NAV20
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A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:21 am

At last, a breath of honesty about why the A380 is delayed, and why Airbus is not pressing on with the A350.

"PARIS (Reuters) - Airbus stakeholder BAE Systems said the 555-seat A380 plane was being delayed by problems with systems developed for the world's largest airliner and that stakeholders were loath to press on with the mooted A350 until the bigger plane's problems were resolved.

"Paris hosts the world's largest air show from Monday and the hefty A380 is expected to star.

"But delays in it have prompted complaints from airlines and added urgency to calls for EADS, which owns 80 percent of Airbus, to sort out internal debates holding up appointment of its new co-chief executives.

"Some of the systems are not as they should be on the A380," BAE Chief Executive Mike Turner told a meeting of journalists late on Sunday.

"He said sorting out those problems was key to moving forward with the mid-sized A350 given that Airbus engineers were already being stretched by the A380 as well as work on developing the A400M military transport plane."


http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/news...014_RTRUKOC_0_ARMS-AIRSHOW-BAE.xml

[Edited 2005-06-13 02:29:12]
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
Boogyjay
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:28 am

Mmmmh  eyebrow .

Honesty yes, but Precision no. I find the word "system" a bit vague. Which kind of system could it be?
Any gamblers or, better, insiders?
 
NAV20
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:39 am

Anybody's guess, BoogyJay. But 'systems' plural, plus a six-month delay, means that the problems are serious. We'll probably hear more over the next few days, the shareholders are entitled to some hard information.
"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
 
KFLLCFII
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:02 am

I just got word that the problem rests within the galley systems. The coffee runs cold and the food still sucks...
"About the only way to look at it, just a pity you are not POTUS KFLLCFII, seems as if we would all be better off."
 
lehpron
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:17 am

Quoting NAV20 (Thread starter):
Some of the systems are not as they should be on the A380," BAE Chief Executive Mike Turner told a meeting of journalists late on Sunday.

What does that mean? Making something new will have its risks and issues that only the experienced may know how to handle (assuming they have experience in taking risks); that said, 'systems' is vague. None of us here have a need to know, we are just really into these kind of things. All we can hope is if those shareholders and other investors can be more vocal than Airbus. If they are too vocal then they may dig their own grave and never see any return, much to the delight of some A.nutcases here.  Wink

That said, we are not likely to stop thinking out loud.

Something I don't get; if the system is electrical or hydraulic or mechanical, it worked on the first plane, are the latter aircraft not constructed similarly?
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
 
A388
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:40 am

How can there be "system problems" when the A380 is planned to give a flying display tomorrow? Would Airbus really have the A380 perform flying displays when they also have system problems? I'm not sure what to believe.

A388
 
Boogyjay
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:45 am

A388,

That's why the word "systems" is very vague. I'm sure it is not safety related. For example, problems with the IFE or the cabin control systems (AC, lights, galleys, ...) would not deter the airplane's safety.

I know the cabin control systems can be a real and big mess!
 
aeropiggot
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:15 am

This is not surprising; the Boeing 777 also had some systems problems during flight test developments. My bet would be on software problems, these always occur when we have all the various systems from the different vendors, coming together for the first time on the completed airplane. This too can and most likely will be solved in time, it is probably mainly a PR problem for them now. Even though I am a Boeing supporter, I do sympathize with Airbus, in trying to put a new airplane on the market. New aircraft development is always fought with these types of challenges that is why it takes rocket scientist/aerospace engineers to develop them.

Peace!
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TSV
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:17 am

On the grapevine I have heard that some structural joints have to be redesigned as some of the joints originally designed with weight saving as the primary aim are not to the fatigue specification. In addition I am lead to believe there is a lubrication problem with the Trent which may require a complete core redesign which is surprising as I thought this Trent was just a derivative of a proven engine.
"I told you I was ill ..." Spike Milligan
 
mham001
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:21 am

I thought the most newsworthy statement was that BAE would be willing to sell its stake in Airbus.
 
GQfluffy
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:24 am

Maybe the engineers flushed all the lavs at the same time. That ALWAYS spells disaster.

fluffy
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Mark_D.
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:26 am

TSV--In addition I am lead to believe there is a lubrication problem with the Trent which may require a complete core redesign which is surprising as I thought this Trent was just a derivative of a proven engine.

Now that does sound potentially serious --though if that's what's going on it's of course not something Airbus can help move along much. As for the A380 itself though, hey if they truly do have another year of tinkering with it before certification starts --even though it's happily flying around now anyway -- then I guess they've already got a pretty good head start on what needs to be done, and some time to fix it too.
 
norcal
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:30 am

In all seriousness though, I'm sure they will solve the problem and the plane will be fine. If you think of the thousands of systems and parts that go into building any aircraft, it is absolutely amazing. The fact that anyone can manufacture airplanes on a large scale is a testament to human ingenuity and hard work.
 
mham001
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:39 am

Quoting TSV (Reply 12):
On the grapevine I have heard that some structural joints have to be redesigned as some of the joints originally designed with weight saving as the primary aim are not to the fatigue specification. In addition I am lead to believe there is a lubrication problem with the Trent which may require a complete core redesign which is surprising as I thought this Trent was just a derivative of a proven engine.

Seems like either of these problems would have the plane sitting on the ground instead of flying in airshows and tests.
Curious as to when they find that a design does not meet fatigue specs. Shouldn't such things be apparent when they design it?
I could see software problems, etc. Those two sound a little far fetched.
If the engine issue is true, is RR in a position to take the financial blow?
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:45 am

Quoting BoogyJay (Reply 7):
That's why the word "systems" is very vague. I'm sure it is not safety related.

Is any entity not vauge when hinting at bad news? If the cabin lighting was faulty, they would say so to kill speculation. The vaugness only compounds the likelyhood that it's a modest problem that could be contributing to the delays QF and other were warned about.

Quoting A388 (Reply 6):
How can there be "system problems" when the A380 is planned to give a flying display tomorrow? Would Airbus really have the A380 perform flying displays when they also have system problems? I'm not sure what to believe.

I take from the article that isn't so much F-WOWW (sp?) that's facing serious tech problems. It's the aircraft in production right now that are supposidly problematic.

From what I've heard in yahoo orders, it appears to be wiring and weld issues. I havn't heard of any major problems with the Trent 900, a complete core redesign seems really far fetched... that would be a catastrophy up there with the initial JT9D EOS, IAE SuperFan, etc. If things were that bad, I bet we would know by now...
 
airfrnt
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:51 am

Quoting Mham001 (Reply 13):
I thought the most newsworthy statement was that BAE would be willing to sell its stake in Airbus.

I would love to see what would happen if Lockheed Martin tried to buy the stake.

It's a bit disheartining to see the current state of Airbus. One bad decision seesm to be compromising a aweful lot, and keeping them from developing the planes they ought to if they are to compete with Boeing.
 
Ken777
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 12:16 pm

Has there ever been a new plane that didn't have problems that needed to be worked out? The only real problem for Airbus is that they might have put their money where their mouth was in terms of delivery performance and may need to start paying out to SQ, QF and others.

Since the 380 has been flying a lot I would guess that system problems are mainly related to programming. The plane is basically safe to fly or the test pilots would be keeping it on the ground - they have a very strong vested interest in ensuring it is safe to fly.

I'm personally happy to let the Airbus engineers get to work and iron out the kinks - the delay time doesn't matter as much as getting it right.
 
2H4
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 1:07 pm




Quoting NorCal (Reply 18):
The fact that anyone can manufacture airplanes on a large scale is a testament to human ingenuity and hard work.

Well said, NorCal. Too often, we forget this and criticize manufacturers a bit too harshly.


2H4


Intentionally Left Blank
 
brons2
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 1:35 pm

Quoting KFLLCFII (Reply 4):
I just got word that the problem rests within the galley systems. The coffee runs cold and the food still sucks...

Airbus, Boeing, Douglas and Lockheed planes all seem to have commonality on this issue as well....
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Glom
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 2:35 pm

Quoting A388 (Reply 6):
How can there be "system problems" when the A380 is planned to give a flying display tomorrow?

As BoogeyJay said, "systems problems" is rather vague. They could be anything and not things that would necessarily jeopardise safety for a non-revenue flight. If the problem is fatigue as was suggested, then one flight is fine but it won't do the airlines any good if the thing is a write off after a year's service. I doubt it's any one thing. It's probably a wack load of small things.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 3:40 pm

Actually, in regards to problems with new planes the biggest problem with the 747 was the fact the early production Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines had all sorts of problems with the front fan, which took quite a long time to resolve to everyone's satisfaction. Small wonder why when Boeing offered the higher MTOW 747-200 series Boeing allowed the certification of the General Electric CF6-50 series engine and the Rolls-Royce RB.211-524 series engine, which offered far higher thrust output.

If Airbus keeps on having problems with the A380 I wouldn't be surprised that Boeing may suddenly find itself with QF, SQ, and VS all lining up to buy the 747 Advanced model!  eek  And that's in addition to new orders from BA and possibly JL to order the plane for future long-range operations.
 
Ruscoe
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 5:19 pm

This is from memory, but i believe MSN 001 is heavier than subsequent aircraft, possibly because it did not undergo the weight reduction program.

If this is the case, it would explain why MSN001 can safely fly around, but subsequent aircraft will need to be modified, and why MSN 2 has not appeared on the scene.

Ruscoe
 
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lightsaber
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 6:15 pm

Quoting TSV (Reply 9):
In addition I am lead to believe there is a lubrication problem with the Trent which may require a complete core redesign which is surprising as I thought this Trent was just a derivative of a proven engine.

One does not do a complete core redesign for a lubrication problem. That's like totaling a car design because the wrong oil filter was selected! If it is a lubrication problem, the common solutions:
1. Larger pump (more pressure and flow rate)
2. Larger oil cooler
3. More insulation on the pipes bringing the oil into the core (this could be taken as a "core redesign," but you can retrofit this). Note: this requires greater oil pressure due to the increased losses (larger pump). IMHO* this is the most likely issue if there is a lubrication issue.
4. Larger oil resevoir.

If RR is talking a core redesign, its because they've completely botched TSFC. RR is pretty good about hitting those targets. Since there have been no rumors of a huge mistake on RR's part through my normal sources, the problem is most likely perceived as fixable within the overall A380 delays.

Quoting Mham001 (Reply 14):

Seems like either of these problems would have the plane sitting on the ground instead of flying in airshows and tests.

Not if its a fatigue problem. The airframe might be safe for 10,000 hours but not 40,000+ as required for delivery. You can complete a lot of flight test milestones in a few thousand hours.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 17):
Has there ever been a new plane that didn't have problems that needed to be worked out?

None. That's why time is budgeted in the flight test program. However, there have been airframes delivered to customers on time.

I cannot wait until I see the A380 at LAX.  bigthumbsup  Everyone knew that airbus was committing to a huge project. Now they just have to bring it home.

Lightsaber

ps
* IMHO="In my humble opinion"
"They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!" - Mark Twain
 
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EGTESkyGod
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:15 pm

Does anyone know when the A380 will make an appearance in the UK? And where? At a guess, if it went anywhere, I'd have thought it'd be LHR, Filton or Hawarden.
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egnr
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:28 pm

Quoting EGTESkyGod (Reply 23):
Does anyone know when the A380 will make an appearance in the UK? And where? At a guess, if it went anywhere, I'd have thought it'd be LHR, Filton or Hawarden.

When the A340-600 was going through its testing program, it made visits to Filton (Airbus UK HQ), East Midlands (for Rolls Royce), Manchester (route-proving/pax test flights) and Heathrow (route-proving/pax test flights). It made a flyover of the Broughton Airbus site (Hawarden Airport) during a 'Friends & Family' day in 2004. The A380 may well do a fly-by at the next Friends & Family day (in 2006 I believe).

However, the short runway at Hawarden prevents anything larger than an A300 from landing there. The Beluga does ok, but a pax A300 is heavier - one was chartered to take employees to the A380 reveal in Toulouse, and the night before it made a practice approach and touchdown at Hawarden to satisfy the pilots that it was possible and entirely safe. When the A300 returned from Toulouse though, it was full of pax, and from several of the people on that flight, I've heard that the landing was, shall we say, 'exciting'.
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glideslope
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:35 pm

These delays would not be so magnified if not for all the boasting by Mr. Leahy over the past 18 months. New designs are prone to delays, and pop up frequently. Although the 380's issues are starting to look serious.

Another good reason for Airbus to dump Mr. Leahy. He has become a liability.
To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.” Sun Tzu
 
whitehatter
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 7:38 pm

I think much of this speculation is futile.

Systems indicates something such as cabin provisioning, not anything critical.

Similarly if there were engine or fatigue issues then the prototype would be grounded. There is no way the JAA would allow a potentially unsafe aircraft to be flying round Europe, especially one of its size.

My money would be on cabin systems and customisation.

The BAe comment is also to be taken with the proverbia pinch of salt. It's sabre rattling, as selling the stake would jeopardise BAe's wing business. I'd say it was BAe making it crystal clear to other shareholders that they expect the A350 wings to be built by them, otherwise they would liquidate their holding.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
trent900
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 9:44 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 2):
But 'systems' plural, plus a six-month delay

Airbus are only saying 6 months to cover their backs. They will resolve the problems as quickly as possible, maybe give it 3 months and it'll be ready to enter service.

D.
 
gearup
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:09 pm

Quoting NAV20 (Reply 2):
Anybody's guess, BoogyJay. But 'systems' plural, plus a six-month delay, means that the problems are serious.

Sounds like wishful thinking on your part!
I have no memory of this place.
 
B707Stu
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:18 pm

Is anyone else getting the feeling a smart journalist is witnessing things and writing them down for a made for TV movie about the building of the A380 - the intrigue - the competition (Boeing) - the human drama! I can see it on the Military Channel now!
 
dan2002
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:06 pm

According to the Airbus supplier site,

Quote:
BAE SYSTEMS’ Aerostructures business secured the design, development, manufacture and support contract for the A380 inboard outer fixed leading edge package in 2002, based on its proven capability in supplying large major airframe structures to the world’s leading commercial aircraft manufacturers.

-Dan
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TheRedBaron
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Mon Jun 13, 2005 11:15 pm

The A380 will crash at the Paris Airshow, then a huge wave will cover all Europe, suddenly the hundreds of airbuses will disappear in a rapture...we will will in an All Boeing Universe....

Happy now?
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SWISSER
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RE: A380 - Unresolved Systems Problems

Tue Jun 14, 2005 8:04 am

Well,

I cannot keep it a secret after all those months anymore now,
but a Co-workers friend who works at Belairbus (provider for the slats and parts of the fuselage where the wings hang) explained back in february that the landing gear had some structural limit problems. In short, they could not hold the MTOW of the A380.
Altough this info is dated from 02/05,and still very speculative I assume the problems are now overcome.
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