leelaw
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ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:48 pm

Airbus is moving toward another radical rethink of its A350 XWB that may include a composite fuselage that will combat the 787 and leapfrog the 777-200ER.

According to Airbus insiders, the latest revision will push the A350's entry into service to at least 2014...

...Insiders say the company will use the upheaval surrounding its massive Power8 restructuring plans--aimed at rectifying design and production inefficiences that have bedeviled the A380--to relaunch the A350 XWB with a composite fuselage after key customers told the manufacturer it "still [has] not done enough" to combat the 787. It had been looking at a larger XWB to better match the 777-300ER but that initiative, as alluded to by Udvar-Hazy, was taking the weight of the aircraft too far away from the 787-8.


http://atwonline.com/news/story.html?storyID=6873

Perhaps the parade of A350 design "iterations" hasn't quite concluded?

[Edited 2006-10-25 08:05:24]
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Boeing7E7
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:51 pm

For the love of God!

What was that Airbus said about composites...

[Edited 2006-10-25 07:52:36]
 
Oykie
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:04 pm

Does this make a updated A330 with GEnx / Trent 1700 engines more possible? The 787 will be flying in about two years, and Airbus is at least six years behind.
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777ER
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:15 pm

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 1):
What was that Airbus said about composites...

I've obviously forgotten what Airbus said, what did Airbus say? Obviously Airbus to going to be studing Boeings B787 introduction and assembly very closly to combat problems the A350XWB (if ever launched) may encounter during assembly and delivery
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zvezda
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:22 pm

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 1):
What was that Airbus said about composites...

Airbus said composite technology wasn't ready for making a composite fuselage. Perhaps by 2015 or so the technology will be ready.  Smile

Quoting OyKIE (Reply 2):
Does this make a updated A330 with GEnx / Trent 1700 engines more possible?

Yes, I think so. It would be a big benefit to the A330F and help keep the passenger A330 in the game for several more years (while the B787 has a long backlog).
 
777ER
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:29 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 4):
Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 1):
What was that Airbus said about composites...

Airbus said composite technology wasn't ready for making a composite fuselage. Perhaps by 2015 or so the technology will be ready.

Ah, thanks
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leelaw
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:30 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 4):
Airbus said composite technology wasn't ready for making a composite fuselage. Perhaps by 2015 or so the technology will be ready

Perhaps the only evidence of "ramp rash" will be on Mr. Leahy's red face.  rotfl 
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SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:33 pm

I wonder which kind customers

"told the manufacturer it "still [has] not done enough" to combat the 787."

Interesting.

SIA must be extremely irritated though. Considering the A350 is supposed to do FCO and CPH I suspect and routes such as that, the A330 is insufficient isn't it?

Either way. Let's just hope Airbus gets its act together quick. The industry is getting impatient.
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ikramerica
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:35 pm

Quoting Leelaw (Thread starter):
leapfrog the 777-200ER.

According to Airbus insiders, the latest revision will push the A350's entry into service to at least 2014...

I would hope that a plane with an EIS would leapfrog a plane with an EIS 17 years earlier.

If it didn't, what would be the point in building it to begin with?

Unfortunately for Airbus, they've waited SO long that they will be bumping up against Boeing's first Y3 jets in 2016. And if Airbus is delayed at all...

Quoting OyKIE (Reply 2):
Does this make a updated A330 with GEnx / Trent 1700 engines more possible?

I think they could launch the 330F/334/335 at one time, and EIS them by 2010 if they do it now.

But they aren't going to do it. Unfortunately.

What's so dumb is that they could have done this, just as Leahy said they would, and had EIS in Q1 2009 if they had just listened to him... Big grin
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
zvezda
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:41 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 8):
I would hope that a plane with an EIS would leapfrog a plane with an EIS 17 years earlier.

I don't think there was ever any real question that the "new all-new" A350 would leapfrog the B777. The question was how competitive it would be against the B787.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 8):
Unfortunately for Airbus, they've waited SO long that they will be bumping up against Boeing's first Y3 jets in 2016.

IF (big IF) Boeing ever build a Y3, then 2016 is the earliest plausible date for EIS. If Airbus will build a "newer all-new" A350 with a CFRP fuselage, they would do well to be mindful of a possible Y3.
 
bringiton
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 3:48 pm

I think the Date is pushing it a bit . If they were to launch the program by end of this year why in the world would they need 7 years to come up with the EIS of the first aircraft ?? I am sorry but that is simply not acceptable because your competition is doing it in 4 years . A near 45% parity in Launch to EIS is not acceptable . Moreover what about the 777300ER ? What will compete agains it ? If they go in the direction of providing an aircraft more in the SIZE and MARKET of the 787 then they would loose the Competitive edge with the XWB-1000 against the 300ER and possibly 747-8I . Its a real catch 22 situation for Airbus They had the 777 taking away market share agains the 340 and decided to pursue it and then steven and others warned that the 787 would eat away the market of the smaller 330 sized aircrafts . Would it be better now to launch the original A330-->A350 now and launch a 777 competitor in 2016 timeframe with 2 different fues. and wings ? It would perhaps cost 2-3 billion more but would make them much much more competitive in the market .
 
AirSpare
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:13 pm

A is doing more speculating then a.netters.

While Randy has recently stated that B will look next towards a Y1 launch, I don't believe it, smells and looks like smoke and mirrors. The Y1 class is still selling like hotcakes, why would they launch a replacement?

I said before, and I think that it's possible Y3 will come first (I'm a minority on a.net on this).

Move the 787-10 to the Y3 class, offer 3 versions from -10 to the 747I capacities. B's CFRP experience (and supply chain) will be a decade ahead of A's, they could (IMHO) leapfrog the 350 even with a later authorization to offer, with an earlier in service date.

EIS for Y3-2012-2013

It is amazing that companies like TAM have been silent on the 350.

I'd love to peer inside the motor head VPs, and see what they have on the drawing board, or running in test cells, for Y1 and Y3 class aircraft.

While I'm spec'lating, A may need to order a few 747LCFs to move these pieces around...  Smile
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sparkingwave
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:18 pm

Airbus doesn't have the experience and the know-how yet to build composites. Will they be able to amass it in 8 years? And by then, will a composite A350 be competitive with the the 2014 version of the B777? Or the B787? And what new marvelous innovations will Boeing have on the table by then? I can't wait to see...

It's wonderful that Airbus can promise the world, but in the end, who is it that can actually deliver it on time?

SparkingWave ~~~
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ap305
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:31 pm

Quoting SparkingWave (Reply 12):
Airbus doesn't have the experience and the know-how yet to build composites.

errrr..... are you sure about that?. Last time I checked- rather large parts of every airbus airliner from the a300-600 to the a380 are made of composites

ap305

[Edited 2006-10-25 10:33:21]

[Edited 2006-10-25 10:34:26]
 
Johnny
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:34 pm

A i heard from internal Airbus sources and also read in an interview, Airbus always wanted to introduce a composite fuselage, but later than Boeing with the B787.

They said something about a second generation composite fuselage which can be build without rivets.
This was their official version why they waited.The truth? I do not think so...

They were able to produce big airplane parts, but not an entire fuselage in my opinion.

The A330 with Genx is a MUST to cover the gap!
 
slz396
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:08 pm

Just reading the story, it looks like the A350XWB is being transformed into a real Y2.5, sitting in between the 787 and future Y3, using identical (yet improved second generation) composite technologies as on the 787.

Although it may be amusing to get yet another iteration of the A350, this plan should really worry Boeing, since it intends to splash a completely new and undoubtably highly competitive composite plane right into their well defined long term product strategy (Y2/Y3) which they have just set out to materialize as well as try to cut short the life cycle of the first generation composite 787 which will have just started off by then.
In fact, from a strategic point of view, this plane would basically do what the 787 did to the product strategy and product cycles of Airbus' wide body range!

If Airbus can sufficiently bridge the extra time needed with an A330NG, this idea actually sounds really good! The first iterations of the A350 showed an A330NG would definitely gain bigger market share than Boeing's stopgap (the 767-4ER) for what would later become the Y2/787 and any investment in this A330NG plane could be used also for the A330F, so I bet this report will cause some unease with Boeing.

[Edited 2006-10-25 11:21:02]
 
zvezda
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A

Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:37 pm

Quoting SparkingWave (Reply 12):
Airbus doesn't have the experience and the know-how yet to build composites. Will they be able to amass it in 8 years?

Of course Airbus could build a CFRP fuselage within 8 years if they were to start development now -- probably within 4 or 5 if they were not distracted by the WhaleJet.

Quoting SparkingWave (Reply 12):
And by then, will a composite A350 be competitive with the the 2014 version of the B777?

A CFRP A350 would almost certainly eat the B777's lunch.

Quoting SparkingWave (Reply 12):
Or the B787?

Hard to say.

Quoting SparkingWave (Reply 12):
And what new marvelous innovations will Boeing have on the table by then? I can't wait to see...

We'll have to wait and see. After all the innovation in the B787, it makes sense for Boeing to make evolutionary changes for a while.

Quoting Johnny (Reply 14):
The A330 with Genx is a MUST to cover the gap!

I'm not sure that it's a must, but I think it's a good idea.  Smile

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 15):
Just reading the story, it looks like the A350XWB is being transformed into a real Y2.5, sitting in between the 787 and future Y3, using identical (yet improved second generation) composite technologies as on the 787.

That would be the sweet spot! Go Airbus!  Smile
 
justloveplanes
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:50 pm

Quoting Bringiton (Reply 10):
I think the Date is pushing it a bit. If they were to launch the program by end of this year why in the world would they need 7 years to come up with the EIS of the first aircraft ??

The Sonic Cruiser R&D I think brings Boeing closer to 8 years. A should need a little less since much of the R&D, design direction, sizing, market has already been validated by Boeing and customers. 7 years sounds about right on paper, but I think Streiff's gut reaction is the correct one - 10 years. They need to get in the composite game fast and a major A350XWB effort around Al-Li is a strategic mistake. They can't afford another one.
 
leelaw
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A

Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:09 pm

Quoting Justloveplanes (Reply 17):
They need to get in the composite game fast and a major A350XWB effort around Al-Li is a strategic mistake. They can't afford another one.

Then thank god for Mr. Forgeard, the extra $500M he directed towards composites research last spring must have paid some very early dividends in order to convince the Airbus brain-trust, particularly Mr. Leahy, that after several years of rather loud hand-wringing, a composite hull can be manufactured which will be "viable" in commercial service. What are the next epiphanies to come: a common engine pylon, and systems run with bleedless engines.

[Edited 2006-10-25 12:12:12]
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slz396
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:12 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 16):
Of course Airbus could build a CFRP fuselage within 8 years if they were to start development now -- probably within 4 or 5 if they were not distracted by the WhaleJet.

Where does the 2014 date come from?

Is it based on today's estimations, or does it take into account the situation around the end of the decade, when the A350XWB program would really have to gain speed.

CFRP technology will now quickly mature (and it is not like Airbus has never heard of composites; they just don't seem to think they are ready to be used for entire fuselages yet) and also the Power8 program aims at reducing the time from design to production by 20% by 2010, so these 2 things combined lead me to believe 8 years sounds like a very conservative estimation even from today's perspective...
 
Lumberton
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:19 pm

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 19):
so these 2 things combined lead me to believe 8 years sounds like a very conservative estimation even from today's perspective...

Are you saying that if Airbus opts for the composite fuse, then the EIS could well be past 2014?

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 19):
they just don't seem to think they are ready to be used for entire fuselages yet

? ? ? What about the 787? Or are you referring to Airbus only?

BTW, does anyone else "out there" think EADS should have stuck to their guns and build the A350 version that was to have been introduced by 2010?
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
zvezda
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:21 pm

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 19):
CFRP technology will now quickly mature (and it is not like Airbus has never heard of composites; they just don't seem to think they are ready to be used for entire fuselages yet) and also the Power8 program aims at reducing the time from design to production by 20% by 2010, so these 2 things combined lead me to believe 8 years sounds like a very conservative estimation even from today's perspective...

I agree with all of that, except that I don't believe that Airbus really thought CFRP fuselages were not viable at the time they said it. I think that was just marketing BS because they got caught off-guard.
 
slz396
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:29 pm

Quoting Leelaw (Reply 18):
Then thank god for Mr. Forgeard, the extra $500M he directed towards composites research last spring must have paid some very early dividends in order to convince the Airbus brain-trust, particularly Mr. Leahy, that after several years of rather loud hand-wringing, a composite hull can be manufactured which will be "viable" in commercial service. What are the next epiphanies to come: a common engine pylon, and systems run with bleedless engines.

Any corporation will defend all of their strategic choices untill the moment they are ready to drop them for something else... Need you be reminded about some recent comments from Boeing regarding the obvious handicaps of some of their narrow body planes compared to Airbus' competing models? I suggest you read the Baseler blog on the 737 carefully and keep it in might when Boeing announces all the 'great advantages' of the plane which will come out of the Y1 study; it will most certainly give some funny reading then....
Fact is Boeing too have changed their mind in the past and as so often the one who comes in second has the advantage to see what the other has done, learn from it and improve it, while the first one is locked into the process.

If Leahy can come out with a technologically supperior plane which basically wrecks the entire product stategy of Boeing by splashing in right into the middle of their Y2/Y3 product line, I don't think he'll mind for a second to have to say that after long research, they have decided to use a CFRP fuselage.... all that needs to be stessed is that it will be second generation and thus more advanced, or alternatively give it a new name, and off he goes to sell it...
It only takes 3 seconds to eat your own words, it takes a life time however to deal with the consequences of not wanting to do so when you should have.
 
aerosol
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:31 pm

What Airbus needs to realize is that they - as painful as it might be - lost the 350 segment. If they are developing it they will develop an aircraft with EIS far behind its competitor.

This would be my approach: skip the 350 - do a refined 330 and focus on the a composite 320 - to get ahead of Boeing in Airbus' brad and butter segment.

My two cents.
 
zvezda
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:38 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 20):
BTW, does anyone else "out there" think EADS should have stuck to their guns and build the A350 version that was to have been introduced by 2010?

Do you mean the 2nd or 3rd version that was floated to the airlines? I think they should have gone with the 1st version, but as an interim measure.

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 22):

Any corporation will defend all of their strategic choices untill the moment they are ready to drop them for something else...

 checkmark  That's true, but some corporations tend to keep quieter about their mistakes and others tend to put their foot deeply down their throat. Airbus were in a position where they had to say something, but they may have gone a bit far in bashing CFRP fuselages.
 
slz396
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:39 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 20):
Are you saying that if Airbus opts for the composite fuse, then the EIS could well be past 2014?

Quite on the contrary... EIS should not have to be that far off at all...

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 20):
What about the 787? Or are you referring to Airbus only?

I am not talking about the technology as such, but rather about the economic viability of CFRP. Since the 787 hasn't shown anything yet, it remains to be seen even for Boeing if the financial benefits from CFRP will indeed be as expected. The technology itself is however maturing as we speak and the knowledge about the use of it will do so as soon as the 787 flies commercially, so I expect that with such a new technology there is still ample room to increase the economics of CFRP for anybody who comes after Boeing....
 
justloveplanes
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:47 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 20):
BTW, does anyone else "out there" think EADS should have stuck to their guns and build the A350 version that was to have been introduced by 2010?

I do. I think A got off track by the very public dissing from Udvar-Hazy, Clark and Cheng. A was not caught off-guard by the 787 to my mind despite their statements to the contrary. They knowingly put their eggs in the A380 basket, and it's costing them the middle of the market. Putting out a cheap 30 to 35% market share Al-Li re-engined A330 was the best way to limit the damage while investing R&D in composite technology (Which B did with the Sonic Cruiser) to catchup. They would be closer to delivering an alternative (with customer confidence) and would probably have more than their 100 orders by now.

The profit on those planes could pay for their composite R&D and there would have been less distraction to the A380 production in retrospect lessening the damage there. They are now another year at least behind on a A330/350 and it doesn't look like as good an idea now with all the turmoil and loss of confidence. That loss of confidence is also tarnishing all their options including the new all Composite A350. I would have a hard time swallowing any date less than Streiff's 10 year estimate right now (to catch Boeing) for an all new all composite plane.

A placed their bets on the A380 and they should have stuck with their plan. It would have been much better from an overall company development point of view. No distractions, better cash flow, better focus on the future. It was a situation for a stopgap, they had one, and they should have stuck to it. All that dissing in public was unnecessary in my opinion and it only added negative results for all (except Boeing).
 
mbj2000
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:54 pm

What was the 1st version again, "just" a refined wing and new engines?

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 24):
Quoting Lumberton (Reply 20):
BTW, does anyone else "out there" think EADS should have stuck to their guns and build the A350 version that was to have been introduced by 2010?

Do you mean the 2nd or 3rd version that was floated to the airlines? I think they should have gone with the 1st version, but as an interim measure.
Like most of life's problems, this one can be solved with bending -- Bender Unit 22
 
justloveplanes
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:08 pm

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 22):
If Leahy can come out with a technologically supperior plane which basically wrecks the entire product stategy of Boeing by splashing in right into the middle of their Y2/Y3 product line, I don't think he'll mind for a second to have to say that after long research, they have decided to use a CFRP fuselage

It's not possible to wreck a correct product strategy. You can only match it or improve upon it. I know the A380 bashing gets out of control on occassion, and it will be a great plane. However, Airbus, even if everything had gone right, could have still paid a heavy price in market position. Focusing on the middle market seems to have been the better choice

I think now Airbus has lost the initiative for the next 20 years at a minimum. They need 10 years just to get back in the game, and Boeing won't be standing still. Then they will need another 10 years to beat Boeing, who understands this business extremely well. Tall order. If they had executed their plan cleanly, I would guess they would have had a chance to recover in 10 years or so.
 
Lumberton
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A

Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:09 pm

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 24):
Do you mean the 2nd or 3rd version that was floated to the airlines? I think they should have gone with the 1st version, but as an interim measure.

My feeling is that whatever QR wanted "up to 60" of, that's what they should have gone with.

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 25):
Quite on the contrary... EIS should not have to be that far off at all...

The ATWO article contains this remark:

Quote:
According to Airbus insiders, the latest revision will push the A350's entry into service to at least 2014.

The part that should concern potential customers is the "at least 2014", IMO.

Quoting Justloveplanes (Reply 26):
I think A got off track by the very public dissing from Udvar-Hazy, Clark and Cheng.


To be sure, these are very important customers, but the market is more than SQ, EK, and ILFC....

[Edited 2006-10-25 13:12:12]
"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
 
leelaw
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A

Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:15 pm

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 22):
I don't think he'll mind for a second to have to say that after long research, they have decided to use a CFRP fuselage.... all that needs to be stessed is that it will be second generation and thus more advanced, or alternatively give it a new name, and off he goes to sell it...
It only takes 3 seconds to eat your own words, it takes a life time however to deal with the consequences of not wanting to do so when you should have.

Of course nobody in the industry will take that kind of explanation seriously. IMO, Mr. Leahy's continued viability as uber-salesman will largely depend on whether or not customers that have committed to earlier "iterations" of the A350 feel like there's any egg on their faces at the end of this developmental roller-coaster ride.
Lex Ancilla Justitiae
 
11Bravo
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:25 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 29):
The part that should concern potential customers is the "at least 2014", IMO.

 checkmark 
I agree, that's troubling. Given the A380 nonsense and the never ending series of A350 EIS delays this statement might be reasonably taken to mean 2015 or even 2016.  crazy 

Airbus has issues if it's really going to take them 8-10 years to put a new jet on the tarmac. they've absolutely got to do something about their product development cycle times.
WhaleJets Rule!
 
zvezda
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:46 pm

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 25):
there is still ample room to increase the economics of CFRP for anybody who comes after Boeing....

 checkmark  Yes, the B787-8 is extremely conservative i.e. heavy. Flight testing should provide opportunities for optimizing later models.

Quoting MBJ2000 (Reply 27):
What was the 1st version again, "just" a refined wing and new engines?

My recollection is that the 1st A350 proposal was new engines, new pylons, and nothing else. I think the refined wing came with the 2nd proposal. There have been so many it's difficult to keep track.  boggled 
 
Rj111
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:46 pm

IMO Airbus shouldn't worry too much about the EIS date and focus on making the A350 the best aircraft they can possibly make - take no prisoners. The A350 is going to be in the market later than the 787 anyway, they may as well come in with an advantage - as supposed to coming in late and offering much the same. The few years after 787 EIS may also highlight potential problems with composities, or ways to refine their use, which Airbus can take advantage of. Also the 787's specs will be defined so Airbus will be able to attack weaknesses (everything has a weakness) and generally know what they have to beat.

It's a very large market and i would not be suprised if several airlines ended up with both aircraft in their fleet - especailly if the A350 covers a slightly different market. I doubt the majority of the market will be won by 2014, so i feel Airbus should avoid rushing the A350 and knee-jerk reactions, and focus on gettin the best out of it.
 
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A

Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:15 pm

All these recent events show what a great plane 787 is. The airline insiders who have access to 787 data we don't have are saying even the currently proposed A350 will not be good enough to compete with it.

I hope this does not sound like gloating, but I remember how many people argued against the 787 in the "game changer" thread. The turmoil in Airbus's mid market strategy shows the now-obvious fact: the game has changed!

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 15):
Just reading the story, it looks like the A350XWB is being transformed into a real Y2.5, sitting in between the 787 and future Y3, using identical (yet improved second generation) composite technologies as on the 787.

It seems A is aiming for a somewhat vulnerable spot, but exactly how vulnerable?

In 2014, 787 should be in peak production, and whatever tweaks needed to make it stay competitive should be doable. The common pylon should make it really easy to adapt to any newer engine technology. Y3 should be in late design / early development phase.

How vulnerable will B be in 2014 if they have a 787 with over 500 examples shipped, six years of large scake composite production experience, a Y3 coming on-line, and ample opportunity to tweak the 787?

On the other hand, A will have to compete with a firmly established 787 and an oncoming Y3 that is certainly capable of reducing customer interest in the A380. They will be pouring money into A350 R&D while the only product line producing any real revenue will be the A320. If Boeing should decide to do Y1 then Y3, the A320 will be under severe threat, even if it does mean Y3 will be a few years later. In the mean time, A will be dealing with a lot of unhappy employees and politicians as they try to get Power8 implemented. Not a rosy picture!

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 15):
Although it may be amusing to get yet another iteration of the A350, this plan should really worry Boeing, since it intends to splash a completely new and undoubtably highly competitive composite plane right into their well defined long term product strategy (Y2/Y3) which they have just set out to materialize as well as try to cut short the life cycle of the first generation composite 787 which will have just started off by then.

Just started off? By 2014 the 787 will have produced and sold 500+ frames. It's R&D will have been fully paid off. I'd say by 2009 or so, Boeing will know exactly where any improvements can be made in terms of design and manufacture, and be able to respond in whatever direction they choose, should it be Y1 or Y3.

Quoting Justloveplanes (Reply 26):
They would be closer to delivering an alternative (with customer confidence) and would probably have more than their 100 orders by now.

I wonder how many will not cancel their orders if the first plane will be shipped in 2014 and production ramps up on the usual curve.
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:26 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 34):
If Boeing should decide to do Y1 then Y3, the A320 will be under severe threat, even if it does mean Y3 will be a few years later. In the mean time, A will be dealing with a lot of unhappy employees and politicians as they try to get Power8 implemented.

Isn't the Y1 and A320NG? the real question here. The 777/787's & 330/350/380's get the limelight but what is it that keeps the lights on and the heat running - Single aisle 110-200 passenger a/c. With B learning as much as they can about composites and advanced materials and construction if B decides to move on the Y1 update will A have the resources to develop both the 350 and a true 320NG?

This is the real question in my mind? If a Y1 product can give improved performance and range over a 320NG then by 2014-2020 the real money maker for A may be gone, unless they jumpstart a new program now and beat B to the punch - can they do this? No, not right now, at least in my opinion.

Without a 320 revenue line could they sustain the 350 program and a 320NG program. However, the 380 should and may be in service by then as well? maybe.
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A

Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:30 pm

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 33):
IMO Airbus shouldn't worry too much about the EIS date and focus on making the A350 the best aircraft they can possibly make - take no prisoners. The A350 is going to be in the market later than the 787 anyway, they may as well come in with an advantage - as supposed to coming in late and offering much the same.

How aggressive can Airbus be on their first all-composite airframe?

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 33):
The few years after 787 EIS may also highlight potential problems with composities, or ways to refine their use, which Airbus can take advantage of.

I agree, but Boeing will also have this knowledge, and the opportunity to use it on Y1 or Y3. If market data supports it, they could choose to make Y3 overlap the A350-900/787-10/777-200ER size (i.e. make it a true 777 replacement instead of a bigger plane) and really put pressure on the A350.

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 33):
Also the 787's specs will be defined so Airbus will be able to attack weaknesses (everything has a weakness) and generally know what they have to beat.

It's an advantage, but Boeing won't sit still for the next six years either.

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 33):
It's a very large market and i would not be suprised if several airlines ended up with both aircraft in their fleet - especailly if the A350 covers a slightly different market.

They won't have any A350s for at least the next six years. Boeing will have produced over 500 frames, and have a fairly substatial backlog as well.

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 33):
I doubt the majority of the market will be won by 2014, so i feel Airbus should avoid rushing the A350 and knee-jerk reactions, and focus on gettin the best out of it.

One hopes they will sort out the issues they have with their design tools and whatever changes they have to make for Power8 in a smooth fashion. By pushing out the EIS to 2014, one doubts if they will have to truly rush. I imagine some of this time is going to be used to get the A380 out the door, fix the A400M issues, fix the design tools, and rebuild their production methodology ala Power8.
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:33 pm

To the people saying that 2014 is "conservative"..

"According to Airbus insiders, the latest revision will push the A350's entry into service to at least 2014."

Quoting RJ111 (Reply 33):
IMO Airbus shouldn't worry too much about the EIS date and focus on making the A350 the best aircraft they can possibly make - take no prisoners. The A350 is going to be in the market later than the 787 anyway, they may as well come in with an advantage - as supposed to coming in late and offering much the same. The few years after 787 EIS may also highlight potential problems with composities, or ways to refine their use, which Airbus can take advantage of. Also the 787's specs will be defined so Airbus will be able to attack weaknesses (everything has a weakness) and generally know what they have to beat.

It's a very large market and i would not be suprised if several airlines ended up with both aircraft in their fleet - especailly if the A350 covers a slightly different market. I doubt the majority of the market will be won by 2014, so i feel Airbus should avoid rushing the A350 and knee-jerk reactions, and focus on gettin the best out of it.

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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:35 pm

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 15):
this plan should really worry Boeing

Yeah, right. Will this be a sort of A380-type of worry, or a new and unexpected worry? Maybe Leahy will provide further input on the worry sometime in the future.  ziplip 

Quoting Slz396 (Reply 22):
If Leahy can come out with a technologically supperior plane which basically wrecks the entire product stategy of Boeing by splashing in right into the middle of their Y2/Y3 product line

It only takes 3 seconds to eat your own words, it takes a life time however to deal with the consequences of not wanting to do so when you should have.

By 2016 Leahy should be retired, or perhaps dead from a massive coronary. Nevertheless, by 2016, Boeing's product strategy will have been further modified and refined and more than likely A will be left playing catch up again. A took the technological leap with the 380 and so far that has been a bust (regardless of what A's A.net fans say, the $$$ lost is just unexcusable).

Leahy has become a laughing stock and he knows it.
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:41 pm

Quoting DeltaDAWG (Reply 35):
This is the real question in my mind? If a Y1 product can give improved performance and range over a 320NG then by 2014-2020 the real money maker for A may be gone, unless they jumpstart a new program now and beat B to the punch - can they do this? No, not right now, at least in my opinion.

It's a really good question.

Early 737RS/A320NSR studies show with what is currently known (including projected improvements), there won't be enough improvement to justify the cost involved in replacing the 737 and A320. These ships are pretty efficient to begin with, and a lot of the efficiency improvements we now see are in cruise efficiency, which isn't as important for short range planes.

But, from a tactical point of view, if B could get a Y1 out in the next 4-5 years, and be working on Y3 as Airbus is just releasing the A350, it'd really put a lot of pressure on Airbus.

But I doubt this will happen.

I think both A and B are willing to mik the A320 and B737 lines for as long as possible. I think B will gladly take whatever market advantage they have off the table in the form of fat profits instead of using them to drive Airbus to the brink.
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:43 pm

This has been a good thread so far.
It is really difficult to see the way ahread for Airbus. If for no other reason than they are running out of money (BAE Sale and lack of sales),and that's not even covering the huge technology gap that is opening up between them and Boeing. They went for a "pile 'em high and sell'em cheap" strategy and they have come unstuck badly.
Look at it rationally. The 737 is holding itself nicely against a (newer) compeditor.Boeing can choose the time and place for its successor.I believe they will happily wait and get all the production issues on the 787 sorted out and then repeat the process for the 737.How can Airbus fight that from a zero technology base?
The 330 is dead in the water.I agree that a a 330 "plus" is their only short term chance based on Boeing not being able to supply the market and/or production delays.
The 777-300er created a stillborne A340-600 Note Airbus is now saying they that the A350 is effectively replacing their latest aircraft! Thats how much of a hole they are in. They cannot fight the 787 head on as they don't have the technology. That just leaves the A380.
This would have been their "get out of jail" card -if they had gat it right. They have not. Not only has the production gone badly wrong there are other issues-important issues.The aircrafr is old technology. GLARE has failed (lightning strikes make it delaminate-thats not very public).It is built of Aluminium-hell Boeing wanted to make the777 out of Al-Li but the Microfracturing issues (then) could not be overcome.At the very least Airbus should have been using this technology.The engines are 5% less efficient than the 787 Gen engines (as reported at Farnbrough).The aircraft is not optimally sized for the wings.No wonder Boeing can warm over a 45 year old design! Even if Airbus wins the "keystone" sale to BA I don't think it will make any difference. Why?
Have a trawl through the Web and follow the BWB Developments. The 2 scaled prototypes built by Cranfield have just started flying. The future is all about efficiency and the BWB is 25%-30% more efficient. Then look at Boeings key patent. They patented the concept of a variable sized central section. This allows them to build 2 planes for the price of one.(In a BWB design lift changes with the size of the central section unlike "tube" designs).In this way they are able to produce a 450 seater "Twin" and a 600-700 seater "Tripple".
Just how far ahead are Boeing in this area of technology?Well Airbus have not started and Boeing are flying thats how far.
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:46 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 39):
I think both A and B are willing to mik the A320 and B737 lines for as long as possible. I think B will gladly take whatever market advantage they have off the table in the form of fat profits instead of using them to drive Airbus to the brink.

I know this is slightly off topic, but would you want to lull your opponent into thinking that you're content to cash checks on the 737 program and that there is no urgency to develop Y1? If they manage to open "a new front" with a 2012 Y1 EIS, this will be quite a coup in the strategy department.

Quoting DeltaDAWG (Reply 35):
Isn't the Y1 and A320NG? the real question here. The 777/787's & 330/350/380's get the limelight but what is it that keeps the lights on and the heat running - Single aisle 110-200 passenger a/c. With B learning as much as they can about composites and advanced materials and construction if B decides to move on the Y1 update will A have the resources to develop both the 350 and a true 320NG

IMO, you nailed Airbus' quandry quite nicely....
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A

Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:51 pm

Moving to an all-composite A350 would give Airbus a significant edge in replacing 777s and A340s that come due in the late 2010s. We'll be looking at a reverse of the current market, where a handful of 772LRs and 773ERs will go to existing large fleet operators and everyone else moves to the A350XWB.

Boeing will be essentially forced to launch the 787-10 to try and gather what momentum they can. And it will be even more critical for them to execute perfectly on the 787 program - especially in the areas of CFRP production.

However, if they do indeed execute perfectly, it will give Boeing some breathing room. Airbus has successfully delayed many fleet decisions the past few years by floating various versions of the A350. If the 787 launches strong and works, Boeing will be able to do the same, noting their experience with composites will allow them to come up with a better plane - Y3 - worth waiting for even though it will arrive after the A350XWB. And then add some generous leasing deals on 772LRs and 773ERs to tide customers over.

Yes, I expect Airbus will score very well (especially with current Airbus operators) in the interim, just as Boeing has with the 787 now. But just as Boeing can't address the 777/A333/A340 replacement market right now with a CFRP product, neither will Airbus be able to address the 767 and A332 replacement markets as the A350 will remain too large.

If Boeing went 2+3+2 in the Y1, you'd get enhanced passenger comfort and a 757-300 sized model would offer close to the space of the 767-300. Give it a 5000nm range and it will be very strong on the trans-Atlantic market. Give it a 6000nm range and it will come to dominate it. With that model and the 787, Boeing could really push airlines to wait for Y3 to provide a complete intercontinental family of jets.

[Edited 2006-10-25 14:58:20]
 
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:54 pm

Quoting Leelaw (Thread starter):
Perhaps the parade of A350 design "iterations" hasn't quite concluded?

Does this mean the board said no to the launch they wanted to do by the end of the year? (anyone?)
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:54 pm

Quoting Parapente (Reply 40):
Does it matter if there will be only one major civil aircraft manufacturer? Only to the Airlines and this forum.

If the cost to airlines to buy airliners increases (which it would without competition) then the cost of fares will also rise.
 
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:58 pm

Well this is hardly a surprise. First Airbus certainly bet wrong on the A380, misjudging the market for the A380 and totally ignored a market they say is 40% of the commercial airplane sales (Nice job to the analyst in Toulouse).

Boeing focuses on that using new technology and material and here you go the 787.

Airbus poo poo's the 787 and the use of composites fro the whole fuselage, deriding it at every opportunity and basically laughing it off(who's laughing now John Leahy) by saying that the A330 will outsell it. Another great one by Airbus.

Oh and now the wiring problems. They can't even have common systems within Airbus!! How lame!!!

Now they go through multiple revision of the A330/A350/A350XWB and they STILL have not gotten right!!!!

Finally they might be going all composite which is what Boeing stated they'll do in late '03 and which they critized heavily, add more money to develop it (it'll also cost airlines more money to buy it) and the schedule is being pushed further to the right to 2014. If Airbus is true to form the plane really won't have EIS till 2016.

Wow what a turn around. They didn't get the market right and they compouned their stupidity by deriding the competitors products that has badly outsold their own offerings.

Now word is they're going to use a composite fuselage which is something the critized Boeing very heavily on. Boeing now has the advantae to dominate the commercial aircraft industry for at least 10 to 15 years only because of the stupidity at Airbus and the genius of introducing a game changing airplane to the market and by listening to their customers which is something Airbus does not do.

[Edited 2006-10-25 15:10:20]
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:04 pm

There have been a couple of odd things mentioned in my wide circle of friends lately that have only made sense in the context of an almost imminent Y1 pre-launch. I think that Boeing is confident enough in the cash flow projections for the 787 that they can afford to look at an early Y1 announcement. It appears that they may be able to match development spending rates with sales receipts, but finance is not my area of semi-expertise.

From a strategic view this possibility seems to make sense to me: Springboard from the 787 to the narrowbody, be first to market with a five year lead, repeat the 787 pre-EIS sales coup, then dangle the prospect of a game-changing Y3 to muddy the mid-decade waters. "Never kick a man unless he's down": sage advice that I first heard in France, but it may be universal.
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:15 pm

I think that before agonizing on the technical details of the A350, Airbus needs to bring clarity to their product strategy. Given that they no longer sell the A300, the A340 is practically dead, and the A330 will be replaced by the A350, it looks like Airbus is attempting to cover the entire widebody market with just one airplane. That means that all that Airbus will be able to offer to customers to cover the whole range of needs from 200 to 500 seats is the A350. On the other hand, today Boeing is covering the same market with three different airplanes - B787, B777 and B747-8. Presumably, in the future this will be reduced to two models - B787 and Y3.

Can Airbus cover the entire widebody market needs below the A380 with just one model? I don't think so - on the low end, the smaller, lighter B787 will offer better economics, on the upper side, the newer Y3 will have better payload-range capabilities.

I looks to me that Airbus problems are not limited to manufacturing issues with the A380 - they are also getting out of touch with the market and customer needs.
 
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A350

Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:15 pm

Airbus is going through what boeing went through a few years back. No matter what they say it appears to lack credibility. There have been too many false starts-At some point Airbus has to make a commitment to a 250-350 seater. The litmus test for any aircraft they launch will be the operating empty weight and fuel burn figures. They will be 6 years behind the 787 and if the a350 gets delayed beyond 2014/15 Imho Airbus might as well forget it and come up with a non conventional airliner which taps into the 787 replacement market around 2025.

[Edited 2006-10-25 15:18:19]
 
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RE: ATW: Airbus Considering Revisions, Delays To A

Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:21 pm

Quoting Lumberton (Reply 41):
I know this is slightly off topic, but would you want to lull your opponent into thinking that you're content to cash checks on the 737 program and that there is no urgency to develop Y1? If they manage to open "a new front" with a 2012 Y1 EIS, this will be quite a coup in the strategy department.

I'm sure in any case there will be ongoing studies, that should go without saying. Maybe it's disinformation, but all we've heard so far is that Y1 isn't a big enough improvement over 737 to make it worth launching. But who knows, this information is a bit old, and perhaps the initial information is encouraging them to think more radical thoughts.

Boeing has said publicly that they don't want Airbus to suffer too much, since that will cause suffering amongst their common suppliers, which drives up costs for Boeing. And I agree with Zvezda, consumers certainly do not want a monopoly in airframe manufacturers.

Boeing seems to be sensitive to how much return on investment its stockholders see, so it would not surprise me if they milk the 737 for as long as they can.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 42):
Moving to an all-composite A350 would give Airbus a significant edge in replacing 777s and A340s that come due in the late 2010s.

Good point, but I thought the A350 wasn't sized big enough to replace B777-300ER, which is a very popular model.
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!