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Topic: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Sjoerd
Posted 2010-05-11 09:20:24 and read 16032 times.

Yesterday i visited the A380 site in Toulouse. When i asked the guide whether Airbus would ever open the planned second A380 assembly line, the question was evaded.

Does anybody here know? What is stopping them from doing so now / later on?

Thanks

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-11 09:26:29 and read 16015 times.

Quoting Sjoerd (Thread starter):
Yesterday i visited the A380 site in Toulouse. When i asked the guide whether Airbus would ever open the planned second A380 assembly line, the question was evaded.

He probably thought you were taking the piss.

Quoting Sjoerd (Thread starter):
What is stopping them from doing so now / later on?

A severe shortage of orders.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: timboflier215
Posted 2010-05-11 09:52:59 and read 15889 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 1):
A severe shortage of orders.

Conversely, I actually think they need a second line in order to gain more orders; the current rate of production means any orders placed now are such a long way from delivery that it's almost laughable. The trouble is, extra lines are such an enormous expense, and take a long time to come fully on line, I'm not sure Airbus wish to commit the capital at the moment.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: ScottB
Posted 2010-05-11 10:04:46 and read 15826 times.

Quoting timboflier215 (Reply 2):
I actually think they need a second line in order to gain more orders; the current rate of production means any orders placed now are such a long way from delivery that it's almost laughable.

How many airlines have made any statements to the effect of, "We'd love to order a bunch of A380's, but it's just going to take too darned long to get them?"

With a backlog of only 175 frames, it would be incredibly risky to open a second assembly line.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-11 10:19:16 and read 15730 times.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 3):
How many airlines have made any statements to the effect of, "We'd love to order a bunch of A380's, but it's just going to take too darned long to get them?"

No airline has ever said that, but it's a popular A.net fantasy among people who insist that the dearth of orders must be due to some reason other than the airlines don't want VLAs.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 3):
With a backlog of only 175 frames, it would be incredibly risky to open a second assembly line.

At the claimed production capacity of 48 per year, that's only 43 months of backlog. Even if Airbus were winning 30 to 40 orders per year, that would not justify the construction of a second FAL. Actual orders have averaged fewer than 15 per year over the last eight years. It would make more sense to open another A330 line.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: timboflier215
Posted 2010-05-11 10:58:34 and read 15597 times.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 3):
"We'd love to order a bunch of A380's, but it's just going to take too darned long to get them?"

None that I know of publicly, but who knows what they've said to Airbus in private. As the world economy, and passenger numbers, recover, I think that demand for this a/c will pick up. I think it's fairly inconceivable that Airbus will not build another line, the question is a matter of when rather than if IMHO.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: astuteman
Posted 2010-05-11 11:54:46 and read 15447 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 4):
No airline has ever said that, but it's a popular A.net fantasy among people who insist that the dearth of orders must be due to some reason other than the airlines don't want VLAs.

In your dreams, no doubt.

In reality, a 2 1/2 year delay followed by a horrendous delay in production ramp-up will have a very inevitable consequence on the saleability of the aircraft.

A reality that is frankly ludicrous to dismiss in such a fashion, to be honest.

Whether airlines really want VLA's or not is something we will only really find out when they can actually GET them   

Rgds

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2010-05-11 12:04:27 and read 15382 times.

Quoting timboflier215 (Reply 5):
Quoting ScottB (Reply 3):
"We'd love to order a bunch of A380's, but it's just going to take too darned long to get them?"

None that I know of publicly, but who knows what they've said to Airbus in private.

Yeah! I mean, airlines might be asking Airbus to build flying saucers!   

Seriously though, it has become all too clear that the VLA market is a niche one at best. There's no business case supporting a second production line.

[Edited 2010-05-11 12:08:11]

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: mham001
Posted 2010-05-11 12:12:56 and read 15346 times.

I think Airbus would be happy to get the line they have running properly.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-11 12:19:20 and read 15308 times.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 6):
In your dreams, no doubt.

In my dreams, airlines buy hundreds of VLAs. Then I wake up, smell the coffee, and realize that the airlines are sadly not buying anything larger than the 777-300ER.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 6):
In reality, a 2 1/2 year delay followed by a horrendous delay in production ramp-up will have a very inevitable consequence on the saleability of the aircraft.

That theory would be plausible if there were a large backlog, but there isn't.

If Airbus (or Boeing for that matter) could get VLA sales up to 60+ per year and maintain sales at that level long enough to demonstrate to the board of directors that it's sustainable, then opening a second line could be seriously considered. Until then, it's just a nice fantasy.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: timboflier215
Posted 2010-05-11 13:30:22 and read 15081 times.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 7):
Yeah! I mean, airlines might be asking Airbus to build flying saucers!  

Lol! Maybe so :-p

I do believe, however, that as global demand for air travel recovers and then starts to increase significantly above pre-recession levels (as most analysts think it will), so demand for VLA's will increase. If there is a long queue for the A380, then this will certainly figure in airlines' analyses. And since a 2nd production line can't exactly be thrown up over night, I would think it prudent for Airbus to be thinking how it could meet that demand.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 4):
It would make more sense to open another A330 line.

While the A330 is selling well at the moment, as the 787 begins to enter full production, I honestly believe orders will start to fall off, especially as 2nd hand ones become available with airlines replacing them with 787's. Over the next 25-30 years, I think there will be a greater need for increased A380 production, rather than A330 production. IMHO orders for the A330 are at, or are close to, their peak...

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: PM
Posted 2010-05-11 17:21:14 and read 14765 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 4):
At the claimed production capacity of 48 per year

I might suggest you're a little out of date.

Airbus is planning to take production to three aircraft per month, he adds, although a rate increase beyond this is "not the most pressing issue".

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-plus-a380-deliveries-in-2010.html

(And, for the record, no, I don't believe Airbus need or will ever have a second A380 line. But I do believe the current one will be there for many years to come.)

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2010-05-11 17:24:59 and read 14752 times.

Airbus doesn't need a second FAL - the one they have is already scaled to produce 40+ frames a year and that it's not close to that is costing Airbus money because of the low utilization.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: tdscanuck
Posted 2010-05-11 17:32:11 and read 14741 times.

Quoting timboflier215 (Reply 2):
Conversely, I actually think they need a second line in order to gain more orders; the current rate of production means any orders placed now are such a long way from delivery that it's almost laughable.

I'm not sure a second line would help...the line they have was sized for a far higher production rate than it's actually running at. That suggests that the rate problem is much farther back in the supply chain, in which case a second final assembly line won't do anything to increase the production rate.

Tom.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-11 18:33:10 and read 14691 times.

Quoting PM (Reply 11):
I might suggest you're a little out of date.

If you're going to do so, you should be prepared to back it up. Where have Airbus stated that the capacity of the FAL is fewer than 48 per year?

Quoting PM (Reply 11):
Airbus is planning to take production to three aircraft per month, he adds, although a rate increase beyond this is "not the most pressing issue".

Of course a rate increase beyond three aircraft per month is not the most pressing issue; the order backlog and recent order rates cannot justify a production rate above three per month. The FAL could have a capacity of 20 per month and there would be no justification for increasing the production rate beyond three per month -- unless orders were to exceed 36 per year for a while. The most pressing issue is finding another airline which can profitably employ a VLA with acceptable risk and convincing them to buy some. The last thing Airbus want is zero backlog.

If Airbus were to have a second production line, the only sane thing to do given the order levels of the last eight years would be to shut it down.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: UAL747DEN
Posted 2010-05-11 19:13:05 and read 14612 times.

Quoting timboflier215 (Reply 5):
I think it's fairly inconceivable that Airbus will not build another line, the question is a matter of when rather than if IMHO.

Are you just making this up as you go along! Can you explain using real numbers how they could possibly support a second line? Even if all the airlines that MIGHT order A380's did, there would still be no reason for a second line. One day they want this program to be profitable you know.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: PM
Posted 2010-05-11 19:38:16 and read 14534 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 14):
If you're going to do so, you should be prepared to back it up.

I rather thought I did.  

Your contention was that at 48 a year Airbus would burn up their backlog in 43 months. I was pointing out that they have no immediate plans to run the line at full capacity. Hence, your calculation wasn't terribly relevant.

(But I think you knew that all alomng...  )

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-11 19:52:07 and read 14507 times.

Quoting PM (Reply 17):
I think you knew that all alomng.

No, it seemed like you were suggesting that production capacity is no longer 48 per year.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: golli
Posted 2010-05-11 20:04:16 and read 14466 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 14):
Quoting PM (Reply 11):
I might suggest you're a little out of date.


If you're going to do so, you should be prepared to back it up. Where have Airbus stated that the capacity of the FAL is fewer than 48 per year?


If a factory is spec'd to produce 48 units of something, do we need proof that it is capable of LESS !!?? What am I missing here??



Golli

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-12 02:30:09 and read 13958 times.

For 2008, Leahy predicted orders for 30 frames. This was later revised down to 20 frames. Actual orders for 2009 were 9. http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2008/05/28/afx5053343.html

Leahy predicted 10 orders for 2009. Actual orders were 4.
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2009-01-15-airbus-reuters_N.htm

Even the one very good sales year (2001) did not live up to Leahy's prediction of 100 orders. http://books.google.com/books?id=Kca...=0CE0Q6AEwAjge#v=onepage&q&f=false

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: ivo
Posted 2010-05-12 03:30:35 and read 13843 times.

The only thing they need, is another outfitting bay at Hamburg to speed up deliveries and shrink the queue of unfinished aircraft.

Ivo

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: A380900
Posted 2010-05-12 05:27:17 and read 13384 times.

I think the FAL in Toulouse could house two assembly line. Can they use the space for something else? Why don't they use it to do part of the interior fitting to help Hamburg? (I agree it sounds a little too simple!)

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: rolfen
Posted 2010-05-12 06:53:47 and read 12859 times.

Faster deliveries gives less time to the customer to cancel their order, so it might not be so crazy. How expensive can an assembly line be? Maybe they don't need a whole assembly line, just duplicate the parts of the process which are the slowest and cause a bottleneck.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Aesma
Posted 2010-05-12 06:58:29 and read 12790 times.

Is the assembly line what is causing the delays ? I thought it was other things, like installing the seats in Germany, where there is a big backlog ?

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Burkhard
Posted 2010-05-12 07:01:18 and read 12786 times.

4 per months in Airbus language means 44 per year max, France is one month on holidays.

So while I see that in good years deliveries may get around 40, and do not doubt that there will be years with 40 new orders, I don't expect a second line. If in 2035 there are 1000 A380 of all variants flying, then all is well for them.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2010-05-12 07:02:50 and read 12973 times.

Quoting ivo (Reply 24):
The only thing they need, is another outfitting bay at Hamburg to speed up deliveries and shrink the queue of unfinished aircraft.

As I understand it, some of the work normally handled at XFW is being performed at TLS.

As I recall, Airbus recently terminated (or intends to terminate) the contract of a not-insignificant portion of temporary outfitters either at XFW or TLS, so they seem to be comfortable with a ~36 frame per year delivery schedule. Hopefully that is enough to offset the overhead costs planned to be spread across ~44 deliveries per year. One A380 supplier employee on this forum has noted that the low production rate has impacted their company's financials.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: SolarFlyer22
Posted 2010-05-12 08:05:25 and read 12420 times.

Quoting Sjoerd (Thread starter):
When i asked the guide whether Airbus would ever open the planned second A380 assembly line, the question was evaded.

Was it ever actually planned? I know they mentioned it when there were delays in production early on but it sounded like a pipe dream. 40 frames a year is a lot considering the size of the plane. I doubt there will ever be sufficient demand for a second line. Even if they build it, its a couple years too late to be of real value.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: mham001
Posted 2010-05-12 08:15:04 and read 12471 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 23):
For 2008, Leahy predicted orders for 30 frames. This was later revised down to 20 frames. Actual orders for 2009 were 9. http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2008/05/28/afx5053343.html

Leahy predicted 10 orders for 2009. Actual orders were 4.
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2009-01-15-airbus-reuters_N.htm

Even the one very good sales year (2001) did not live up to Leahy's prediction of 100 orders. http://books.google.com/books?id=Kca...false

Thanks for that. Like many good salesmen, Leahy has claimed many things that time proved wrong. We just have short memories.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: cobra27
Posted 2010-05-12 08:20:34 and read 12425 times.

A380 production will pick up in the future, but second line for this huge aircraft is harder than increasing the A320 line.
Second line would totaly block the road in France where A380 pase throght.
Even 747 didn't shine in first years

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: kanban
Posted 2010-05-12 08:26:19 and read 12363 times.

Quoting ivo (Reply 24):
The only thing they need, is another outfitting bay at Hamburg to speed up deliveries and shrink the queue of unfinished aircraft.

that puts a finger on the problem... a combination of the suppliers (internal and external), the rediculous surface convoy transportation link and a management philosophy problem that exacerbated the outfitting end by promoting and selling more features than could be reasonably included in a standardized process. I don't believe their supply change can support two lines with the problems they are having with only one line.

If (that's a big IF) they were to invest in additional facilities it would be for the A350 just as Boeing has done for the 787. It's really too late to expand the 380 process.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: airbazar
Posted 2010-05-12 08:31:16 and read 12324 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 4):
No airline has ever said that, but it's a popular A.net fantasy among people who insist that the dearth of orders must be due to some reason other than the airlines don't want VLAs.

And yet that same argument works very well to explain why the 787 has not sold nearly as well as the A330 over the last couple of years  

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: kanban
Posted 2010-05-12 08:38:47 and read 12259 times.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 35):
And yet that same argument works very well to explain why the 787 has not sold nearly as well as the A330 over the last couple of years

I suspect the reason here borders more on having a production line running for the A330 and waiting through the endless delays and flight test for the 787... as I recall once flight test is complete and planes are being delivered there is a surge of sales. One could say the flow time from order to delivery is behind the Charleston plant expansion however that is only part of the reason.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-12 08:51:12 and read 12130 times.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 35):
And yet that same argument works very well to explain why the 787 has not sold nearly as well as the A330 over the last couple of years

I think the analogy fails because one of these two widebodies has been selling more than an order of magnitude faster than the other. If the WhaleJet were selling at anything close to the rates at which the A350 and 787 have been selling, one could then make a plausible argument that sales might be limited by the backlog.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2010-05-12 09:28:30 and read 11854 times.

Quoting timboflier215 (Reply 2):
Conversely, I actually think they need a second line in order to gain more orders;

More production?    The delay for an A380 is far to long for any orders in this economy.

Quoting PM (Reply 11):
Quoting zvezda (Reply 4):
At the claimed production capacity of 48 per year

I might suggest you're a little out of date.

Airbus is planning to take production to three aircraft per month, he adds, although a rate increase beyond this is "not the most pressing issue".

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-plus-a380-deliveries-in-2010.html

(And, for the record, no, I don't believe Airbus need or will ever have a second A380 line. But I do believe the current one will be there for many years to come.)

The only need is to bring the current line up to 3 units per month. At that point, there is a good chance of more orders.

Quoting airbazar (Reply 35):
And yet that same argument works very well to explain why the 787 has not sold nearly as well as the A330 over the last couple of years

100% agree. If the 787 were shipping and slots were available in 3 years time... more 787's would sell. That much I think every a.netter could agree on.

The same is true with the A380. Some airlines (e.g., BA, NA, CX) will not seriously consider a type until (now, not in the past) until there is 100 or 200 'flight years' to back up the performance claims. So I do think (in particular, with BA and their 777 GE-90 experiences), that a higher production rate would gain more orders.

Note: I do not expect CX to order the A380. I use them as an example of an airline that doesn't like to be a launch customer.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 23):
For 2008, Leahy predicted orders for 30 frames. This was later revised down to 20 frames. Actual orders for 2009 were 9. http://www.forbes.com/feeds/afx/2008/05/28/afx5053343.html

Leahy predicted 10 orders for 2009. Actual orders were 4.
http://www.usatoday.com/travel/flights/2009-01-15-airbus-reuters_N.htm

Even the one very good sales year (2001) did not live up to Leahy's prediction of 100 orders. http://books.google.com/books?id=Kca...false

It is good to never take the salesmen too seriously. Thank for the historical review.


Lightsaber

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2010-05-12 10:21:24 and read 11682 times.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 38):
It is good to never take the salesmen too seriously. Thank for the historical review.

Enders is quoted in the media last week as noting that he does not expect many orders for the A380 in 2010 and feels it will be 2011 or even 2012 until they can record a "significant" number (which I would say 20 is - being 10% of the current orderbook).

I guess Leahey forgot to send Enders the memo...

[Edited 2010-05-12 10:21:51]

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: frmrCapCadet
Posted 2010-05-12 11:20:09 and read 11600 times.

I think that Type A salespersons are by their very nature optomistic, and it is what makes them effective. Leahy will work hard to meet his goal, and even if he fails, it will not slow him down - next year he will be at it again, AND is likely to have a year or two where he will meet his goal.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: timboflier215
Posted 2010-05-12 12:01:17 and read 11528 times.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 38):
that a higher production rate would gain more orders.

Absolutely. The question is, does it make financial sense to build a 2nd line? At the moment, probably not, but I can see it in the future - the A380 takes an awfully long time to build and costs an awful lot of money, therefore Airbus need to sell a lot fewer frames to recoup any investment on another line than, say, A330 or A32X family a/c, and it doesn't take much of a backlog to start pushing delivery dates so far into the future as to be virtually useless. To my mind, the economics will make sense in the future. I understand the arguments against set out above, and my point of view is dependent on the upsurge in orders I think will occur over the next 5-10 years, but I can see it happening...

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: flyglobal
Posted 2010-05-12 12:38:28 and read 11457 times.

Hmm: I still wonder why we talk about a production 'Line' here at all in a sense as we would talk about the 737 line from Boeing.

Please consider that the A380 is produced like a Rolls Royce compared to Ford Taurus if you compare A380 and 737 'Lines'.

We should only talk about capacity increase and not lines, and this means more or less to challenge the next bottle neck.
It can be an additional hall for 1 or 2 more 'parallel' body join halls, some more outfitting halls/ spots in FAL, supplier investment, an additional air lifter/ ship for special truck for transportation of the various pieces etc.

In general: there is no real line! And as we see also re balancing work between France and Germany can speed up work.
Still they seem just getting speed now (and this seems rapidly), now that the 'traveled work' goes away.

So I would believe, there is enough capacity to move to 4 frames a year first before thinking on extending buildings for add on capacity.

Its not different then your car dealer may add another 2 to his 6 already existing lifters along with additional 4 Jobs to allow more parallel service jobs/ oil changes etc.

Forget about 'Line' please together with the A380. For the 787, A320, 737 we can talk about line though.

Regards

Flyglobal

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2010-05-12 12:51:28 and read 11426 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 39):
Enders is quoted in the media last week as noting that he does not expect many orders for the A380 in 2010 and feels it will be 2011 or even 2012 until they can record a "significant" number (which I would say 20 is - being 10% of the current orderbook).

   Thank you for the counter example.

I hope for A380 orders this year. But I do not expect a significant number. 20 would be 'significant.'

Quoting timboflier215 (Reply 41):
Absolutely. The question is, does it make financial sense to build a 2nd line? At the moment, probably not,

Unfortunately, if the 1st line can be brought to 42 to 48 per year... a 2nd line does not make sense for the A380.   I'm a big A380 fan, but the fixed costs of a true 2nd line are unlikely to pay off.

Now... an 'optimized' first line with a few more jigs...    Different story.

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: 747400sp
Posted 2010-05-12 14:43:00 and read 11282 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 9):
In my dreams, airlines buy hundreds of VLAs. Then I wake up, smell the coffee, and realize that the airlines are sadly not buying anything larger than the 777-300ER.



You got that right! Juan Trippe would be turning over in his grave, if he knew that most US airlines, are using smaller twin jets on over the overseas routes.   

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: kanban
Posted 2010-05-12 15:58:36 and read 11185 times.

Quoting flyglobal (Reply 42):
Please consider that the A380 is produced like a Rolls Royce compared to Ford Taurus if you compare A380 and 737 'Lines'.

You're splitting hairs .. in more generic terms it's a production supply line... there are sequential steps in producing the product whether it is a 737 moving line or a A380 hand built whale and these are refered to as a production line. In the A380 case it's spread all over the place with minimal concern to economics and a lot of political work rationing and grossly inefficient when coupled with the hand built custom interiors.

Having greater capacity will not create a need for the a/c beyond what the customers have purchased or have options for. I am not saying there will not be additional orders; it's just that plant capacity does not drive product demand - only customers can do that which they are not doing at this time.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: rolfen
Posted 2010-05-12 16:41:24 and read 11106 times.

Quoting kanban (Reply 45):
plant capacity does not drive product demand - only customers can do that which they are not doing at this time.

Plant capacity affects delivery delays, which in turn affect (encourage or discourage) customer purchase decisions, hence demand.
So it can have a positive effect on demand. It's just a matter of knowing whether it is a worthy investment.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-12 17:50:17 and read 11054 times.

Quoting rolfen (Reply 46):
Plant capacity affects delivery delays, which in turn affect (encourage or discourage) customer purchase decisions, hence demand.
So it can have a positive effect on demand. It's just a matter of knowing whether it is a worthy investment.

In theory, yes, if there are enough orders. However, in the case at hand, the last year (the only year) orders exceeded the planned capacity of the production line was 2001. Airbus are right to work on sorting out some of the problems with the existing production line rather than setting up a parallel production line -- which would presumably do assembly in Germany and outfitting in France.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: kanban
Posted 2010-05-12 20:20:57 and read 10881 times.

Quoting rolfen (Reply 46):
Plant capacity affects delivery delays, which in turn affect (encourage or discourage) customer purchase decisions, hence demand.

plant capacity is not, repeat not, the limited for the A380, it's the production flow and the politics imposed by the supporting governments. compounded by not doing all the final assembly and outfitting at one location.

If capacity created sales why are so many companies downsizing when sales diminish? should airlines buy more a/c when they can't fill the ones they have because capacity will create customers... no it will create bankruptcy.

[Edited 2010-05-12 20:24:55]

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: CHRISBA777ER
Posted 2010-05-12 20:50:30 and read 10888 times.

What do the following airlines have in common?

Singapore Airlines
Qantas
British Airways/Iberia
Lufthansa/Austrian/Swiss/bmi/SN Brussels
Air France/KLM
Emirates
Korean Air
Qatar Airways
Etihad
China Southern
Thai
Malaysian
Virgin Atlantic
Kingfisher
Vietnam Airways
Air Austral

There are people on this site who feel that there is no demand for VLAs, and that nobody is ordering any, and that the whole thing is a huge mistake. Indeed we've had posts above suggesting that the A380 will not get orders on this planet, or that anyone who buys them cannot be from this planet.

I'd say the above list, surely a who's who of international airlines with a major LoHa component to their business, would suggest that you are dead wrong. Now I appreciate that I am never, ever going to get any kind of useful discussion out of the Luddites on here re the A380, so I write this post mainly as an illustration of how people deliberately choose to view the A380 project in a skewed way.

Let us be clear about this. The world VLA market, right now in 2010, is about 300 planes give or take a dozen or so either side. That's a rough estimate made by me as a professional airline/shipping business analyst. I could be wrong by a dozen or so either side but its there or thereabouts.

It was about 350 planes in 2007/8 and has shrunk since that time because of the GFC.

There are people on here who would have you believe that this number will never increase ever again. Now, there are three things we know for definite are going to happen in the future - three guaranteed, nailed on, unarguable facts that not even the blindest and most willfully ignorant could ever possibly deny.

1 - Fuel Prices will go up.
2 - Population will increase, with the curve getting sharper in more developing areas.
3 - Airport congestion at major hubs will increase if there is capacity.

What does this mean for airlines?

Well, unless you are American, it means that you need to find the most efficient way of moving as many people as possible, as cheaply as possible, using a minimum of resources/cost expenditure to do it.

Right now, there are a respectable number of citypairs that have three or four or even more 744/77W flights between them every day, that support thousands of seats, year round, daily. These centre around the hubs, with LHR, CDG, LAX, JFK, NRT, SIN, HKG, DXB, PEK, DOH etc and probably support 95% of the current VLA market between them.

You'll note that many of the above hubs are very large airports, and are congested. Our Luddite friends on here would have you believe that airlines can add frequencies whenever they want, but it seems obvious that this is simply not the case. You cant add frequencies if there are no more slots at worthwhile times.

So what does this mean for the A380?

Well, some on here would have you believe that airlines simply cannot make money with such a big plane, and that smaller twins with more frequencies is the way to go on these big trunk routes. They think that just because an American airline cannot make money with such a big plane because its customer base values frequency above all, that the rest of the world must be the same.

It isnt.

A380 evangelists (of which I am unashamedly one) will tell you that we know the A380 is not the plane of choice for every long-haul route. Some routes are better served with smaller twins. The vast majority of long-haul routes are better served with smaller twins. Nobody from the Airbus camp has ever argued that is not the case. But to suggest that "there is no market for VLA's and that nobody is buying them" seems deliberately short-sighted. Of course there is a market, and there is a market now. I've been on a lot of A380s - I KNOW there is a market now. Where will the market be in ten years? They would have you believe that we'll all be flying eight or nine times a day LHR-HKG or NRT-JFK on nothing bigger than a 789. They point to their undoubtedly excellent smaller twins, the 787, 777, A330 and A350 and are absolutely confident that they will kill the VLA market.

With the greatest of (one-sided) respect to them - what planet would you have to be on, where swapping two 77W or 744 flights with one A389 flight with good timings does not make sense?

They refuse to look into the future, and refuse to acknowledge the three absolutes I mentioned above. Those in themselves would be enough to guarantee that there is a need for VLAs now, and that this is only going to increase in the future. They in themselves would be enough to base a business case on building a whole new VLA.... but wait!

We already have one.

It is the only game in town if you want to move a LOT of people as efficiently as possible between two hub citypairs. Sure, other planes will move fewer people far cheaper than a 747 ever could, but we arent talking about a 747 here: the A380 is a new and different beast. She is in her infancy. We have not yet begun to scratch the surface of what this airframe is capable of both in her current -800 guise and in future A389, A389F or even mooted A3810 guises.

The Luddites point and laugh, saying the A388's sales record is pathetic. 200 planes after all this time? Might as well cancel! What a dismal failure such a plane would have to be to sell so few airframes against the 777. They will tell you that because the 777 has sold more airframes, that it is somehow a "winner" - when in reality it is a totally different aircraft. The A380 dominates its market in a way the 777 never has and never will.

The VLA market right now is not huge, but the A380 DOMINATES IT.

It will continue to dominate the VLA market as it grows, and the likelihood is that if you are on a route that supports VLA traffic in the future, that it will be an A380 in some form that is flying you to your destination. It terms of market share Airbus have ringfenced the VLA market and will have no competition for another decade at the very least. The programme is not profitable now, (and the fact that it might have been save for a cosmic SNAFU in development and build is a frustration) but the A380 programme has another 20 or 25 years to run, at least. Many on here refuse to acknowledge it, but the likelihood is that Airbus will at least break even across the project's lifetime. It could easily make a great deal of money eventually. Airbus has time. Airbus can wait. Airbus does not deal in short-term thinking and short-term solutions to long-term problems. The reason they built it was to dominate the VLA sector, and for it to develop as the sector develops. It has done this, is doing it now, and will continue to do this for at the very least another decade, and probably longer.

I must say I feel that all the pontification by a number of people on here, about future Boeing products, and developments of their 777 and 787 airframes, and what they might achieve in the future, whilst in the same breath deliberately refusing to apply the same logic to the A380 is sadly symptomatic of the agenda many appear to hold against the A380 and indeed against the company that brought her into this world.

Might the A380 be the most unloved by so many aircraft in history? I wonder how differently she might be regarded if she had rolled out of a factory in Seattle instead of an identical one in Toulouse?

To all A380 fans - it is tempting to talk more about the plane, but I feel that it is best now left to the plane to do the talking. Whether the Luddites choose to listen is up to them.

We will not have to put up with their xenophobic ranting and willful, ignorant bias and mudslinging for too much longer.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2010-05-12 21:02:31 and read 10853 times.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 49):


  

You really need to store that in a text document so you can trot it out every six months or so to remind folks...   

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-12 22:18:19 and read 10807 times.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 49):
The world VLA market, right now in 2010, is about 300 planes give or take a dozen or so either side. That's a rough estimate made by me as a professional airline/shipping business analyst. I could be wrong by a dozen or so either side but its there or thereabouts.

I think it's between 200 and 300, but call it 300 for the sake of the discussion. That's a saturated or nearly saturated market.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 49):
It was about 350 planes in 2007/8 and has shrunk since that time because of the GFC.

The VLA market has been shrinking for decades, so it cannot plausibly be blamed on the GFC.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 49):
There are people on here who would have you believe that this number will never increase ever again. Now, there are three things we know for definite are going to happen in the future - three guaranteed, nailed on, unarguable facts that not even the blindest and most willfully ignorant could ever possibly deny.

1 - Fuel Prices will go up.
2 - Population will increase, with the curve getting sharper in more developing areas.
3 - Airport congestion at major hubs will increase if there is capacity.

Those are disputable assertions, not unarguable facts.

1. Fuel prices fluctuate. Petroleum is a commodity. Most commodities trend downward in price over time. I suspect petroleum may turn out to be an exception, but it may not.
2. Population is already decreasing in developed countries (adjusted for immigration). The rate of population growth in developing countries is slowing. It's not clear when global population will peak, but probably not within the next 20 years. However, I think your expectations about the rate of growth a decade from now are excessive.
3. What congestion? What capacity? One normally thinks of adding capacity as a solution to a congestion problem. Are you talking about aircraft capacity, airport capacity, ATC capacity? What are you talking about?

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 49):
They would have you believe that we'll all be flying eight or nine times a day LHR-HKG or NRT-JFK on nothing bigger than a 789.

That's a strawman. Aircraft like the A340-600 (in the future, the A350-1000) and the 777-300ER dominate such routes. Many of us expect that the A350-1000 and 777-300ER will still dominate these routes a decade from now. If you think the trend will reverse and these routes will go back to being dominated by VLAs as they were 20 years ago, well, you're entitled to believe whatever beliefs make you comfortable.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 49):
With the greatest of (one-sided) respect to them - what planet would you have to be on, where swapping two 77W or 744 flights with one A389 flight with good timings does not make sense?

Axiomatically, you'd have to be on a planet where the A389 is real airliner rather than a fantasy, so that rules out this planet. It seems you've never worked for a company with a rule that no two members of the same team can fly on the same flight. When the whole team needs to be in the same place on the same day, frequency becomes valuable, even if separated by just a few minutes.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 49):
I must say I feel that all the pontification by a number of people on here, about future Boeing products, and developments of their 777 and 787 airframes, and what they might achieve in the future, whilst in the same breath deliberately refusing to apply the same logic to the A380 is sadly symptomatic of the agenda many appear to hold against the A380 and indeed against the company that brought her into this world.

Might the A380 be the most unloved by so many aircraft in history? I wonder how differently she might be regarded if she had rolled out of a factory in Seattle instead of an identical one in Toulouse?

Trying to turn this into an A v B battle when it's really a VLA versus big-twin dispute is unwelcome. I and others have argued that there is no way, short of an all-new wing, for the 777-300ER to compete with the A350-1000 in the future. Freighters aside, the VLA from Seattle has sales that are just as anemic as those of the VLA from Toulouse. In my opinion, the single biggest constraint on VLA sales is the very low CASM of the A350-1000. I'm an Airbus fan. I have friends who work for Airbus. I go (a little bit) out of my way to fly A320s rather than 737s. I like flying on the WhaleJet. However, that doesn't mean I have to be so fanatical as to delude myself into believing that Airbus need to open a second production line or that they have snowball's chance on Venus of the programme someday being profitable. I'm hoping that the A350 will be enough of a success to make up for past mistakes.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: frmrCapCadet
Posted 2010-05-12 22:24:03 and read 10763 times.

Chris - enjoyed your post, and agree with the majority of it. 380 will indeed dominate the VLA market. You say that currently there is a need for 300 of them. On a replacement basis of 15-20 years per plane that is 20-15 planes a year. If the market doubles that could mean as few as 30 planes a year, enough to keep the line open, but not good news to Airbus. Nor Boeing's 748.

I think you are over confident in your predictions. Rising old prices/climate change are such wild cards, and I don't think anyone really knows how it will play out. It could be brutal, or we could adapt surprisingly fast. Wish I would live long enough to see what happens.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: kanban
Posted 2010-05-12 22:43:55 and read 10739 times.

ChrisBA777ER

I'm not sure who you're preaching to... the question was did they need to add a second production "line" for the A380... and it has been construed that increased production capability would bring in additional sales. the answer is to that in my opion is no, they have to straighten out their production and political problems first to see what rate can be produced with the existing facilities/supply chain. Then and only then should additional facilities be considered. The other part of the equatio is companies have to level load their production or (in the US) they would always be laying off and hiring retraining etc. The European process seems to be less flexible because of stronger work rules and unions. subcontractors are also more prone to being affected by rate changes and less able to adjust. so a 2-5 year backlog is not a bad thing.

I am not saying the model is in its death throes even though I am American and had 35 years with Boeing. there is a niche for the A380, sales may be slow now however when there is more demand ie people wanting to fly and airlines willing to make that investment, there will be sales. Remember the 737 was almost cancelled for lack of sales and where is it now.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: airfrnt
Posted 2010-05-13 08:51:09 and read 10267 times.

I picked a bad moment to drink a coke. Specificly the moment before I read the thread title.

Coke everywhere. Eww.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: rheinwaldner
Posted 2010-05-13 09:47:23 and read 10186 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 46):
The VLA market has been shrinking for decades, so it cannot plausibly be blamed on the GFC.

How often do you want to repeat shamelessly this lie?

The VLA sales per Decade have been:
178 329 430 368 425

These values do not give the smallest evidence to your claims about the VLA market in the past.

But how can anybody believe your claims about the future if you spectacularly misinterpret the trends of the past?

Normally this is not even subject of interpretation. What intelectual effort is required to put correctly the 747 sales per decade in a string?

And if I consider that the first 500 in this string have not been more capable than the 77W today the string looks like this:
178 329 430 368 862

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: epa001
Posted 2010-05-13 10:09:02 and read 10138 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 46):
The VLA market has been shrinking for decades, so it cannot plausibly be blamed on the GFC.



The VLA market is only a couple of years old. The Large Aircraft market which was the Boeing 747 only (in several versions) is now the market for the B747, A340-600, B77W and possibly A350-1000.

The VLA market is A380 and B748. The latter has not been delivered yet to any customer, the other one is gaining orders and experience and the passengers and the airliners using it are very, very happy with the product. No doubt both VLA's will see more orders. I hope they will see many more orders and newer versions like maybe the A389 or even the A3810.  .

But even then another production line for the A380 seems not necessary, not now and probably not in the future as therer still is room to grow to the originally envisioned 48 copies per year. Maybe in another 3 years they could reach that level of production.  Smile.

[Edited 2010-05-13 10:10:49]

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: frmrCapCadet
Posted 2010-05-13 10:32:43 and read 9995 times.

We obviously live in a multi-universe reality.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: B2707SST
Posted 2010-05-13 10:48:56 and read 9966 times.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 44):

The VLA market right now is not huge, but the A380 DOMINATES IT.

If you count passenger aircraft, no question it does, but throwing in 747-400F and 747-8F sales since the A380 became available muddies the waters. I don't see any reason not to count freighters, since they generate revenue/profit for the manufacturer and help amortize costs associated with the line. No doubt the A380F was part of the business case for the program, even if it has not turned out as expected (comparable to the 787-3, for example).

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 44):

It will continue to dominate the VLA market as it grows, and the likelihood is that if you are on a route that supports VLA traffic in the future, that it will be an A380 in some form that is flying you to your destination. It terms of market share Airbus have ringfenced the VLA market and will have no competition for another decade at the very least. The programme is not profitable now, (and the fact that it might have been save for a cosmic SNAFU in development and build is a frustration) but the A380 programme has another 20 or 25 years to run, at least. Many on here refuse to acknowledge it, but the likelihood is that Airbus will at least break even across the project's lifetime. It could easily make a great deal of money eventually. Airbus has time. Airbus can wait. Airbus does not deal in short-term thinking and short-term solutions to long-term problems. The reason they built it was to dominate the VLA sector, and for it to develop as the sector develops. It has done this, is doing it now, and will continue to do this for at the very least another decade, and probably longer.

Topics debating the financial wisdom of the A380 seem to place a lot of emphasis on "break-even" when it's really nearly meaningless.

If I lend you a thousand dollars and you pay me back in a week, I'm happy. If I lend you a thousand dollars and you don't get around to paying me back for ten years, I'm probably not so pleased. In both cases I've "broken even," but this simple fact almost totally ignores the time value of money.

Every month that passes without Airbus generating the cash flow they had expected from the A380 further reduces its ROI, even if that cash flow actually does materialize in the future. They may break even around 500 frames at this point, but it's hard to see how the actual rate of return on the program will ever come anywhere close to its risk-adjusted cost of capital. The A380 was, and remains, an immensely risky project, and so it should demand a higher ROI than, say, an A320RE which is all but guaranteed to sell en masse. So far, the converse has been true.

The other problem with assuming Airbus has all the time in the world to sell A380s is that Boeing is not going to stand still if the VLA market explodes in another decade or so. Just because the 747 enjoyed more than 30 years without competition does not mean the A380 will. Hasn't part of the pro-A380 case always been that Airbus needed put an end to the 747's role as Boeing's cash cow? Indeed Airbus did so as soon as they had the knowledge and resources, i.e. after they demonstrated they could successfully build long-range widebodies with the A330 and A340.

I don't see why this argument doesn't cut both ways. The 748I is a low-cost tag-along to the 748F, and if Boeing has to kill it with a clean-sheet model to prevent the A380 from running away with the VLA sector in the next decade, they will. Competition, even in a relatively stable duopoly like we have now, just does not allow lucrative markets to remain monopolized for long.

All this means that while Airbus can afford to wait for more A380 sales, they cannot afford to wait forever. The clock is ticking for this program, as it does for every other.

[Edited 2010-05-13 10:58:34]

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-13 10:59:18 and read 9945 times.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 50):
How often do you want to repeat shamelessly this lie?

The VLA sales per Decade have been:
178 329 430 368 425

It looks like you're including freighters. The context of the discussion is whether or not a second production line is needed for an airliner that does not include a freighter variant. The orders for passenger VLAs (including combis) by decade are:
1961-70: 197
1971-80: 309
1981-90: 458
1991-00: 197
2001-10: 248

Quoting epa001 (Reply 51):
The VLA market is only a couple of years old. The Large Aircraft market which was the Boeing 747 only (in several versions) is now the market for the B747, A340-600, B77W and possibly A350-1000.

The VLA market is A380 and B748.

Nice try, but I don't believe that either Airbus or Boeing segment the market that way.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: rheinwaldner
Posted 2010-05-13 11:23:53 and read 9910 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 54):
It looks like you're including freighters.

As you did. VLA is not a term that excludes freighters.

Even your string of numbers does not support your first claim. Not by far.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: ScottB
Posted 2010-05-13 12:55:21 and read 9784 times.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 44):
There are people on this site who feel that there is no demand for VLAs, and that nobody is ordering any, and that the whole thing is a huge mistake. Indeed we've had posts above suggesting that the A380 will not get orders on this planet, or that anyone who buys them cannot be from this planet.

So many straw men! I could probably make a thousand scarecrows (yes, hyperbole!) from the contents of your post.

Let's be realistic, rather than engaging in blind boosterism. Very few reasonable people can make the argument that no airline/operator wants or needs the A380 -- but I don't see that argument as having been made here. Nor has anyone argued "that the A380 will not get orders on this planet, or that anyone who buys them cannot be from this planet;" rather, that there are unlikely to be enough orders on this planet to justify the investment into and operation of a second A380 production line -- the unrealistic (IMHO) supposition at the top of this thread.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 44):
Let us be clear about this. The world VLA market, right now in 2010, is about 300 planes give or take a dozen or so either side. That's a rough estimate made by me as a professional airline/shipping business analyst. I could be wrong by a dozen or so either side but its there or thereabouts.

It was about 350 planes in 2007/8 and has shrunk since that time because of the GFC.

Why don't we take a look back at the year 2000, when Airbus took the decision to commercially launch what had been known as the A3XX. At the time, Airbus's internal market projections put the size of the VLA market at 1500 sales over 20 years (i.e. 2001-2020). Boeing's contemporaneous projections were for a market size of around 600. You seem to believe that the number is somewhere between 275 and 375, which seems reasonable to me -- but it's half of Boeing's forecast and somewhere between 20-25% of Airbus's forecast when the program was launched.

And the argument of many who have been (IMHO unfairly) painted as bashing the A380 was that the business case for launching the A380 was shaky at best and that the sales projections were unrealistic. To some degree, it seems that the market forecast was designed to justify the business case for a prestige project, rather than using market forecasts to drive product decisions. I think there can be little doubt that the A380 project had a political component, what with the number of European political leaders who were present for the A380's first flight.

By 2000, sales of the 747 were drying up. Many over the past three decades had been ordered for their range, not just for their size, and alternatives like the A340 and 777 were knocking out the lower end of the 747's market. Moreover, while 747's were once common in medium-haul markets like North America-Europe, they were becoming less and less common as hub-to-point markets (as opposed to hub-to-hub) began to proliferate -- and carriers found it easier to make a profit by operating smaller airliners like the 767 and A330.

One of the densest intercontinental routes between two highly congested airports is JFK-LHR -- but it's relatively unsuitable for the A380 because the business travelers in the market demand frequency in exchange for premium fares. Yes, there are indeed dense long-haul markets with limited suitable departure and arrival times due to time differences, but do these number enough to sell several hundred VLA's? Or is the niche much smaller?

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 44):
three guaranteed, nailed on, unarguable facts that not even the blindest and most willfully ignorant could ever possibly deny.

1 - Fuel Prices will go up.
2 - Population will increase, with the curve getting sharper in more developing areas.
3 - Airport congestion at major hubs will increase if there is capacity.

Population growth actually slows or reverses in many industrialized nations. Japan, for example, has a negative population growth rate. It's also not clear that air travel demand will be sustainable if fuel prices rise dramatically. Businesses will curtail their travel expenditures, while leisure travel (particularly long hauls) may become unaffordable to the vast majority of people. Add to that governments' eagerness to impose carbon taxes on air travel, making it less and less affordable for the public.

Flying around A380's does offer the ability to lower unit costs -- but the demand also must be there to fill the seats. It can be far more profitable to fly an A340 between two cities than an A380 if the capacity of the A340 better matches demand at commercially viable fare levels.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 44):
Right now, there are a respectable number of citypairs that have three or four or even more 744/77W flights between them every day, that support thousands of seats, year round, daily. These centre around the hubs, with LHR, CDG, LAX, JFK, NRT, SIN, HKG, DXB, PEK, DOH etc and probably support 95% of the current VLA market between them.

And many of these city pairs with three or more daily large widebodies have the same number of airlines plying the route -- LAX-NRT as an example. Reducing those to two or three daily VLA's would mean less competition and potentially higher prices for passengers.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 44):
The Luddites point and laugh, saying the A388's sales record is pathetic. 200 planes after all this time? Might as well cancel! What a dismal failure such a plane would have to be to sell so few airframes against the 777. They will tell you that because the 777 has sold more airframes, that it is somehow a "winner" - when in reality it is a totally different aircraft. The A380 dominates its market in a way the 777 never has and never will.

The VLA market right now is not huge, but the A380 DOMINATES IT.

200 sales are pathetic when you consider Airbus's market projections for VLA's. And it is disappointing that the A380 has been outsold by the 747-8 since the latter's launch in 2005.

I don't think anyone can disagree with the fact that the A380 is a great technical achievement; it exceeded Airbus's performance guarantees to customers and by all accounts is well-liked by airline operators and their customers. But it has also been a tremendous financial failure; shareholders in EADS would have been far better off had the project never been launched. It is no great achievement to dominate a market when that domination comes at a cost of billions of dollars which are unlikely to be recouped. B2707SST explains very effectively the opportunity cost of the capital tied up in the project -- but there's also an opportunity cost in the efforts of Airbus engineers who could have been working on a project with better commercial prospects.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 44):
the A380 programme has another 20 or 25 years to run, at least. Many on here refuse to acknowledge it, but the likelihood is that Airbus will at least break even across the project's lifetime. It could easily make a great deal of money eventually. Airbus has time. Airbus can wait. Airbus does not deal in short-term thinking and short-term solutions to long-term problems.

What keeps Boeing from developing its own VLA if the market looks more promising in the future? How competitive would Airbus be with a 20-year-old design? The A380 might be an example of long-term planning, but it wasn't necessarily good long-term planning.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: JayinKitsap
Posted 2010-05-13 13:44:41 and read 9706 times.

I would love for Airbus to build a 2nd or possibly a 3rd line for the 380. But I think it would be difficult to sell every year 50+ A380's (& Boeing getting 15 748's) in even the best market. A 2nd line needs assured about 10 years of production at the combined rates of the lines working straight time. Otherwise it increases the unit costs.

It might make sense for Airbus to build a 2nd line if they can't get the current production facility above 20 per year, the penalty payments probably then exceed the cost of building the plant. Unless Airbus gets over 100 orders in the next 3 years for the 380 adding any production facilities for the 380 means the financial picture is worse not better.

So which airlines are buying the next 24 A380's this year.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: UAL747DEN
Posted 2010-05-13 14:05:17 and read 9657 times.

Quoting cobra27 (Reply 28):
Even 747 didn't shine in first years

Yes it did....... What exactly do you mean?

Quoting B2707SST (Reply 53):
They may break even around 500 frames at this point, but it's hard to see how the actual rate of return on the program will ever come anywhere close to its risk-adjusted cost of capital.

The good thing for Airbus is that they do not have to worry about "risk-adjusted cost of capital" with any of their products so far. After the WTO ruling this will hopefully change but right now they don't have to worry about it.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2010-05-13 14:17:31 and read 9654 times.

I do wish we could discuss the present and the future of the A380-800 without always having to discuss the past, as well.

Hindsight is always 20-20, but while we can look at the A380 program ten years on and shake our heads, with the hindsight of 20 years, will we be shaking our heads or nodding them? And if we are still shaking our heads in ten years time, what of it?

Is Airbus bankrupt today? No. Are they in imminent danger of being bankrupt? No.

Should they have launched the A350XWB in 1995 instead of 2005? Hindsight of the Moment in 2005 said "yes". But Hindsight of the Moment in 2005 has the benefit of 10 years of successful 180-plus minute ETOPS that Hindsight of the Moment in 1995 didn't. However, if Hindsight of the Moment in 1995 has said "Yes", the 777 program likely would not have been the success it was, instead splitting the market with Airbus as they do with the 737 and A320. And without the sales success of the 777, Boeing might not have been in the position to launch the 787, which would have allowed Airbus to continue to rake in the dollars with the A330 program. So in a classic bit of irony, Boeing Boosters should be the ones praising Airbus for launching the A380 because it impacted their effectiveness and allowed Boeing to launch two successful widebody models.

I'm a fan of the A380, but I am not a fanatic. But even if I hated the plane with every fiber of my existence, constantly bringing up the past in every discussion about it doesn't serve any useful purpose in maintaing, much less advancing, said discussion. We should discuss the present and future of the A380 as it exists today in this world. not as it could have (or, in the minds of some, should have) existed in a parallel world where different decisions and parameters had taken place.

The die has been cast. The bed has been made. The Rubicon has been crossed. Airbus cannot turn back. They can only live with their decision going forward, whether it turns out good for them or bad for them.

We should at least wait until history has occurred before we start writing our version of it.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: ScottB
Posted 2010-05-13 15:18:25 and read 9569 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 59):
We should at least wait until history has occurred before we start writing our version of it.

Ten years is a long time. It is certainly not the fullness of time for an aircraft type that may well be flying until 2050, but it's also not too early to arrive at observations of progress so far.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 59):
So in a classic bit of irony, Boeing Boosters should be the ones praising Airbus for launching the A380 because it impacted their effectiveness and allowed Boeing to launch two successful widebody models.

Did I not allude to this in saying:

Quoting ScottB (Reply 56):
there's also an opportunity cost in the efforts of Airbus engineers who could have been working on a project with better commercial prospects.

I made similar arguments in the past with respect to the original plans for the A350 to be an updated version of the A330; engineering commitments for the A380 program hindered Airbus's ability to effectively respond to the threat of the 787 -- and they apparently lost out in head-to-head competitions because the various pre-XWB iterations of the A350 were viewed as inadequate responses to the 787.

I am not certain that the engineering and marketing leadership at Airbus in 1995 (or even 2000) was ready to launch a product like the A350XWB, given the oft-repeated marketing mantra, "4 engines 4 long-haul." That seems to be evident in the consortium's decision to launch the A340-500/600 in 1997, even as the 777-200ER was enjoying the beginning of its successful run. I think they are to be credited, though, with the fortitude to essentially kill the A340NG by launching the A350XWB, as well as the enhancements to the A330-200 which have enabled it to effectively serve a number of long-haul segments.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 59):
I do wish we could discuss the present and the future of the A380-800 without always having to discuss the past, as well.

It would be nice to have a discussion without lame straw man arguments, too -- not that I am accusing you of such.

But to address the present and future of the A380, CHRISBA777ER posts a list of customers who have ordered the A380:

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 44):
Singapore Airlines
Qantas
British Airways/Iberia
Lufthansa/Austrian/Swiss/bmi/SN Brussels
Air France/KLM
Emirates
Korean Air
Qatar Airways
Etihad
China Southern
Thai
Malaysian
Virgin Atlantic
Kingfisher
Vietnam Airways
Air Austral

For what it's worth, I doubt Kingfisher is likely to take its A380's, and Thai's order seemed to have been motivated by a trade agreement. With Bermuda II by the wayside, I also suspect that VS may not take their A380's, either.

But putting that aside, since Boeing certainly has its own share of dubious orders for 787's/747-8's/whatever, let's ask the more pertinent question of from where the next 200 orders will come. Will Emirates order another 50? Will ANA order after all? Will A380's ever have a place in the fleets of U.S. carriers? How many will China and/or India need -- or are the growth plans of EK going to crowd out Asian carriers? How will the 747-8I affect order prospects for the A380?

The original point of this thread was to ask when Airbus would add a second production line for the A380 -- and I simply do not see the demand realistically being there. They certainly need to get their production numbers closer to their original plan of four per month, and it does seem like they are gradually getting there. But just as the respective backlogs for 787's and A350's probably aren't the primary reason why orders for both types slowed to a trickle, I strongly doubt that the A380 backlog is keeping potential customers away, either. After all, if you must have an A380 for your business, you might as well get in line once you have made that decision.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2010-05-13 15:38:55 and read 9568 times.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 60):
Ten years is a long time. It is certainly not the fullness of time for an aircraft type that may well be flying until 2050, but it's also not too early to arrive at observations of progress so far.

I just can't help feel that we're all looking through "787/A350 Colored Glasses" and applying that as the "standard" all planes that have come before needed to meet in order to be considered "successful".

I think both airframes benefitted from the "hype" around CFRP and just the order frenzy of the mid-2000s. In saner times and with saner heads, I think both families would be sitting on maybe half their current order book.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: epa001
Posted 2010-05-13 16:40:21 and read 9514 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 61):
I just can't help feel that we're all looking through "787/A350 Colored Glasses" and applying that as the "standard" all planes that have come before needed to meet in order to be considered "successful".

I think both airframes benefitted from the "hype" around CFRP and just the order frenzy of the mid-2000s. In saner times and with saner heads, I think both families would be sitting on maybe half their current order book.


Very well written Stitch, as was your previous post here.  .

We do easily forget the past. The B767 took its full life-time of almost 35 years (introduction to the market, not EIS) up to now to reach over 1,000 copies sold. The A330 also took 20 years to reach the current 1,100 copies sold as did the B777 which sold even in a higher numer. The >850 B787's and >550 A350-XWB's are true exceptions to the rule. But we are likely to declare them the rule in comparison with the A380 which due to its size and the class that puts it in will hardly be able to sell that many numbers. Although nobody expected the B747 to sell the number of copies what she eventually achieved, so who knows how far the A380 will go in sales over a 30-40 year lifespan?

[Edited 2010-05-13 16:44:40]

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: ScottB
Posted 2010-05-13 17:40:59 and read 9468 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 61):
I just can't help feel that we're all looking through "787/A350 Colored Glasses" and applying that as the "standard" all planes that have come before needed to meet in order to be considered "successful".

I suppose I respectfully disagree. There are several views of "success" that are applicable here. From a technical and customer acceptance standpoint, I think the A380 is clearly a success. From a project management standpoint, not so much (but then the 787 has failed here, too). Let's leave question of financial success aside since it has obviously been severely impacted by the project management failures. When we look on the face of orders, I think it's fair to compare it to what Airbus's expectations were at launch -- capturing half of a projected market for 1,600 VLA's over the subsequent 20 years. That's presumably 800 orders, or 400 over a decade. By that standard, Airbus has failed to meet even its own expectations.

And I think that the originally-planned production rate of four per month (44/year in an eleven-month work year) bears that expectation out -- since that is 880 over 20 years. It doesn't seem reasonable that Airbus would plan for a production rate that would be double their expected sales. Much has been made this week of John Leahy's prediction of 20 A380 orders in 2010, but again that seems to be half of Airbus's own predictions of their expected market. Let me emphasize again that my conclusion here has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with 787 or A350 order figures.

Turning to the "787/A350 Colored Glasses" you mention, I think the 787 so far has exceeded Boeing's expectations for orders, given that they took the remarkable step of starting development of a second line even before EIS. The A350XWB has also posted a strong order performance in the ultimate revision. Just as an aside, I'm still puzzled by the vitriol from Airbus aficionados vis a vis Steve Udvar-Hazy's criticism of the early versions of the A350. I think his public and private statements helped push Airbus to develop what is likely to be a more successful product than the previous iterations. As an airplane lessor, it was in his interest to make sure Airbus would introduce the very best possible product, rather than a half-hearted A330 refresh.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 61):
I think both airframes benefitted from the "hype" around CFRP and just the order frenzy of the mid-2000s. In saner times and with saner heads, I think both families would be sitting on maybe half their current order book.

Possibly, but even half the order book for the 787 would have been very healthy. The A380 benefited from plenty of hype itself, what with mooted onboard gyms, boutiques, casinos, etc. -- as well as the status of being the world's largest airliner. I think the CFRP hype could have very easily gone the other way as well; my understanding is that Boeing had to do a lot of work to make sure that customers bought into the concept -- that issues of ramp rash, lightning, etc. had all been thoroughly addressed. I suspect that the 787 would have sold well outside the order frenzy as well, given that its introduction was well-timed to take advantage of replacement cycles for first-generation widebody twins. Similarly, I think the A350 is well-timed to replace retiring A340's, MD-11's, and older 777's.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: CHRISBA777ER
Posted 2010-05-13 19:18:30 and read 9428 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 51):
I think it's between 200 and 300, but call it 300 for the sake of the discussion. That's a saturated or nearly saturated market.

That's essentially what I said.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 51):
The VLA market has been shrinking for decades, so it cannot plausibly be blamed on the GFC.

Revisionist history. Do we have to go through this again?

The arrival of the A343 and 772ER allowed the airlines that bought the 747 for its RANGE to "rightsize" their capacity, and trade in their 747s for newer, more efficient mid-size widebodies that had the range to do the same mission, but were not hauling round too much capacity.

The arrival of the A346 and the 77W allowed the airlines that operated the 747 - particularly the 744, to fly the same routes with aircraft that offered the same range, similar or better capacity, but at 20%+ better trip costs because they were dramatically more fuel efficient. They had superior CASM and the airlines bought them in droves because they did not require a meaningful capacity cut but had vastly better CASM.

Saying the VLA market (IE: the 747) market has been shrinking for decades is missing the point. The VLA market as we know it today is a new market - airlines can now fly much more passengers per flight, on an aircraft that has unbeatable CASM in the market. They didnt have the option before so your point is moot.

Only the A3510 or 77WNG could even get close to the A388A as we know it today, and later iterations of the A380 will only widen the CASM gap. I will confidently predict that when the A389 is built, it will have CASM that nothing will get close to for a decade or more.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 51):
1. Fuel prices fluctuate. Petroleum is a commodity. Most commodities trend downward in price over time. I suspect petroleum may turn out to be an exception, but it may not.

Economics 101 mate. Scarcity. Are you seriously arguing that JetA is not going to increase on average in price over the next ten years, despite the increasing scarcity of oil, or of easily/cheaply obtainable oil?

Quoting zvezda (Reply 51):
2. Population is already decreasing in developed countries (adjusted for immigration). The rate of population growth in developing countries is slowing. It's not clear when global population will peak, but probably not within the next 20 years. However, I think your expectations about the rate of growth a decade from now are excessive.

How are my expectations excessive? Did i mention numbers? Anyway - i just said the world population will increase, and that the curve would be steeper in developing nations such as China and India than in the US for example? Are you going to argue that the world population is not going to increase dramatically over the next 10 or 20 years?

Quoting zvezda (Reply 51):
3. What congestion? What capacity? One normally thinks of adding capacity as a solution to a congestion problem. Are you talking about aircraft capacity, airport capacity, ATC capacity? What are you talking about?

All of it, and you know full well what I meant. Slot congestion, gate availability, increasingly draconian curfew rules at some airports, huge opposition to expansion of existing facilities in Europe, some parts of Asia and the US due to political lobbying etc. As you say - adding capacity is one way of easing congestion. Adding capacity without increasing movements is the ideal - hence my point about the VLA market benefitting from this.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 51):
Aircraft like the A340-600 (in the future, the A350-1000) and the 777-300ER dominate such routes. Many of us expect that the A350-1000 and 777-300ER will still dominate these routes a decade from now. If you think the trend will reverse and these routes will go back to being dominated by VLAs as they were 20 years ago, well, you're entitled to believe whatever beliefs make you comfortable.

No I'm saying that the trend has ALREADY reversed. You just refuse to see it.

LHR-SIN
LHR-BKK
LHR-KUL
LHR-ICN
LHR-NRT
LHR-DXB
LHR-DOH
LHR-JFK
LHR-LAX
LHR-HKG
LHR-PVG
LHR-MEL
LHR-SYD
LHR-JNB

All these routes either are NOW dominated by VLAs (or should I say "VVLAs" -A380s, which is what you meant), or will be when aircraft already ordered are delivered, by 2014. And that's just LHR. If you think LHR-SIN or LHR-SYD for example will go back to being dominated by large twins in the next ten years, then you obviously know something I dont about an impending global catastrophe...

Quoting zvezda (Reply 51):
Axiomatically, you'd have to be on a planet where the A389 is real airliner rather than a fantasy, so that rules out this planet.

You mentioned the A3510 earlier. At the moment they are both paper planes. Airbus has not formally launched the A389, but you'd have to be a real numpty to think that it is not the first thing they are going to do when they are done turning the A350 from paper to plane. Can we get back on topic now please?

Quoting zvezda (Reply 51):
It seems you've never worked for a company with a rule that no two members of the same team can fly on the same flight. When the whole team needs to be in the same place on the same day, frequency becomes valuable, even if separated by just a few minutes.

And you think this is going to have a major, tangible effect on the VLA market? I think you'll find that most routes that can support a VLA support more than one carrier, hence the customer always has a choice.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 51):
Trying to turn this into an A v B battle when it's really a VLA versus big-twin dispute is unwelcome

Excuse me. Are you implying that the bias against the A380 (of which you are a major protagonist) has nothing to do with the fact that it is an Airbus? I think you'll find that war started a very long time ago.
Quoting zvezda (Reply 51):
However, that doesn't mean I have to be so fanatical as to delude myself into believing that Airbus need to open a second production line

Where did I say that?

For what its worth i'm 100% sure Airbus do not need or are ever likely to build a second line for the A380. The one they have will do fine.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 51):
that they have snowball's chance on Venus of the programme someday being profitable.

I believe what I want to and you do likewise. We'll see who's right. I'm not going anywhere.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: rwessel
Posted 2010-05-13 20:09:05 and read 9385 times.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 64):
How are my expectations excessive? Did i mention numbers? Anyway - i just said the world population will increase, and that the curve would be steeper in developing nations such as China and India than in the US for example? Are you going to argue that the world population is not going to increase dramatically over the next 10 or 20 years?

It depends on how you define dramatically. The midline estimates have the planets population peaking around 2050 at about 9.1-9.2 billion. Up from today’s 6.8B. So about a 35% increase in the next 40 years. Certainly not trivial, but nothing like what we've seen over the last century.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: CHRISBA777ER
Posted 2010-05-13 20:32:22 and read 9381 times.

Quoting rwessel (Reply 65):
Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 64):
How are my expectations excessive? Did i mention numbers? Anyway - i just said the world population will increase, and that the curve would be steeper in developing nations such as China and India than in the US for example? Are you going to argue that the world population is not going to increase dramatically over the next 10 or 20 years?

It depends on how you define dramatically. The midline estimates have the planets population peaking around 2050 at about 9.1-9.2 billion. Up from today’s 6.8B. So about a 35% increase in the next 40 years. Certainly not trivial, but nothing like what we've seen over the last century.

I'd say 2.4 billion or 26% is pretty dramatic in 40 years, but that's me. The majority of this growth will come in the developing nations.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: rwessel
Posted 2010-05-13 21:20:05 and read 9339 times.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 66):
I'd say 2.4 billion or 26% is pretty dramatic in 40 years, but that's me.

But it's not so much by recent historical standards. 1950-1990 was a 123% increase over a 40 year period rather than 35% (and really, it's 35%, not 26%). Shifting forward a couple of decades, it was 84% for 1970-2010.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 66):
The majority of this growth will come in the developing nations.

No question. But the (hoped for) increase in living standards in those developing countries will likely be a much more significant driver for any increase in demand for air travel than that cause by a one third increase in population. And given that low birth rates seem to be fairly well correlated with increases in per-capita GDP, its plausible that somewhat *lower* population growth would cause a greater increase in air travel demand.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: CHRISBA777ER
Posted 2010-05-13 21:57:50 and read 9299 times.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 44):
Population will increase, with the curve getting sharper in more developing areas.
Quoting rwessel (Reply 67):
Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 66):
I'd say 2.4 billion or 26% is pretty dramatic in 40 years, but that's me.

But it's not so much by recent historical standards. 1950-1990 was a 123% increase over a 40 year period rather than 35% (and really, it's 35%, not 26%). Shifting forward a couple of decades, it was 84% for 1970-2010.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 66):
The majority of this growth will come in the developing nations.

No question. But the (hoped for) increase in living standards in those developing countries will likely be a much more significant driver for any increase in demand for air travel than that cause by a one third increase in population. And given that low birth rates seem to be fairly well correlated with increases in per-capita GDP, its plausible that somewhat *lower* population growth would cause a greater increase in air travel demand.

We are essentially in agreement.

Population will increase in future by more than 2bn in the 40 years. That is good news for the VLA sector. Simple as that.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: astuteman
Posted 2010-05-13 21:58:15 and read 9327 times.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 56):
Very few reasonable people can make the argument that no airline/operator wants or needs the A380 -- but I don't see that argument as having been made here

It was, actually   

Quoting ScottB (Reply 56):
Nor has anyone argued "that the A380 will not get orders on this planet, or that anyone who buys them cannot be from this planet;"

The "flying saucer" references seem to have been removed, sadly  
Quoting ScottB (Reply 56):
What keeps Boeing from developing its own VLA if the market looks more promising in the future?

I would surmise that the evidence of "a promising VLA market" would be large sales numbers for the A380, in which case I'd say the point is a bit moot

Quoting UAL747DEN (Reply 58):
The good thing for Airbus is that they do not have to worry about "risk-adjusted cost of capital" with any of their products so far. After the WTO ruling this will hopefully change but right now they don't have to worry about it.

Of course not   

Quoting ScottB (Reply 60):
Ten years is a long time. It is certainly not the fullness of time for an aircraft type that may well be flying until 2050, but it's also not too early to arrive at observations of progress so far.

In most circumstances that would be correct, but t no time in the last 6 years has A380 delivery or supply been anywhere near reliable enough to have allowed the order rate to be uninfluenced.
The 787's experience clearly show tese factors DO have an influence.
So I'd say it is indeed still too soon to say.

You never know, all you naysayers might well indeed turn out to be correct, in which case enjoy the moment.

But I don't think its possible to draw that conclusion just yet.

Rgds

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Burkhard
Posted 2010-05-14 00:15:42 and read 9236 times.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 50):
The VLA sales per Decade have been:
178 329 430 368 425

Thanks for these numbers. So I repeat my analysis that until 2035 there is a market for 1000 A380, which makes 40 per year, so the planned capacity just fits, and does neither need to be increased nor is too big.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-14 00:23:49 and read 9250 times.

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 70):
I repeat my analysis that until 2035 there is a market for 1000 A380, which makes 40 per year, so the planned capacity just fits, and does neither need to be increased nor is too big.

That assumes Airbus win 100% of the VLA market including freighters.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Burkhard
Posted 2010-05-14 00:30:57 and read 9222 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 71):
That assumes Airbus win 100% of the VLA market including freighters.

It assumes the 748I not to be a rocket seller. It assumes the A388 as of today not to remain the only version until 2025.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-14 00:49:33 and read 9207 times.

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 72):
It assumes the 748I not to be a rocket seller.

Given overall anemic demand in the VLA market, that seems like a very safe assumption.

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 72):
It assumes the A388 as of today not to remain the only version until 2025.

That's a higher risk assumption.

If the A350-1000 turns out to be as good as it seems or if Boeing develop an all-new CFRP wing for the 777-300ER (or both), then today's tiny VLA market will be reduced again by least about about 50%. As I've written for a few years already, Airbus need to raise WhaleJet production to between 24 and 36 per year, given the size of the backlog and rate of new orders. I would aim for 30 per year. Airbus are aiming for 36 per year. Let's hope orders increase such that 36 per year becomes sustainable. 45 per year is a fantasy that even Airbus have written off.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Burkhard
Posted 2010-05-14 01:34:59 and read 9167 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 73):
If the A350-1000 turns out to be as good as it seems or if Boeing develop an all-new CFRP wing for the 777-300ER (or both), then today's tiny VLA market will be reduced again by least about about 50%.

If it is possible to improve the CASM of the 77W near to 20% in a way that cannot be applied to the A380, that means through better structures and aerodynamics, and not better engines, then the A380 will fail. I see the improvements in that area to be in order of 5%, though, and the vast progress to come through the newer engines.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-14 01:58:15 and read 9130 times.

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 74):
If it is possible to improve the CASM of the 77W near to 20% in a way that cannot be applied to the A380, that means through better structures and aerodynamics, and not better engines, then the A380 will fail. I see the improvements in that area to be in order of 5%, though, and the vast progress to come through the newer engines.

The advantage in operating efficiency that the WhaleJet enjoys over the new JumboJet is due entirely to the aerodynamic advantage of the very big wing. The 747-8 has both better propulsion efficiency and better structural efficiency but they do not overcome the advantage of the WhaleJet's wing (which several years ago was a big surprise to me).

Reducing the 777-300ER's CASM by 5% would shift a lot of the sales in which airlines choose the WhaleJet over the 777-300ER. For example, if the 777-300ER's CASM had been 5% lower, then SQ would have exercised 13 777-300ER options rather than 9 WhaleJet options. It was a very, very close decision and even a 1 or 2% lower CASM for either one would have made it into an easy decision one way or the other.

Even with metal construction, Airbus said the optimal wingspan for the WhaleJet would have been 83 to 84m. With CFRP, it probably would have been 90 to 95m, but there are no gates spaced for wingspans beyond 80m. A re-winged 777-300ER could go to 79-80m and enjoy a huge improvement in aerodynamic efficiency over the current wing.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: astuteman
Posted 2010-05-14 03:10:28 and read 9081 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 73):
I would aim for 30 per year. Airbus are aiming for 36 per year

Well they're aiming for 3 per month, that's for certain.
Typically when Airbus quote these monthly figures for lines such as the A320 or A330, the annual figures turn out at between "10 and 11 month's worth".
Which implies that these are "net" months, excluding holiday periods, for example.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 73):
45 per year is a fantasy that even Airbus have written off.

I'd not heard that.

Do you have a link?

Rgds

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: epa001
Posted 2010-05-14 04:10:31 and read 9026 times.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 64):
Saying the VLA market (IE: the 747) market has been shrinking for decades is missing the point. The VLA market as we know it today is a new market - airlines can now fly much more passengers per flight, on an aircraft that has unbeatable CASM in the market. They didnt have the option before so your point is moot.


Exactly my earlier point. VLA (or as you correctly pointed out VVLA) is a new market for the A380 & B748.

The VLA 9 or LA market is now the B747, B77W, A346 and A350-1000. And below that there are now many more airliners available or upcoming with comparable range capacity.  .

Quoting astuteman (Reply 76):
Quoting zvezda (Reply 73):
45 per year is a fantasy that even Airbus have written off.

I'd not heard that.

Do you have a link?

I would be surprised if there was a link to that statement.  Wink.

[Edited 2010-05-14 04:10:55]

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: rheinwaldner
Posted 2010-05-15 01:05:00 and read 8652 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 75):
The advantage in operating efficiency that the WhaleJet enjoys over the new JumboJet is due entirely to the aerodynamic advantage of the very big wing. The 747-8 has both better propulsion efficiency and better structural efficiency but they do not overcome the advantage of the WhaleJet's wing (which several years ago was a big surprise to me).

But in all three categories (aerodynamics, structrual efficiency, propulsion) the A380 can reach 748 levels without further problems:
That would be the Trent XWB driven A389 that would overtake the 748 in every of those three aspects. I don't know why you don't see that. That plane would enjoy leadership in almost any metric over any other aircraft. Before the A380 program is terminated with the A380-800 as last version we will 100% see that improved version. And it will do better on the market than the 748i. Because it will be better at least in those three aspects.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-15 01:37:07 and read 8641 times.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 76):
Do you have a link?
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-plus-a380-deliveries-in-2010.html
"Airbus is planning to take production to three aircraft per month, he adds, although a rate increase beyond this is 'not the most pressing issue'."

For those who lack experience or familiarity with marketing, this is exactly how a company would write a press release disclosing that a long-held intention to reach a particular production level had been abandoned.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 78):
But in all three categories (aerodynamics, structrual efficiency, propulsion) the A380 can reach 748 levels without further problems:
That would be the Trent XWB driven A389 that would overtake the 748 in every of those three aspects. I don't know why you don't see that.

Excuse me?!?!? Why do you make such an absurd and baseless accusation? I've never written anything of the sort. It's perfectly clear that such a hypothetical A380-900, in the seemingly unlikely event that it would ever be built, would exceed the current 747-8I in propulsion efficiency, aerodynamic efficiency, and possibly structural efficiency.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 78):
That plane would enjoy leadership in almost any metric over any other aircraft.

That's highly dubious. I'm not at all confident that the hypothetical A380-900 you describe would enjoy such leadership over either Keesje's Ecoliner or a re-winged 777. I'm not sure how you can be so confident that a particular hypothetical airliner could not be beaten by any other possible hypothetical airliner.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 78):
Before the A380 program is terminated with the A380-800 as last version we will 100% see that improved version.

I think there is at best about a 20% chance of realization of an A380-900XWB. The size of the market simply doesn't justify further development and certification expenses.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 78):
And it will do better on the market than the 748i.

If your hypothetical A380-900 were to be built and sell twice as well as the 747-8I, it would be a financial disaster for Airbus.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: rheinwaldner
Posted 2010-05-15 01:45:54 and read 8624 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 79):
Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 78):
But in all three categories (aerodynamics, structrual efficiency, propulsion) the A380 can reach 748 levels without further problems:
That would be the Trent XWB driven A389 that would overtake the 748 in every of those three aspects. I don't know why you don't see that.

Excuse me?!?!? Why do you make such an absurd and baseless accusation? I've never written anything of the sort.

You wrote about Whalejets and Jumbojets and about one of them leading in two of the three categories. I said, the A380 has the potential to lead any of those.

And I gave a small hint that if it is a good thing to excell in those categories why you don't believe in the prospects of an A389 XWB. The prospects are good if the changes cost less than the additionaly generated profit.

The current structure of the A380 is made for the A389, the Trent XWB will exist. What hurdles would make a combination of these things costly?

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-15 02:31:10 and read 8556 times.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 80):
The prospects are good if the changes cost less than the additionaly generated profit.

The marginal profit is necessarily small because most if not all A380-900 orders would come at the expense of cannibalizing A380-800 orders. The costs would not be small.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 80):
The current structure of the A380 is made for the A389, the Trent XWB will exist. What hurdles would make a combination of these things costly?

Even if all the engineering were already done (which is far from true), the certification costs alone would run well into nine figures. Development and certification together would certainly be in the low ten figures. Major drivers of re-engineering thousands of parts include needed increases in MTOW, MLW, and fuselage rigidity. The plan several years ago was that the freighter would have the same MTOW and MLW as the A380-900 and therefore the freighter sales would amortize the development costs of revising the landing gear, centre wingbox, etc. Now that the freighter is dead (along with the proposed A380-800R), the A380-900 would have to amortize all these development and certification costs. The freighter would have had a much easier time amortizing these costs because it would not cannibalize other WhaleJet sales, which the A380-800R and A380-900 would do.

I do believe that, if Airbus were to build an A380-900, that they could command higher margins than for the A380-800. However, I don't see this diference being large enough, in the context of heavy cannibalization, to generate sufficient marginal profit per frame (relative to the marginal profit per frame that Airbus would have enjoyed in most cases by selling an A380-800) to justify the development and certification costs.

My estimate is that, in the absence of the A380F and A380-800R, the development and certification costs of an A380-900 with XWB engines would be between 1 and 2 billion euro. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that it's only 1 billion euro. Let's also say, for the sake of argument, that only 90% of A380-900 sales would come at the expense of A380-800 sales (I suspect 95 to 98% is more realistic). Now let's assume (again rather generously) that Airbus can command marginal profit of 20 million euro per A380-800 but 25 million euro per A380-900. Given these rather generous assumptions plus the obviously false assumption that having a euro today is not preferable to having a euro ten years from now, Airbus would need to sell about 140 A380-900s to break even. Making a reasonable assumption about the future value of money, that would be about 200 to break even and about 250 within about ten years to achieve a reasonable return on investment. If any of these optimistic assumptions turn out to be wrong, then the number of sales needed would be higher.

Sales so far do not give me any confidence that Airbus could sell 250 or more A380-900s over a ten year period. I wish it were otherwise because I think an A380-900 would be extremely cool. However, if I were an EADS shareholder and Airbus were to announce an A380-900, I would sell the stock.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: PM
Posted 2010-05-15 03:17:21 and read 8496 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 79):
For those who lack experience or familiarity with marketing, this is exactly how a company would write a press release disclosing that a long-held intention to reach a particular production level had been abandoned.

Ah, so there isn't a link. Just you reading what you want to read into something else. Glad we cleared that up.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 79):
...in the seemingly unlikely event that it would ever be built [...] I'm not at all confident that the hypothetical A380-900 you describe would enjoy such leadership over [...] Keesje's Ecoliner

I think you may have returned to the planet which mysteriously disappeared fifty or so posts above. Just which of the A380-900 and "Keesje' Ecoliner" has the slightly better chance of ever seeing the light of day? Even hypothetically.   

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-15 04:05:08 and read 8473 times.

Quoting PM (Reply 82):
Ah, so there isn't a link. Just you reading what you want to read into something else. Glad we cleared that up.

I provided the link. Since the late 1990s, Airbus have consistently said they would increase production to 45 per year within a few years (of the start of production or the time of the statement, whichever was later). The quote to which I link was a clear abandonment of that production goal. If that conflicts too much with your dreams for you to see it as it plainly is, then I cannot help you.

Quoting PM (Reply 82):
Just which of the A380-900 and "Keesje' Ecoliner" has the slightly better chance of ever seeing the light of day? Even hypothetically.

Of the three hypothetical airliners listed, the one you excluded, the hypothetical re-winged 777, is obviously the one with the best chance of being realized. In the event that Boeing choose not to re-wing the 777, it will almost certainly mean that they have chosen to develop an all-new airliner to replace it. Regardless of the extent to which an all-new 777 replacement may or may not resemble Keesje's Ecoliner concept, any all-new Y3 twin would surely be more or less competitive with a hypothetical A380-900 in structural efficiency, would certainly beat an A380-900 in propulsion efficiency (because the engines would be both newer and have the advantage of a larger fan), and would certainly beat it in aerodynamic efficiency (due both to being newer and not being constrained to a sub-optimal wingspan). So, rheinwaldner's statement that "[A hypothetical XWB-engined A380-900] would enjoy leadership in almost any metric over any other aircraft." is unfounded.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: epa001
Posted 2010-05-15 04:26:13 and read 8425 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 83):
The quote to which I link was a clear abandonment of that production goal. If that conflicts too much with your dreams for you to see it as it plainly is, then I cannot help you.



Sorry Zvezda, but the link you posted states a new near term target for Airbus defined out of the current situation. It does not state for a second that they have abandoned the possible target of 45 copies per year.

If more then a couple of new customers would come in, I do not think Airbus will say to them "please wait longer since our marketing goals are now limited to about 36 copies per year".  .

The new near term target is defined based on the progress they have made on producing the A380 and based on the size of the back-log as it is right now. If they make even more progress producing the A380, or more orders then currently anticipated will come in, no doubt the production level will see a new target. And marketeers will be the first to advertise this.  .

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: astuteman
Posted 2010-05-15 04:36:39 and read 8421 times.

Quoting PM (Reply 82):
Ah, so there isn't a link. Just you reading what you want to read into something else. Glad we cleared that up.

Me too   

Quoting PM (Reply 82):
I think you may have returned to the planet which mysteriously disappeared fifty or so posts above

Too much to hope, I suspect.

Quoting PM (Reply 82):
Just which of the A380-900 and "Keesje' Ecoliner" has the slightly better chance of ever seeing the light of day? Even hypothetically.

Good question. I think the answer was essentially "the A380-900"  

Rgds

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-15 04:53:12 and read 8391 times.

Quoting epa001 (Reply 84):
Sorry Zvezda, but the link you posted states a new near term target for Airbus defined out of the current situation. It does not state for a second that they have abandoned the possible target of 45 copies per year.

If more then a couple of new customers would come in, I do not think Airbus will say to them "please wait longer since our marketing goals are now limited to about 36 copies per year".  .

The new near term target is defined based on the progress they have made on producing the A380 and based on the size of the back-log as it is right now. If they make even more progress producing the A380, or more orders then currently anticipated will come in, no doubt the production level will see a new target.

IF Airbus were to somehow start selling more than 36 per year on a consistent basis, then of course they would increase production above 36 per year. That doesn't change the fact that Airbus have clearly abandoned their long-held near-term goal of 45 per year. It also doesn't mean that Airbus would open a second production line.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: epa001
Posted 2010-05-15 05:21:42 and read 8327 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 86):
That doesn't change the fact that Airbus have clearly abandoned their long-held near-term goal of 45 per year

No, it does not. You are reading something out of the comment which could be true, but which does not necessarily has be the truth as fixed into stone. I guess we just respectfully disagree on how to interpret the statement.  .

Quoting zvezda (Reply 86):
It also doesn't mean that Airbus would open a second production line.

No, it does not automatically mean this. It could though it is highly unlikely against the maximum capacity of 45 copies per year on the current production line.  .

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: kanban
Posted 2010-05-15 09:17:42 and read 8169 times.

Several of you are having hissy fits trying to either (1) predict the future, (2) espouse unproven attributes for planes still on the drawing boards, or (3) stuck in the belief that if Airbus built additional factories to handle a 100 a/p per year production rate sales would come.

First: airlines have excess capacity now -- just look at the number of planes parked, so suppliers will only respond with increased production or new derivitives only when their customers request it and sufficient market is validated with deposits.

Second: until a design is finalized there are many trial balloons floated and many of those based on projected technology improvements.. when the improvements materialize, some meet the goal, some exceed, and some fall flat .. Some proposed designs we'll never see because although they seem to provide great leaps in technology, the public just is not ready for them (like the blended wing)

Third: the stupidity of that argument is beyond comment

Then there are the A/B bashers who are so entrenched in their belief systems that they must defend their beliefs in every thread they touch without regard to the subject at hand... I've learned the more one is unsure of their position, the louder and more irrational the argument. unfortunately for you both companies will continue to build a/c for customers who buy them based on the customer's criteria.

The gist of those that stuck to the subject is: Airbus will expand when and if sales warrant. In the meantime they need to sort out their production problems starting with late engineering all the way through standardizing the customer variables being offered.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: CHRISBA777ER
Posted 2010-05-15 22:04:32 and read 7950 times.

Quoting kanban (Reply 88):

Great post. I agree with everything you say. I have never said that if Airbus built another production line that sales would come - the market for VVLAs is small right now but the A388 is dominating it. Judging the plane and it's market by current levels and current demand is a mistake - but so is the idea that Airbus need a second production line for the A380.

Does anyone on here seriously think one is needed or warranted?

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: rheinwaldner
Posted 2010-05-16 05:13:34 and read 7800 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 81):
The marginal profit is necessarily small because most if not all A380-900 orders would come at the expense of cannibalizing A380-800 orders.

What A388 orders? According to you there will be not many more.

First you denied that the A388 would ever sell. Now you deny that it will ever sell much more. Upon that people brought up new A380 versions that could "help" selling the A380 family overall. And now suddenly you care for the dispersed relicts of A388 orders? Have you forgottten your predictions about A388 orders? Ok, it IS better for all of us to forget a lot of your A380 claims.

I am sure history already has proved wrong countless of your past statement. Embarassing things of you are stored in the archives of this site. Maybe in the future someone will have the nerves to dig into the past threads and expose the greatest A380 tales.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-16 07:04:13 and read 7745 times.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 90):
What A388 orders? According to you there will be not many more.

First you denied that the A388 would ever sell. Now you deny that it will ever sell much more. Upon that people brought up new A380 versions that could "help" selling the A380 family overall. And now suddenly you care for the dispersed relicts of A388 orders? Have you forgottten your predictions about A388 orders? Ok, it IS better for all of us to forget a lot of your A380 claims.

You clearly have already forgotten. I have never predicted that WhaleJet sales would be zero. I have consistently predicted that WhaleJet sales would never suffice for Airbus to break even on the programme. I remain confident that will prove to be correct.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 90):
I am sure history already has proved wrong countless of your past statement. Embarassing things of you are stored in the archives of this site. Maybe in the future someone will have the nerves to dig into the past threads and expose the greatest A380 tales.

I'm sure that every member of this forum who has posted a large number of predictions has been wrong from time to time, myself included. For example, I predicted a few years ago (when freighters were selling very well) that net orders for the 747-8 SuperJumbo would soon exceed net WhaleJet orders. Then the GFC hit, sales for all VLAs (passenger and freighters) dried up to a trickle, and my prediction was wrong (at least in timing).

On the other hand, some of my predictions have proven to be correct. Several years ago, a number of posters predicted that the WhaleJet would never fly. I predicted she would fly. One poster even predicted that she wouldn't roll (this may have been a mistranslation meaning that she would fail her taxi tests, but I cannot be sure). I predicted that she would roll. When the WhaleJet was first rolled out in primer, many posters complained that she was ugly -- even fugly. I predicted she would look better painted.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Revelation
Posted 2010-05-16 09:03:50 and read 7636 times.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 44):
There are people on here who would have you believe that this number will never increase ever again. Now, there are three things we know for definite are going to happen in the future - three guaranteed, nailed on, unarguable facts that not even the blindest and most willfully ignorant could ever possibly deny.

1 - Fuel Prices will go up.
2 - Population will increase, with the curve getting sharper in more developing areas.
3 - Airport congestion at major hubs will increase if there is capacity.

What does this mean for airlines?

Well, unless you are American, it means that you need to find the most efficient way of moving as many people as possible, as cheaply as possible, using a minimum of resources/cost expenditure to do it.

All of these points can be disputed, as well as the conclusion that all these points argue in favor of more VLA sales. For instance these same points can lead to more use of video teleconferencing or high speed rail.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 56):
It's also not clear that air travel demand will be sustainable if fuel prices rise dramatically. Businesses will curtail their travel expenditures, while leisure travel (particularly long hauls) may become unaffordable to the vast majority of people. Add to that governments' eagerness to impose carbon taxes on air travel, making it less and less affordable for the public.

Businesses have already clamped down on travel policies, and I think those changes are permanent. The cost of flying and the inconvenience and inefficiency have made a lot of businesses shift a lot of things that used to be done with air travel to be done with video teleconferencing. The recent volcanic ash crisis made a lot of businesses try out the alternatives, and in many cases, they have lead to more changes in air travel policies.

Quoting rwessel (Reply 67):
No question. But the (hoped for) increase in living standards in those developing countries will likely be a much more significant driver for any increase in demand for air travel than that cause by a one third increase in population. And given that low birth rates seem to be fairly well correlated with increases in per-capita GDP, its plausible that somewhat *lower* population growth would cause a greater increase in air travel demand.

  

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 68):
Population will increase in future by more than 2bn in the 40 years. That is good news for the VLA sector. Simple as that.

Not at all as simple as that. Just because another human being is born doesn't mean another air traveller is born.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: JayinKitsap
Posted 2010-05-16 13:16:27 and read 7524 times.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 90):
Quoting zvezda (Reply 81):
The marginal profit is necessarily small because most if not all A380-900 orders would come at the expense of cannibalizing A380-800 orders.

What A388 orders? According to you there will be not many more.

I think Zvezda's point was that a lot of the 389 and 388 markets overlap. An airline wanting a 389 would probably be buying the same quantity of 388 and 389's for their fleet as they would just 388's.

I personally feel that the grandeur of the 389 and fitting the wing design for both the 388 and 389 has reduced some of the possible advantages of the 388. Had it been optimized to the 388 size there would be less purchase and operation costs helping it now in the campaign against the newer twins.

In any case the 744 size and larger plane has had very few years selling over 40 units a year and a production rate of 40 VLA's is likely the maximum long term rate for the next 10 to 20 years. This is now shared between the 748 and the 380 with the two battling it out for the relative take. A single assembly line is more than sufficient.

What everyone seems to miss is the key question - how long will it be before Airbus has the 380 production running smoothly. Until it does I am sure the actual marginal cost of each is painfully above the planned cost. Cash flow only begins to improve when a portion of the sale goes beyond the unit costs.

So who is going to place a 10 unit 380 order this year?

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Revelation
Posted 2010-05-16 14:48:45 and read 7457 times.

Quoting JayinKitsap (Reply 93):
So who is going to place a 10 unit 380 order this year?
John Leahy Obviously Sold A Buch Of A380s. To Who? (by keesje May 11 2010 in Civil Aviation)

should cover that one for you, but like this thread, it's mostly degraded to the very familiar discussion of A380 break even, mostly because no one seems to know who it will be, or at least they aren't saying so publicly.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2010-05-16 15:16:42 and read 7417 times.

Quoting JayinKitsap (Reply 93):
the 744 size and larger plane has had very few years selling over 40 units a year and a production rate of 40 VLA's is likely the maximum long term rate for the next 10 to 20 years.

For info, 747 (all models) deliveries by year from Boeing orders/deliveries data. There were 13 years with deliveries of 40 or more. Top 5 years: 1970 (92), 1971 (69), 1979 (67), 1980 (73), 1990 (70).

1969 - 4 (last 3 weeks of December)
1970 - 92
1971 - 69
1972 - 30
1973 - 30
1974 - 22
1975 - 21
1976 - 27
1977 - 20
1978 - 32
1979 - 67
1980 - 73
1981 - 53
1982 - 26
1983 - 22
1984 - 16
1985 - 24
1986 - 35
1987 - 23
1988 - 24
1989 - 45 (first 744 deliveries)
1990 - 70
1991 - 64
1992 - 61
1993 - 56
1994 - 40
1995 - 25
1996 - 26
1997 - 39
1998 - 53
1999 - 47
2000 - 25
2001 - 31
2002 - 27
2003 - 19
2004 - 15
2005 - 13
2006 - 14
2007 - 16
2008 - 14
2009 - 8

[Edited 2010-05-16 15:23:20]

[Edited 2010-05-16 15:24:05]

[Edited 2010-05-16 15:28:57]

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: wsp
Posted 2010-05-16 16:18:54 and read 7361 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 91):
You clearly have already forgotten. I have never predicted that WhaleJet sales would be zero. I have consistently predicted that WhaleJet sales would never suffice for Airbus to break even on the programme. I remain confident that will prove to be correct.

Break even on the original business plan or after the additional €1bn or so that Foregeard dumped on the project or the break even after the production mess?

These are at least three different numbers associated with the term break-even point for the A380 project, and mere mortals who do not see into the future may have mistakenly assumed that your earlier predictions (you know before anyone at Airbus knew about a production problem, let alone the costs of the future workarounds) were referring to those break-even points in the 2xx copies range, the one that were relevant to the original business case and that the aircraft will in all likelihood surpass.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: PM
Posted 2010-05-16 17:47:30 and read 7305 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 91):
On the other hand, some of my predictions have proven to be correct. Several years ago, a number of posters predicted that the WhaleJet would never fly. I predicted she would fly. One poster even predicted that she wouldn't roll (this may have been a mistranslation meaning that she would fail her taxi tests, but I cannot be sure). I predicted that she would roll. When the WhaleJet was first rolled out in primer, many posters complained that she was ugly -- even fugly. I predicted she would look better painted.

Well, that convinces me.   

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: CHRISBA777ER
Posted 2010-05-16 20:00:33 and read 7233 times.

Quoting PM (Reply 97):
Quoting zvezda (Reply 91):
On the other hand, some of my predictions have proven to be correct. Several years ago, a number of posters predicted that the WhaleJet would never fly. I predicted she would fly. One poster even predicted that she wouldn't roll (this may have been a mistranslation meaning that she would fail her taxi tests, but I cannot be sure). I predicted that she would roll. When the WhaleJet was first rolled out in primer, many posters complained that she was ugly -- even fugly. I predicted she would look better painted.

Well, that convinces me

LOL I take it all back Zvezda - I'm sorry i doubted you! *rolls eyes*

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-16 20:27:28 and read 7217 times.

Quoting wsp (Reply 96):
Break even on the original business plan or after the additional €1bn or so that Foregeard dumped on the project or the break even after the production mess?

These are at least three different numbers associated with the term break-even point for the A380 project, and mere mortals who do not see into the future may have mistakenly assumed that your earlier predictions (you know before anyone at Airbus knew about a production problem, let alone the costs of the future workarounds) were referring to those break-even points in the 2xx copies range, the one that were relevant to the original business case and that the aircraft will in all likelihood surpass.

You need to consider the future value of money. If I give you a choice of 1000 euro today or 1000 euro ten years in the future, I expect you will choose 1000 euro today. Money is simply worth less in the future than in the present. The farther into the future, the less it is worth.

The original estimate of 250 deliveries to break-even would have needed to occur within about 10 to 15 years of launch. I believe it is now clear that there will not be 250 deliveries by 2016. There might or might not be 250 orders by 2016, but that would never have sufficed to break even (let alone provide a decent return on investment) even if there had not been any cost overruns.

Again, the WhaleJet is a really cool airliner, I really like flying on her (so far only on SQ, but I'm sure I'll try LH within a year), but Airbus' chances of getting a decent RoI on the programme are not much better than a snowball's chances on Venus. On the one hand that sucks; on the other hand it's important for the market to punish mistakes.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: PM
Posted 2010-05-16 20:55:48 and read 7205 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 99):
mistakes

"Mistakes"? Bad luck? Or the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune? I honestly don't know.

I guess there have been / are three key turning points.

1. The launch. A mistake? What is really relevant is not how matters appear now, a decade later, but how things looked back then. They sold 85 of them in 2001 and several leading airlines were encouraging them on. Some now claim that the writing was on the wall even back then. I'm unconvinced. At worst, the launch of the A380 was a calculated risk. But then isn't that true of any major programme? Some will always argue that the A380 was always destined to fail. Others will respectfully disagree with them. It seems unlikely that there is any meaningful way of answering the question definitively. Discussing it is a dead end. A "mistake"? The jury is still out (and always will be).

2. The production SNAFUs in the middle of this decade (and they aren't over yet). A mistake? Oh yes! Airbus dropped the ball badly and have suffered mightily for their clumsiness. A "mistake"? Yes.

3. Going forward. What now? The official Airbus line is that they've picked themselves up, are in the process of dusting themselves down, and, if not exactly "starting all over again", they are certainly opening a new chapter. They talk of raising production levels, further orders and, until they say otherwise, there is the bigger, better A380-900 to come at some point. I don't really know what else they can do. I guess they have just two options: pull the plug or keep going. The consequences of pulling the plug would be horrendous. Keep going and you never know. The A380 is about due a bit of good luck, isn't it?

As Sir Winston said, "When you're going through hell, keep going."

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: rheinwaldner
Posted 2010-05-17 01:27:52 and read 7077 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 83):
So, rheinwaldner's statement that "[A hypothetical XWB-engined A380-900] would enjoy leadership in almost any metric over any other aircraft." is unfounded.

The word almost saves me. Mostly my statement IS true. Because of eventual exceptions I added "almost".

We speak about aerodynamics, structural efficiency and propulsion. First between 748 and A380. Now you switched to compare 777 and A380. That's fine. The A389 will beat both of them in all three categories.

- I don't see how a derivatives of aluminium aircrafts (748 or 777NG) can beat the structural efficiency of an A389. At best they could match it. Once the oversized wing (for the A388) gets an adequate fuselage length the structural efficiency of the A380 IMO only will be matched by CFRP aircrafts.

- I don't see how derivatives of more than 15 year old designs (748 or 777NG) can beat the aerodynamics of an A389. At best they could match it. The 777 e.g. has a the worst frontal area to pax abreast ratio of any flying aircraft (this lead belongs to the widest single deck aircraft per default). The 777 cross section has 3.3437 sqm frontal area per pax, A330/A340 has 3.1229 sqm frontal area per pax, the 744 has about 2.8 sqm frontal area per pax, the A380 has 2.62 sqm frontal area per pax. Of course this disadvantage of the 777 is compensated by other advantages. But it IS something that must be compensated.

- I don't see how the propulsion of older base engines GEnX or GE90 can beat the Trent XWB. At best they could match it. The GE90 thrust segment will never again warrant the attention of the vendor to keep the pace of the sub-100k thust class.

Quoting JayinKitsap (Reply 93):
I think Zvezda's point was that a lot of the 389 and 388 markets overlap. An airline wanting a 389 would probably be buying the same quantity of 388 and 389's for their fleet as they would just 388's.

But first he argued along the line that the A388 will sell poorly from now on. Others mentioned the A389 that would adress that "issue" (if it turns out to be true). And then suddenly he cares about A388 sales? Common!

The A389 will not take away A388 sales because Airbus will not hurry to offer it until lacking A388 sales need to be to "cured".

If he is right that the A388 will not reach 400...500 sales by itself, the A389 is a very probable answer to fix that shortcomming.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: wsp
Posted 2010-05-17 06:38:53 and read 6945 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 99):
The original estimate of 250 deliveries to break-even would have needed to occur within about 10 to 15 years of launch. I believe it is now clear that there will not be 250 deliveries by 2016. There might or might not be 250 orders by 2016, but that would never have sufficed to break even (let alone provide a decent return on investment) even if there had not been any cost overruns.

Your prediction was based on the fundamentals of the business case. It did not include or foresee the design/production fuck up that delayed the first delivery significantly, slowed production and led to the cancellation of the A380F orders.

There is no reason to believe that the original business plan for the product without the production problems would not have been met or had come reasonably close both in volume and time frame.

If your doctor tells you that you have cancer and will die within 6 months and your cancer suddenly goes away but you die in a car accident two months later, then your doctor doesn't get to say "I told you so".

Quoting zvezda (Reply 99):
Again, the WhaleJet is a really cool airliner, I really like flying on her (so far only on SQ, but I'm sure I'll try LH within a year), but Airbus' chances of getting a decent RoI on the programme are not much better than a snowball's chances on Venus. On the one hand that sucks; on the other hand it's important for the market to punish mistakes.

I would never question your undying love for the A380, not even when in the middle of the production problems and weeks before the SQ add-on order you advocated that Airbus' best course of action would be to scrap the whole project immediately. As they say: if you love them, set them free...

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: ScottB
Posted 2010-05-17 07:47:06 and read 6854 times.

Quoting wsp (Reply 102):
Your prediction was based on the fundamentals of the business case. It did not include or foresee the design/production f*** up that delayed the first delivery significantly, slowed production and led to the cancellation of the A380F orders.

There is no reason to believe that the original business plan for the product without the production problems would not have been met or had come reasonably close both in volume and time frame.

Actually, the cancellation of the A380F orders likely has saved Airbus money so far, since the design and certification costs for a grand total of 27 orders (as of the time of the program cancellation) would have very likely more than wiped out the gross margins on the aircraft. It's not even clear that UPS would have ordered any A380F's if they hadn't wanted to get out of the remainder of their A300F order at the time; the A380F in that case cannibalized orders for what had been a profitable program.

But the order picture so far does not point to financial success even outside the production problems.

Quoting PM (Reply 100):
1. The launch. A mistake? What is really relevant is not how matters appear now, a decade later, but how things looked back then. They sold 85 of them in 2001 and several leading airlines were encouraging them on.

Yes, the launch was the mistake -- because the predictions of market size were simply way out of touch with reality. Again, I argue that Airbus's predictions of total available market for A380-sized aircraft were driven by a need to justify the program, rather than the market forecast driving the product decision. They looked enviously at Boeing's margins on the 747-400 at the peak of that program and wanted a piece of the pie, without recognizing that the demand for that particular market segment was shrinking -- profoundly impacted by the appearance of smaller airliners with comparable range as well as the ongoing evolution to more hub-to-point routes. And I don't doubt that the prestige of building the world's largest passenger airliners played a part as well.

Airbus sold 85 in 2001 because they were pushing the product hard and offering what were reportedly extremely attractive launch discounts. I would expect that discounted launch orders were included in the calculation of the break-even point, but the slowing of sales even before the well-publicized production difficulties indicates, to me, weak demand outside of the availability of discounted launch pricing.

Quoting PM (Reply 100):
2. The production SNAFUs in the middle of this decade (and they aren't over yet). A mistake? Oh yes! Airbus dropped the ball badly and have suffered mightily for their clumsiness. A "mistake"? Yes.

The strange thing is, I'm far more willing to give them a pass here since stuff happens. Of course they shouldn't make mistakes like that, although the product launch decision should carry a risk analysis along the lines of "what happens if we really mess this one up?"

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: PM
Posted 2010-05-17 09:01:25 and read 6813 times.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 103):
a risk analysis along the lines of "what happens if we really mess this one up?"

I won't disagree but it's easier to say than to do. In effect, I'm CEO of a small $3M a year business (which I'm still trying to get my head around) and each year over the past four years our "best guesses" have been blown away by the winds of the unexpected.

What's that great quote from some politician? Q. "What's the thing you most fear?" A. "Events..."

If "events" are hard to cope with, they're a damned sight harder to predict!

SARS, 9-11, swine flu, the volcano, oil up to $X a barrel and then back down to half that... You wanna predict the future? Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen. Faites vos jeux!

Life is a roller coaster to a destination we never even knew existed. How many of us twenty years ago thought we'd spend our time on a blue website (a WHAT?!) throwing brickbats at people we have never met and never will meet?

But, I hear you say, that's you and me. The big companies... now they employ 'experts' whose job it is to look into the future and... And what? And guess just like the rest of us, if they're honest!

If it was easy, then RR wouldn't have gone bankrupt building the RB211, Lockheed would still be making airliners, McDonnell Douglas would still be making airliners, Fokker would still be making airliners, Pratt & Whitney would still be #1 in civil aviation, Pan Am would still be flying, Swissair would still be flying, Airbus would have sold 500 A340-600s and Boeing would have sold 500 757-300s.

It may even be this uncertainty that gives us our kicks. Will the A380 die an ignominious death? (I'm a fan and even I accept that it might.) Will it confound its critics, start racking up 40 orders a year, and go on to become the staple of long-haul airlines? (Never say never.)

Will Nadal replace Federer? Will Man City win the Premiership? Will Obama be re-elected in 2012? Will the A350 fly on time? Will Boeing launch the 787-10? Will the C-Series succeed or fail? Will the GTF revive Pratt's fortunes? When I finish this bottle of Argentinian Chardonnay, is there another one in the fridge? How dull life would be if we knew the answer to these questions.

We like to think that 'Big Business' knows what it's doing but my hunch is that it doesn't. United launches TED; United scraps TED. Delta launches Song; Delta scraps Song. Lufthansa says that global alliances are not the way forward; Lufthansa launches Star. BA say (circa 1995) that the smallest plane they'll be flying into LHR by 2000 will be the 757; BA orders A319s. BA buy TAT and launch Deutsche BA. (Oops.) BA launch Go! (and then get cold feet.) BA come out with the wonderful 'world tails' concept (and then get cold feet).

You and I blunder through life, trying to do our best, getting it right some of the time, messing up more often than we'd like, stubbing our toe every now and again, enjoying delightfully unexpected moments of triumph when we hardly expect them, counting our blessings, cursing our misfortunes, crossing our fingers, and hoping for the best.

Are Boeing or Airbus or any other big entity ultimately that different?

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2010-05-17 09:42:39 and read 6741 times.

Quoting PM (Reply 104):
Are Boeing or Airbus or any other big entity ultimately that different?

I imagine it's not just blind luck that has kept Boeing in business for almost a century or allowed Airbus to grow from a "one hit wonder" to a co-dominant commercial aviation company in a quarter of that time.

They certainly make mistakes and missteps, but they also appear to chart a real course and while it doesn't always keep them off the rocks and shoals, they do seem to navigate more than by blundering from waypoint to waypoint.   That being said, I agree with you that corporations are clearly not prescient, much less omniscient.

And the infatuation with the short-term outlook - not just with the A380, but also the 747-8 and even the A350 and 787 - does seem to be perplexing on anything more than a "fanatic" (as opposed to "fan") view of such programs.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: WingedMigrator
Posted 2010-05-17 10:10:00 and read 6673 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 81):
Now let's assume (again rather generously) that Airbus can command marginal profit of 20 million euro per A380-800 but 25 million euro per A380-900.

Your analysis is sensitively dependent on this assumption, and its 'generosity' is rather debatable.

The marginal profit is the difference in sale price minus the difference in construction cost for the -900 vs. the -800. If you wanted to be generous, you might assume that the cost to build a -900 would be largely the same as a -800... with perhaps a million or two in additional materials. Labor and tooling would be quite similar. Again if you wanted to be generous, you would assume that the -900 would sell for significantly more than the -800; let's use for the sake of argument the ratio between the 77L and 77W (8 percent).

Thinking about it in those terms, would the difference in marginal profit really be just 5 million euro?

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-17 11:01:42 and read 6627 times.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 101):
We speak about aerodynamics, structural efficiency and propulsion. First between 748 and A380. Now you switched to compare 777 and A380. That's fine. The A389 will beat both of them in all three categories.

That last sentence is extremely dubious, for the reasons I've already given in previous posts and those below.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 101):
I don't see how a derivatives of aluminium aircrafts (748 or 777NG) can beat the structural efficiency of an A389. At best they could match it. Once the oversized wing (for the A388) gets an adequate fuselage length the structural efficiency of the A380 IMO only will be matched by CFRP aircrafts.

The 777-300ER and 747-8I already beat the A380-800 in structural efficiency and not by just a little bit. The A380-900 would need to beat the A380-800 by a considerable margin to beat the 777-300ER and 747-8I. It remains to be seen whether or not this is possible.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 101):
I don't see how derivatives of more than 15 year old designs (748 or 777NG) can beat the aerodynamics of an A389. At best they could match it. The 777 e.g. has a the worst frontal area to pax abreast ratio of any flying aircraft (this lead belongs to the widest single deck aircraft per default). The 777 cross section has 3.3437 sqm frontal area per pax, A330/A340 has 3.1229 sqm frontal area per pax, the 744 has about 2.8 sqm frontal area per pax, the A380 has 2.62 sqm frontal area per pax. Of course this disadvantage of the 777 is compensated by other advantages. But it IS something that must be compensated.

Frontal area is a minor factor. Wetted area is a lot more important. The biggest factor though is the wing. This is why the WhaleJet beats the 747-8I in overall efficiency, despite the JumboJet's advantages in structural efficiency and propulsion efficiency. A 777 with an all-new 79-80m CFRP wing would handily beat any WhaleJet (unless Airbus give it an all-new 100m CFRP wing) in aerodynamic efficiency.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 101):
I don't see how the propulsion of older base engines GEnX or GE90 can beat the Trent XWB. At best they could match it. The GE90 thrust segment will never again warrant the attention of the vendor to keep the pace of the sub-100k thust class.

Larger fan diameter is an advantage in propulsion efficiency. It's one of the main reasons why twins have beaten quads in the market.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 101):
But first he argued along the line that the A388 will sell poorly from now on. Others mentioned the A389 that would adress that "issue" (if it turns out to be true). And then suddenly he cares about A388 sales? Common!

The A389 will not take away A388 sales because Airbus will not hurry to offer it until lacking A388 sales need to be to "cured".

If he is right that the A388 will not reach 400...500 sales by itself, the A389 is a very probable answer to fix that shortcomming.

The simple fact remains that whether one believes that Airbus can sell 50 more WhaleJets or 500 more, any A380-900 sales would most likely come at the expense of A380-800 sales. In other words, anyone who would buy an A380-900 would most likely have bought an A380-800 were the A380-900 not available. That is a major factor in the decision whether or not to spend 1 or 2 billion euro to develop and certify an A380-900.

Quoting wsp (Reply 102):
Your prediction was based on the fundamentals of the business case. It did not include or foresee the design/production fuck up that delayed the first delivery significantly, slowed production and led to the cancellation of the A380F orders.

There is no reason to believe that the original business plan for the product without the production problems would not have been met or had come reasonably close both in volume and time frame.

At a meeting with senior Airbus management in 1988, I told them that if they were to launch the A3XX, they would lose money on the programme. They kept making arguments like: "We need a complete product line." "We need a plane bigger than the 747." and so on. I brought up what would happen if Boeing were to re-wing the JumboJet. "They will never do that." I came away convinced that they simply believed what they wanted to believe and that objective analysis was not allowed to interfere in the decision due to political, psychological, and emotional reasons. Nothing that has happened since indicates that I was wrong.

Quoting wsp (Reply 102):
I would never question your undying love for the A380, not even when in the middle of the production problems and weeks before the SQ add-on order you advocated that Airbus' best course of action would be to scrap the whole project immediately

At no time after its launch did I ever propose that Airbus should immediately scrap the WhaleJet. What I did propose was that, in order to focus the attention of management on the much more important A350 programme, that Airbus should announce a future date after which they would not accept any more WhaleJet orders, permit existing customers to cancel without penalty, and then build as many as there were orders. That is very different from "scrap the whole project immediately" but is typical of how fanatics like to misrepresent my statements.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: ScottB
Posted 2010-05-17 11:02:50 and read 6617 times.

Quoting PM (Reply 104):
SARS, 9-11, swine flu, the volcano, oil up to $X a barrel and then back down to half that... You wanna predict the future? Place your bets, ladies and gentlemen. Faites vos jeux!

The thing is, there had been plenty of disruptions to the industry in the past with similar impacts -- the Asian Economic Crisis of the late 1990's, the first Gulf War, the Arab Oil Embargo and oil price shocks of the 1970's, spikes in the price of oil in the 1980's, etc. Of course the only thing which is certain is uncertainty -- but by the same token, using the market situation of 1995-1999 (not to mention 2004-2007) to predict the future was fundamentally flawed at best.

Quoting PM (Reply 104):
But, I hear you say, that's you and me. The big companies... now they employ 'experts' whose job it is to look into the future and... And what? And guess just like the rest of us, if they're honest!

Oh, I don't doubt that at all. But what I find to be exceedingly grating is the sycophantic bleating of some who claim, "oh, the management of these companies must certainly know better because it's their job to know better," when frankly, that is often far from the case. Some defended the ludicrous Airbus "sampler pack" orders placed by Kingfisher since clearly Vijay Mallya must have known what he was doing because UB Group was successful in the brewing business. (I'll leave it to someone else to insert a ridiculous order for Boeings if they have one in mind.)

Quoting PM (Reply 104):
If it was easy, then RR wouldn't have gone bankrupt building the RB211, Lockheed would still be making airliners, McDonnell Douglas would still be making airliners, Fokker would still be making airliners, Pratt & Whitney would still be #1 in civil aviation, Pan Am would still be flying, Swissair would still be flying, Airbus would have sold 500 A340-600s and Boeing would have sold 500 757-300s.

Of course it's not easy -- but you can probably break down the list of reasons for failure to a one or more of a limited set; i.e. failure to adapt to changing market conditions, failure to deliver products, poor investments, or crowded market segment. There have been several threads criticizing GE Aircraft Engines for eschewing the development of a new engine for the A350XWB (required to power the -1000) when it's very likely that they could never make a profit on such a program when having to split the market with RR. MD-D's struggles in the commercial business most likely stem in part from all of its post DC-9 products being in crowded markets and not having a real stand-out. And once Airbus was shepherded into being a viable competitor to Boeing, the airlines didn't need MD-D anymore. By the same token, Airbus made a savvy decision to upsize the A350 away from the 787 -- assuring a sizable market segment for itself.

But just because it's not easy to make the tough decisions doesn't excuse those leading the organizations from blame. It's a shame Forgeard can't be sacked twice for the decision to launch the A380 and the production snafus. Phil Condit needed to go for any number of reasons, too.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: wsp
Posted 2010-05-17 12:35:35 and read 6546 times.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 103):
Actually, the cancellation of the A380F orders likely has saved Airbus money so far, since the design and certification costs for a grand total of 27 orders (as of the time of the program cancellation) would have very likely more than wiped out the gross margins on the aircraft. It's not even clear that UPS would have ordered any A380F's if they hadn't wanted to get out of the remainder of their A300F order at the time; the A380F in that case cannibalized orders for what had been a profitable program.

We have only the business plan that included both the freighter development costs and the accordingly higher break-even point. We might agree that the freighter was in of itself less likely to be profitable than the total project, but we simply don't have the numbers for such a theoretical freighter-less business plan and the lower break-even point that such plan would have had.

So we can only work with the 250 figure and ask the question, was it reasonable for Airbus to assume that they could sell a mix of 250 passenger/freighters within the planned time frame (which we can only guess to be 10-15 years)? In that context you have to at least include the Fedex planes in the consideration.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 107):
At a meeting with senior Airbus management in 1988, I told them that if they were to launch the A3XX, they would lose money on the programme. They kept making arguments like: "We need a complete product line." "We need a plane bigger than the 747." and so on. I brought up what would happen if Boeing were to re-wing the JumboJet. "They will never do that." I came away convinced that they simply believed what they wanted to believe and that objective analysis was not allowed to interfere in the decision due to political, psychological, and emotional reasons. Nothing that has happened since indicates that I was wrong.

Yes, I remember you telling that story before. Are you sure it was in 88 not in 98?

Out of curiosity, what did you tell them what would happen if Boeing were to re-wing the 747? Remember, just because arrogant Airbus execs were wrong about Boeing updating the 747 doesn't make your predictions right.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 107):
At no time after its launch did I ever propose that Airbus should immediately scrap the WhaleJet. What I did propose was that, in order to focus the attention of management on the much more important A350 programme, that Airbus should announce a future date after which they would not accept any more WhaleJet orders, permit existing customers to cancel without penalty, and then build as many as there were orders. That is very different from "scrap the whole project immediately" but is typical of how fanatics like to misrepresent my statements.

Frankly that is not how I remember it, but since I am too lazy to search through archives I'll accept your version of reality. Your proposal then was to lock up all the engineering resources with fixing the A380 (and burning further cash in the process) while only minor engineering work can be done on the A350. And then, once the A380 has been re-engineered and can finally be manufactured seamlessly, let the project die a slow death? Does that correctly reflect your views at the time?

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2010-05-17 12:59:35 and read 6486 times.

Quoting wsp (Reply 109):
So we can only work with the 250 figure and ask the question, was it reasonable for Airbus to assume that they could sell a mix of 250 passenger/freighters within the planned time frame (which we can only guess to be 10-15 years)?

Such a goal seemed reasonable to me at the time. They launched with 50 orders, including 7 A380Fs. In 2001, when those launch orders were firmed, the total had risen to 85. By 2003, they were halfway there with over 129 and by 2005 they had added an additional 30. Not until 2006 and 2007, when the production snafus became apparent and the 777 Freighter looked like it would be a winner (based on how well the 77W was doing in both flight test and service) did the program record losses - the 27 A388Fs - but it also recorded 34 more orders/conversions for the A388, so the program was still "order positive".

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-17 13:01:05 and read 6487 times.

Quoting wsp (Reply 109):
Yes, I remember you telling that story before. Are you sure it was in 88 not in 98?

Yes, 1998. 1988 was a typo. Mea culpa.

Quoting wsp (Reply 109):
Out of curiosity, what did you tell them what would happen if Boeing were to re-wing the 747?

It was a rhetorical question with an obvious answer. The salient point is that they were betting on Boeing to not re-wing the 747. In the end, Boeing did about half of a re-winging. That (along with new engines) turned out to be enough to win all of the freighter VLA market and a substantial minority of the passenger VLA market.

Quoting wsp (Reply 109):
Remember, just because arrogant Airbus execs were wrong about Boeing updating the 747 doesn't make your predictions right.

That's true. The only thing that made my predictions right was that they matched what actually happened.

Quoting wsp (Reply 109):
Frankly that is not how I remember it, but since I am too lazy to search through archives I'll accept your version of reality. Your proposal then was to lock up all the engineering resources with fixing the A380 (and burning further cash in the process) while only minor engineering work can be done on the A350. And then, once the A380 has been re-engineered and can finally be manufactured seamlessly, let the project die a slow death? Does that correctly reflect your views at the time?

That is very nearly as gross a misrepresentation of what I wrote as your first misrepresentation. Under my proposal, Airbus would have allocated fewer engineering resources to the WhaleJet and more to the A350 than they actually did, not vice versa as you suggest.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: ScottB
Posted 2010-05-17 13:14:46 and read 6453 times.

Quoting wsp (Reply 109):
So we can only work with the 250 figure and ask the question, was it reasonable for Airbus to assume that they could sell a mix of 250 passenger/freighters within the planned time frame (which we can only guess to be 10-15 years)? In that context you have to at least include the Fedex planes in the consideration.

To answer that question, you have to look back at the market projections from the launch date. Airbus predicted a market of 1600 over 20 years, of which they would capture half. Boeing predicted a market of 600 over 20 years. Ten years into that span of time, Airbus has captured roughly 200 orders, while Boeing has captured roughly 100 orders for the 747-8. So it looks like Boeing's total available market projections were correct, while Airbus succeeded in capturing a greater share of the market than originally projected (although the 747-8 has only been available for about half the ten-year period).

How could two organizations with people who presumably know their markets come to such vastly different conclusions? In my mind, the A380 drove the market size projection -- in order to provide justification for the launch. Airbus and Boeing had been cooperating on a VLA joint venture in the 1990's until Boeing pulled out. Airbus management most likely looked at Boeing's pull-out as being an attempt to protect the 747's market, and there probably is a grain of truth to that, but it's also likely that Boeing looked at the market size for the VLA and decided that the potential return could not justify their cost of capital.

Few A380 boosters are willing to mention that the A380 was a European prestige project as well -- so failure to launch would have been seen as a black eye for Airbus and the united Europe.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2010-05-17 13:22:29 and read 6440 times.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 112):
How could two organizations with people who presumably know their markets come to such vastly different conclusions? In my mind, the A380 drove the market size projection -- in order to provide justification for the launch.

Then again, Boeing certainly was not afraid to be "bullish" on projections when they were pushing their various 747 variants between 1995 and 2005 and today still seem to believe the 747-8 family will sell well north of 500 frames with the passenger model being the significantly more popular model, even though the freighter started stronger and seems to have the best market viability going forward.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2010-05-17 13:29:13 and read 6431 times.

On another track, the argument has been made that the 747 was often bought for it's range more than it's capacity and that accounted for a not-insignificant number of orders.

The A380-800 already outflies everything but the A340-500 and 777-200LR at MZFW and between decreases in OEW, increases in TOW and general improvements, the A340-500's range is looking to be an achievable goal.

So is it not beyond the realm of possibility that customers might have bought in part the A380-800 for her range as much as her capacity? And with the current generation of twins (787 and A350) not looking like they will be able to match the A380-800's range at MZFW, might she continue to record orders because she can fly farther?

[Edited 2010-05-17 13:30:35]

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: ScottB
Posted 2010-05-17 13:32:18 and read 6421 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 113):
Boeing certainly was not afraid to be "bullish" on projections when they were pushing their various 747 variants between 1995 and 2005 and today still seem to believe the 747-8 family will sell well north of 500 frames with the passenger model being the significantly more popular model, even though the freighter started stronger and seems to have the best market viability going forward.

500 seems pie-in-the-sky optimistic for the 747-8, given the experience of the last decade. But I do give them credit for making the right decision and killing the 747-500/600.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2010-05-17 17:50:14 and read 6332 times.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 115):
But I do give them credit for making the right decision and killing the 747-500/600.

They killed it because TG, MH and BA all backed out of their commitments to order it, leaving no customers.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: astuteman
Posted 2010-05-17 22:12:51 and read 6279 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 107):
The 777-300ER and 747-8I already beat the A380-800 in structural efficiency and not by just a little bit.

On what metric?

A380-800 (current) - 1.97 m2 cabin space per tonne OEW
A380-800 (2012) - 2.00 m2 cabin space per tonne OEW

773ER - 1.99 m2 cabin space per tonne OEW
748i - 2.10 m2 cabin space per tonne OEW

A380-900 (6m stretch) - 2.16 m2 cabin space per tonne OEW

(and for fun..)

A380-1000 - S U-H (12m stretch) - 2.33 m2 cabin space per tonne OEW  

(and for reference)

787-8 - 1.96 m2 cabin space per tonne OEW

Per accommodateable passenger, there's actually precious little difference, with the exception perhaps, that one of the frames has huge growth potential already built in.

The "heaviness" of the A380 is somewhat exaggerated IMO   

Quoting zvezda (Reply 107):
A 777 with an all-new 79-80m CFRP wing would handily beat any WhaleJet

In aerodynamics, it might. It's structural efficiency would absolutely suck. 80m wings are HEAVY, CFRP or no CFRP.
Once again, that will ultimately be a trade-off, as the 787-9 clearly shows.
Personally I don't see a 350 tonne 773NG getting an 80m wing

Quoting zvezda (Reply 107):
Larger fan diameter is an advantage in propulsion efficiency. It's one of the main reasons why twins have beaten quads in the market.

The difference in fan diameter between the Trent XWB and GE90-115 isn't that large.
No larger than the difference between the Trent XWB and the GEnx..

Quoting zvezda (Reply 107):
The simple fact remains that whether one believes that Airbus can sell 50 more WhaleJets or 500 more, any A380-900 sales would most likely come at the expense of A380-800 sales

Unless more efficient planes like a 777NG have emasculated A380-800 sales...

Quoting zvezda (Reply 107):
At a meeting with senior Airbus management in 1988, I told them that if they were to launch the A3XX, they would lose money on the programme

Things start to become clear...

Quoting zvezda (Reply 111):
The salient point is that they were betting on Boeing to not re-wing the 747. In the end, Boeing did about half of a re-winging. That (along with new engines) turned out to be enough to win all of the freighter VLA market

Which they would have had anyway, without the 748, it turns out.  
Quoting zvezda (Reply 111):
The only thing that made my predictions right was that they matched what actually happened.

Things are still "happening" of course. The race is not run yet   

Rgds

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: PM
Posted 2010-05-18 00:19:20 and read 6231 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 107):
At a meeting with senior Airbus management in 1998, I told them that if they were to launch the A3XX, they would lose money on the programme.

May I respectfully ask in what capacity (and at what age) you were advising the senior management of Airbus twelve years ago? I don't doubt you. I'm just curious to know what expertise you brought to their table.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: zvezda
Posted 2010-05-18 02:06:21 and read 6168 times.

Quoting PM (Reply 118):
May I respectfully ask in what capacity (and at what age) you were advising the senior management of Airbus twelve years ago? I don't doubt you. I'm just curious to know what expertise you brought to their table.

I was working for an investment bank.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: PM
Posted 2010-05-18 02:23:45 and read 6146 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 119):
I was working for an investment bank.

Thank you.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: rheinwaldner
Posted 2010-05-18 03:47:28 and read 6056 times.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 107):
That last sentence is extremely dubious, for the reasons I've already given in previous posts and those below.

Yes, I know! The opinion of others is always extremely dubious, while the own opinion never is questionable. I am not sure that my views are more dubious than yours.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 107):
Frontal area is a minor factor. Wetted area is a lot more important.

Wettet area of total circumference per pax:
777: 2.16
747: 2.038
A380: 1.36

Quoting zvezda (Reply 107):
Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 101):
I don't see how the propulsion of older base engines GEnX or GE90 can beat the Trent XWB. At best they could match it. The GE90 thrust segment will never again warrant the attention of the vendor to keep the pace of the sub-100k thust class.

Larger fan diameter is an advantage in propulsion efficiency. It's one of the main reasons why twins have beaten quads in the market.

I know. But the GEnX and the Trent XWB are still better because strong competition and the much larger market volumes dictate the highest technological progress in the sub 100k thrust class.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 107):
That is a major factor in the decision whether or not to spend 1 or 2 billion euro to develop and certify an A380-900.

Sure! The ROI determines worthwhile efforts.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 107):
At a meeting with senior Airbus management in 1988, I told them that if they were to launch the A3XX, they would lose money on the programme.

In what timespan? You would be right if you would have said: "...they would lose money on the programme until 2010". Overall or until a far away point on the time axis this prediction is as dubious as it was in 1998.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 107):
I brought up what would happen if Boeing were to re-wing the JumboJet. "They will never do that." I came away convinced that they simply believed what they wanted to believe and that objective analysis was not allowed to interfere in the decision due to political, psychological, and emotional reasons. Nothing that has happened since indicates that I was wrong.

Not allowing objective analysis to interfere with political, psychological, and emotional (and national) reasons much more comes across in the form of A380 critique.

Quoting zvezda (Reply 107):
What I did propose was that, in order to focus the attention of management on the much more important A350 programme, that Airbus should announce a future date after which they would not accept any more WhaleJet orders, permit existing customers to cancel without penalty, and then build as many as there were orders.

How would that have helped with finances and resources? A pure joke...

Quoting zvezda (Reply 107):
In other words, anyone who would buy an A380-900 would most likely have bought an A380-800 were the A380-900 not available.

This is only true if the A388 stays competitive for a longer time. But if you think that the A388 will sell well in the future you are right. I probably only have missed a more obvious statement that you think it will sell well.

(you can't have it all: If the A388 is doomed the A389 will not take away A388 sales, it will generate otherwise lost sales. But if the A388 is not doomed you have been wrong for years too).

Look, we disagree about two things and agree about one thing.

We agree that the A388 will not stay competitive!

We disagree when this will happen!

And after it happens we disagree how Airbus can extend the A380 families life. You seem to deny that stretching the A388 is as promising as stretching other aircrafts. But we (read the other contributions that support this view as well) have established the fact that the A389 will succed to recreate leadership in many key-metrics as efficiency, CASM vs any competitor.

A fictional example: Assume for a moment that the 772ER would have experienced serious competition by A343/Superfan. In such a situation you have to agree that the 773ER would be a good idea if only to save the 777 families' butt.


Quoting zvezda (Reply 111):
It was a rhetorical question with an obvious answer. The salient point is that they were betting on Boeing to not re-wing the 747. In the end, Boeing did about half of a re-winging. That (along with new engines) turned out to be enough to win all of the freighter VLA market and a substantial minority of the passenger VLA market.

Nice propaganda! (propaganda works by statements that are true with some restrictions but the restrictions remain unnoted). To show what I mean I correct your sentence in brackets:

- Wrong because uncompleted: "...turned out to be enough to win all of the freighter VLA market and a substantial minority of the passenger VLA market"

It is wrong because universally and for all times this is not true. You have to ask what VLA market and in what times. Add one qualifying word and the statement is correct:

- Correct: "...turned out to be enough to win all of the (past) freighter VLA market and a substantial minority of the passenger VLA market"

Quoting zvezda (Reply 111):
In the end, Boeing did about half of a re-winging.

Which proved Airbus' view to be correct (They did not rewing the 747).

Quoting ScottB (Reply 112):
To answer that question, you have to look back at the market projections from the launch date. Airbus predicted a market of 1600 over 20 years, of which they would capture half. Boeing predicted a market of 600 over 20 years. Ten years into that span of time, Airbus has captured roughly 200 orders, while Boeing has captured roughly 100 orders for the 747-8. So it looks like Boeing's total available market projections were correct, while Airbus succeeded in capturing a greater share of the market than originally projected (although the 747-8 has only been available for about half the ten-year period).

And today? Boeing predicts over 1000 new deliveries. 550 pax aicrafts. In other words Boeing says the A380 will even reach break even! Boeing does not share Zvezdas view.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 103):
Actually, the cancellation of the A380F orders likely has saved Airbus money so far, since the design and certification costs for a grand total of 27 orders (as of the time of the program cancellation) would have very likely more than wiped out the gross margins on the aircraft.

How convenient to blend out the future when making biased statements! How can you be sure that no further sales would have happened? Your remark of course is correct ("as of the time of the program cancellation") but it makes the conclusion meaningless. Because what other aircraft is judged according its pre-EIS sales? It is far from certain that eventually A380 freighters will not cruise through the skies. Even new build ones.

The A380 would be the most efficient freighter that ideally could serve the largest cargo market.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2010-05-18 08:00:21 and read 5969 times.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 121):
The A380 would be the most efficient freighter that ideally could serve the largest cargo market.

The A380-800F's forté was volume and that was maximized with lower-density cargo, like express freight.

As the density of the cargo rose, which is more reflective of the "general" cargo currently hauled around by carriers like Cargolux, Atlas, NCA and such, the A380-800F could not be fully filled. Airbus' own figures showed that at "general cargp" densities, an A380 would fly with 15% empty space compared to express freight.

This may very well have been why "general cargo" operators continued to buy 747 freighters (new build and converted) instead of the A380-800F. And if FX and 5X bought it more for it's range (at the time it was the only freighter capable of flying non-stop from Asia to their hubs in MEM/IND/SDF), now that the 777 Freighter can do it, they don't need the A380-800F anymore for that.

And it is why I remain skeptical that Airbus will choose to bring the A380-800 freighter out of mothballs and offer it for sale once again. I just don't believe there is a strong enough market for it.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: ScottB
Posted 2010-05-18 08:54:45 and read 5925 times.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 121):
How convenient to blend out the future when making biased statements! How can you be sure that no further sales would have happened? Your remark of course is correct ("as of the time of the program cancellation") but it makes the conclusion meaningless. Because what other aircraft is judged according its pre-EIS sales? It is far from certain that eventually A380 freighters will not cruise through the skies. Even new build ones.

The design of the A380 made it far from ideal as a freighter for most operators. The upper deck cannot be eliminated from the structure, so general cargo operators lose the flexibility to carry outsize cargo. The upper deck also requires the cargo operator to have special equipment for loading and unloading that deck, which typically reduces the set of airports which can be served (since the operator is unlikely to invest in that equipment for airports which might see an A380F a handful of times each year).

And as Stitch mentioned, the availability of the A380F did little to deter the cargo carriers from continuing to order 747F's, even before the 747-8F was launched. The A380F had made its sales to the two likely purchasers -- FX and 5X -- and even 5X probably would not have ordered had they not been stuck with a large order for A300F's which they no longer wanted.

Why did they even launch the A380F? Did Airbus have a fundamental misunderstanding of the function and operation of the 747F for the cargo carriers? (This seems unlikely.) Did they need to justify their market size forecast? They clearly must have known that a not insignificant part of the 747 market was for freighters. Did they just want to attack Boeing's margins for 747F's?

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 121):
And today? Boeing predicts over 1000 new deliveries. 550 pax aicrafts. In other words Boeing says the A380 will even reach break even!

550 passenger aircraft over 20 years is still well below Airbus's original projections. Moreover, for profit companies don't undertake projects just to break even -- it's a waste of capital. Do you invest hoping to just break even?

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Revelation
Posted 2010-05-18 09:03:57 and read 5921 times.

I don't agree with any part of the statement:

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 121):
I know. But the GEnX and the Trent XWB are still better because strong competition and the much larger market volumes dictate the highest technological progress in the sub 100k thrust class.

So following your logic, A380 must have lower amounts of "technological progress" because it's in the smallest market volume wise?  

Of course not.

The planes with the smaller markets need to be the most advanced otherwise they won't reach the CASM levels needed to make them attractive to airlines.

And yes, A380 is very advanced technologically, whether some here believe it or not.

Also GE90-115B had strong competition to earn its way onto the 777:

Quote:

A more-powerful engine in the 100,000 lbf (440 kN) and higher thrust class was required, leading to active discussions between Boeing and the engine manufacturers. General Electric offered to develop the GE90-115B engine,[39] while Rolls-Royce proposed developing the Trent 8104 engine.[71]

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GE90

So unless you think the Trent 800 series is crap, the whole statement falls flat on its face.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: rheinwaldner
Posted 2010-05-19 00:54:02 and read 5737 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 122):
This may very well have been why "general cargo" operators continued to buy 747 freighters (new build and converted) instead of the A380-800F. And if FX and 5X bought it more for it's range (at the time it was the only freighter capable of flying non-stop from Asia to their hubs in MEM/IND/SDF), now that the 777 Freighter can do it, they don't need the A380-800F anymore for that.

And it is why I remain skeptical that Airbus will choose to bring the A380-800 freighter out of mothballs and offer it for sale once again. I just don't believe there is a strong enough market for it.

I am skeptical too! Especially for new builds. But I would not rule out eventual cargo conversions.

However as a package freighter the excessive volume could prove useful and the effciency per carried tonne should also be unbeatable.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 123):
Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 121):
And today? Boeing predicts over 1000 new deliveries. 550 pax aicrafts. In other words Boeing says the A380 will even reach break even!

550 passenger aircraft over 20 years is still well below Airbus's original projections. Moreover, for profit companies don't undertake projects just to break even -- it's a waste of capital. Do you invest hoping to just break even?

You need to consider from where we are coming from. I just meant that even Boeing supports a little rosier outlook than predicted by many many posters for years...

Quoting Revelation (Reply 124):
Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 121):
I know. But the GEnX and the Trent XWB are still better because strong competition and the much larger market volumes dictate the highest technological progress in the sub 100k thrust class.

So following your logic, A380 must have lower amounts of "technological progress" because it's in the smallest market volume wise?

Of course not.

The comparison somehow does not work because in reality the two compared outcomes are opposite. The GEnX and Trent XWB have indead a better TSFC than the GE90 will ever have yet the A380 is the most sophisticated aircraft of its time and will be the most sophisticated alu-aircraft of all times. According to the "logic" you could be "right" but we are not guessing about the future but are simply comparing obvious facts that have materialized already. Therefore somehow the "logic" falls flat.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 124):
Quote:
A more-powerful engine in the 100,000 lbf (440 kN) and higher thrust class was required, leading to active discussions between Boeing and the engine manufacturers. General Electric offered to develop the GE90-115B engine,[39] while Rolls-Royce proposed developing the Trent 8104 engine.[71]

Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GE90

So unless you think the Trent 800 series is crap, the whole statement falls flat on its face.


The GE90 is one of the most succesfull engine in history. It established ground breaking achievments like VLT's (Very Large Twins), ETOPS for VLT's, ....

That does not change the fact that the level of technology is dated and already has been overtaken by the new sub-100k thrust engines. It would probably take a new clean sheet design to bring it up on-par.

In the future the current 777 role will be played almost completely by aircrafts with sub-100k engines. Thus I am not convinced that ever the incentive (speak to be expected sales volume) justifies a full GE90 replacement.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2010-05-19 07:18:13 and read 5608 times.

Quoting rheinwaldner (Reply 125):
But I would not rule out eventual cargo conversions.

Nor would I, however I could see that being a very long time coming, since the value of the frames would need to drop precipitously and I expect the early builds that SQ shuffle off will be acquired by other operators, first.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: wn700driver
Posted 2010-05-20 21:00:05 and read 5464 times.

Quoting 747400sp (Reply 39):


You got that right! Juan Trippe would be turning over in his grave, if he knew that most US airlines, are using smaller twin jets on over the overseas routes.

Nope. Trippe was among the first to remove upper deck lounges in favor of seats in 747s. It is unlikely that he would be interested in using four engined aircraft where a twin would do a better job.

Quoting kanban (Reply 40):
You're splitting hairs .. in more generic terms it's a production supply line... there are sequential steps in producing the product whether it is a 737 moving line or a A380 hand built whale and these are refered to as a production line. In the A380 case it's spread all over the place with minimal concern to economics and a lot of political work rationing and grossly inefficient when coupled with the hand built custom interiors.

What commercial airliner does not have a hand made interior? I know it's a nitpick, but that aspect of the A380 is probably among its least distinctive features...

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 44):

2 - Population will increase, with the curve getting sharper in more developing areas.

Wont matter if they cant afford to fly. Yields matter.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: kanban
Posted 2010-05-20 22:22:06 and read 5420 times.

Quoting wn700driver (Reply 127):
What commercial airliner does not have a hand made interior?

having spent many years in Boeing production the only hand made interiors in the last 20 years were the C-32 aircraft..and even those were installed within the normal production flow of 4 days at that time. the amount of outfitting time the A380 has in it's flow indicates not much is standard thus hand worked. I would love to see pictures of their interior installation process to validate arguments either way.. the BBJ's do get custom hand built interiors, however they go to a separate vendor for that and the customers expect to wait up to 16 months longer.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: wn700driver
Posted 2010-05-21 14:07:16 and read 5266 times.

Ok, I guess I see what you are saying, but what then, constitutes "hand made"? There are no robotic installation processes for Airliner interiors (or virtually any other component for that matter) the way that there are for automobiles. I guess that's the comparison I had in mind. At some level, almost every component can trace its origins back to some machine or other. But that would be as true for the 380 as with any other.

I do see that the 380 tends to have more than your typical cabin layout variety between carriers. But at some point, a wall panel is a wall panel, a dado a dado, etc... They're all installed by technicians and assembly workers, whether it's a 380 or a 73G.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: 2175301
Posted 2010-05-21 17:24:42 and read 5216 times.

Quoting wn700driver (Reply 129):
Ok, I guess I see what you are saying, but what then, constitutes "hand made"?

The custom furniture in my living room is "hand made" as most of the pieces are one of a kind items (a few are duplicates of limited production items by the furniture maker - the end tables. But even those are hand made as the craftsman started with rough lumber and fabricated all the pieces along with doing all the assembly and finishing.

The concept you are missing is that a lot of commercial items (including most airplane interiors) is hand assembled using production pieces. Even your computer is hand assembled: installation of motherboard, major components, connection of cables, and closing of the computer box.

So yes, the aircraft interiors for production aircraft can be called hand assembled (so can almost the entire plane).

The issue that Airbus is having with the A380 is that they offered a lot of different interior options - without the required thought on how many man-hours it would take to assemble those different options (or even the most basic option).

The result is that they have had truly massive hour over-runs on final outfitting.

Now with some good planning they may be able to reduce those hours (like perhaps you can buy 3 different seats that are pre-wired with the different options; instead of buying one seat and wiring the different options during installation). There are many other ways to reduce final assembly hours.

However, in the end - the field outfitting of the A380 will still probably take at least 50% more manhours than Airbus originally thought.

As far as the tittle topic of this thread: Of course Airbus will not open a 2nd assembly line as there is not enough long term demand for it.

Have a great day,

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: astuteman
Posted 2010-05-21 23:30:20 and read 5164 times.

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 130):
However, in the end - the field outfitting of the A380 will still probably take at least 50% more manhours than Airbus originally thought.

Nobody disputes that outfitting the cabins has taken longer than Airbus planned - they have said so themselves.

But they might ultimately end up within a few percentage points of where they intended to be. We (as in me, AND you) don't know. I certainly don't

So where do you get off of throwing numbers like this out with no factual basis whatsoever?

The forum has rules about making coments like this without supporting references. And rightly so.Repeat them often enough and they'll become "fact", which they're obviously not.   

Rgds

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: EPA001
Posted 2010-05-22 01:47:08 and read 5118 times.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 131):
Nobody disputes that outfitting the cabins has taken longer than Airbus planned - they have said so themselves.


Indeed they have said so and in a "lessons learned exercise" they will now offer less options on the A350-XWB. And they will build a full scale mock-up to test the installation drawings coming out of the computer design systems. Just to be sure, because they can and will not suffer another expensive cost-overrun on the next big development program.

On the A380 they are getting there since they are continuously optimizing the production processes. How far off, or how close they are, at the original targets indeed nobody knows. I remember a statement from Airbus that they were surprised how many different customer wishes regarding the cabin interior were expressed by the customers.  . Again, for sure at this time (maybe/probably never) do they need another production line as this one was set up to build more then 40 copies per year if production is streamlined.

[Edited 2010-05-22 01:58:02]

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: XT6Wagon
Posted 2010-05-22 02:20:23 and read 5091 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 61):
I think both airframes benefitted from the "hype" around CFRP and just the order frenzy of the mid-2000s. In saner times and with saner heads, I think both families would be sitting on maybe half their current order book.

I'm not so sure, without the financial crash the 787 orders would still seem sane, as the speculative orders would be converted into hard frames that would be traded on the market creating profit for the airlines that don't need/want 787s now but got in early, and operational benifits for the Airlines that need them.

I think both 787 and A350 will continue to sell in numbers for Airlines that wish to turn them in 10 years of service or so when the cleaned up and refined frames are arriving. I think EK's A380 orders was so large for this reason, by controling alot of slots they can control the used market selling frames as better ones arrive if they don't need the extra capacity. There is definitely money here. Ryanair has done it for years in the 737 market, and seems like lots of people wanted in on it with the much more restricted 787/A350 market. Only problem is that the 787 is late, and in that time the ability to get the money from banks to pay for the frames is... very problematic for the airlines who did the most of the speculative buying.

Also in some respects, I think the 787 sold slower than it should have. Look at the time it took for all of the airlines in America with a need for a plane this size to get on board. By the time Boeing revealed 9Y seating all the 767 users without A330 (orders or planes) should have been ordering it in huge numbers. Boeing could miss thier performance targets by unheard of margins and the 787 would still be worth buying for these airlines. Double so for the early years when the 787 had a lower list price than the 767. That fact alone says to me the buying spree was late to the party. The rumored contracts for the first A350XWB buyers also makes me wonder why more airlines didn't run to grab a handful of slots just incase it turned out to be whats promised. Certainly I can't see the downside unless you have no need at all for a plane that size.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Rheinbote
Posted 2010-05-22 03:00:22 and read 5070 times.

Quoting Sjoerd (Thread starter):
i asked the guide whether Airbus would ever open the planned second A380 assembly line

Who claims that this was ever planned?

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: 2175301
Posted 2010-05-22 04:25:33 and read 5018 times.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 131):
So where do you get off of throwing numbers like this out with no factual basis whatsoever?

The forum has rules about making coments like this without supporting references. And rightly so.Repeat them often enou

If there really is such a rule - I've never much seen it enforced.

However, It really is not that hard to estimate approximately how based off of statements by Airbus that this is where the main schedule problems are (and that they have had to expend a lot more man-hours there), what they are doing about it, and comparing the initial stated final assembly time and the more current final assembly times.

Now final assembly is only a part of the total project to assemble and finish the A380. Everything I've seen indicates that they have initial assembly essentially on track.

Have a great day,

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2010-05-22 08:15:39 and read 4957 times.

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 135):
If there really is such a rule - I've never much seen it enforced.

It's an option under the "Suggest Deletion" button - "Factually wrong".

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: 2175301
Posted 2010-05-22 09:07:05 and read 4932 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 136):

It's an option under the "Suggest Deletion" button - "Factually wrong".

As an option - and a suggestion - I agree that it is there.

But to state that there is a "rule" where you have to reference such statements is incorrect.

There are a few forums out there that do in fact have such rules. Not A-net.

The large amount of information presented on A-net is estimates - or speculation. It doesn't get deleted.

When someone post such estimates or speculation there is often a debate about how factual it is, or how close it is.

Now if someone wishes to present better data - or a different estimate with their rational, I'll read it and modify my personal estimates accordingly. But, to just say that my estimate is without basis and there is a rule that such things must be referenced or be be deleted...

Sorry, I put a lot of research and thought into that estimate (even if I don't post much on the A380 threads anymore - I do read them, and do a fair amount of other internet searching for information).

Perhaps someone can ask Airbus if they would release the real numbers - then we will all have the facts.



Have a great day,

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: astuteman
Posted 2010-05-22 09:11:28 and read 4929 times.

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 135):
If there really is such a rule

Under "forum rules...."

Quote:
If you are merely providing an opinion, please MENTION THIS in your post. It is each member's responsibility to avoid arguments based on rumors or misinformation.


It IS a forum rule

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 135):
I've never much seen it enforced.

When it comes to preventing the dissemination of misinformation regarding the A380 in particular, you could well have a point....

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 135):
It really is not that hard to estimate approximately how based off of statements by Airbus that this is where the main schedule problems are (and that they have had to expend a lot more man-hours there), what they are doing about it, and comparing the initial stated final assembly time and the more current final assembly times.

It's obvious to all but the blind that this is where the bottleneck is.

I've been in the business of major programme production engineering, bottleneck management, and resource management, on comparably complex products for a period measured in decades. And I can't conclude that the "in the end - the field outfitting of the A380 will still probably take at least 50% more manhours than Airbus originally thought".

It might be right now, with frames that were assembled out of sequence (e.g. joined together "un-stuffed"), had myriad design faults associated with the cabling mis-match, and have been shuffled around the sequence ad-nauseam, that "field outfitting hours are 50% over budget". It's almost certain that the first 56 or so frames will suffer from these, and other issues.

I suspect once the flow is smoothed, most of that work will occur upstream anyway, as it was intended to be. And without knowing the details of that, there is no way to assess what the long-term achievable target might be. Who knows, they might even beat the original target, eventually ... but that's just an opinion  
Quoting Stitch (Reply 136):
It's an option under the "Suggest Deletion" button - "Factually wrong".

See above. It's a forum rule

Rgds

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: wn700driver
Posted 2010-05-22 17:50:45 and read 4797 times.

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 130):
The custom furniture in my living room is "hand made" as most of the pieces are one of a kind items (a few are duplicates of limited production items by the furniture maker - the end tables. But even those are hand made as the craftsman started with rough lumber and fabricated all the pieces along with doing all the assembly and finishing.

The concept you are missing is that a lot of commercial items (including most airplane interiors) is hand assembled using production pieces. Even your computer is hand assembled: installation of motherboard, major components, connection of cables, and closing of the computer box.

I don't think I was missing anything there; my point was more of 'where does one draw the line' on that issue. Further debate is probably a matter of splitting hairs.

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 130):

The issue that Airbus is having with the A380 is that they offered a lot of different interior options - without the required thought on how many man-hours it would take to assemble those different options (or even the most basic option).

Of course in hindsight, this is a huge 'ooops' for Airbus. But I think that the interior configuration variety was probably the only selling point this thing had apart from 'It's really big..." They certainly should have been smarter about how such things were offered, but I understand how this mistake was made.

In anycase, it is what they are left with. Therefore the question here shouldn't be about a 2nd assy line, but rather a third. Are A380's not already flown to Hamburg for interior work?

Quoting astuteman (Reply 131):

The forum has rules about making coments like this without supporting references. And rightly so.Repeat them often enough and they'll become "fact", which they're obviously not.

Is that factually accurate?    While I disagree with you being upset over his 50% number (it does seem about right given the pace of 380 deliveries), I understand your point and leave you with this thought. Did you know that Sara Palin never said anything about seeing Russia from her backyard?

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 137):
But to state that there is a "rule" where you have to reference such statements is incorrect.

In truth, I have seen all sorts of ridiculous figures bandies about as facts here. If it is indeed a rule, it doesn't seem much enforced. I'm not editorializing though, doesn't seem to bother me much one way or the other.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: kanban
Posted 2010-05-22 18:34:34 and read 4779 times.

OK I admit creating a mess of hairs to split by using 'hand built/hand made'... a better choice would have been custom interiors... Boeing learned the hard way years ago that you can only have (x) number of variables in customer options before you lose control of the process. You also create too many hours of engineering which is likely not to meet the suppliers need dates hence shortages. Airbus would be in worse shape if all the pie in the sky interiors dreams of actually were installed.

I don't think a second outfitting "line/building" would solve much until they rein in the sales people promising anything for a sale (not a unique situation to the A380 alone). The other factor causing delays is probably the infamous 'accumulation of tolerances' at new and unpredictable places from airframe to airframe. the bigger the bird, the greater the possibility.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: astuteman
Posted 2010-05-23 01:53:28 and read 4712 times.

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 137):
But to state that there is a "rule" where you have to reference such statements is incorrect

See my quote above. All you need to do is actually read the forum rules. Either back-up evidence, or clearly state as opinion.

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 137):
Sorry, I put a lot of research and thought into that estimate

Perhaps sharing it for the benefit of all might be in order, then..

Quoting wn700driver (Reply 139):
Is that factually accurate?

Yes. Again, reading the forum rules is heartiy recommended

Quoting wn700driver (Reply 139):
While I disagree with you being upset over his 50% number (it does seem about right given the pace of 380 deliveries),

Upset?   

But you make the point yourself..

I can easily see how outfit hours are 50% over the top NOW. Given the pace of A380 deliveries NOW

But extrapolating that ad-infinitum is, in my opinion, ridiculous. My opinion.

On a programme whose product dwarfs the A380, (and pretty much anything else on the planet, to be honest), we reduced the production manhours by 50% between the 1st of class and the 4th.
Why?
Because the first-of-class was plagued by design-change, out-of-sequence working, and consequent massive rework.

Once the design was stable, and the production teams had had a chance to refine the processes, these things "flew" out of the door

The A380 has experienced all of those.
They had already started to build the first 30 frames way back in 2005, for heaven's sake.
Heaven only knows what they've had to do to them to get them into service, given the need to virtually re-design the wiring solution.

But those coming into production today?
I don't believe there's any way on earth that they will have a work-content 50% greater than budgeted in "field outfitting". Sorry.
And I don't beleive there is any evidence whatsoever to suggest they will, which is why I would re-iterate my request to 2175301. You never know, he might convince me to change my mind.  

Whether they actually get down to zero % is a different question.

Just my opinion

Rgds

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Rheinbote
Posted 2010-05-23 04:41:54 and read 4652 times.

Quoting wn700driver (Reply 139):
Therefore the question here shouldn't be about a 2nd assy line, but rather a third. Are A380's not already flown to Hamburg for interior work?

Yes, that's were interiors are installed to all A380s.

Quoting kanban (Reply 140):
Boeing learned the hard way years ago that you can only have (x) number of variables in customer options before you lose control of the process. You also create too many hours of engineering which is likely not to meet the suppliers need dates hence shortages. Airbus would be in worse shape if all the pie in the sky interiors dreams of actually were installed.

   Second that.

Quoting kanban (Reply 140):
I don't think a second outfitting "line/building" would solve much until they rein in the sales people promising anything for a sale

   That's one prerequisite for a lean customization process: The other one is the maturaty of baseline structural details. Customization is on the end of a long rope. If there's too much movement at the front end of the rope, e.g. if you can't get the DMU clean or if there's a high number of ongoing engineering changes in structures and systems, the guys in customization literally get whipped around.

Better to solve the problem at the root than to fight the symptoms with second and third lines. Having flyable aircraft in process for interior installation is a huge amount of bound capital. Doubling or tripling that burden would really hurt.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: astuteman
Posted 2010-05-23 04:55:15 and read 4624 times.

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 142):
Better to solve the problem at the root than to fight the symptoms with second and third lines

Agree completely   
And it is clear that this is exactly what Airbus inted to do. Tellingly they've made no mention of "a second line". They've made comments about migrating the outfit work back up the line to where it was intended to be in the first place..

 
Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 142):
The other one is the maturaty of baseline structural details. Customization is on the end of a long rope. If there's too much movement at the front end of the rope, e.g. if you can't get the DMU clean or if there's a high number of ongoing engineering changes in structures and systems, the guys in customization literally get whipped around.

Agree completely again.
Which is where I believe Airbus have been up to now on the A380. But that movement in the front end has to be in the process of being eliminated from the operations.
Once that stability is reached, operational efficiency should improve dramatically.

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 142):
Having flyable aircraft in process for interior installation is a huge amount of bound capital

Agree again. To reiterate, the 28 planes delivered to date were already in assembly back in 2005 - about 5 years ago.
And have no doubt been chopped to shreds as a result of the "movement" you describe. Horrendous.   

Rgds

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2010-05-23 08:14:06 and read 4534 times.

The fact that A380 deliveries have been increasing should be proof enough that Airbus is reducing the outfitting time.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Rheinbote
Posted 2010-05-23 08:34:33 and read 4515 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 144):
The fact that A380 deliveries have been increasing should be proof enough that Airbus is reducing the outfitting time.

One would guess so, but then...
A380 Production Thread #6 (by AeroplaneFreak Feb 15 2010 in Civil Aviation)

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: kanban
Posted 2010-05-23 09:05:23 and read 4502 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 144):
The fact that A380 deliveries have been increasing should be proof enough that Airbus is reducing the outfitting time.

kind funny then that Luftansa sent crews in to "assist" in outfitting so the plane would deliver on schedule.... Many the othr carriers should do the same providining the hardware is there to be installed...

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: EPA001
Posted 2010-05-23 09:22:58 and read 4479 times.

Quoting kanban (Reply 146):
kind funny then that Luftansa sent crews in to "assist" in outfitting so the plane would deliver on schedule.... Many the othr carriers should do the same providining the hardware is there to be installed...

Not funny, but this temporary measure helped to get the aircraft delivered on time. And it makes LH Tecknik well acquainted with the aircraft at the same time. But the trend on A380 deliveries is going upward, but it will take at least two years before they can reach > 30 deliveries per year.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: 2175301
Posted 2010-05-23 09:43:30 and read 4454 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 144):
The fact that A380 deliveries have been increasing should be proof enough that Airbus is reducing the outfitting time.

Yes, that is true - and my estimates were that they were initially in the range of several hundred percent of their initial man-hour estimate.

However, I do not believe that they will ever get it down to even close of their original estimates (within 10%).

Its just one of the "opps" - and one that I have a hard time comprehending a good reason for. I understand estimate misses when you are trying a new technology, etc. But badly missing the the time estimate to install seats and interior fittings with relatively standard technology options that are used on other aircraft.

Have a great day,

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: N14AZ
Posted 2010-05-23 12:43:15 and read 4397 times.

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 134):
Who claims that this was ever planned?

Good question, I never heard of plans to extend the existing Final Assembly Line. What is actually true is that Airbus has started to use some of the remaiming hangars in TLS for preparatory works before entering the FAL.

What has leaked from Airbus is that the current (or previous) production problems are due to travelled work and lack of resources (during the delivery ceremony of D-AIMA I think it was even CEO Enders who stated that the only achieved delivery on time because LH had allocated resources for cabin outfitting), which again was caused by Power 8 and so on.

I have no clue what time they had initially foreseen for each MSN but the figure below shows the trend of the production times:

http://www4.pic-upload.de/23.05.10/oamfu7uwfyuh.jpg

Note: times for the last four MSN's 028, 051, 030 and 041 (not yet delivered) as per the planned delivery day

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Stitch
Posted 2010-05-23 13:13:15 and read 4349 times.

Quoting 2175301 (Reply 148):
However, I do not believe that they will ever get it down to even close of their original estimates.

Well I would expect that as they build follow-on deliveries for the same customer they will become more and more comfortable with the installation and learn "tricks" that will help them speed installation. SQ has like 10 frames already in service, so one would think XFW knows how to screw one of those interiors together. And EK has six or seven.

Airbus has also been holding customers to their original configurations (they denied AF's request to add a Premium Voyageur cabin to their first four A380s) which really only makes sense if the goal is to get your cabin installation staff familiar with a specific customer cabin configuration to speed up outfitting of future aircraft.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: kanban
Posted 2010-05-23 18:07:33 and read 4253 times.

N14AZ
nice graph... shows several things
1. there is no plan, was no plan, and...
2. they can not consistently hold any gains made from one a/c to the next in any of the charted categories or between a/c of the same customer
3. they bit off more than they can chew and seem reluctant to fix it. it's a French problem, no it's the Germans, no so it must be the Brits....

they could probably off load all outfitting to Lufthansa Tecknik and have far better results and reduced costs.

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: astuteman
Posted 2010-05-23 21:30:02 and read 4223 times.

Quoting kanban (Reply 151):
nice graph... shows several things

It shows what happens when you've built 30 frames for half a dozen different customers nearly 5 years ago, and then make comprehensive design changes and have to rip them apart again.
And you're right. Until frames come through that have started life against a configured design, there'll be little ability to hold gains.

However, when such frames do start appearing, it should allow considerable, and continuous improvement to be made.

Rgds

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: kanban
Posted 2010-05-23 22:10:18 and read 4194 times.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 152):
However, when such frames do start appearing, it should allow considerable, and continuous improvement to be made

the key word is "when"... I believe they have several planes coming up for customers which have not been outfitted before so we'll see what the learning curve has been...

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: N14AZ
Posted 2010-05-24 00:21:00 and read 4161 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 150):
SQ has like 10 frames already in service, so one would think XFW knows how to screw one of those interiors together. And EK has six or seven.
Quoting kanban (Reply 151):
or between a/c of the same customer
Quoting astuteman (Reply 152):
However, when such frames do start appearing, it should allow considerable, and continuous improvement to be made.

The development of the production times of Emirates' A 380s is as follows / will be as follows (MSN 028 and 030 not yet delivered, graphic based on the scheduled delivery dates - MSN 028 already started with cabin outfitting test flights and 030 was already seen at the flightline in XFW, so I think this is an acceptable assumption).

http://www4.pic-upload.de/24.05.10/ljvsrjiuqgut.jpg
*) without the former prototypes MSN 007 and 009
**) MSN 030 was stored in TLS for some weeks after roll-out from the FAL (most probably because of the number of A 380s in XFW at that time)

I am lacking of the convoy & roll-out data of the first SQ aircrafts (MSN 003 - MSN 012), that's why I cannot produce a similiar graphic for SQ's A 380.

Best regards

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: PW100
Posted 2010-05-24 14:39:55 and read 3915 times.

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 134):
Quoting Sjoerd (Thread starter):
i asked the guide whether Airbus would ever open the planned second A380 assembly line

Who claims that this was ever planned?

Well, FWIW, I do remember when Airbus launched the A380 production facilities, that they mentioned that all buildings and logisitics would be set up to build upto 4 frames per month. They also did mention that all building sites had sufficient expansion room to double that. Perhaps that was being referred with "opening 2nd assembly line" as per thread starter?

Not that they will be needing it anytime soom. But then again, this program was ment to run for 25-40 years, therefore it would be smart for some advanced planning. If only that line thinking was present at all production disciplines . . .

Regards,
PW100

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: wn700driver
Posted 2010-05-24 15:03:03 and read 3900 times.

Quoting kanban (Reply 146):
kind funny then that Luftansa sent crews in to "assist" in outfitting so the plane would deliver on schedule.... Many the othr carriers should do the same providining the hardware is there to be installed...

I'm sure they would have if they could. But the fact of the matter is that the only other airlines with services like LufthansaTecknik, namely DL & AA (though that's debatable too, I know), do not have 380s on order. LH sent in help, quite frankly, because they could. Others... not so much.

Makes you wonder though... Could LHTecknik not make a pretty penny or two selling this "help-out" service to other airlines...

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: Revelation
Posted 2010-05-24 16:02:25 and read 3841 times.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 152):
It shows what happens when you've built 30 frames for half a dozen different customers nearly 5 years ago

That's a pretty amazing statement if I read it correctly. I thought the 22nd frame was where the better wiring harness was going to kick in, and I didn't realize they had built out 30 frames five years ago. It shows how far it's come since then.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 152):
However, when such frames do start appearing, it should allow considerable, and continuous improvement to be made.

Yes, it will be a much better environment to get the frames built and out the door, as well as roll out the improvements they are already speaking of, and presumably some others they aren't speaking of too!  

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: aircellist
Posted 2010-05-24 16:07:39 and read 3837 times.

Nice indeed, N14AZ...

Among what it shows, is that no plane yet has spent less than a full year between convoy and delivery...

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: brendows
Posted 2010-05-24 16:20:30 and read 3819 times.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 157):
That's a pretty amazing statement if I read it correctly. I thought the 22nd frame was where the better wiring harness was going to kick in,

MSN26 was the first wave 2 aircraft (A380 with the newly designed wiring harnesses).

Topic: RE: Will Airbus Open 2nd Assembly Line For A380?
Username: astuteman
Posted 2010-05-24 22:13:25 and read 3754 times.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 157):
That's a pretty amazing statement if I read it correctly. I thought the 22nd frame was where the better wiring harness was going to kick in, and I didn't realize they had built out 30 frames five years ago

Just a couple of technicalties - as Brendows says, frame 26 was the first "wave 2" aircraft, although my memory also recalls that even that was only an interim step in the process.
The longer term solution was (is?) intended to be a completely new wiring/harnessing solution which was going to be available from c. frame 56 (from memory) as a "wave 3" solution.

Secondly, just to caution - I didn't say they had built 30 frames 5 years ago. I said they had 30 frames in production which is not quite the same thing. And again from memory, 30 may not have been the exact number, but was certainly in the high 20's.

Hope that helps to clarify  

Rgds


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