AerospaceFan
Topic Author
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:08 pm

I just found a new description of some of the technical reasons behind the production delays that have afflected Airbus' A380 in yesterday's International Herald Tribune.

The article in general is a description of the recent crisis at Airbus and its parent, EADS and reviews by-now well-trodden ground concerning various instances of finger-pointing concerning the issue of the latest delay.

Toward the end of the piece, however, it is claimed that the initial six-month delay, as well as the current one, was attributable to problems relating to wiring harnesses from assemblies shipped from Airbus' facilities in Hamburg, Germany that could not be properly threaded at Toulouse, France. The article states that at the time, it was believed by some that the problems would pass.

Quote:
However, the Airbus announcement on June 13 of a fresh delay of another six or seven months sent EADS fortunes reeling. According to an Airbus executive, the wiring had become "even worse," and fuselage sections from Hamburg could not be mated with other fuselage parts when they arrived in Toulouse.

"Why hasn't someone got this right in the last year?" the Airbus executive said. "I don't know."

In the above, I note that the article apparently cites instances wherein there were mismatches relating to not only wiring harneses, but also fuselage sections. Until I read the article, I had not known that this could have been factor in A380's production difficulties.

Source:

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/06/26/business/airbus.php

[Edited 2006-06-27 09:13:18]
What's fair is fair.
 
astuteman
Posts: 6346
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:46 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
I note that the article apparently cites instances wherein there were mismatches relating to not only wiring harneses, but also fuselage sections. Until I read the article, I had not known that this could have been factor in A380's production difficulties.

I have to say that I didn't read anything into the article that suggested structural mismatches to me, and given development work that our Production Engineering team have done with both Military aircraft at Warton, and Airbus at Broughton, developing micronically accurate electronic alignment processes (which we use for "pre-installing" modules and weapons systems), I'd be astonished if that were the case (although anything's possible, of course).

(same systems are being developed for JSF assembly, and have been extremely successful on the first prototype)

FWIW, we have had design issues relating to cable harnessing (or NOT cable harnessing (correctly)) on Astute that have rendered the first-of-class build near-on impossible for a period of time, specifically by preventing/delaying the join-up of two sections of pressure hull.
I find it easy to visualise the circumstances at the A380 final assembly site when the cabling solution delivered to them is not in accordance with the Build Strategy, whatever the reason  banghead .
That situation was certainly a contributory factor in the delay to our programme of 3 years (but not the only one).

Good article. Thanks

Regards
 
AerospaceFan
Topic Author
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:57 pm

You're quite welcome, Astuteman.

It surprised me, as well, to read that almost throwaway line about the alleged fuselage mismatches. Perhaps time will tell if there were physical structural incompatibilities the author could have been referring to, or whether the phraseology was simply a nontechnical use of words that was actually meant to describe nothing more than harness-related problems.
What's fair is fair.
 
astuteman
Posts: 6346
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:24 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Reply 2):
Perhaps time will tell if there were physical structural incompatibilities the author could have been referring to

It's not impossible of course, but if true, IMO would be utterly unforgiveable, in this day and age, with the technologies available.

Regards
 
astuteman
Posts: 6346
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:39 pm

Quote "According to an Airbus executive, the wiring had become "even worse," and fuselage sections from Hamburg could not be mated with other fuselage parts when they arrived in Toulouse".

FWIW, AerospaceFan, if this is the sentence that's caught your eye, I'm pretty sure it alludes to fuselage parts that can't be mated "because of the wiring issue".
As I said, we've experienced a near identical problem on the FOC Astute class submarine, which delayed a section join-up for a large amount of time, in no way related to structural issues.

Regards
 
AerospaceFan
Topic Author
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:43 pm

Now that you've explained it, perhaps it is more likely than not that the meaning of the excerpted quote could have been,

[Modified by insertion of bolded text to present possible meaning:]

Quote:
However, the Airbus announcement on June 13 of a fresh delay of another six or seven months sent EADS fortunes reeling. According to an Airbus executive, the wiring had become "even worse," and, for this reason, fuselage sections from Hamburg could not be mated with other fuselage parts when they arrived in Toulouse.

I appreciate your explaining your experience with wiring harnesses and the problems they can cause.
What's fair is fair.
 
khenleydia
Posts: 383
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:18 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 8:43 pm

Due to my lack of understanding and the vague information available, why is only ONE plane not effected by this when they have multiple already flying???

KhenleyDIA
Why sit at home and do nothing when you can travel the world.
 
scouseflyer
Posts: 2165
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:02 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 8:50 pm

Quoting Khenleydia (Reply 6):
Due to my lack of understanding and the vague information available, why is only ONE plane not effected by this when they have multiple already flying???

Because when any sort of production line is started - the first few copies are basically hand-built with the production being ramped up by introducing more and more automation into the process. In the ramp up the sections of A380 will be delivered with the wiring already installed to reduce the hand-building the sections being delivered are not in a state to be mated up without work being done again - hence the delays.
 
eatmybologna
Posts: 375
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2005 3:21 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:01 pm

I recall watching an A380 television special on the Discovery Channel where the first Hamburg rear fuselage section did not mate with the adjacent fuselage section in Toulouse. Apparently, the German section was discovered to be 6mm too wide. The Toulouse assemblymen/mechanics then took out their Dyna-files (pneumaticly driven abrasive devices) and went to work to thin down the areas over tolerance. The video did not show the actual modification, however, I assumed it worked as the next video clip showed the two sections joined.

You would think that this situation would have been resolved by now. Unless perhaps, Hamburg had already fabricated multiple sections and didn't want to scrap them.

E-M-B

[Edited 2006-06-27 14:03:20]
Isn't knowledge more than just the acquisition of information? Shouldn't the acquired information be correct?
 
OldAeroGuy
Posts: 3208
Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 6:50 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:12 pm

Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):
Toward the end of the piece, however, it is claimed that the initial six-month delay, as well as the current one, was attributable to problems relating to wiring harnesses from assemblies shipped from Airbus' facilities in Hamburg, Germany that could not be properly threaded at Toulouse, France.

While passenger unique wiring (the official reason for both six month delays) may contribute to this problem, it sounds like the wiring issue is more fundamental.
Airplane design is easy, the difficulty is getting them to fly - Barnes Wallis
 
User avatar
Revelation
Posts: 14002
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:37 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:29 pm

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 4):
FWIW, AerospaceFan, if this is the sentence that's caught your eye, I'm pretty sure it alludes to fuselage parts that can't be mated "because of the wiring issue".



Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 9):
While passenger unique wiring (the official reason for both six month delays) may contribute to this problem, it sounds like the wiring issue is more fundamental.

It seem there are delays in both the design and fabrication of the wiring harnesses, and due to the wild imaginations of the customers, the resulting wiring harnesses do not fit into the space allocated to them, thus requiring rework of the wiring harnesses or of the airplane itself.
Inspiration, move me brightly! Light the song with sense and color.
Hold away despair, more than this I will not ask.
Faced with mysteries dark and vast, statements just seem vain at last.
Some rise, some fall, some climb, to get to Terrapin!
 
Rheinbote
Posts: 1103
Joined: Sun May 21, 2006 9:30 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:53 pm

Quoting OldAeroGuy (Reply 9):
While passenger unique wiring (the official reason for both six month delays) may contribute to this problem, it sounds like the wiring issue is more fundamental.

Doesn't take a scientist to imagine:

case0 wiring up to correct wiring spec
case1 wiring not up to correct wiring spec
case2 wiring up to wiring spec but wiring spec is faulty or outdated
case3 wiring not up to wiring spec which is faulty anyway

now add another dimension in the form of the structure and systems specs, on which the wiring spec is based. Structure and systems specs may further evolve during testing...so case0 may turn into case2 overnight

and yet another dimension: any part involved has to be in the right spot at the right time...
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:05 pm

What it points to is the evils of out of position work.
Generally speaking the wiring harnesses are made up on jigs or breadboards and they're built to a customer specified configuration and installed in the hull sections. When the hull is actually assembled the wiring harnesses are connected with Cannon plugs and if everything's been done properly, the lights go on.

However if the configuration changes after the customer specified configuration product is installed or if the airplane got moved on the line to get a progress payment before it was ready (which Douglas did every once in a while when they needed cash), what that created was "out of position" work. What it meant was that people who do not normally work in that area are required to complete their jobs oftentimes after other components have been installed that make it much more difficult to do the job and inspect it.

Assuming that there were major configuration changes (either customer driven or manufacturer/component manufacturer driven) to the wiring bundles after they were fabricated and installed, that could create a huge problem and significant delays.

My sympathies are for the worker bees here, as they're the ones who are now under the gun...but LOTS of overtime, which is good for them.

Quoting Rheinbote (Reply 11):
case0 wiring up to correct wiring spec
case1 wiring not up to correct wiring spec
case2 wiring up to wiring spec but wiring spec is faulty or outdated
case3 wiring not up to wiring spec which is faulty anyway

This is a gross oversimplification of what Airbus is up against. The main wiring bundle on the MD11 was 8-10 inches in diameter and I imagine the A380 bundles are monsters.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
khobar
Posts: 1336
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:12 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Tue Jun 27, 2006 11:26 pm

Could someone explain this "customer specification" with regards to the wiring? What wiring is up to the customer to spec? What would an airline know about wiring that would make them the authority over, say, the IFE manufacturer(s)?
 
astuteman
Posts: 6346
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 2:13 am

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 12):
What it points to is the evils of out of position work.

Absolutely spot on, Dougloid  checkmark 

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 12):
The main wiring bundle on the MD11 was 8-10 inches in diameter and I imagine the A380 bundles are monsters.

Spot on again. I've never seen the wiring on the A380, but anyone on here with images of domestic wiring in their mind will be way off mark.
If this stuff has to be hard-wired through the plane, instead of harnesses being connected at section join-ups, it'll devastate the final assembly durations.

Hell, the bigger cables may even have minimum bend radii measured in metres.
Running that in the closed confines of a fuselage can't be funny.

Great post, Dougloid.

Regards
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 2:22 am

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 14):
Hell, the bigger cables may even have minimum bend radii measured in metres.
Running that in the closed confines of a fuselage can't be funny.

I've done my share of wiring inspections. There's a door on the front bulkhead of the nose gear bay of the MD11 that takes you past the main bundles and on into the avionics bay in the nose.
When the wiring gets stretched it sometimes tears the teflon insulation inside the bundle and you get what are called 'shiners'. It's common to add spares to any bundle so that these problems can be repaired in the field without running fresh wire.

Amazing what people will drop in there
I've a nice pair of Wiss scissors I found in one of them.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
okelleynyc
Posts: 205
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:26 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 2:30 am

Well here's another rumored reason for possible future delays:

I'm hesitant to post this since there are no corroborating sources, but here it is....

Cracks in the fuselage...

http://uk.biz.yahoo.com/060627/323/gfgtd.html
Just give me my Vario, my Ozone Mojo and a gorgeous day of soaring.
 
AerospaceFan
Topic Author
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 2:44 am

I hope that any allegations of cracks in the fuselage are untrue. In any event, certification would appear to be a separate issue. Nothing I have read suggests that anyone at Airbus is in trouble regarding certification.

I think, at this time, that we should take the report with a large grain of salt.

[Edited 2006-06-27 19:46:10]
What's fair is fair.
 
eisman
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 12:57 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 2:50 am

I've read another post that the 380 is using aluminum wiring. Could this complicate an already difficult job?
 
Picard
Posts: 82
Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 6:17 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 2:51 am

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 4):
Quote "According to an Airbus executive, the wiring had become "even worse," and fuselage sections from Hamburg could not be mated with other fuselage parts when they arrived in Toulouse".

FWIW, AerospaceFan, if this is the sentence that's caught your eye, I'm pretty sure it alludes to fuselage parts that can't be mated "because of the wiring issue".
As I said, we've experienced a near identical problem on the FOC Astute class submarine, which delayed a section join-up for a large amount of time, in no way related to structural issues.

Regards

I agree, if it was really fuselage sections that could not be mated together then how have a large number of them assembled and flying. Because of the experience of the numbers built already large component tolerances should be spot on by now.
 
astuteman
Posts: 6346
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:44 am

Quoting Eisman (Reply 18):
I've read another post that the 380 is using aluminum wiring. Could this complicate an already difficult job?

I'm not an electrical expert, but I've had plenty of conversations with harness manufacturers from a Build Strategy/Production Engineering viewpoint.

Added to comments from knowledgeable people on this site, I would say that aluminium wiring complicates things by an order of magnitude.

Others may wish to comment.

Regards
 
Ruscoe
Posts: 1577
Joined: Sun Aug 22, 1999 5:41 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:53 am

I still find it incredible for this alone to result in not just delays but decreased production rates for several years. I certainly don't think customer requirements alone can be blamed.

Trying to put all of the small snippets of information to-gether, I think the most likely scenario with regards to wiring, and the fundamenal problem underlying all this, is the change to aluminium wiring to save weight.

I am no electrical engineer but it has been posted elsewhere that you need a much thicker Al wire to carry the same current as a Cu wire.

My thought is that someone forgot to redesign the various fuselage components, to accommodate the extra diameter of the wiring bundles.
I could see it taking a lot of time to sort out, to redesign a large number of small fuselage components, larger holes in frames, larger clips etc, especially when weight is such a critical issue.

I can't see the crack being a problem because if it appeared after the equivalent of 6 years service, there is plenty of time to come up with a fix.

Ruscoe
 
astuteman
Posts: 6346
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:50 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 4:01 am

Quoting Ruscoe (Reply 21):
My thought is that someone forgot to redesign the various fuselage components, to accommodate the extra diameter of the wiring bundles.
I could see it taking a lot of time to sort out, to redesign a large number of small fuselage components, larger holes in frames, larger clips etc, especially when weight is such a critical issue.

I have to agree, Ruscoe, that it's a very plausible chain of events.

Question - what solution do the 5 aircraft currently flying have?

Regards
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 4:27 am

Quoting Ruscoe (Reply 21):
Trying to put all of the small snippets of information to-gether, I think the most likely scenario with regards to wiring, and the fundamenal problem underlying all this, is the change to aluminium wiring to save weight.

I am no electrical engineer but it has been posted elsewhere that you need a much thicker Al wire to carry the same current as a Cu wire.

Not to mention the problems you're going to have down the road when the aluminum starts to oxidize....as anyone with any experience in residential wiring knows about...
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
zvezda
Posts: 8891
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:39 am

Quoting Astuteman (Reply 14):
Spot on again. I've never seen the wiring on the A380, but anyone on here with images of domestic wiring in their mind will be way off mark.
If this stuff has to be hard-wired through the plane, instead of harnesses being connected at section join-ups, it'll devastate the final assembly durations.

Hell, the bigger cables may even have minimum bend radii measured in metres.
Running that in the closed confines of a fuselage can't be funny.

This is exactly why I'm concerned about the possibility of further delays.

Quoting Eisman (Reply 18):
I've read another post that the 380 is using aluminum wiring. Could this complicate an already difficult job?



Quoting Astuteman (Reply 20):
Added to comments from knowledgeable people on this site, I would say that aluminium wiring complicates things by an order of magnitude.

I won't try to quantify how much aluminium wiring complicates the problem other than to say a hell of a lot. Aluminium is much more brittle than copper, so the bend radii are much greater. This not only limits the layout, but makes installation more difficult under ideal conditions. Retrofitting brittle wiring has got to be a nightmare. One might get a wiring harness installed with an elapsed week and 1000 man-hours, and then testing reveals that too many wires snapped during installation. That could be repeated several times. Copper would be much more resilent.
 
StarGoldLHR
Posts: 1346
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 1:29 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:29 am

scenario:

Imagine a bowl of spagheti.

Cut it evenly into 1/3 segments.

try matching the ends up again.

The change the spagheti to tagliateli..

try matching the ends up again the same amount of space.

I believe there are over 30,000 different wiring combinations in an A380.
Put this into context.. there are over 300,000 just in SFO's international terminal (I documented them so I know), considering this is split between 3 levels, and 2 concourses and a main checkin building of 5 levels that 300k splits to not very much very quickly over a wide area.. still it's a nightmare...

now take 30K and split that along 1 airframe.

I would imagine a re-wire of an A380 will be an all or nothing thing, no replacing 1 with another simply here.

I would imagine internal a/c wiring would be distinctly separate from "airline specific" wiring. However I would imagine the issue wouldnt be airline specific, it's more of a work process issue.. how to accomodate each scenario and the aircraft specific wiring quickly and easily without having pulling each individual wire.

As an aside.. a mouse could make a big mess of things very quickly !


Wiring will be a combination of various things including electrical, telcom, ethernet, video, microwave and will be delivered using a combination including fibre, copper, aluminium.

Some wiring will have restrictions... ethernet cannot be close too close to electrical the list goes on and on..

Imagine a fridge cooling system tripping on, next to engine wiring.. a charge from one could shut down the other !

This of course doesnt include redundancy... In a safe method each wire should have 3 redundant wires to at least have half a chance of surviving to the next major overhaul without a complete re-wire.
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
nitrohelper
Posts: 406
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 5:32 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 7:52 am

If Airbus would have to change from aluminum to copper wire, what would the weight penalty be, Anybody have numbers? Would new connectors have to be used?
My experience is in building hospitals, I was surprised to hear that the 380 had small sized aluminum wire after all the problems we had in the building industry over twenty years ago.
Big feeders were ok, but small wires had connector problems, and overheating. The problems showed up over time,could this cause more downtime in the future after many cycles?
 
longhaulheavy
Posts: 376
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 1:52 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:00 am

Quoting Eisman (Reply 18):
I've read another post that the 380 is using aluminum wiring. Could this complicate an already difficult job?

Having seen what happens to aluminum wiring in an old home, I am seriously interested in how the engineers expect it to perform in a much harsher environment.
 
AerospaceFan
Topic Author
Posts: 6990
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2005 1:43 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:04 am

I think that the question of the use of aluminum wiring in aircraft environments is interesting from an empirical point of view. That is, are there large modern aircraft in service that use aluminum wiring, and if so, have wiring issues been a concern?

This might be worth a quick search on Google.

[Edit: A very quick search yielded a number of links, and I found one that appeared to be from an "air disaster" discussion forum. As with all Internet sources (including even Airliners.net), I would advise that one use it at one's own risk and discretion. It has some links that may or may not be outdated. The information that is provided may or may not be reliable or accurate. The page linked to below also cites and apparently excerpts a 1946 accident report apparently relating to a Lockheed Constellation, and also provides the title of what appears to be an industry reference work.

http://www.airdisaster.com/forums/showthread.php?t=65091]

[Edited 2006-06-28 04:14:54]
What's fair is fair.
 
CWFan
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:58 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:30 am

Fascinating discussion. No A vs B stuff either, which while I enjoy the occasional food fight, I'm reminded how nice and informative civil discussions like this can be!

So it seems there are still a couple of open questions: (a) does the 380 use aluminum wiring? And (b) is there more to the delays than the wiring issue? Important questions.

I wouldn't want to go out and short EADS stock tomorrow, but Zveda, if you're right in your speculation that the 380 will experience another delay, then my god -- shareholders should run for cover.

I have a hard time believing that after the nasty fallout on the most recent 380 delay that there would be ANOTHER delay. If you are an Airbus executive, you'll move heaven and earth to make sure it doesn't happen. And if it does -- then the top execs will have some serious explaining to do.

Final (somewhat trivial) question: given the enormous impact the most recent delay has had on the EADS stock price, do EADS shareholders have too little information on the full causes of the delay? The above questions seem to imply that we don't. Anyway, just curious. Since Airbus already took a bath in the public markets from the delay, it seems that it would have made sense for A to dump all the bad news at once.

(FYI, Dougloid, great post, keep 'em coming, I've added you to my RU list, for what it's worth.)
 
User avatar
boeingrulz
Posts: 521
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 1999 2:55 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:06 pm

If I recall correctly, the problem with residential Aluminum wiring is oxidation where the different metals come together. My dad was an electrician in the 70's and did retrofit wiring on homes with Aluminum wiring. The fix is to replace the connection of Aluminum to Copper with a pigtail containing the different metal connection in a crimp connection that is lined with an epoxy to seal the connection from oxidation.

I get the impression that people assume that Aluminum wiring is inherently dangerous. This is not necessarily the case. Every metal has a set of properties and each metal has advantages and disadvantages depending on the application. The job of engineers is to test the materials and understand their properties and suitability for the application in question. All materials for aircraft manufacturing need to serve multiple and sometimes conflicting requirements. Weight and suitibility for manufacturing processes are just a couple of requirements.
 
zvezda
Posts: 8891
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:14 pm

Quoting CWFan (Reply 29):
(a) does the 380 use aluminum wiring?

Yes.

Quoting CWFan (Reply 29):
I wouldn't want to go out and short EADS stock tomorrow, but Zveda, if you're right in your speculation that the 380 will experience another delay, then my god -- shareholders should run for cover.

 talktothehand Whoa! I'm not speculating that the WhaleJet will experience another delay. I'm speculating that it might experience another delay. I apologize if I was unclear earlier.
 
CHRISBA777ER
Posts: 3715
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2001 12:12 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:39 pm

Hi all,

Got to echo CWFan's sentiments - good talk guys well done.

The intricacies of manufacture and technology etc is not something I know about really, so its really nice to learn so much.

Got to ask - copper wiring is much heavier than the aluminium wiring - so there is a weight saving there, but how much are we talking?

Also, how hard is it to rewire a large modern airliner? Is it a write-off job, or can it be done, and if so how long does it take?


Thanks guys,

CM
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
 
zvezda
Posts: 8891
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:46 pm

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 32):

Got to ask - copper wiring is much heavier than the aluminium wiring - so there is a weight saving there, but how much are we talking?

Someone posted within the last week or so exactly how much weight the use of aluminium wiring was estimated to save in the WhaleJet.

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 32):

Also, how hard is it to rewire a large modern airliner? Is it a write-off job, or can it be done, and if so how long does it take?

Might as well do a heavy maintenance visit.
 
CHRISBA777ER
Posts: 3715
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2001 12:12 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:12 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 33):
Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 32):

Also, how hard is it to rewire a large modern airliner? Is it a write-off job, or can it be done, and if so how long does it take?

Might as well do a heavy maintenance visit.

So it can be done - do they do it at a D Check or something? Does the wiring have a shorter certified life than the airframe?
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
 
zvezda
Posts: 8891
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 8:48 pm

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 6:16 pm

Quoting CHRISBA777ER (Reply 34):

So it can be done - do they do it at a D Check or something? Does the wiring have a shorter certified life than the airframe?

My recollection is that, yes, the wiring normally gets replaced during what used to be called a D check. I have no idea about certified life, but there are spare wires in every bundle. The wires fail from time to time. Once the spares are used up, it's time to replace the harness. Perhaps if a harness still has sufficient good spares, it might be reused rather than replaced during heavy maintanence. I don't know.
 
Ken777
Posts: 9064
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 8:51 pm

With the wiring issue clearly on the table, and airlines in a position to demand compensation, what are the odds that the airlines will demand (and receive) longer term guarantees on the Al wiring? I can see a situation where Airbus will be paying for any re-wiring (and loss of the use of the aircraft) for a rather long time.

While I believe that the 380 will mature into a very good plane I think it's now in a situation where the company will be taking a few years to mature the plane, with slower production and a few other agonies along the way.

In 3 - 5 years things will be going smoothly, but there is lots of work ahead for the engineers.
 
User avatar
solnabo
Posts: 5020
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2008 8:53 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:05 pm

500 km´s of wirings and that only in SIAs configuration....how many more km´s in EKs config? LH/AF?

Micke//SWE  eek 
Airbus SAS - Love them both
 
Dougloid
Posts: 7248
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:44 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 10:47 pm

It could well be that the problems Airbus is having are associated with aluminum wiring. My guess is that the stuff was probably used to save weight first of all and to save money, as copper is pretty high right now and shows no signs of a decline.

With respect to customer configurations, they can be quite different depending on what the customer has specified initially. There were two MD11s that were ordered by Inex Adria and they were about half built when Yugoslavia started to deconstruct. American Airlines (always looking for a deal, those guys) took them over and they had to have a lot of work done in the wiring department to configure them to the AA standard. As I understand it AA got a helluva deal on them, they still know where the first nickel they ever made is stashed.

God help Airbus if they ever sell any airplanes to that bunch of hard-nosed Texans beyond what they have LOL.
Those Frenchmen won't know what hit them until they find that their wallets are empty, the liquor is all gone and the women are all pregnant. They ran Douglas through the wringer every time but they bought a lot of airplanes.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
khobar
Posts: 1336
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:12 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Wed Jun 28, 2006 11:16 pm

Could someone kindly answer my question? What wiring is up to the customer to spec? What would an airline know about wiring that would make them the authority over, say, the IFE manufacturer(s) or Airbus itself?
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 23206
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: New Technical Insights Into A380 Delay?

Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:40 am

Quoting Khobar (Reply 39):
Could someone kindly answer my question? What wiring is up to the customer to spec? What would an airline know about wiring that would make them the authority over, say, the IFE manufacturer(s) or Airbus itself?

Well "customer spec" might apply more to what items they wanted that required wiring. So if they want AVOD, Connexion, powered suites, personal lighting, and in-seat AC power, while the IFE, Connexion and seating suppliers would define the actual wiring specification needed, that specificiation would have been driven by the customer's decisions.

SQ has stated they will showcase a new First and Raffles cabin on the A380 and 773ER. So that new cabin will require specific wiring bundles to handle whatever features are included - AVOD, powered First suites and possibly Raffles seats, perhaps an "in-seat refrigerator" ala EK F, in-seat ethernet or WAPs for Connexion, perhaps specialized "mood lighting" ala what EK has on their A345s and what Boeing has shown on the 772LR/787 and Airbus on the A350 cabins, etc.

Airbus might have expected the First Suites to not have as many power options, or they might not have expected Raffles to even have power seating, they may have planned Connexion, but maybe they planned it to be wired or wireless and it's the other. Perhaps SQ decided to run HD to the seats, and the cable that Airbus had sourced can only handle SD frequencies.