sandiaman
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WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 5:37 am

There is an interesting article about methods of weight reduction used on the A380. See today's edition of the Wall Street Journal:

Some interesting points:

1) The A380 uses aluminum wiring rather than copper wiring. Note aluminum, though lighter, is more brittle than copper
2) Of the 61 wing ribs, 24 are made of carbon composites, but even these are reinforced with an aluminum frame to reduce thermal stresses (since other parts of the wing are still aluminum)
3) The A380 uses a 5000 psi hydraulic system vs. the standard 3000 psi. Incidentally, I read somewhere that the 7E7 will also move to a 5000 psi hydraulic system.

The article also focuses on Airbus' team approach to resolving weight issues. Grab hold of a Wall Street Journal as this is a good article.
 
captaingomes
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 6:03 am

Interesting stuff, thanks for posting that. I wonder if the certification process will change somewhat with respect to the aluminum wiring. Hopefully whatever the consequences are of switching to aluminum wiring will be thoroughly explored.
"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
RaginMav
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 6:09 am

Will the A380 be the first aircraft to use a 5000PSI hydraulic system? If so, I wonder what benefit they expect from this?

I've never worked with a hydraulic system with a continuous pressure of over 2000 psi, but I have noticed (as is obvious) that higher pressures typically mean more leaks and breaks.

What has Airbus done to address that trend? As I wouldn't want to see that bird be victimized by unfortunate hydraulic mishaps.
 
netdhaka
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 6:49 am

Very interesting article. It mainly talked about the challenges airbus engineers faced to meet customers’ expectations. Keeping the weight under control was especially important. They had to use composite materials for wing ribs (used to attach the wing to the fuselage) and rear portion of the fuselage etc.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 6:49 am

Will the A380 be the first aircraft to use a 5000PSI hydraulic system? If so, I wonder what benefit they expect from this

As far as I know, it will be the first commercial aircraft with 5000PSI hydraulics. There are several military aircraft, namely the V-22 Ospery with a 5000PSI hydraulic system.
 
VSlover
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 6:52 am

right, the hydraulics were taken from other non-commercial crafts to reduce the weight, as 5-inches were added to the diameter of the engines to make them quieter at SQ request. resultantly the plane needed to lose another ton of weight for efficiency purposes, and the different hydraulics were one solution.
 
Blackbird1331
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 7:03 am

I never liked aluminum wiring, but I know Airbus is not out to please me. But, how will that affect certification. Is aluminum wiring accepted in America? If not, will the aircraft be allowed to operate here, or just not be allowed to be sold to USA operators?
Cameras shoot pictures. Guns shoot people. They have the guns.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 7:08 am

I think the problem with Capton wiring that caused all kinds of problems in the past are pretty much behind us, especially with with improved aluminum alloys for the wiring material and better-quality insulation.
 
prebennorholm
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 7:25 am

It's easily recognized that EADS shares are not traded at Wall Street - unlike those of its main competitor.

And it's just amazing to see how many US newspaper journalists are better plane designers than the EADS engineers.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
ltbewr
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 7:33 am

Aluminum wiring ! In the USA, a number of homes used alumium wiring back in the 1960's-1970's and caused many fires mainly where wires connected together at at fixtures. There were massive class action lawsuits and the makers of the wire had to pay to rewire many remaining houses with aluminum wire. Aluminum wire doesn't have the 'rebound' and flexibility of copper, especially where wires spliced together and at connections to fixtures (lighting, outlet, switches). I doubt that this would be acceptable to use with most wireing in the USA on an aircraft.
 
Guest

RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 7:35 am

I think I'd rather have fiber optics with control units than aluminum wiring.
 
Areopagus
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 8:33 am

LTBEWR, it was my understanding that the problem with aluminum wiring in American homes was that it was used with switches and outlets that were designed for copper, leading to failure from dissimilar metal corrosion. Supposedly, fixtures designed for use with aluminum wiring would have been fine.
 
L-188
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 12:26 pm

Aluminum Wiring.

There is an AD waiting to happen.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
tungd
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 12:40 pm

Just a note...

One of the largest carbon-fiber manufacturers in the world, whose largest plant is in my hometown of KABI, is basically betting their entire future on the 380 and other "new" planes.......
 
mark777300
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 2:38 pm

Oh-well, I guess I should look into the forum first before posting my thread. I read the same thing and I found it to be quite an intersting article indeed. Like I said in my thread, some of the techniques that Airbus is using into the A380 is quite intersting. The only thing that I question is what they are using for the ribs within the wing structures. As it clearly states in the article, Composites have been used in less critical parts of aircrafts but never before in a critical part such as the wing structure. Not knowing yet what caused the AA A300 which crashed in NY back in 2001 to loose it's tail can be somewhat gutsy for Airbus to do in it's A380 since the use of Composite materials was a big issue during the investigation, although nothing has been proven yet. I don't want to be critical, but hey I'm old fashioned, and I still haven't embraced everything in technology, bare with me!
 
JMChladek
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 2:57 pm

I doubt the wiring would be straight aluminum, but probably an alloy to give it the flexibility of copper yet still keep the weight benefits. So I don't think the problems with lack of flexibility will be there. But to me, it seems to indicate that new wiring and replacement electric components would need to be purchased and used for repairs by the customer airlines since they presumably can't use what they already have on hand, even if it is for other Airbus models. That is unless EADS is taking steps to make sure that off the shelf systems will work with the new wiring without the need for modifications or potential problems down the road (i.e. resistance loads, corrosion, general wear and tear, etc.).
 
AirframeAS
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 4:48 pm

This is sure a big bump in the road for Airbus. They have to sort this out before they ask the F.A.A. for a type certificate in order to allow the A380 into the U.S. I agree with L-188, this is an AD waiting to happen and creates a safety issue.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
COSPN
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 4:59 pm

NPR was reporting the Foks in Hamburg work Alow a Runway Extension..for the 380 because of Enviromental protection .How long is the the Runway at HAM ???? How long is the runway at PAE Everett that is where the 747 is made Right ???
 
Joni
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 5:30 pm


I somehow suspect that if there were any imaginable issues with using aluminum wiring, is wouldn't be used. Airplane design is probably as safety-rigorous as designing new medicines and there definitely isn't a safety issue with any new airplane, from any manufacturer, that we can think of sitting here and reading WSJ. Any possible safety issues are of very high order and require a very specific set of circumstances to occur.

Saying aluminum wiring is a safety hazard is IMO like saying that radiation is a safety hazard, therefore microwaves shouldn't be used to heat food.
 
Alessandro
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 11:07 pm

Aluminium re-inforced carbonfiber wheels was made to Citroën SM (worlds fastest FWD at the time 230km/hr) during the early 1970ies, it´s not exactly
new technology....
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
L-188
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 11:10 pm

I dunno Joni. Ripping the Aluminum battery cables out of old pipers and replacing them with copper is a pretty popular mod.

OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Joni
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Fri May 28, 2004 11:49 pm


Is there a reliability-related reason why people do that, or is it just something that's marketed to owners? Is there something wrong with the type of aluminum used in the pipers?

Presently, new industrial metallic alloys can be designed starting from quantum physical principles. This gives people complete knowledge of the properties the alloys hold, which is almost godlike. No large corporation would employ an alloy in a life-critical product if there were any outstanding safety issues with it.

 
L-188
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RE: WSJ Article - A380 Weight

Sat May 29, 2004 9:05 am

Makes it easier to crank the motors joni. Which in the middle of winter in Alaska is a pretty big concern.

Actually this discussion spawned a Aluminum vs. Copper discussion over at tech/ops. A lot of good info and stories comming out there.

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/tech_ops/read.main/90313/
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.