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IHT: Airbus Saga:How Hubris/haste Snarled The A380  
User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6484 posts, RR: 3
Posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5966 times:

From The International Herald-Tribune. This is quite lengthy, so I felt it was better to simply post a link than excerpts:

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/12/11/business/airbus.php?page=1


When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDvautier From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 45 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5873 times:

This is a great article and the first time I have heard of Computervision (CV) at use in Airbus. The article does a much better job at explaining some of the wiring problems and delays. I have never believed the Catia V4 and V5 explaination. Catia doesn’t do wiring. Never did.

Incidentally Boeing has been using CV since 1972 to perform part of the wiring operation. It does the schematic and wiring diagram production plus some continuity but most of the important wire bundle and connector production is handled by their WIRS system.


User currently offlineWINGS From Portugal, joined May 2005, 2831 posts, RR: 68
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5836 times:

An interesting and informative report. Well worth the time to read it. Thank you for sharing it with us N328KF.

Well like I have said on previous occasions, The Airbus management made their beds, now they have to sleep in it.

It's a shame that due to various minor issues, which could have been avoided at an early stage has lead to a delay of more then 2 years. It's even more sad when it seems that the A380 is meeting and even exceeding many of it's set targets.

Regards,
Wings



Aviation Is A Passion.
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30914 posts, RR: 87
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5741 times:
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Quoting WINGS (Reply 2):
An interesting and informative report. Well worth the time to read it. Thank you for sharing it with us N328KF.

Indeed. Reinforced much of what we knew, dispelled some misconceptions, and supplied new insights.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12138 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5691 times:

Quoting WINGS (Reply 2):
It's even more sad when it seems that the A380 is meeting and even exceeding many of it's set targets.

Since Airbus knew of the A-380 wiring problem back in the summer of 2004, how do we know this is true?


User currently offlineWINGS From Portugal, joined May 2005, 2831 posts, RR: 68
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5661 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):

Since Airbus knew of the A-380 wiring problem back in the summer of 2004, how do we know this is true?

Well actions speak louder then words. Both SQ and QF have placed additional orders despite the A380 program running two years late, which leaves one to believe that Airbus is doing something correct.

Their is a big difference between manufacturing issues, and performance issues.

Regards,
Wings



Aviation Is A Passion.
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12465 posts, RR: 25
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5614 times:

Quote:
"When they were sending barrel sections down here without the wiring, someone should have blown the whistle," Leahy said.

Nice of Leahy to speak openly, but he didn't finish his sentence: who should have blown the wistle?

Quote:
Frequently, wires that were installed one day would have to be ripped out the next.

Anyone want to buy that airplane?



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineLawnDart From United States of America, joined May 2005, 970 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 5556 times:

Excellent article, N328KF...thanks for sharing. And Dvautier, I have to commend you for taking technically challenging issues and making it easy enough for dummies like me to understand, not just here but in previous posts. Thanks for that!

User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 5261 times:

"The recent crisis has at least had the merit of being cathartic. Acrimony has eased, Airbus insiders say, and in the corner offices of Airbus headquarters, executives are beginning to speak more openly about the lessons learned.

"An almost preternatural calm prevails inside the superjumbo's vast assembly hall at Toulouse. Eight of the twin-deck planes stand in various stages of construction, a few already bearing the freshly painted logos of the jet's first impatient customers on their tail sections.

"Muffled voices speaking a handful of European languages waft faintly from deep inside the cavernous green fuselages. If only Airbus's various languages and cultures and layers of management had been aligned earlier."


If people are only just 'beginning' to speak more openly, and the assembly lines are 'preternaturally calm,' the article (mainly sourced to Leahy) gives the impression that Airbus hasn't solved all its problems, even yet?



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineOU812 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5176 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 9):
If people are only just 'beginning' to speak more openly, and the assembly lines are 'preternaturally calm,' the article (mainly sourced to Leahy) gives the impression that Airbus hasn't solved all its problems, even yet?

I gotta give it to Airbus/eads. They're more tight lipped than the CIA!


User currently offlineSSTsomeday From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 1276 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5120 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 4):
Since Airbus knew of the A-380 wiring problem back in the summer of 2004, how do we know this is true?

Aside from being late with the 380, for which Airbus has to pay compensation to customers, does the fact that Airbus kept the delays quiet for what amounted to almost a year (is that correct?) make Airbus guilty of fraud?

Or does it at least make Airbus even more liable for compensation packages since they were not forthcoming about delays? The reason I suggest this is: had they been forthcoming about the delays earlier, perhaps more airlines would have bailed on the project or delayed deliveries in order to meet their growth requirements in other ways, but Airbus appears to have deceived customers and strung them along.

I'm suggesting the production challenges cover-up is a separate issue from the production delays, and I wonder if Airbus can be held financially accountable for it?



I come in peace
User currently offlineBoeing767-300 From Australia, joined Sep 2001, 659 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5016 times:

Quoting WINGS (Reply 5):
Well actions speak louder then words. Both SQ and QF have placed additional orders despite the A380 program running two years late, which leaves one to believe that Airbus is doing something correct.

If you say this often enough WINGS you might even start to believe it. The fact is that the options price is so attractive that you would be crazy not to exercise them.

The real proof is NEW orders to which there are NONE because the price is a lot higher than launch discounts and Airlines are at a disadvantage from SQ and QF.

I will believe that performance has met or exceeded expectation when Airbus state it and wouldn't they shout that from the tree tops because of all the bad press over the last 12 months. What you had said appears to be comments that have gone from whispers to 'folklore'

Time will tell but at 275 tons OEW I doubt it


User currently offlineWINGS From Portugal, joined May 2005, 2831 posts, RR: 68
Reply 12, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4890 times:

Quoting Boeing767-300 (Reply 12):

If you say this often enough WINGS you might even start to believe it. The fact is that the options price is so attractive that you would be crazy not to exercise them.

Yet if the aircraft wasn't performing as promised I don't think that SQ or QF would rush to place additional orders so soon. Like I said before actions speak louder then words.

Quoting Boeing767-300 (Reply 12):

The real proof is NEW orders to which there are NONE because the price is a lot higher than launch discounts and Airlines are at a disadvantage from SQ and QF.

You are correct that a new customer for the A380 program would be an even better vote of confidence. Hopefully December will bring us a surprise.

Regards,
Wings



Aviation Is A Passion.
User currently offlineLeelaw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4839 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 9):
If people are only just 'beginning' to speak more openly, and the assembly lines are 'preternaturally calm,' the article (mainly sourced to Leahy) gives the impression that Airbus hasn't solved all its problems, even yet?

Along these lines the WSJ reported yesterday that: "...European plane-maker Airbus is likely to solve the production problems related to its A380 superjumbo jetliner in a matter of weeks or months, Airbus Chief Executive Louis Gallois said Monday..."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB116583989005246412.html


User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3573 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4686 times:

Slightly off topic I know but isn't it ironic that every page of the article has a BA ad on it, when as we all know BA hasn't placed any orders for the A380?

User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 15, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4632 times:

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 15):
"...European plane-maker Airbus is likely to solve the production problems related to its A380 superjumbo jetliner in a matter of weeks or months, Airbus Chief Executive Louis Gallois said Monday..."

Huh! He's already HAD about five months. Note that he didn't say whether it was weeks OR months - and even then he only said it was 'likely.'  Smile

Gallois begins to appear distinctly 'limited' - he strikes me as being like the guy who was famously described (by President Truman, I think) as "A two-ulcer man in a five-ulcer job."

And he certainly doesn't exhibit the sort of oratorical powers which might galvanise and inspire the workers at Airbus. Where's the Churchillian touch - "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat"?



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineOU812 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 4592 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 18):
Where's the Churchillian touch - "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat"?

Those that speak logic are assassinated by labor union hit man!


 tombstone 


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12465 posts, RR: 25
Reply 17, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 4532 times:

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 11):
Aside from being late with the 380, for which Airbus has to pay compensation to customers, does the fact that Airbus kept the delays quiet for what amounted to almost a year (is that correct?) make Airbus guilty of fraud?

Perhaps, but it sure makes Noel Forgeard's stock sale smell bad. I'm sure the French government will be bringing charges soon - NOT!

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 15):
Along these lines the WSJ reported yesterday that: "...European plane-maker Airbus is likely to solve the production problems related to its A380 superjumbo jetliner in a matter of weeks or months, Airbus Chief Executive Louis Gallois said Monday..."

Likely? Weeks or months? Gee, that's a very wishy-washy statement!



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineSSTsomeday From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 1276 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4490 times:

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 15):
Along these lines the WSJ reported yesterday that: "...European plane-maker Airbus is likely to solve the production problems related to its A380 superjumbo jetliner in a matter of weeks or months, Airbus Chief Executive Louis Gallois said Monday..."

Is my memory faulty, because I recall Airbus had announced weeks ago that they had solved the wiring problems. And so we have been speculating in these threads, wondering why they don't revise the 380 delivery forecast to reflect this. But now they are saying they are likely to solve the wiring issues in weeks or months. I don't understand.

Meanwhile, I had asked in reply "11," "Aside from being late with the 380, for which Airbus has to pay compensation to customers, does the fact that Airbus kept the delays quiet for what amounted to almost a year (is that correct?) make Airbus guilty of fraud?" to which "Revelation" replied:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 20):
Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 11):
Perhaps, but it sure makes Noel Forgeard's stock sale smell bad.

Yes, I had forgotten about that. So is the only potential legal liability is Forgeard's alleged insider trade? Isn't Airbus accountable to some governing body or vulnerable to lawsuits for misleading it's shareholders and customers (in order to avoid losing sales) by keeping mum for so long, much like Enron?

One might speculate that the airlines who are still on board with this A/C REALLY want it, and/or the price for launch customers is REALLY attractive, otherwise they could sue to break their contracts on this point.



I come in peace
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 19, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4490 times:

Now we know why Gallois chose his words carefully. He knows what's happening to the last CEO who made lots of confident statements about the A380's progress  Smile:-

"PARIS: Police searched the Paris headquarters of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co. and one of its main shareholders Tuesday, judicial officials said, just hours before the group's flagship Airbus A380 was expected to get final approval for commercial service.

"Officials said the searches at EADS and Paris-based Lagardere SCA were part of an investigation into suspicions of insider trading involving EADS shares. Noel Forgeard, the former co-chief executive of Airbus parent EADS and dozens of his former colleagues are under investigation in relation to the share sales.

"The judicial officials asked not to be named, citing French rules on the confidentiality of investigations. Investigators from France's Financial Markets Authority also searched EADS and Airbus offices in June."


http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/...ness/EU_FIN_France_Airbus_A380.php



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineSSTsomeday From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 1276 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4468 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 22):
"Officials said the searches at EADS and Paris-based Lagardere SCA were part of an investigation into suspicions of insider trading involving EADS shares. Noel Forgeard, the former co-chief executive of Airbus parent EADS and dozens of his former colleagues are under investigation in relation to the share sales.

Thanks, Nav20. Interesting stuff.



I come in peace
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 21, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4433 times:

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 21):
But now they are saying they are likely to solve the wiring issues in weeks or months. I don't understand.

As I've explained elsewhere, SSTsomeday, I for one don't think that the 'root cause' is the wiring problem; it's not having the money to fund full production of loss-making sales. Airbus has been telling half-truths for years, why should they suddenly start telling the 'whole truth' now?

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 21):
Isn't Airbus accountable to some governing body or vulnerable to lawsuits for misleading it's shareholders and customers

Certainly vulnerable to civil suits by shareholders, some of which are already under way. Possibly at risk of criminal charges for fraud as well.

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 21):
and/or the price for launch customers is REALLY attractive, otherwise they could sue to break their contracts on this point.

Guess only, but the airlines concerned appear to be on a hiding to nothing. If they cancel they are stuck with having inadequate capacity, which will hit profits/growth for years to come, given the lead-time on getting ANY other aircraft to fill the gap. And any OTHER aeroplanes (like 748s), besides being years off delivery, would cost them maybe twice as much as the A380s are costing.

At present they are at least getting compensation for loss of profits, and can hope eventually to take delivery of their ordered A380s at knockdown prices. Always assuming that Airbus doesn't fold in the meantime. And even if Airbus DOES fold, the compensation won't be refundable.

[Edited 2006-12-12 15:43:02]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineSSTsomeday From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 1276 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4394 times:

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 24):
As I've explained elsewhere, SSTsomeday, I for one don't think that the 'root cause' is the wiring problem; it's not having the money to fund full production of loss-making sales. Airbus has been telling half-truths for years, why should they suddenly start telling the 'whole truth' now?

That's an interesting and ominous theory. Airbus does not receive the balance until they deliver the metal, right? Based on your position, I suppose it's difficult to hasten the completion of these birds when they know the compensation does not cover their costs?

So their profitably on the 380, theoretically, will be far into the future as they pass their break-even point. I have seen you speculate about how far into the future that break-even point is, especially because of losses due to the delays, because of interest on loans etc, and how you do not believe that the break-even point will be reached.

It seems to me, though, that they would lose less money by delivering the current order book, plus any new orders they may acquire, as opposed to bailing on the project at this point. Are you suggesting that Airbus are unlikely to garner any new orders at closer to list prices?



I come in peace
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 23, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4328 times:

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 25):
So their profitably on the 380, theoretically, will be far into the future as they pass their break-even point. I have seen you speculate about how far into the future that break-even point is, especially because of losses due to the delays, because of interest on loans etc, and how you do not believe that the break-even point will be reached.

Case of two different 'breakeven points,' SSTsomeday. The one we've all often speculated about is 'true' breakeven, recovering all costs including the $US13B. or so of development costs. Even Airbus says they'll have to sell 420 X A380s to do that, so that is likely to be decades into the future (if it ever happens).

But EADS' own recent forecasts say that they don't expect to break even on PRODUCTION until 2010 - and only then if they can complete and deliver about 90 X A380s by then. Fully explained on here, with a link to EADS' statement, Post 71:-

http://www.airliners.net/discussions...eneral_aviation/read.main/3137049/

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 25):
It seems to me, though, that they would lose less money by delivering the current order book, plus any new orders they may acquire, as opposed to bailing on the project at this point.

On EADS' own forecasts, they are going to LOSE money on at least the first half of the current order book - presumably through a combination of low launch prices, compensation, and Euro appreciation.

So, in my opinion only, the TRUE reason for the A380 delays is not the wiring problems - it's the fact that they haven't got enough cash flowing in from sales of other models to finance the huge production costs of all those A380s unless they spread it over several years. I believe that that is the true reason why they've currently got the begging-bowl out for an extra E5B. through capital raising, bond issues, or whatever.

Quoting SSTsomeday (Reply 25):
Are you suggesting that Airbus are unlikely to garner any new orders at closer to list prices?

My opinion again - now that the 748 is established on the horizon I think they'll have trouble selling many more A380s, the 748 looks like carrying almost as many people just as far for a lot less fuel. And to any major airport worldwide, too.

But more important than that, further sales wouldn't help their cash flow problems anyway - on their own production forecasts, they'll be occupied until at least 2013 filling the orders they've already got. More A380 orders won't therefore help their cash flow until 2014 at the earliest.

[Edited 2006-12-12 16:40:04]


"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlineBoomBoom From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4297 times:

Quoting WINGS (Reply 14):
Like I said before actions speak louder then words.

The actions that would speak the loudest would be for Airbus to release some specific performance numbers from the flight testing.

The fact that SQ and QF placed additional orders may just indicate that they are getting them for so little cost ($100 million) that it more than compensates for less than optimal performance.


25 PlaneHunter : I guess the same people who continuously complain about a lack of information would then be first ones to question any numbers. Considering that QF o
26 Stitch : But is "performing as promised" good enough, now, if the 747-8I truly has the better numbers? I know we've all speculated around it a great deal and
27 Post contains images PlaneHunter : Is that based on the same source which suggested that the A320 "had virtually stopped selling" only a few months ago? PH
28 Post contains links Jdevora : Looks like they said it today: Airbus A380 receives joint EASA & FAA Type Certification [Edited 2006-12-12 19:52:27]
29 TeamAmerica : Have they? SQ issued an LOI to exercise options, but have they firmed? QF made an announcement of firm orders, but Airbus has not confirmed it and th
30 Post contains links Baron95 : "Airbus, marked with the first flight on 27th April 2005" from this link http://www.airbus.com/en/presscentre...6_A380_EASA_FAA_Ceritifcation.html Tha
31 SSTsomeday : I noticed that as well. The certification doesn't confirm any of those claims, I would imagine, only that the A/C is safe and is techincally sound. I
32 Jdevora : I watched the video highlights and what he says is that all the flight hours required for have the certificate allowed them to confirm the performanc
33 Post contains images Dvautier : I don’t think “solving the wiring problem” makes any sense. It’s like saying we have solved the Iraq problem, or the world hunger problem or t
34 Boeing767-300 : Jvedora, they said the same thing about MD11 and that missed its numbers and effectively died. SQ ordered A340 and that was subseqently replaced by B
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