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What If Airbus Launched The A350 Non XWB In 2005  
User currently offlineOyKIE From Norway, joined Jan 2006, 2751 posts, RR: 4
Posted (6 years 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6373 times:

With the 787 risking yet another delay and new customer being told no new delivery slots before 2020 at earliest, I started thinking what if Airbus had launched the A350 non XWB back in 2005. Then it would be EIS in 2010, 1 and a half year away. If Airbus could maintained a production rate at 10 airplanes pr month, or even more at TLS, then they would get the majority of the market share between 2010 and 2015.

On the other side, with all the problems Boeing has with the 787, Airbus makes allot of money on the current A330, and might be for many years to come as Boeing strives to increase production. But when the Boeing finally gets the 787 going Airbus do not have a competitor that can match the performance of the 787-8. With the A350 non XWB Airbus would have a competitor that could take allot of the 787 market without the risks that Boeing are facing right now.

If Airbus had stayed on the course with the current A350 they could have launched the A350XWB in 2010 at the time when the A350 was entering service and the cash started to flow in. It would be 4 years later, but then Airbus would have an up to date 787-8/9 competitor at perhaps the same time as the 787 or even before. What do you think? Should Airbus have opted for this?

Can we expect an A330NG in the not so distant future? With the 787 sold out and not accepting new orders before 2020 Airbus to have an envelope to get a competitor in the air.


Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCPDC10-30 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 4781 posts, RR: 23
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6335 times:

How easily we forget the delay in EIS of the A380 and how much it cost Airbus in penalties and lost revenues. Airbus would be in no shape to provide the investment needed to start producing the non-XWB A350 in the 2009-2010 timeframe.

There could well be a A330NG (re-engined), however the opportunity cost could be high. Airbus also has to watch the ball re: the A320 series (and how the CSeries fares) and be able to respond quickly (or pre-empt) to Boeing upgrading or replacing the 737NG.

[Edited 2008-09-08 11:53:36]

[Edited 2008-09-08 11:54:09]

User currently offlineOyKIE From Norway, joined Jan 2006, 2751 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6296 times:



Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 1):
How easily we forget the delay in EIS of the A380 and how much it cost Airbus in penalties and lost revenues.

Nope. I did not forget. The A380 was a brand new design. The A350 would have been a derivative of the A330. Much simpler to develop.

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 1):
Airbus would be in no shape to provide the investment needed to start producing the non-XWB A350 in the 2009-2010

A 3,5 billion Euro project they could not afford, but a 10 billion project is okay?



Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
User currently offlineCPDC10-30 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2000, 4781 posts, RR: 23
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6271 times:

Quoting OyKIE (Reply 2):

A 3,5 billion Euro project they could not afford, but a 10 billion project is okay?

We are comparing two somewhat similar aircraft, but at different timescales. We have to remember the financial problems Airbus would have experienced if following the original schedule. This is what makes the difference. On an absolute scale, the A350XWB will cost much more to develop than the earlier version, which you have rightly pointed out.

However, 3.5 Billion Euros would have been very hard to find at a time when their flagship aircraft was suffering severe delays, and Airbus was suffering three big drags at the same time:

1) Costs to resolve the A380 EIS issues
2) Weak US dollar compared to the Euro. Airbus sells its airplanes in USD but pays wages and many suppliers in €.
3) Compensation to A380 customers and lost/delayed revenue for the A380 program

Airbus may also have had difficulty providing enough resources to the start of the non XWB A350 in 2006-2007 as they were still working to fix the A380 issues, and it could well have suffered its own delays.

Now, as the USD is finally starting to rise again against the Euro, the two to four year wait could end up looking very smart for Airbus.

[Edited 2008-09-08 12:21:50]

User currently offlineMoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3948 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6258 times:



Quoting OyKIE (Thread starter):
I started thinking what if Airbus had launched the A350 non XWB back in 2005.

Uhm, the A350 *was* launched in 2005 - Airbus got Authority To Offer in December 2004, and a full Industrial Launch in October 2005.


User currently offlineOyKIE From Norway, joined Jan 2006, 2751 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5936 times:



Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 3):
We are comparing two somewhat similar aircraft, but at different timescales. We have to remember the financial problems Airbus would have experienced if following the original schedule. This is what makes the difference. On an absolute scale, the A350XWB will cost much more to develop than the earlier version, which you have rightly pointed out

I knew that they were facing financial problems, but I never thought it was so bad. If they launched this 3,5 billion Euro plane in 2005, would that kill of Airbus? Really? I thought that they made enough money on the A320 and A330/A340 line to pay for the continous development costs, no?

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 3):
Airbus may also have had difficulty providing enough resources to the start of the non XWB A350 in 2006-2007 as they were still working to fix the A380 issues, and it could well have suffered its own delays

This is what I would believe is a huge contributing factor. One thing is money, which I doubt that Airbus had problems getting. The other thing is to get enough people with enough skill to develop the plane. In this part I agree. Airbus have pushed their engineers hard. However they were planning for a 4 year development time. For an upgraded plane that is a long time. How much time does Boeing need on the 747-8? 3 years?

Quoting Moo (Reply 4):
Uhm, the A350 *was* launched in 2005 - Airbus got Authority To Offer in December 2004, and a full Industrial Launch in October 2005

True. They refined this plane many time. Was it the Mark 3 that got launched or the fourth?



Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
User currently offlineRheinwaldner From Switzerland, joined Jan 2008, 2225 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5917 times:



Quoting OyKIE (Thread starter):
On the other side, with all the problems Boeing has with the 787, Airbus makes allot of money on the current A330, and might be for many years to come as Boeing strives to increase production

That is a key IMO: That first A350 would not sell much better than the A330 does anyway. Thus the investment in such an A350 would not pay back as much as the investment in the A350XWB will.


User currently offlineMoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3948 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 5848 times:



Quoting OyKIE (Reply 5):

True. They refined this plane many time. Was it the Mark 3 that got launched or the fourth?

Don't let the A.net propaganda fool you - there were only ever two versions of the A350 launched, the A350 and the XWB. Every other change that was discussed is a part of the normal development process, only on this project a lot of it was conducted in public.


User currently offlineOby From Denmark, joined Aug 2008, 104 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5771 times:

They would have racked up some sales, yes. But it wold be a long lost cause once the 787 somes. it wuld still be selling in large numbers to EK but that would be it. the 787 is just a far too superior aircraft.
To put it in arcaft terms: it would be a B. 767-400er mach 2


User currently offlineOyKIE From Norway, joined Jan 2006, 2751 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5763 times:



Quoting Rheinwaldner (Reply 6):
That is a key IMO: That first A350 would not sell much better than the A330 does anyway. Thus the investment in such an A350 would not pay back as much as the investment in the A350XWB will.

This might be what Airbus is hoping for, and in the end it might turn out that with all the delays with the 787 they might not need to do anything.

Quoting Moo (Reply 7):
Don't let the A.net propaganda fool you - there were only ever two versions of the A350 launched, the A350 and the XWB. Every other change that was discussed is a part of the normal development process, only on this project a lot of it was conducted in public.

It is not justy A.net propaganda, but has been reported in Media as well.



Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
User currently offlineMoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3948 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5757 times:



Quoting OyKIE (Reply 9):
It is not justy A.net propaganda, but has been reported in Media as well.

I haven't seen anything in the media anywhere near the level of ribbing here on A.net.


User currently offlineScouseflyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 3390 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5667 times:

On the subject of the XWB and it's $10B development cost, I was wondering if the plane already has enough orders the (if delivered) will break it even.

They've sold approx 450 birds meaning a development cost reclaim per plane of approx $22million - given that the planes cost between $180m and $220m list is this acheivable - and if so what a bonus for Airbus!


User currently offlineFrigatebird From Netherlands, joined Jun 2008, 1607 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 5569 times:

I'm not so sure either that Airbus would have delivered the non-XWB A350 on time, mid 2010. Yes, it wasn't a totally new airplane like the A380 or A350XWB, but it incorporated enough new technologies to give Airbus a couple of headaches IMO. The fuselage diameter was the same as the A300/310/330/340, but that was about only thing that remained unchanged... And wasn't that the basic criticism of SQ's CEO at that time? That if they were designing a new aircraft anyway, why not a new fuselage as well?

If Airbus had stuck to the original fuselage diameter, they still would have sold a decent number of frames. It had already about 200 orders and commitments, hadn't it? But they wouldn't have sold as many A330's, especially the ones which are scheduled for delivery in 2011 or after. Airlines would have chosen the A350 instead, with the A330 perhaps as interim lift - real interim planes, to be replaced by A350 after EIS.

But they certainly would have missed some orders that the A350XWB gained, like EI, Ariana, CI, EK, SQ, EY, VN. And I believe quite more in the future.

All in all, Airbus decision to go forward with the XWB and abandon the original fuselage width, was a very smart one indeed.



146,318/19/20/21,AB6,332,343,345,388,722,732/3/4/5/G/8,9,742,74E,744,752,762,763,772,77E,773,77W,AT4/7,ATP,CRK,E90,F50/7
User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 5387 times:



Quoting OyKIE (Thread starter):
With the 787 risking yet another delay and new customer being told no new delivery slots before 2020 at earliest, I started thinking what if Airbus had launched the A350 non XWB back in 2005. Then it would be EIS in 2010, 1 and a half year away. If Airbus could maintained a production rate at 10 airplanes pr month, or even more at TLS, then they would get the majority of the market share between 2010 and 2015.

well presumably if the A350 could have been launched in 2005, the 787 wouldnt be having its current problems..duh. Also it would be impossible to launch the A350 and A380 in the same timeframe.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12558 posts, RR: 25
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5317 times:



Quoting Frigatebird (Reply 12):
All in all, Airbus decision to go forward with the XWB and abandon the original fuselage width, was a very smart one indeed.

It was a choice forced upon them, after loosing out to the 787 at AC and QF.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineFrigatebird From Netherlands, joined Jun 2008, 1607 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5295 times:



Quoting Revelation (Reply 14):


Quoting Frigatebird (Reply 12):
All in all, Airbus decision to go forward with the XWB and abandon the original fuselage width, was a very smart one indeed.

It was a choice forced upon them, after loosing out to the 787 at AC and QF.

True, but it wasn't the easy choice: It meant delaying their first deliveries for 2,5 years, which meant even more compensation/penalties for late delivery. And they made that decision in the middle of all the flak they received as a result of all the A380 delays - even more bad publicity, more cost, and further delayed revenues. Sticking with the original A350, and accepting just 30% of the market share of the smaller widebodies wouldn't pose as many risks - so their decision to go forward with the XWB was still commendable IMO.



146,318/19/20/21,AB6,332,343,345,388,722,732/3/4/5/G/8,9,742,74E,744,752,762,763,772,77E,773,77W,AT4/7,ATP,CRK,E90,F50/7
User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5199 times:

Frigatebird was the code of one of the Operation Dominic shots in 1962. It was fired from a sub.

User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 59
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5180 times:



Quoting Moo (Reply 10):

Quoting OyKIE (Reply 9):
It is not justy A.net propaganda, but has been reported in Media as well.

I haven't seen anything in the media anywhere near the level of ribbing here on A.net.

Both IFLC's Hazy as well as SQ's Chew (and to a certain extent EK's Clark) were continually in the media criticizing the original A350.



"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineAstuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10029 posts, RR: 96
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5063 times:
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Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 17):
Both IFLC's Hazy as well as SQ's Chew (and to a certain extent EK's Clark) were continually in the media criticizing the original A350.

They did indeed.

That said, I think history has shown that it would have been a lot more competitive than we were led to believe at the time..

I still have my suspicions that the real A350 issue was heavily coloured by the A340-500/600 being uncompetitive, and Airbus having no response in that segment.
That, and the perceived "weaknesses" of the old A350 must have led many customers to expect Airbus to be frozen out of most of the middle market

Rgds


User currently offlineFrigatebird From Netherlands, joined Jun 2008, 1607 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5043 times:



Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 16):
Frigatebird was the code of one of the Operation Dominic shots in 1962. It was fired from a sub.

Really? Never knew that, thanks. But it's not the reason I chose this nickname  Big grin



146,318/19/20/21,AB6,332,343,345,388,722,732/3/4/5/G/8,9,742,74E,744,752,762,763,772,77E,773,77W,AT4/7,ATP,CRK,E90,F50/7
User currently offlineOyKIE From Norway, joined Jan 2006, 2751 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4989 times:



Quoting Scouseflyer (Reply 11):
On the subject of the XWB and it's $10B development cost, I was wondering if the plane already has enough orders the (if delivered) will break it even.

They cannot be far from breakeven. Is it me, or do A and B need to make more planes of each varian to breakeven than they did just 10 years ago?

Quoting Frigatebird (Reply 12):
I'm not so sure either that Airbus would have delivered the non-XWB A350 on time, mid 2010. Yes, it wasn't a totally new airplane like the A380 or A350XWB, but it incorporated enough new technologies to give Airbus a couple of headaches IMO. The fuselage diameter was the same as the A300/310/330/340, but that was about only thing that remained unchanged... And wasn't that the basic criticism of SQ's CEO at that time? That if they were designing a new aircraft anyway, why not a new fuselage as well?

There would have been allot of commonality between the A330 and A350. Even though it would be new materials, they way to manufacture it would be easier than building a brand new plane. That way there would be less risk of manufacturing delays and problems with production rampup.

Quoting Frigatebird (Reply 12):
If Airbus had stuck to the original fuselage diameter, they still would have sold a decent number of frames. It had already about 200 orders and commitments, hadn't it? But they wouldn't have sold as many A330's, especially the ones which are scheduled for delivery in 2011 or after. Airlines would have chosen the A350 instead, with the A330 perhaps as interim lift - real interim planes, to be replaced by A350 after EIS

I believe that if they had stuck to the same fuselage diameter, Airbus might end up as a better seller in the 5-10 first years of production as the A350 would be available sooner than the competing model. Depending on how complicated it would be to produce more than 10 planes pr month.

Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 13):
well presumably if the A350 could have been launched in 2005, the 787 wouldnt be having its current problems..duh. Also it would be impossible to launch the A350 and A380 in the same timeframe

The A380 issues would not have affect the A350 timeline. It was not the lack of engineers that was Airbus problem at the time.

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 18):
That said, I think history has shown that it would have been a lot more competitive than we were led to believe at the time..

 checkmark 

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 18):
I still have my suspicions that the real A350 issue was heavily coloured by the A340-500/600 being uncompetitive, and Airbus having no response in that segment.

I suspect you are right in this regard. However the never launched A350 and the A350XWB could easily coexist.

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 18):
That, and the perceived "weaknesses" of the old A350 must have led many customers to expect Airbus to be frozen out of most of the middle market

But was the A350 as weak as we were led to believe?



Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
User currently offlineKennyK From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 482 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4775 times:

Is there a gap opening up in the market between the A321/739 and the A350/787. At the moment the 762/3 and A310/300 are the smallest widebodies that fill this gap and apart from a few 763s few aircraft are being produced of this size. The A332 is the next nearest, the 783, when it gets into production will be the only next generation widebody in this segment. So I imagine the A332 may stay in production just to fill this gap below the A358. Saying that, orders of the 783 are static. Is it a sector that is just not needed, I feel there should be a smaller widebody available optimised to fill this gap with A300/763 capacity, smaller and lighter than the A358/783 but it just does not seem to be required. The A310/300s and 762/3s are just going to be replaced by A358/788s.

User currently offlineOyKIE From Norway, joined Jan 2006, 2751 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (6 years 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4726 times:



Quoting KennyK (Reply 21):
Is there a gap opening up in the market between the A321/739 and the A350/787. At the moment the 762/3 and A310/300 are the smallest widebodies that fill this gap and apart from a few 763s few aircraft are being produced of this size. The A332 is the next nearest, the 783, when it gets into production will be the only next generation widebody in this segment. So I imagine the A332 may stay in production just to fill this gap below the A358. Saying that, orders of the 783 are static. Is it a sector that is just not needed, I feel there should be a smaller widebody available optimised to fill this gap with A300/763 capacity, smaller and lighter than the A358/783 but it just does not seem to be required. The A310/300s and 762/3s are just going to be replaced by A358/788s

I believe that there is a gap in the portfolio between the A332/B788 and the smaller A321/B739ER. I hope that we will see this gap being closed when the 737 and A320 are replaced. But you bring up a valid point. The 787 was supposed to replace the 757 and 767. However the smalles 787-8 are larger than the 767-400ER. But how can one best replace the 757/767 segment. could a 7 abreast widebody in the 757/767 seat ragne offer similar CASM as the 787 without the cargo? Or have are we in a time were the airlines need cargo to make enough revenue on lon haul?



Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
User currently offlineKennyK From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 482 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 4559 times:

I wonder what the smallest diameter fuselage is that you can squeeze a pair of LD3 under the floor of. Must be not much smaller than the Airbus standard A300 fuselage as the 767 is too small. If a smaller widebody, 7 abreast, twin isle is adopted by Airbus and/or Boeing to replace the A320/737 then a new type of baggage container will be required for the smaller underfloor hold. But you do get an aircraft of around 757/762/A310 capacity.

User currently offlineOyKIE From Norway, joined Jan 2006, 2751 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (6 years 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4461 times:



Quoting KennyK (Reply 23):
I wonder what the smallest diameter fuselage is that you can squeeze a pair of LD3 under the floor of.

At the widest .1 LD3 container is 201cm wide 2 LD3 containers side by side would then require a 402cm of width. I cannot see why it cannot be done with a plane as narrow as the 767? With a doubble bubble design, it should be doable.  Silly



Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
25 Astuteman : On A-net? There's absolutely no question whatsoever that the old A350 wasn't as weak as we were led to believe, IMO. However, we don't buy airliners
26 Pihero : But was the A350 as weak as we were led to believe? I have believed that the duo SUH ? SQ plus Mr Aboulafia was quite unfair to the original 350. Call
27 Revelation : Also NH, JL, AC, QF, and ultimately Airbus itself, no? It seems out of all the fouled-up things on B787, composites aren't one. Fasteners, brake soft
28 RedFlyer : That is the pulse of the issue precisely. But often times perception is reality and I think in hindsight the perception was that Boeing was eating Ai
29 Post contains links SpeedyGonzales : With a circular fuselage the A300 diameter seems pretty close to minimum: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Airbus_A300_cross_section.JPG
30 Astuteman : I agree completely. The A340NG was also a product of "today's reality", and look how that reality changed. Rgds
31 Rheinbote : What If Airbus launched The A350 Non XWB In 2005? Well, customers would have rejected it. It was the customers who 'persuaded' Airbus to launch someth
32 Post contains links StickShaker : Quoting Frigatebird (Reply 15): Sticking with the original A350, and accepting just 30% of the market share of the smaller widebodies wouldn't pose as
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