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Delay Prevention: Is Airbus Taking Precautions?  
User currently offlineManfredj From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1132 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 2492 times:

Delays are common now. The 380 and the 787 were not on schedule, far from it. I'm just wondering if Airbus has taken this into consideration on the 350. It's something none of us want to see. What kind of policy is set in place for it's newest airplane. What kind of guarantees can it make to it's customer's we won't see a three-peat of what's happened.

I don't blame either A or B for the delays. If it makes for a better, more reliable airplane, I would rather wait for the perfected product than have to deal with constant updates and recalls.


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22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMedAv From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 80 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 2478 times:

The way I see it, the only prevention is to set into the program enough time for setbacks, especially when dealing with revolutionary programs like the A380 and 787 are/were. The A350 will have the benefit of seeing how CFRP performs on the 787, but like any airliner program, they'll encounter glitches. I'm no expert on schedules, but with the aggressive schedules we've seen of late on both civil and defense projects, I'm willing to bet it will also be delayed.

User currently offlineManfredj From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 12 hours ago) and read 2415 times:



Quoting MedAv (Reply 1):
The A350 will have the benefit of seeing how CFRP performs on the 787

Will there be any technology sharing? I know at Audi we share/teach other manufactures (Ferrari) etc how to incorporate aluminum into their autos. I know this is a little different as they are competing companies. Will there be in depth reports that Airbus will be able to view?

Quoting MedAv (Reply 1):
I'm willing to bet it will also be delayed.

Unfortunately, I would agree with you on that.



757: The last of the best
User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 3, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 2339 times:



Quoting Manfredj (Thread starter):
Delays are common now.

They've pretty much always been common. Aircraft programs on schedule are the rarity, not the norm.

Quoting Manfredj (Thread starter):
What kind of guarantees can it make to it's customer's we won't see a three-peat of what's happened.

Well, the guarantee is easy to make (it's just words)...it's delivering on it that counts. Provided they put enough compensation clauses in the contracts, the customers don't really get hurt that badly.

Quoting Manfredj (Thread starter):
I don't blame either A or B for the delays. If it makes for a better, more reliable airplane, I would rather wait for the perfected product than have to deal with constant updates and recalls.

You should blame them...if not them, then who? The delays are rarely technological or impact the safety or reliability of the aircraft. They seem to chronically be project and supplier management.

Quoting Manfredj (Reply 2):
Will there be any technology sharing? I know at Audi we share/teach other manufactures (Ferrari) etc how to incorporate aluminum into their autos. I know this is a little different as they are competing companies. Will there be in depth reports that Airbus will be able to view?

I would expect that Boeing considers the CFRP technologies of the 787 to be very valuable intellectual property. No sharing of that.

Tom.


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9029 posts, RR: 75
Reply 4, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 2332 times:



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 3):
I would expect that Boeing considers the CFRP technologies of the 787 to be very valuable intellectual property. No sharing of that.

I have seen a number of assertions that Boeing has (illegally ?) shared IP off its military programs onto the civil airlines.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineMedAv From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 80 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 2264 times:



Quoting Zeke (Reply 4):

I have seen a number of assertions that Boeing has (illegally ?) shared IP off its military programs onto the civil airlines.

Err, you're being sarcastic, right? Of course they would share, it's one company, no? I mean what about the 767, or civilian satellites vs military, etc, etc.

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 3):
I would expect that Boeing considers the CFRP technologies of the 787 to be very valuable intellectual property. No sharing of that.

Naturally, but Boeing's testing and results that the FAA will have to approve will validate the use of CFRP for the fuselage of an airliner. Any problems they come across will undoubtedly come out in public in some measure (even if the exact technical specs are spelled out), and Airbus can take that into account. In a sense, Boeing is doing lots of testing for Airbus and any other mfg who will use CFRP in the future.


User currently offlineFuturecaptain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (6 years 3 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 2215 times:



Quoting Manfredj (Thread starter):
What kind of policy is set in place for it's newest airplane.

Well, for starters it seems Airbus has built quite a bit more time into the planned development of the A350 compared to other new designs. Hopefully the extra time already built in to the schedule will be enough to smooth out any delays as production starts.

Quoting MedAv (Reply 1):
The A350 will have the benefit of seeing how CFRP performs on the 787,

Composites are not new to the industry. They know how it performs. Carbon fiber has been used for what, 20 years now on airplanes? More?
The 787 just uses more of it and has barrels made as one piece. The A350 I think is using panels on a metal frame. Different methods so the 787 shoudn't give Airbus too much insight on how to make a fuselage.


User currently offlineTrex8 From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 4763 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (6 years 3 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 2153 times:
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Quoting MedAv (Reply 5):
Err, you're being sarcastic, right? Of course they would share, it's one company, no? I mean what about the 767, or civilian satellites vs military, etc, etc.

it is US law that data for a DoD program cannot be "directly" used on non military projects, the OEM has to in theory reinvent the wheel, when the same engineers are used that can be easy, when they are in different divisions of the OEM at different sites, its not easy and you can go to a Federal jail for sharing the info from another military project.
it can be ludicrous in a similar vein but slightly different the A12 avenger disaster was at least partly due to other OEMS having to reinvent everything already known from the F117 project.

Quoting Manfredj (Reply 2):
Will there be in depth reports that Airbus will be able to view?

well at least from the EADS unit building the 787s rear bulkhead!


User currently offlineManfredj From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 3 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2104 times:



Quoting Trex8 (Reply 7):
it is US law that data for a DoD program cannot be "directly" used on non military projects, the OEM has to in theory reinvent the wheel, when the same engineers are used that can be easy, when they are in different divisions of the OEM at different sites, its not easy and you can go to a Federal jail for sharing the info from another military project.
it can be ludicrous in a similar vein but slightly different the A12 avenger disaster was at least partly due to other OEMS having to reinvent everything already known from the F117 project.

When do they allow the bleeding of Military technology into the airliners? It used to be the corporate jets would get the technology first, and then it would be incorporated into the commercial airplanes. Either way, sounds messy.



757: The last of the best
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30898 posts, RR: 87
Reply 9, posted (6 years 3 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2085 times:
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Quoting Zeke (Reply 4):
I have seen a number of assertions that Boeing has (illegally ?) shared IP off its military programs onto the civil airlines.

On the flip side, we've seen proofs that Boeing Commercial Airplanes has been developing their own versions of processes and technologies that are already in the possession of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems that are under embargo for use in commercial projects...

Quoting Manfredj (Thread starter):
Delays are common now. The 380 and the 787 were not on schedule, far from it. I'm just wondering if Airbus has taken this into consideration on the 350. It's something none of us want to see. What kind of policy is set in place for it's newest airplane. What kind of guarantees can it make to it's customer's we won't see a three-peat of what's happened.

I don't believe Airbus can make any iron-clad guarantees. They are giving themselves roughly an extra year to develop the A350 vs. what Boeing put in place for the 787 and Airbus is far more familiar with large-scale prefabrication then Boeing was. Airbus is also likely not to push this pre-fabrication to the limits Boeing has with the 787, though I expect them to go farther then they have with their previous widebody programs. So history likely favors Airbus more then Boeing, however Airbus is also moving into new territory for them at least in design (large panels), if not processes and materials, so there is the chance for delays to come into play there.


User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4395 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (6 years 3 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2073 times:

Airbus has three reasons for hope to be better this time than the 380/787 timing.

a) The time plan looks not so dense
b) Putting panels onto aluminium frames is a better known technology than barrels on aluminium frames
c) most of all they are burned by a stupid bug!

But they have to do their homeworks now, keep to the time line, the A350 doesn't come for free just under the christmas tree in 5 years.

Neither the delays of the A380 nor the one of the 787 are due to the new technology, both are just management errors.


User currently offlineMoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3924 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (6 years 3 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2059 times:



Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 6):
The A350 I think is using panels on a metal frame.

The A350 is using panels on CFRP frames and floor beams with some stringers being metal.


User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 12, posted (6 years 3 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2001 times:



Quoting Burkhard (Reply 10):
Airbus has three reasons for hope to be better this time than the 380/787 timing.

a) The time plan looks not so dense
b) Putting panels onto aluminium frames is a better known technology than barrels on aluminium frames

Who's doing barrels on aluminum frames? So far as I know, the 787 is primarily CFRP frames with a few titanium bulkheads.

Tom.


User currently offlineManfredj From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (6 years 3 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1972 times:



Quoting Burkhard (Reply 10):
b) Putting panels onto aluminium frames is a better known technology than barrels on aluminium frames

I don't understand. Will there be carbon fiber on aluminum tubes, or just carbon around the frame? The first would be self defeating as just the carbon fiber would do.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 9):
Airbus is also likely not to push this pre-fabrication to the limits Boeing has with the 787, though I expect them to go farther then they have with their previous widebody programs.

If this is going to be a true 787 competitor (fuel burn, efficiency wise) you would think Airbus would want to go a step further as they have the advantage of more time.



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User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30898 posts, RR: 87
Reply 14, posted (6 years 3 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1953 times:
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Quoting Manfredj (Reply 13):
If this is going to be a true 787 competitor (fuel burn, efficiency wise) you would think Airbus would want to go a step further as they have the advantage of more time.

However, they then risk those suppliers not being able to meet the production schedule, as happened with Boeing.


User currently offlineZeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9029 posts, RR: 75
Reply 15, posted (6 years 3 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1951 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 9):
On the flip side, we've seen proofs that Boeing Commercial Airplanes has been developing their own versions of processes and technologies that are already in the possession of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems that are under embargo for use in commercial projects...

"The engineers, veterans of Boeing's work on the B-2 stealth bomber two decades ago, told investigator Rick Barreiro that technology and know-how developed for that secretive military program would be used in manufacturing the company's newest commercial jet."

from http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...ology/2002754224_boeingitar22.html

Lots of articles have been in the press about this, it also has been a part of the counter claims by the EU in the WTO case.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8507 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (6 years 3 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 1912 times:

Zeke's linked article is interesting.

"And to satisfy the letter of the law, Boeing workers have embarked on some surreal tasks.

One example: Boeing's B-2 work showed that the plasticized carbon-fiber tape used to make composites can be safely frozen and stored for up to a year — twice as long as previously thought.

That fact is now well-known in the composites industry, yet 787 engineers can't inherit that knowledge from the B-2 program, Gillette said. So they conducted fresh tests to prove a result they already knew."


Of course Boeing asserts that the law hurts commercial activities more than it protects military secrets.

"Gillette portrayed the issue as a regulatory headache rather than a genuine threat to Boeing's 787 plan. And he insisted that the questions raised by Barreiro and the engineers are being resolved."


User currently offlineManfredj From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 3 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1822 times:



Quoting MD-90 (Reply 16):
Of course Boeing asserts that the law hurts commercial activities more than it protects military secrets.

Seriously, which enemy nation of the United States can afford to buy a 787, tear it apart and build a multi billion dollar answer to the F22? Doesn't Boeing also have an obligation NOT to sell it's commerical aircraft to our enemies? Still don't see how incorporating military technology into an airliner threatens national security.



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User currently offlineMoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3924 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (6 years 3 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1765 times:



Quoting Manfredj (Reply 17):
Doesn't Boeing also have an obligation NOT to sell it's commerical aircraft to our enemies?

Define 'enemies' - there's currently a weapons sales ban on China, yet everyone is happily selling them civil aircraft.


User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3591 posts, RR: 10
Reply 19, posted (6 years 3 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 1637 times:



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 3):
You should blame them...if not them, then who? The delays are rarely technological or impact the safety or reliability of the aircraft. They seem to chronically be project and supplier management.

From the meetings I have seen with Boeing, the tardiness seems to be more endemic to their management processes. They require lots of meetings with lots of people who join together to make decisions that inherently slow down the design, development and prototyping process. I have had to participate in meetings at a Boeing facility with over 50 participants for a full day where absolutely nothing was accomplished.

Quoting Zeke (Reply 4):
I have seen a number of assertions that Boeing has (illegally ?) shared IP off its military programs onto the civil airlines.

They can use IP developed under military programs provided that:

1.) The IP is not classified, and

2. ) The Government does not hold a patent/technical rights on the technology.

Quoting Trex8 (Reply 7):
it is US law that data for a DoD program cannot be "directly" used on non military projects, the OEM has to in theory reinvent the wheel, when the same engineers are used that can be easy, when they are in different divisions of the OEM at different sites, its not easy and you can go to a Federal jail for sharing the info from another military project.

Please see my answer above. You can share info between military projects (but not double bill the development, which some companies have been caught doing). You can also transfer to commercial ventures provided 1 and 2 above are not violated.

Quoting Manfredj (Reply 8):
When do they allow the bleeding of Military technology into the airliners? It used to be the corporate jets would get the technology first, and then it would be incorporated into the commercial airplanes. Either way, sounds messy.

Please see 1 and 2 above.

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 16):
And to satisfy the letter of the law, Boeing workers have embarked on some surreal tasks.

One example: Boeing's B-2 work showed that the plasticized carbon-fiber tape used to make composites can be safely frozen and stored for up to a year — twice as long as previously thought.

That fact is now well-known in the composites industry, yet 787 engineers can't inherit that knowledge from the B-2 program, Gillette said. So they conducted fresh tests to prove a result they already knew."

Of course Boeing asserts that the law hurts commercial activities more than it protects military secrets.

"Gillette portrayed the issue as a regulatory headache rather than a genuine threat to Boeing's 787 plan. And he insisted that the questions raised by Barreiro and the engineers are being resolved."

The military test data report was probably classified for some reason (could well be because of the temperature extremes tested to showed the operational limits that the military aircraft was being designed to). It would appear that the cold temperatures necessary for commercial aircraft were less, and so the results showing the "twice as long as previously thought."

I would not think it hurts more than it helps as some at Boeing assert. It really isn't even that much more of a regulatory hurdle. There is nothing stopping Boeing from using designers on the military side from designing on the commercial side, the only must make sure thay do not release classified information to uncleared personnel and to not use classified materials or information on the airplane or in the engineering paperwork.

Quoting Manfredj (Reply 17):
Seriously, which enemy nation of the United States can afford to buy a 787, tear it apart and build a multi billion dollar answer to the F22? Doesn't Boeing also have an obligation NOT to sell it's commerical aircraft to our enemies? Still don't see how incorporating military technology into an airliner threatens national security.

Many times there is nothing classified about the parts being used, but there is classified engineering information about the materials or the specifications used in designing the parts. Most of the classified parts these days are computer chips, sensors, and detectors. Ideas and tolerances such as engineering parameters and specifications (which cannot easily be reverse engineered) are more commonly classified these days, rather than the actual parts themselves.


User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8507 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (6 years 3 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1606 times:



Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 19):
I have had to participate in meetings at a Boeing facility with over 50 participants for a full day where absolutely nothing was accomplished.

In Huntsville the two worst customers to have are reputed to be both Boeing and the Army. Both have lots of bureaucracy and red tape and if you're partnering with Boeing they're known for taking your money and then not doing any work. Granted, this is the defense and space sides of Boeing, not BCA, but I've heard plenty of stories about other companies having to work with them.


User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3591 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (6 years 3 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1553 times:



Quoting MD-90 (Reply 20):
In Huntsville the two worst customers to have are reputed to be both Boeing and the Army. Both have lots of bureaucracy and red tape and if you're partnering with Boeing they're known for taking your money and then not doing any work. Granted, this is the defense and space sides of Boeing, not BCA, but I've heard plenty of stories about other companies having to work with them.

Gee, guess where the meeting I was talking about took place?  Wink

Boeing's saving grace is that they do have some very good engineers.


User currently offlineAstuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10008 posts, RR: 96
Reply 22, posted (6 years 3 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1498 times:
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Quoting MedAv (Reply 1):
The A350 will have the benefit of seeing how CFRP performs on the 787, but like any airliner program, they'll encounter glitches

I'd argue that this is of no benefit to Airbus whatsoever.  no 

Airbus are adopting a different paradigm for the fuselage as it is.
The decision to adopt a CFRP fuselage has been made. It isn't going to change. And nothing in the 787 programme will make any difference whatsoever to that.
They have already completed large test sections.

It won't hurt to much too try and say that Airbus will use their own knowledge and expertise to bring the A350 to market, you know. They do have some........  yes 

Quoting MedAv (Reply 1):
I'm no expert on schedules, but with the aggressive schedules we've seen of late on both civil and defense projects, I'm willing to bet it will also be delayed

The A350's schedule is less aggressive than the 787's, even with the delay's built in..  scratchchin 

Quoting Futurecaptain (Reply 6):
The A350 I think is using panels on a metal frame.

They were, originally, and this would have been a low-risk iteration of the methodology used to produce the A380 tailcones, and/or the A380 upper fuselages.
The metal frames are now predominantly going to be CFRP.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 9):
They are giving themselves roughly an extra year to develop the A350 vs. what Boeing put in place for the 787 and Airbus is far more familiar with large-scale prefabrication then Boeing was. Airbus is also likely not to push this pre-fabrication to the limits Boeing has with the 787, though I expect them to go farther then they have with their previous widebody programs. So history likely favors Airbus more then Boeing, however Airbus is also moving into new territory for them at least in design (large panels), if not processes and materials, so there is the chance for delays to come into play there.

A good summary, Stitch.  thumbsup 
The only thing missing is:-

Quoting Burkhard (Reply 10):
Neither the delays of the A380 nor the one of the 787 are due to the new technology, both are just management errors.

Any delays are most likely to come from a) poor programme management or b) substantial failure to hit the weight targets.. (IMO)

Quoting Manfredj (Reply 13):
If this is going to be a true 787 competitor (fuel burn, efficiency wise) you would think Airbus would want to go a step further as they have the advantage of more time.

To echo my comments on another thread, there may well be other ways of achieving that objective that are less risk and less cost to Airbus, but at least as, if not more effective.
How far the push the CFRP fuselage manufacturing paradigm is not the sole denominator of the competitiveness of the aircraft.  no 

Regards


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