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Airbus's New A350 Faces Stiff Headwind

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posted on Jun, 11 2006 @ 08:17 PM
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THe formal release of the all new A350 is a few weeks away, but airlines are already voicing some serious concerns about the planned offering. One centers around development costs, another the strategy of trying to take on the 787 and the 777 with one aircraft.

On a more serious note the CEO of Emirates sadi "At the moment, the A340-500 is dead because of the 777-200LR and they know that. If they want to compete with the LR, they can't do a makeover, but they will have to do a new aircraft."

So if Airbus has to design an all new plane on top of the already redesigned A350 will it spark yet another war over "launch aid" Its almost a given that they will take the aid for the A350 redesign.

On another note, if they go after the 777LR with an all new plane encorporating A350 technology it may be a huge deal. Boeing would have to respond with a 787 like 777 or the 777 would face the same fate as the A340-500 does now.

Its also worth pointing out that the new CEO of Airbus has indicated that thier entire widebody offerings with the exception of the A380 will come under review.





Serious questions surround Airbus's plan to revise its twin-widebody strategy. Concerns range from the program's timing, to whether it is targeting the right market segment, to the aircraft maker's ability to actually assemble the airplane.

Airbus is not expected to formally unveil its new design for a few more weeks. The emerging aircraft family would replace plans for the A350, with hope of this time generating broad market interest. Getting it right is critical for Airbus, after botching the A350, which drew extensive criticism from key customers.

The centerpiece of the revised widebody, and also at the heart of current concerns, is the combination of a larger fuselage, higher-thrust engines, delayed in-service date, and increased development cost. In fact, one senior airline executive says one reason the board has not yet endorsed the revision is that development costs will double.
A350

[edit on 6/11/06 by FredT]




posted on Jun, 11 2006 @ 10:47 PM
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It'll be pretty interesting to see what happens with this. I knew Emirates and a few others weren't happy with Airbus about the A350 and were pushing for changes. It'll be interesting to see what happens with the review of the widebodies.



posted on Jun, 11 2006 @ 10:56 PM
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If Airbus tries to compete with 777 (200 ER & LR) and the 787 (3-8-9) with a single plane and
This plane would be 4 years late from the first 787...
To replace the A330 and A340, they would have to create an incredible versatile plane that have to have some major technological advances.

Hey need at least two kinds of engines. Sure they can use RR for the medium size (like the current A350), but for the bigger planes they probably would need a different more powerful engine that GE won't supply since they are parthers with Boeing on the 777. Option B consist of making RR build a new engine, but that is always a risk, specially when you are late and in a hurry. (That is why Boeing didn't use P&W engines on the 787)

They are still using a Lithium Aluminium fuselage, which means it won't be as light or efficient as the 787. Second to replace the 777-200, Boeing is planning the 787-10, so even if Airbus decided to release an Ultra long Range A350/370 that would have more range than the LR, Boeing could easily release a 787-10 LR, they have the plane, the engines and the technology already developed. It would need relatively minor modifications that can be done in less than 4 years.

Another major problem for Airbus, would be the enormous gap in their fleet. From the 300 passenger they would jump all they way to the 500 passegers of the A380. That gap where the 777-300 and the 747-8 sit is one of the most profitable and Airbus wouldn't ave a plane to compete there. More so Boeing could adapt some of the 787 tech to the 777 while the release the Y3 the definte replacement for the 777 and the 747.



posted on Jun, 12 2006 @ 04:36 AM
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I very much doubt that Airbus will launch two separate airliners, but I also think that it isn't quite the problem that some fear to go after the 787 and 777 with a single type.

The A350-1000 is supposed to be in direct competition with the 787-10 as I understand it. Boeing was extremely reluctant to go ahead with the 787-10 because they fear it will harm sales of the 777 and they only launched it in the end due to the same pressure from the airlines that Airbus is now facing over the A350. This suggests that the A350-1000 is the right way to go, as long as Airbus have done their sums properly of course





If Airbus tries to compete with 777 (200 ER & LR) and the 787 (3-8-9) with a single plane and This plane would be 4 years late from the first 787...


This is correct, and yes it will hurt Airbus but I think they have to bite the bullet and do it anyway, they should consider it punishment for messing about in the first place.

After all, when an airline is looking for new aircraft in 2012, for instance, and it faces a choice between the *new* A350 and 787 it will not matter that the 787 has been in service for four years, it will only matter what deal they can get at the time, however if Airbus presses on with the old A350 and that hypothetical airline is offered a clearly inferior product by Airbus the outcome will be obvious. Short term pain for long term gain needs to be Airbus outlook now or they might as well give up.




To replace the A330 and A340, they would have to create an incredible versatile plane that have to have some major technological advance


I don't really see this being the case. The A330 and the A340 are basically the same plane, the 4 engined A340 was only created in the first place because of the legal limits that then existed on twin engined operations (ie never more than 90 minutes from land etc), with these now gone (which allowed the 777 to be created) a twin engined replacement for both Airbus types is not only possible, it is essential. I was actually surprised that Airbus didn't replace the A340 with a re-engined extended range A330 years ago, I suppoose the A340 had to pay for itself first?






ey need at least two kinds of engines. Sure they can use RR for the medium size (like the current A350), but for the bigger planes they probably would need a different more powerful engine that GE won't supply since they are parthers with Boeing on the 777.


It is true that GE are reluctant to supply engines for the new bigger A350 but Airbus has already signed a MoU with Rolls Royce for a new engine for this new model. Almost certainly a development of the Trent family.

62.189.48.33...'A370'+could+hand+Rolls-Royce+big+engine+prize.html

ps Is there any truth in the rumour that Airbus wants to skip straight from 'A350' to 'A370' because a '360' is something done by people who can't make their mind up which way to go? BOOM BOOM



[edit on 12-6-2006 by waynos]



posted on Jun, 12 2006 @ 07:25 AM
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As a further point on this subject, it does seem to be rather overlooked that aluminium-lithium, as used for the fuselage, actually IS an advanced modern weight saving material, it isnt the same as the old fashioned alloys previously used.


*

Aluminum- Lithium Alloy (Al- Li) Description:

1) Lithium reduces density and increases stiffness when alloyed with aluminum. With proper alloy design, aluminum- lithium alloys can have exceptional combinations of strength and toughness.

2) Commercial aluminum-lithium (Al- Li) alloys are targeted as advanced materials for aerospace technology and to reduce the weight of U.S. Department of Defense systems primarily because of their low density, high specific modulus, and excellent fatigue and cryogenic toughness properties.

3) The principal disadvantages of peak-strength aluminum-lithium alloys are reduced ductility and fracture toughness in the short transverse direction, anisotropy of in-plane properties, the need for cold work to attain peak properties, and accelerated fatigue crack extension rates when cracks are micro structurally small.


and this;


This has resulted in an unprecedented 60 per cent of the A350 airframe being made from weight-saving composite materials such as carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) and aluminium lithium alloys.


The A350/370 represents the first ever use of this material in forward and aft fuselage sections so the 787 isn't out on its own for use of weight saving materials.

[edit on 12-6-2006 by waynos]



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