Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
WSJ: Airbus Redesigns The A350 - Mr. U-H's C-note  
User currently offlineLeelaw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 9587 times:

WSJ 07/14/06 (Fair Use Excerpt):

Nick Tomassetti, a retired Airbus executive, was fishing in the Gulf of Mexico in early March when he received an urgent message from his former employer: Help us save the A350.

...The veterans' mission was to act as a counterweight to the main team of Airbus engineers working on the new A350. "Our job was to look at the various configurations that Airbus had already put in the mill and come up with what we though was the best, given the limits" such as time, money and manpower, Mr. Tomassetti says...

...As engineers worked on their new designs, Airbus started sharing details with potential buyers. Customers finally started to warm. When Mr. Udvar-Hazy visited Toulouse in April, he was satisfied enough to pull out a $100 bill and scribble on it that he considered it a down-payment...

...Framed in Mr. Streiff's office is Mr. Udvar-Hazy's $100 bill. Mr. Humbert gave it to the new Airbus CEO when he took over as a reminder of the A350's importance. Mr. Humbert recalls telling his successor: "Now you have to make a billion dollars on the plane.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115283988341806506.html

IMO, by far the most interesting story of the pre-Farnborough media blitz.

[Edited 2006-07-14 12:09:11]

[Edited 2006-07-14 12:22:33]

40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 9485 times:

The "C note" exchange reminds me of the scene from Godfather II. As I remember, that didn't work out too well.  duck 


"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
User currently offlineScouseflyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 3389 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 9444 times:

Quoting Leelaw (Thread starter):
...As engineers worked on their new designs, Airbus started sharing details with potential buyers. Customers finally started to warm. When Mr. Udvar-Hazy visited Toulouse in April, he was satisfied enough to pull out a $100 bill and scribble on it that he considered it a down-payment...

If that's a fact - this is BIG news as U-H was bitching a lot about the plane earlier on in the year.

It also confirms that the re-design was started a long way back if U-H approved it in April.


User currently offlineLeelaw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 9334 times:

Quoting Scouseflyer (Reply 2):
It also confirms that the re-design was started a long way back if U-H approved it in April.

The WSJ reports that Dr. Humbert put a team of engineers on a redesign after the QANTAS order was lost in December, but these efforts didn't kick into high-gear until the "old mandarins" were recalled in March:

...It was crisis time. Mr. Humbert decided Airbus needed to design an entirely new A350 and quietly put a team of engineers on the case. In early March, the Airbus CEO picked up the phone to several respected Airbus alumni and asked them to come back. In addition to Mr. Tomassetti, the retired executive in Florida, Mr. Humbert recalled Gerard Blanc -- a man he had beaten out for the top job at Airbus months earlier...

...The men knew they were rushing against time to ease customers' growing irritation. In March, Singapore Airlines CEO Chew Choon Seng pulled Mr. Leahy aside after an Airbus presentation to ask why the plane maker hadn't yet "gone whole hog" on a new fuselage for the A350, both men recall. Days later, before 700 people at an aviation conference in Orlando, Fla., ILFC's Mr. Udvar-Hazy said that if Airbus continued to cut corners on revisions to the A350, the plane maker would get a "silver medal instead of a gold...."

[Edited 2006-07-14 13:16:08]

User currently offlineHB88 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 816 posts, RR: 31
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8811 times:

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 3):
The WSJ reports that Dr. Humbert put a team of engineers on a redesign after the QANTAS order was lost in December, but these efforts didn't kick into high-gear until the "old mandarins" were recalled in March:

Interesting to see this finally public. It's been frustrating listening to the immense piles of ill-informed rubbish on a.net about Airbus this and A350 that.


User currently offlineKatekebo From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 704 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 8783 times:

What is interesting that this would indicate that Airbus has been "sleeping" on the B787-competitor idea until just a couple of months ago. If they are really starting only now, as this article implies, they are at least 4 full years behind, probably much more given that Boeing has been working on some key aspects of the B787 technologies since the Sonic Cruiser.

User currently offlineHB88 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 816 posts, RR: 31
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8744 times:

Quoting Katekebo (Reply 5):
What is interesting that this would indicate that Airbus has been "sleeping" on the B787-competitor idea until just a couple of months ago. If they are really starting only now, as this article implies, they are at least 4 full years behind, probably much more given that Boeing has been working on some key aspects of the B787 technologies since the Sonic Cruiser.

Erm, but this is a given isn't it? Accepted wisdom is that Airbus pitched the original A350 against the 787 which has been shown to be not a good idea. The real point here is that most people have assumed that Airbus have been doing absolutely nothing in the last 9 mo to address the public concerns/comments about the 'original' A350.

In any case, I don't think you're correct in assuming Airbus are four years behind on the key technologies behind the 787. R&D in Airbus hasn't exactly stood still.


User currently offlineJohnny From Sweden, joined Jan 2008, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8712 times:

@Katekebo

What is interesting that this would indicate that Airbus has been "sleeping" on the B787-competitor idea until just a couple of months ago. If they are really starting only now, as this article implies, they are at least 4 full years behind, probably much more given that Boeing has been working on some key aspects of the B787 technologies since the Sonic Cruiser.

What technologies are you referring to?
Nearly all new technologies are coming from Sub-contractors like Alenia,Mitsubishi , GE,RR and Goodrich.

Johnny  Smile


User currently offlineAirMailer From United States of America, joined May 2006, 465 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8659 times:

Quoting HB88 (Reply 4):
Quoting Leelaw (Reply 3):
The WSJ reports that Dr. Humbert put a team of engineers on a redesign after the QANTAS order was lost in December, but these efforts didn't kick into high-gear until the "old mandarins" were recalled in March:


Interesting to see this finally public. It's been frustrating listening to the immense piles of ill-informed rubbish on a.net about Airbus this and A350 that.

You're right HB88.

I had no idea that it was so bad at Airbus that they had to recall retired engineers to fix, I mean "save the A350" until this article was published.


User currently offlineKatekebo From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 704 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8659 times:

Quoting Johnny (Reply 7):
Nearly all new technologies are coming from Sub-contractors like Alenia,Mitsubishi , GE,RR and Goodrich.

Even if most of the manufacturing is going to take place at sub-contractors, it doesn't mean that Boeing does not own these technologies or have long-term exclusivity rights.


User currently offlineN844AA From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1352 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8638 times:

Quoting HB88 (Reply 6):
The real point here is that most people have assumed that Airbus have been doing absolutely nothing in the last 9 mo to address the public concerns/comments about the 'original' A350.

Does anyone seriously think that? Or, more to my point, do you seriously think anyone thinks that?

Airbus may have a lot on their hands right now, but they're a big company with lots of smart employees. I don't think anyone thinks they've been doing "absolutely nothing" with respect to their next big project.



New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
User currently offlineAirMailer From United States of America, joined May 2006, 465 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8603 times:

Quoting HB88 (Reply 6):
The real point here is that most people have assumed that Airbus have been doing absolutely nothing in the last 9 mo to address the public concerns/comments about the 'original' A350.

Actually I thought that they had a room of engineers working on the various iterations of the A350, banging out a new version every 10 weeks or so as the top brass changed their minds.

I didn't realize that there wasn't already a large dedicated team.
I mean, they officially announced it right? So I thought that that meant engineers were working away, they just kept getting new marching orders on what to build every 3 months or so.


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8225 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8514 times:

Looks like Mr. Humbert was more in tune with the company's future needs than the French thought. Airbus lost a good one when they let him go.

"Recalling" some of the best retired people is a very good idea - they don't have to worry about their jobs, bosses controlling them in a limiting way, or not saying what they think because it could hurt their chances of a promotion or pay increase. I can see them having a very positive influence on the new planes.

We'll get a good peek at what they are doing next week!


User currently offlineHb88 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 816 posts, RR: 31
Reply 13, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8447 times:

Quoting AirMailer (Reply 8):
I had no idea that it was so bad at Airbus that they had to recall retired engineers to fix, I mean "save the A350" until this article was published.

Re-hiring retired aerospace engineers has nothing to do with the real or imagined state of things at Airbus in this specific context. Both Airbus and Boeing are finding it difficult to recruit engineers and both companies as I understand it are recruiting internationally and re-hiring retired aerospace engineers to consult.

I know that this has been happening in Airbus for quite some time. The experience and knowledge of the older engineers is very valuable indeed.


User currently offlineFirennice From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 81 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8447 times:

Quoting HB88 (Reply 6):
In any case, I don't think you're correct in assuming Airbus are four years behind on the key technologies behind the 787. R&D in Airbus hasn't exactly stood still.

True but they are a few years behind not only in technogies but supply chains for the difficult to get materials for the planes. Unless they plan to avoid CFRP and Titanium and stick with the materials that make a plane heavier and less effecient. Then they are in trouble from the start.

a 2012 start of manufacture maybe 2013 would be about right.


User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8390 times:

Does anyone with any knowledge of aircraft manufacturing really believe that Airbus redesigned the A350 in six months. I am sure what they have done is define a new specification for the A350 airframe and now the design work will start.

User currently offlineUSAF336TFS From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1445 posts, RR: 52
Reply 16, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8337 times:

Quoting Leelaw (Thread starter):
IMO, by far the most interesting story of the pre-Farnborough media blitz.

Agreed. Am I the only one who thinks all the "industry sources" and "confidential documents" blather is all the work of PR, pre-Farnborough?

While the rumors swirling around about Airbus and what they may or may not announce may be fun, I'm going to wait to see what actually is announced first and reserve judgement until then. What I hope Airbus will do is avoid another knee-jerk-reaction product announcement, only to have it change specifications, yet again, 6 months from now.

[Edited 2006-07-14 21:07:45]


336th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson AFB
User currently offlineAstuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10008 posts, RR: 96
Reply 17, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8299 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Leelaw (Thread starter):

Many thanks Leelaw for a most interesting link  checkmark 
A bit of "humanity" behind all the rhetoric.
These sorts of stories pass into big company folklore......

Quoting AirMailer (Reply 8):
I had no idea that it was so bad at Airbus that they had to recall retired engineers to fix

I must confess that when I read this, I thought it was an excellent move.
We have put top, experienced, retired personnel to first-class use on the Astute programme to "devils advocate" the key points of technical and contractual issues. They have been extremely effective, and we are brim-full of highly qualified engineers.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 12):
"Recalling" some of the best retired people is a very good idea

I believe so too.

Quoting Hb88 (Reply 13):
The experience and knowledge of the older engineers is very valuable indeed.

Correct again. To my surprise, when they have returned, they are focussed, dynamic and innovative (mostly)

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 12):
they don't have to worry about their jobs, bosses controlling them in a limiting way, or not saying what they think because it could hurt their chances of a promotion or pay increase. I can see them having a very positive influence

And I think this is the reason  checkmark .

Once again, thanks, Leelaw.

Regards


User currently offlinePlanesNTrains From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 5504 posts, RR: 29
Reply 18, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 8152 times:

Quoting N844AA (Reply 10):
Does anyone seriously think that? Or, more to my point, do you seriously think anyone thinks that?

Airbus may have a lot on their hands right now, but they're a big company with lots of smart employees. I don't think anyone thinks they've been doing "absolutely nothing" with respect to their next big project.

Thank you for this. That's exactly what I was thinking. It wasn't that people thought Airbus wasn't doing anything, it's that thought Airbus kept changing what they were doing.

-Dave



Next Trip: SEA-ABQ-SEA on Alaska
User currently offlineLeelaw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 8121 times:

Quoting USAF336TFS (Reply 16):

If you have access to the full-text of this Page One/WSJ article (unfortunately, the WSJ's website doesn't allow free access) and read it carefully, it is clear that Dr. Humbert himself was the reporters' primary source for this article. This article appears to be an authentic first-hand account of the A350 saga from the perspective of the former CEO of Airbus. As Astuteman so aptly pointed out:

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 17):
A bit of "humanity" behind all the rhetoric.
These sorts of stories pass into big company folklore......


User currently offlineDAYflyer From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 3807 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7825 times:

Quoting HB88 (Reply 4):
Interesting to see this finally public. It's been frustrating listening to the immense piles of ill-informed rubbish on a.net about Airbus this and A350 that.

I didnt read a lot of rubbish. It is being outsold 4 to 1 by the 787 to this point. And the potential customers called the plane a dissapointment. How is this rubbish?

If anything this article proves what was said on this forum anything but rubbish. I would say if you have to recall engineers and other professionals to revamp the program, it's in trouble.



One Nation Under God
User currently offlineGlideslope From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1612 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7516 times:

Quoting HB88 (Reply 6):
In any case, I don't think you're correct in assuming Airbus are four years behind on the key technologies behind the 787. R&D in Airbus hasn't exactly stood still.

Agreed. I'd say 5 years, easy.



To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6758 posts, RR: 77
Reply 22, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 7427 times:

Quoting Glideslope (Reply 21):

Agreed. I'd say 5 years, easy.

If it's so easy, then back it up...


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineFlyDreamliner From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2759 posts, RR: 15
Reply 23, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 7427 times:

Quoting Katekebo (Reply 9):
Even if most of the manufacturing is going to take place at sub-contractors, it doesn't mean that Boeing does not own these technologies or have long-term exclusivity rights.

Uhh, there's the catch, Boeing set it up so they weren't going to develop composite construction through their subcontractors just to have it shared with Airbus. They don't need long term exclusivity, just long enough to keep it off any A350, so maybe what, 5 years. Also, I can't think of a single Boeing subcontractor that isn't maxed out in terms of their production capacity. Boeing will have a 500 plane backorder on the 787 before it even flies. The subcons aren't going to have ANY extra capacity. Airbus is going to need to develop their own stuff and their own subcon network on this, and that may take them a little time. Boeing has been working on the composite technology in 787 sinces the mid-late 90s.



"Let the world change you, and you can change the world"
User currently offlineSaturn5 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 313 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 7348 times:

Quoting Johnny (Reply 7):
Nearly all new technologies are coming from Sub-contractors like Alenia,Mitsubishi , GE,RR and Goodrich.

You got this one completely wrong. Boeing must very well understand a technology before they decide to use it. A sub may actually do the parts since Boeing may decide that they are better off (financially or otherwise) to outsource it. Using your logic one could argue that Airbus is also using technologies developed by others.

[Edited 2006-07-15 00:02:23]

25 Post contains images Jacobin777 : That's what I've been saying all along...he was good for Airbus and its a blow for Airbus to lose such a brilliant, "down-to-earth" person....
26 RedFlyer : I agree. He was good for Airbus and down-to-earth because he was an engineer -- a German one at that, which made him all the better. It sounds like t
27 Post contains links and images Sonic67 : I was able to obtain vidio of a secret redesighn meeting of one of the Airbus desighn labs outside Toulouse. http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-
28 Post contains images 7cubed : glass reinforced fibre metal laminate - layers of metal (usually aluminium) interspersed with layers of glass-fibre "pre-preg", bonded together with
29 Elvis777 : Hi Planehunter, I think if you speak to rheinbote, a fellow German, he might add to the discussion and clear things up a bit. Regards Elvis777
30 Hb88 : No. I am referring to the numerous opinions being canvassed, by people who were wholly ignorant of the actual situation, that Airbus was doing absolu
31 Post contains images Sonic67 : Thanks for the explantion. I work in the phone industry and glare means call collision's I knew it could not be that.
32 BoomBoom : These are "straw man" arguments. Link to some specific quotes. If they are "numerous" you should have no problem citing some specifics. Yeah, there's
33 Post contains links Hb88 : You can't be serious. Are you seriously stating that many people on a.net weren't holding forth that Airbus was sitting on its hands and ignoring the
34 BoomBoom : I didn't ask you to point to threads, I asked you for specific instances where people said "that Airbus was doing absolutely nothing to address or co
35 Hb88 : Read the discussions. You'll see what I was getting at. I'm still surprised anyone would challenge a statement that many claimed Airbus was ignoring
36 Elvis777 : HB88, you are taking this kind of personally. Your comment is the most troubling. As someone stated before there are many uninformed/informed opinions
37 BoomBoom : Just as I thought. You can't come up with any specific examples. So you point me to two threads, each with 150+ posts and expect to waste my time rea
38 Leelaw : Perhaps the full-text of the quite lengthy article under discussion isn't available to you, because the reporters tell the tale of how Airbus was act
39 Post contains images Johnny : @Saturn5 "Using your logic one could argue that Airbus is also using technologies developed by others." Yes, you got it! Absolutely correct! Both A an
40 VirginFlyer : BoomBoom, Hb88, perhaps you could take your personal debate off the forum and into email or instant messaging? On topic, I think Leelaw has hit the na
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Why Did Airbus Make The A350 Wider? posted Sat Jul 15 2006 02:22:34 by 787KQ
Can Airbus Send The A350 Back To Redesign? posted Thu Dec 15 2005 08:09:41 by MrComet
Where Will Airbus Build The A350? posted Fri Jul 29 2005 20:57:57 by Kaitak744
Could Airbus Offer The A350 To The Majors? posted Tue May 10 2005 22:48:18 by RockyRacoon
Can Airbus Afford Not To Redesign The A350? posted Wed Apr 5 2006 22:46:37 by BoomBoom
Could Airbus Lose The Qatar A350 Order? posted Thu Mar 30 2006 15:50:15 by BoeingBus
Airbus' Portfolio And The A350 posted Wed Jan 18 2006 10:28:01 by NoUFO
The A350 Will Become The Airbus Flagship posted Sun Jan 1 2006 20:12:58 by Moparman
Airbus Should Dump The A350 Program posted Thu Apr 28 2005 03:01:01 by B752fanatic
Airbus To Present The A350 At The End Of The Year posted Mon Oct 18 2004 16:38:49 by Pilotcoex