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Airbus creates all-new A350

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posted on May, 8 2006 @ 06:31 AM
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Airbus has given in to market demands and designed an 100% new A350 to replace the 95% new model the were marketing previously.

Here are the changes



Airbus' stated aim is to 'leapfrog both the 787 and the 777', which to be fair is what they have to aim for, given the minimum three year lead that the 787 will hold over this new model.

There are three models of this new A350, the 800, 900 and 1000.

New revisions include the much called for wider cross section, a larger all composite wing (as I speculated previously) a cruise speed of mach 0.85 and engines in the 85-90,000lb thrust class.

The rival to the 787-3/8/9 will be the A350-800 and is billed by Airbus as the replacement for the A330-200.

The A350-900 is aimed at taking on the 777-200ER and 787-10 while the newly added A350-1000 will be Airbus' first very large twin, seating around 350, with a similar range and payload peformance as the 777-300ER.

In the usual round of 'manufacturers performance claims' Airbus is claiming 20% less fule burn that the 777-300ER.

The new cross section is the first change in this area for any single decker Airbus widebody since the original A300 was created in the late 1960's and is said to be very close to that of the 777 in diameter while retaining the same materials technology as the previously planned A350.

This design with its larger engines and higher capacity also officially signals the end of Airbus' belief in four engines for long range and the new model will replace the A340 as well as the A330.

Airbus says that it was looking at introducing the new wider cross section on the -1000 model but after recent customer criticism dedcided to make it he common fuselage across the range , the A350-1000 may therefore have been designed as the A370 as mentioned before and then seamlessly merged into the A350 programme to kill two birds with one stone as it were.

The down side for Airbus is that this re-design puts first delivery back from 2010 until 2012, the first model in service is expected to be the -900, followed by the -800 and then the -1000 in late 2013 or early 2014.

The plus side is that it will mean Airbus has the widebody market covered with new models ranging from 250 to 800 seats.



[edit on 8-5-2006 by waynos]




posted on May, 8 2006 @ 12:25 PM
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Great news... Maybe the Europeans can do something after all... Still my money is on then 787...



posted on May, 8 2006 @ 01:02 PM
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Must…resist…urge…to…gloat

They really didn’t have any choice. The market has declared the A350 DOA. It’s really not any skin of airbust’s nose since they can write off all of this to member nations.



posted on May, 8 2006 @ 01:17 PM
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You go, elTiante! I am happy as a pig in mud that Airbus has decided to re-build the A350; this way, they' have an all-new plane -- and maybe ten percent market share.

Of course, given my background, I am completely objective about the various aircraft manufacturers and my analyses are not in the least colored by anything other than intellectual curiousity....

NOT.



posted on May, 8 2006 @ 02:00 PM
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lol ots, you're so impartial


Yes, there is a real risk in this that Airbus will be marginalised in the same way that Lockheed and McDonnell Douglas were in past decades, and for the same reason too, ie hanging on to old models for too long.

On the plus side though, if Airbus had ploughed ahead with the A350 as it was it was akin to total surrender as the 787 was all set to completely wipe the floor with it (if you think it had already done it, the current order gap is nothing to what it would be five years from now) and if Airbus achieves its design objectives then the plane will sell, of course.

Remember that when Airbus began everyone said they had no chances of breaking into a civil market already dominated by the Boeing 707,727,737 and 747 and with the DC-8 and DC-9 firmly established anfd the Tristar and DC-10 under development and ahead of the A300 in timescale, there seemed nowhere for Airbus to go and although bad, the current situation is nowhere near as daunting.

Indeed it is broadly the same situation Boeing were in themselves just a couple of years ago before they pulled out the 7E7.



posted on May, 9 2006 @ 10:46 PM
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Originally posted by Figher Master FIN
Great news... Maybe the Europeans can do something after all... Still my money is on then 787...


QFE

My uncle worked on the landing gear of the '87. I expect great things from this.



posted on May, 9 2006 @ 11:33 PM
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Let me try to put this project into context

The aircraft industry is made of development cycles. The 767 came before the A330 therefore it was a less advanced plane.

Because the 767 was getting older and loosing ground, Boeing decided to create a radical new plane that offered some crucial advantage over the A330, the Sonic Cruiser, the advantage was speed. It also incorporated Boeing's knowledge from composite material and construction processes learned in military work (the B2, F22, X35, Bird of Prey, etc.) to it. However that concept was change after 9/11 and the critical situation of Airlines and rising of oil prices, hence the 787 Dreamliner a plane that took the research on the Sonic Cruiser and twisted so instead of speed it offered economy, 20% or more fuel efficiency at the same speeds as current aircraft.
The problem for Airbus is that they thought that a composite plane would raised too many questions for airlines and that they will dismissed it for being too much. They thought they will stick with their A330 for the time being. however Airlines really like the project. So much is fact that the 787 had the most successful launch for Boeing in it's history.

Of course Airbus had to do something, so the took their A330 and began modifying it, adding new engines, later a new wing. They didn't have the time or the experience to develop a composite fuselage so they started a campaign to discredit the technology in favour of a traditional metal frame. They claimed that their Lithium aluminium fuselage would perform better and would not have maintenance issues like composites would. However Airlines did not buy this and they not only began to buy the 787 in great numbers but they began to bash Airbus in public for their deficient plane. And so here we are with the new A350 a new design that resolves the issues of the revamped A330 (the first A350). it has a bigger fuselage, larger use of composites (after Airbus discredit them). However one must ask, is it too little, too late?

The fuselage it's still made of Lithium Aluminium, that means it won't be as efficient or light as a carbon composite like the one of the 787. It won't have the enormous windows of the higher cabin pressure... It is still an old plane, it would be just bigger.

And what is worrying for Airbus is that it is the second time this happens. With the A340 they bet on four engines. Sure it did well while the 777 wasn't there. But with the arrival of the 777, sales drop in free-fall. The 777 proved to be a better Airplane and no matter what they pull to improve the A340, the 777 always came on top. The difference was so much between the two planes that Air France, Singapore Airlines and Emirates, three of their biggest customers switched.

So we see that Airbus has 2 problems which means that they are getting beaten on the most profitable segment of the market. But that is not all, here it comes the A380, they made a huge bet on the theory of Hub to Hub travel. The whale plane drained a huge amount of resources that need to be recovered. The resources needed to create the A350 and more importantly, the A320 replacement, their biggest source of income. And now with the departure of Bae from Airbus they loose Britain and their subsidies pocket.

In conclusion Airbus is on the verge of disaster. if the A350 doesn't convince Airlines and they pull more resources to a projects that doesn't work, and airlines abstain from the A380 because the point to point flying trend wins, and Boeing betas them with their 737 replacement, we are seeing a perfect storm situation.



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 03:34 AM
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That is generally pretty accurate Carch but I disagree on one or two points, as I'm sure you fully expected me to do





Boeing decided to create a radical new plane that offered some crucial advantage over the A330, the Sonic Cruiser,


Well, this first one isn't really a disagreement, more something you omitted. The Sonic Cruiser project, however admirable in its own way, came at a time when Boeing was floundering without much idea of what to do next with the drop off in sales of the 767 and the sudden realisation that its stance of their being no super jumbo/747 replacement market was wrong. The subsequent creation of the 7E7 was like a light coming on for Boeing and it suddenly regained the technological edge that had previously slipped from its grasp.

Your outline of Airbus' decision to modify the A330 in thre mistaken belief that it was good enough to continue with is quite correct. It came as a major shock to Airbus when they realised they had called this one completey wrong.




They claimed that their Lithium aluminium fuselage would perform better and would not have maintenance issues like composites would. However Airlines did not buy this


The materials of the fuselage were not the issue with the airlines, it was the diameter of it that they felt gave the 787 a clear advantage, that is why Airbus has given in to their demands with this latest design.




the new A350 a new design that resolves the issues of the revamped A330 (the first A350). it has a bigger fuselage, larger use of composites (after Airbus discredit them).


This is false. Airbus has not tried to discredit the use of composites at all, it was the first manufacturer to use them on a large transport. It disagrees with Boeings use of them for the fuselage structure. The new A350 uses composites in exactly the same way as the original A350 did (the wing) . In this Airbus has been consistent so far.




The fuselage it's still made of Lithium Aluminium, that means it won't be as efficient or light as a carbon composite like the one of the 787. It won't have the enormous windows of the higher cabin pressure... It is still an old plane, it would be just bigger.


The argument over the materials is quite complex, Al-Li is an advanced lightweight alloy so it is a bit unfair to paint it as the old fashioned option, Boeing believes the lightness of composites will give it an advantage, Airbus believes this is slight and is more than made up for by Al-Li's durability and maintainability. This is an argument that is yet to be proven either way. It is certainly not the clear cut sales point advantage you are hinting at. Though it may become one in future IF Boeing is proven completely right on the maintenance issue.




And what is worrying for Airbus is that it is the second time this happens. With the A340 they bet on four engines. Sure it did well while the 777 wasn't there. But with the arrival of the 777, sales drop in free-fall.


But surely thats the point isn't it? You opened you post with mention of development cycles, the A340 was developed at a time when twins were not permitted to operate at extreme range thnaks to the 90min rule. When this rule was lifted the 777 sprang forward and took over in the same way that the A330-200 gaffered the 767. The A350-1000 is hoped to retake the crown for Airbus IF they have got their sums right, even if it isn't decisively better it will still at least be competitive.




But that is not all, here it comes the A380, they made a huge bet on the theory of Hub to Hub travel. The whale plane drained a huge amount of resources that need to be recovered. The resources needed to create the A350 and more importantly, the A320 replacement, their biggest source of income. And now with the departure of Bae from Airbus they loose Britain and their subsidies pocket.


Well, in reverse order, 'Britain' the nation has not left Airbus, only BAE, the company, Airbus UK continues to exist and operate in the way it always has, there seems to be a hard time on these boards understanding this as I've seen similar statements a few times. Whether Airbus UK will continue to exist and operate a decade from now is a different argument. As a major employer and centre of excellence in the UK Airbus eligibility for any aid that might be on offer has not changed.


Also, you talk about the A380 as if it is a failure, 'they made a bet on this huge drain of resources'. It is actually functioning as a programme quite successfully you know, or are you of the belief that it must outsell the 787 to be classed as a success?




In conclusion Airbus is on the verge of disaster. if the A350 doesn't convince Airlines and they pull more resources to a projects that doesn't work, and airlines abstain from the A380 because the point to point flying trend wins, and Boeing betas them with their 737 replacement, we are seeing a perfect storm situation.



Are you sure thuis isn't wishful thinking rather than a reasoned opinion? There is a huge risk for Airbus, sure, I just find your choice of words telling as they might also be on the verge of enormous success, but you chose not to look at it that way.

The A380 IS selling, with its rival approaching 200 sales the 747-8 however has so far failed to net a single customer for passenger operations, no mention of this I notice.


Also, how does Boeing beat them with its 737 replacement? Have you seen anything at all related to eitherthe Boeing or the Airbus project? I haven't.



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 12:07 PM
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Well Waynos i did expect it.


Well the thing about airbus Chief did occur*, it wasn't a real position, but a sales position to discredit the 7E7. Obviously they had to change their mind and start to talk about the wonders of composites later on.
* I haven't been able to find the articles of but I'll keep searching though.

The Lithium Aluminium fuselage is high tech, obviously, but it cannot offer some advantages that a composite one can, such as a higher cabin pressure and bigger windows, plus it require less maintenance. I'll agree the first two are not deal breakers but its nice to have icing on the cake.

About the A340 my point was that Airbus could have developed a two engine Aircraft, instead of four. They miscalculated this one, the technology was there to do it.

About the A380, they need to recuperate the money from the investment on the project. I wasn't arguing that it was a failure, but that the project hasn't turn profitable yet.

And about the 737 the project is called internally Y1. It is known to be in development, Boeing has stated that they first need a new engine in order to make worthwhile.

And about the perfect storm metaphor, its a possibility, it can happen or not, I don't know the answer, I'm just pointing out a possibility. However is worrying that they have so many problems at the same time.

[edit on 10-5-2006 by carcharodon]



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 01:07 PM
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To answer these latest points;



Well the thing about airbus Chief did occur*, it wasn't a real position, but a sales position to discredit the 7E7. Obviously they had to change their mind and start to talk about the wonders of composites later on.


From what I remember though Airbus criticism was centred around the composite fuselage, not composites in general, which would have been a bit two faced considering they've used composites for years already. So from that point of view they haven't changed their minds as they are still against a composite fuselage and it is limited to the wings, tail and other, non load bearing, items, just as before.




the Lithium Aluminium fuselage is high tech, obviously, but it cannot offer some advantages that a composite one can, such as a higher cabin pressure and bigger windows,


According to the new illustration the new A350 does have bigger windows.




About the A340 my point was that Airbus could have developed a two engine Aircraft, instead of four. They miscalculated this one, the technology was there to do it.


Yes the technology was there to do it, but no it wasn't a mistake. As I said, twin engined aircraft were not permitted to operate at more than 90 minutes from land by international law when the A340 was created, don't forget the A330 twin is nothing more than a shorter range twin jet A340, or vice versa as they were created simultaneously.

Having spent the money on developing the aircraft they then had to market it. This was done successfully as the four engines of the A340 were not only not a problem, but were actually required until the 90 min rule was lifted by ICAO and the 777 appeared to exploit the market. Being faced with this new competitor Airbus had little option than to try and further enhance the still quite new A340 (and Emirates are asking them to continue to do so for aircraft they have on order) There was no reason at that time for Airbus to develop a long range twin, but the rule has gone so that is why the replacement for the A340 will be a twin jet, just like the 787-10 and 777.




bout the A380, they need to recuperate the money from the investment on the project. I wasn't arguing that it was a failure, but that the project hasn't turn profitable yet.


No it hasn't, but neither has it entered service yet and no commercial aircraft has ever managed to, nor been expected to, enter profitability before entering service.




And about the 737 the project is called internally Y1. It is known to be in development,


But so is the A320 replacement so it is too early to call advantage yet.

[edit on 10-5-2006 by waynos]



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 01:18 PM
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Originally posted by carcharodon
it has a bigger fuselage, larger use of composites (after Airbus discredit them). However one must ask, is it too little, too late?


Hmmmm. There are two issues that may work in Airbuses favor:

1) Production. Even if airlines prefer the 787 over the new and Improved A350, Boeing will only be able to produce so many of them. As I mentioned in another thread, Production slots for 2011 are full and 2012 is almost. Boeing is looking at increasing production capacity but is being very carefull (The last time they tried this they had a huge supply chain meltdown) and can realisticaly ramp up so much. So if your an airline, would you be willing to wait years or get an modern a/c in your inventory sooner? They may also be able to get better pricing from Airbus as well

2) Launch aide / subsadies: If they get the usual Airbus can afford to wait out the intial slow sales untill they can show a profit.



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 03:56 PM
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I think you may be right Fred, leaving the debate about whether it is legal or not aside, past performance in repaying previous loans plus hefty dividends should mean that they are forthcoming once more.

With Airbus saying the new model can be delivered from 2012 there shouldn't be much trouble in getting customers on board with, as you say, 787 production sold out up to then.

The real test for the A350 will be the first year is in in genuine direct sales competition with the 787, which should be orders slated for 2013/2014. The results from this should tell whether Airbus has got it right or not this time.



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 05:51 PM
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Boeing is considering opening a second line, the problem seems to be if suppliers can keep up or not...

About subsidies, I think its more complicated now, if the WTO sanctions against Europe it could bring a lot of trouble for them. Besides I don't know if EUf governments want to pay for the A350 and the A320 replacement when the money for the A380 that was promised to be paid back, hasn't...



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 06:55 PM
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Originally posted by carcharodon
I don't know if EUf governments want to pay for the A350 and the A320 replacement when the money for the A380 that was promised to be paid back, hasn't...


- If they are up to around the 200 order mark on the A380 then they are getting pretty close to break even already (IIRC it was 250 - 300 units?).
I haven't heard of any plane coming close to recouping it's costs before it even enters service before.



posted on May, 10 2006 @ 11:51 PM
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So I guess its official...




Airbus to Spend $10 Bln on New Plane as Orders Sag (Update2)
May 10 (Bloomberg) -- Airbus SAS, acknowledging that the proposed redesign of the A350 plane is a failure, plans to spend 8 billion euros ($10 billion) to develop a new 300-seat plane, said three people with direct knowledge of the matter.

European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co., the parent of Toulouse, France-based Airbus, gave initial approval in mid-April and will make a firm decision this month, said the people, who declined to be identified until a decision is announced. The new plane will cost twice as much as the redesign of the A350.


Full Story



posted on May, 12 2006 @ 08:37 AM
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Latest I have heard (from inside the aero industry) is that A350 might be replaced by A370 in order to leave behind the bad publicity etc.



posted on May, 12 2006 @ 09:52 AM
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There is an interesting article in today's (May 12) Wall Street Journal about the Boeing / Airbus competition; evidently the changes to the A350 are to be announced at the next Farnbourogh Air Show.



posted on May, 12 2006 @ 12:05 PM
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I'm not sure where the A370 designation has popped up from to be honest, that does sound like quite a plausible scenario however. Maybe they are going to announce that when the changed design is announced a Farnborough? The alternative is that 'A370' was just dreamed up by the press to differentiate between the models and Airbus themselves wont do this?



posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 03:37 PM
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What will make or kill the clash of the titanic monster jets is two factors:


1. Whose currency prices oil, post Iraq.

2. The first crash of an ETOP airframe with a towards-the-higher-end of a 250-800 seat total fatality.

It's clear that Bush is now in the latter phases of denial-becoming-acceptance on 'no zero violence endgame possible'. Inherent to a French Solution that basically involvles getting back to business (oil a'pumpin') for a repressive centrist regime content to festung up the major urban centers in the hopes that the angry mobs will be content to go back to their ordinary self-interested butchery on an 'act local' basis. i.e. Effectively barbarianizing the outlying districts. This is the central element of what his "You know, maybe seeing the tide turn is a relative thing..." takeback admission comes down to. Since we've already effectively knuckled to Iran, that's two major OPEC sources open to Euro pricing index after we slink out.

Secondly, those who think that SFC efficiencies trump safety have not blottered up enough aviation mazcats to deserve a public-opinion rating say. And flying a half million pound aircraft 6,000 miles or more overwater within an /incredibly/ tight cruise Mach window on the strength of two GENX/Trent 70-90Klbst (I predict massive weight growth issues on that composite btw.) pylons dangling off an almost entirely new design aiframe is a disaster waiting to happen. Mind you, it could just as readily occur on the tarmac with a massive cabin fire while pressurized or on approach with the tank like finals performance going south at a critical moment as hydraulics failure or birdstrike cost you auxilliaries...).

"Don't be too proud of this technological terror you've constructed. The ability to destroy the French is insignificant next to the power of Public Fear."


KPl.




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