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FI: China Set To BE Offered A320 Line  
User currently offlineLeelaw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 8 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4184 times:

The electronic edition of this week's Flight International is reporting:

FI 24-January-2006 "Airbus closes in on proposal for local assembly of narrowbody airliners at a rate of four per month" (fair use)

"Assembly of first Chinese-built Airbus A320 family aircraft could begin before the end of next year, should Airbus decide to go ahead with the proposed joint venture."

Airbus's decision to go forward could come as early as this July following completion of a study.

...The Chinese would be specifically tasked with building A319s and A320s, "as this is the bulk of the China market," says [Airbus Vice-President Olivier] Andries.

[Edited 2006-01-23 13:13:30]

46 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLeelaw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3985 times:

The full text of this article is now available online:

http://flightinternational.com/Artic...a+set+to+be+offered+A320+line.html


User currently offlineA319XFW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3950 times:

It says

Quote:
“The first sections could arrive in China by the end of next year, and deliveries would begin in 2008 and would have a monthly rate of four aircraft.”

I think this would be a PR coup for Airbus, as not only will Boeing have the 787 ready for the Olympics, but possibly Airbus a Chinese built A320 too.......

Not all info is in the article, but I guess that will be known once a site has been chosen.


User currently offlineGARPD From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2659 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3903 times:

The issue I see as a great snagging point is technology transfer.

Will the european governments take kindly to technology knowledge being simply "gifted" to the chinese?
Or will they turn a blind eye believing this will result in exclusivity for Airbus in China?
Short term answer to the long term?



arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlineMarshalN From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2005, 1521 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3879 times:

Quoting GARPD (Reply 3):
Or will they turn a blind eye believing this will result in exclusivity for Airbus in China?

I suspect this is the key


User currently offlineGARPD From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2659 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3859 times:

Quoting MarshalN (Reply 4):

I suspect this is the key

If that is indeed the case, its quite possible that they will be shooting themselves in the foot.

Solving a long term problem (namely in this case selling A320s to china, not a problem as such but just a manner of speaking) with a short term solution (Assembly plant in China) is not good practise.

China could take what they need then dump the assembly plant and Airbus and make their own A320/737 sized aircraft.



arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlineSabenapilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2000, 2714 posts, RR: 46
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3837 times:

Quoting GARPD (Reply 3):

The issue I see as a great snagging point is technology transfer: will the European governments take kindly to technology knowledge being simply "gifted" to the Chinese?

By the time the A320 is going to be built in China, it will be 20 years old; hardly a risk of transfer of cutting edge technology....

Besides, it will not be a Chinese company which will build A320s under license, it will be an Airbus factory set up in China as a joint venture with the Chinese.

How many European and American companies produce their products in China already? Why would planes be different from DVD-players, televisions, radios etc???

Quoting GARPD (Reply 3):
Will they turn a blind eye believing this will result in exclusivity for Airbus in China?

Nobody knows, but next time the PRC needs a new bunch of narrow bodies, a simple split between A and B seems less likely...

Quoting GARPD (Reply 3):
Short term answer to the long term?

With B outsourcing cutting edge technology to Asian countries already, the long term reality is that China too will get the technology some day anyhow. Better to be first to the market and benefit from it, don't you think?


User currently offlineConfuscius From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 3863 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3828 times:

Please read this article by someone you like...or like to hate.  Wink

Dear Fellow China Watchers...

http://www.richardaboulafia.com/shownote.asp?id=207



Ain't I a stinker?
User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12567 posts, RR: 46
Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3817 times:
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Quoting GARPD (Reply 3):
The issue I see as a great snagging point is technology transfer.

This would be mainly mid-1980s technology, some newer avionics. Not that much of a threat I'd have thought.

Quoting GARPD (Reply 5):
China could take what they need then dump the assembly plant and Airbus and make their own A320/737 sized aircraft.

If it was that easy for the Chinese, why didn't they do it with the MD-90 or even the ERJ-145?

If it does happen, this will only be a final assembly line producing 4 planes a month. It's not a case of the Chinese building A320s from scratch.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6485 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 3781 times:

Quoting GARPD (Reply 3):
Will the european governments take kindly to technology knowledge being simply "gifted" to the chinese?

This will only include final assembly. Basically, import lots of pre-fabbed portions, all the avionics, engines, etc., and slap them together. Embraer is similar except they have their own airframe design talent (much of which is imported.)



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineA319XFW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 3781 times:

Quoting Confuscius (Reply 7):
Please read this article by someone you like...or like to hate.

Dear Fellow China Watchers...

http://www.richardaboulafia.com/show...d=207

Goes to show that even he is wrong at times....

Quote:
“describes the process to evaluate the fields of enhanced cooperation, including the possibility to establish a Final Assembly Line for single aisle aircraft in China.”

In French, Chinese, or fractured bureaucratese, that statement is meaningless.

But I suppose that someone has got to get it right in China sometime...


User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6485 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 3765 times:

Quoting Sabenapilot (Reply 6):
Besides, it will not be a Chinese company which will build A320s under license, it will be an Airbus factory set up in China as a joint venture with the Chinese.

The rules about having to do joint ventures to produce a plant in China are falling by the wayside. I should know, my company has a 100%-owned plant over there.



When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3595 posts, RR: 29
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 3756 times:

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 8):
it was that easy for the Chinese, why didn't they do it with the MD-90 or even the ERJ-145?

Did you see drawings for the next generation Chinese regional jet? It looks a lot like the MD80.

I think offering the Chinese a manufacturing line is more than stupid.


User currently offlineA319XFW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 3740 times:

How much would a new Chinese aircraft have the technology of the A320 in it though? The A320 is a 20-year old design.

As like everyone on here seems to be stating nowadays, all new aircraft MUST have a composite fuselage etc. to be competitive.
From that reasoning, the Chinese would have to get the technology that Airbus and Boeing aquired over years of research and testing.
Yes, you could just copy it from somewhere (787?), but would that be the same?


User currently offlineSabenapilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2000, 2714 posts, RR: 46
Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 3722 times:

http://www.richardaboulafia.com/shownote.asp?id=207

Airbus and the Chinese also signed an instantly hyped agreement that describes the process to evaluate the fields of enhanced cooperation, including the possibility to establish a Final Assembly Line for single aisle aircraft in China. In French, Chinese, or fractured bureaucratese, that statement is meaningless.

All fluff too, then, to use his own wording?

Richard Aboulafia is wrong more often and sooner than ever before these days...
I think he must be running for the 'aviation comedy cup' or something like that, because the credibility rating of this 'star' is falling faster than a asteroid nowadays.


User currently offlineScbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12567 posts, RR: 46
Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 3702 times:
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Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 12):
Did you see drawings for the next generation Chinese regional jet? It looks a lot like the MD80.

A drawing is a lot different from having thousands of planes in service around the World.


I really don't understand why so many people are scared of this - the Chinese record in this area is far from great. Why shouldn't Airbus do it - it's already been done twice before.

If the Chinese were that desperate to be playing in this field they would likely already be there. I fail to see what an FAL can give them that they couldn't have already reverse-engineered from one of the many A320s and 737NGs that the West has been so happy to sell them.

Even if they do learn all of Airbus's A320 "secrets", by the time they're ready to build their own, Airbus and Boeing will already be on the next generation of single-aisle planes.



Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineGARPD From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2659 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 3699 times:

All very good answer folks.
I guess my primary concern was the wing technology.

Even at a final assembly line, the possibility remains to "reverse engineer" what ever you want.



arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlineA319XFW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 3686 times:

Quoting GARPD (Reply 16):
I guess my primary concern was the wing technology.

Too late for that - China has started making A320 wings... And soon they will be 4 wingsets a month... Guess where they will be going.
Building A320 wing technology is different from designing A350 wing technology though.
And from a wing point of view, the 787 wing is going to be designed and built in Japan. And I can't see anyone being worried about that?


User currently offlineSabenapilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2000, 2714 posts, RR: 46
Reply 18, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 3675 times:

Quoting GARPD (Reply 16):
my primary concern was the wing technology.

The 'technology' associated with the wing is not associated with the assembling, but with the designing and wind tunnel testing of it, none of which will be done in China.

There is nothing to learn from fitting a wing to the fuselage that the Chinese don't know from maintaining their fleet of A320s already. A D-check of a plane is basically a reverse manufacturing of a plane and they have been doing so for years.

[Edited 2006-01-23 20:22:38]

User currently offlineNorCal From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2459 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 3666 times:

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 15):
If the Chinese were that desperate to be playing in this field they would likely already be there. I fail to see what an FAL can give them that they couldn't have already reverse-engineered from one of the many A320s and 737NGs that the West has been so happy to sell them.

Maybe more detailed information about the plane itself and maybe more importantly knowledge about tooling and production techniques?

Quoting Scbriml (Reply 15):
Even if they do learn all of Airbus's A320 "secrets", by the time they're ready to build their own, Airbus and Boeing will already be on the next generation of single-aisle planes

 checkmark 

Quoting GARPD (Reply 16):
I guess my primary concern was the wing technology.

Wouldn't this all be old technology anyways? I think the bigger danger would be showing them how to make the wings rather than putting them together......still wouldn't this wing manufacturing technology be 20 years old as well and thus useless?

I think the main concern is not the transfer of technology but rather the possibility of losing money on this endeavor like many other aerospace companies have done. Also the loss of high tech jobs to the Chinese or to any foreign country overseas isn't good for Airbus employees.


User currently offlineGARPD From UK - Scotland, joined Aug 2005, 2659 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (8 years 8 months 2 days ago) and read 3623 times:

Again, fair and true answers folks.


arpdesign.wordpress.com
User currently offlineSabenapilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2000, 2714 posts, RR: 46
Reply 21, posted (8 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3593 times:

Quoting NorCal (Reply 19):
I think the main concern is not the transfer of technology but rather the possibility of losing money on this endeavor like many other aerospace companies have done.

I think this could be a valid concern, although the assembly line will be run by Airbus like any other line in Toulouse or Hamburg and thus fit in nicely to assure the monthly production of 32 A320s. As long as their is big enough of a backlog, their shouldn't be a problem filling this modest line of 4 per month too... One could for instance imagine that A320 orders from Asian customers would preferably be attributed to the Chinese production line, should the demand from China alone not be sufficient to keep the line running.

Quoting NorCal (Reply 19):
Also the loss of high tech jobs to the Chinese or to any foreign country overseas isn't good for Airbus employees.

It isn't really a loss of jobs we are looking at, it just means less growth for the European plants and even that is not certain, because if the increased demand from China is bigger than the monthly capacity of the factory in China itself, there will be spill over to the European A320 line.

Does all the outsourcing on the 787 mean job losses for Boeing workers, or does it safeguard their jobs by being able to offer a good product at a very competitive price? If outsourcing is well done, it can be a win-win for both, and Airbus are no idiots: expect this to be a well considered plan, and if there is one plane ideally placed for such an outsourcing, its the A320: its relatively old, fully amortized, In high demand from the region and has a backlog which Airbus alone can hardly cope with!


User currently offlineNorCal From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2459 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (8 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3538 times:

Quoting Sabenapilot (Reply 21):

Good post, as far as the jobs go I think that both companies are making compromises so to speak. Take Boeing for example with the 787, in order to lower their production costs they had to out source some of the work to cheaper labor. However by doing this they make their product more competitive and fill a lot of orders for it thus creating more jobs at Boeing. I think the key is to strike a balance so that both companies remain competitive but don't out source all of their work to other countries.

I think Globalization is a very important movement and that it will help stabilize the world greatly, but at the same time I don't like seeing first hand or hearing on the news that Americans are losing their jobs over seas that is associated with it.

I don't know any of the details about the Airbus plan, I guess I am just a little pessimistic given the other companies past attempts at this. I wish them the best and I am sure they have done their homework.


User currently offlineWhiteHatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (8 years 8 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3527 times:

The main factor is not actual hardware but the design work.

China can build wings, but it might find it harder to replicate the experience and ability of the manufacturers to design and test wings for a native product. Being able to build something does not equate to being able to design it from scratch.

The A320 line in China will be fairly positive overall as all the design and fabrication of critical parts will be done by Airbus, with the Chinese plant supplying a lower cost workforce to stitch it all together. There is already pressure on existing facilities so the work has to be placed somewhere to keep the sales book flowing with some degree of flexibility.

The only technology transfer issues are some to do with electronics, but that has already been dealt with previously on aircraft sales to China. Some dual use components were replaced on the exported aircraft that the US Government were not too happy about.


User currently offlineStarGoldLHR From Heard and McDonald Islands, joined Feb 2004, 1529 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (8 years 8 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3400 times:

I say best of luck to China.

They are the experts in price and production today.

If we have the technology and they have the facilities then it's win win for all by sharing.

If we were to take a more "protective" approach then China may develop their own, which could well be better.. and more threatening to Airbus.

Either way it's less productive for the world as a whole.

If we share and share alike then the playing field is much more even.

At the end of the day China can produce quality goods at a low price. If they didnt, products wouldnt be made there.



So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
25 Scbriml : I think these are unlikely to be significantly different from those employed in MD-90 or ERJ manufacture, to which China already had/has access.
26 Hoya : Few questions, and please don't flame me for any of them. They are just questions. Who will pay for this proposed assembly plant? Will Airbus cough up
27 MEA-707 : have licenced third country production lines ever been a huge success? Of the more recent commercial aircraft, I remember the pooh-ha about the Romani
28 N79969 : When someone asks a question as absurd as this.... They should not be making criticisms such as this: Aboulafia is a highly credible commentator and t
29 Dougloid : Are the Chinese as ready to provide stoop labor without a payday down the road as you suggest? " target=_blank>http://www.richardaboulafia.com/show..
30 Abba : Don't forget that the 320 is assembled in the very same way that Boeing is planning for the 787 - namely by putting together big pre-assembled pieces
31 Trex8 : no more daft than the MD80 production in Shanghai a decade ago! you may be on to something, they have had the blueprints for licence production of th
32 Post contains images Astuteman : The ability to design (and production engineer ) such a complex product in a way that enables it to be assembled in this modular manner, and yet stil
33 Post contains links Dougloid : The notion that modular construction with imported bits will prevent the Chinese from learning anything of substance about the construction of airlin
34 Sabenapilot : Mr Aboulafia maybe is a credible commentator when he is reporting on US affairs, but when he is analyzing Airbus, or in fact anything that comes from
35 Scbriml : Maybe when it's finished on-time, on-budget and fully functional it will be a good example of what China can achieve. However, a large civil engineer
36 Dougloid : mechanical engineering is mechanical engineering last I heard. Structures, loads, properties of materials....it could be a pocket watch, or the Eiffe
37 Post contains images Astuteman : Ah, PROPER engineers !
38 A319XFW : You are right to say that there are a few things to consider. - How are you going to get the other parts (fuselage etc) there? Ship? Beluga? Antonov?
39 VC-10 : Despite what this board would have you believe there is an awful lot of US technology in the Airbus product so, will the US Government take kindly to
40 A319XFW : Seeing as Chinese airlines already fly 777, A320, 737 etc nothing would go into the Chinese aircraft that are banned by embargos (like the giro chip
41 Scbriml : The US Government is obviously not concerned enough to prevent Airbus or Boeing from selling their planes to China by the hundreds. If there was anyt
42 Trex8 : well they didn't stop MDC letting SAIC make MD80s in Shanghai or agreeing to allow them to make MD90s for a Chinese Trunkliner program so why would t
43 MarshalN : Seriously, if China wants to learn anything really technological about these aircrafts, they'd have gotten it already just by taking it apart and putt
44 Abba : Right! And what can they learn by putting the pieces together - once designed - that they could not learn by taking one of the many 320s they already
45 Post contains links Dougloid : Try it, you'll like it Abba. Unless you prefer grape Koolaid. You don't have to agree with Aboulafia to admit that he's published a fair amount of wor
46 Post contains links N79969 : It seems that Aboulafia's biggest transgression is that he has not paid sufficient homage to Airbus. I have not seen any of his many detractors here
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