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La Tribune (France) Claims A350 EIS Will Slip  
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31003 posts, RR: 86
Posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4563 times:
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While EADS CEO Louis Gallois stated on Friday the 23rd that the A350 program is "not in any way delayed", the French paper La Tribune today (the 27th) ran an article by Michel Cabirol stating that the program is running behind and will not meet the planned EIS date. It appears Mr. Cabriol is using suppliers and "people at the closest levels to the program" as his sources and he claims this is not an "idle rumor". The majority of these sources claim the delay will be around 12 months, though some believe it could be 18 and a few believe it could be less than 12 months.

Airbus COO Fabrice Brégier also denied at Farnborough that the A350 program is delayed and noted that all but a couple of "critical" industrial equipment is in place to begin production. He reiterated that they are planning first flight in a year, but he did add the caveat "if we do not have any uncertainties". Mr. Brégier also admitted that Airbus had experienced issues with the electrical systems integration into the CFRP fuselage, but that the delays were only a few weeks and he is confident they can catch up. He also stated that launch customer QR will not cut them any breaks for missing their EIS targets.

The original article is currently only in French on La Tribune's web page.

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6664 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4183 times:

La Tribune is a financial newspaper. I don't know if they know anything about planes, the part about building "demonstrators" makes me think that they don't.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinekeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4117 times:

A delay for the A350 is very possible of course. However this article if very general, is just venting out some possibilities and reffering to answers of anonymous people when they asked around if anybody knew anything. Very short, thin story IMO..

User currently offlineGothamSpotter From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 586 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4077 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 1):
La Tribune is a financial newspaper. I don't know if they know anything about planes, the part about building "demonstrators" makes me think that they don't.

Building planes is big business. I'm not familiar with La Tribune, but most finance publications that I know have pretty solid aviation reporting.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 31003 posts, RR: 86
Reply 4, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3938 times:
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Quoting Aesma (Reply 1):
I don't know if they know anything about planes, the part about building "demonstrators" makes me think that they don't.

Could they be referring to the "demonstrator fuselage" that Airbus is building to validate cabin interior fittings and configurations requested by customers to ensure that the issues they have encountered with outfitting the A380 does not appear again?


User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8964 posts, RR: 39
Reply 5, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3834 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 1):
La Tribune is a financial newspaper. I don't know if they know anything about planes, the part about building "demonstrators" makes me think that they don't.

A delay of several months, if likely, is an economically relevant event and thus would need to be disclosed in EADS's financial statements. Getting this type of thing right is an important part of the finance function (and they rely on airplane experts for this type of thing). Hiding it would constitute management fraud or "cooking the books".

The question is whether this article is based on reliable info.



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6664 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3429 times:

Quoting Stitch (Reply 4):
Could they be referring to the "demonstrator fuselage" that Airbus is building to validate cabin interior fittings and configurations requested by customers to ensure that the issues they have encountered with outfitting the A380 does not appear again?

It's not detailed, but Airbus did build all sorts of small demonstrators, panels etc, back several years, so I understood it as buying entire planes. It's in a part about the fact that you must sell the plane before making it, with a statement that this is somehow not how it should be, because too big promises are made.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 5):
A delay of several months, if likely, is an economically relevant event and thus would need to be disclosed in EADS's financial statements. Getting this type of thing right is an important part of the finance function (and they rely on airplane experts for this type of thing). Hiding it would constitute management fraud or "cooking the books".

They'll disclose it when the delay is certain, no advance notice like a US company.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3592 posts, RR: 10
Reply 7, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3357 times:

I would not be surprised if EIS is delayed.

I think this is all a part of a systemic problem faced by both Airbus and Boeing, as well as many other large companies. There is a disconnect between management and engineering/production when planning programs due to the current prevalence and reliance on Power Point Presentations and Gnatt charts. Management takes these presentations and uses them for their projections without a deeper understanding of the processes and perils involved in the development. This leads to overly optimistic timetables.


User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6664 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3290 times:

There was a time when this kind of companies were led by engineers...


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlineslz396 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3238 times:

Quoting keesje (Reply 2):
this article if very general, is just venting out some possibilities and reffering to answers of anonymous people when they asked around if anybody knew anything

I am French speaking and this article seems to be based on nothing but the widespread assumption many people even inside the industry make these days, which is.: the A380 was late, the 787 was late, the A400M is late... so the A350 will be delayed somewhere during now and EIS too, even if it isn't yet.

Whereas that is very possible indeed, it's not an automatic given and this article seems to be missing a smoking gun, like contractor XYZ has been asked to reshedule deliveries of parts needed for the construction by so many months already or something. Nothing of that sort whatsoever, just anonymous sources making guestimations based on what they feel to be most likely, given the recent past at Airbus....

Quoting keesje (Reply 2):
Very short, thin story IMO.

It's summer time, remember?

The whole of France and in fact even western Europe is enjoying several weeks of paid holidays, so newspapers are having a hard time finding news...


User currently offlinePITingres From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 1145 posts, RR: 13
Reply 10, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 3044 times:

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 7):
think this is all a part of a systemic problem faced by both Airbus and Boeing, as well as many other large companies. There is a disconnect between management and engineering/production when planning programs due to the current prevalence and reliance on Power Point Presentations and Gnatt charts.

I agree, and I also think that there is a reluctance (or inability?) to think in sufficiently large terms. When a project estimate comes in at (say) 6 years, the reaction is often "Oh no, the market / investors / customers / management can't support a project that big, if it takes that long we can't do it, think of something else." So you go off and come back and say "what if it were 3 years", with the unwritten subtext being that 3 years is only possible if pigs fly and the sun shines out of satan's ass. And then when it takes 6 years, or maybe even 7, there is the weeping and gnashing of teeth, and the a.net threads, all basically preventable.

I hope the A350 makes it on time, if for no other reason than to prove that it can be done, and that managers of really large projects are able to accept the equally large timeframes involved.



Fly, you fools! Fly!
User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3592 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2887 times:

Quoting PITingres (Reply 10):
I agree, and I also think that there is a reluctance (or inability?) to think in sufficiently large terms. When a project estimate comes in at (say) 6 years, the reaction is often "Oh no, the market / investors / customers / management can't support a project that big, if it takes that long we can't do it, think of something else." So you go off and come back and say "what if it were 3 years", with the unwritten subtext being that 3 years is only possible if pigs fly and the sun shines out of satan's ass. And then when it takes 6 years, or maybe even 7, there is the weeping and gnashing of teeth, and the a.net threads, all basically preventable.

Yup!

(Poor) Managers have outside objectives and want the schedules to meet those objectives. These managers demand that the engineering managers develop more aggressive time schedules that are not realistic. If an engineering manager won't provide an unrealistic schedule, then that engineering manager will be replaced with a different one that has more of a "Can Do" attitude.


User currently offlinePITingres From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 1145 posts, RR: 13
Reply 12, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2740 times:

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 11):
... will be replaced with a different one that has more of a "Can Do" attitude.

  

more of a "Team Player"...
more "Attuned to Corporate Requirements..."
more "Aggressive and Forward-Thinking..."

lots of different ways to say "willing to ignore reality so as to engender bogus good feelings amongst those who don't have to do the work." I've watched it happen several times from close-up. Fortunately the one time that it really mattered career-wise, we pulled off a semi miracle, were only a couple months late.



Fly, you fools! Fly!
User currently offlineTomcat From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 162 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2552 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 6):
They'll disclose it when the delay is certain, no advance notice like a US company.

I take Boeing is a Chinese company then  


User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3409 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2521 times:

Quoting slz396 (Reply 9):
I am French speaking and this article seems to be based on nothing but the widespread assumption many people even inside the industry make these days, which is.: the A380 was late, the 787 was late, the A400M is late... so the A350 will be delayed somewhere during now and EIS too, even if it isn't yet.

The A380 and A400M are two of the reasons I am certain the A350 will be late. Both programs have failed to release resources needed for the A350. The 787 might factor into it too, as both planes will have more than a few parts made by the same companies, so if these companies are having to expend resources to meet thier contract on the 787, the A350 is going to have to wait. If for no other reason that to aquire the revenue stream as soon as possible.


User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Reply 15, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2436 times:

To further the discussion, Flight Global (Max K-J) did an article that appeared today discussing challenges with the center wing box. It is a fairly optimistic assessment.
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-first-a350-centre-wingbox-in.html

Here's another--much earlier--discussion of the center wing box issues. A little more critical.
http://www.fleetbuzzeditorial.com/2010/06/09/a350-delays/

Let the reader decide....

[Edited 2010-07-29 15:20:38]


"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
User currently offlineThorben From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2378 times:

"Opinions" from "sources" who range from "less than a year" to "one and a half years". How useful is that as evidence?

A delay would hardly surprise anybody, however, I would find it disappointing, because it would show that Airbus hasn't learned anything from the A380, A400M, and 787 stories. They shouldn't make the same mistakes all over again.


User currently offlinePITingres From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 1145 posts, RR: 13
Reply 17, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2245 times:

Quoting Thorben (Reply 16):
A delay would hardly surprise anybody, however, I would find it disappointing, because it would show that Airbus hasn't learned anything from the A380, A400M, and 787 stories. They shouldn't make the same mistakes all over again.

The problem is, they don't have to be the same mistakes. On a project of this magnitude there is an incredible range of ways to get behind, and comparatively few ways to get it right. They can learn from every mistake made on the A380, A400M, 787, and you-name-it and still be late for some inventively new reason.

I do hope for the best, though. We shall see.



Fly, you fools! Fly!
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