Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Airbus Learnings From 787 Problems  
User currently offlineAviationbuff From India, joined Mar 2008, 1425 posts, RR: 3
Posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4185 times:

Very interesting and well balanced article by Carol Matlack on BusinessWeek which highlights Airbus learning from Boeings problems on Dreamliner.Find below some of the highlights/summary of the article:

• Sometimes it pays to be in second place. Over the past four years, Airbus has watched rival Boeing rack up nearly 900 orders for the fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliner and with Dreamliner's launch has fallen at least 14 months behind schedule, to late 2009. While the A350 isn't likely to enter service until 2013, the lag might be a blessing if Airbus can learn from its competitor's mistakes. "We're obviously keeping a close eye on the problems Boeing is having," says Airbus CEO Thomas Enders.
• Outsourcing - Sounds logical, but that's what got Boeing into trouble with the 787, a new widebody that promises a 20% boost in fuel economy. The U.S. giant outsourced 70% of the plane's construction to contractors, but some of them were overwhelmed by the task. Essential parts ran low, and quality suffered. The 787's groundbreaking design led to further missteps. In March, when the plane was already on the assembly line, engineers had to redesign a critical part that attaches the wings to the fuselage.
• Airbus could face similar troubles. Like the 787, the A350 will contain about 50% lightweight composites, and roughly half of production will be outsourced. Because only a few suppliers worldwide can work with such materials, it's likely Airbus will rely on some of the same companies that have struggled with the 787.
• To avoid production glitches, Airbus is giving contractors an unprecedented role in designing the A350. For months, engineers from aerospace companies such as Honeywell International and Thales Group have been working alongside Airbus staff, poring over the design and suggesting changes to simplify manufacturing. Outside engineers, for instance, proposed moving fuselage joints away from the wings to make it easier to fasten sections together on the assembly line. Boeing held similar consultations, "but Airbus is taking it a step further," says Greg Albert, a Honeywell vice-president who oversees its work with Airbus.
• To give suppliers more time to identify potential production kinks, Airbus doesn't plan to start A350 assembly until early 2011, more than two years after a scheduled "freeze" of the plane's design details. Boeing, by contrast, started assembling the 787 about 18 months after completing the design.
• Airbus is also simplifying its sprawling supply network. In the past, it awarded contracts to some 250 key contractors on each aircraft. But Klaus Richter, a new procurement chief recruited last year from BMW, has winnowed that number to about 70. The suppliers, in turn, are expected to assemble their own teams of subcontractors.

You can find the complete article here:
http://www.businessweek.com/print/ma.../content/08_17/b4081092072555.htm/

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30922 posts, RR: 87
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 4166 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Well outsourcing production and design helped cause the 787's travails, so that with Airbus doing the same with the A350, I am not surprised they are focusing extra attention in these areas. I don't believe the extra six month design freeze delay would have saved the 787, but every bit helps.

And the A350 will likely not see the level of pre-fabrication that the 787 is, so production should hopefully go smoother.


User currently offlineSparkingWave From South Korea, joined Jun 2005, 671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4020 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
I don't believe the extra six month design freeze delay would have saved the 787

Whoa, the 787 isn't doomed yet. It's an embarrassing delay to be sure, but Boeing will iron these kinks out with the supply chain. When that's accomplished, then Boeing will have gleaned valuable experience with prefabrication, which theoretically should allow the company to be much more profitable in the long run.

In this case the short-term is not better than the long-term. Those who obsess about here and now like on a.net don't seem to be able to see the forest for the trees.



Flights to the moon and all major space stations. At Pan Am, the sky is no longer the limit!
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30922 posts, RR: 87
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3990 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting SparkingWave (Reply 2):
Whoa, the 787 isn't doomed yet.

I certainly don't expect the 787 to fail and kill the company and I certainly hope this is not what happens.

"Saved from the problems she is encountering" is what I intended to say.  Smile


User currently offlineTeme82 From Finland, joined Mar 2007, 1511 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3931 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good that A learns thing or two from B's mistakes. Since B didn't learn anything about A's mistakes. Big grin


Flying high and low
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30922 posts, RR: 87
Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3900 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Teme82 (Reply 4):
Good that A learns thing or two from B's mistakes. Since B didn't learn anything about A's mistakes. Big grin

There was not much for Boeing to learn, since Boeing does not use disparate versions of CATIA to design their planes.


User currently offlineAstuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10008 posts, RR: 96
Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3891 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
And the A350 will likely not see the level of pre-fabrication that the 787 is, so production should hopefully go smoother

I'm guessing that the level of "pre-stuffing" prior to join-up will be similar, but that much more of it will be in-house on the A350 compared to the 787.

Regards


User currently offlineTeme82 From Finland, joined Mar 2007, 1511 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3877 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Stitch (Reply 5):
There was not much for Boeing to learn,

There was the thing how to handle delays.... I think that B had the opportunity do it much better....



Flying high and low
User currently offlineCHRISBA777ER From UK - England, joined Mar 2001, 5964 posts, RR: 62
Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3760 times:

Anyone notice the "Sign up for Airbus approved CATIA training course" ad at the top?

LOL tickled me.  Smile



What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30922 posts, RR: 87
Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3594 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Teme82 (Reply 7):
There was the thing how to handle delays.... I think that B had the opportunity do it much better....

Well I suppose they could have been pessimists and just added a year to what they expected the delay to be, but what benefit that would have given to the program...

Yes, they've consistently underestimated the amount of work needed on LN001, but the remaining frames seem to be proceeding more to "plan", even if they too are running late. But they seem to be taking a more pessimistic view of their own abilities and the abilities of their suppliers as of late...


User currently offlineTeme82 From Finland, joined Mar 2007, 1511 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3522 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Stitch (Reply 9):
but what benefit that would have given to the program...

more time for the engineers to figure stuff out.. and save the face of B???

Quoting Stitch (Reply 9):
But they seem to be taking a more pessimistic view of their own abilities and the abilities of their suppliers as of late...

As MR. Scot did in Star Trek he multiplied the repair time by factor of 4... I think B should had do the same on the 787 timetable when the first issue came up...  Wink



Flying high and low
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30922 posts, RR: 87
Reply 11, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3436 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Teme82 (Reply 10):
more time for the engineers to figure stuff out.. and save the face of B???

I think that when Boeing first announced the delays in the program and said "we expect to be at least two years late to market" Boeing and the 787 program would be in much worse shape then they are now. I believe customers would have canceled in favor of the 767, the 777, the A330 and the A350. Boeing's stock price would have taken an immediate and major hit and I expect a number of executives would have been pressured to be shown the door.

Yes it is embarrassing (and costly) to Boeing and frustrating to the airlines who are impacted by the delays. But Boeing has locked them into staying with the program and that is what matters in the end to Boeing. And airlines are not nearly as petty as some believe. They will not "hold this against Boeing" if the 787 meets or exceeds it's contractual performance guarantees.

They simply cannot afford to be.


User currently offlineTeme82 From Finland, joined Mar 2007, 1511 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3163 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Stitch (Reply 11):
Yes it is embarrassing (and costly) to Boeing and frustrating to the airlines who are impacted by the delays. But Boeing has locked them into staying with the program and that is what matters in the end to Boeing. And airlines are not nearly as petty as some believe. They will not "hold this against Boeing" if the 787 meets or exceeds it's contractual performance guarantees.

True! I would like to know how Boeing has locked the airliners to stay in the 787 project. But figuring that out needs it's own thread....

Quoting Stitch (Reply 11):
number of executives would have been pressured to be shown the door

Yeah but when announcing delays every month is really not so good idea too. So if I had my way there would be some executives leaving ...



Flying high and low
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30922 posts, RR: 87
Reply 13, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3010 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Teme82 (Reply 12):
I would like to know how Boeing has locked the airliners to stay in the 787 project.

Quite simply, it is the best 200-300 seater available for the next two decades or more. And the airlines think long-term when it comes to capital expenditures (like airplanes).

Quoting Teme82 (Reply 12):
So if I had my way there would be some executives leaving ...

Mike Bair has already been sidelined (he'll announce his retirement soon enough). Even though some folks here want Scott Carson's head, he's one of the major reasons Boeing's financials today were looking so good. The 787's problems may very well prevent him from going any higher in the company then he is now, but then again, if it is successful, it might be a step up the "corporate ladder" for him.

I'm not a fan of canning quality people out of a sense of "revenge" or "making things right". I still think Airbus made a mistake in letting Gustav Humbert go over the A380.

[Edited 2008-04-23 13:12:13]

User currently offlineTeme82 From Finland, joined Mar 2007, 1511 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 2914 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Stitch (Reply 13):
Quite simply, it is the best 200-300 seater available for the next two decades or more.

If it flies. Boeing can do computer simulations on the computer models and say it will stay together. But still I want to see it to fly before I would state it to be the next best plane in it's class...

Quoting Stitch (Reply 13):
Mike Bair has already been sidelined (he'll announce his retirement soon enough). Even though some folks here want Scott Carson's head, he's one of the major reasons Boeing's financials today were looking so good. The 787's problems may very well prevent him from going any higher in the company then he is now, but then again, if it is successful, it might be a step up the "corporate ladder" for him.

I'm not a fan of canning quality people out of a sense of "revenge" or "making things right". I still think Airbus made a mistake in letting Gustav Humbert go over the A380.

Agreed!



Flying high and low
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30922 posts, RR: 87
Reply 15, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2762 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Teme82 (Reply 14):
If it flies.

It will fly. Of that I harbor no illusions.


User currently offlineAstuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10008 posts, RR: 96
Reply 16, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2564 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Teme82 (Reply 14):
If it flies. Boeing can do computer simulations on the computer models and say it will stay together. But still I want to see it to fly before I would state it to be the next best plane in it's class...

Sorry. But what evidence is there to suggest that the 787 won't fly?  confused 

Regards


User currently offlineTeme82 From Finland, joined Mar 2007, 1511 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2538 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Astuteman (Reply 16):
Sorry. But what evidence is there to suggest that the 787 won't fly?

Currently I don't have non but before you start flaming me let me explain. Since they are making totally new kind of frame in here I don't personally believe that it will fly until I've seen it to do so.



Flying high and low
User currently offlineAstuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10008 posts, RR: 96
Reply 18, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2517 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Teme82 (Reply 17):
Since they are making totally new kind of frame in here I don't personally believe that it will fly until I've seen it to do so.

You're entitled to that view, of course.
IMO it doesn't give much credence to the vast amount of knowledge and experience that Boeing and its partners have in aircraft manufacturing, and managing the risks associated with it.
Any more than the same comments made about the A380 a few years back did to Airbus's knowledge and experience.

If by "new kind of frame", you're referring to the CFRP barrels, the frame is pretty much already built. So is the CFRP wing.
Having built, and tested these assemblies, there would appear to be few rational risks to the product actually flying...
If the wings are the right shape, and the engines fire up as planned, it will fly.....  Smile

Regards


User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 19, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2500 times:



Quoting Teme82 (Reply 17):
Currently I don't have non but before you start flaming me let me explain. Since they are making totally new kind of frame in here I don't personally believe that it will fly until I've seen it to do so.

It's important to recognize that, on a commercial airliner, there is a *huge* gulf between what's necessary to fly and what's necessary to get certified. A modern airliner can happily fly with something like 50% of its systems and structure compromised or inoperative. Boeing and Airbus may have their stumbles but, fundamentally, they know what they're doing. It's theoretically possible for them to be that far off but it would be totally unprecedented in the history of modern aviation to make an engineering error of that magnitude.

It'll fly. Certification is a much different matter.

Tom.


User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30922 posts, RR: 87
Reply 20, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2045 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Teme82 (Reply 17):
Since they are making totally new kind of frame in here I don't personally believe that it will fly until I've seen it to do so.

It better fly, not just for Boeing's sake, but Airbus' as well. If CFRP kills the 787, it will kill the A350XWB as well.


User currently offlineBaroque From Australia, joined Apr 2006, 15380 posts, RR: 59
Reply 21, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1934 times:

The thread reminds of the modest man who had much to be modest about.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 13):
I still think Airbus made a mistake in letting Gustav Humbert go over the A380.

Aha, so you would have rephrased Lehrer and sung:
"Gustav is the man we must av".

As in the song of Alma:
"The first one she married was Mahler,
Whose buddies all knew him as Gustav.
And each time he saw her he'd holler:
"Ach, that is the fraulein I moost have!"
http://www.lyricsdir.com/tom-lehrer-alma-lyrics.html


Top Of Page
Forum Index

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

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Aeroflot To Buy Airbus A350, Boeing 787 posted Tue Jul 24 2007 20:14:19 by Aeropiggot
Boeing Denies 787 Problems: Talks Of Replacing 777 posted Tue Jun 19 2007 08:01:32 by OyKIE
Scrap Pieces Of Composite From 787 Manufacturing posted Wed Apr 25 2007 19:16:08 by Yellowstone
Boeing Aims To Keep Airbus @ Bay No 787 Delays! posted Fri Oct 20 2006 04:26:05 by Coelacanth
Can Airbus Learn From Embraer? posted Sun Oct 15 2006 15:12:59 by Eisman
1000 Airbus Engineers From Germany To Toulouse? posted Sat Jul 29 2006 21:12:36 by Lufthansi
Boeing Not Concerned About 787 Problems posted Thu Jul 20 2006 15:21:49 by EI321
A.P.: Boeing Acknowledges 787 Problems posted Sun Jul 16 2006 21:52:21 by CWFan
Airbus-No Fullstop To Problems Yet? Co-CEO Pickle? posted Sat Jul 8 2006 05:33:22 by Halibut
787 Problems - More Clarification posted Fri Jun 9 2006 14:54:41 by NYC777
Boeing Denies 787 Problems: Talks Of Replacing 777 posted Tue Jun 19 2007 08:01:32 by OyKIE
Scrap Pieces Of Composite From 787 Manufacturing posted Wed Apr 25 2007 19:16:08 by Yellowstone
Boeing Aims To Keep Airbus @ Bay No 787 Delays! posted Fri Oct 20 2006 04:26:05 by Coelacanth
Can Airbus Learn From Embraer? posted Sun Oct 15 2006 15:12:59 by Eisman
1000 Airbus Engineers From Germany To Toulouse? posted Sat Jul 29 2006 21:12:36 by Lufthansi
Boeing Not Concerned About 787 Problems posted Thu Jul 20 2006 15:21:49 by EI321
A.P.: Boeing Acknowledges 787 Problems posted Sun Jul 16 2006 21:52:21 by CWFan
Airbus-No Fullstop To Problems Yet? Co-CEO Pickle? posted Sat Jul 8 2006 05:33:22 by Halibut