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A350XWB - Solid Composite Fuselage?  
User currently offlineN1786b From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 559 posts, RR: 17
Posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 13953 times:

ATW Reporting the following this morning:

++++++++++++++++++

Airbus moving toward solid composite fuselage on A350 XWB
Friday January 26, 2007

Airbus appears to be moving toward adopting a solid composite barrel for its A350 XWB after receiving mixed feedback on its plan to use composite panels on an aluminum frame.

According to industry analysts, trade studies are underway in Toulouse for the change.

http://www.atwonline.com/news/story.html?storyID=7727
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


- n1786b

207 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBaron95 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1335 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 13951 times:

My god. What is this? Revision 7.0.

I have a bad feeling on this. Airbus is in total reactive mode on the A350. They are having to do this plane, not on their terms, but on Boeing's terms as a rushed response to the 787, and all along they are being pushed to a technology corner they are not comfortable with.

First they were pushed kicking and screaming to a multi-pannel composite fuselage. Now pushed again to integral barrel sections a la 787?

This will lead to disaster. As it happened with the Beech Starship and other designs, unless you optimize everything and have full command of the technology, composites can end up much heavier than Al.



Killer Fleet: E190, 737-900ER, 777-300ER
User currently offlineBlatantEcho From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1903 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 13942 times:

that's because make panels for a tube out of carbon is insane.

now they'll have themselves a real nice plane.



They're not handing trophies out today
User currently offlinePolymerPlane From United States of America, joined May 2006, 991 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 13925 times:

What about ramp rash? Isn't it almost impossible to fix? I won't get into the composite plane. It's too dangerous. There are too many unknowns with regard to the structural integrity after hard impact. I heard it's impossible to detect the defect in the fuselage, let alone getting it fixed in a reasonable time.

Cheers,
PP



One day there will be 100% polymer plane
User currently offlineAp305 From India, joined Jan 2000, 530 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 13894 times:

What next? a bleedless system? Airbus certainly have got their combined foot well in on this one .  Wow!

[Edited 2007-01-26 07:15:53]

User currently offlineFlyUSCG From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 656 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 13883 times:

I thought the whole reason they were going with the panels is because they don't have the technology to make a solid fuselage?

Quoting PolymerPlane (Reply 3):
What about ramp rash? Isn't it almost impossible to fix?

Boeing has already figured this out and already has procedures etc... to fix it. So no it is not almost impossible to fix, the airplane would never sell if that were the case. I'd also imagine that there is technology to detect defects in the fuselage. So you might want to verify your sources.



Go Trojans! Fight On!
User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8867 posts, RR: 75
Reply 6, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 13868 times:

Quoting Ap305 (Reply 4):
What next? a bleedless system?

The XWB always had a electro-pneumatic system, it is not bleedless as some bleed is still needed for anti-ice.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlinePolymerPlane From United States of America, joined May 2006, 991 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 13844 times:

Quoting FlyUSCG (Reply 5):

My username says it all...

Cheers,
PP



One day there will be 100% polymer plane
User currently offlineRichPhitzwell From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 13828 times:

For all its worth, I think AB got screwed when trying to half ask the original 350, now we see them going all out.

I say good for them, misread the needs and desires of the industry and now they are entertaining an all out revamped version.


User currently offlineAirFrnt From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 2824 posts, RR: 42
Reply 9, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 13797 times:

Quoting N1786b (Thread starter):
Airbus appears to be moving toward adopting a solid composite barrel for its A350 XWB after receiving mixed feedback on its plan to use composite panels on an aluminum frame.


At least Airbus is finally ditching the whole ramp rash scare tactic. It does seem that they are being forced in feature competition with the 787.

[Edited 2007-01-26 07:34:12]

User currently offlineAp305 From India, joined Jan 2000, 530 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 13787 times:

Quoting Zeke (Reply 6):
Quoting Ap305 (Reply 4):
What next? a bleedless system?

The XWB always had a electro-pneumatic system, it is not bleedless as some bleed is still needed for anti-ice.

But it still is not all-electric like on the 787 is it?. Both this and the solid plastic fuselage have advantages that are still debatable but since Airbus seems to be tilting in favor of the solid fuselage- I was thinking it may go all the way.


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21474 posts, RR: 60
Reply 11, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 13790 times:

So, how are they going to transport these barrels? The A380 convoy is a nightmare, and they don't have an air transport big enough to carry full barrels. Does this mean all the large section will be made in Toulouse?


Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineAirFrnt From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 2824 posts, RR: 42
Reply 12, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 13761 times:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 11):
So, how are they going to transport these barrels? The A380 convoy is a nightmare, and they don't have an air transport big enough to carry full barrels. Does this mean all the large section will be made in Toulouse?

Ideally yes, but we may also see a hot dog version of the A380.


User currently offlineWingedMigrator From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 2212 posts, RR: 56
Reply 13, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 13731 times:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 11):
they don't have an air transport big enough to carry full barrels

The Belugas are big enough to easily handle 5.91 meter XWB payloads. They have handled 6.5 meter diameter chemical tanks before. With A320 production concentrated in Hamburg, they should be available to carry whatever barrels are not built in Toulouse.

[edit] Upon further examination of the specs, the XWB wing is probably a bigger constraint than fuselage barrels. Looking at the XWB specs it just might fit, and I suspect this contributed to the choice of wingspan. Another interesting factoid is that the cargo hold volume of the 747 LCF is roughly 30% greater than the Beluga's. I would have expected them to be further apart.

[Edited 2007-01-26 08:07:55]

User currently offlineGrantcv From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 430 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 13662 times:

Okay, so what aspects of the B787 doesn't the A350XWB have yet. The flight deck windows still resemble those from the 7E7 Concept so I am guessing that they still have to be refined to match those of the B787. And the chevrons around the engines are missing so that work remains to be done. How about the windows? Do they match the B787's windows yet. I imagine the previous iteration of the interior done by BMW (the one with the shiny finishes) wasn't close enough to the B787 so that will need to be redesigned. Are Airbus planning on using the same moving production line that Boeing now has? I wonder how Boeing's change from a wireless IFE to a wired one has thrown a wrench into Airbus plans to copy what Boeing is doing in that department?

User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8867 posts, RR: 75
Reply 15, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 13626 times:

Quoting Ap305 (Reply 10):
But it still is not all-electric like on the 787 is it?.

That is what electro-pneumatic system means, they do not say bleedless as the 787 is not bleedless either. The systems have been in use for many years, many electro-pneumatic applications are found in truck, rail, and in the oil/gas industry.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineEvilForce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 13612 times:

Quoting Grantcv (Reply 14):
And the chevrons around the engines are missing so that work remains to be done.

Actually Airbus will be using a unique engine cowling that lowers noise by 3 to 4 db. There's a thread on it. But seriously dude, it's a tube with wings. What do you expect? It be like saying GM is copying Ford because it has 4 wheels, airbags, 4 doors and a trunk.


User currently offlineBaron95 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1335 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 13569 times:

Quoting RichPhitzwell (Reply 8):
I say good for them, misread the needs and desires of the industry and now they are entertaining an all out revamped version.

I don't think it is really "good for them". There were reasons, why Airbus first tried to stay close to the A330, then went partial composite, then full composite with pannels. They lacked the familiarity, experience, lined-up suppliers, and needed process and methods to go full tube composite. Not to mention financial and engineering resources that are already streched thin.

I think the 787 and the industry are pushing Airbus way out of their comfort zone on the A350XWB. I say the risk needle for a possible monumental screw-up that will dwarf the A380 mess up is 3/4 scale right now.



Killer Fleet: E190, 737-900ER, 777-300ER
User currently offlineAp305 From India, joined Jan 2000, 530 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 13570 times:

Quoting Zeke (Reply 15):
But it still is not all-electric like on the 787 is it?.

That is what electro-pneumatic system means, they do not say bleedless as the 787 is not bleedless either. The systems have been in use for many years, many electro-pneumatic applications are found in truck, rail, and in the oil/gas industry

Zeke, there is a clear distinction between the system used on the 787 and the xwb-all I am thinking is that the distinction may be removed.


User currently offlineAndesSMF From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 13570 times:

Quoting EvilForce (Reply 16):
What do you expect? It be like saying GM is copying Ford because it has 4 wheels, airbags, 4 doors and a trunk.

But if GM had originally derided the idea of Ford creating a car with 4 wheels, airbags, 4 doors and a trunk, I would forgive people for thinking that Airbus is coming to the party late, way late.


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8867 posts, RR: 75
Reply 20, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 13558 times:

Quoting Grantcv (Reply 14):
Okay, so what aspects of the B787 doesn't the A350XWB have yet.

The 787 concept looks nothing like a 787, the 787 looks more like a 330 with the changes to the front and tail.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21474 posts, RR: 60
Reply 21, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 13553 times:

Quoting WingedMigrator (Reply 13):
The Belugas are big enough to easily handle 5.91 meter XWB payloads. They have handled 6.5 meter diameter chemical tanks before.

Look at the way the 787 barrels are transported though. They are "crated" with two larger diameter rings on each end, and then wrapped in plastic. I believe that it adds more than .6 meters to the diameter, but maybe Airbus would devise something different.

Also, is the A350X taller than it is wide? Is it 5.91 meters wide or tall?



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineRichPhitzwell From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 13545 times:



User currently offlineLeelaw From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 13527 times:

Quoting N1786b (Thread starter):
Airbus appears to be moving toward adopting a solid composite barrel for its A350 XWB after receiving mixed feedback on its plan to use composite panels on an aluminum frame.

Minutes after the Airbus "braintrust" relaunched the A350XWB as the A350XWB(CFRP) on December 4th the following joke was coming out of ILFC:

Quote:
What's new at Airbus? John Leahy has switched from playing "Three-card Composite Monte" to the "Composite Shell Game."

Did anyone else notice that Mr. Leahy wasn't able to pull a single new order or "reconfirmation" of an existing order for the A350XWB(CFRP) out of his hat at last week's "order intake jamboree."

Stayed tuned to see whether Mr. Seng of SQ fulfills his tantalizing "pledge" of last month to sign a firm order for the A350 by the end of this month.

I don't think it will shock anyone if there isn't a seventh design iteration of the A350 on the table by the time Le Bourget rolls around.

[Edited 2007-01-26 09:01:30]

User currently offlineEvilForce From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (7 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 13516 times:

Quoting AndesSMF (Reply 19):
But if GM had originally derided the idea of Ford creating a car with 4 wheels, airbags, 4 doors and a trunk, I would forgive people for thinking that Airbus is coming to the party late, way late.

And to 99% of the flying public they won't give two spits about any such nonsense. To them, an aircraft is a commodity to get them from point A to point B, in which they care more about the in-flight movie selection and if they'll get to their destination on time than the name Boeing or Airbus on the side of the airplane.

Besides manufacturers benchmark each other constantly. It makes for a better product. The Big 3 auto manufacturers have incorporated thousands of procedures and ideas from Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers. I couldn't care less. It makes for better products for everyone. What's really important is; "Does this aircraft get me to my destination faster, cheaper, safer, and more comfortably than what's currently available?"


25 Post contains images Astuteman : I have to say, that the moment the phrase "If we make the nose section out of composite, it will be a one-piece structure" were uttered at the unveil
26 Ap305 : If my memory is right- Not too long ago a certain manufacturer was talking about fly-by-wire technology like it was the plague at the same time that t
27 Zeke : Yes you are right, now they even have a transport aircraft that is FBW with joysticks (the C17). I remember being ribbed when going onto the Airbus b
28 Baron95 : I'd agree with that IF Airbus had spend those two years researching suppliers, materials, models, processes to build a single-piece barrel composite
29 AndesSMF : And let's not forget the additional money and TIME that would be required to coordinate a new manufacturing process. But the airlines that BUY the ai
30 Post contains images Leelaw : The A350 reminds me of a "bastard child" whose conception was an embarrassment to its mother. So far, the early gestation period has been no cause fo
31 Astuteman : I'd love to visit this "black-and-white" world that so many A-netters appear to reside in. You seem to paint a picture within Airbus of 100% focus on
32 A520 : I think that has been the idea for a long time (at least to evaluate this possibility in detail), but they could not announce it all at once, it woul
33 Slz396 : Let's not get carrier away here, shall we. Airbus is finetuning the construction method of the A350 and in this process some things announced may stil
34 AndesSMF : Why not see it as a failure? It would have been OK had Airbus decided this BEFORE they made several derogatory comments about how Boeing was building
35 N1786b : No, the EU has been funding this research for a while. Have a look at the Framework Programs. Does TANGO ring a bell? It should. This is a key questi
36 NAV20 : If basic matters like the form of construction are still in flux, Astuteman, I'd say they're still stuck on the start line. 'Bottom line' is, after s
37 Post contains images Astuteman : This is another of those "black-and-white" statements. When the Head of Design of the then embryonic CVF Aircraft Carrier design team visited us one
38 Post contains images Brendows : The A350XWB is wider than it's tall, the roof is actually pretty flat, take a look here: I agree, but would rather say that it's good news if they ha
39 NAV20 : Fair enough - I could do the same sort of thing in my own field. Which makes you wonder why Airbus have made so many false starts with the A350. Only
40 Curmudgeon : I always enjoy a good Astuteman/Nav20 discussion. The A350 appears to be stuck at the first three hours of talented design work, and has been there fo
41 Post contains images Astuteman : Don't expect an argument from me on that one.... Unfortunately, sometimes business decisions based on false premises (like - we didn't expect the 787
42 JAAlbert : If Airbus is indeed now preparing a 777 competitor that will be made with composite barrel technology, won't this place a lot of pressure on 777 to co
43 JAAlbert : I'm not sure what you mean by this. To my understanding, Boeing is fitting together several barrels to make a single fuselage -- this isn't so? The b
44 NAV20 : Agree in my turn. If I had to put my finger on the likely difference between Airbus and Boeing, I'd say that Boeing probably have more 'aeroplane peo
45 Post contains links Jacobin777 : Slim to none, as it would require basially building a new plane..if the B777 is indeed going to be "taken out" by the A350, then I would expect Boein
46 Post contains images SEPilot : I have been saying all along that the aluminum frame-composite panel approach was the worst of both worlds-I'm glad Airbus has finally decided to plu
47 Lumberton : So EADS has a different process for barrel construction than Boeing? IIRC, Boeing has patents pending on the process in the U.S. and EU. 2014 accordi
48 Halls120 : I think PP was being just a bit sarcastic in his post. You're missing the point. It isn't a case of "everything Boeing does is good" and "everything
49 NYC777 : So essentially they've bought into Boeing's design philosphy lock stock and BARREL!!! Funny how they were deriding the 787 now they're copying it whol
50 Post contains images Leelaw : I'm sure Mr. Leahy will adapt without batting an eye at the speed of a "spinning mandrel."
51 Baroque : Never mind PP, it seems that irony can be difficult to untangle. Perhaps we (I) need a special font for ironical comments. Which brings me to what I
52 Post contains images NAV20 : In this connection, as far as I know, it means that the fuselage is a one-piece structure, not an assembly of parts. The advantage, in terms of aircr
53 Post contains images Stitch : No matter what comes of the A350 program, it is clear that Airbus' sales team really never had a strong grasp on what the market wanted. One black eye
54 NoWorries : Very good point -- does this further delay the EIS and further add to the development cost?[Edited 2007-01-26 14:36:42]
55 NYC777 : It is like Boeing said: "The 787 is a game changer" The game has changed and now future aircraft offerings will be composites. Boeing has changed the
56 Osiris30 : Solid because the barrel is compromise of one piece of continuously spun cfrp. There are no joints within the barrel section.
57 Post contains images Astuteman : In fact, you're right to agree with both - they're not mutually exclusive. I would expect both companies to engage in strategic planning. I suspect t
58 GRIVely : Found at last. A "solid" business and economic case for the A380. Modify them into a SLUF (Super Large Ugly Fella) to transport hither and yon the out
59 NYC777 : While I tend to agree with you on most things, I have to disagree with you there. I think if Airbus pursues the barrel approach their tooling cost an
60 Post contains images AutoThrust : I think this move on the A350XWB could be started by Airbus new CTO. Some time ago there was an article at FlightGlobal. IMO its pretty important Airb
61 Mptpa : My question is, what is this change going to do to the EIS date???? They sure do have a steep learning curve to go through and with the supply chain a
62 NYC777 : You may think I'm crazy but with each iteration of the A350 the program cost estimates go up. Considering that if Airbus has to produce barrel fusela
63 Post contains images DL021 : Ahem.....Chuck....I've got an indicator light blinking for the irony detector.....could you please check that and maybe reset the system and see if i
64 Post contains images TeamAmerica : No doubt. The real challenge for Airbus is to re-establish an orderly work flow. The decision to build the A380 was a strategic blunder and the conse
65 GRIVely : Hmm, now the irony meter is bound to bounce so hard off the right peg (assuming an analog instrument) that it will permanently bend the tip of the nee
66 Lumberton : For sure they'd have to do something about that second deck....
67 SEPilot : This is the situation in a nutshell. Airbus is basically where Douglas was in 1953 when they thought the jet airliner would still be a while in being
68 NAV20 : Astuteman, agree in principle. But I can't avoid the conclusion, on the available evidence, that Airbus' ONLY strategic plan after EADS was formed in
69 NoWorries : My question is, did they make this decision before the most recent official re-launch of the 350XWB? If they did, that might explain why EIS is as fa
70 Post contains images Stitch : Agreed. Where I think Airbus first missed the market's desires was when they felt that a mild refresh - an "A330E" - would work with the 787's engine
71 NYC777 : WHile I agree that after the 787-10 Boeing will produce Y3 to supply the 773 and up category, I think that Airbus will be late to the market with the
72 Post contains images Astuteman : I personally believe that pointing the finger at the A380 as the cause of the A350's problems is a a little bit of a red-herring. I say that because
73 Fridgmus : Can one of you please tell me what "Ramp Rash" is? Thanks, Marc
74 Osiris30 : Scarpes and bumps you get operating an aircraft everyday... things like brushs with food service trucks, jetways, etc.
75 Coa747 : Well I guess the decision to go to composite barrel sections will delay this aircraft program even further. One of the main reasons the panel approach
76 Lumberton : Not only that, but I suspect there are patent issues as well.
77 BoomBoom : So are the A330 and the 707. Does that mean they're competitive with the 787? They don't. That's why the EIS is now pushed out to 2014 giving Boeing
78 Coa747 : If I were a lanch customer for the A350XWB 2015 starts to concern me very much. This would also mean more 787 slots available before first delivery of
79 Post contains images BoomBoom : The 787 concept had fuselage made up of composite barrels. That's what we're talking about here Zeke, not cockpit window shapes or shark tails.
80 Stitch : I have to take exception to this statement when it comes to the A340. I believe Airbus was trying to respond to the threat of the 777 with the A340E
81 TeamAmerica : You may well be right, but we can't know. I'd like to believe that had the A380 not been the priority, Airbus would have recognized the market shift
82 Post contains images Glideslope : " target=_blank>http://www.atwonline.com/news/story....=7727 I am changing my personal forecast. I now say first low speed taxi in late 2016.
83 Khobar : Boeing's caution regarding Airbus FBW is that Airbus can override the pilot, and there is some truth to this: 1993, Warsaw: LH A320 landed but the co
84 Beta : With all due respect do you have evidence to back up this statement? Now I am sure Airbus is very capable of doing big thing with the A350XWB now, bu
85 SEPilot : I think you have it nailed-plus the fact that building the A380 at all showed that Airbus was not all that connected with the market. I remember quit
86 Post contains links and images Stitch : And this time, it's going to cost them orders instead of win them.
87 Khobar : But Airbus has, what, 160 or so firm orders for the A380P and no cancellations (the F is another matter)? That means only one thing: Airbus is well c
88 Post contains images Leelaw : Mr. Forgeard was widely quoted in 2005 as observing that "our competitor has finally woken-up." One now wonders whether Mr. Forgeard was gravely mist
89 Flysherwood : The 787 looks nothing like the A330! What are you talking about?
90 Baroque : If I am reading this and some Astuteman's posts correctly, this implies that the main section of the A350XWB fuselage will be fabricated in one piece
91 Osiris30 : @baroque: You're not reading correctly. Airbus is looking at doing exactly what Boeing is doing for the 787. Spinning the entire length of a fuselage
92 EI321 : The concept of FBW and the Computer overiding features that you are refering to are different things. The A320 in fact has seven(?) selectable settin
93 Post contains images NYC777 : I might add that the resources availability was limited by the A400M and the A380 problems and that helped reinforce Airbus' attitude towards the thr
94 SEPilot : Granted, there was (and will continue to be) a market for aa VLA; but enough to commit the amount it costed to develop it? Boeing's take was that the
95 AirFrnt : So the question still is why Airbus delayed their program with another technically questionable decision? To save face give how much time Airbus has
96 Post contains images Khobar : AP305's post suggested "a certain manufacturer was talking about fly-by-wire technology like it was the plague." My point was that the assertion wasn
97 Stitch : I believe it is because that is what their customers have insisted they do.
98 MrComet : As a buyer, I know I'd rather buy my plane with the latest technology from the company that was confident it could be done and not from the company th
99 Post contains links and images BoomBoom : If so then why did Airbus executive vice-president programmes Tom Williams say they "locked down" the definition of the aircraft and give Flight Inte
100 BoomBoom : Can you cite some specific examples of what Boeing said in this regard? Why do you serve up an example of your "fellow pilots" dissing composites as
101 Bbobbo : Everyone is talking about the switch to whole-barrel CFRP like it's a done deal...is that the case? So far we have a short blurb in an article that "A
102 BoomBoom : Probably, but that has to be weighed against going froward with a project that's dead on arrival and won't sell anyway.
103 RichardPrice : Bear in mind that all we have at the moment is a hand wavey article from ATW citing industry analysts that Airbus is running studies. That could be t
104 AirFrnt : If the decision has been made, then it's a big deal. It's a radically different construction process . If it hasn't, then it's more market confusion
105 Par13del : Well, there is another benefit to delaying the new A350, whether intentionally or un-intentaionally, ala the B-767 and the A330. As has been mentioned
106 SEPilot : I suspect this is the case-John Leahy can't sell the half-way concept of CFRP panels so they have no choice.
107 Osiris30 : Well that depends.. the REAL problem for Airbus isn't panel or barrels.. it's sales.. and the 350XWB panel concept isn't selling (at least so far). T
108 Pygmalion : That and I doubt the "little" airlines who want a just few will commit until the big boys with the fancy planning departments give them some data on w
109 ScottB : What I suspect will also be compelling for Boeing choosing to build Y3 is the likelihood that the efficient manufacturing process will lead to cost s
110 Post contains links Areopagus : In a recent thread on metal-vs-carbon, I posted a link to a 6/2003 Composites World article that quoted Walt Gillette: Gillette says that the competi
111 BoomBoom : So going from composite panels glued to a frame to spinning a monolithic barrell section is "fine tuning"? I don't recall this, can you please elabor
112 MPDPilot : I think a better picture is simply that Airbus is couple years behind Boeing in their plan to build the CRFB A350. Yes Airbus put quite a bit of thou
113 Areopagus : A plane that is very late has to be substantially better. If it isn't, there is no hope for it to break into the fleets that are already committed to
114 SEPilot : If Boeing purchased a license that precludes anyone else using it for airliners, very easily. Raytheon, Boeing, and North Sails don't compete with ea
115 Rheinbote : I'm afraid the article bears little substance, if any. With single-piece barrels, there'd be simply no way of dividing the work between the current nu
116 Pygmalion : Ouch, not that I disagree with you Rheinbote, but politics over financial and technical merits... is not a good way to run an aircraft company.
117 AirFrnt : I agree, and I think this will be a test for the post Power8 Airbus to see what kind of clout they have over the politicians and unions to see how th
118 Bbobbo : How many sites are involved? The 787 has 5 for the fuselage (Spirit, Kawasaki, Fuji, Alenia, Vought). Shouldn't they be able to do the same for the A
119 RichardPrice : Why would they do the same? Airbus already has experience with large scale composites and autoclaves - theres at least two just up the road from me i
120 NYC777 : Then why didn't they go with a CFRP barrel fuselage approach instead of the CFRP panel approach? Now it seems they're re-evaluating their approach an
121 Stitch : CASA would provide a bunch of technical expertise and experience, as well. Anyone know how long it took to build and deliver the autoclaves used by th
122 AirFrnt : Or they might be more behind then you think they are. My point is essentially that Boeing was very successful in building out a very new type of infr
123 RichardPrice : Perhaps they have other reasons. Perhaps a single spun CFRP barrel approach isnt the holy grail be all end all it seems to be held as on this forum.
124 Stitch : Not trying to be argumenative here, but if Airbus does indeed go to spun CFRP barrels, it may well be because the airlines think it is the "holy gail
125 Grantcv : The biggest problem that Airbus has with the A350 is that it isn't a model that they want to develop and build. Rather it is a model they have to deve
126 RIXrat : I was late to this forum and therefore read it all. Quite interesting observations. Although I'm not in the airplane manufacturing business, I am in t
127 Shenzhen : Haven't read the whole thread, but will add the following.... 6 years or so ago, Boeing owned the large widebody market. Airbus came along with the A3
128 AirFrnt : The point that I am trying to drive at here is that there is a world of difference between a research CFRP project and a production CFRP project. And
129 Ikramerica : It's also a matter of timeframe. What was technologically risky 25 years ago is not so much today. But that's far different than Airbus badmouthing c
130 BoomBoom : No they don't. Most feel that Airbus has wasted precious time diddleing around with various iterations of the A350. No doubt they can do it. But, can
131 Bbobbo : That isn't the impression I get--I think most people realize that Airbus has composite experience, just not experience in single-piece spun composite
132 Elvis777 : hi RichardPrice, Perhaps, maybe,..... You seem to have something up your sleeve (Other than blind faith on the engineering prowess of eads). So if SS
133 Post contains images Elvis777 : Howdy Folks, well I should not write things from memory... In my previous post I alluded to one of the two top guys stating that eads did not have the
134 Baron95 : I'm not so sure about that. It is very hard to think strategically when your house is on fire. All the executive changes, all the launches and re-lau
135 Zeke : I think you are spot on there, and if that is the case it should be taking into account since they will be the customers.
136 Astuteman : The truth is undoubtedly in-between. Assuming Airbus commit to this route, at the time they commit, I can guarantee you the situation is not 2, or an
137 Rheinbote : CFRP design and manufacturing as such is no unknown territory for Airbus. As some posters pointed out, there is top-notch composite know-how at Airbus
138 Post contains links Leelaw : Here's some additional information which may help in assessing which of aforementioned "options"/scenarios and/or fusions thereof seem the most likel
139 Rheinbote : Forget this nonsense Leahy is spreading on reaparability. Repairs for CFRP barrels and panels are pretty much the same. It's always bonded or bolted
140 NAV20 : I'm afraid that 'nonsense,' though strong, is the only word that fits. I really don't know how Leahy can hope to carry conviction with the customers
141 Art : I'm not an engineer but while spun CFRP barrels appear a better fuselage construction method to me than frames and panels, wouldn't changing "ramp ra
142 Baroque : One factor that is presumably not known outside Boeing and its contractors is the rejection rate on the 787 version of barrels when they are in comme
143 Lumberton : You could be right, but I have to think that the press would be all over this if there were any kind of significant problems. Remember the big brouha
144 Baroque : Hi L, would the press be allowed to find out? The mandrel issue was released, I think in an attempt to show something about the process. Maybe (being
145 Post contains images Lumberton : Well, it's not the Manhattan Project, or reverse engineering alien space craft ( ), so I don't think they would be able to prevent a disgruntled empl
146 Post contains images Leelaw : Disgruntled employees and "highminded" whistle-blowers are the mother's milk of "investigative" journalism.
147 Revelation : Very, very true. Airbus is not instilling much customer confidence after the flashy launch with Powerpoint depcitions of the shell concept and now sa
148 Stitch : Of course, as a salesman, Leahy has to tailor his pitch to what he's got to work with. When the A350XWB was Al-Li, he had to tout the advantages of A
149 Post contains images Jacobin777 : You maybe correct there Stitch, but it still puts him in a bind if he has to go back again and say "...well, this is what my engineers told me"....it
150 Brendows : As others have noted before, the barrels, nor the panels, would be replaced if they were damaged, they would be patched. The panels on the A350XWB wo
151 Post contains images Baroque : I am surprised you seem not to know that this barrel technology actually came from reverse engineering of alien space craft. So secrecy does have its
152 Lumberton : Touche!
153 Art : Thanks. From what you say, barrels are better. No ifs or buts. I greatly admired the 7E7 when I first learned about its construction method. I hope A
154 Leelaw : I'm not sure there's been altogether grave-like silence. IIRC, Geoff Thomas of ATWonline reported in early November his sources at Airbus were tellin
155 Post contains links and images 474218 : When the fuselage (or wing) is damaged, fatigue cracking or corrosion (in aluminum) is found, the panels are not changed, they are repaired. The dama
156 Khobar : Precisely. If Airbus makes any changes at all, then for PR purposes at least (which is what Airbus would want as a minimum) they can claim it's diffe
157 Rheinbote : CFRP repairs of the size and type as depicted in the 737 image will be bolted. Look up the maintenance manuals of a 777 for repair procedures to the
158 474218 : Both the stabilizer and the tail (I think you mean aft body) are unpressurized areas. Repairs to the pressurized portion of the fuselage will have to
159 Post contains images Stitch : I'm not sure if there really is a "credibility gap" to repair, to be honest. While Leahy has been very vocal in the public press, we don't really kno
160 Rheinbote : A350XWB fuselage panel joints are bolted. 787 barrel joints are bolted. To maintain pressurization, joints are sealed. For repairs, bonding and bolti
161 Post contains images Jacobin777 : Given the public outbursts by Hazy, Chew, and recently Clark, it seems as if Leahy is telling them the same thing as he is saying to the press...
162 JayinKitsap : One big bubble from the first deck up, heck if you are designing it why not make it big enough for the 380 fuse to same all of those convoys. They co
163 SEPilot : Probably it will be no problem; I suspect the airlines have been telling him that the A350XWB panel concept is a non starter and all he has to do is
164 EI321 : ....Not anything to say that hasnt already been said in this thread! One question though, will this lead to a further increase in the width of the A35
165 Pygmalion : What parts did Airbus pioneer? I know the A380 has a composite aft pressure bulkhead but what other parts are structural composites. I know that Airbu
166 Baron95 : Leelaw, Stitch, It is certainly appropriate for the salesmen (Leahy) to drive product configuration/requirements to Engineering. But then, the salesm
167 Baron95 : If it does then Airbus can kiss it goodbye to compete with the 787-8/9 maybe even /10. They'd be squarelly competing with the 777L/W/F. Maybe an easi
168 EI321 : Er not really, it would just be a few inches wider than it is now at best. The only thing in such circumstances that would push it away from the 787
169 Atmx2000 : Perhaps changing the fuselage will allow for thinner walls, increasing cabin width slightly. But the best they can hope to achieve without a fuselage
170 EI321 : How many airlines have actually gone for 8Y in the 787? 9Y is going to be the standard in the vast majority of configurations.
171 NAV20 : E1321, increased frontal area increases drag and therefore has a direct effect on performance. If you make the fuselage wider you pay for it, in the
172 EI321 : I think you missunderstand what Im saying. I was asking that if Airbus do go with the barrel design, would the INTERIOR (cabin) width BE slightly wid
173 SEPilot : The A300/A310 had at least a composite vertical stabilizer, and I believe they had quite a few other major composite parts. I believe Boeing didn't u
174 Post contains images Baron95 : The A330 is an 8Y plane. The 787 is an 8Y plane with an acceptable 9Y option. The 777 is a 9Y plane (some say with a very marginal 10Y option). The 3
175 Post contains images SEPilot : But I'm sure by the time it starts production it will have it. Any bets on how many versions from now that will be?
176 Post contains images NAV20 : Sorry for the misunderstanding, E1321. To my mind it's very possible that design considerations worked the other way round. Airbus saw a slight increa
177 EI321 : thats not my post! Again Im not suggesting that it would be a wider fuselage at all, rather a marginally wider cabin due to the possibility that barr
178 BoomBoom : An article in the Seattle PI a few years ago said 2/3 of the airlines were planning to use 9 abreast. Someone in one of these threads a while back st
179 Stitch : Do we really know that? I know Boeing has said many customers like the 9Y option, but I'm not sure that translates into a "majority". I imagine if an
180 Post contains images WingedMigrator : Center wing box and pretty much the entire tail section aft of pressure bulkhead. You sound like one of those people whose mind would be blown by the
181 Post contains links EvilForce : NWA is still planning for 8 across from what I understand. Thank god! Here are some photos of the various seats that were being considered. http://www
182 Atmx2000 : I wouldn't say that. In reality a significant minority (>30%) of currently ordered 787s will be configured in 8Y. But that is without orders from the
183 Baroque : True Leelaw, that I forgot, but interesting that there seems to have been little or no follow up. Overall, it appears that security at the two firms
184 Revelation : Yes. People should remember how long ago it was we saw the first Dreamliner fuselage barrel and cockpit section, and then heard of the 8 pre-producti
185 Post contains links Leelaw : The Airbus "plumbers" have been quite effective in the last year. They have essentially silenced the four-five Airbus employees, or employees of cont
186 EI321 : Where did you get this info? Just curious. Cant remember that user, but was he unveiling compny secrets or something? His company may have been in th
187 Leelaw : My own observation. IMO, he wasn't divulging any sort of proprietary information, merely providing some personal context and correcting factual error
188 Post contains images Poitin : As I remember this situation, A.net was being threatened by A319XFW's employer if they would not reveal who he was. There was a comment by one of the
189 Leelaw : Rightfully or wrongly, Airbus is responding like most organizations plagued with a plethora of negative news/publicity: plug the leaks and closely ma
190 Post contains images Stitch : Well Apple is even more secretive, and they're certainly not suffering from a plethora of negative news and publicity as of late...
191 TeamAmerica : I recall statements from Airbus that the A400M wing would provide a foundation for all their aircraft in the future. No reason why it shouldn't.
192 Khobar : And a lot of people here are blown away by the fact that the A380 CFRP structures are not one-piece structures (e.g. aft section and CWB). So, yeah,
193 Baron95 : Thanks for posting the seats link - I believe all major US airlines that order the 787 will fly 2-4-2 Coach and 2-3-2 Business if they have first cla
194 Baroque : Thanks again for that comment, nice addition to the context of some of these discussions. Sad however. Very true. Perhaps we should start a campaign
195 Post contains images NAV20 : The threads would likely get a bit boring, Baroque. Imagine if every second post on any Airbus subject consisted only of, "No decision has been taken
196 AirFrnt : I think I have made this point a few times before, but it keeps getting mis-represented. The problem here isn't about pure technology, it's about pro
197 Post contains images Baroque : I dunno as they say! Airbus could release details of all 12 versions (so you missed a few!) of the A350 and explain that all had been approved. They
198 AndesSMF : The better question is: If Boeing has a problem opening a second line due to supplier production constraints, would Airbus have a problem opening the
199 Post contains links Jacobin777 : While not completely related, but this is something of interest " Spirit AeroSystems mulls JV with EADS unit Airbus for A350 equipment - report" http
200 N328KF : Well, it slipped by the notice of most, but Spirit bought BAe's aerostructures unit a while back, and so now is a major supplier to Airbus. Spirit al
201 Post contains images Chuchoteur : The A380 transport system actually works quite well... when it has something to transport! Remember that Boeing also uses multi-modal transport with
202 Jacobin777 : That's what I find so intereting..given they are a large supplier of Airbus (post purchase of BAe's aerostructures unit).....
203 Rheinbote : I guess Boeing and suppliers could build up the capacity for a second production line quickly if only they decided the required investment. To me it
204 Post contains images Stitch : Also, later deliveries may not be a real hang-up for some customers. BA has said they were looking at post-2013 for their 787/A350 deliveries and LH h
205 Prebennorholm : XWB barrels will easily go on a Beluga. "380 convoys" are not a nightmare. It was tricky for the first few planes, but two years ago the difficult pa
206 Post contains links Lumberton : According to the IAG Blog, in a conversation with Airbus North America Vice President - Communications Clay McConnell, Airbus is sticking with the pan
207 Post contains links Stitch : Since we're pushing over 200 replies on this topic, which now looks to be erroneous, perhaps we should start looking to this topic here - Airbus NOT U
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