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Other Planes With Delays Like The A380?  
User currently offlineFalstaff From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 6088 posts, RR: 29
Posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 4482 times:
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You can't log on to a.net lately without seeing a thread about A380 delays. That makes me wonder, have there been other airliners with these kinds of delays in the past or is this something unprecedented? I saw a thread recently where the 747 was mentioned to have delays, but have there been any other commercial aircraft?


My mug slaketh over on Falstaff N503
22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLemurs From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1439 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4471 times:

Quite simply? No. The closest that you can get in any era is the L-1011, which was delayed over a year because of the financial mess Rolls-Royce got into in the early 70's, requiring a government bailout. They eventually got that squared away. The 747 was delayed for engine problems as well, but nothing remotely approaching the A380.

Of course, neither airplane was a fraction as complex as the A380 in the area where Airbuses problems lie: wiring. There was no per-seat IFE, fly by wire, massive cabin power distribution network, etc...the A380 wiring is probably orders of magnitude more demanding than both of those planes put together. Makes the fluid dynamic/materials problems inside engines seem like child's play almost.  Wink



There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary, and those that don't.
User currently offlineTangowhisky From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 912 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4469 times:

Yes, in addition to the 747, the L1011 was also delayed because the engine manufacturers were late (PW for the 747-100 and RR for the L-1011). 10 years ago, Boeing was facing delays due to production ramp ups of their 737NGs. These examples are those with large measurable delays. Boeing had white tails parked with no engines that almost bankrupt the company on the 747. RR did a job on Lockheed that it got out of commercial aircraft business as the L1011 was as good or some say better plane than the DC-10.


Only the paranoid survive
User currently offlineWINGS From Portugal, joined May 2005, 2831 posts, RR: 68
Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4430 times:

Quoting Falstaff (Thread starter):
You can't log on to a.net lately without seeing a thread about A380 delays. That makes me wonder, have there been other airliners with these kinds of delays in the past or is this something unprecedented? I saw a thread recently where the 747 was mentioned to have delays, but have there been any other commercial aircraft?



Quoting Lemurs (Reply 1):
Quite simply? No. The closest that you can get in any era is the L-1011, which was delayed over a year because of the financial mess Rolls-Royce got into in the early 70's, requiring a government bailout. They eventually got that squared away. The 747 was delayed for engine problems as well, but nothing remotely approaching the A380.

Between first flight and first delivery it is the Concorde that currently holds the title for the longest delay.



Regards,
Wings



Aviation Is A Passion.
User currently offlineTangowhisky From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 912 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4429 times:

Quoting Lemurs (Reply 1):
Of course, neither airplane was a fraction as complex as the A380 in the area where Airbuses problems lie: wiring

I disagree. Making high bypass engines with greater thrust and reliability requirements may not be a big task today, but certainly a bigger task in those days. Airbus wiring problems are a management isuue: they did not train fast enough, with enough people, understanding enough the amount of work to be done. It is not a technology development issue. Coming up with wiring harness installation drawings in no way is comparable to the materials science and fluid mechanics science of breaking new grounds in the engines PW and RR faced with in those days. Furthermore designing and making the 747 in those days without the electronic design engineering tools of today can not be taken away from the pioneers of making such a huge jet in the 60's.

TW



Only the paranoid survive
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30910 posts, RR: 87
Reply 5, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4385 times:
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Quoting WINGS (Reply 3):
Between first flight and first delivery it is the Concorde that currently holds the title for the longest delay.

But it was worth the wait.  Smile

Hopefully, the same will be for the A388.  thumbsup 


User currently offlineGr8SlvrFlt From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 1604 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4374 times:

The Bristol Britannia first flew in 1952 but engine problems kept it from service until 1957, on the eve of the jets.
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bill Armstrong



User currently offlineLemurs From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1439 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4358 times:

Quoting Tangowhisky (Reply 4):
I disagree. Making high bypass engines with greater thrust and reliability requirements may not be a big task today, but certainly a bigger task in those days. Airbus wiring problems are a management isuue: they did not train fast enough, with enough people, understanding enough the amount of work to be done. It is not a technology development issue. Coming up with wiring harness installation drawings in no way is comparable to the materials science and fluid mechanics science of breaking new grounds in the engines PW and RR faced with in those days. Furthermore designing and making the 747 in those days without the electronic design engineering tools of today can not be taken away from the pioneers of making such a huge jet in the 60's.

I think you misread my statement. I was comparing the wiring task on the A380 to the wiring task on the L-1011 and 747. Those are very different creatures, and I'm not sure many would argue that it is a many times more difficult problem on the A380, computer assisted or not, espcially given the highly electronic nature of the airplane. Remember that the former two aircraft were still essentially mechanical airplanes, with cables, pullies, and simple solid state sensors. It's not even the same ballpark from an electronics point of view.

As for the fluid dynamics quip; it was a joke, hence the wink.



There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary, and those that don't.
User currently offlineLeelaw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4321 times:

Quoting Tangowhisky (Reply 2):
Boeing had white tails parked with no engines that almost bankrupt the company on the 747.

Baloney. Although there were up to 30 741s stacked-up on the ramp at Everett during early 1970 awaiting JT9D engines, by end of 1970 (one year after certification on 30 December 1969) 96 741s had been delivered to 17 customers. The scheduled EIS of the 741 with Pan Am was delayed by only 4-6 weeks.

Joe Sutter and the "Incredibles" knew how to properly recognize and manage "production problems."



Photo of 741s on Everett Ramp Without Engines (Boeing Photo)

[Edited 2006-10-04 17:46:45]

User currently offlineAirFrnt From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 2826 posts, RR: 42
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4279 times:

Quoting Lemurs (Reply 1):
Quite simply? No. The closest that you can get in any era is the L-1011, which was delayed over a year because of the financial mess Rolls-Royce got into in the early 70's, requiring a government bailout. They eventually got that squared away. The 747 was delayed for engine problems as well, but nothing remotely approaching the A380.

It should be noted that the problems with the L-1011 and the 747 were due to the engines, not the plane itself. The L-1011 never recovered from the production problems, and the fact that Lockheed read the market disastrously wrong. The 747on the other hand.

Quoting Tangowhisky (Reply 2):
Yes, in addition to the 747, the L1011 was also delayed because the engine manufacturers were late (PW for the 747-100 and RR for the L-1011). 10 years ago, Boeing was facing delays due to production ramp ups of their 737NGs. These examples are those with large measurable delays. Boeing had white tails parked with no engines that almost bankrupt the company on the 747. RR did a job on Lockheed that it got out of commercial aircraft business as the L1011 was as good or some say better plane than the DC-10.

I really recommend Joe Sutter's book on the 747. The 747 was not the major drain on the Boeing budget, the SST was. In fact the 747 was done on a shoestring budget. There also certainly was not any threat of going bankrupt waitinf for engines. It was problematic, but no less problematic then some other problems they had designing a plane that was so much greater then anything that had come before it.


User currently offlineLeelaw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 4245 times:

Quoting AirFrnt (Reply 9):
The 747 was not the major drain on the Boeing budget, the SST was. In fact the 747 was done on a shoestring budget.

Furthermore, the severe business set-back/contraction Boeing Commercial Aircraft experienced in the early-seventies was mostly attributable to the cancellation of the American SST program, and a deep economic recession in the North American economy which hit the airline industry particularly hard, leading to a severe decline in orders, as well as order cancellations, across all product lines. Not the ramp-up of 747 production. In fact, so many people left the Puget Sound region to look for work elsewhere because of job cuts at Boeing, that two local real estate agents put up a billboard reading "Will the last person leaving Seattle — Turn out the lights."



If anything, Boeing's ability to deliver 165 747s between December 1969 and December 1971, despite severe problems with the JT9D engine, most likely contributed to the company's ultimate recovery.

[Edited 2006-10-04 18:03:34]

User currently offlineAndesSMF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4206 times:

Quoting Tangowhisky (Reply 4):
Making high bypass engines with greater thrust and reliability requirements may not be a big task today, but certainly a bigger task in those days.

They were brand new. The first high bypass engine. P&W had to deal with problems that no one had dealt with before. This was new technology then.


User currently offlineLemurs From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1439 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4182 times:

Boeing also mismanaged their production schedules though. They over staffed and over produced the 747 in those early years to some degree, which led to the incredible ramp up of hiring for line workers, and then the massive layoffs that followed on the market downturn. They went after fast profits and growth so hard that they couldn't handle the downturn gracefully...it was after that period that they started seriously looking into streamlining their production methods to use less people.

It was even worse for the local economy at the time...Seattle hadn't yet become a high tech or medical research center, so as Boeing went, so did Seattle go. Dark times.



There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary, and those that don't.
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30910 posts, RR: 87
Reply 13, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4155 times:
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Quoting Lemurs (Reply 12):
Boeing also mismanaged their production schedules though. They over staffed and over produced the 747 in those early years to some degree, which led to the incredible ramp up of hiring for line workers, and then the massive layoffs that followed on the market downturn.

True, but that was driven by the airlines and their own cyclical "boom and bust" nature.

When times are good for the airlines, they order planes like crazy. Then the times get rough and they park planes and stop ordering. If Boeing didn't ramp production up to meet demand, that demand will seek other options (Lockheed, McD, Airbus).

The years before 9/11 was a boom time for airline orders and Boeing added thousands of people. The last half decade has been a bust and Boeing shed some 25,000. Now we're back on a boom cycle with probably two consecutive 1000-frame order years for Boeing and Airbus just came off a 1000-frame order year in 2005, themselves.

By outsourcing everything but design and final assembly, Boeing should be able to better tailor workforce to demand and we will no longer see these tens of thousands of job additions and deletions every decade.


User currently offlineLemurs From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1439 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4125 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 13):
By outsourcing everything but design and final assembly, Boeing should be able to better tailor workforce to demand and we will no longer see these tens of thousands of job additions and deletions every decade.

They seem to have settled on a comfortable margin of backorders too, which helps keep the parts pipeline full, and the workers busy. It will always bel up-and-down, but it shouldn't get as bad as it did even as late as the late 90's, when they let the 737NG backlog and production problems get out of control.

That's not to say that a new management group can't come in and screw it up of course. All you need is some good old-fashioned Not Invented Here management to come in and make changes to prove they're worth the money and all that hard work goes down the tubes.

Seems incredible that even as recently as 18 months ago, Boeing's management was in total disarray and threatening to tank any chances at a quick recovery for the company, while Airbus was riding high and was held up as the new model of how to manage a multinational collaborative project. It's almost stunning how quickly the perceptions have flip-flopped. (Not necessarily realities, but perceptions at least...though it seems that the realities are close to the perceptions at the moment.)



There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary, and those that don't.
User currently offlineTangowhisky From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 912 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4003 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 13):
When times are good for the airlines, they order planes like crazy. Then the times get rough and they park planes and stop ordering.

Yes but don't mix new orders with production and deliveries. When airlines stop ordering, the % of cancellations are low, so when time go bad in term of orders, backlogs are important, as it has been said, the airline industry in terms of orders historically yoyo's between feast and famine.

Quoting Lemurs (Reply 12):
Boeing also mismanaged their production schedules though. They over staffed and over produced the 747 in those early years to some degree, which led to the incredible ramp up of hiring for line workers, and then the massive layoffs that followed on the market downturn.

 checkmark 

Even before the 1972 oil embargo (these are conditions out of their control causing severe economic pain), Boeing could have managed the early production ramp up better in terms of cash flow and working capital. Just because the father of the 747 wrote a book, does not mean he is providing an unbiased objective post mortum on allowing 30 747s being built with no engines that caused a huge cash crunch - even if the 747 cash flows were eared for the SST. No one would stay in management today if that happened.



Only the paranoid survive
User currently offlineLeelaw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3992 times:

Quoting Tangowhisky (Reply 15):

Thanks for the revisionist history lesson...urban legends die hard!


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30910 posts, RR: 87
Reply 17, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3968 times:
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Quoting Tangowhisky (Reply 15):
Yes but don't mix new orders with production and deliveries.

I kind of have to, since those orders have delivery times set to them.  Smile

After all, we agree that when QF ordered 45 787s plus 20 confirmed options and 50 exercisable options they did not tell Boeing "Hey, whenever you get around to finishing them, drop us a line and we'll come pick them up."  Silly

Quote:
When airlines stop ordering, the % of cancellations are low, so when time go bad in term of orders, backlogs are important, as it has been said, the airline industry in terms of orders historically yoyo's between feast and famine.

True, but that backlog is slated to be whittled down at a pre-set pace based on the delivery schedule negotiated with the airlines. Boeing (and Airbus) need to have sufficient people on-hand to deliver those planes to that schedule, especially when demand for the plane is high.

You can try and schedule deliveries to match the lower demand when a model has been "out of favor" for sometime (747/767) and orders have slowed to a trickle, but eventually, if insufficient orders come in, you run out of planes to deliver and you have to close the line (757/A300).


User currently offlineLehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 21
Reply 18, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3910 times:

B-1 bomber maybe? I hear it was nearly 20 years between the B-1a and the B-1b.  Smile


The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30910 posts, RR: 87
Reply 19, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3904 times:
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Quoting Lehpron (Reply 18):
B-1 bomber maybe? I hear it was nearly 20 years between the B-1a and the B-1b.  Smile

Well it was cancelled for a few years between the Carter and Reagan Administrations...  Wink


User currently offlineRampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3127 posts, RR: 6
Reply 20, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3845 times:

Quoting Lemurs (Reply 14):
Seems incredible that even as recently as 18 months ago, Boeing's management was in total disarray and threatening to tank any chances at a quick recovery for the company, while Airbus was riding high and was held up as the new model of how to manage a multinational collaborative project. It's almost stunning how quickly the perceptions have flip-flopped. (Not necessarily realities, but perceptions at least...though it seems that the realities are close to the perceptions at the moment.)

Note that Boeing has gone increasingly global, particularly with the 787, though maintaining the central point of manufacture, so is in fact a well-oiled multinational collaboration; while Airbus, the "original" multinational, has been mired in split production lines and complex logistics. Not that this has any impact on the current status of the A380, but I think reflective of a business structure with problems. Similarly, remember the disarray when Boeing moved HQ to Chicago? Again, a split message and confusing apex for the global network. That still exists, though the bugs are worked out. I don't know, I'm stabbing at ideas.

-Rampart


User currently offlineAirbusA6 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2013 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3833 times:

Nor quite the same, as the delay was after it entered service, but the DH Comet, a real pioneer, sadly was grounded for major testing and mods after the 2 hull loss disasters.

It never recovered, and a certain US manufacturer called Boeing came to dominate the market.........



it's the bus to stansted (now renamed national express a4 to ruin my username)
User currently offlineQF744 From Australia, joined Feb 2004, 415 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (7 years 11 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3729 times:

What about the drag issues of the MD-11? After flight tests, SQ cancelled what was a major order at the time!


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