Gilesdavies From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2964 posts, RR: 1 Posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3265 times:
With the A320 being about 19 years old since initially launched I was wondering if Airbus have made any major chages to the aircraft over the years to remain competitive.
I was just curious as Airbus still seems to gaining many new orders for the A320 and rest of the family even after all this time.
I appreciate the 737NG's is a newer aircraft, in some respects may be more advanced and may still be gaining the edge slightly over the A320 family with regards to orders. But how does it remain so competive...
I know there was the A320-100 where only a small number of aircrafts were produced and then the A320-200 was released with the wing tips.
Is it because Airbus have more bargaining power financially than Boeing or have they made changes to the aircraft over the years but none of which is really commone knowledge.
320tech From Turks and Caicos Islands, joined May 2004, 489 posts, RR: 5 Reply 3, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3199 times:
For those that use CFM-56 engines, the newer ones have CFM-56-5Bs instead of 5As, which gives greater thrust. The main difference is apparently one more set of compressor blades. Not sure when the change was made.
The primary function of the design engineer is to make things difficult for the manufacturer and impossible for the AME.
Widebody From Ireland, joined Aug 2000, 1150 posts, RR: 9 Reply 4, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3161 times:
The number of changes made over the years are too numerous to list, though I'm not sure what you would define as major.
In terms of bargaining power, Boeing have more because the 737 broke even many years before the A320. A rumoured price war is expected sometime this year, instigated by Boeing to disrupt Airbus cash flow.
A319XFW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3148 times:
Another change from the A320-100 to the A320-200 is the addition of a centre fuel tank.
One of the more major changes is probably the A321 wing and wingbox. The centre wingbox is reinforced and the fuel system doesn't have an outer wingtank (making the system simpler). Also diferent flaps.
In the cabin you have now got CIDS which filtered down from the A340 (IIRC).
But like most have said, the improvements have been gradual and updates, tweaking etc.
Gigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16308 posts, RR: 87 Reply 6, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 2958 times:
There have been LOTS of manufacturing changes. The entire avionics suite and FBW system are new. The plane gained FBW rudder controls. The rear fuse is of a new design. They use friction stir welding in some areas, and laser welding in others, where previously there were rivets.
A319XFW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (7 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2949 times:
Quoting Gigneil (Reply 6): They use friction stir welding in some areas, and laser welding in others, where previously there were rivets.
That is just on the A318 so far though. But yes, manufacturing techniques have changed over the years. For instance the wing equipment installation is now done on a flowline. The same goes for the fuselage equipment installation.
HAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2499 posts, RR: 53 Reply 8, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2744 times:
From our perspective in the cockpit, there isn't that much change. I didn't realize that Airbus was offering LCD screens as an option. We (AWA) have taken delivery of several new planes in the last few months, and all the cockpit screens are still CRT's.
The one nice change I've seen in the newer planes is the replacement of the old (hot) lightbulbs in the cockpit pushbuttons with cool LED's. Now you don't burn your fingertip when you push hard on a button.
Other than that though, I really can't see much difference from the old to the new ones.
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
A319XFW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 9, posted (7 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2740 times:
Quoting HAL (Reply 8): From our perspective in the cockpit, there isn't that much change. I didn't realize that Airbus was offering LCD screens as an option. We (AWA) have taken delivery of several new planes in the last few months, and all the cockpit screens are still CRT's.
That is most likely to be for common spares. For instance NW has still got some analogue instruments (clock etc?) in the cockpit, whereas digital ones are available. They just do that so they don't need to stock 2 different types of part for the same thing. The same goes for a few other things too. For instance one PTU now comes as standard, but airlines who have the other one can have that installed still.