Eksath From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1213 posts, RR: 27 Posted (7 years 6 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2584 times:
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I was thinking earlier today given all the issues with the delay of the A380. Doesn't the delays in the Shuttle program makes the A380's problem seem minor?...I guess if the program was run by a for-profit , customers (i.e. us the taxpayer) would be pissed,eh?...Or should we be more pissed right now as this is our money? I really hope they program gets back on schedule!
This is not quite true. I'd say that the stuff that's 'new' on the 380 is more refinement of previous technology.
Other points taken.
Quoting Eksath (Thread starter): ..I guess if the program was run by a for-profit , customers (i.e. us the taxpayer) would be pissed,eh?.
Yeah, well, originally that was AN aspect of the plan, and in fact there were a couple of commercial launches on the STS. Once Challenger was lost, it was effectively over for the commercial side, and ANY hope that the accelerated launch schedule would EVER happen. It honestly is a shame that in a nation as proud an powerful as we are that we don't have a manner of launching reliably every week. while it might not be totally necessary, proving that something like that could be done would have been amazing.
PS Thorny.. what was the FASTEST an OV was turned around?
The Shuttle and the A380 are not in the same genre at all. The A380 is a production aircraft in the commercial aviation world meant for daily flight. The Shuttle's are truely experimental aircraft, each one of them different from the other, and operate in the environs of launch, orbit, and de-orbit, spending very little time flying in the atmosphere. They are not airplanes. They were never meant to be flown like a commercial aircraft, the Space Transportation System name was purely political in order to get support for the project. It has never been able to even approach the stated launch frequencies, as NASA always knew would be the case. Add in that the shuttle has a predicted failure rate of 1 in 200 MTBF, which amazingly is just about what the actual MTBF has turned out to be. I don't think the A380 is designed to crash every 200 flights. Every time a shuttle is launched and landed, it goes thru a total and complete tear down, inspection, the motors basically rebuilt, all systems totally checked, systems validated, a very thorough checklist gone thru and months spent prepping it for the next launch. Each crew is different, trained for a specific mission, spending the better part of two years in the planning and execution. So the delays are both expected and normal, no matter what the press is told. To us that worked on the shuttle, when it gets off the ground and into orbit, we cheer and rejoice, its a definite success, no matter how many or how long the delays were.
If that was the case why did it take them 15 years to figure out the rudder actuators were manufactured improperly? You'd also be seeing a neat OV at the pad, with no scarring to the TPS. There are quite enough things to take care of to 'turn and burn' an OV without TOTALLY taking it apart. I'm sure Thorny has a list or if you need I'll get you in touch with SATL382G.
Thorny From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (7 years 6 months 20 hours ago) and read 2414 times:
Quoting TedTAce (Reply 7): If that was the case why did it take them 15 years to figure out the rudder actuators were manufactured improperly? You'd also be seeing a neat OV at the pad, with no scarring to the TPS. There are quite enough things to take care of to 'turn and burn' an OV without TOTALLY taking it apart.
Yeah, Texfly is overstating things a little, but not a lot. Some things, like the tearing down of the Main Engines between each flight, are no longer necessary. Rocketdyne says the SSMEs are certified to go six flights between overhaul (since the Block 1A and Block II upgrades) but NASA still does it anyway. That NASA doesn't completely overhaul the Shuttles every flight was clearly evidenced by the 1999 wiring troubles, the 1997 Columbia EVA hatch failure, and, as you say, the belated discovery of improperly installed rudder actuators, among others.
Texfly101 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 351 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (7 years 6 months 19 hours ago) and read 2410 times:
Quoting Thorny (Reply 8): Yeah, Texfly is overstating things a little, but not a lot.
Thanks Thorny, and yes, a bit of overstatement might be in my post (I didn't mean that EVERY part was taken apart, but it could be read that way). But basically, I was trying to say that the Shuttle has always been a high maintenance vehicle that was never capable of quick turnarounds, that delays are the norm. The design, being of the 70's era, was pushing the technology limits and has always been one where every launch has its own share of different problems that are both unforseen and unable to be planned for years into the future. The Shuttles have always been under upgrades, replacing systems and parts with newer technologies, correcting safety issues, replacing parts that are found to be deficient, etc. Trying to accelerate the launch schedules only brought the realization that it couldn't happen, delays are the norm, not the exception. The A380 delays are abnormal and won't be a normal part of their operation. The Shuttle's delays are normal and will always be a part of their operation.