Baron95 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1335 posts, RR: 9 Posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 17338 times:
Please lets not mention Boeing on this thread. Thanks.
I have searched endlessly for this info, but found nothing specific - maybe some of you can help.
Airbus claims to have completed all A380 certification prereqs and expects certification next week. They also claim that there are no outstanding weight or performance issues. They claim that they already have a fix for the wiring problem. There are several (7?) planes that have flown and more (reports of up to 20, which I think is incorrect) already built/being built.
Discounting the first token airplane delivery to SQ promissed in late 2007, Airbus schedule calls for the second and third A380s to be delivered in 1Q/2008.
The question is: What the heck is Airbus doing to these frames that takes 15 months????!!!??? This is unprecedented - 15 months to deliver a frame that is already flying (for a while) and certified (next week). Why hasn't any customer, journalist or analyst pressed Airbus for an answer? Am I missing something? Can it really take 15 months to retrofit the wiring fix engineering change to frames already built or in assembly?
It takes 60-90 days to strip an old airliner and upgrade it with new interior, new IFE, etc. How can it take the Airbus factory 15 months to retrofit the wiring fix? Something does not compute in my mind. Could there be another major problem still not reported? Wouldn't the EK on-site audit have uncovered that?
SailorOrion From Germany, joined Feb 2001, 2058 posts, RR: 6 Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 17289 times:
This is a question that has crossed my mind multiple times and I can honestly say that I have no friggin' idea. The main problem is that all these frames bind a sh!tload of $$$ that the company would dearly need to fix a bit of the mess they have generated recently. Now while I have some info about what the wiring issue actually is, I'm not sure why it takes 15 months. And frankly, I'm amazed that people (worker bees, engineers and management) in Toulouse and Hamburg are NOT working 24/7 to get their act together, but instead plan chrismas vacation.
Eureka From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 85 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 17255 times:
Quoting Baron95 (Thread starter): They also claim that there are no outstanding weight or performance issues.
I believe what they've usually said in regard to weight and performance issues, and by performance I mean fuel mileage not something trivial in this context like crosswind capability, is that they are meeting their customer commitments. Meeting customer commitments can mean a wide range of things. Examples include max takeoff weight increases at no charge to recover range, committing to design changes at no charge to improve performance, and/or paying remedies to the airline for the additional cost incurred due to a performance shortfall.
Scouseflyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 3254 posts, RR: 10 Reply 3, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 17177 times:
Quoting Baron95 (Thread starter): Airbus claims to have completed all A380 certification prereqs and expects certification next week. They also claim that there are no outstanding weight or performance issues. They claim that they already have a fix for the wiring problem. There are several (7?) planes that have flown and more (reports of up to 20, which I think is incorrect) already built/being built.
I think that the eight (SQs third production frame) flew late November. There are also at least 10 in various states of build around TLS so 20 is probably correct.
Quoting Baron95 (Thread starter): The question is: What the heck is Airbus doing to these frames that takes 15 months????!!!???
They are re-wiring them - but first they have to get the plan correct - they are using one plane as a 3d plan to get the wiring worked out, documenting that as they go along. Then they can do the others.
The planes currently flying have a simplified basic wiring rig to make the plane work but doesn't incorporate IFE etc so they will all need to be updated.
Quoting Baron95 (Thread starter): This is unprecedented - 15 months to deliver a frame that is already flying (for a while) and certified (next week). Why hasn't any customer, journalist or analyst pressed Airbus for an answer? Am I missing something? Can it really take 15 months to retrofit the wiring fix engineering change to frames already built or in assembly?
It was stated by Tom Enders that it takes 5 months to rewire one plane but they cannot start until the 3D plan is in place.
It is unlikely that there is any other sort of big issue!
Scouseflyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 3254 posts, RR: 10 Reply 5, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 17086 times:
I was thinking of a good analogy and this isn't great but here goes!
Imagine going to the shops and buying 5000 stard packets of spaghetti, then taking each packet and joining each piece end to end to give a 500' piece of pasta.
Budle the 4500 500' strands together in small, medium, large and huge bundles and drape all over your house, down the cavity walls, under the floor, completly fill the kitchen cupboards and lob some over the trees in the garden.
Now someone comes along and says that some of the wholemeal strands need to be cut in half and joined with some of the plain one, some of which also need to be joined with the multicoloured ones and some of the plain ones need to be connected to the quick-cook ones etc.....
Oh and you don't have a proper plan as the recipe was wrong in the first place.
Right and you've got to do that in 19 houses.
That's why it's taking so long and I think that they're being as conservative as possible to be sure that it's impossible to have any further delays!
797charter From Denmark, joined Jun 2005, 219 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 17010 times:
Quote: The problem is to do with the design of the electrical cable harnesses for the fore and aft fuselage. This comprises 530 kilometres of wires which are connected to 100,000 individual cable sections with 40,300 connectors and 350 kilometres of length per aircraft. The A380's wiring is twice as complex as the A340-600's.
I suggest that those of you who not has seen this article to read it, it is rather well-written and throw light on some of the problems they have in TLS.
I hope the issue does not get any worse, partly for the A380 and partly for the vision of hell that your next analogy would conjure up - f*cking brilliant as Pameal Stephenson's hubbie would say!
Quoting 797charter (Reply 6): I suggest that those of you who not has seen this article to read it, it is rather well-written and throw light on some of the problems they have in TLS.
Great article, so it is all Windows fault - again. Perhaps the A380 should be painted pro tem in those strange vertical stripes that have replaced the blue screen of death! When they are removed, we will know the program has rebooted successfully.
Scouseflyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 3254 posts, RR: 10 Reply 8, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 16876 times:
Quoting Baroque (Reply 7): Great article, so it is all Windows fault - again. Perhaps the A380 should be painted pro tem in those strange vertical stripes that have replaced the blue screen of death! When they are removed, we will know the program has rebooted successfully.
I was on a train last week and one of the carriages was really, really hot and the train manager apologised about this but said nothing could be done until the end of the line and the train could be re-booted. There was a giant egg-timer on the outside of the train that wouldn't move I noticed........
Baroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 60 Reply 9, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 16802 times:
Quoting Scouseflyer (Reply 8): There was a giant egg-timer on the outside of the train that wouldn't move I noticed........
Sooo, we need to scan all the A380 pics for static eggtimers - could be.
But a serious question. Are Airbus taking advantage of the pause to fix or otherwise improve any other issues? You would hope that the A380 that appears after the 1 or 2 year delay, depending on how you are counting, is better than the one that went into the sleep, otherwise it would be rather like the tale of Rip van Winkle.
In another thread, I asked if RR would take the opportunity of the pause in Trent 900 production to exit with a better unit. The answer from on high (you know where engine answers come from that is high up!) was that there were some smaller things that they might do.
IIRC, the 707 and 747s after a year or so in production were much better than the models at introduction. You would hope that Airbus might use the enforced delay to do something even better, not being cluttered up with high volume production - alas!
Scouseflyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 3254 posts, RR: 10 Reply 10, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 16771 times:
Quoting Baroque (Reply 9): IIRC, the 707 and 747s after a year or so in production were much better than the models at introduction. You would hope that Airbus might use the enforced delay to do something even better, not being cluttered up with high volume production - alas!
Too young to remember that but have just been reading about the heavy wings on the first few A346s which was improved after that so the same thing will probably happen here.
You really want to know?! Ok, here's my version of the story.
Remember it's a truly european company, so the employees have to get around months of paid vacation. Imagine the working day of a franco-german Airbus employee:
1) Return to work on Monday after a 3 weeks vacation on the Atlantic coast near Biarritz, Mallorca or the Dominican Republic.
2) Find out, you have 380 unread emails in your Inbox
3) Go to long meetings on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
4) Making a lot of phone calls to/from Toulouse/Hamburg to get the current status of the A380 rewiring works
5) Drink a lot of coffee with your colleagues, tell them about your nice holidays and show them the pictures
6) It's Friday, after lunch leave for the weekend
7) Before that start planning your next holidays beggining in 4 weeks
Welcome to Europe!
I hope you all have a nice Friday!
p.s. Nevertheless I'd also want to know the real reason behind the huge delays...
[Edited 2006-12-08 11:45:08]
Like most of life's problems, this one can be solved with bending -- Bender Unit 22
IIRC, when I asked a similar question a few weeks ago it was WingedMigrator who likened the loss of "configuration control" on the 15-16 airframes (5 test aircraft, 10-11 production airframes) already assembled on the A380 line to this point as the equivalent of smashing a "Ming Vase" and then trying to piece it back together again. Whether the 10-22 month timeframe (depending on the early operator SQ, QF, EY, EK) Airbus is currently projecting as necessary to commence meaningful deliveries to customers is reasonable seems to be another question altogether. Apparently, Tim Clark was asking the same questions, hence he ordered EK's own "production audit" which by all accounts took place in mid-November. Unfortunately, so far, there has been scant information on the findings of EK's audit team. AFAIK, there still hasn't been a decisive utterance forthcoming on this matter from the generally loquacious Mr. Clark himself.
AutoThrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1480 posts, RR: 8 Reply 14, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 16559 times:
AFAIK they still have problems with the ramp up process. They have find a standardisation for the wires but the ramp up is lagging behind. Also there are some problems with the landing gear doors, and have to be strengthend.
IMO Airbus is fixing all this issues and want be 100% sure the plane will be delivered almost bug-free and matured. But somehow i also think its taking to long.
Albird87 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 16, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 16381 times:
Can someone please tell me what is the problem with the wires?? is it that there isnt any space for them or that the current caused by them is causing a magnetic field which is influencing working surfaces???
Please if someone could update me on this it would be great!!
Scouseflyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 3254 posts, RR: 10 Reply 17, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 16278 times:
Quoting Albird87 (Reply 16): Can someone please tell me what is the problem with the wires?? is it that there isnt any space for them or that the current caused by them is causing a magnetic field which is influencing working surfaces???
Please if someone could update me on this it would be great!!
It's explained quite well in the article linked above but a good analogy would be a prefabricated house where the wires and pipes are pre-installed in the walls before the walls are glued together to make a house.
When they came to mate the sections of the production planes (walls of house) together they found that the wires (wires and pipes) didn;t meet up correctly.
The prototype planes were delivered in sections with basic wiring that worke but changes decided on as par of testing and the addition of IFE wiring messed everything up - the computer programs had a funny turn and the production planes were all wrong.
The problem is apparantly fixed for any planes after number 19 (?) on the line but that leaves 19 planes to sort out!
Baroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 60 Reply 19, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 16202 times:
Quoting Scouseflyer (Reply 10): Too young to remember that but have just been reading about the heavy wings on the first few A346s which was improved after that so the same thing will probably happen here.
Do you have a reference or a link to that? I have read that it happened, but not an account of what they did.
TeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23 Reply 21, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 15878 times:
Quoting Scouseflyer (Reply 17): The problem is apparantly fixed for any planes after number 19 (?) on the line but that leaves 19 planes to sort out!
And if I was a customer, I'd be asking why Airbus doesn't build and deliver a brand-spanking-new, all-sorted-out A380? Get the line moving, and sort out the 19 (or however many) botched frames in parallel. Deliver out of sequence...but deliver sooner. Why the hell not?
OldAeroGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3206 posts, RR: 66 Reply 24, posted (6 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 15790 times:
Quoting Baron95 (Thread starter): Airbus claims to have completed all A380 certification prereqs and expects certification next week.
Well, one of the things they will be doing in the 10 months before first delivery will be completing the Type Certification testing. The TC next week will not include a maximum energy refused takeoff demonstration and the autoland qualification.
While next week's TC will be perfectly valid, no airline would accept an airplane of this category without completion of these two vital bits of capability.
Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
25 AirlineAddict: Good point. For EK, this would be a good question to ask. However, what would Airbus say to SQ?
26 Khobar: Airbus claims a 5.5 month time for complete re-wiring. MSN003 was reported to have been rewired (by June) and sitting in Hamburg waiting for paint. T
27 Baroque: Thanks. I think I might have seen that and that one does need a bit of a health warning. It is a bit odd, tells you they were overweight but not why
28 OyKIE: I wondered about the very same thing. Wait with the 19 first examples. Keep the production line going. Then when you are ready fix each of the 19 fir
29 Sebolino: What a silly thing to say. I believe Airbus employees have been really hard pressured lately to clean up the mess. Not working 24 hours a day ? What
30 TeamAmerica: I think you misunderstand. I'm not saying that Airbus should go ahead and deliver to EK, but rather that they should build a new A380 for SQ and deli
31 Baroque: What about producing specially shortened Gallois?
32 PolymerPlane: Why can't Airbus just empty all the wiring from the current plane, design a new wiring harness and put it back in, instead of "fixing" the already ins
33 Haggis79: I guess that's exactly what they do right now.... before you start building new airframes you should figure out HOW to exactly building them....
34 TeamAmerica: My comments follow the premise that Airbus has sorted out the wiring problems. The original posting says: and asks why if this is the case will it ta
35 Flysherwood: Really? Why would you assume that? Because Airbus says so?
36 Rampart: No, it's great, works for me! Very apt, I think. -Rampart
37 Jacobin777: this does.. http://aec.cadalyst.com/manufacturin...rticle/articleDetail.jsp?id=390123
38 Oroka: Hopefully they are taking a page from the company that starts with a 'B' and the 15 month estimate was conservative. I think there is a good chance Ai
39 BSU747: Just a thought, with all the technology around these days, why don't they have a wireless plane!! You might solve the problem in one bit hit, and thin
40 Scouseflyer: I do too, not because of any A vs B thing, but I want to see the A380 in service!
41 Bbobbo: 787 will have wireless IFE. 747-8I too, supposedly.
42 Sphealey: > They are re-wiring them - but first they have > to get the plan correct - they are using one > plane as a 3d plan to get the wiring worked out, > do
43 Grantcv: Airbus is developing a nasty habit of stretching too far in their claims. Probably, when they said the wiring problems were resolved - what they meant
44 OldAeroGuy: The Production Certificate and Type Certificate are separate events. It is quite possible to get a TC without a PC.
45 CYatUK: But if I am not wrong that is exaclty what they said. They said they have a plan in place, a programme with timescales and that was used to determine
46 Oroka: The way I see it, they have a working wiring harness, but they are just going to tweak, optimize, and improve it to the standard they would like to h
47 Ruscoe: Another thing to consider but which is not a technical issue is the effect on cash flow. It is quite possible, and Airbus has admitted as much, that s
48 TeamAmerica: Imagine the surprised looks at SQ when Airbus unexpectedly delivers all their A380's in a batch. Their fleet planners would be thrilled...NOT.
49 Albird87: Now this worries me about airbus. Now i am presuming that this aircraft was designed through CAD!! now if you excuse me what the hell software did the
50 Ncelhr: Before I start, let me first say that I do not work for Airbus. I have spent some time analyzing the situation by searching for sources on the Interne
51 TeamAmerica: Should not, but could. If power sources and cabling for the IFE are not properly isolated from flight controls, then it most definitely could have a
52 787engineer: We're already doing so on the 787. “I don't know all the details of what's happening with the A380 but, if it is wiring, then the 787's wireless in
53 Glideslope: It took guts to post that. That's it. Airbus is run like FEMA here in the states. It's doomed.
54 WingedMigrator: very well put. Like any disaster, there is a confluence of several contributing factors, none of which would have caused the disaster by itself. I su
55 Baron95: First, thank you for all the info posted and for not comparing A to B in this thread. Some follow up questions to some of the comments: So am I to ass
56 OldAeroGuy: What you are describing happens very rarely. While each airline usually specifies a custom interior, typically the OEM (Airbus or Boeing) is responsi
57 Baron95: Thanks for the clarification. I was mistakenly assuming that what was true in the biz jet world was also true in the airline world. One question thou
58 OldAeroGuy: Yes, they do. Although a certain amount of certification work is done by the seat supplier, the OEM is responsible for integrating it on the airplane
59 Baron95: Thanks again OldAeroGuy. It is rare when I actually get a question answered directly and instructively in this forum. I guess the proper thing to do,
60 Baroque: And who were the contractors there and did they receive RLI? You don't need to answer, I know!!
61 Agill: I think you forgot to put in a strike to protest some unimportant political decision about something that doesn't really affect anyone.
62 Joni: I've also wondered about this. Airbus said they could deliver the first plane in May 2007, but they wanted to optimize the operations so that the pla
63 NAV20: I suspect (no-one can KNOW) that Ruscoe's right in principle, that cash flow might have a lot to do with the situation. Airbus was expecting (right u
64 Baroque: ?None of us (put the ? in because some may know) can know, but I would have thought you very elegantly proved why they cannot afford not to press on
65 Khobar: I doubt IFE complexity had much, if anything, to do with the issue given that Airbus has stated that testing revealed the need to make structural cha
66 787engineer: I think SQ would prefer to have one A380 that they would have difficulty using effectively than waiting for two to come at about the same time. It is
67 Nitrohelper: I asked this in another thread ,but never got an answer, where are they going to work on all these airframes? Can the re-work be done outside, or wil
68 ElGreco: Concerning capacity of connector manufacturer to deliver on time product for A380 or any other A or B program, NO PROBLEMO AT ALL. Airbus purchasing
69 NAV20: Baroque, I think you've misunderstood my point. 'Afford' in this case means having the money available to do what is best in business terms. My sugge
70 Baroque: I see where you are coming from, but being short of funds should make them find a way of hurrying it up rather than allowing it to slow down. You cou
71 NAV20: I'm not even an accountant, Baroque, leave alone a psychiatrist! But as an ex-businessman, one thing I DO know is that no business lasts for long if
72 Baroque: That is too clever a trick for me to get my head around.
73 NAV20: One point I forgot to cover, Baroque - about:- They've already had to pay BAE out, in October - cash on the barrelhead. That's hardly likely to help t
74 Dougloid: And they're good only as long as the entity that issued them exists. There was a guy here who got ahold of a ton of Czarist Russia railroad bonds and
75 Baron95: Thanks for the info. I used that just to illustrate the possible supplier bottleneck. Is it possible that another long lead component is holding up t
76 NAV20: Agreed, Dougloid. The usual way of getting around that problem, as far as I know, is to give bondholders the equivalent of 'preference shareholder' s
77 Dougloid: Hmmmmmmm....why would anyone want to take that on with the management team they've got at Airbus....unless one could turn the money fast that isn't a
78 NAV20: I think that you could add Hans, Klaus, Harry, Fred, and Fernando to that list..... Cynically, I'd say that top priority for the French politicians i