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Any Major Changes To The A320 Over The Years?  
User currently offlineGilesdavies From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2985 posts, RR: 2
Posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3581 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.

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16908 posts, RR: 67
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3562 times:

Quoting Gilesdavies (Thread starter):
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.

That's the most visual change, but plenty have been made. The only one I can think of off-hand is the flight deck upgrade from CRTs to LCDs.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineKaddyuk From Wallis and Futuna, joined Nov 2001, 4126 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3536 times:

Most are probably weight saving changes and those changes which increase reliability... most of which passengers dont see but make a difference to the operator


Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
User currently offline320tech From Turks and Caicos Islands, joined May 2004, 491 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3515 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.
User currently offlineWidebody From Ireland, joined Aug 2000, 1152 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 3477 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.


User currently offlineA319XFW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 3464 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.


User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16345 posts, RR: 86
Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3274 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.

Many, many changes.


User currently offlineA319XFW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3265 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.


User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2529 posts, RR: 53
Reply 8, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3060 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.  Smile

Other than that though, I really can't see much difference from the old to the new ones.

HAL



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineA319XFW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 3056 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.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31568 posts, RR: 57
Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2791 times:

What about External changes.Apart from the Wing Fence.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
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