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Back to the drawing board (Airbus A370)

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posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 12:18 PM

The truth that the A350 was a dead duck finally hit home in Toulouse. The design was torn up earlier this year, and work started on an all-new plane, codenamed A370. Now, the board of EADS, which met on Friday, has “suspended” the launch of this aircraft, with a likely development cost of E8bn, twice that anticipated earlier. The decision underscores the scale of the strategic errors made by Airbus. Founded 36 years ago to provide an umbrella beneath which the national aerospace companies of Britain, France, Germany and Spain could achieve economies of scale and compete effectively with market leader Boeing, Airbus had become a symbol of effective state industrial policy. Alas, no more. BAE, which makes the wings, wants out of the partnership, the French and German government are tussling for control of EADS, heads are rolling at the top of both companies, and even legal action from airline customers over late deliveries is threatened.

Read More

This is the critical thing. If Airbust cannot reliably tell customers when the A380 will be available, why would they believe them when they say the revolutionary A370 will be available in 2012?

You knew that the A350 (now 370) "redesign" to be presented at Farnborough would be a smoke-and-mirrors affair, with all sorts of fantastic promises about comfort and efficiency. But Airbust may have oversold this thing. I mean, an all-composite wing? Get real. Furthermore, they are saying the wing is to be produced in Great Britain, and the Brits want out! LOL!

Boeing has a real aircraft, nearing completion, and Airbust is countering with pie-in-the-sky artist's conceptions. After the A380 twin weight and production fiascos, customers are not inclined to believe the hype

The weeds grow taller and taller for Airbust.

Mod Edit: Trimmed down quote

[edit on 7/12/06 by FredT]

posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 12:56 PM
From your source:

Thanks to improved technology, airlines no longer saw the need for giant planes flying long distances. And as hub airports become more crowded, and passenger numbers grow, customers can see the obvious advantage of flying “point-to-point” from regional airports close to home, to regional airports close to their destination.

Is total BS. Improved technology has nothing to do with the size of aircraft.

There are reasons why Heathrow, O'Haire, JFK etc are busy => people want to go to that location, not a regional airport 50 miles away.

Additionally, rising oil prices have also favoured Boeing’s bigger B777 widebody twinjet seating 300 to 400 passengers.

That is the reason for the 787's success also, i.e. the rising impact of fuel prices on direct operating costs.

Singapore Airlines, one of the world's leading airlines, spent $1 billion more on fuel in 2005 than in 2004. And the price of fuel has gone up significantly this year. Fuel is now more than 40 percent of Singapore Airlines' direct operating cost. That makes a plane like the 787 very attractive.

Aircraft Maintenance Technology

Of more importance:

Emirates, which has ordered more than 40 A380s from Airbus and more than 40 777s from Boeing, is considering the 787. It was one of several airlines that persuaded Boeing to develop the 787-10, a bigger 787 that will seat more than 300 passengers. Boeing has said the 787-10 will be available around 2012.

Now, the A370 is due out around 2012, so the earlier debut of the Dreamliner may not give Boeing the advantage it wished for in some markets.

posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 12:58 PM
And you know what the worst part is. Finnair wich is Finlands American Airliners just bought A350.

posted on Jul, 11 2006 @ 02:38 PM
Hello again El Tiante


You just can't help yourself can you

Go and flame bait somewhere else, you have never brought anything worthwhile to any discussions on this site so I wont waste my time.

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 02:45 AM

Originally posted by waynos
Hello again El Tiante


You just can't help yourself can you

Hahaha, I was just going to write that

Anyway, without a doubt Airbus has shot itself in the foot with several events and decisions of the past year. But one thing I cannot understand is this "holy grail"-like depiction of the point-to-point model. I have yet to see that this would REALLY emerge. Lets not forget that it was Boeing who suddenly proclaimed this role model to be the future, but THEN they build the 787 which isnt a small plane by any means.

The reality is: the hub-and-spoke WILL be the predominant airtravel model as long as flying doesnt become as cheap as riding a train. Because, even with endlessly possible point-to-point connections, the majority of air travellers will STILL fly routes like New York-Paris or London-Frankfurt.... because a majority of air travellers COME from a metropolitan area and GO to a metropolitan area. Not to forget that most countries couldnt afford to waste the space needed for so many airports to sustain a point-to-point model.

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 05:14 AM
That is true, there is plenty of room for both types. Boeing may well be correct in that their will be a proliferation of point to point direct types but it will never remove the need for large mass transit types (as Boeing knows very well, hence the launch of the 747-8).

Just in case anyone was fooled by one of (aka) El Tiante's silly comments. It is BAE that is withdrawing from Airbus, not 'the UK'. The UK factories that perform the design and manufacture of Airbus wings and undercarriages used to be BAE factories but were transferred to Airbus when it became a single integrated company, they are known as Airbus UK and there is nothing silly or ridiculous at all in the comments about the UK designing the wings for the A370.

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 07:14 AM
Waynos, not wanting to move off topic too much.... What will happen to these factories when Bae leaves?

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 08:34 AM
Well they are Airbus factories so they will continue just as they are at present. Every decision that is made in the UK factories already goes through Airbus alone, not BAE, and all the investment in the factories comes from Airbus already. The long term fear is that if there is a big collapse in civil aviation that Airbus might choose to retrench to France and Germany leaving the UK sites high and dry, but this is felt to be an extreme case as the UK is Airbus' centre of excellence in wing technology and such a knowledge base cannot just be thrown away.

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 02:27 PM

Originally posted by jensy
Waynos, not wanting to move off topic too much.... What will happen to these factories when Bae leaves?

If you read the article, it does say that the notational A370 will have its composite wing produced in the UK.

Okay, most aviation forum lurkers know all to well where I stand on Airbus but...........

The A380 should not be charecterized as any sort of engineering disaster (the wing str bears some scrutiny) but the wiring issues while time consuming are easily resolved. Its market viability is a question mark, but so was the 747 when it first arrived.

Point to point is really the way to go as most people who travel will agree. However there still will be a need to move alot of people from slot limited hub to slot limited hub (Think Heathrow, Deguall, JFK)

The A370 may have a tall order in taking on both the 787 and the 777 but you never know.

The subsadies issue: This is one of my biggest issues with Airbus. The delays hurt the company but only to a point. They do not have to pay back the "aid" untill the A380 is profitable. The delays have moved the proit mark by some estimates (AWST) to just over 300 planes. 159 have been sold already. Once SIA gets thiers in service, Im sure you may see a bounce in orders, but it may be some time before they even have to think about repaying the aid hence a huge advantage.

Waynos: Airbus posts orders a bit different, are the 159 A380 orders firm? or does that include options?

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 03:32 PM
The figure of 159 orders refers to firm orders only, comprising of 132 A380-800's and 27 A380F's. The A380-900 is not yet launched and I think the A380-700 is to be dropped in favour of the A370-1000 (proposed 787-10 rival).

In addition to the firms orders, options are held by ;

Air France - 4
Fed Ex - 10
Korean Air - 3
Lufthansa - 10
Singapore Airlines - 15
UPS - 10
Virgin - 6

giving a total of 70 options and 229 commitments overall.

While revelling in the wing strengthening and rewiring issues one or two people might like to look into the flight test programme, which is currently highly successful with the aircraft meeting or exceeding all its design objectives. One recent bonus is a lower than expected landing speed. So, as Fred says, anyone thinking the A380 is a disaster is quite wrong.

PS In what way do Airbus and Boeing post orders differently, I am not aware of this?

[edit on 12-7-2006 by waynos]

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 06:12 PM
Isn't it a little early in the game to call either the A380 or 787 a success or failure?
I know millions of man hours and billions of Euro/Dollars go into design and modeling of these birds, but operational experience with an air carrier is still some time away; won't that and airline P&L statements decide?

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 06:23 PM
Waynos, I thought that Airbus posted firm commitments as orders. not sure where I got that information, but my info seems to be incorrect.

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 06:33 PM
It's good it sounds like Airbus is mainly selling to FedEx and UPS, so it will it be mainly parcels and packages that get destroyed when these things come crashing down

That is somewhat a joke and I've traveled on Airbus planes many times with no problems but honestly I do feel more comfortable on a Boeing.

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 07:23 PM
Is it in bad taste to repeat (in the interests of fairness) that the problems the A380 is currently having relate to the plane actually existing and making it's way from the pre-frozen design spec hand-built prototype(s) to 'frozen' and 'normal' mass production?

All truly brand new cutting edge designs experience this kind of delay and difficulty to some degree.

It'll be interesting to see if Airbus' is the only brand new cutting edge design to experience these types of difficulties to this degree.

I suspect those enjoying a little spell of poking fun about this will not be quite so humorous when it comes to a *ahem* certain other manufacturer having to actually fly the metal/composite for real instead of the to date situation of just showing off some nice CGI on a computer.

It could just be that when all the dust settles from this 'round' that the A370 is not quite so comparatively and badly late to market after all, hmmmm?

[edit on 12-7-2006 by sminkeypinkey]

posted on Jul, 12 2006 @ 07:26 PM

you and I actually agree for once. Boeing had better pull off the 787 without major delays or hitches as we all saw how the market reacted to the A380 delays. Any issue with the composites will wreak havoc for sure.

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