one



Sources in London told ATWOnline yesterday that Udvar-Hazy's comments in Orlando may have been promoted by those within Airbus who desire an all-new aircraft to combat not only the Dreamliner but the 777, which eclipsed the A340 family last year. In January, Airbus CEO Gustav Humbert acknowledged to media Boeing's efforts in the widebody segment, but cautioned that while "we are not happy with the situation, we should not panic. One year does not make a trend."


Source: ATW Daily News Leasing giants call for A350 program overhaul


or you can check out these independant reports from the Leeham Company

ILFC Chief Calls for Revised A350 Design
Redesigning the A350: Airbus’ tough choice


or this from Flight International



“I think the latest version of the A350 looks excellent. But it still has some elements left over from early models of the [manufacturer’s] widebody family. Airbus needs to address will they have a new family of aircraft,” said Udvar-Hazy, speaking at last week’s ISTAT conference in Orlando, Florida.

Udvar-Hazy sees the A350 as a response by Airbus to being “stunned” and “caught a little bit behind the power curve” after Boeing shifted gears from the Sonic Cruiser plan to developing a new family of aircraft with the 787.



Source: Flight International



posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 03:00 PM
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The fuselage is actually a bigger problem...

Here is an article from Boeing about its design compared to Airbus




...
As you've probably heard, when we designed the 787, one of the things we wanted to do was provide a superior environment for the passenger. Everything from the comfort of the seats you sit in, to the refreshing atmosphere inside the cabin, the lighting, the open architecture, the whole scheme of things.

So a big part of our efforts focused on actually shaping the airplane in a way that would enhance the cabin interior. And we chose to go with what is often referred to as a "double-bubble" fuselage...


Full Article










posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 03:31 PM
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Originally posted by ElTiante
Never mind that most airports will need to be modified to accommodate it, how the hell are the baggage carousels going to handle the luggage of EIGHT HUNDRED PASSENGERS?


Did they not think the same when the 747 first appeared? Only with 300+ passengers?



posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 04:44 PM
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carcharodon, thanks for the graphics, yes I knew that Boeing had made for a better interior on the 787, I can see from those diagrams how the 787 will feel much more spacious, giving a genuinely bigger interior but also one that feels even bigger still. That answers my question about the fuselage cross section perfectly and I can see that this is the main area of concern for customers.

Bigx, I'm not saying any of those are lying, clearly that would be ridiculous and would show a paranoid defence of all things Airbus, which I am not about, its just that when an article (as they nearly all do) calls the plane an A330 development you have to wonder if the basic assumptions behind the story are even correct, remember there is only 5% of the A330 in the A350, it IS a new design, despite the assumptions to the contrary, albeit a new design that looks hamstrung in its decision to stick with the standard Airbus cross section.

This is an interesting reversal of the situation twenty odd yeasr ago when the 767 was launched with such an odd cross section that a new underfloor pallet called the LD67 had to be specially designerd for it when all other widebodies accepted the industry standard LD3, the question then being whether airlines would willingly accept these odd pallets just for the 767 when they could buy Airbus' and simply not bother. Some did, some didn't but 767 sales were far lower than they otherwise might have been as a result.

It now looks like the boot is on the other foot. Given that, from the quotes I've seen, the A350 is already considerably more expensive than the 787 I wonder how Airbus might extricate themselves from this problem?

With such a large product range however it is far from being the killer blow that some Americans would seem to wish it to be, thats the part I just don't get.



posted on Apr, 8 2006 @ 05:00 PM
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I think the worst thing that could happen is for Airbus to go away. I don't see it happening anytime soon though. I hate to fly them, but that's MY choice, not because I hate the company or want them gone.

From what I've heard of the A350 it really needs some redesigning. Especially the wing area.



posted on Apr, 9 2006 @ 12:39 AM
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Airbus was king of the segment wth the A330. It was a newer and better plane than the 767.
Boeing had the older airplane, the 767 so they decided to build a new airplane from zero. The initial project was the sonic cruiser, but after 9/11 they changed plans. They used their research on it to a more traditional aircraft. The build a double bubble fuselage made from carbon composites, designed a new wing and so on. Naturally development costs were higher compared with A350 (U$ 12B for B and U$ 4B for A), however the planes sees to be right on the money. With over 20% fuel consumption than current planes (like the A330) and far more range than any other plane.

Airbus didn't take seriously this plane until it began to sell like hot-cakes. Airbus then released the A350 in a hurry adapting A330 with the idea of reducing costs. They put the same engines as the 787 and made minor modifications. However the plane did not convince the industry and its being outsold several times by the Dreamliner. The thing is that the A350 started with the fuselage and wing of the A330. This is true. From there Airbus began modifying, adding a Lithium-Aluminium Fuselage among other things. But the basic cylindrical fuselage remained the same.



posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 08:37 AM
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Originally posted by Lonestar24
Your "any points on earth" claim is not true

It is (although the longest-ranged plane in the world is the 777, not the 787). As proven during the world record flight, the 777's range is 20,300 kilometres. Thus, the 777 is able to connect any two points on earth.

[edit on 29-4-2006 by Zibi]



posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 03:00 PM
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The 777-200LR will be the longest ranged airliner untill somebody trumps it.

The A350 was basically a warmed over A330 with better engines and a redesigned wing. However, Airbus based on feedback from airlines and leasing corporations has undergone several redesigns. When they freeze the design, I have no doubt it will have very little in common with the A330 except maybe the cockpit.



posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 03:23 PM
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Originally posted by FredT
The 777-200LR will be the longest ranged airliner untill somebody trumps it.

The A350 was basically a warmed over A330 with better engines and a redesigned wing. However, Airbus based on feedback from airlines and leasing corporations has undergone several redesigns. When they freeze the design, I have no doubt it will have very little in common with the A330 except maybe the cockpit.


Not quite, the cockpit will be shared with the A380. The main problem is the fuselage. It has the A330/A340 fuselage and that is one of their biggest problem. Redesigning the fuselage equals designing a new plane from zero. The thing is that Airbus doesn't have the money or the time to do that, specially since the A380 still hasn't become profitable an pay for its investment.
They also need the money for the A320 replacement, which is their most successful plane by far and their cash cow. Risking that project with a new A350 could mean that Boeing delivers first the Y1 (737 replacement) which will be huge blow for them.

The other reason is that the new A350 will be who knows how many years late from the 787. Also take into consideration that Boeing has way more experience with composites which can translate into a longer development process.

So Airbus has 2 options, stay with the current A350 and have about 25% of the market, and focus on the next generation and create a plane to compete with Boeings Y3 (747&777 replacement) and deliver it first, OR start to build a new plane, take giant loans from subsidies (risking a further conflict) and build a plane that will be several years late and with no guarantees that it can outperform a 787.

[edit on 29-4-2006 by carcharodon]



posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 03:59 PM
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Good post carcharodon, well put


In the last report I saw the A350 was said to be 95% new by comparison with the A330. I thought at the time 'how hard can it be to go the other 5%?' However, as you say, this would involve a complete new fuselage. I wonder how fatal being several years behind the 787 might be? The 767 was a whole decade behind the A300 and I think it is one of Boeings poorest sellers isn't it?



posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 06:00 PM
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Actually the 767 and the A300 are not equivalent. The A300 was a wide big plane for short to medium routes with heavy loads of passengers and cargo. it has no equivalent as of right now.
McDonnell was supposed to build a twin engine shortened DC-10 more or less at the same time as the the A300, but the company's management decided not to because they didn't think it would be successful.

The 767 was an smaller aircraft but with a bigger range. It was the first twin engine to fly intercontinental flights non stop.
The Airbus equivalent to the 767 is the A330 which came years later and had better economics and newer technology that resulted in more range annd less fuel consumption.



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 05:22 AM
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Thats not quite right Carch actually. The A300 and the 767 were both medium to long range wide body twins and were broadly equivalent to each other, with the A300 being bigger and heavier but not by a vast amount. The 767 was actually Boeings response to the A300, once it was actually seen to have a market after seemingly hanging around, unwanted, for many years. The range of the 767-200 was 3,800nm compared with the A300-600 range of 5,100. Boeing then trumped the A300 with the 767-200R with its range of over 6,000nm.

The A330 was designed as the replacement for the A300, under the designation TA9, in the 767's market sector. The TA11 ultra long range airliner study became the A340.

The short to medium haul Airbus was the A310 and this was launched at the same time as the 767 and Boeing met this one head on with the single aisle 757.

Also, the 767 was specifically designed to allow for the installation of a third engine in the tail (a la DC 10) for intercontinental flights, in which trijet guise it was to be known as the 777. The subsequent ETOPS agreement made this version unnecessary and so the 777 tri-jet was dropped.

Regarding McDonnell Douglas, you may be talking about an earlier project that I am unaware of but I do rememeber the McDonnell Douglas ATMR 11 which was being widely touted at exactly the same time as the 757/767/A310/TA9/TA11 designs. It was a very curvatious and attractive design, similat to the 757 but with a hint of the future 7E7 about it but with a DC-10 style nose. I remember being very disappointed when it was cancelled as I was eager to see it for real.

[edit on 30-4-2006 by waynos]



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 06:06 AM
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Originally posted by waynos
The 767 is one of Boeings poorest sellers

You are wrong. So far, Delta Airlines alone has ordered 100 767s. Proof: www.boeing.com...



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 06:23 AM
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I see that over 900 767's of all models have been sold, I misread a figure that was for a single model, not the whole 767 programme. So being a few years behind the 787 may not hurt the A350 at all then? Its just up to Airbus to get the thing right.



posted on Apr, 30 2006 @ 06:59 AM
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Originally posted by carcharodon

The other reason is that the new A350 will be who knows how many years late from the 787. Also take into consideration that Boeing has way more experience with composites which can translate into a longer development process.



Pardon?

Excluding fibreglass, airbus was the first to use composites, on the A310 in 1985.


I suppose if you include the military sections of Boeing then yeah, they would have more experience, but not the civil I would think.



I have also heard that for inspection of the fuselage, Boeing have said visual inspection will be enough. Well sorry, not having that for a second!

Its the same for all composites on all aircraft anywhere, visual inspection does not cut it.

I've also seen engineering forums discuss composites and field repairs, and well, the results may make Boeing (and Airbus) just a little uneasy if they have promised the world.

[edit on 30-4-2006 by kilcoo316]



posted on May, 1 2006 @ 03:02 AM
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Originally posted by waynos
So being a few years behind the 787 may not hurt the A350 at all then?

What do you mean?



posted on May, 1 2006 @ 03:18 AM
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Originally posted by Zibi

Originally posted by waynos
So being a few years behind the 787 may not hurt the A350 at all then?

What do you mean?


One factor is production slots. Airlines may simply not be able to get slots for the 787. This weeks AWST had a Boeing official point out that all the slots for 2011 are filled and 2012 are rapidly filling up. So airlines interested in the economics of these two type may simply have to buy airbus



posted on May, 1 2006 @ 03:36 AM
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Originally posted by Zibi

Originally posted by waynos
So being a few years behind the 787 may not hurt the A350 at all then?

What do you mean?


we don't know how a full size composite airframe will hold up.

many kit planes are composite like Glasair



i only know of one composite plane with a pressurized cockpit and that's the Lancair IV-P. there may be more though



The Lancair IV-P not only maintains an enviable 5.0 psi cabin differential, it has proven over the years to be very safe, reliable and extremely low in maintenance. Today, the vast majority of "IV" owners all around the world opt for the pressurized model.


Lancair


now we know the B2 is largly composite and that boeing did a large part of the work on it, so this is probably where you can trace the idea of a composite commercial jet back to.

this is a big gamble by boeing making composite commercial airplanes. but if it pays off it will be a heck of a gamble




so being later is a gamble also.



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