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A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 4  
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 38416 times:

Continuing the discussion from here, as Part 3 has gotten too long :

A350 Prototypes Production Thread Part 3 (by LipeGIG Apr 2 2012 in Civil Aviation)

141 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCM From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 38424 times:

Ferpe finished the last thread with a nice summary from AW of several key aspects of the program, including the absence of wings to the FAL. This seems like a good place to begin the new thread.

Quoting ferpe:

AW has a summary article of some discussions with Evrard and the info from the last news conference at Farnborough, there are some more tidbits in there:

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article....l/avd_07_12_2012_p01-02-475782.xml

WINGS
There are a total of 5 wing halves being produced right now. Here my take on their oder and use: 2 for MSN001, 2 for MSN5000 and one for the fatigue tests. The ones for MSN001 goes to Bremen this month IMO, the MSN5000 ones goes to TLS in August according to Evrard and the MSN001 will get to TLS in October.

A350 Program Head Didier Evrard says Airbus hopes to be able to mitigate that development and recoup some time with the help of a physical wing mock-up in Bremen, Germany, that will help accelerate the learning curve in production and the equipping process. Five wings are being built together, and the improvements will apply to all of them (I think this is an AW comment, it does not make sense, only MSN001 winghalves goes to Bremen. There is no point in putting a lot of systems and high lift devices on static and fatigue test specimens IMO).

FAL
Fuselage Section 11/14 for MSN001 will come to Toulouse from the plant in St. Nazaire, France, “in the coming days,” says Evrard; the rest of the fuselage is expected at the end of September. By the time of entry into service, about 20 aircraft will be “in various stages of completion,” Evrard says. The flight test campaign will require four aircraft plus a fifth for route proving.

FIRST FLIGHT
"Airbus plans to confirm the A350’s first flight by the end of October, a decision that will coincide with delivery of the wing for MSN1, the first flight test aircraft." according to AW.

A350-1000
Evrard also says detailed load calculation has started on the redesigned A350-1000. “We are going to do what we decided a year ago.” Airbus is increasing the maximum takeoff weight from 298 to 308 tons and payload by four tons. Engine thrust will be increased from 93,000 to 97,000 lb. Final assembly is planned to start in mid-2015, and service entry will follow in mid-2017. Evrard notes that because the aircraft is a stretched variant, there is much less risk involved in future development, compared with the -900.


User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7959 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 38356 times:

First flight at the end of October... That sounds a tad ambitious but I think they can pull it off!


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User currently offlineCM From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 38304 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 2):
First flight at the end of October... That sounds a tad ambitious but I think they can pull it off!

They intend to confirm the A350-900 first flight date by October. Not fly the airplane at that time.


User currently offlineWolbo From Netherlands, joined Mar 2007, 494 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 38297 times:

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 2):

First flight at the end of October... That sounds a tad ambitious but I think they can pull it off!

If only you were right. October is when Airbus plans to confirm the date of A350’s first flight


User currently offlineferpe From France, joined Nov 2010, 2805 posts, RR: 59
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 38042 times:

Re the 350-1000:

Quoting AW (Reply 1):
Final assembly is planned to start in mid-2015, and service entry will follow in mid-2017

I think AW misunderstood Evrard here, start of production mid-2015 for an EIS of mid-2017 makes sense IMO. I think that is the same as for the 789, its first parts have started production now for a start of test early-mid 2013 and EIS early-mid 2014.



Non French in France
User currently offlineCM From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 38017 times:

We did not get an A350 program update at FAS (that I am aware of), but we did get a few relevant statements from Didier Evrard which help us keep some tabs on the details of the program. Among them:
  • My take on Evrard's comments:
    the wing for the fatigue test aircraft will arrive in Toulouse at the end of August.

  • Wings for MSN5000 were not specifically addressed, but assumed to be 2 of the "5 wings which are being built together" in Filton, and therefore not shipped to Toulouse yet

  • Fuselage Section 11/14 for MSN1 will come to Toulouse “in the coming days,” with the rest of the fuselage expected at the end of September.

  • Airbus still plans for the first A350-900 to fly before mid-2013

Also of note is that Airbus has not yet announced the completion of functional testing, which was scheduled for completion in January. Given the above, I have tweaked my previously posted overview of the A350 schedule in the following ways:

  • Completion of Functional Test has slid.

  • MSN5000 wings are still in Filton, delaying start of static test to August + some time for assembly, test rigging & instrumentation.

  • FAL start for MSN001 is imminent, but delayed from the most recently published schedule, which called for first half of 2012.

  • First flight is now "before mid 2013" rather than "fist half or 2013" which has been the messaging since 2011 - I take that to mean 2Q 2013.

In light of these items, the updated A350 schedule evolution looks like this:



As before, I have made a comparison with 787 actual development:



And the same comparison with major 787 schedule shocks removed:



Based on all of the above, I estimate the A350 program is on pace to achieve a mid 2015 EIS. This is barring any unforeseen disruptions to the program. The next 6-9 months will be critical and will tell us a great deal, as Airbus must complete several key milestones in rapid succession in order to avoid day-for-day type slides to the program:

  • Begin static test in 3Q2012

  • Begin fatigue Test in 1Q 3013

  • Deliver a completed MSN001 to the flight test organization in 1Q 2013

I suspect this will be a busy thread in the coming months and I suspect there are more than a few Airbus workers who will not be getting their 3 weeks off in August!

Cheers,

CM


User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7959 posts, RR: 19
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 37912 times:

Quoting CM (Reply 3):
Quoting Wolbo (Reply 4):

OK that makes much more sense, I guess I read Ferpe's report wrong



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User currently offlineferpe From France, joined Nov 2010, 2805 posts, RR: 59
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 37896 times:

Quoting CM (Reply 6):
Based on all of the above, I estimate the A350 program is on pace to achieve a mid 2015 EIS

I don't have the same knowledge as you but I would like to know why you think the flight test period will take some 20-24 months instead of the given 12 months by A planning, this barring any problems?

I concur that things are in a critical period, in November Bregier clearly said A planned to have the static frame finished by Q2 12 and the wings for it should start the drilling just after New Year for a delivery mid spring. Now 8 months later we are at August, about a 5 month delay in 8 months    , so things are not running to plan. But why this double test period? Have they planned it wrongly or will just those little things keep on eating the time?



Non French in France
User currently offlineCM From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 37712 times:

Quoting ferpe (Reply 8):
I would like to know why you think the flight test period will take some 20-24 months instead of the given 12 months by A planning

Hi Ferpe. I guess my above post could have used a little more explanation. My estimate for flight test is Airbus' original timeline of 15 months. The real delays I see for the program are happening now and over the next year. Two areas in particular make me believe we have around 1 year already baked into the A350 program (i.e. I don't believe it is recoverable).

  • Static test is a pacing item for first flight. Airbus originally had static test beginning in April. The static frame is still not complete and to get there, the wings must be attached. This will be the first wing join for the A350 and will not be done quickly. Once the static frame is complete, it must go through a very complex test rigging and instrumentation process before testing can begin. I do not believe we will see the static frame begin testing until well into next year. Even once static testing begins, a sequence of testing must be accomplished before the frame can undergo the necessary tests which will prove enough structural envelope for first flight to occur.

  • Completion of MSN001 must follow the static frame, simply due to how Airbus has scheduled FAL flow. As the static frame is already delayed, I expect a knock-on impact to MSN001. After MSN001 is structurally complete, the systems and test instrumentation must be integrated, functionally tested and a number of other tests must be completed (low frequency wave, vibration, etc). These hurdles must be crossed (as well as the static tests) before MSN001 can be delivered to flight test for "gauntlet" testing (Boeing term. I can't remember the name Airbus gives this test). Airbus originally scheduled 12 months from start FAL to First Flight, which is really sporty (the 787 took around 20 months, and that's not counting a 4 month schedule penalty (my estimate) for rolling out an empty shell). In Airbus' most recent schedule, they have shortened this period to around 8 months, which I simply do not believe is achievable.

In my view, even without unforeseen problems, the A350 is 12 months late for the following reasons:
  • MSN001 delivered 9 months late to flight test
  • Flight testing taking 15 months rather than 12

If there's an unforeseen issue, of course, all bets are off.


User currently offlineEPA001 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2006, 4938 posts, RR: 40
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 37716 times:
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Quoting CM (Reply 9):
In my view, even without unforeseen problems, the A350 is 12 months late for the following reasons:
MSN001 delivered 9 months late to flight test
Flight testing taking 15 months rather than 12

Your motivation looks very well supported by your documentation. The program slipping by that much could easily be that long by looking at your numbers. I hope you are wrong, but I guess you can not be far off the marks you stated.  


User currently offlineferpe From France, joined Nov 2010, 2805 posts, RR: 59
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 37479 times:

Quoting CM (Reply 9):
Completion of MSN001 must follow the static frame, simply due to how Airbus has scheduled FAL flow.

You would have to motive that in more detail as well , remember they have 2 complete FAL lines already, what would MSN001 have to wait for or follow?

Quoting CM (Reply 9):
Airbus originally scheduled 12 months from start FAL to First Flight, which is really sporty (the 787 took around 20 months, and that's not counting a 4 month schedule penalty (my estimate) for rolling out an empty shell). In Airbus' most recent schedule, they have shortened this period to around 8 months, which I simply do not believe is achievable.

The MSN001 FAL start now in July with section 11/14 being delivered and if we believe A it is fully equipped. Then there is a 1 month delay until section 15/21 and 16/18 arrives in September and the wings in October. That is a MSN001 FAL join completion of 3 months if they stick to this schedule which is one month longer then it should. It would be the second time they do all these operations (MSN5000 precedes in all operations) so I think we can assume the joining going as planned especially as it has run smoothly for MSN5000 (we don't know how the MSN5000 wingjoin goes but it uses the same design as the A380, should not be anything new in the principle except it is a new project and new samples of what I believe is the same tooling as the 380, the join scaffolding and tooling looks the same).

The second item would be all the system integration and test after join, here we have no visibility if A have achieved the maturity they talk about, ie it can go to plan or can take longer. If we assume 12 months FAL to first flight is doable (the 350 MN001 trailing 787 and 380 should have less traveled work and more tested systems PreFAL, at least that is the theory   ) I would see MSN001 flying August next year or thereabouts, ie theoretical EIS in the autumn of 2014 with a flight test program with no hiccups (which is not very probable IMO, but lets use it just for the discussions sake).

[Edited 2012-07-13 22:36:01]


Non French in France
User currently offlineCM From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 37387 times:

Quoting ferpe (Reply 11):
remember they have 2 complete FAL lines already

I was not aware both FALs were operational. Thanks for that tidbit! I'll need to think about if/how that changes my assessment. It will definitely prevent MSN5000 assembly from holding up MSN1 (note the gap between ZA001 FAL start and Static Test start for the 787. In part, you can point to the pace of ZA001 in FAL for the timing of the 787 static test.) We'll need to see how quickly MSN1 comes together structurally in the coming months. Static testing will still pace the beginning of flight test, but having no pipeline constraints on MSN1 should take some pressure off of the integration, instrumentation and functional / ground test timeline.


User currently offlineferpe From France, joined Nov 2010, 2805 posts, RR: 59
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 37244 times:

Quoting CM (Reply 12):
having no pipeline constraints on MSN1 should take some pressure off of the integration, instrumentation and functional / ground test timeline.

Lets keep this highly interesting discussion going during the autumn, it is at the core of the interest for the 350 program I presume. We should all thank you for having taken the time to do these instructive diagrams and to help us decode what challenges the 350 team have up-ahead    .



Non French in France
User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9229 posts, RR: 76
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 37186 times:

Quoting CM (Reply 12):
Static testing will still pace the beginning of flight test, but having no pipeline constraints on MSN1 should take some pressure off of the integration, instrumentation and functional / ground test timeline.

The majority of the fatigue/static testing from what I understand has been completed. They have already had 3 different sections already under test, from what I understand they have been doing 3000 flights per week. They are doing the A350 ground test schedule differently to previous aircraft.

EF1 - sections 11, 12 and 13 (Toulouse, France)
EF2 - sections 15-22, including the belly fairing and wing box (Erding, Germany)
EF3 - sections sections 16-19 including the empennage and stub vertical fin (Hamburg, Germany).

The frame that is in the FAL is going to be used to complete the tests, but I do not think those test would prevent first flight.

Likewise for flight testing, a lot of the systems have already been flight tested in different aircraft, some by Airbus, some by their suppliers (from memory I think the air data system and flight control software has already flown on the A380) . Other systems, control surfaces, gear has already been tested in iron birds. they have also got their cabin interior test piece, that has been able to test in integration and testing of the interior.

I think the A350 will have less flight testing to do than what they had for the A380.

I would not be surprised to learn if Airbus has already have a number of A350 items certified by EASA/FAA.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineastuteman From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 10233 posts, RR: 97
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 37158 times:
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Quoting CM (Reply 6):
Based on all of the above, I estimate the A350 program is on pace to achieve a mid 2015 EIS. This is barring any unforeseen disruptions to the program.

The difficulty with focussing on removing just the "major" shocks is that it is abundantly clear that the whole configuration management and sequencing of the programme on the 787 got out of kilter. It's pretty clear from the "roll-out" that there were already going to be dozens of planes sitting around even before the "major shocks" came into play.

Just because the 787 took that long even without the "major shocks" doesn't mean the A350 necessarily will.
Of course it doesn't mean it won't either
Will that happen to Airbus, or have they learned

Quoting CM (Reply 6):
The next 6-9 months will be critical and will tell us a great deal

Yep. Popcorn time  

Rgds


User currently offlineCM From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 36660 times:

Quoting ferpe (Reply 13):
We should all thank you for having taken the time to do these instructive diagrams

My pleasure. If you get other info on schedule updates from A, just post the links and I will keep it updated.

Quoting zeke (Reply 14):
The majority of the fatigue/static testing from what I understand has been completed.

True. The large assemblies will all have had their own static tests, including ultimate load factor.

Quoting zeke (Reply 14):
I do not think those test would prevent first flight.

The wing load testing must precede Type Inspection Authorization, and the new rules require this test to be done with the wing attached to a pressurized fuselage (i.e on the full scale static frame). While I suppose it would be possible for Airbus to get to first flight before doing the LLF and ULF wing tests, they would then be stuck with an airplane that has a limited flight envelope and which cannot be used for cert testing (the regulators will not fly on the airplane or let tests be done for cert score prior to TIA).

Quoting zeke (Reply 14):
I would not be surprised to learn if Airbus has already have a number of A350 items certified by EASA/FAA.

I'm sure they must. It is standard practice (at least with Boeing) to divorce as much of the cert effort as possible from the flight test program. This usually includes integration labs, flying testbeds and discrete structural testing for things like landing gear and brakes. I don't think you could do it any other way.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 15):
It's pretty clear from the "roll-out" that there were already going to be dozens of planes sitting around even before the "major shocks" came into play.

Indeed. Airbus expects 20 A350s to be built before EIS, which will be another interesting number to watch.

Quoting astuteman (Reply 15):
Just because the 787 took that long even without the "major shocks" doesn't mean the A350 necessarily will.

It is mostly just coincidence my A350 EIS guess (and it's just a guess) lines up with my "787 without shocks" timeline. The delays I anticipate for the A350 are based on what's happening now, and what I believe is too little time remaining for getting the flight test fleet in the air and type certification testing completed.

One item I need to think on a bit... the A350 has only one airframe/engine config to flight test and certify. This certainly takes some effort out of the flight test program, relative to the 787. I need to go decide if this makes 12 months workable or if the original 15 months still seems right. Regardless, we're all in agreement on one thing...

Quoting astuteman (Reply 15):
Popcorn time

Postscript: I suspect that given I work for Boeing, there may be some who wonder about my interest and motivation for prognosticating about the A350 program. It's a fair question. I have spent my career at Boeing getting airplanes designed and certified, which makes this whole process highly interesting to me and relevant to what I do at work. Astuteman asks this question about the A350 program relative to the challenges of 787 development:

Quoting astuteman (Reply 15):
Will that happen to Airbus, or have they learned?

This pretty much sums up why I pay attention to the A350 program; The 787 program thought they had learned from the A380 program, the A350 program has tried to learn from the 787 program. All made key changes, but all also created new challenges for themselves along the way. At some point, we need to figure out how to stop letting our customers down with what have become almost routine delays coming out of airplane development programs. The fact that several key industry leaders have made statements hinting they now simply expect delays as a part of new airplane development programs tells you we have created a very low expectation among our customers and need to figure out how to do better.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 36493 times:

Quoting zeke (Reply 14):
I would not be surprised to learn if Airbus has already have a number of A350 items certified by EASA/FAA.

They absolutely have to have. It's physically impossible to certify everything in by flight test in anything like 15-24 months...you'd take something like 3-4 years. You certify everything by analysis that you can, and much of that can be done prior to flight test.

Quoting zeke (Reply 14):
The frame that is in the FAL is going to be used to complete the tests, but I do not think those test would prevent first flight.

They need at least a few tests on a full frame to get an acceptable flight envelope; although they might be able to fly prior to that it would be very much like the 787 pre-side-of-body-fix...flyable but not very useful.

Quoting zeke (Reply 14):
Likewise for flight testing, a lot of the systems have already been flight tested in different aircraft, some by Airbus, some by their suppliers (from memory I think the air data system and flight control software has already flown on the A380) .

This was true for the 787 too (they used a 777). This is a great risk reduction technique but it's also common so the gain is already "baked in" to the schedule.

Quoting zeke (Reply 14):
Other systems, control surfaces, gear has already been tested in iron birds. they have also got their cabin interior test piece, that has been able to test in integration and testing of the interior.

This is also normal for most systems; I think the A350 is the first to do a proper cabin systems iron bird, which is a great thing. That can be a pacing item on some, though not all, programs.

Quoting CM (Reply 16):
It is mostly just coincidence my A350 EIS guess (and it's just a guess) lines up with my "787 without shocks" timeline.

I don't think it's a coincidence; ultmately, both OEM's can keep the birds in the air for about the same time per day and they have to satisfy the same stack of regulations using mostly the same tools and techniques. If you back out program unique "shocks", they should end up pretty close.

Tom.


User currently onlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 12935 posts, RR: 25
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 34710 times:

Quoting astuteman (Reply 15):
Yep. Popcorn time  

IIRC, some prefer nuts...  
Quoting CM (Reply 16):
I have spent my career at Boeing getting airplanes designed and certified, which makes this whole process highly interesting to me and relevant to what I do at work.

I'm quite happy that you are using a.net to further your interests. We're all the better for it!

Quoting CM (Reply 16):
At some point, we need to figure out how to stop letting our customers down with what have become almost routine delays coming out of airplane development programs.

I've made this point before, and some feel the opposite (and the next bit of your posting is an example of that train of thought), but I also think it is very important for the health of the industry.

Poor program performance will merely make it more difficult for the decision makers to approve the next program, and will make customers want stiffer guarantees written into their contracts, which also makes it more difficult for the decision makers to approve the next program.

I could go on, but I don't want to risk derailing this excellent thread.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offliner2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2772 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 34190 times:

Coming from the previous thread which has been locked:

Thanks for the info, do you see the Cabin0 test having bearing on MSN001 first flight or rather MSN002 (the first cabin equipped test aircraft) efficiency as a test bed?

the cabin0 is mostly aiming at cabin systems, that's for sure. but most of the a/c systems are simulated or can be connected as a real hardware to check communication between the systems. e.g. the electrical distribution system can either be simulated or connected as real hardware....
so i would say that important information even for MSN001 can be obtained.


In my view Cabin0 will not be critical for MSN1, but for MSN2. Of course, any lessons that can be learned for MSN1 are always welcome (functioning of the air conditioning packs, for instance), but I don't think tests there will be a blocking point for first flight. The critical test stand for MSN1 FF, from a systems point of view, would be the Iron Bird.

Quoting ferpe (Reply 11):
remember they have 2 complete FAL lines already, what would MSN001 have to wait for or follow?

I was not aware that the 2nd FAL line was ready, I believe it will shorten some delays in CM's current assumption for his diagram (which I consider well fundamented, by the way).


User currently offlineferpe From France, joined Nov 2010, 2805 posts, RR: 59
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 34130 times:

Quoting r2rho (Reply 19):
I was not aware that the 2nd FAL line was ready,

I don't have positive information the second FAL line is finished, if it is no issue, if it is not I don't think it would cause much of a conflict anyhow given A stand concept. MSN5000 is presently at station 40 which is tooled for hanging of wings, engine pylons, MLG, VTP, HTP IIRC:

http://i298.photobucket.com/albums/mm262/ferpe_bucket/FALoverview.jpg

This is also where first power on should happen and some cabin installations would be done in parallel to the fitting activities. The major system test area is station 30 where also the rest of the cabin gets fitted.

MSN5000 is fully equipped less wings, pylons and MLG by now IMO and those things will get fitted in August. The little power on checking that needs to get done at 40 for a static frame should be done quickly if not already done. After that I don't see why a static frame needs to go to 30 (and thereby potentially block that station), it should go to the static test hangar and get all the test gear fitted there I presume (or A could fit what they could right now, why let MSN5000 just stand there, either get the guys over to station 40 or roll the frame to the test hangar and then back  Wow! ).

Given that MSN001 should be in station 40 come October and then 30 after that I don't see a conflict even if A has not activated at dual FAL for all stations yet. Station 50, the fuselage join is free already.

[Edited 2012-07-15 06:35:06]


Non French in France
User currently offlineferpe From France, joined Nov 2010, 2805 posts, RR: 59
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 33354 times:

Quoting kanban (Reply 268):
I am surprised that it (the step by step hole checking procedure) wasn't in the original build plan for the first couple sets since it is a whole new process and tooling.

Me too and I have been giving it some thought. What could have happened is that the last tests just before "the real thing" ie drilling those unipiece 32m wingskins did not go to plan.

Of course the Broughton people have tested the drilling flatbed installations before active use. It is a CFRP to CFRP drill process and as such new to Broughton on that scale (but should not be new to Electroimpact, I guess they did the system to drill the 787 wingskins), the previous was Alu to Alu AFAIK. I don't think A drilled Alu to CFRP before at Broughton as the spars and rib feet are all Alu for the A380. They have a Alu to CFRP join for the 380 winghalves joining to the center wingbox (which has CFRP skins) but that is at TLS with a very different tooling setup.

Once the huge flatbed drilling systems were installed they probably started drilling and bolting on small test items, then did a final rehearsal on a bigger test setup. It might be that that last tests did not deliver expected results, we know that Bregier/Evrard did not have such information end 2011 as they then bravely indicated (Bregier at the investor conference) "we start drilling the wingcovers in the coming weeks" and that MSN5000 should be at FAL after new year and completed "soon".

As I understand from manufacturing sites drilling CFRP is a bit tricky, it is for instance hard on the cutting material, the CF fibers should be hard to cut. I also understand the drill system must be very stiff not to vibrate in resonance with the wingbox items it drills. Though A has a lot of experience in CFRP to CFRP mating they have not mated materials this thick before AFAIK.

[Edited 2012-07-16 03:18:16]


Non French in France
User currently offlinekmz From Germany, joined Feb 2008, 164 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 33212 times:

Quoting ferpe (Reply 21):
Though A has a lot of experience in CFRP to CFRP mating they have not mated materials this thick before AFAIK.

Isn't the A400M situation a similar one?


User currently offlineRubberJungle From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 33113 times:

MSN1 forward fuselage arrives in Toulouse - pictures here:

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...-a350-nears-final-assembly-374387/


User currently offlineEPA001 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2006, 4938 posts, RR: 40
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 33105 times:
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Quoting RubberJungle (Reply 23):
MSN1 forward fuselage arrives in Toulouse

Very nice picture, and good news of course.  


25 Post contains links and images ferpe : Nice, here the Airbus press release http://www.airbus.com/newsevents/new...-a350-xwb-arrives-at-toulouse-fal/ They are placing the section in the rece
26 AirbusA370 : Emergency exit for the flight test crew I would bet...
27 kmz : why is door 2 missing? A picture of the inside would REALLY be interesting to see the level of completion....
28 Ruscoe : Yes I agree. If that is the final radome shape then it looks very different than I expected. Perhaps the legth of nose forward of the cockpit windows
29 astuteman : My suspicion would be the same root cause as the long forehead on the A380, namely delaying the onset of supersonic shockwaves over the forebody at t
30 Post contains links and images ferpe : Yes and no (I always forget the A400 as a CFRP Airbus frame ). The material is indeed CRFP covers and spars with mostly Alu ribs (AFAIK) and the supp
31 Post contains links and images zeke : Suggest you have a look at this presentation, it gives some further insight into the drilling process being used in differnt parts of the airframe, a
32 Post contains links and images ferpe : Thanks, have been working with some of these companies in past, didn't know they were suppliers to the 350 program. I can only complement with a clos
33 Post contains images kanban : Interesting and informative.. however found a term on page 26 I'm not familiar with: "Low cost per howl"
34 Post contains images Stitch : Perhaps it refers to health care when a worker drops a spanner on their toe?
35 zeke : Classic Oxford-Deutsch, hole-howl(noun)
36 Post contains images travelavnut : I really have nothing to add except that I want to thank the likes of CM, ferpe, Stitch and zeke for their excellent contributions. For me at least on
37 Aircellist : Allow me to hugely second that!
38 Post contains links and images N14AZ : I didn't want to wait that long. Not 100% sure if I got it right but this how it looks if I connect the countour lines: [Edited 2012-07-16 12:02:14]
39 Post contains links Laddie : Is the nose a big secret? There's a 3-view here: http://www.airbus.com/aircraftfamili...xwbfamily/a350-900/specifications/
40 Post contains images N14AZ : Naaah, come one. These are the graphics produced by some IT guys drinking too much Red Bull and eating too much junk food. Let's see how the real pla
41 Laddie : LOL. I work for another large airplane OEM, and if Airbus produces those graphics like we do, then the Graphics department uses CATIA 3-D images from
42 Post contains images ferpe : Nor did I but I ended up with something that could be mistaken for a goose so I stopped. Yours is pretty close to reality me thinks, a bit animal lik
43 Confuscius : That's the smallest MLG I've seen for such a large airplane.
44 Laddie : It's an electric taxi system that Airbus is testing. But we are getting off topic...
45 Aircellist : I has something goosish indeed... Will the Canada geese flock follow the big sister? ... As far as it does not precede it... As a nose, it is much le
46 WingedMigrator : It's not right... you're missing the gear doors, which add some "chin". They meet a downward protrusion of the radome that is concealed by the tarp i
47 Post contains links and images N14AZ : That's actually something I did not consider correctly. Here is my second try
48 Post contains images kmz : that indeed look good! let's hope the fuselage parts arriving from the other side of the Rhine are completed in a similar way
49 Post contains images ferpe : Those side windows makes the frame come alive, like a beautiful goose. I think it is a characterful and nice nose .
50 Ruscoe : We've had the Spruce goose, maybe the 350 could be the Carbon goose! That does look a lot better, and when the Radome is a different color, it should
51 Post contains links and images frigatebird : A short but very interesting item on BBC news from Airbus 'lightning lab', showing how what damage a lightning strike can do to normal CFRP panels and
52 Laddie : I wish the piece had said more about the expanded copper foil/mesh that they hinted at. Lot's of dramatic images, but not enough real substance to sa
53 frigatebird : Perhaps the details are company confidential. Could you tell us more about the solution Boeing implemented on the 787, or would this be part of the N
54 Post contains images Revelation : Seems they need to add a layer of metal weave to their teapot!
55 Post contains links and images ferpe : Our French friends have found a nice article which shows the importance of aircraft technology and manufacturing in these days of not to buoyant world
56 kanban : maybe they're dual sourced.
57 CM : Dual-sourcing of a simple and non-variable part such as gear doors would be highly unusual. Let's hope this was just an error by the factory manager
58 Post contains images oldeuropean : From Corsica? The island where they need a year for 15 meters of road works? BTW, this is not only mentioned in "Asterix in Corsica", I witnessed it
59 ferpe : Could also be a misquote or misunderstanding of the journo. Can't remember I have seen a ramp made public, I think there has only been verbal stateme
60 zeke : By 2020 I think they have only committed to around 300-350 productions slots, AFAIK 200+ have not been confirmed yet. The highest rate I have heard o
61 Post contains images ferpe : Seems like A have tried to be conservative here as well, lets see if that saves them from widescale compensation trouble. While we are on the subject
62 CM : You are correct in your descriptions, but I might revise your wording slightly: "In composite manufacturing, the whole manufacturing chain is much mo
63 Post contains images ferpe : Thanks. Now the follow-up questions 1. What is the problem? Is it the tape which can't be made to follow the head any faster or the attaching process
64 tdscanuck : The maximum tape width you can lay down is limited (partly) by the equipment, and mostly by the geometry of the part (you can't easily lay wide tape
65 art : I don't understand this. Have customers placed orders for 200+ frames without confirmed production slots/delivery dates?
66 CM : Generally, wider heads cannot solve the speed challenge due to the fact there are very few areas which are simply wide, uninterrupted "acreage" of co
67 tdscanuck : Customers typically don't know their production slots until about 6-12 months before delivery; for a type in early development that means almost none
68 Post contains links and images ferpe : Here is an article from Bloombergs interviewing the 350 production manager supporting this (thanks Beochien @ avia.superforum.fr ) , article from 29
69 Post contains links CM : Some new info on A350 production progress, including an estimated additional one month delay getting wings delivered to FAL. Airbus is now saying wing
70 Post contains images ferpe : I just commented it on Leeham news, it is AINOnlines reporting from the Farnbourough wrap-up press conference with Bregier and Lehay. Leeham labeled
71 CM : Thanks Ferpe. So the AIN piece is only in reference to MSN1 wings? You still see the Static Frame wings arriving in August?
72 ferpe : That is the info from Didier Evrard at Farnborough and it is still the latest we/AIN/Leeham have from Airbus, MSN5000 wings arrives direct from Broug
73 Post contains links breiz : From EADS H1 Earnings 2012 report: "A350 XWB: EIS moving into H2 2014. A charge of € -124m has been booked in Q2 which accounts for the actual delay
74 Post contains links ferpe : More information here: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...vice-entry-by-three-months-374808/ http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...ing-drill-auto
75 Revelation : Interesting. The article in #69 says "Originally scheduled to enter service in the middle of next year, the A350-900 has so far suffered roughly a yea
76 Revelation : Seems you were typing at the same time as I was, so your article has my answer: Thanks for the update!
77 Stitch : I believe it's a bit premature to assume Airbus will need all of 2014 to EIS.
78 Revelation : Perhaps, but they very well could have announced Q3 2014 instead.
79 Post contains images brindabella : Still trying to balance out: 1. "Barrels" look to potentially produce lighter, superior fuselages via an elegant process, however 2. The entire "mand
80 tdscanuck : The process is basically the same for superpanels...it's just a different shaped mandrel. Although the OEM's would dearly love to present the image t
81 CM : The barrel mandrels are actually machines made up from of many wedge-shaped sections. When the cured barrel comes out of the autoclave, the integral
82 ferpe : Interesting, could you give us some of the main + and - of each approach?
83 Post contains links Revelation : Thanks. I found the following video that shows this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Q5YCCXjr6w Just an guess, but I'd say but the inside tool probab
84 nomadd22 : It seems like I remember back in the early days of the XWB someone saying that the entire Airbus panel approach was the most efficient method they co
85 Stitch : I think we're going to have to wait to see how each program ramps their production before we can realistically answer that.
86 cmf : While I think it is fair to suggest it is the most efficient method they could come up with, i.e. why they are using it, I think it is very dangerous
87 Post contains images brindabella : Phew! That's a relief! Just what I was looking for. Thanks to you both. And CM, IIRC the newly-cured "barrel" now requires some internal support to s
88 CM : The tool surface of the structure is extremely precise and repeatable, unit after unit. The "bag side" (opposite the tool side) is managed during the
89 Revelation : Thanks as usual for your crystal-clear explanations. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. It seemed the early low pricing of the 787 pre
90 Post contains links and images CM : Yes. Remember this? http://community.seattletimes.nwsour...hive/?date=20070612&slug=787gaps12 When the barrel is cured, without frames it will no
91 ferpe : Thanks CM, very interesting stuff. It also explains the method A is using for assembling the panels for the rear fuselage, they use the rear bulkhead
92 Post contains links and images ferpe : @CM, after reading your post re tooling on inside our outside I thought there is nothing that stops a panel approach from putting the tooling on the i
93 Post contains links and images ferpe : Re the wing drilling issue, I like many others thought Electroimpact, the highly specialized airframe riveting and drilling company just across the ro
94 Post contains images CM : Absolutely true. If you look at the stringer geometry both the 787 and A350 have adopted, they are both shapes which can accept an IML tool. Skins wi
95 Post contains images dynamicsguy : Just tweeted by Airbus:
96 Post contains images travelavnut : Not too shabby, not too shabby at all! Do I see 2 standby instruments? Left and Right of the lower MFDs?
97 Post contains images AirbusA370 : I like that there are wings on the system display, while the aircraft certainly has none
98 Post contains links and images ferpe : Good catch, here how it will look when it is closer to first flight (or even more, lining up for first night start ) : This is a picture from the AFS
99 Post contains links and images ferpe : Here the Airbus press release together with a bit higher res pictures: "Airbus has successfully powered-up the flight-deck of A350 XWB “MSN1” for
100 Revelation : Way cool! Congrats to Airbus!
101 Post contains links and images ferpe : Here a zoom of the left cockpit area, pictures are high res so click on them to view details. One can see that the landing gear panel is not mounted y
102 Post contains links and images airmagnac : Seems to be a simple copy of the A380, with 2 throttle handles instead of 4 The actual layout will be more like the one in this article: http://www.f
103 travelavnut : I still can't make out if the instrument to the right of the lower MFD is also a standby instrument. What do you think Ferpe? It looks like a NAV scr
104 cuban8 : Very good news for Airbus and the A350, but shouldn't the FCU be a part of the power-up? How come it's missing?
105 AustrianZRH : Sorry for the off-topic, but a question looooong on my mind but too stupid to open an extra thread for comes up again when looking at the flight deck
106 tom355uk : Is the NEO flight deck going to be virtually the same as this or will it remain with separate screens as in the current A32S series? Be interesting to
107 Post contains images CM : This is great news for the A350 program. The 787 ZA001 cab was delivered bare and was not powered on until the full aircraft was powered on in June, 2
108 Post contains links ferpe : Nope, they are separate integrated double standby units which in the picture are set to two different display modes. There are those that know these
109 Post contains links and images ferpe : Sure, it can be preloaded GIFs they show on those screens, somehow I don't this is the case though, we can expect the avionics bay to be fully cabled
110 zeke : The brake panel and landing gear lever is in that slot. On the glareshield, the HUD, EFIS, and autopilot controls are not installed. The space betwee
111 ferpe : @Zeke, excellent. So in your view is there anything missing in the cockpit that you would have expected to be there by now?
112 zeke : Not really, it is all networked, just a matter of plugging things in.
113 CM : The "Static Test Begin" and "Fatigue Test Begin" milestones are taken from Airbus published schedules. While it is true that all programs begin stati
114 Post contains images airmagnac : Agreed, those screens don't quite work like your standard PC screen so I doubt loading a GIF may be practical. And if it was done, Airbus might have
115 Post contains images AustrianZRH : Thanks a lot !
116 Aircellist : Well, they actually wrote: "Moreover, it gives a promising indication of the A350 XWB’s progress in pre-FAL and the readiness of the aircraft’s s
117 Post contains images Heavierthanair : G´day Presumably the all important systems are in the front section, I do not think lighting in the rear loo´s and power on to the coffee machine in
118 dynamicsguy : Well, those systems need to talk to everything else in the rest of the airplane. Minor things like control surfaces, high-lift devices, engines, land
119 Post contains links and images zeke : I am not sure what you can take from the published schedule, and then apply the 787 timeline to it when they are being done very differently. As far
120 tdscanuck : How so? Other than Boeing sticking the three fatigue test units together (which shouldn't make any timeline difference), the 787 was done exactly the
121 zeke : EF 1/2/3 have been undergoing test for a while now, testing as far as I know is well ahead of schedule, EW & ES will be done in parallel, those w
122 Post contains links ferpe : Airbus communication on the subject is very unclear, here two statements that contradict each other at least partly: From http://www.flightglobal.com
123 Post contains links dynamicsguy : Boeing had the equivalent of Airplane 0 called the Integrated Test Vehicle. There is no fundamental difference here.
124 CM : The test articles and tests already completed are all risk-reduction efforts leading up to testing of the final "full scale" articles. This is standa
125 Post contains links zeke : I agree it is not clear, they have so many test going on, people are only concentrating on the full airframe. They have built two large barrel sectio
126 Post contains images airmagnac : Good to hear. Do you have any further information on this test bench ? if only it were that simple ! There is indeed a trunk AFDX network, but then y
127 Post contains images airmagnac : Seems our posts crossed It seems to me the simulation perimeter (limit between real and simulated parts) chosen by Boeing is slightly different to Air
128 Post contains images ferpe : @Zeke and Airmagnac, thanks for very informative posts. Seems you are in the know from the system side . The full frame power-on should be possible o
129 Post contains images airmagnac : Thanks Ferpe ! Sometimes I wonder if you don't know the A350 program milestones, progress and technical aspects better than Didier Evrard himself... A
130 tdscanuck : Other than the "full visuals", which is nothing to do with the aircraft, that's a perfect description of Boeing's ITV. The ITV coupled all real hardw
131 ferpe : It was not, the front, middle and aft sections should arrive to the join station 50 after each other to be joined (just physical joining, no electric
132 maxter : Sorry if mentioned before, but this on Airbus Twitter feed today... "We’ve completed structural assembly of the 1st #A350 XWB wing box! The 32m left
133 Post contains images ferpe : This is news . They say structural wingbox assembly is finished, this means it is finished in the wingbox jig area. It will now be moved over to a sy
134 Post contains images moo : Anyone care to hazard a guess of when we are likely to see a structurally "complete" aircraft? I don't mean the official roll out - we saw photos of t
135 AirlineCritic : What is a structurally complete "left-hand wing box"???
136 Post contains links and images ferpe : There is the central, left and right wingbox on the 350 , central was complete last year this time, left is complete now and right is in the works as
137 Post contains images ferpe : Here another view of the left wingbox. The long "horns" one can see extend from the ribs for the wingnose and aft from the aileron/flap hinges must be
138 zeke : Not sure how much of that will be removed, they maybe just placeholders for the adaptive dropped hinge flaps on the trailing edge and leading edge sl
139 Laddie : Clarification: the Adaptive Dropped Hinge Flaps have nothing to do with the leading edge slats. The ADHF system droops the spoilers to optimize the g
140 Post contains links and images zeke : I did not say that ADHF have anything to do with the slats, I said "adaptive dropped hinge flaps on the trailing edge", so I am not sure what the cla
141 aircellist : So, the short and somewhat triangular ones on the LE, somewhat rectangular on the TE would be the fittings for the remainder of the wing's own shape,
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