redflyer
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787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 4:02 am

Ok, we've all heard the rumors about Boeing struggling with weight issues on the 787, but I was shocked to read this line:

Saddler said wiring on the plane, an issue which has delayed Airbus' A380 superjumbo, was harder than expected. The end game is always wiring. you always seem to end up moving wiring to the back end (of the schedule). "We're working that really hard.

Ouch. That's gotta hurt considering the snickering I'm sure happened behind the scenes at Boeing over Airbus' wiring problems.

http://today.reuters.com/news/articl...RT-BOEING-787-DC.XML&from=business
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DAYflyer
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 4:07 am

Who said Boeing was snickering?

As I recall, didn't Randy say "we feel Airbus' pain?" in his blog on reference to the wiring delays?

I think airliners.net is where the snickering was going on.
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redflyer
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 4:36 am

Quoting DAYflyer (Reply 1):
Who said Boeing was snickering?

As I recall, didn't Randy say "we feel Airbus' pain?" in his blog on reference to the wiring delays?

I think airliners.net is where the snickering was going on.

Yes, Randy said that but, then again, you can't expect Randy to go around saying, "We knew that Euro-trash company had bit off more than it could chew!" Of course Randy is going to put the sad face of a sympathetic industry player on his public appearance and shed a few crocodile tears. But I bet the boys and girls in the back room behind his were sitting there gloating.
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Lemurs
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 4:43 am

There is a bit of difference between admitting an unexpected challenge and slipping your schedule. On the 777 wiring was a bit of a headache too, I remember reading. It's just a challenge no matter how you do it. Now, how you COPE with that challenge defines success or failure (on the micro level). The 777 still shipped on time, despite some wiring headaches...the 787 hasn't flown yet, so there's still plenty of time to manage the problems.
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary, and those that don't.
 
ltbewr
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 4:45 am

To me this is saying that wiring on the latest generation of aircraft by both A & B is becoming exponentially more complex, with more potential areas of electrical problems and greater weight. This is from the huge increase of electronic controls for safety and comfort, all those complex giga-channels entertainment systems we all want on all of our long distance aircraft as well as security and recording needs. Then you have to balance safety vs. weight vs. access to be able to repair and it must make even with today's big computers an overwhelming challenge to engineers. Oh, then they wanted it done months ago...
 
knoxibus
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 5:09 am

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 4):
all those complex giga-channels entertainment systems

...that will be wireless on the 787 (Panasonic eX2 wireless, and Thales i8000 systems), thus reducing weight as well.

In any case you are right, building a brand new aircraft is a freaking tough job, and as soon as some potential issues arise, comments must be made. I mean we all appreciate the facts and info, but we have to carefully balance the complexity of the project and our supposed "knowledge" of aircraft manufacturing.

These guys have a tough challenge ahead, while Airbus is barely coming through with it. I hope in the future, we will be more comprehensive as to why issues like that happen.
No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.
 
Ken777
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 5:20 am

Wasn't there a story a while back about the initial 787s being hand wired during assembly, with Boeing waiting a while before having sections pre-wired before delivery for assembly? It appears that this is probably close to the difficulties Boeing is facing - ensuring that the pre-wired assemblies are maximized for efficient production. If this is the case then I don't see Boeing moving very far before they have produced several (at a minimum) planes.

Hopefully it won't be too long before A & B can offer wireless IFE, reducing the need for a mass of wires.
 
zvezda
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:04 am

Quoting RedFlyer (Thread starter):
That's gotta hurt considering the snickering I'm sure happened behind the scenes at Boeing over Airbus' wiring problems.

I expect there was more snickering here on A.net than at Boeing.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 6):
Hopefully it won't be too long before A & B can offer wireless IFE, reducing the need for a mass of wires.

Not very long at all.
 
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Stitch
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:07 am

Quoting Lemurs (Reply 3):
On the 777 wiring was a bit of a headache too, I remember reading.

And it was a big headache on the 744 program, as well.

I agree most of the snickering about Airbus' issues was here on a.net and, alas, that means should wiring crop up as a delay issue on the 787 program, a.net will see a new round of snickering.  Sad
 
ebbuk
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:18 am

Is this part of the Boeing "undersell" that I read so much about on a.net?

Don't know if it's true but I have read that they deliberately state lower range so that when they exceed the number it makes their planes more attractive, as they do with the weight of their planes.

Coming up with a number of "problems", first with weight and now wiring, which will all be sorted by EIS will make the company appear more competent than its rival. This will make the 787 will look even more stellar.

I take this info with a pinch of salt. No problems with the 787 At all. not now not tomorrow not ever. It's been the Boeing way for a long time.

[Edited 2006-09-09 00:28:50]

[Edited 2006-09-09 00:29:32]
 
roseflyer
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:24 am

The electrical systems on the plane are a huge deal. For the first time ever, Boeing had a supplier build a full mockup of the electrical system that includes all of the major electrical components. Hamilton Sundstrand, which is a leading aerospace power company build a lab called APSIF that contains all the key electrical generation and distribution. This is wiring and they were working on testing this plane thoroughly so that they can get most of the problems work out ahead of time. Additionally there was a meeting of all of the top executives of the major contributers this week at Hamilton Sundstrand's Rockford Illinois facility and they got to tour the electrical mockup. Hopefully problems can be worked out and that weight can also be kept under control.
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MD11Engineer
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:32 am

The 787's design team has another difficulty to cope with: Since the fuselage is being made of unconductive composite material, they can't use it as a common ground, like on metal aircraft. So they need to install a complex grounding network for all components, which effectively doubles the number of wires.

Jan
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lightsaber
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:25 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 8):
I agree most of the snickering about Airbus' issues was here on a.net and, alas, that means should wiring crop up as a delay issue on the 787 program, a.net will see a new round of snickering.

 checkmark  Anyone who has ever done any aerospace engineering was not snickering at Airbus. Oh, we wondered why the problem wasn't ratted out earlier, but we've all been there.

Quoting EbbUK (Reply 9):

Coming up with a number of "problems", first with weight and now wiring, which will all be sorted by EIS will make the company appear more competent than its rival. This will make the 787 will look even more stellar.

Its also the company culture. By not hiding the problem, resorces (people & money) will be sent to attack the problem. Its a lot cheaper to fix a problem 9 months before first flight (IIRC) than after flight testing has begun.

Quoting EbbUK (Reply 9):
I take this info with a pinch of salt. No problems with the 787 At all. not now not tomorrow not ever. It's been the Boeing way for a long time.

????
Have you ever done a project as complex as a plane? The number of issues that crop up, even for Boeing, are staggering. Most can be solved by small "tiger teams." But when larger resorces are required, the managers must cry "help" and when they do, it becomes public. There is simply no way to keep such information quiet. Someone somewhere talks. So Boeing might as well broadcast it.

Experienced customers know the typical problems that show up in a new airframe. They are more worried by reports of "no problem" and finding out in aerospace week (leak) than "oh, this component failed qualification and we're scrambling to redesign it." Guess what, every aerospace engineering firm has to redesign a good percentage of the components.

With wiring, the #1 issue lately has been not allocated enough space for the wiring runs. Some of these cable bundles can get to be 3 or 4 inches in diameter! On a previous prototype I worked on (sorry, I can't say what), we finally broke down and cut the isle height. Why? We designed in a multi-bin overhead wiring tray (flight critical signal (DC), signal(DC), flight critical power(400Hz), power (400hz), and signal power (DC), with crossover paths). We thought it would be 3X larger than required and we took hell for the concept as normally the wiring snakes through the aircraft ribs. We should *just* be able to squeeze in all the wiring we need to and we didn't have to move *too much* to trays in the aircraft ribs. The best part? Upgrading the wire shouldn't be too bad.  bigthumbsup 

As to less wiring? I doubt it. IFE requires power. Larger screens mean larger power drain (until a more efficienct screen is invented) thus the wires will grow. As the signal wires are pulled, I expect laptop power ports (24V) to replace the IFE signal wires.

Remember, the 787 is electrical, not hydraulic.

Lightsaber
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zvezda
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:33 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 11):
Since the fuselage is being made of unconductive composite material, they can't use it as a common ground, like on metal aircraft. So they need to install a complex grounding network for all components, which effectively doubles the number of wires.

Uh, no. Adding ground/earth wiring adds to the number of wires, but it's no where near a doubling.
 
comorin
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:51 am

I'm curious as whether you have isolated grounding on aircraft or a common ground bus (airframe?). Thanks !
 
ikramerica
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:19 am

This is not news. Read earlier threads if you don't believe me.

What is being talked about is that some of the frames will need to be wired in house, rather than having a complete barrel with wiring pre-run like the plan for later deliveries.

This is not uncommon for early production of any product, as some subs can't get up to speed fast enough.

What I am thinking is that the 787 EIS will not be delayed, but the deliveries may be slowed. I think Boeing is actually looking to ramp up production earlier just to compensate for the slow-down. A zero sum game for 2 years, if you will, but ultimately it will pay off in 2010 or 2011 when they can begin delivering more planes.

This is also why the 787-10 has not been launched and 2012 is only a rumor. It also jives with the "delay" in ramp up. They are using the ramp up resources to meet the original schedule.

Airbus is suffering the same problem with the 380, but they have no capacity to ramp up beyond their initial ramp up schedule, and thus, unlike the smaller 787, they can't "break even" in their delivery promises. We'll see if Boeing can pull it off.

Oh, and if Boeing were to suffer any sort of strike, or if one of their critical path suppliers would, all bets are out the window...
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
TeamAmerica
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:15 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 11):
The 787's design team has another difficulty to cope with: Since the fuselage is being made of unconductive composite material, they can't use it as a common ground, like on metal aircraft. So they need to install a complex grounding network for all components, which effectively doubles the number of wires



Quoting Comorin (Reply 14):
I'm curious as whether you have isolated grounding on aircraft or a common ground bus (airframe?). Thanks !

I'm curious too. In older aircraft the structure does indeed serve as common ground, but I seriously doubt this is the case for modern fly-by-wire aircraft. I expect that all instrumentation and actuators use isolated grounds (or an isolated ground bus), so this "doubling of wires" already exists, prior to the B787.
Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
 
WingedMigrator
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:01 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 13):
Uh, no. Adding ground/earth wiring adds to the number of wires, but it's no where near a doubling.

Don't metal airplanes have a ground bus anyway? I work on spacecraft, and it's a definite no-no to ground anything through the structure.

From the article quoted in the OP:

Quote:
"We laid out the original plan four years ago, and guess what? That plan has changes in it," said Craig Saddler, the chief financial officer of Boeing's 787 program , without saying which areas had been affected.

"It's our ability to scramble a little bit, and ability to have the right contingency plans in place, to react when somebody gets behind," said Saddler, speaking at a New York investor conference organized by Gabelli & Co. "Right now, our ability to do that has been successful."

(emphasis mine) Translation: our schedule margin is going, going, ...  stirthepot 
 
F14ATomcat
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:07 pm

Quoting RedFlyer (Thread starter):
Ouch. That's gotta hurt considering the snickering I'm sure happened behind the scenes at Boeing over Airbus' wiring problems.

Baseless speculation. All programs have challenges. Airbus lied about their problem and tried to cover it up. Get over it.
 
RIHNOSAUR
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:42 pm

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 11):
Since the fuselage is being made of unconductive composite material, they can't use it as a common ground, like on metal aircraft. So they need to install a complex grounding network for all components, which effectively doubles the number of wires.



Quoting WingedMigrator (Reply 17):
Don't metal airplanes have a ground bus anyway? I work on spacecraft, and it's a definite no-no to ground anything through the structure.

all right so I have a question..I guess I never thought about it, but how do they ground air craft...I mean I guess they can use the fuselage as mentioned, but is it TRULY ground....it can't be right ..compared to earth's ground

I am no aerospace engineer, but it seems that whatever the ground is, it's just floating at some constant voltage above the earths ground. as long as all the other other voltages are referenced to a common "fuselage voltage" i guess its a ground equivalent...
am I right thinking about it this way???.....if not please correct me.

cheers  Smile  Smile  scratchchin 
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TeamAmerica
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 1:02 pm

Quoting RIHNOSAUR (Reply 19):
it seems that whatever the ground is, it's just floating at some constant voltage above the earths ground. as long as all the other other voltages are referenced to a common "fuselage voltage" i guess its a ground equivalent...
am I right thinking about it this way???.....if not please correct me.

You've got it right. Your car is exactly the same, with the 0VDC ground reference typically provided by bonding the negative pole of the battery to the frame of the car. It's not a true earth ground at all; we've all probably felt a static electric shock upon exiting the car on a dry day. There can be a substantial voltage in the body of the car relative to the earth, but you will still measure 12VDC across the poles of the battery.
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RIHNOSAUR
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:52 pm

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 20):
You've got it right. Your car is exactly the same,

thanks a bunch for the reassurance.

wiring an aircraft must be a huge task!!!!  Wow!  Wow!
particles and waves are the same thing, but who knows what that thing is...
 
Tristarsteve
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 2:54 pm

It may be obvious to the electricians here, but lets say there are two types of ground.
In your house you have positive wire a negative wire and an earth wire. The negative wire averages out at zero volts, but individual wires can have high volts in them.
On an aircraft or a car their is a positive wire, and the return wire is grounded or earthed to the fuselage. The metal fuselage then acts as the return path. As the whole fuselage is bonded together the net result is zero volts in the frame.
 
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glideslope
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:16 pm

Quoting RedFlyer (Thread starter):

Ouch. That's gotta hurt considering the snickering I'm sure happened behind the scenes at Boeing over Airbus' wiring problems

The was no snickering at Boeing. Only on A.net. Get your facts straight prior to making adolescent comments.  bigmouth 
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GPS787
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:15 am

Quoting RedFlyer (Thread starter):
Ouch. That's gotta hurt considering the snickering I'm sure happened behind the scenes at Boeing over Airbus' wiring problems.

Like the others have said and I'll say it again...

There hasn't been and won't be any "Snickering" at AB's delay issues either regarding wiring or any other issue. We know we are in the "batter's box", so to speak, and as Randy did say we "feel their pain".

***News flash: New Programs are HARD. If it were easy everyone would be doing it...***

BTW - In case you didn't know it we are totally focused on meeting our customer's expectations, period.

Please don't say baseless things like that as it only fuels a wholly uneeded fires. And we have too many of those already.

Thanks,

GPS787
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PolymerPlane
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:29 am

Quoting EbbUK (Reply 9):
Don't know if it's true but I have read that they deliberately state lower range so that when they exceed the number it makes their planes more attractive, as they do with the weight of their planes.

I don't know about deliberately state lower range. But I know for a fact that even with that kind of lower range, B787 has managed to sell 377 orders. Not bad for an understated plane. Just wait until Boeing over deliver the 787, orders will pour in like free flowing beer.

I just find that Boeing deliberately set a lower target than they can actually achieve is just plain ridiculous. Building a plane is a balance between technical ability, and marketing ability. You can state as low as you want to, but if it's too low, no body's gonna buy it. The fact that 787 has sold 377 planes, says the actual revolutionary nature in terms of performance of 787. Anything above that is a bonus.

Cheers,
PP
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andrewuber
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:29 am

It's not the end of the world. The 787 is a new airplane. There are always issues with new airplanes. Have you ever seen a section of a wiring harness for a commercial airliner??
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EI321
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RE: 787 Has Wiring Issues?

Sun Sep 10, 2006 6:06 am

Quoting F14ATomcat (Reply 18):
Airbus lied about their problem and tried to cover it up. Get over i

If your going to produce silly acusations like that its best to also produce some evidence. And by evidence I mean something that shows airbus actually lying, ie clearly saying there was no problem at all if there was one at the time.

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 11):
The 787's design team has another difficulty to cope with: Since the fuselage is being made of unconductive composite material, they can't use it as a common ground, like on metal aircraft. So they need to install a complex grounding network for all components, which effectively doubles the number of wires.

I think this is something that can be overcome.

Quoting Glideslope (Reply 23):
Quoting RedFlyer (Thread starter):

Ouch. That's gotta hurt considering the snickering I'm sure happened behind the scenes at Boeing over Airbus' wiring problems

The was no snickering at Boeing. Only on A.net. Get your facts straight prior to making adolescent comments. bigmouth

 checkmark  Boeing did not say anything negative about airbus, and good on them. There was tons of dillusional crap that appeared on this site, but it was not related to Boeing.

Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 26):
It's not the end of the world. The 787 is a new airplane. There are always issues with new airplanes. Have you ever seen a section of a wiring harness for a commercial airliner??

I agree. EVERY new aircraft, A380, 787 or whatever is going to have glitches in the design process.